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Archive for January, 2017

Justice Department Identifies FBI Agent Behind Leak about Insider Trading

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI employee who admitted leaking information to reporters about an investigation into insider trading involving a Las Vegas sports gambler and golfer Phil Mickelson was a coordinating supervisory special agent, U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors named David Chaves as the agent who provided reporters with information about the investigation of gambler William “Billy” Walter, Huffington Post reports. 

Prosecutors said Chaves admitted he was a “significant source” of information to reporters at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

The case has been compromised because of the leaks, and Walter’s attorney is asking for charges to be dropped.

Chaves oversaw the FBI team investigating the case. He has not yet been charged.

FBI Never Examined Servers of DNC, But Still Blamed Russia-Linked Hackers

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI blamed Russian-backed hackers for infiltrating servers of the Democratic National Committee without ever examining the servers.

BuzzFeed reports that no one from the U.S. government conducted an independent forensic analysis on the system. 

“The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI’s Cyber Division and its Washington (DC) Field Office, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers,” Eric Walker, the DNC’s deputy communications director, told BuzzFeed News in an email.

The FBI, however, hired a third-part tech security company, CrowdStrike, which concluded in May that the servers had been accessed by Russia-linked hackers.

“CrowdStrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate,” the intelligence official said, adding they were confident Russia was behind the widespread hacks.

The FBI declined to comment.

“Beginning at the time the intrusion was discovered by the DNC, the DNC cooperated fully with the FBI and its investigation, providing access to all of the information uncovered by CrowdStrike — without any limits,” said Walker, whose emails were stolen and subsequently distributed throughout the cyberattack.

Trump Plans Long-Awaited Meeting with FBI, CIA on DNC Cyber Attacks

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump plans a long-awaited meeting with the leaders of the CIA, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday.

Sean Spicer, a spokesman for Trump, said Wednesday that the meeting is focused on intelligence agencies’ final report on suspicions of Russia hacking the Democratic National Committee.

Trump is expected to met with CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey and DNI’s James Clapper.

The briefing could be contentious because Trump continues to deny there’s sufficient evidence to show that Russia was behind the cyber attack.

In fact, Trump pointed recently to the WikiLeaks f0under, who insisted none of the leaked information came from Russia.

Border Patrol Agents Came Under Increasing Attack at Year’s End

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have been attacked more viciously and frequently than previous periods over the past few months.

The agency reported that its agents were assaulted nearly 160 times between October and November, and one agent was nearly maimed, Frontiers reports. 

In December, the level of violence increased, and one agent was nearly maimed. In southern Arizona, one agent was shot at in Cochise County, another nearly lost his dumb while making an arrest, and others were forced to fight to keep their weapons from being used against them, Border Patrol union President Art Del Cueto said.

“It was a back-and-forth fight. The agent almost got his thumb completely gnawed off. The illegal alien fought him, two other agents showed up and he got in a fight with the other two agents.”

Border Patrol, which declined to provide details of the agent who nearly lost his thumb. The agency released this statement:

“On Dec. 24, a Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent attempted to arrest a suspected illegal immigrant in a remote area near Lukeville, Arizona, when the suspect became assaultive toward the agent. Two more agents responded to assist and the suspect was arrested. All three agents and the suspect were transported to a local hospital, treated and released. The suspect is being held on immigration violations. Assault charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.”

The agent is still injured.

“I’ve talked with him, I’ve heard he has some damage still. He doesn’t have feeling in his thumb yet but from speaking to the agent, the agent did explain he pretty much gnawed his finger down to the bone. The agent tried pulling his finger from his mouth and the guy just clamped down tighter,” Del Cueto said.

DEA Identifies Where Mexican Cartels Are Operating in the U.S.

Map of cartels identified by the DEA.

Map of cartels identified by the DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA identified Mexican cartels that operate within the United States and provided a map to show where the drug gangs are wielding influence.

In Texas, for example, the DEA has identified the following cartels operating within the state: the Sinaloa, Gulf, Juarez, the Knights Templar, Beltran-Levya, Jalisco and the Zetas.

But Texas is far from alone. Most states have links to cartels, which can be very violent and supply dangerous drugs.

The areas with the highest concentration of cartel involvement are California, Texas, New York and New England.

Other Stories of Interest

Ohio Man Indicted After Ramming Truck Through Gate at FBI’s Pittsburgh Office

Thomas Ross

Thomas Ross

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Ohio man who rammed a dump truck through a security gate at the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office over the summer was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday.

Thomas Ross is charged with willfully injuring or committing degradation again property of the U.S., the Associated Press reports. 

The Ohio man damaged property but fortunately didn’t injure anyone.

Ross claimed he had a bomb in the truck, but police didn’t find one.

Engineer Accused of Helping China Produce Nuclear Material Is Cooperating with FBI

Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho

Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An American engineer accused of helping China develop and produce nuclear material is cooperating with the FBI.

Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho is expected to plead guilty Friday in federal court as part of a plea deal in which he provided vital information about the inner workings of China’s nuclear program, the USA Today reports.

It’s a big victory for the FBI’s first case of nuclear espionage involving China.

Federal authorities indicted Ho, his firm, Energy Technology International and Chinese nuclear power plant China General Nuclear Power in April.

The USA Today wrote:

It is the first such case in the nation brought under a provision of law that regulates the sharing of U.S. nuclear technology with certain countries deemed too untrustworthy to see it. Those countries include China. Although the technology is used for nuclear-power generation, the by-product of that process can be used to produce nuclear weapons.

The investigation began at the behest of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which contacted the FBI with concerns about one of its senior executives, engineer Ching Huey, who later admitted he was paid by Ho and, by extension, the Chinese government, to supply information about nuclear power production and even traveled to China on the Chinese government’s dime. Huey agreed to cooperate in the probe. He has since struck a plea deal.

FBI Prepared to Help Chicago Combat Surge in Murders

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is prepared to help Chicago deal with the outbreak of violence in 2016, and President-elect Donald Trump said he’s prepared to listen.

Sources told Fox News that the FBI wants to help the Windy City after 3,550 people were shot and 762 murdered in 2016. 

Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Trump transition team, said the president-elect is worried about the gun violence.

“Obviously I think the President-elect would be willing to listen to anything that can be done to make sure that Americans are kept safe and if the FBI has ideas about how to do that – he would definitely be all ears to do that,” Spicer said.

In a Tweet on Monday, Trump suggested he may bring in federal help if Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel can’t solve the problem on his own.

“Chicago murder rate is record setting – 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!” Trump tweeted.

Still, Chicago is not expected to have the highest murder rate in the country. Preliminary records show Detroit and Baltimore had more shootings and murders per capita.