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Archive for January, 2015

Killer of Ex-ATF Agent Gets Life

Aric Smith

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man who shot and killed former ATF agent Gregory Holley, 55, while he was walking his dog in northern Virginia a year ago, will spend the rest of his life in prison, WUSA9 reports.

Aric Smith, 26, of Woodbridge, Va., a suburb of D.C., was sentenced to two life terms last week, the station reports.

“We feel justice was served. Are we happy? Nothing will bring our Dad back, that’s what would make us happy,” said Christopher Holley, 38, the oldest of Holley’s four sons, according to WUSA9.

Last February, Holley was walking his dog at night in Woodbridge when Smith, a neighbor who did not know Holley, robbed him and fatally shot him, the station reported.

DOJ’s Top Public Corruption Investigator, Jack Smith, Takes New Job

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section has overcome some embarrassing blunders, from caving in to politicians to failing to convict former Sen. Ted Stevens and Sen. John Edwards.

In 2010, Jack Smith became the head of the beleaguered section, shouldered with the daunting responsibility of improving the prosecutors’ images as they go after public graft.

By most accounts, Smith turned around the section and last year won a highly publicized conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Smith will become the top assistant to David Rivera, the U.S. Attorney in Nashville, TN., giving him an opportunity to return to trying cases, which he has missed.

FBI Busts Russian Agents Accused of Spying on U.S. from NYC

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI said Monday it broke up a Russian spy ring in New York City, arresting the alleged ringleader and forcing two others to leave the country, The Washington Post reports. 

Evgeny Buryakov was charged with conspiracy to act and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government after he allegedly collected intelligence reports and other confidential information and supplied them to the SVR,  Russia’s foreign intelligence service.

The other two SVR agents were returned to Russia with diplomatic immunity.

Prosecutors said Buryakov arrived in the U.S. in 2010 and began establishing connections to gather reports on subjects ranging from U.S. sanctions to progress on alternative energy sources.

Justice Department Builds Secret Database to Spy on Millions of Cars

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A license plate tracking program established to seize cars and money to combat drug trafficking has gone far beyond its original scope and has led to the collection and storage of millions of records about motorists, Reuters reports.

Not only is the database being used to track drug dealers, but state and locals authorities are using it to search for cars tied to other serious crimes, raising questions among privacy advocates.

This is the first time the DEA has revealed it is expanding its database beyond the  Mexican border.

What remained unknown was whether a judge or agency was responsible for oversight.

A debate is being waged in Washington over what some are expressing as privacy concerns with license plate readers.

Tim Steller: Unsealed Jay Dobyns Files Look Bad for DOJ

Jay Dobyns

By Tim Steller
Arizona Daily Star

Retired ATF agent Jay Dobyns’ lawsuit against the federal government alleged they broke a settlement deal with him and mistreated him, in part by calling him a suspect in the 2008 arson of his own Tucson home.

Newly unsealed documents in his case suggest that the government misbehaved during the trial in 2013, leading to DOJ attorneys being barred from filing further documents in the case. More eerily, the misbehavior may have extended to surveillance of Dobyns’ Phoenix attorney even up into this month.

For people like me, who have sympathized with Dobyns but tried to reserve judgment about his case, the documents push us further into the retired agent’s camp. You can’t read the few filings that have been unsealed in the case without wondering why the Justice Department is going to such extremes and spending so much on what is, at base, a relatively minor contractual dispute that could have ended years ago.

To read more click here.

Drone Found on White House Grounds

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With the security breaches of recent, this is not very heartening.

ABC News reports that a small drone was found on the White House grounds overnight.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the situation “does not pose any sort of ongoing threat,” according to ABC News.

The Secret Service is investigating the device, Earnest said.

FBI Drama About ‘Young, Sexy’ Recruits to Premiere on ABC This Season

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A new drama about a group of “young, sexy” FBI recruits has been picked up by ABC in what will be a busy pilot season, A.V. Club reports.

The show, Quantico, features the recruits at a real-life training center.

But there’s a twist.

“One of the recruits turns out to be a terrorist [who] created the most severe terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11,” the show’s official description reads.

 

Is Terrorism the FBI’s Top Priority in Indianapolis? Field Office Head Says Yes

W. Jay Abbott

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

What’s the FBI’s most pressing concern in Indianapolis?

Not public corruption, violent crime or the protection of civil liberties.

According to Jay Abbott, director of the Indianapolis field office, the FBI’s most urgent issue in Indianapolis is terrorism, he told RTV6 ABC in an exclusive interview.

Abbott said the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine outlet in Paris underscores the dangers to the homeland.

“With the current news and events that are occurring right now in Europe, particularly in France in Paris with the Charlie Hebdo magazine outlet, we’re not sure yet what that means for us as we help the French with their investigation in any way we can. But, we’re watching very closely to try and interpret those things that may be helpful to us.”