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Archive for December, 2014

Slate Takes a Look at What It’s Like to be a U.S. Marshal Through Photographs and Words

By Jordan G. Teicher
Slate

The U.S. marshals currently employ just 5,431 people nationwide, but they get a lot done: In 2013, the organization arrested more 110,000 fugitives, moved federal prisoners nearly 300,000 times, and cleared more than 134,000 warrants. Brian Finke witnessed some of that activity firsthand over the course of three years shadowing the country’s oldest law enforcement agency.

For Finke, who has previously spent months photographing bodybuilders and hip-hop music video stars, hanging out with the marshals was yet another exciting immersion into a distinct culture. He likens his new book, U.S. Marshals, which was published in November by PowerHouse books, to his “own version of the TV show, Cops.”

TO SEE PHOTOS and STORY CLICK HERE.

Movie Theater Operators on Edge After Threat Delivered to Sony Over Film

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Operators of movie theaters are on edge after the group that hacked Sony last month purportedly theater to unleash violence at upcoming screenings of “The Interview.”

But Homeland Security said Tuesday that it’s unaware of any plot to attack movie theaters, Fortune reports.

The hacking group left reporters a note, warning of potential attack against any cinema that screens “The Interview,” a Sony comedy about an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“We are still analyzing the credibility of these statements, but at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States,” the DHS official said in a statement. “As always, DHS will continue to adjust our security posture, as appropriate, to protect the American people.”

The letter warns, “Remember the 11th of September 2011” and threats a “bitter fate” for any cinema that shows the film.

Terrorists Still Fixated on Bombing Planes Despite Successful Attempts to Thwart Them

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Terrorists remain stubbornly fixated on targeting airplanes and creating better bombs, the Indiana Business Journal reports.

Although it has been 13 years since a successful terrorist attack – the Sept. 11, 2011 – terrorists seem committed to bombing a plane, said John Pistole, the departing head of the TSA.

“The threats continue,” Pistole, 58, said in an interview at the agency’s Arlington, VA, office. “They are persistent. The terrorists are innovative in their design, construction and concealment of devices.”

During Pistole’s four-year tenure, authorities have thwarted to attacks on planes.

Other Stories of Interest


Bill Would Require Every Police Killing to Be Tallied by Justice Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Without a federal requirement to disclose police killings, it’s impossible to know how many cops kill civilians in any given year.

That could change under new legislation that would require all police departments to report law-enforcement killing to the Justice Department, Essence reports.

Currently the FBI keeps a tally on the number of police killings, but local departments aren’t required to produce the information. A Wall Street Journal analysis found that the FBI’s tally of law-enforcement killings between 2007 and 2012 was missing 550 deaths.

“What we know is that some places have chosen not to report these, for whatever reason,” Cooper told the Journal.

Under the new legislation, introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN, all police agencies would be required to disclose every death during police custody.

“Before we can truly address the problem of excessive force used by law enforcement, we have to understand the nature of the problem, and that begins with accurate data,” Rep. Cohen said in a statement.

Called the “National Statistics on Deadly Force Transparency Act of 2014,’ the bill likely will have to be reintroduced in January.

 

FBI Agents Raid County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Chief in Indiana

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Federal agents raided a county sheriff’s office and fire chief’s home in Indiana on Monday, the Indy Star reports.

Agents conducted the raids at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the home of a Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Department.

It’s believed the raids are connected, but the FBI declined to discuss any details.

 

 

Customs And Border Protection Officer Arrested for Allegedly Helping Smuggle Drugs into U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A 38-year-old Customs and Border Protection Officer is accused of helping drug smugglers cross into the U.S., Fox News reports.

Jose Luis Zavala, who works in Brownsville, Texas, was arrested on charges of drug smuggling and corruption.

He was arrested Dec. 12 and placed on administrative leave. An initial story incorrectly stated that he was a Border Patrol agent.

“CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission,” CBP said in a statement. “The overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe. We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigation of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty.”

Diego G. Rodriguez Named Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office

Diego Rodriguez /fbi photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Diego G. Rodriguez, who headed up the FBI’s Dallas office, has been named the assistant director in charge (ADIC) of the FBI’s New York Field Office.

Rodriguez succeeds George Venizelos, who is retiring after 24 years in the FBI, the agency said.

Rodriguez joined the FBI in 1990 at the New York Field Office and was a member of the SWAT team and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.

In 1997, he headed to San Juan Division, where he was a SWAT team member. He was also assigned to a drug/money laundering task force with the Puerto Rico Police Department.

In 1999, he was promoted to supervisory special agent in in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters.

In 2001, he transferred to the Miami Division, where he supervised a multi-agency drug squad under the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Initiative.

Rodriguez returned to FBI headquarters in 2003 as chief of the Field Oversight Unit in the Directorate of Intelligence.

Shortly after, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office in April 2006 as the criminal, counterterrorism, and intelligence program manager, according to a press release.

He was then promoted to chief of the Domain and Collection Management Section in the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI Headquarters.

In July 2010, he was named a special agent in charge in New York where he oversaw the Criminal Division. In June 2012, he headed up the Dallas Division.

 

 

Before his FBI career, Mr. Rodriguez was a teacher in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1988 from St. John’s University in New York.

Border Patrol Agent Shot at While Pulling Over Car in Texas, Returns Fire As Suspects Fled

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent came under fire Sunday morning while pulling over a car during a routine traffic stop, KFOX14 reports.

The incident happened around 7:25 a.m. when the suspect opened fire on the agent as he approached the car in Hudspeth County, which borders Mexico in Texas.

The agent returned fire but the driver and occupants were able to run away into the brush. Authorities were still searching for the suspects at the end of the weekend.

The agent didn’t sustain any serious injuries.