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Archive for November 12th, 2020

Contenders for AG, Homeland Security Director Under Biden

Joe Biden, via Shutterstock.com.

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden will be responsible for choosing new leaders of the Justice Department and Homeland Security. 

Who are the potential contenders? The New York Times takes a look at the possible picks.

Under President Trump, the Homeland Security Department has been a revolving door of leaders. Biden hopes to change that. One contender is Val Demings, a member of Congress from Florida and a former Orlando police chief with 27 years of experience in law enforcement. 

Another potential pick is Alejandro Mayorkas a Cuban American lawyer who ran Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Obama. 

A contender to replace Attorney General William Barr is Xavier Becerra, a former congressman and current California attorney general. 

Another potential pick is Sen. Dough Jones, D-Alabama. He’s a former prosecutor and lost his bid for reelection to the Senate. 

Biden also could choose Tom Prez, the Democratic Party chairman who previously served as secretary of labor and assistant attorney general for civil rights. 

Former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates under Obama is another possibility. President Trump fired her after she served 10 days as acting attorney general. 

Georgia Man Charged with Shining Laser at Commercial Aircraft

By Steve Neavling

A 48-year-old Georgia man has been indicted on federal charges after the FBI said he shined a laser pointer at three commercial airplanes headed to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport. 

A federal grand jury indicted Roger Floyd Hendricks, of Rincon, on three counts of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft. He faces up to five years in prison on each count.

“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is not a prank; it’s incredibly dangerous and stupid,” Bobby L. Christine, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, said in a statement. “The FBI did an outstanding job of locating and stopping this threat to hundreds of Savannah air travelers.”

The Federal Aviation Administration in February asked the FBI for help tracking down whoever was responsible for three green laser strikes on inbound aircraft. 

The strikes included:

  • A Nov. 27, strike on Commutair flight 4935 from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The aircraft, an Embraer ERJ-145, has a capacity of more than 50 passengers and crew.
  • A Dec. 8  strike on Delta flight 697 from Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta. The aircraft, an Airbus A321, has a capacity of up to nearly 200 passengers and crew.
  • A Jan. 14 strike on NetJets flight 385 from Chicago Midway International Airport. The aircraft, a Cessna Citation Sovereign, has a capacity of eight passengers plus crew. 

Each plane landed safely. 

Nationwide, there have been more than than 6,000 laser strikes on aircraft in the U.S., according to the FAA.

“Aiming a laser at an airplane is not a game, it’s a federal felony and something the FBI takes very seriously,” Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI’s Atlanta Field Office, said. “These alleged actions placed the lives of innocent air travelers and commercial airline crews in danger and must be prosecuted.”