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Archive for October, 2018

22 State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Getting ATF Ballistic Imaging Equipment

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department and ATF  announced Thursday that it will provide ballistic imaging equipment used by ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to 22 state and local law enforcement agencies.

“Under President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice is prosecuting more firearm offenders than ever before,” Attorney General Sessions said in a statement. “Ballistics technology has given law enforcement an unprecedented ability to make connections between cases and track down dangerous criminals. Today this Department of Justice is once again investing in the 85 percent of law enforcement officers who serve at the state and local levels and we are equipping them with cutting edge technology that will lead to smarter, targeted prosecutions of the most dangerous people in their communities. I have no doubt that this equipment will help to reduce crime in America.”

NIBIN compares images of cartridge casings recovered at crime scenes and firearms recovered by law enforcement to connect shooting incidents and identify shooters.

Acting head of ATF Thomas Brandon.

“Crime Gun Intelligence, including the timely use of the NIBIN network, is the cornerstone of ATF’s violent crime reduction strategy,” said ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon in a statement. “By deploying equipment to these 22 law enforcement agencies, investigators will now receive investigative leads within 48 hours. They will have new opportunities to disrupt the shooting cycle and make our communities safer.”

There are 16 agencies receiving NIBIN equipment for the first time:

  • Anchorage, AK PD
    Aurora, IL PD
    Berks County, PA
    Charleston, WV PD
    Cheney, WA State Patrol
    Des Moines, IA PD
    Frederick County, MD Sheriff’s Office
    Ft. Myers, FL PD
    Glendale, AZ PD
    Nassau County, NY Public Safety Center
    Lexington, KY PD
    Miami Gardens, FL PD
    Orange County, NY Intelligence Center
    Pensacola, FL Escambia Co Sheriff
    Richmond, VA PD
    San Bernardino, CA PD
  • Six agencies are receiving additional equipment to enhance their successful crime gun intelligence programs:
  • Baton Rouge, LA State Crime Lab
    Cincinnati, OH PD
    Denver, CO PD
    Detroit, MI PD
    Jacksonville, FL PD
    Philadelphia, PA PD

Fired Deputy Director of FBI Accuses Bureau of Stalling Release of His Book

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, whose termination triggered allegations of retribution, is accusing the bureau of stalling the publication of his book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.”

McCabe submitted the draft of his book to the FBI two months because of a bureau policy that requires the FBI to have a chance to review agency-related information before publication, ABC News reports

The book is scheduled to be published in December, but the FBI’s failure to reach a conclusion on McCabe’s proposed revelations has pushed back publication until at least February 2019.

“I am disappointed that we have had to substantially delay the publication date for my book because the FBI’s review has taken far longer than they led me to believe it would,” McCabe said in a statement to ABC News. “Having been singled out for irregular, unfair treatment over the past year, I am concerned that it could be happening again.”

A source familiar with the book’s review said McCabe and his publishing team have exchanged “countless calls and emails” with FBI officials. But, the source said, the review “has gone outside of the norms and protocol of pre-publication review.”

According to the publisher, McCabe’s book will explore “a series of troubling, contradictory, and often bizarre conversations” with Trump and other high officials that led him to believe the “actions of this President and his administration undermine the FBI and the entire intelligence community,” threatening the public.

“I wrote this book because the president’s attacks on me symbolize his destructive effect on the country as a whole,” McCabe said in a statement issued through St. Martin’s. “He is undermining America’s safety and security, and eroding public confidence in its institutions. His attacks on the most crucial institutions of government, and on the professionals who serve within them, should make every American stand up and take notice.”

The book’s announcement came just months after the publication of former FBI Director James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty.”

Trump has tried to undermine the FBI and Justice Department, calling their investigation of his presidential campaign and its possible connection to Russia “a witch hunt.”

Wray: FBI Arrested Hundreds of Terrorism Suspects in Past Year

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating thousands of terrorism cases and arrested hundreds of terrorism suspects in the past year, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate committee on Wednesday.

“Right now as I sit here, we’re currently investigating about 5,000 terrorism cases across America and around the world and about 1,000 of those cases are homegrown violent extremists, and they’re in all 50 states,” Wray said at a hearing about security threats before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“In the last year or so we’ve made hundreds of arrests of terrorism subjects,” Wray added.

Wray is expected to be questioned about the FBI’s controversial investigation of sexual assault claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Owner of Limo Company Tied to Deadly Crash Was an FBI Informant

fbi photo

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The owner of the limousine company linked to a crash that killed 20 people in New York is a former FBI informant who posed as a recruiter of terrorists and an arms dealer.

Shahed Hussain, who owns Prestige Limousine in Wilton, New York, began working for the FBI to avoid deportation after he faced federal charges for using fake documents to help a would-be taxi driver obtain a driver’s license, the New York Times reports. 

One of his limos plowed through a stop sign Saturday, killing 18 people on board and two pedestrians.

State and federal investigators are scrutinizing the company to help determine the cause of the accident. The limo should not have been on the road because it had failed a state Department of Transportation inspection and the drive did not have a proper license to operate the vehicle.

After Hussain was arrested on fraud charges in December 2001, three months after 9/11, he agreed to become an FBI informant. He worked undercover, helping the FBI ensnare arrests during counter-terrorism stings.

Hussain also testified in high-profile terrorism cases.

Human Smugglers Causing Humanitarian Crisis by Dumping Migrants Across the Border

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Human smugglers are causing a humanitarian crisis by bringing large groups of Central American migrants into America and then abandoning them, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

Since Aug. 20, Border Patrol agents made eight discoveries of groups of more than 100 documented immigrants, including children, walking in areas of southwest Arizona, AZCentral.com reports

The largest group was discovered on Sept. 20, when Yuma-based Border Patrol agents came across 275 adults and children, 20 of whom were taken to the hospital.

“With more family units being smuggled into these areas, agents must divert even greater resources to care and treat those harmed by the arduous journey,” Border Patrol said in a statement.

“Family units who might have previously presented themselves at ports of entry, are being shuttled by human smugglers into areas with limited infrastructure to illegally cross into Arizona,” the UCBP said in a press release issued Friday. “Multiple areas along the Yuma and Ajo corridors are being exploited by criminal organizations.”

Ex-FBI Attorney: Bureau, DOJ Were Not Joking about Removing Trump

Former top FBI attorney James Baker

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI general counsel James Baker said discussions within the bureau about secretly recording President Trump in an effort to remove him from office was no joke.

Baker served in the leadership role in May 2017, when then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed the secret recordings.

Baker shared the information with Congress last week.

“As far as Baker was concerned, this was a real plan being discussed,” a source directly familiar with the congressional investigation told The Hill. “It was no laughing matter for the FBI.”

Rosenstein, who is scheduled to be interviewed behind closed doors on Thursday by House judiciary Committee members, has denied that the discussions were serious.

NTSB: Limo Crash That Killed 20 People Was ‘Deadliest Transportation-Related Accident’ Since 2009

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The limo crash that killed 20 people in New York on Saturday was the “deadliest transportation-related accident” in the nation since 2009, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

NTSB is investigating what caused the limo to crash into another vehicle and pedestrians near Albany.

Killed in the crash were 18 people in the limo and two bystanders.

The limo was packed with people from a wedding party.

“This is one of the biggest losses of life that we’ve seen in a long, long time,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told local NBC affiliate WNYT. 

For reasons that aren’t yet clear, the limo failed to stop at an intersection and careened into the parking lot of an Apple Barrel store and café.

“My heart breaks for the 20 people who lost their lives in this horrific accident,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a statement. “I commend the first responders who arrived on the scene and worked through the night to help. State police are working with federal and local authorities to investigate the crash, and I have directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy.”

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Killing 4 Women Far from the Only Agent in Legal Trouble

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Accused serial killer, Border Patrol Supervisor Juan David Ortiz, is far from the only agent at the agency to be accused of serious crimes in past five years.

Border Patrol Agent Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles is accused of killing his 27-year-old lover and the couple’s baby. He was charged in April and has pleaded not guilty.

Between 2014-16, more than 20,000 misconduct cases, which include criminal offenses, were filed against employees of Customs and Border Protection, according to the Government Accountability Office, USA Today reports

Of those, 1,300 involved criminal conduct, ranging from drunken driving to domestic violence. An additional 1,000 cases involved mistreatment of detainees, ranging from physical violence to sexual abuse.

Only about 2% of those cases forced agents to resign, retire or be fired.