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Archive for October, 2019

Luis M. Quesada Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s El Paso Field Office

Luis M. Quesada

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Luis M. Quesada, who began his career in law enforcement as a Miami police officer, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office in Texas.

Quesada, who most recently he served in the Training Division in Quantico, joined the FBI as a special agent in 1995 and began working in the Miami Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes with a focus on bank robberies, extortion, and kidnappings. In 1998, Quesada voluntarily transferred to the San Juan Field Office in Puerto Rico before returning to Miami in 2001 to investigates drugs. In both offices, Quesada served on the SWAT teams.

Quesada was promoted in 2003 to supervisory special agent and began working in the Counterterrorism Division of the Terrorist Screening Center, which manages and operates the nation’s terrorist watch list.

In 2005, he transferred to the FBI Academy in Quantico as a defensive tactics instructor. Quesada returned to Miami two years later as the supervisor of the violent gang and high-intensity drug trafficking area task force. He later became the acting assistant special agent in charge of Miami’s Criminal Branch.

In 2010, Quesada became the assistant legal attaché in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he promoted FBI interests in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In 2012, Quesada was promoted to a unit chief position in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, focusing on counter-narcotics efforts in Latin America and the U.S. Southwest border.

In 2014, Quesada became legal attaché of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing on counterterrorism threats throughout the Balkans and the U.S.

A year later, Quesada became the assistant special agent in charge of the Criminal Branch in the Jackson Field Office in Mississippi. In 2017, he was appointed to assistant section chief in the Training Division, and a year later was promoted to section chief of the division’s Training Services Section.

Quesada earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Florida International University.

President Trump Looking for Fifth Homeland Security Secretary Since Taking Office

Homeland Security helicopter, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Job security is not exactly a perk in the top job at the Department of Homeland Security.

Kevin McAleenan was the fourth person to hold the job of Homeland Security secretary since Donald Trump became president three years ago. His resignation Friday means the agency that protects the nation against terrorism, cyberattacks, illegal immigrant natural disasters and other threats needs another leader.

The two leading candidates to replace McAleenan are Mark Morgan, acting CBP commissioner, and Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to The Wall Street Journal, which notes the list of potential candidates may expand.

Leading Homeland Security has been no easy task because Trump has demanded a secretary whose focus is clearly on immigration, which is only one part of the multi-faceted agency.

Enter Morgan and Cuccinelli. Their rhetoric on immigration matches the president’s, so they are more likely to be loyal.

“The rhetoric coming from the top of DHS will likely now more closely match the president,” Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a nonprofit that supports liberalized immigration legislation, told The Wall Street Journal.

‘You Might Not want to Do This:’ Trio Mugs Armed FBI Special Agents in Memphis

Suspects in Memphis mugging.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

“You might not want to do this.”

That’s what one of two victims said to three robbers who demanded the duo hand over their personal belongings Sunday afternoon.

The victims turned out to be armed FBI special agents who were in downtown Memphis admiring a display outside an antique shop, police told WMC-5 Action News.

After handing over a cellphone and wallet, the agents pulled out their concealed weapons, prompting the three suspects to run off.

The agents told police the suspects may have been armed with BB guns.

Police are still looking for the suspects, who were captured on surveillance.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Soliciting Prostitution from Undocumented Immigrant

Donato Cantu, 43.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been charged with soliciting an undocumented immigrant for prostitution in Laredo.

Donato Cantu, 43, was served with a warrant Friday and is accused of soliciting the sex worker while off duty.

CBP confirmed the arrest.

“He has been with the service for over 13 years,” Border Patrol said in a statement. “As a matter of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not comment on on-going investigations. Inquiries regarding the case are best directed to the Webb County District Attorney’s Office.”

The agency added, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection holds its employees accountable and expects the entire workforce to adhere to the agency’s standards of conduct.”

The FBI and CBP Office of Professional Responsibility had been investigating the case for several months and discovered that the undocumented immigrant used social media and other websites to find clients for sex work.

FBI Investigating Corruption in Blooming Marijuana Industry in California And Nevada

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI warned in August that the blooming marijuana industry was a “public corruption threat” because of the money and power involved.

Now the bureau is investigating whether public officials in California accepted bribes from Sacramento-area marijuana businesses who wanted favorable treatment, including licenses to open dispensaries, The Sacramento Bee reports.

Sacramento officials recently called for an investigation into the cannabis dispensary licensing process following the decision to grant eight dispensary permits to a group linked to a Ukrainian-born businessman indicted last for alleged violations of federal campaign finance laws.

In Nevada, the governor also has called for an investigation into potential corruption in the legal marijuana industry.

Details of the investigations were murky, and the FBI declined to provide divulge details.
In a podcast in August, the FBI warned about the threat of public corruption in the marijuana industry and urged listeners to call their local bureau field offices if they suspect public corruption

Forensic FBI Photographer Found Dead at National Forest in North Carolina

Nantahala National Forest via Wikipedia. Photo by Notneb82.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A woman found dead in a creek in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina last week was a forensic FBI photographer.

Kathleen Polce Miller, of Huntsville, likely drowned, but authorities have not definitely determined the cause of death, The News And Observer reports.

Miller and her husband were camping at the park on Oct. 7 when she disappeared. Police said she told her husband that she wanted to check out Santeetlah Creek. Soon after, her husband discovered her body and called 911.

Authorities are investigating the death “from a criminal standpoint, the Graham County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday.

‘I feel stuck:’ James Comey Is Unsure about His Future, But Pledges to Help Remove Trump from Presidency

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey isn’t sure what’s next for him. But one thing is clear: He’s going to help remove Trump from the presidency.

“I feel stuck,” Comey said in a candid, nearly two-hour interview with The New York Times at his Northern Virginia home. “Like I can’t do something else. And I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I went and did something easy.”

It wasn’t entirely clear in the interview how Comey will lend his hand in removing Trump from office, but the 58-year-old said he’d be willing to appear at the Democratic candidate’s stump speeches or even the party’s nominating convention. The former registered Republican also donated money to former law school classmate and Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Amy Klohbuchar of Minnesota.

Comey said he has no plans to run for office, but he will be writing opining pieces for The Washington Post.

“I have a fantasy about on January 21, 2021, deleting my Twitter and moving on to something else,” Comey said. “But until then, I can’t.”

When asked about his controversial, potentially election-turning decision to reveal information about the Hillary Clinton email investigation in October 2016, Comey responded, “I wish like hell we hadn’t been involved.”

Comey believes the decision to choose transparency over concealment won’t hurt his legacy.

“I was going to say I don’t care. I’m sure I care a little,” adding, “It frustrates me in general that millions of people have a false impression of me. I wish they knew I was funnier.”

Weekend Series on Crime: Inside Myanmar’s Soaring Heroin Trade