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Archive for January, 2020

Cartel Doctor Accused of Helping Torture DEA Agent Runs Taco Restaurant in Guadalajara

Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain, via Fox News screenshot.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Mexican cartel doctor accused of helping torture DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in the 1980s is running a taco restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico, Fox News reports.

Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain, allegedly a member of the Guadalajara Cartel at the time, is one of the suspects accused of helping kidnap, torture and murder Camarena in 1985.

Authorities believe Camarena was tortured for two to three days, and was kept alive by Mechain to prolong the pain.

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

Mechain was charged and tried for his alleged role in the attack in 1992, but the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence, Fox reported.

“Even to this day, there’s a current ongoing investigation into Kiki’s death,” Terrance Cole, a retired assistant regional director of the DEA in Mexico City, told Fox.

Fox reporter Lara Logan, who had a DEA escort, tracked down Mechain and confronted him at a sidewalk taco restaurant in Guadalajara.

“Did you have any involvement in Kiki’s death?” Logan asked Mechain.

“Absolutely not,” Mechain responded through an interpreter.

He continued, “Tell her that since I left the United States prison, I’ve been here at this little business and keep enjoying it … I feel very proud that I was able to get out of a federal court trial in the United States.”

Logan asked her DEA escort, “How come the doctor’s not in jail?”

He responded, “There’s no justice for anyone here. You’re lucky if you get justice for anyone.”

William ‘Chris’ Hoffman Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office

FBI Special Agent William “Chris” Hoffman.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

William “Chris” Hoffman, who was serving as an inspector at FBI headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the bureau’s Cincinnati Field Office.

Hoffman’s career as an FBI special agent began in 1998 at the Durant Resident Agency, Choctaw Nation of the Oklahoma City Field Office, where he investigated Indian Country crimes, ranging from homicides and public corruption to crimes against children.

In 2003, Hoffman was transferred to the Guam Resident Agency of the Honolulu Field Office, serving as the coordinator of the FBI’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force for the Western Pacific.

In 2006, he began working at the Birmingham Field Office in Alabama before becoming the first agent from that office to deploy on temporary duty to Iraq. In addition, he served as coordinator of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Birmingham between 2007 and 2011. Hoffman was elevated to supervisory special agent in 2011, serving on Birmingham’s Counterterrorism Squad as the program coordinator for international terrorism, domestic terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction.

In 2015, Hoffman became an assistant inspector and team leader in the Inspection Division at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.

In 2016, Hoffman served as assistant special agent in charge of the criminal and administrative branches and the SWAT team for the Memphis Field Office in Tennessee. In 2018, he returned to Washington as an inspector.

Before joining the FBI, Hoffman earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Clemson University. He went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as an officer and detective in the Greenville Police Department in South Carolina.

Workout App Lets You Train Like an FBI Agent

Physical Fitness Test app from the FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Are you fit enough to be a special agent for the FBI? Or do you want a workout routine that will keep you healthy?

There’s now an app for that.

The FBI has created the free Physical Fitness Test app so you can train like an agent.

“Whether you’re an aspiring agent hoping to see if you have what it takes or a fitness enthusiast curious about agent training, this mobile application will help you learn the benchmarks of the official FBI Physical Fitness Test (PFT),” the app reads.

CBP Denies Detaining Iranian Americans at Border Crossings in Washington State

Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) denied reports that its agents were detaining Iranian Americans at a border crossing in Blaine, Wash.

“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,” CBP spokesman Mike Friel said in a statement.

He added, “Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false.”

The allegations were first leveled Sunday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which said it was assisting more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans who had been detained for 11-plus hours and questioned Saturday night at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington.

At least two Congresswomen retweeted the press release from CAIR.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Hells Angels

Border Patrol Agents Hospitalized After Attack in Laredo, Texas

 

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents were attacked and hospitalized by migrants trying to enter the country illegally in Laredo, Texas, on New Year’s Eve.

The National Border Patrol Council said an undisclosed number of agents sustained injuries ranging from broken bones and lacerations, and eight people were detained, KENS5-TV reports.

It’s unclear whether the attacks were related to an hours-long gun battle a day earlier between cartel members and Tamaulipas State Police in Nuevo Laredo. The shootout prompted Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar to warn residents on Facebooks to avoid crossing the border in to Mexico.

Republican Congressman Calls for Secret Service Probe of Christmas Card Depicting an Assassinated Trump

Hustler Christmas card.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Republican lawmaker wants the Secret Service to investigate Christmas cards sent to members of Congress depicting a cartoon of an assassinated President Trump.

The card shows smiling people, including Santa, surrounding Trump’s dead, bleeding body. On the back of the card, the shooter says in a thought bubble, “I just shot Donald Trump on Fifth Avenue. And no one arrested me.”

The quote is a reference to Trump bragging during the 2016 presidential campaign that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”

A Politico reporter confirmed the card was sent by Hustler Magazine.

On Twitter, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana posted a picture of the card Thursday and called for a Secret Service investigation.

“Here’s all you need to know about the radical Left,” Johnson tweeted. “A young staffer of mine opened this in a stack of holiday mail today. Just imagine if a conservative had distributed such a disgusting and hateful piece about a Democrat. I hope this will be investigated by the @secretservice.”

Joe Piersante of the DEA Named ticklethewire.com Fed of The Year for 2019

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joe Piersante in 2010.

DEA agent Joe Piersante has been named ticklethewire.com’ Fed of The Year for 2019.

Piersante, who retired this month in Detroit, took a different path in his career, and showed remarkable resolve. He joined the Detroit Police force and then the DEA in 1997. He spent the next decade in Arizona battling drug traffickers.

In 2011, he was as part of an elite  Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST), a commando-style squad that battled terrorist organizations that trafficked drugs to support their efforts.  While raiding a bazaar in Afghanistan, gunfire broke out and he ended up getting hit in the head by an armored-piercing round. He was wounded and left legally blind.

He eventually returned to the DEA, where he began talking to groups on behalf of the agency about the dangers of drugs and helping addicts with treatment strategies. He also talked to people about putting their lives on the line for their country.

He finished his career in the Detroit office, sometimes taking an Uber or getting rides from co-workers to carry out his duties.

In 2015, Piersante became the first DEA agent to receive the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom, the civilian equivalent of the Purple Heart award for injuries sustained in combat.

“Joe embodies what our agency is about, the core mission, to go wherever we have to go to attack organized crime and go after trafficking organizations,” said Jack Riley, the agency’s deputy administrator in an interview with Bloomberg in 2016 . “It really means something that he stuck around, that he continues to work. He embodies the fighting spirit. He never quits.”

Previous recipients of the ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year award include: Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008):  Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009), Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010);  Thomas Brandon, deputy Director of ATF (2011); John G. Perren, who was assistant director of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Directorate (2012); David Bowdich, special agent in charge of counterterrorism in Los Angeles (2013);  Loretta Lynch, who was U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn at the time (2014); John “Jack” Riley,  the DEA’s acting deputy administrator (2015); D.C.  U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips (2016); Joe Rannazzisi, a retired DEA deputy assistant administrator (2017); Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (2018).