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Archive for September, 2015

FBI Agent Who Fatally Shot Friend of Marathon Bomber Had Troubled Past

Ibragim Todashev

Ibragim Todashev

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI agent who fatally shot a friend of one of the Boston Marathon bombers had a troubled past, but a prosecutor said it had no impact on clearing the agent of wrongdoing, the Boston Globe reports. 

FBI Agent Aaron McFarlane said he shot Ibragim Todashev in Orlando out of self-defense.

Prosecutor Jeffrey Ashton agreed that McFarlane was trying to defend himself from an attack.

“I concur in his assessment that there is nothing contained in those disciplinary files which would change my previous assessment that the agent(s) involved used lawful deadly force in their encounter with” Todashev, Ashton said in the letter.

In the past, McFarlane has been accused of brutality at least twice and falsifying a police report and was the subject of four internal affairs investigation.

Justice Department to Allow More Oversight over Long-Secret Tracking of Cell Phones

cellphone-tower-photo2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In an attempt to get more oversight, the Justice Department said Thursday it will seek more judicial and internal supervision as it uses technology to track cellphones, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

In the past, technology was kept a secret, drawing criticism from privacy advocates, judges and lawmakers.

At issue are cell site simulators, which enables investigators to secretly scan phones.

Under the changes, supervisors would be required to more closely examine the use of the devices. Data collected on innocent Americans also would need to be deleted at least once a day.

Border Patrol Discovers Meth-Laced Candy at a Checkpoint Near Mexico

Meth-laced candy, via Border Patrol

Meth-laced candy, via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has made an alarming discovery – candy laced with methamphetamine.

The Desert Sun reports that agents discovered several boxes of the candy at a checkpoint on Highway 86 near the Salton Sea.

Drug-sniffing dogs led agents to candy, which was inside a 2012 Nissan Frontier being driven by a 48-year-old man.

The tamarind candy, which was labeled in Spanish, tested positive for methamphetamine.

The DEA is now investigating.

Other Stories of Interest

Terry Nichols Wants His Seized Guns Returned to His Family to Help His Children

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Terry Nichols, who helped in the Timothy McVeigh bombing in Oklahoma City, wants his seized guns turned over to his family.

Information disclosed in federal court reveals that the FBI has most of the guns, the Oklahoman reports. 

Nichols is serving life in prison and wants the guns turned over to one his sister or one of his two ex-wives so that the weapons can provide financial support for some of his children.

The guns were seized from his home in Herington, Kansas.

Former Secret Service Agent Pleads Guilty to Stealing $820K Worth of Bitcoin During Silk Road Probe

bitcoin_bigBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Secret Service agent accused of pocketing $820,000 worth of Bitcoin money while investigating the Silk Road online drug marketplace has pleaded guilty to money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Tech Times reports that then-Secret Service Agent Shaun Bridges admitted Monday to stealing the Bitcoin money and placing it in a personal account.

Bridges said he stole about 20,000 Bitcoin in 2013.

Another federal agent, Carl Force, also admitted to stealing the digital currency several month ago.

“This case shows we will act quickly to hold wrongdoers accountable, no matter who they are,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said.

Top Justice Department Officials Accused of Misconduct in ATF Case

Jay Dobyns/his website

Jay Dobyns/his website

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Top Justice Department officials are accused of withholding information from a judge about irregularities in a lawsuit against the ATF, The Arizona Republic reports, citing recently unsealed documents.

The case involves retired ATF agent Jay Dobyns, who alleges the ATF failed to properly investigate an intentional fire at his Tucson house in 2008 and failed to protect him and his family against death threats.

Unsealed documents suggest that top Justice Department officials failed to provide e-mails that show that a DOJ attorney tried to prevent the re-opening of a botched arson investigation.

Other records also indicate that one of the DOJ officials met with subordinates to determine whether they should tell the judge about a possible threat made to an internal-affairs agent in the case.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Raids Palm Springs City Hall, Visits Mayor’s House in Corruption Probe

Palm Springs, Calif./Wikipedia

Palm Springs, Calif./Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A corruption investigation prompted the FBI and local authorities to raid Palm Springs City Hall, Calif., and visited the mayor’s home on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. 

The agents shut down city hall, and a Palm Springs attorney said employees cooperating with agents.

The FBI also went to the home of Mayor Steve Pougnet but there was no answer at the door.

“I am happy to cooperate with the inquiry going on at City Hall, just as I have always been fully cooperative and open in all of my many years as an elected official in Palm Springs,” the mayor said in a statement. “I have complete confidence that our City Council, city manager, city attorney and city staff will do everything they can to cooperate by ensuring that this process will be as swift and as thorough as possible.”

The FBI declined to comment on the investigation.

FBI Investigates Fatal Shooting by Sheriff Deputies After It Was Caught on Video

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the fatal shooting of a man by two sheriff’s deputies in Texas after the incident was caught on cellphone video.

Two Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies shot Gilbert Flores, 41, in his front lawn while it appeared he had his hands raised in the air, My San Antonio reports. 

“We coordinate our investigation to ensure that we are not interfering with (BSCO’s) investigation,” said FBI spokeswoman Michelle Lee. “They have been extremely cooperative and transparent.”

It’s unclear whether Flores was carrying a weapon, and authorities have declined to release records on the incident.