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Archive for August, 2019

28 People Accused of Threatening Mass Shootings Since El Paso, Dayton Massacres

Photo via ATF.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

At least 28 people have been arrested on allegations of threatening to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in massacres in Texas and Ohio about a month ago.

In the wake of the attacks, FBI Director Christopher Wray urged law enforcement agencies across the country to become more vigilant in their search for potential mass shooters.

The targets of the threats ranged from schools and Walmart to a health clinic and Army recruitment center, according to CNN.

Some of the suspects were white nationalists, including an 18-year-old man accused of threatening a mass shooting at a Jewish community center in Youngstown, Oh. A 35-year-old Maryland man was charged after calling for the “extermination” of Hispanics.

In July, the FBI director said that white supremacy is behind an increase in domestic terrorism cases. In the past nine months, the FBI has recorded about 100 domestic terrorism arrests, which is an increase over previous years.

“A majority of the domestic terrorism cases we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

President Trump initially said he was exploring gun control measures, such as more background checks, but it appears he has distanced himself from taking any action.

FBI Warns about Public Corruption in Blossoming Marijuana Industry

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Legal marijuana has become a multi-billion-dollar industry that continues to grow by the day as more states allow for the sale of recreational and medical pot.

And everyone knows corruption follows money.

So it’s no surprise the FBI is getting more involved in the industry.

“As an increasing number of states change their marijuana legislation, the FBI is seeing a public corruption threat emerge in the expanding cannabis industry,” FBI spokeswoman Mollie Halpern said on a recent podcast released by the FBI.

“States require licenses to grow and sell the drug, opening the possibility for public officials to become susceptible to bribes in exchange for those licenses.”

Halpern urged listeners to call their local FBI field offices if they suspect public corruption.

FBI scrutiny “actually can be a good thing,” California cannabis attorney Henry Wykowski, a former federal prosecutor, told Marijuana Business Daily.

“I think some people are taking advantage of the industry, and we’re entitled to the same protection other industries receive.”

FBI Arrests TSA Agent Accused of Downloading Child Pornography for Years

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 34-year-old TSA agent accused of downloading child pornography for years.

Curtis Fleming, who worked at Orlando International Airport, told authorities he had looked at child pornography since he was 14 years old, WFTV-9 reports.

The FBI said it tracked down Fleming from a file-sharing site and then traced the IP address to the home of his parents.

Fleming told agents he tried to curb his behavior but couldn’t, according to authorities.

One of the videos downloaded by Fleming allegedly depicted children as young as 3 years old getting raped.

Fleming faces up to 15 to 30 years behind bars.

FBI Arrests Truck Driver Over Alleged Mass Shooting Plot at Memphis Church

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a truck driver accused of threatening to “shoot up” a Memphis, Tenn., church after saying he was haunted by “spiritual snakes and spiders in my bed at night.”

Federal authorities said Thomas Matthew McVicker, 38, “made credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide” at the church, which he told a friend placed the snakes and spiders in his bed, The Associated Press reports.

“I’ve only seen them a couple of times but they take form and I can feel them crawling on me and under me,” McVicker said, according to an affidavit filed Monday.

FBI arrested McVicker in Indiana a week before he planned to be in Memphis to carry out the attack, authorities said in court filings.

McVicker’s friend alerted the FBI to McVicker’s alleged plans.

McVicker’s mother told the FBI her son owned a handgun, occasionally used cocaine and methamphetamine and has been treated with schizophrenia.

CBP Agent Accused of Fatally Shooting Husband in Florida

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Customs and Border Protection agent Palm Beach County, Fla., has been arrested in the fatal shooting of her husband at the couple’s home.

Marcia Thompson, 39, was on her way to work when authorities allege she shot her 52-year-old husband at least six times, the Palm Beach Post reports.

According to Palm Beach County sherrif’s deputies, Thompson admitted she pulled the trigger on her duty weapon, but said her husband was threatening to kill her.

“I do not believe that Terry Thompson posed such a threat that deadly force was necessary,” Detective Jeremy Gelfand wrote in a court filing.

Thompson is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bond.

Timothy Langan Named Special Agent in Charge of Kansas City Field Office

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Timothy Langan, a 21-year veteran of the FBI, is the new special agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Office.

Langan had been the acting deputy assistant director in the International Operations Division at FBI headquarters in Washington.

Langan’s career with the FBI began in 1998, when he started working in the Dallas Field Office. He later worked in the Washington Field Office. Early on, Langan investigated Mexican drug trafficking organizations, violent crimes, and international terrorism, was a firearms and tactical instructor and a member of the SWAT team in Dallas, and served on protective details.

In 2007, Langan was promoted to supervisory special agent, serving on the Safe Streets and Gang Unit at FBI headquarters to provide program management oversight and support for gang investigations nationwide. In 2009, he was promoted to legal attaché in Sofia, Bulgaria, which also covers Albania and Macedonia.

In 2013, Langan led a squad investigating public corruption, civil rights, and complex financial crimes at the Nashville Resident Agency of the Memphis Field Office in Tennessee. In 2016, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Miami Field Office, serving as the head of the criminal enterprise branch.

In 2018, Langan was promoted to section chief in the International Operations Division, where he oversaw operational units covering Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He also served as the division’s acting deputy assistant director.

Before joining the FBI, Langan served in the U.S. Marine Corps and as a police officer and detective in St. Charles, Missouri.

Bernie Sanders Proposes barring ‘Disreputable’ Law Enforcement Officials from Testifying in Court

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a sweeping criminal justice reform plan that includes a proposal aimed at “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials.

Sanders is calling for the creation of a list of “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials who would be barred from testifying in court so testimony from untrustworthy sources does not lead to criminal convictions.”

Sanders also proposed providing “financial support to pilot local and state level no-call lists.”

The plan does not specify the process of deeming law enforcement officials as “disreputable.”

Sanders’ nearly 6,000-word reform plan also calls for cutting the country’s prison population in half and purging the criminal justice system of “institutional racism and corporate profiteering.”

Self-Identified White Nationalist Accused of Threatening to Shoot Up Jewish Center

James Reardon, via Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Ohio man accused of threatening to attack a Jewish community center was arrested Saturday, a day after an FBI task force made alarming discoveries at his home.

The investigation of James Reardon Jr. began after he posted an ominous Instagram video on July 11 that shows a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle. A caption below the video read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.”

Reardon tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, Ohio, which alerted authorities. His Instagram account included racial slurs.

“That kicked off an intense investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation because of the way the world is,” Middletown Police Chief Vince D’Egidio told ABC-affiiate WYTV.

On Friday, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force raided the man’s home and seized semi-automatic rifles, dozens of rounds of ammo, a gas mask and bulletproof armor. Anti-Semitic and white nationalists propaganda were also discovered at the home.

“According to charges filed, New Middletown Police Department was informed on Friday, August 16, 2019, of an online video posted by James Reardon depicting himself being identified as the shooter at an area Jewish Community Center, the shooting had not actually taken place,” the FBI Cleveland Division told USA Today.

D’Egidio said Reardon had “declared himself as a white nationalist.”

“With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we do our part to make sure we did our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly,” D’Egidio said.

Reardon was jailed on $250,000 bond pending a court hearing Monday.
The FBI said it wasn’t immediately clear whether federal charges would be pursued.

The arrest follows a deadly mass shooting in Dayton, where nine people were killed.