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Archive for October, 2018

Western Kentucky Poised to Reopen FBI Office for Drug-Related Crimes & Crises

Paducah, Ky

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to open a new office in western Kentucky.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConell, who advocated for the new location, said the office in Paducah will focus on drug-related crimes and another crisis in the region, the Associated Press reports

Paducah used to have a satellite office until it closed in 2007.

Paducah police Chief Brandon Barnhill said he’s exited to partner with the FBI.

Updated: Fingerprint Match and Misspellings Lead to Arrest of Man Sending Bombs

One of the devices with a return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Updated: 4:16 p.m. Sat.  — The Washington Post reports: A Florida man with a criminal history and a fervor for President Donald Trump sent at least 13 mail bombs to prominent Democrats, Justice Department officials said, crediting DNA, a fingerprint match and misspellings for the key break in a case that spread fear of election-season violence with little precedent in the U.S.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida, faces five federal charges in connection with a mail bomb plot that spurred a weeklong, coast-to-coast investigation that continued even after he was taken into custody Friday as investigators scrutinized additional suspicious packages.

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Federal authorities’ hunt for a serial mail bomber who targeted critics of President Trump is honing in on Florida, where at least some of the 10 packages originated.

Bomb squad, canine units and federal investigators examined a U.S. mail distribution center at Opa-Locka,  northwest of Opa-Locka, where authorities believe some of the packages were passed through.

“Some of the packages went through the mail. They originated, some of them, from Florida,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielse said during an interview with Fox News. “I am confident that this person or people will be brought to justice.”

Florida became a focal point after a device addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder was discovered en route to the return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

So far, no suspects have been identified.

Each package consisted of a manila envelope with bubble wrap, a computer-printed address label and six “forever” postage stamps. Stuffed inside each envelope was a tape-wrapped device assembled with pieces of plastic PVC pipe that included black powder and shards of shrapnel, perhaps glass. Each pipe had a timing-like mechanism.

Trump initially called for “unity” and civility Wednesday, but at 3:15 a.m. Friday, he slammed CNN, where one of the bombs was sent.

“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!’” Trump tweeted.

The bombs have been sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton, former California Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former attorney general Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, billionaire philanthropist George Soros and CNN’s New York headquarters.

Former GOP Congressional Candidate Accused of Trying to Kill Someone with Radioactive Material

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Republican Congressional candidate in Wisconsin was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he tried to purchase a legal dose of radioactive substance online with the intent of killing someone.

Jeremy Ryan, 30, of Madison, tried to make the purchase in March and October with the intent of using it to kill an unnamed person, NBC15 reports, citing court documents. 

FBI agents searched his home Wednesday night. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they found any radio active material.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Wisconsin is expected to charge Ryan on Thursday with attempted possession of radioactive material with the intent to causer death. Ryan, who lost the Republican primary election in August, faces up to life in prison.

Targets of 10+ Mail Bombs Have This in Common – President Trump’s Ire

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are on the hunt for a serial mail bomber who is targeting prominent Democrats, former intelligence officials, a liberal philanthropist, an actor and CNN.

All of the targets have something in common: They are often ridiculed by President Trump.

Just this week, the bombs have been sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton, former California Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former attorney general Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, billionaire philanthropist George Soros and CNN’s New York headquarters.

The FBI described the devices as pipe bombs, and many of them were intercepted before reaching their targets. 

Trump, who often criticizes the targets of the bombs, called for unity and civility on Wednesday.

“I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message, that acts or threats and political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said from the White House.

But Trump’s own rhetoric is far from civil, and just this week he continued to criticize the “fake news” and Hillary Clinton. Last week, the president praised Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont.. for body-slamming a reporter: “Never wrestle him, any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy, he’s my guy.”

FBI Contradicts Trump’s Claims about Photos of Him Kissing, Hugging Comey And Mueller

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump claims that he could provide 100 images of him “hugging and kissing” special counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey.

But the FBI was unable to locate a single photo as described by Trump.

BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold filed a Freedom of Information Act request for photos of Trump and Comey “hugging and kissing each other.” The bureau responded that no such photos existed within the FBI.

On Tuesday, Comey joked that his wife was “so relieved” to learn that the photos don’t exist.

 

Bomb Found at Home of Hillary And Bill Clinton After Soros Also Was Targeted

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Secret Service are investigating the discovery of a bomb sent to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s suburban New York home early Wednesday morning.

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that the suspicious package was a “functional explosive device.” 

Police in New Castle, N.Y., said they are helping federal authorities in “the investigation of a suspicious package.”

The discovery comes two days after an explosive device was found in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who often is the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories.

Second Trial Begins for Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Teenager in Cross-Border Shooting

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent who killed a 16-year-old boy in a cross-border shooting is facing a second trial after he was acquitted of murder earlier this year.

Lonnie Swartz’s second trial was set to begin Tuesday morning on charges of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, about five years after he fatally shot Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.

A jury in April acquitted Swartz of murder but deadlocked on the manslaughter charges.

Swartz has been on leave while facing trial.

Prosecutors have argued that Swartz was tired of rock-throwers, so he shot across the border in revenge, killing Rodriguez.

His defense attorneys argue Swartz opened fire because he was protecting himself.

A separate lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of Rodriguez’s mother is wending its way through the courts.

FBI, ATF Investigating Explosive Device Targeting Philanthropist George Soros

George Soros via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF are investigating an explosive device found Monday in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who often is the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories.

Police said “an employee of the residence” found the suspicious package, moved it to a wooded area and notified authorities.

“We are conducting an investigation at and around a residence in Bedford, NY,” the FBI tweeted Monday night. “There is no threat to public safety, and we have no further comment at this time.”

The Times of Israel reported that Soros wasn’t home when the device was found. 

It wasn’t immediately clear if the device was capable of exploding, but bomb squad technicians detonated it.

Soros, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who became a successful hedge fund manager, has become the subject of wild conspiracy theories whipped up by far-right groups. Soros often donates to left-wing causes.