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Archive for March, 2017

DEA Raids Target Group for Allegedly Exporting Colorado Marijuana

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA has raided more than a dozen locations in Colorado over an alleged scheme to ship marijuana out-of-state.

Although Colorado approved the recreational use of marijuana, an organization is accused of working with others to ship marijuana out of the state.

The DEA said it was assisting local authorities serve search warrants at 30 locations in Colorado on Thursday, U.S. News & World Report wrote. 

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ pledge to better enforce federal laws on marijuana had nothing to do with the raids, which were months in the making, a DEA spokesman said.

Man Who Told FBI of Plans to Kill President Obama Sentenced to Time Served

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts man who told the FBI of plans to kill then-President Obama was sentenced to time served and five years of supervised release.

Masslive.com reports that Andrew O’Keefe was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boston on Thursday to six months of time already served. 

In May 2o15, O’Keefe boldly contacted the FBI using an online anonymous tip page to say, “I’m planning to kill President Barack Obama, and I’ve got a really good plan.”

O’Keefe used his Social Security number to sign in to the tip line.

“Have the Secret Service give me a visit. I could use some company,” O’Keefe wrote in the post.

MassLive wrote:

O’Keefe apparently displayed signs of questionable mental health, telling authorities that he first needed to eat something so that he would have “enough energy” to survive being shot by police. He also apparently told them that words have no meaning and are “myths.”

Eventually, he peacefully surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody. 

During court proceedings, O’Keefe’s lawyer characterized him as “a bright … college graduate who seems to be experiencing some emotional problems.”

Previously, Secret Service Special Agent Fred F. Mitchell III had also stated that O’Keefe had “mental health issues” and noted that he had been previously charged with weapons offenses in state court. 

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Doubles Down on Wiretapping Claims Even As Republicans Express Doubt

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although President Trump has provided no evidence that the Obama administration wiretapped his offices during the 2016 presidential campaign, he insisted again Wednesday that the claims are true.

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before a congressional panel to discuss what evidence, if any, has been found to back up Trump’s claims.

“Wiretap covers a lot of different things,” Trump told Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson last night.

But even Republicans are getting frustrated with the unfounded claims, and leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that they have found no evidence to confirm President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the election.

“We don’t have any evidence that that took place,” said U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “In fact, I don’t believe — in the last week … people we’ve talked to — I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the Boston Herald reports

Secret Service Agents Investigated for Snapping Selfies with Trump’s Grandson

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Secret Service agents are under investigation for taking selfies with President Trump’s sleeping 8-year-old grandson last weekend.

The agents were driving Donald III to Manhattan from Westchester County, where Trump has an estate, Mother Jones reports.

Agents began taking selfies with Trump’s grandson when he fell asleep in the car.

The boy was “freaked out” by the selfies, a source told Mother Jones.

When he reached his destination, the boy told his mom what had happened, prompting an investigation.

“The US Secret Service is aware of a matter involving two of our agents and one of our protectees,” a Secret Service spokesman said. “Our Office of Professional Responsibility will always thoroughly review a matter to determine the facts and to ensure proper, long-standing protocols and procedures are followed. The Secret Service would caution individuals to not jump to conclusions that may grossly mischaracterize the matter.”

Border Patrol Rescues Man Who Tried to Jump from Bridge in Detroit

The McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

The McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent rescued a man who attempted to commit suicide by jumping into the icy Detroit River from the McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

The agent was patrolling when they saw what appeared to be a couple in need of help, WWJ reports. 

The agent saw the man push his wife aside before trying to climb the railing of the bridge.

The Border Patrol agent quickly grabbed the man, preventing him from jumping.

The man was pulled to safety.

“The courage of the men and women of the law enforcement profession was evident in every aspect of protecting our community Monday,” said Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison, in statement. “The keen eye of the off duty Park Ranger noticing something out of place and quick response by the Border Patrol made for the best possible outcome in this situation.”

Other Stories of Interest

Former LA County Sheriff Convicted of Obstructing FBI Investigation into Jail

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, via Wikipedia.

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was found guilty Wednesday of obstructing an FBI investigation involving corrupt and violent guards.

Baca, who was facing a second trial because a jury deadlocked last year, could spend up to 20 years behind bars, the Associated Press reports. 

Baca, 74, resigned in 2014 after the corruption investigation netted arrests among rank-and-file deputies in his inner circle.

In 2011, the FBI began investigating the department after jail guards found a contraband cellphone on an inmate who was acting as an FBI mole to record jail beatings.

“When defendant Baca learned the FBI and a federal grand jury was investigating, he obstructed, and when he learned the FBI has turned its focus on him, he lied,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lizabeth Rhodes said.

The investigation revealed that deputies hid the FBI informant from federal agents by moving him to different jails and booking him under fake names.

Trump, Justice Department Pledge to Fight Orders Stopping Travel Ban

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department and President Trump criticized two judges’ decisions Wednesday to halt the revised travel ban by ruling it is discriminatory against Muslims.

The Justice Department contends Trump’s executive order “falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our nation’s security,” the Washington Post reports. 

It’s unclear what step the government will take next.

At a rally in Nashville on Wednesday, Trump lashed out at the court decisions, saying he would take the case to the Supreme Court. He event suggested returning to his original executive order, which was a more sweeping ban.

“Let me tell you something. I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way,” Trump said. “The danger is clear, the law is clear, the need for my executive order is clear.”

Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii struck down the order on religious discrimination grounds, pointing to Trump’s statements during the campaign that he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.

James Comey Expected to Reveal Today Whether FBI Is Investigating Trump, Russia Ties

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey pledged to reveal today whether the FBI is investigating ties between the campaign of Donald Trump and Russia, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said.

The Rhode Island Democrat said the promise was made in a March 2 meeting with him and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Rhode Island, CNN reports

Whitehouse said Comey pledged to confirm if an investigation exists and  “the scope of their Russia/Trump investigation because he had not been able to at that point say that there was one.”

Whitehouse and Graham, who are leading one of three Congressional investigations into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections, requested evidence from the Justice Department last week  that Trump Tower was wiretapped by former President Obama.

The FBI did not return calls for comment.