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Archive for February, 2019

DEA Agent Accused of Tapping Sheriff’s Deputy on the Head During DUI Stop

Agent taps the sheriff’s deputy on the head.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA undercover agent in Florida is accused of tapping a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy on the head during a DUI stop last December, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The agent apparently became frustrated during a field sobriety test.

“You’re under arrest for DUI,” PBSO deputy Patrick Zeitz said. Then, “You’re lucky I’m not charging you with something stupid like Batt-Leo.”  Batt-Leo is battery on a law-enforcement officer, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, the paper explains.

“You, as somebody who does this profession, should know better,” Zeitz said.

“You’re right,” Brendan D’Arcangelo said. “You’re right, bro.”

The DEA has refused to say whether he is still employed at the agency.

He faces four counts of DUI with damage to property or a person, first-degree misdemeanors each punishable by up to a year in jail. A plea conference is set for April 5.

The paper reports that D’Arcangelo’s pickup slammed into two vehicles stopped at a red light. No one was seriously injured.

ATF Trying to Catch Up With Backlog of Gun Licenses Due to Government Shutdown

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history has left its mark — and not in a good way.

ATF, which is responsible for approving Federal Firearms Licenses for gun dealers, finds itself with a huge backlog to process, station KERA reports.

ATF spokeswoman April Langwell tells the station it’s hard to pin down how many pending licenses would have been resolved during the 35-day shutdown, but in a typical month, ATF receives roughly 1,000 new dealer license applications and roughly 30,000 National Firearms Act licenses.

Eric B. Smith, Native of Ohio, to Head Up Cleveland FBI

Eric B. Smith

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Eric B. Smith, a native of Ohio, has been named head of the Cleveland FBI.

Smith, 49, a native of the London, Ohio, joined the FBI in 1999 and was first assigned to the Wichita Resident Agency, Kansas City Field Office, where he worked violent crime, counterterrorism and counterintelligence.

In 2005, he transferred to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters. Three years later, he became a supervisor for the Cleveland Field Office’s counterterrorism squad and Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to an FBI press release.  Two years later, he became the FBI’s senior representative to a counterterrorism task force headquartered in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Smith returned to the Cleveland Field Office in 2013, where he was named assistant special agent in charge over counterterrorism and cyber matters and the resident agencies.

In 2015, he took on the role of  chief of staff to the FBI deputy director. He later became special assistant to the Director in 2016.

 

Trump Disses FBI Data As He Tries to Sell People on The Wall

President Trump in El Paso.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump has a history of dismissing intelligence and data from his intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The latest example came Monday night during a rally in El Paso, Texas.

Trump, in his speech, asked supporters to disregard FBI data showing that a border fence didn’t make El Paso safer, and instead believe his assertion that a fence along the southern border was responsible for a dramatic decrease in violent crime in the city, Vox news writes. 

“I spoke to people who have been here a long time,” Trump said, contrasting anecdotes with actual crime date. “They said when the wall went up — it’s a whole different ballgame. Is that a correct statement? Whole different ballgame.”

Federal Jury in New York Convicts Mexican Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ on All Counts

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As expected Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was found guilty on Tuesday of crimes spanning more than a quarter of a century, NBC News reports.

A federal jury in New York convicted El Chapo, 61, on all 10 count after a trial that lasted almost three months.

After a nearly three-monthlong trial and six days of deliberations, a New York jury found the alleged Sinaloa cartel leader guilty of all counts he was tried on.

 

Ex-FBI Official Andrew McCabe’s New Book Takes Shots A Trump and Others

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Suffice to say, the book does not portray President Trump in a flattering light.

“The FBI has always been the nemesis of criminals. Today the FBI is under attack by the president of the United States,’ writes McCabe, a lifelong Republican who is married to a Democrat.

He also takes shots at others, according to a review in the Guardian newspaper:

Pulling no punches, he takes to task Loretta Lynch, Obama’s second attorney general, for her refusal to recuse from the Clinton email investigation while attempting to maintain a show of being above it all. As McCabe sees it, Lynch and Sally Yates, then deputy attorney general, wrongly viewed “the investigation of Hillary Clinton … likely nominee of the Democratic party, who was being supported by the president of the United States, to whom they owed their jobs … as a case they could handle without prejudice”.

According to McCabe, Lynch and Yates “made a feckless compromise”. Specifically, “they designated career professionals in the National Security Division as decision-makers in this case but didn’t unambiguously commit to abide by those people’s decisions”. It was, he writes, “the worst possible choice afforded by the situation”.

It didn’t end there. There is Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport and again McCabe does not mince words: “The tarmac meeting was a horrible lapse in judgment by Loretta Lynch. She should have recused herself … she did not – she made things worse.”

With the advantage of hindsight, McCabe is critical of the decision taken by Comey, his boss at the time, to publicly announce the FBI’s recommendation that no charges should be pursued against Hillary Clinton. In “retrospect”, as McCabe frames it, “perhaps I would have said to Comey, ‘Don’t do it. Let’s be the normal Bob Mueller, say-nothing FBI of old.’”

 

Ex-FBI Director William Webster Helped Feds Bust Jamaican Con Artist

William Webster (Wikimedia Commons)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI and CIA Director William Webster helped the FBI nab a  Jamaican man who tried to scam him out of $50,000, Tom Jackman of the Washington Post reports.

The scam took place in 2014.

Webster got a call from a Jamaican man,  who was later identified as Keniel A. Thomas.

Thomas told Webster he had won $72 million and a new Mercedes Benz in the Mega Millions lottery, but he needed to send $50,000 in taxes and fees to get his money. He also told Webster he’d done his homework and knew exactly who he was, according to the Post story.

“You’re a great man,” the Jamaican man cajoled. “You was a judge, you was an attorney, you was a basketball player, you were in the U.S. Navy, homeland security. I know everything about you. I even seen your photograph, and I seen your precious wife.”

Webster contacted the man the next day with the FBI listening. During one of the many conversations, he threatened the life of Webster’s wife, the Post reports.

Thomas was arrested in late 2017 after landing in New York from Jamaica. On Friday, he got a total of six years in prison.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Says He Hasn’t Interfered With Mueller Probe

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker says that he hasn’t talked to President Donald Trump about the Mueller probe and not interfered with the investigation in anyway.

That’s what he told the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, Vox news reports. 

During intense questioning by House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Whitaker conceded that he had been briefed, but refused to say how many times and when.

Still, it’s unclear if anyone else in Whitaker’s orbit briefed anyone in the White House about the probe.