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Archive for April, 2017

Accused Murderer on Lam After Being Charged with Killing Man 6 Years Ago Added to FBI 10 Most Wanted

Walter Yocani

Walter Yocani is on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Walter Yovany Gomez has been added to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list after fleeing authorities for six years on charges of murder.

Gomez is accused of murder in connection to the May 2011 killing of Julio Matute. Authorities said the motive was proving himself capable of being a full member of Mara Salvatrucha, an international street gang better known as MS-13.

Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick described the MS-13 as “one of the most vicious and violent street gangs in the United States.”

“They kill rival gang members, they kill innocent civilians,” he said.

President Trump Gives Mixed Message about Future of FBI Director Comey

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump gave a mixed message about the future of FBI Director James B. Comey.

In an interview that aired Wednesday, Trump expressed “confidence” in Comey but emphasized it was “not too late” to fire him, The Washington Post reports. 

Trump’s relationship with Comey has been a bumpy rider. The director, for example, has confirmed the FBI is investigation whether Trump’s campaign helped Russia influence the presidential election.

Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo asked Trump, “ “For example, was it a mistake not to ask Jim Comey to step down from the FBI at the outset of your presidency? Is it too late now to ask him to step down?”

Trump responded, “No, it’s not too late, but, you know, I have confidence in him,” Trump responded. “We’ll see what happens. You know, it’s going to be interesting.”

Other Stories of Interest

AG Sessions Pledges ‘New Era’ of Stiffer Penalties for Some Illegal Immigrants

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged to crackdown on illegal immigration by ushering in “a new era” of stiffer criminal charges. 

Sessions also said he plans to end the Obama-era “catch and release” practices as the Justice Department is given a more active role in the fight against illegal immigration, the Washington Times reports. 

Sessions wants to file felony charges against repeat offenders and others who have criminal convictions on their records.

“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era,” Mr. Sessions said during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona. “The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our laws, and the catch and release policies of the past are over.”

Border Patrol Agents Make Unusual Rescue of Endangered Sea Turtle

South Padre Island National Seashore in Texas.

South Padre Island National Seashore in Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Saving lives is nothing new to Border Patrol agents.

But what two agents found on the beach while patrolling South Padre Island National Seashore in Texas was anything but ordinary.

The agents came across a Kemp Ridley turtle, the most endangered species of sea turtle. Unfortunately, the nestling turtle wasn’t responsive while laying eggs, prompting the agents to call the park service for help.

A biologist showed up and recovered the eggs for incubation.

More Than 1,000 Immigrants Held at Detention Centers Reported Being Sexually Assaulted

ice-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 people held at immigration detention centers reported being sexually assaulted in a little more than two years, according to an advocacy group, which cited Homeland Security data.

Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement obtained the information from a public records request, the Associated Press reports. 

The AP wrote:

  • Homeland Security inspector general’s office disclosed that it received 1,016 complaints from detainees reporting sexual abuse or assault from May 2014 to July 2016. More than 90 percent involved Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within Homeland Security that has more than 30,000 beds at detention facilities nationwide.
  • The inspector general received more than 33,000 allegations of a broader range of abuses from January 2010 to July 2016, including 702 for coerced sexual contact, 714 for physical or sexual abuse and 589 for sexual harassment, according to the group. The group’s analysis showed the inspector general investigated 247, or less than 1 percent. But it was unclear how many others were taken up by agencies in the department, such as Immigration and Customs and Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection.

Gillian Christensen, a Homeland Security spokeswoman, downplayed the assaults, saying the number is relatively low compared to the number of admissions to ICE facilities.

Other Stories of Interest

Judge Fatally Shot Outside Chicago Home; FBI Offers $25,000 Reward

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for the information leading to the arrest of the gunman who shot and killed a judge outside his Chicago home.

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles, 66, was fatally shot while heading to the gym, police told Fox News. 

A 53-year-old woman who was with the judge was shot in the leg and expected to survive. Police believe the woman was the judge’s girlfriend.

According to the woman, she was shot by a man holding a gun near the garage of Myles’ home. When Myles heard the gunshot, he went outside and exchanged words with the gunman, who shot the judge several times.

Authorities believe the motive may have been robbery.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, Myles also “may have been targeted for one reason or another.”

FBI Obtained FISA Warrant to Monitor Trump’s Former Campaign Adviser on Russia

Carter Page

Carter Page

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI obtained a warrant to secretly monitor President Trump’s former campaign adviser, Carter Page, on suspicions that he was acting as an agent of Russia, The Washington Post reports. 

Using a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, the FBI and Justice Department targeted Page’s communications as part of a clandestine mission to determine whether he engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Russia.

This is just the latest revelations allegedly linking Trump’s campaign team to Russia, which federal authorities say influenced the outcome of the presidential election.

It’s premature to say whether the Justice Department investigation will uncover illegal activity. 

“This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance,” Page said in an interview Tuesday. “I have nothing to hide.” He compared surveillance of him to the eavesdropping that the FBI and Justice Department conducted against civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Cell Phones Seized by Border Patrol Triples in One Year; Congress May Intervene

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of cell phones turned over to demanding Border Patrol agents has nearly tripled from 2015 to 2016.

That has led Congress to consider legislation the would require a warrant before people would be entitled to turn over their phones on the requests of agents, according to a new NPR report. 

Here’s a partial transcript of the interview:

As the Trump administration looks to carry out extreme vetting of those who want to enter the U.S., one screening practice has already been amped up. In 2016, the number of people asked to hand over their cell phones and passwords by Customs and Border Protection agents increased almost threefold over the year before. NPR’s Brian Naylor reports this is happening to both foreign visitors and American citizens.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: It happened to Sidd Bikkannavar in January. He was returning from a trip to Chile and at the Houston airport was told to report to passport control by Customs and Border Protection, CBP.

SIDD BIKKANNAVAR: And the CBP officer started a series of questions and instructions. It was all pretty benign and uneventful. He ultimately told me to hand over my phone and give the password to unlock it.

NAYLOR: Bikkannavar is an American citizen. In fact, he’s a NASA engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

BIKKANNAVAR: You know, as politely as I could, I refused. I told him I wasn’t allowed to give up the password. I have to protect access. It’s a work-issued phone. So I pointed out the NASA barcodes and labels on the phone.

NAYLOR: But all that didn’t matter to the CBP agents who continued to insist and handed Bikkannavar a document warning there’d be consequences if Bikkannavar didn’t go along. And so he did. Now, you might be wondering – doesn’t the Constitution protect Americans from this sort of thing? Well, it turns out the law isn’t entirely clear. CBP maintains it has the authority to look through everyone’s phones at border crossings and airport customs checkpoints. Here’s Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly before a Senate panel last week.