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Archive for March, 2021

CBP Makes ‘Massive’ Meth Bust at Laredo Port of Entry

Methamphetamine found in 28 containers. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

CBP officers at the Laredo Port of Entry seized more than $24.5 million worth of methamphetamine from a tractor-trailer carrying a shipment of acrylic paint. 

The bust comes at a time when federal authorities are seeing a huge increase in meth seizures. 

 “The nation continues to experience an epidemic of drug trafficking and drug dependence,” Acting Port Director Eugene Crawford, Laredo Port of Entry said in a statement. “Nevertheless, as this massive methamphetamine seizure illustrates, our frontline CBP officers maintain heightened vigilance and bring all of our high tech tools and resources to bear against criminal organizations attempting to smuggle contraband into the United States.” 

CPB officers assigned to the cargo facility encountered the shipment on March 3 and referred the tractor-trailer for a canine and non-intrusive imagine system inspection. Officers discovered 28 containers filled with about 1,235 pounds of meth. 

CBP turned the investigation over to ICE-Homeland Security Investigations. 

In October, the DEA made the biggest meth seizure in American history – 2,224 pounds of the drug recovered in California. The announcement came just three days before CBP announced its second largest meth seizure on Oct. 9 at the Otay Mesa Port Entry in San Diego. CBP officers seized more than 3,100 pounds of methamphetamine, along with 64 pounds heroin, 29 pounds of fentanyl powder and 37 pounds of pills. 

Last year, meth overdoses rose 25%. 

Democrats Cite New COINTELPRO Movie in Push to Remove Hoover’s Name from FBI Headquarters

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling

Democrats who are leading a push to remove J. Edgar Hoover’s name from the FBI headquarters building are citing a new film that explores the bureau’s former attempts to discredit civil rights activists under a subversive program known as COINTELPRO.

COINTELPRO, or Counter Intelligence Program, existed from 1965 to 1971 and subjected African Americans to illegal FBI surveillance.  

“You take a poll and I would bet 90% of the society has no clue what COINTELPRO was,” Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn, who was among 23 co-sponsors of a bill to remove the longtime FBI director’s name, said, Yahoo News reports. “This is an ugly part of our past that is not well known.”

The film “Judas and the Black Messiah” depicts the stories of Fred Hampton, the charismatic leader of the Black Panther Party, and Bill O’Neal, the FBI informant who betrayed him. 

Cohen says he hopes the film will spur action on his longtime effort to remove Hoover’s name from the FBI headquarters. 

“That movie has gotten a grand reception, and it showed the interactions between the Chicago police and the FBI in the murder of Fred Hampton,” Cohen said. “That was part of COINTELPRO, J. Edgar Hoover’s organized effort to make sure there was not a Black leader who would rise up for civil rights and better conditions in the Black community.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: Former Undercover FBI Agent Jack Garcia Who Busted Dozens of Mobsters

FBI Arrests Trump Appointee Accused of Assaulting Police, Storming Capitol on Jan. 6

Frederico G. Klein in an image filed by the FBI.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has arrested a political appointee of former President Trump who is accused of assaulting police and storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Frederico G. Klein, 42, a former State Department aide, was charged with multiple felony accounts, including unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and law enforcement, and assaulting an officers with a dangerous weapon, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The New York Times.

Videos show Klein, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, resisting and assaulting officers with a stolen riot shield, and storming the Capitol with a pro-Trump mob, according to court documents.  

Before working at the State Department, Klein was on Trump’s presidential campaign team. 

At the time of the riot, Klein was a State Department employee with Top Secret security clearance. He is the first member of Trump’s administration to be arrested in the riot. 

“Klein quickly pushed his way to the front-left side of the crowd and to the doorway to the Capitol building, where he physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line,” the F.B.I. said.

The FBI has arrested more than 300 people for their alleged roles in the riot. 

FBI Arrests Texas Police Officer Accused of Distributing Child Pornography

By Steve Neavling

The FBI arrested a police officer in Texas on charges of distributing child pornography. 

Denton Police Officer David Schoolcraft was ordered to remain in custody during his initial court hearing Thursday.

According to U.S. attorneys, Schoolcraft knowingly received or distributed child pornography through any means of interstate or foreign commerce, mail or shipment, or through a computerin late December. 

He faces up to 20 years in prison. 

Schoolcraft, a 15-year veteran of the department, was placed on leave after he was arrested. 

Border Patrol Agents Rescue Father, Toddler Swept Away in Canal

Agents and residents helped save the life of a father and son.

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents are credited with saving the life of a father and his two-year-old boy who were swept away in a canal by strong currents in Yuma, Ariz. 

An air interdiction agent who was piloting a helicopter spotted the father and son struggling to swim in the Salanity Canal on Monday evening. The pilot threw rescue lines to the father, but to no avail. 

A Yuma Station agent removed his uniform and jumped into the canal, rescuing the boy with the help of other agents and citizens, who also pulled the 23-year-old father from the water. 

The father and son were treated for hypothermia at a local hospital. 

CBP said the father was an undocumented immigrant. 

FBI, Homeland Security Warn of Potential Plot to Seize Control of Capitol Today

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned that domestic extremists “discussed plans to take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about March 4,” the date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Trump will be sworn in for a second term. 

The agencies sent a joint intelligence bulletin, titled “National Capitol Region Remains Attractive Target for Domestic Violent Extremists,” to local and state law enforcement agencies late Tuesday, NBC News first reported.

After the U.S. Capitol Police issued a similar warning, House leaders canceled Thursday’s legislative session. The Senate still plans to meet.

Extremists, emboldened by the Jan. 6 insurrection, may “exploit public gatherings either formally organized or spontaneous to engage in violence,” the memo states. 

According to adherents of QAnon, a right-wing conspiracy group that believes a secret cabal of Satan worshipers is running a global child sex-trafficking ring, former President Trump will be sworn in for a second term for the “true Inauguration Day” on March 4. 

Homeland Security Special Agent Charged with Bribery for Allegedly Helping Organized Crime Figure

By Steve Neavling

A former Homeland Security special agent is accused of accepting at least $122,000 and other gifts to help an organized crime figure evade authorities. 

Felix Cisneros Jr., 46, was arrested Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official, bribery and 26 counts of money laundering. 

Between 2015 and 2016, while he was a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, Cisneros is accused of accepting cash, checks, private jet travel, luxury hotel stays and meals. In exchange for the bribes, Cisneros used highly restricted law enforcement data bases to keep the crime figure informed about investigations, according to a Justice Department news release.

Cisneros also is accused of removing information about a German citizen with a criminal record from a government database to help him enter the country. In addition, Cisneros allegedly tried to help get a relative of the crime figure into the U.S. from Armenia. 

Cisneros also is accused of warning the crime figure about law enforcement actions. 

The crime figure wasn’t identified in the indictment. 

Cisneros faces up 20 years in prison. 

The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General continue to investigate. 

The case is behind handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth C. Pinkel of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.