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Archive for November, 2015

Federal Lawsuit: FBI Agents Used Excessive Force with 3 Children in Drug Raid

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal lawsuit accuses FBI agents of using excessive force during a drug raid at a New Mexican trailer where three children were sleeping, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

According to the suit, FBI agents blew open the front door with a stun grenade, causing shrapnel to strike a 10-year-old boy in the head and shoulder. A 12-year-old girl was forced to walk outside on glass, cutting her feet. All three children, including the 9-year-old, were emotionally traumatized, the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces alleges.

The May 2013 raid was part of a pre-dawn bust of 22 suspected drug and gun dealers.

The FBI declined to comment on pending litigation.

FBI Investigates Connecticut City to Determine Whether Superstorm Sandy Funds Were Misused

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.41.51 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether Milford, Conn., officials misused millions of federal dollars to help clean up the damage from Superstorm Sandy, NBC Connecticut reports. 

Chairman of the Milford Republic Town Committee Paul Beckwith said the FBI Public Corruption Task Force interviewed several city employees.

“They shared with us they had been questioned about funding issues within the City of Milford concerning FEMA grants,” Beckwith said.

Agents are concerned that millions of dollars in federal funds may have been misused.

Arizona Republic: More Transparency Is Required to Keep Border Patrol Honest

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.By Editorial Board
Arizona Republic

Cops and the public should demand high standards from law enforcement. Why? Because high standards foster community confidence and cooperation. Both are necessary to good police work.

That’s especially important for Customs and Border Protection, which is charged with protecting the integrity of our ports and borders.

Why? Because what CBP does is a matter of national security. The agency’s actions need to be professional, transparent and in accord with our national commitment to human rights.

But the lack of transparency about use of deadly force at CBP, the nation’s largest law-enforcement agency, is a disturbing theme that is illustrated by three recent developments.

The first involves the trial of Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz, who is charged with killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez three years ago by shooting through the border fence into Nogales, Sonora.

In granting a delay in the trial, U.S. District Court Judge Raner Collins issued a protection order for at least two videos of the incident that CBP has previously refused to release, despite Freedom of Information requests from The Arizona Republic.

The agent shot the teen, who was allegedly throwing rocks, at least 10 times in the back and head. Witnesses say the boy was just walking down the street. The videos could help reveal the truth, but CBP stonewalled and now the public will have to wait even longer to know the truth.

Arizona Republic research found that on-duty Border Patrol and Customs officers have killed at least 53 people since 2005, including 15 Americans. The officers involved rarely faced consequences.

Agent Swartz is only the third Border Patrol agent prosecuted since 2005 and the first to be charged by the Justice Department. The others were not convicted in local prosecutions.

To read more click here. 

Ex-Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty to Murder in Shooting Death of Wife’s Boyfriend

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the fatal shooting of a man who had been dating his wife, the Corpus Christi Caller Times reports. 

Adam S. Garibay pleaded guilty Monday to the shooting death of Keith J. Martin at the victim’s parents’ home in Corpus Christi.

Garibay said he was heartbroken and couldn’t remember the shooting.

“It was too much for my mind and heart and I broke inside. I am at a loss for living or reason,” said a document admitted as evidence in a punishment hearing that began Monday.

Garibay shot Martin 10 times from behind, police said.

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-FBI Agent: No One More Capable of Solving Egyptian Plane Crash Than FBI

Google-map-SinaiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to forensic investigations of acts of terrorism, no one is better than the FBI, former FBI agent Ron Hosko said to Newsmax TV. 

That’s why it’s no surprise that Russian leaders have called on the FBI to help investigate the deadly plane crash in Egypt.

“The truth is the FBI has vast experience in this area and tremendous expertise,” Hosko told host Ed Berliner on “The Hard Line.” “They have a capability that is probably unmatched around the world.

“In the wake of our efforts and Operation Enduring Freedom, the FBI created the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center called TEDAC in about 2003, that brings together not just FBI personnel and experts but those from the military and other government agencies as well. So there’s a great capability here.”

If anyone is capable of finding evidence of a bomb, Hosko said, it would be the FBI.

“The advantage is from a forensics point of view, it was an area essentially over the desert so that many of the pieces ought to be collectable. Even if some have buried themselves slightly into the earth, you could with metal detectors identify, locate, and bring back a lot of pieces over essentially a flat piece of land.

“This is not a remote mountain side nor is it over the ocean. So there’s a great opportunity for forensics experts with the right mindset to collect and then to analyze.

“Yes, some of the device, if it was a device, would be vaporized. However, the FBI has shown repeatedly in investigations here… that you can find those small items. Just look no further than Pan Am 103 where they tracked it back to barometric triggers and sensors and pieced that puzzle back together and went back to Libya.

“So this can be done, it’s over a piece of the world where it ought to be advantageous to do that sort of work.”

Activists Call for Justice for Man Killed by Border Patrol Agents in May 2010

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About 100 activists gathered Monday evening to protest the Justice Department’s decision not to file charges against Border Patrol agents in the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. 

Hernandez Rojas died in a clash with federal agents in May 2010.

On Friday, the Justice Department said it opted against charging law enforcement officials in the death, saying “a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that the evidence was insufficient to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges… Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation.”

But local immigration rights groups counter that excessive force was used against a handcuffed Hernandez Rojas.

“After five years of investigating, with evidence and with witness accounts, with everything very clear, they come to tell us that there wasn’t enough evidence to bring these agents to trial,” said Maria Puga, the widow of Hernandez Rojas through a translator at the protest. “All of us here know that they’re culpable. They murdered my husband. Two autopsies ruled his death a homicide.”

Retired Secret Service Agent Writes Thriller, Donates All Profits

bratva's rose tattooBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A retired Secret Service agent turned to his 25 years of experience and his imagination to write a thriller novel entitled, “Bratva’s Rose Tattoo,” reports the Washington Times. 

The book, written by Thomas D. Sloan, is now available and selling on Amazon. 

All profits will be donated to the Navy SEAL Foundation and Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey.

Sloand describes the plot: “An Air Force transport plane ferrying the president’s limousine and scores of Secret Service, Marine, and Air Force personnel has been hijacked by Bratva —  the Russian mob — which seeks the release of a brilliant and dangerous cyber hacker named Max.”

Other Stories of Interest

Marijuana Use and Disorders Double

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Marijuana use has doubled in the last decade, and with that has come a doubling in the use disorders associated with it, according to a recent medical study by a Columbia University epidemiologist published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry and in Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Deborah Hasin reported that the attitude of increasing numbers of the population is that the drug is a harmless natural substance. Because of that shift in perception, the prevalence rates of use have increased from 4.1% in 2001 to 9.5% in 2014. This increase was greatest among women (2.6% to 6.9%), African Americans (4.7% to 12.7%), Hispanic Americans (3.3% to 8.4%), and older people (.04% to 1.3%). Lower income groups showed the greatest increase.

The study’s findings were based on two nationally representative, face-to-face interview surveys of US adults aged 18 years and older: the 2001 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, and the 2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

marijuana-istock

The prevalence rates of marijuana use disorders among the general population nearly doubled from 1.5% to 2.9%. Among marijuana users, however, that figure declined from 35.6% to 30.6%. The difference lies in the increased number of users in the general population as more states legalize its use in one way or another and more people consider its use as having no risks. Currently 23 states authorize use for medical purposes and 4 for recreational use.

If the number of states legalizing use continues to rise, the authors of the study advise that we should be prepared for greater numbers of addiction, vehicle crashes, emergency room visits, psychiatric symptoms, poor quality of life, cognitive decline, and use of other drugs, according to other published medical studies.