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Archive for May, 2016

Feds Ramp Up Searches of U.S. Citizens’ Data without a Warrant

nsa_sealBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The feds are increasing searches of U.S. citizens’ data, a new transparency reports shows.

The report says 4,672 surveillance queries were made on citizens, a two-fold increase since the 2013 report.

The report includes queries made by the CIA and NSA, but not the FBI.

Those agencies are able to access the database without a warrant.

Some critics have suggested the warrantless access amounts to a violation of privacy of U.S. citizens.

Also included in the report is the revelation that more than 48,000 were targeted by National Security Letters.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Cyber Division Chief Advises Companies Not to Pay Ransom

http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2016/05/04/fbi-cyber-division-chief-advises-companies-not-to-pay-ransom-for-release-of-data/

Justice Department Program to No Longer Use Terms ‘Felons,’ ‘Convicts’

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/4/justice-dept-no-longer-use-terms-felon-convict/

Justice Department: North Carolina’s Bathroom Is Discriminatory

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/05/04/north-carolinas-bathroom-law-discriminatory-justice-department-says/83938546/

Border Patrol Agents Rescued a 2-Year-Old Abandoned Toddler

http://www.kvue.com/news/local/border-patrol-agents-find-abandoned-toddler/170282724

Ex-Secret Service Agent Reveals Why JFK Didn’t Want Wife Photographed in Bikini

https://www.yahoo.com/celebrity/exclusive-former-secret-service-agent-clint-hill-133532738.html

 

Wife of DEA Employee Fatally Shot in Family Car While Driving Home

dea-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The wife of a DEA employee was killed by a gunman while she was in her car with her husband and two children.

Tracy Czaczkowski, 44 of Buffalo Grove, Ill., was shot in her neck Sunday afternoon, and the suspected shooter is in police custody, ABC News reports. 

She is the wife of an 11-year DEA employee.

“Tracy is a loving wife of 15 years, mother of two tender age children, daughter and friend,” the DEA said in a statement. “The family is asking for privacy in this difficult time so that they can comfort each other. The family would like to say thank you for the prayers and out pouring of support for Tracy.”

Police said they don’t believe the husband’s employment had anything to do with the shooting, calling it a “random act.”

FBI Arrests Man Accused of Contaminating Food at Grocery Stores in Michigan

Surveillance of the suspect, via FBI.

Surveillance of the suspect, via FBI.

Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

A man suspected of contaminating food at open food bars in Ann Arbor grocery stores has been taken into custody, the FBI in Detroit announced Tuesday.

Tips from the public directly led to this individual being identified, the FBI said in a press release. Charges has yet to filed and his name was not immediately being released.

The FBI said the suspect has admitted to using a potentially hazardous material to contaminate produce in Ann Arbor area grocery stores, specifically a liquid mixture of hand cleaner, water and Tomcat mice poison.

The stores effected include:

• Whole Foods Market — 990 W. Eisenhower Parkway — Ann Arbor, MI
• Meijer — 3145 Ann Arbor – Saline Road — Ann Arbor, MI
• Plum Market — 375 North Maple Road — Ann Arbor, M

TSA Apologizes to Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer for Intrusive Search at Airport

Van Dyken-Rouen, via Instagram.

Van Dyken-Rouen, via Instagram.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Olympic gold medal swimmer who became paralyzed from the waste down said she was “humiliated” during a full-body search after her wheelchair couldn’t go through a metal detector.

ABC News reports that Van Dyken-Rouen, said she was groped during the search at Denver International Airport.

“They go around your breast. They basically go under your butt. They touch things that are not appropriate and it’s really embarrassing,” Van Dyken-Rouen told ABC News.

The TSA apologized in a written statement Monday.

“TSA works closely with the disability community to develop screening procedures that integrate the unique needs of those with disabilities or medical issues into the process. TSA reviews passenger complaints, and in this case determined that our officers did not follow correct screening protocols when Ms. Amy Van Dyken came through the security checkpoint at Denver International Airport (DEN) this weekend. TSA’s federal security director has reached out to Ms. Van Dyken. The officers involved are undergoing retraining, and TSA Denver is providing refresher training to all of its officers as well,” the statement read.

Other Stories of Interest

ACLU: Tucson Police, Border Patrol Violating Constitutional Rights During Immigration Checks

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Tucson police and Border Patrol agents are violating the Fourth Amendment rights of Southern Arizonans by immigration checks that often take more than an hour, the ACLU of Arizona wrote in a pair of letters to the two agencies Monday.

Of the 110 traffic stops reviewed by the ACLU by Tucson police between June 2014 and December 2015, a majority lasted longer than one hour, Tucson.com reports. 

More than three-quarters of the cases involved “clear or potential constitutional problems,” the ACLU said.

Claustrophobic? Exploring Underground Drug-Smuggling Passages Probably Not for You

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Someone with claustrophobia should not work with Border Patrol’s Entry team, which explores underground drug-smuggling passages near the border with Mexico.

The Los Angele Times reports that prospective members of the team must prove they can handle tight spaces by wiggling through a two-foot wide pipe for about 20 yards.

“You know right off if it’s playing with someone’s mind,” said Lance LeNoir, who leads the five person squad. “It takes some psyching up, to say the least, to do the job.”

The job is getting more difficult because team members are finding longer and tighter underground passages.

The average tunnel of the past two years was 2,450 feet.

Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Stealing Cash Seized During Drug Investigations

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI accused of stealing more than $126,000 in cash seized during drug investigations pleaded guilty Monday.

The Los Angeles Times reports that former special agent Scott M. Bowman admitted he stole cash to fund a lavish lifestyle that included plastic surgery and cars.

Bowman, 45, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, falsification of records, conversion of property by a federal employee and witness tampering.

“As Mr. Bowman takes responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty, the public should be reminded that FBI personnel are held to the highest standards and misconduct of any kind is taken very seriously,” said James Struyk, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI’s field office in Los Angeles.

Bowman was an FBI agent since 2005 and was a member of an anti-gang task force in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

FBI Searches Home of Aging Gangster for Evidence of Unsolved Boston Art Heist

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum  in 1990.

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is searching the backyard of an aging mobster in Connecticut for evidence of art that was stolen two decades ago from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

ABC News reports that this is the third time the FBI has searched in and around the ranch house, owned by Robert “Bobby the Cook” Gentile, who is serving 2.5 years in prison for drug and gun charges.

Gentile’s attorney said his client is surprised the FBI is back at the ranch.

“He laughed and he couldn’t believe they were, that they were at his house again, and he said, this is a quote, ‘They ain’t gonna find nuttin,’” attorney Rome McGuigan said.

During the 1990 heist, 13 paintings were stolen.