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Archive for April, 2015

TSA’s List of Suspicious Behaviors Is Revealed As ACLU Sues for Document

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What do airport screeners look for when they are trying to detect suspicious behavior?

The suggestions are part of the TSA’s controversial behavior-detection program, Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, which outlines suspicious actions.

Although the TSA considers the list of behaviors to be confidential, it was posted online.

The ACLU, which is concerned that the list encourages racial and ethnic profiling, is suing the TSA to force the release of details of the program, The Washington Post wrote.

Here are some of the suspicious behaviors: tightly gripping a bag, appearing disoriented and whistling.

“Airports are rich environments for the kind of stress, exhaustion, or confusion that the TSA apparently finds suspicious, and research has long made clear that trying to judge people’s intentions based on supposed indicators as subjective or commonplace as these just doesn’t work,” Hugh Handeyside, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement.

Senate Republicans Probe Claims That Agents Disciplined over Obama Immigration Policies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Senate Republicans want to know whether Border Patrol agents or Homeland Security officials were disciplined for refusing to follow President Obama’s immigration policies.

Fox News reports that Republicans are investigating claims that federal managers are retaliating against employees who don’t follow the president’s order.

“We are aware of multiple allegations of targeting and retaliation against DHS personnel who refuse to comply with this administration’s willful disregard of our immigration laws,” members of a Senate judiciary subcommittee on immigration told Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in a letter on Tuesday.

The letter comes after Chris Cabrera, a National Border Patrol Council (Local 3307) executive, told a Senate committee that Border Patrol agents are facing discipline for repeatedly reporting a gathering of more than 20 illegal immigrants.

“Needless to say, agents got the message and now stay below this 20 person threshold no matter the actual size of the group,” Cabrera testified.

Robert Durst Attorneys: FBI Illegally Searched Hotel in New Orleans

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Robert Durst, the millionaire real-estate heir who was the subject of a popular TV show, was subjected to an illegal FBI search before he was arrested on murder charges, his attorney said this week.

The Boston Herald reports that the FBI “rummaged” through the 71-year-old man’s hotel room without a proper warrant.

The warrant led to Durst’s arrest and the confiscation of a revolver and 5 ounces of marijuana in New Orleans.
Durst’s attorneys argued that the sworn statement used to get the warrant “contains a material misrepresentation designed to cover up the FBI’s unlawful, warrantless search of Mr. Durst’s hotel room.”

Durst is accused of killing his friend friend Susan Berman in 2000 to keep her quiet about another murder investigation involving Durst.

Grand Jury Indicts Sen. Menendez on Corruption Charges Involving Doctor

Robert Menendez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was indicted on corruption charges Wednesday, marking the first time a sitting U.S. senator has been criminally charged since Alaska’s Ted Stevens in 2008, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The 61-year-old Democrat and key opponent of President Obama’s key foreign-policy initiatives said he was “outraged” by the charges, which came after a two-year investigation by the FBI.

The focus of the probe was on the senator and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.

“Prosecutors at the Justice Department do not know the difference between friendship and corruption,”Menendez said. “I’m confident at the end of the day I will be vindicated and they will be exposed.”

The grand jury handed down a 14-count indictment, which alleges Menendez used his authority to help Dr. Melgen in exchange for campaign contributions.

Other Stories of Interest


Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to 64 Criminal Charges Tied to Heroin Abuse

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent who stole heroin that was collected as evidence pleaded guilty Tuesday and warned of the powers of addiction.

The Washington Post reports that Matthew Lowry, who worked in the Washington Field Office, apologized outside of the D.C. federal courthouse.

“Today I informed the court of criminal acts of misconduct that I committed while trying to handle my pain medication,” Matthew Lowry told reporters. “I want to apologize and say I was wrong.”

The 33-year-old agent pleaded guilty to 64 criminal charges, including obstruction of justice, possession of heroin and tampering with evidence.

Lowry’s attorney said his client started using heroin after being given a powerful pain medication that he shouldn’t have been prescribed.

“Hopefully from this situation I’ll be able to stand as an example of how not to deal with prescription pain medication abuse and be able to help people understand how powerful and addictive and dangerous they can be,” Lowry said.

Asked how he was holding up, he paused and said, “I’m getting better.”

 

 

Suspect in Deadly Suspect in NSA Encounter, Who Had Criminal History, Is Identified

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who was killed after crashing a stolen SUV outside of the National Security Agency has a criminal history and has been identified.

The Washington Post reports that the suspect was Ricky Shawatza Hall, 27. He is accused of smashing a police cruiser with a stolen Ford Escape.

The Post identified the passenger as Kevin Lamont Fleming, 20.

The men were dressed as women “but not in an attempt to disguise themselves from authorities,” according to a prepared statement from FBI spokeswoman Amy J. Thoreson.

Authorities were still tight-lipped about the incident but said terrorism didn’t appear to be the motive.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Molesting 5-Year-Old Girl

Jeremy Tyler Cole

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent in Arizona is accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl while visiting his fiancé’s friend and her children, The Tucson News Now reports. 

Jeremy Tyler Cole, of Sierra Vista, was charged March 27 on one count of child molestation.

Cole was arrested by Chandler Police on Friday.

The CBP Tucson Sector released this statement Tuesday:

A Border Patrol agent assigned to the Douglas Border Patrol Station was arrested in a collaborative operation between the Chandler Police Criminal Apprehension Team and the Peoria Police Department on March 27, in Peoria, Arizona. The agent is being charged with one count of Child Molestation, and is currently in a leave with pay status pending additional criminal proceedings. The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector are cooperating fully with the investigative agencies. Customs and Border Protection takes all incidents of misconduct seriously and will continue to work with outside investigative agencies to maintain the integrity of the workforce.