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Archive for January, 2020

Rodney Scott Named New Border Patrol Chief, Replacing Carla Provost

New Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has chosen Rodney Scott to lead the U.S. Border Patrol, replacing Carla Provost, who is retiring.

Scott, who most recently led the San Diego Sector, is a 27-year veteran of the agency.

CBP’s Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan lauded Scott for his integrity and experience.

“Chief Scott is the absolute embodiment of the U.S. Border Patrol’s ‘Honor First’ motto, and I am confident that under his leadership, the men and women of the Border Patrol will be well served, the laws of this nation will be enforced, and our borders will be secured,” Morgan said in a statement.

Scott joined Border Patrol in 1992, serving at the Imperial Beach Station in San Diego, Calif. During his career, he’s held various leadership positions, including chief patrol agent of the El Centro Sector; deputy chief patrol agent at San Diego Sector; patrol agent in charge at the Brown Field Station in San Diego Sector; assistant chief in CBP’s Office of Anti-Terrorism in Washington, D.C.; and director/division chief for the Incident Management and Operations Coordination Division at CBP headquarters.

Read Morgan’s full statement here.

Border Agents Find Liquid Meth inside Gas Tank of Chevy Truck Driven by American

Liquid meth found inside a gas tank. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP agents arrested a 36-year-old American citizen after finding 222 pounds of liquid meth hidden inside the gas tank of his Chevrolet Silverado at the Calexico East port of entry in California.

A CBP canine team alerted agents to the gas tank about 11 p.m. on Tuesday, CBP says in a news release.

When the gas tank was removed, agents found a strange liquid that was beginning to crystalize. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine.

“Drug trafficking organizations have one goal in mind, which is to get their product across,” Sergio Beltran, CBP officer in charge, says. “Concealing narcotics in gas tanks is one tactic and by utilizing our layered enforcement, we were able to stop this before it plagued our communities.”

The driver was arrested and turned over to ICE agents.

The meth has a street value of $266,000, CBP says.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Story of Jack Ruby

CBP Officers were Directed to Detain Iranian Americans at Border, Officer Alleges

Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP officers were ordered to detain and question Iranian Americans at the Canadian Border after Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in U.S. airstrikes, a CBP officer claims in an email to an immigration attorney, CNN reports.

The allegations contradict CBP’s official denial that officers were ordered to stop and question Iranian Americans at a border crossing in Blaine, Wash.

Dozens of Iranian Americans said they were detained and questioned at the border crossing following the killing of Soleimani.

In a Jan. 5 statement, CBP spokesman Matt Leas said “social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans and refusing their entry into the U.S. because of their country of origin are false. Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false.”

The unnamed CBP officer who alleged there was a directive to stop and question Iranian Americans said the actions ended, but only after the issue “hit the national news.”

DOJ Says Surveillance of Carter Page Should Have Ended Earlier

Carter Page, former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department says it lacked sufficient evidence to continue surveilling former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2017.

The department revealed its assessment that it should have ended the surveillance sooner in a December letter to the Foreign Surveillance Court, which oversees surveillance of suspected foreign spies.

The letter, which was made public Thursday and obtained by Reuters, suggested the DOJ lacked probable cause to continue wiretapping Page.

The letter follows a review by the DOJ’s internal watchdog that concluded the FBI left out evidence evidence and went too far in its investigation of possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Border Patrol Agent Arrested on Charges of Repeatedly Molesting Stepdaughter

Michael William Barends via Brewster County Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent in Texas has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a child more than 20 times, beginning when she was 12 years old.

Michael William Barends was arrested Friday by the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office on allegations he molested his stepdaughter from January 2015 to June 2019, the Washington Examiner reports.

Barends was a supervisor with the Big Bend Sector and worked with immigrant children after working with the agency in Detroit and Yuma, Arizona.

Barends, who was known as “Chicken Little” because of his glasses, was released Tuesday on a $200,000 bond.

Grand Jury Clears FBI Agent in Fatal Shooting in Texas

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A grand jury determined an FBI agent acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a Robinson, Texas, man while raiding a home with a federal search warrant in July.

The agent, who was not identified, was cleared of wrong doing in the shooting death of Joshua Steven Mitchell after the case was presented to a grand jury in mid-December, McLennan County First Assistant District Attorney Nelson Barnes told the Waco Tribune-Herald.

“The agent clearly acted in defense of himself and the other agents who would have been in the line of fire,” Barnes said. “Mr. Mitchell had multiple weapons next to him and he reached for one, putting the agents in danger.”

Barnes said photographs showed multiple weapons near Mitchell when agents confronted him, which suggested the agents were in danger.

Mitchell was shot four times in the head and neck, as well as once in the arm.

Elizabeth Warren Wants DOJ Task Force to Investigate Alleged Trump Administration Corruption

Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said if she’s elected she will create an independent task force to investigate corruption by the Trump administration.

Warren laid out the plan in an effort to restore “integrity and competence” in the federal government.

“If we are to move forward to restore public confidence in government and deter future wrongdoing, we cannot simply sweep this corruption under the rug in a new administration,” the Massachusetts senator wrote in the plan released Tuesday.

Citing “unprecedented” corruption in the Trump administration identified by the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington D.C., Warren said the task force will “pursue any substantiated criminal and civil violations.”

“That’s why I will direct the Justice Department to establish a task force to investigate violations by Trump administration officials of federal bribery laws, insider trading laws, and other anti-corruption and public integrity laws, and give that task force independent authority to pursue any substantiated criminal and civil violations,” she said.