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Archive for June, 2018

ATF Agent Shot and Wounded in Undercover Operation in Northwest Indiana

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ATF agent was shot and wounded during an undercover operation Thursday in Gary, Ind., the agency confirmed on Twitter.

Agents from the Chicago Field Division were “ambushed” while conducting an undercover operation in Gary, Indiana, Brendan Iber, assistant special agent in charge of ATF’s Chicago division, told reporters, according to the Associated Press.

“One of our agents was shot multiple times and was transported to the Methodist Hospital here at Northlake campus,” Iber said.

DEA Creates Omaha Division Office, In Part to Battle Opioids

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is establishing an Omaha Field Division, its 23rd division office in the nation.

The division will include Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“In January, DEA reorganized its field divisions for the first time in nearly 20 years. Today, just five months later, we are adding another new field division,”  Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “That’s because we are facing a drug threat today the likes of which we have never seen before—but we are rising to the challenge. The Omaha Division will help us address the methamphetamine and opioid threat in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The people of these states can rest assured that, in the face of an unprecedented crisis, we are taking steps to be more effective and put the traffickers and crooked doctors where they belong—behind bars.”

“This action converts the existing Omaha District Office into a division in an effort to enhance DEA enforcement efforts within the Great Plain states region and unify drug trafficking investigations under a single Special Agent in Charge,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson.

FBI Agent: Terrorists Working to Take Down America’s 911 Emergency Response System

Aristedes Mahairas (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s an infinite number of scary scenarios involving terrorists.

Here’s one: The FBI is warning that terrorists are working to acquire the cyber skills to carry out catastrophic attacks that could involve taking down America’s 911 emergency response system, Business Insider reports.

Aristedes Mahairas, a special agent in charge of the New York FBI’s Special Operations/Cyber Division, tells Business Insider terror groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda are plotting attacks that could wipe out online networks to maximize casualties.

“The concern is that the cyber terrorists will one day be able to simultaneously execute an attack in the virtual world and in the physical world,” Mahairas tells the publication.

Ex-Senate Intelligence Committee Aide Arrested for Lying to FBI About Providing Info to Reporters

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-Senate Intelligence Committee aide was arrested on Thursday in an investigation of classified information leaks to reporters, the New York Times reports.

James A. Wolfe, 57, is charged with lying repeatedly to investigators about his contacts with three reporters. According to the authorities, Mr. Wolfe made false statements to the F.B.I. about providing two of them with sensitive information related to the committee’s work.

As part of the probe, prosecutors secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records, the Times reports, adding:

Mr. Wolfe’s case led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump. The seizure was disclosed in a letter to the Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Mr. Wolfe. The seizure suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

Legislation Would Require ATF to Create A Computerized, Searchable Data Base

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a bill that make sense.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida has introduced  legislation to establish a computerized, searchable database of gun records under a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Monday.

The Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act would strike a current federal prohibition on the creation of a searchable database of gun records, reports Homeland Preparedness News reports.  The ATF would be required to establish a database that includes records of the sale, importation, production, and shipment of firearms within three years under the bill.

“The fact that there is a law on the books that forces agents to comb through millions of files by hand is absolutely ridiculous,” Nelson said.

White House & Secret Service Puzzled How National Security Contractor Was Able to Work in Presidential Compound After Shooting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The White House and Secret Service are scratching their head over this one.

They wonder how a National Security Council contractor was able to keep working in the highly secure presidential compound for more than a month after he allegedly shot a man at his Maryland home, reports Dion Nissenbaum and Del Quentin Wilber of the Wall Street Journal. 

Martese Edwards, 30,  was arrested by uniformed Secret Service agents outside the White House on Tuesday when he showed up for work, the Journal reports. He was arraigned in Washington on Wednesday, and was expected to be quickly extradited to neighboring Maryland to face attempted first-degree murder charges.

Edwards is charged with shooting his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend on May 3 when the two of them showed up at Edwards’s residence to get her belongings from his home in Suitland, Md., the Journal reports.

The #3 Spot in Justice Department Remains Open, and For Good Reason

Rachel Brand (Doj photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The number three position at the Justice Department remains vacant, and for good reason, writes New York Magazine:

The Trump administration can’t seem to fill it, probably because the president has made it clear there’s a good risk of becoming the next target of his ire.

As President Trump continues to denigrate Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter, and his allies in Congress lay the groundwork for him to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the number-three position at Justice Department has been vacant since Rachel Brand stepped down in February. The official reason given for her departure was that she could not pass up the top legal position at Walmart, but NBC News reported that she told friends she felt “overwhelmed and unsupported” in the job, and feared she would be asked to oversee the Russia investigation.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration has put filling the associate attorney general position on the back burner after several candidates expressed similar concerns. Since Sessions has recused himself, if Rosenstein were to do the same oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe would fall to the associate AG. In a Saturday Night Massacre situation, the number-three official could easily wind up as acting attorney general.

Colbert Produces Mock Training Video In Response to FBI Agent Firing His Gun At Denver Club

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI agent who accidentally fired his gun over the weekend while dancing at a club in Denver has been the subject of plenty ridicule.

So, it was only a matter of time before the late night comics jumped in. On Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert played a mock training video in response to the incident in which a patron at the bar was shot and wounded in the leg.