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Archive for May, 2015

Powerful Bipartisan Committee Probes Serious Flaws in FBI Lab Research

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A powerful bi-partisan House committee is investigating serious flaws found in FBI labs, McClatchy reports. 

Leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voiced “grave concern” about recent discoveries that the FBI came to erroneous conclusions on hair analysis that ended up being far from perfect.

“The scope of this catastrophe is almost impossible to believe,” wrote Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., adding that the recent discoveries are “shocking and obviously unacceptable.”

The lawmakers want to meet with Comey by May 22 for a hearing to determine how much he knew about the errors and when he found out.

The committee’s actions come on the heels of testimony that showed that at least 90% of the hair analysis cases analyzed by the FBI contained erroneous statements.

“We need to understand more about these cases,” Chaffetz and Cummings wrote.

Last month, Amy Hess, the executive assistant director of the FBI’s Science and Technology Branch, emphasized that the Justice Department and the FBI are “committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance.”

Border Patrol Supervisor Arrested for Allegedly Stealing $108K in Benefits

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Another Border Patrol supervisor is in hot water.

This time James Doran, 54, who is the supervisor of the Border Patrol’s Laredo office, is expected to be charged today for allegedly collecting more than $108,000 in Social Security benefits to which he was not entitled, the Laredo Morning Times reports. 

An indictment was unsealed, revealing the case against Doran, who could faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

The investigation was handled by the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General and the Bureau of Vital Statistics Fraud Unit.

Lawyer: Federal Air Marshals Should Not Use Gun Ranges That Aren’t Lead Free

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal air marshals should not be using gun ranges that aren’t proven to be led free, the top attorney for the marshals told TSA on Tuesday.

The Seattle Times reports that a letter from attorney Lawrence Berger, who represents the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, was sent to to the agency expressing the concerns.

The letter following an April 13 investigation by the Seattle Times that revealed TSA has endangered hundreds of employees by having them use commercial ranges that have lead contamination.

“FLEOA demands that the Transportation Security Administration immediately cease and desist contracting with or otherwise utilizing any gun range that has not been inspected by or received an up-to-date clearance from OSHA that the range is safe from toxic poisoning,” Berger said.

The Seattle Times wrote:

When lead-based ammunition is fired, lead vapor and dust spread into the air and onto surfaces. If a range doesn’t have proper ventilation and fails to adequately clean the range, air marshals can be overexposed to lead. Shooters might also track the metal home and contaminate others. Children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning.

Other Stories of Interest


New Chief Border Patrol Agent for Yuma Sector Is ‘Humbled and Honored’

Anthony J. Porvaznik

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

When Anthony J. Porvaznik was deployed to Bolivia in 1992 to crack down on raw materials being sold for drugs, he said he learned an important less of being a part of Border Patrol.

“That experience taught me to emphasize the safety and value of the officers serving,” Porvaznik told the Yuma Sun. 

Porvaznik plans to use that experience as the new chief patrol agent for the Yuma Sector.

“It’s great the level of experience and dedication that the agents have to the mission,” he said. “Yuma and its communities are very supportive of the work that Border Patrol does.”

Porvaznik said he’s excited and grateful about the new job.

“I am very humbled and honored to have been offered this job,” he said. “Yuma Sector is a great place to start off as a chief.”

Other Stories of Interest


FBI: 95 Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2014, Most of Them Feloniously

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of law enforcement officers “feloniously” killed in 2014 jumped 89% over the past year, according to new FBI statistics that come just a week after the fatal shootings of an officer in New York City and two officers in Hattiesburg, Miss., the FBI reported.

The FBI recorded 51 felonious killings, compared to 27 in 2013. The average number of annual felonious killings between  between 1980 and 2014 was 64.

Of the 51 killings, 46 involved firearms.

Police departments lost another 44 officers in the line of duty to accidental causes, such as car accidents and smoke inhalation. In 2o13, 49 officers were killed.

Garland Police Say They Never Received FBI Warning of Threat

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the biggest criticisms of federal law enforcement in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, was the lack of communication that could have helped authorities foil the attack.

But the communication lapses continue, most recently when police in Garland, Texas, never received an FBI bulletin that specifically warned of one of two men who would open fire at a contest to draw Prophet Muhammad, which is offensive to many Muslims.

According to Garland Police Chief Mitch Gates, local authorities had no idea the FBI warned of the two men and even posted a photo of one of the shooters and the license plate number, Fort Worth Business Press reports. 

Bates said that officials not only didn’t receive the bulletin in time, but it wasn’t specific enough to call attention to it.

The bulletin warned that one of the attackers, Elton Simpson, “might be interested in going to Garland,” “We had no information from the FBI or anyone else that Simpson posed a threat to our event,” Garland Police Chief Mitch Bates, said.

Judge Halts Case Amid Claims FBI Threatened Witness in Oklahoma City Bombing Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge has postponed a civil case involving the Oklahoma City bombing following claims that the FBI had threatened a witness in an attempt to keep him from testifying, Fox 13 Salt Lake City reports.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups appointed a “special master” to monitor the investigation, which is looking into allegations that agents instructed a witness not to show up in court in a lawsuit over documents from the 1999 bombing.

The judge also wants to see an unredacted copy of a report about potential witness tampering.

 

FBI Director James Comey Expresses Thanks to Law Enforcement Officers