Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

April 2015
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for April, 2015

FBI Investigating Potential Terrorist Threat to U.S. Following Information Gathering

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a potential terrorist threat that targets the U.S.

The FBI made the discovery while intercepting chatter and gathering other intelligence information, CNN reports.

It’s unclear how serious the threat was or what it involved. One U.S. official said the threat involved parts of California, which has stepped up security.

Homeland Security declined to comment on the case and would only speak in general.

“Over the last few months, we have made a number of security adjustments, including enhanced screening at select overseas airports and increasing random searches of passengers and carry-on luggage on flights inbound to the U.S., reflecting an evolving threat picture,” the spokesman said.

New York Times: FBI’s Junk Science Leads to Wrongful Convictions, More Questions

By Editorial Board
New York Times

The odds were 10-million-to-one, the prosecution said, against hair strands found at the scene of a 1978 murder of a Washington, D.C., taxi driver belonging to anyone but Santae Tribble. Based largely on this compelling statistic, drawn from the testimony of an analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Tribble, 17 at the time, was convicted of the crime and sentenced to 20 years to life.

But the hair did not belong to Mr. Tribble. Some of it wasn’t even human. In 2012, a judge vacated Mr. Tribble’s conviction and dismissed the charges against him when DNA testing showed there was no match between the hair samples, and that one strand had come from a dog.

Mr. Tribble’s case — along with the exoneration of two other men who served decades in prison based on faulty hair-sample analysis — spurred the F.B.I. to conduct a sweeping post-conviction review of 2,500 cases in which its hair-sample lab reported a match.

The preliminary results of that review, which Spencer Hsu of The Washington Post reported last week, are breathtaking: out of 268 criminal cases nationwide between 1985 and 1999, the bureau’s “elite” forensic hair-sample analysts testified wrongly in favor of the prosecution, in 257, or 96 percent of the time. Thirty-two defendants in those cases were sentenced to death; 14 have since been executed or died in prison.

The agency is continuing to review the rest of the cases from the pre-DNA era. The Justice Department is working with the Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to notify the defendants in those cases that they may have grounds for an appeal. It cannot, however, address the thousands of additional cases where potentially flawed testimony came from one of the 500 to 1,000 state or local analysts trained by the F.B.I. Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project, rightly called this a “complete disaster.”

To read more click here. 

Sniper Rifle Stolen from FBI Agent’s Car in Utah Just Days Before President Obama Visits

Pres. Obama at state of the union/white house photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just days before President Obama was to visit Utah, an FBI agent’s sniper rifle was stolen from his car in Salt Lake City hotel, International Business Times reports. 

Police said the rifle was stolen from the agent’s parked car, where it was stored and properly locked down in a hard case.

“The rifle had been secured properly,” Salt Lake City Police Detective Dennis McGowan told KSTU-TV. “A couple of padlocks, chains, it was attached to a truck safe. There are all kinds of ways the weapon was secure. Yet someone was able to forcefully take the weapon.”

The Secret Service was made aware of the theft.

The agent’s window was broken.

“I observed the rear right passenger window was shattered and the window frame was pulled out, hanging from the door,” the police report states, according to KSTU-TV. “[The agent] stated his FBI issued sniper rifle was missing, which was in a hard rifle case along with some gear bags, backpacks, clothing and tools.” The stolen FBI rifle has yet to be found.

“We have not recovered the weapon, and we have not identified the person who has taken it yet,” McGowan told KSTU-TV.

 

Watch Outgoing AG Eric Holder Bid Farewell to Justice Department

FBI Director Eric Holder bid a heartfelt farewell to the Justice Department on Friday as he stepped aside for his successor.

Holder served as the top law enforcement leader for the past six years.

Loretta Lynch is replacing Holder after she was finally confirmed by the Senate.

“I am proud of you. I’m going to miss you. I am going to miss this building. I am going to miss this institution. More than anything, I am going to miss you all,” Holder told the large crowd that had amassed.

 

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh Was Within 60 Seconds of Dying in Car Crash Last Year

Louis Freeh

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was within 60 seconds of dying after severing an artery in his leg in a car crash in Vermont eight months ago,  USA Today reports. 

The extent of Freeh’s injuries was previously unknown by the public.

FBI Director James Comey and Sen. Patrick Leahy spoke of the injuries at a news conference at Champlain College.

Freeh’s leg was mangled, and if not for the quick attention of first responders, the former director would have died.

“Louis would have died within a minute or so. They stopped the bleeding,” Leahy said.

“I told him he better believe in guardian angels,” Leahy added.

Other Stories of Interest


Hemp Today: Department of Justice Guidance Should Shield Tribes Who Want to Grow Hemp

By Hemp Today

A 2013 Department of Justice memorandum designed to prioritize the goals of anti-marijuana legislation should shield Indian tribes who are looking at growing hemp as an industrial crop, former ND Federal Prosecutor Timothy Purdon said.

The so-called “Cole memo” is a policy statement based on Deputy U.S. Attorney General James M. Cole’s Aug. 29, 2013 guidance to federal prosecutors regarding anti-drug laws in states that have adopted ballot initiatives that “legalize under state law the possession of small amounts of marijuana and provide for the regulation of marijuana production, processing, and sale.”

Subsequent DOJ guidance in October 2014 expressly made the Cole memo’s priorities applicable on Indian reservations, meaning the prosecutorial focus would specifically not be on tribal lands.

While the Cole memo is focused on marijuana cases involving drug cartels, sales to minors, the use of firearms in drug deals, and interstate transport of pot, “It seems likely that those memos would apply to hemp farming,” Purdon told the Associated Press. “Under the factors in the Cole memo, it would seem like the department should not be prioritizing the investigation and prosecution of industrial hemp.”

A North Dakota bill passed this legislative session sets guidelines for industrial hemp production, and should make it easier for tribes to grow and process hemp-based products, boosting the tribes’ economic fortunes. ND State Rep. David Monson sponsored the bill, which is meant to put the state in line with the new federal farm policy that allows experimental hemp farming through state ag departments and university research programs .

Read more »

Secret Service Failed to Fix Former President Bush’s Residential Alarm

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For more than a year, former president George H.W. Bush’s home had a broken alarm system and Secret Service failed to fix it, the Washington Post reports. 

Although the alarm system monitors the property and the house, the agency rejected requests to replace it since 2010, according to an inspector general report.

For at least 13 months, the 20-year-old alarm system didn’t function and wasn’t fixed. It wasn’t until November or December of 2014 that the replacement was made.

Although the Secret Service provided an agent to take place of the broken alarm, the report said that was insufficient.

Agency officials said technology problems are common.

“The service, supported by the department, is making it a priority to go through all of the security systems for all of the protectees, whether they are current officials or former presidents,” said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s the department’s and the service’s job to always be concerned about their security, particularly in light of recent things we’ve learned.”

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Agent: Ex-CIA Director Petraeus Put High-Level Military Personnel at Risk

Former CIA Director David Petraeus

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent said in a deposition that Paula Broadwell had regular access to CIA Director David Petraeus’ email that may have extended beyond the launch of an FBI investigation a month before the 2012 presidential election, Politico.com reports.

Transcripts of the deposition show the CIA director was asked twice to change his password because his email account appeared to have been accessed by someone outside of the agency. Authorities later traced the unauthorized access to Broadwell, who was writing a biography about Petraeus and having a sexual relationship with him.

Petraeus was sentenced Thursday to two years probation and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for sharing classified information with Broadwell.

“We believed that the email had been compromised,” Humphries said during sworn questioning in Tampa stemming from a lawsuit brought against the U.S. government by a Florida woman who received threatening emails from Broadwell, Jill Kelley. “His first admonishment [to change the code] was made because we didn’t know who it was, and then upon learning who it was we had a conversation that that should be changed.”

FBI Agent Fred Humphries agreed with Kelly’s attorney that her “actions potentially compromised the security of high level military intelligence personnel and information.”