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Archive for February, 2017

DEA Raids Popular Miami Gym, Arrests Co-Owner on Charges of Selling $10M in Steroids

sbf-dea-badge-webBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents stormed a popular Miami gym early Wednesday morning and arrested the co-owner on charges of leading an international steroid production and distribution ring, the Miami Herald reports.

DEA agents knocked down walls in a second-story office in search of evidence.

The federal government alleges that Iron Addicts co-owner Richard Rodriguez operated a supplement company that produced and sold $10 million in illegal anabolic steroids.

According to a criminal complaint, 37-year-old Rodriquez and his wife were the leaders of a nine-member steroid ring.

President Trump Faces Big Hurdle in Hiring 15,000 Agents for ICE, Border Patrol

ICE agents, via Wikipedia

ICE agents, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s plans to hire 10,000 more ICE officers and 5,000 more Border Patrol agents may not succeed.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said it’s unlikely that “we’re going to get 10,000 and 5,000 on board within the next couple of year,” NPR reports.

That’s largely because of the extensive training and background checks for potential agents.

When the number of agents at Customs and Border Protection were increased from 10,000 to 21,000 during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administration, problems occurred. For example, new agents were rushed into the field, many without completed background checks.

“You have to make sure that no red flags come up in someone’s background before you’re putting them in a position like this,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents.

One of the most burdensome steps to becoming an agent is passing a rigorous – and some say flawed and overly burdensome – polygraph exam that two out of three applicants fail.

Moran said the exams, which can take up to eight hours, “is excluding qualified candidates from being Border Patrol agents.”

Ex-Customs And Border Protection Officer Charged in Shooting, Wearing Body Armor

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested after allegedly wearing body armor from his federal job while shooting a 34-year-old suburban Detroit man in the hand on Feb. 20.

Vincent Schroeder, 32, has been charged with discharging a firearm in a building, assault with intent to do great bodily harm assault with a deadly weapon, wearing body armor in commission of a violent crime, felony firearm and possession of ecstasy, the News Herald reports. 

Schroeder was lodged in the Wayne County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond.

Schroeder was arrested after neighbors called 911 to report gunshots and a man yelling for help.

The 34-year-old victim fled to a nearby gas station and was taken to Detroit Receiving hospital for treatment.

Police found Schroeder with a gun and wearing body armor.

ICE Arrests Honduran Man Who’s Wanted in Machete Deaths

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An undocumented immigrant who hacked two men to death with a machete in Honduras was arrested in North Carolina on Tuesday.

ICE deportation officers arrested Francisco Escobar-Orellana, a Honduran national, near his Hope Mills, N.C., home.

An arrest warrant for Escobar was issued in May 2995 following the machete attacks at a liquor store in 1993.

At some point, Escobar illegally entered the United States.

“ICE is focused on identifying, arresting and removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws,” said ERO Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher in a statement. “ICE Fugitive Operations Teams conduct targeted enforcement operations toward these identified threats to public safety. North Carolina residents are safer today thanks to the professionalism and hard work of these dedicated officers.”

ICE plans to remove Escobar from the U.S. so he can face criminal charges in Honduras.

Podesta: ‘Forces within the FBI’ Worked Against Clinton During the Presidential Election

John Podesta

John Podesta

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta claimed Monday that “forces within the FBI” worked against the Democratic presidential nominee.

“There are at least forces within the FBI that wanted her to lose,” Podesta said in a taped NewCo. Shift discussion with John Heilemann.

“I’m not sure they really understood the alternative, but they wanted her to lose. I think that’s one possibility.”

Still, Pedesta offered no new evidence to back up his claim. He said FBI Director James Comey used “bad judgment” by notifying Congress just 11 days before the election that the FBI was reviewing emails that may have been related to Clinton’s use a private email server.

Comey “ended up dropping this bombshell in the middle of the election against the advice of the Justice Department, against the long-term practice of Democratic and Republican administrations,” Podesta said.

He added: “If you look at the polling at that period time, that’s when the race began to tighten in that week.”

FBI Arrests Army Veteran Accused of Plotting Presidents’ Day Attack with ISIS

Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr.

Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 25-year-old Army veteran who is accused of plotting what he believed was a Presidents’ Day attack with ISIS.

Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr., a Missouri-born U.S. citizen, was communicating with an undercover FBI agents for months, believing they were terrorist operatives, the Huffington Post reports. 

The FBI was alerted to Hester after he posted on social media that he’d “converted to Islam, expressed animus towards the United States, and posted photos of weapons and the ISIS flag.”

According to affidavits, Hester told undercover agents that he wanted the government to be “overthrown” and hoped for a “global jihad.” The feds also allege that he identified potential targets for attack.

Hester, who was discharged from the Army after less than a year of enlistment in 2013, “attempted to provide material support to ISIS by assisting in what he believed would be a murderous terrorist bombing and gunfire attack committed in the name of the foreign terrorist organization,” the Justice Department said in a press release.

Border Patrol Union Cites Increased Morale Among Agents Because of Trump

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s hardline attitude toward immigration has helped boot morale among border patrol agents, according to the union representing the agents.

“There’s definitely been a shift in attitude, different shift in expectations, agents are feeling empowered to do their job. We see a President who is enforcing laws already on the books,” said Art Del Cueto, president of the Local 2544 border patrol union, according to ABC15.com.

The union representing the agents endorsed Trump during the presidential election.

Del Cuerto said agents felt they were “handcuffed” under President Obama’s administration and were frustrated with “catch and release” policies that put undocumented immigrants back onto the streets until their day in court.

Those policies, Del Cuerto said, encouraged immigrants not to show up at hearings.

“If they didn’t have any prior [arrests] you would basically release them back out into the shadows, even though they didn’t have any documentation to be here in the country legally,” said Del Cueto.

DHS Memos Detail More Aggressive Fight Against Undocumented Immigrants

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security released two memos on Tuesday that address how federal authorities will implement two executive orders on border security and immigration law enforcement, Business Insider reports.

President Trump signed the executive orders in January.

Federal authorities will now have more power to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. The memos also called for “expired removal” in an attempt to bypass court proceedings.

The memos also indicate Border Patrol and ICE may hire 10,000 officers and agents.

White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said the memos satisfied “another major campaign promise of the president.”

The memos indicate that an increase in apprehension at the border has “significantly strained DHS resources.”

“The surge of illegal immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly wrote in the memos.

“Thousands of aliens apprehended at the border, placed in removal proceedings, and released from custody have absconded and failed to appear at their removal hearings.”