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Archive for May 26th, 2020

Ex-ATF Official Talks About the Power of Gun Rights Groups and the Agency’s Director Position


David Chipman

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David Chipman knows a thing or two about guns. The Michigan  native worked as an agent and official at the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Detroit and elsewhere for 25 years, enforcing the nation’s gun laws.

These days, he works for the Washington-based organization, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence. The group was founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot and wounded in 2011, and her husband Mark Kelly, a former astrounaut, who is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona. The mission is to advocate for sensible gun laws, policies and ways to make communities safer.

Chipman talked to Allan Lengel, editor of ticklethewire and a sister publication, Deadline Detroit, about the influence of guns rights groups like the NRA and what it will take in Washington to make notable inroads against gun violence.

Drug Cartels Are Losing Millions of Dollars Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Drug money seized in a Los Angeles bust, via DEA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the illegal drug trade, costing cartels million of dollars.

In the first week of March, law enforcement seized $10 million in cash, more than twice the amount seized during the same period last year, NBC News reports.

Drug traffickers are having a harder time moving around without being spotted because of the state’s stay-at-home order, the DEA said.

“When there’s less hay in the haystack, it’s easier to find the needle,” Bill Bodner, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Los Angeles field office, said. “It’s caused the drug cartels and money launderers to take more risks, and that’s where we can capitalize.”

On the East Coast, DEA agents are seizing more drug money than usual. The New York City field division, for example, has seen a 180% increase in seizures over last year.

FBI Launches Hate Crime Investigation into Shooting Death of Ahmaud Arbery

Ahmaud Arbery

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Justice Department have launched an investigation into the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black jogger in Georgia whose attack by two white men in February was captured on a graphic video recording, according to an attorney for the victim’s family.

The bureau is exploring whether the suspects, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, committed a hate crime, said Lee Martin, who represents the 25-year-old victims family, The Guardian reports.

Martin said he met with Justice Department officials, who told him the FBI also is looking into why no arrests were made until two months after the Feb. 23 shooting.

Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and charged with murder on May 8, three days after a video of the attack sparked outrage. The GBI also arrested the man who captured the attack on video.