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Archive for September, 2014

Modernized Border Patrol Facility in San Diego to Get $500,000 in Artwork

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A plan to modernize Border Patrol’s busiest facility includes $500,000 for new art in San Diego, the Weekly Standard reports.

The San Ysidro Land Port of entry, which handles traffic between San Diego and the Tijuana region, is undergoing $735 million in upgrades.

The artwork is part of the third phase of the project, which spans more than a decade.

The GSA recently began soliciting contractors, including artists.

The spending is in line with the GSA’s “Art in Architecture” program, which calls for one-half of one percent of construction expenses to be spent on artwork.

The federal government is accepting registration from artists until Oct. 6.

Other Stories of Interest


Weekend Series on Law Enforcement: Mobster Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro

httpv://youtu.be/jvdZOSsC-jk

FBI on hunt for Northeastern University graduate accused of using degree to recruit for ISIS

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is searching for a Northeastern University graduate who is accused of trying to recruit ISIS members using social media, WHDH reports.

Ahmad Abousamra, who is believed to be in Syria, has been added to the FBI’s met wanted terrorist list.

Authorities fear Abousamra may be waging an aggressive social media campaign with his background in communications.

Abousamra received training in Yemen and Pakistan to kill Americans, the FBI said.

“We have concerns that Ahmad Abousamra is still pursuing his desire to fight United States soldiers,” an FBI agent said.

In 2009, Abousamra was indicted on charges of conspiring with Al Qaeda.

Ex-FBI Special Agent, Wife Admit They Hid Cash Income from IRS

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI special agent and his wife admitted they hid income from the IRS.

Pritesh Desai, 47, and his wife Darshna Desai, 45, both of Watchung, N.J., pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to defraud the IRS in federal court in Trenton, NJ.com reports.

The couple is accused of hiding income from their part-ownership of a Piscataway pharmacy.

Desai was a special agent in the New York Field Office at the time of his resignation in July 2013.

The couple is accused of conspiring with each other to hide cash income from June 204 to june 2012.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: DOJ Investigation Must Go Beyond Ferguson

By St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Editorial Board

A few numbers indicate a civil rights investigation of the Ferguson Police Department is long overdue. On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Department of Justice will begin such an inquiry. This is an important and positive step forward, but we suspect when he gets into the numbers, and examines the reality of North St. Louis County, Ferguson will play but a small role in a larger investigation.

First, those numbers:

• As we noted Aug. 10, the day after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, blacks in Ferguson were 37 percent more likely to be pulled over in 2013 than whites, as a percentage of their respective populations. Those black drivers who were pulled over were twice as likely to be searched for contraband, such as drugs, than white drivers, even though police found contraband, percentage-wise, more often in the cars of white drivers.

• In a city that is two-thirds black, only three of its 53 police officers are black.

• And this, from a recent report from Arch City Defenders: “Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of $2,635,400. In 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.”

None of these things, on their own, are proof positive of institutional racism or civil rights violations. But together, they help paint a picture that explains why tens of thousands of African-Americans in the St. Louis region have taken to the streets in anger, not just over the shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer, but over years of being subject to different rules when dealing with the justice system partly, if not mostly, because of the color of their skin.

To read more click here.

FBI reviewing Potentially Deadly Encounter Between Border Patrol, Militia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is investigating a tense encounter between the U.S. Border Patrol and an armed militia man, the Valley Morning Star reports.

An agent is accused of firing several shorts at what turned out to be a militia member on private property.

The incident happened while Border Patrol agents were chasing immigrants near Brownsville and spotted the man holding a gun.

An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the FBI is reviewing the cases, which had not been investigated by the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office.

Breaking: Ex-Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and Wife Maureen Convicted of Public Corruption

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, who had been mentioned as a vice presidential candidate at one time, was convicted Thursday in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., along with his wife Maureen, of public corruption and selling the office to a free spending Richmond businessman for golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in sweetheart loans, the Washington Post reported.

Matt Zapotosky and Rosalind S. Helderman of the Post reported that a federal jury deliberated three days before serving up the verdict. Robert McDonnell was convicted of 11 counts and his wife,  nine.

The jury also acquitted the couple of several charges. 

The Post wrote:

 The verdict means that Robert McDonnell, who was already the first governor in Virginia history to be charged with a crime, now he holds an even more unwanted distinction: the first ever to be convicted of one. He and his wife face decades in federal prison, though their actual sentence will probably fall well short of that.

 

Colombian National Pleads Guilty in DEA Agent’s Slaying in Bogota

James Terry Watson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Colombian national pleaded guilty in the slaying of DEA Agent James “Terry” Watson, who was stabbed to death in Columbia, the Associated Press reports.

Julio Estiven Garcia Ramiez, one of seven Colombians extradited to the U.S. for charges connected to the murder of the 43-year-old agent, pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiding and abetting the murder of an internationally protected person.

Ramirez was in federal court in Alexandria, where he will be sentenced Dec. 5.

Authorities say Watson was in Columbia when the defendants posed as taxi drivers in an attempt to rob him.

Other Stories of Interest