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Archive for July, 2021

Suspect Charged in Shooting Death of FBI Task Force Officer in Indiana

Shane Meehan, via Marion County Jail

By Steve Neavling

A 44-year-old man has been charged in the ambush-style, fatal shooting of an FBI Task Force officer outside of an FBI building in Indiana last week. 

Shane Meehan, of Terre Haute, faces up to life in prison on a charge of murder of a federal agent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Indiana announced.

Meehan is accused of shooting Terre Haute Det. Greg Ferency, a 30-year-veteran of the police department, on Wednesday afternoon. An FBI agent returned fire, shooting the suspected gunman. 

Meehan was recovering in the hospital when he was charged. 

“An attack on law enforcement is an attack on us all,” Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Childress said in a statement. “As citizens of this county, we enjoy on a daily basis the security and protection provided by the men and women of law enforcement. That security and protection is all the more precious because it is at times paid for with the lives of those who have chosen to protect us. The selfless dedication exhibited by Detective Ferency throughout his career and his tragic death yesterday is yet another example of why we all owe our respect and gratitude to the members of law enforcement. On behalf of the Department of Justice I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Detective Ferency’s family and his many colleagues.”

FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan added, “I want to offer the deepest sympathy of the FBI to the family, friends and colleagues of Detective Ferency. Greg was a valued member of our FBI family and had worked side by side with us as a Task Force Officer since 2010 in our Terre Haute office. 

“We will work day and night to carefully examine the circumstances of the shooting and we are dedicated to honoring Greg’s memory through a meticulous investigation.”

FBI, Homeland Security to Help Haiti After Assassination of Its President

Haitian President Jovenal Moïse. Photo: Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

Senior officials with the FBI and Homeland Security are expected to arrive in Haiti soon to help the island nation following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenal Moïse. 

“The United States remains engaged and in close consultation with our Haitian and international partners to support the Haitian people in the aftermath of the assassination of the president,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, Reuters reports.

The officials will decide how to help after they arrive in Port-au-Prince, Psaki said. 

Moïse was fatally shot at his home in Port-au-Prince on July 7 by a team of commandos, leaving the county without a leader. 

The motive behind the attack remains elusive. 

Several Americans and Columbian nationals were arrested for their alleged role in the attack. 

Weekend Series on Crime History: Gangster Meyer Lansky

Trump Charged Secret Service $10,000+ for Agents to Stay in Rooms at Golf Club

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service was billed more than $10,000 for guest rooms that agents used in May at former President Trump’s golf club in New Jersey, The Washington Post reports.

Although the bill wasn’t itemized, it appears that the Secret Service will pay $566.64 per night for 18 nights in a four-bedroom “cottage” at Trump Bedminster. 

In all, the Secret Service has spent more than $50,000 for agents to stay in rooms since Trump left office in January. 

The Secret Service also was charged nearly $35,000 to rent portable toilets for four months at Bedminster this year.

Since Trump took office, the Secret Service has been charged extravagant fees to protect him. 

In 2017, the Secret Service couldn’t afford to pay hundreds of agents who were responsible for protecting Trump’s large family.

Trump ordered the Secret Service to continue protecting 13 members of his family and at least three appointees beyond his first presidential term. 

Chicago Man Charged with Shooting 2 ATF Agents, Police Officer

Eugene “Gen Gen” McLaurin

By Steve Neavling

A 28-year-old man who allegedly confessed to shooting two ATF agents and a Chicago police officer on Wednesday morning said he mistook them for rival gang members, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Eugene “Gen Gen” McLaurin has been charged with one count of using a dangerous and deadly weapon to assault a special agent, a crime publishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. 

Chicago police arrested McLaurin on Wednesday morning before he was transferred to federal custody on Thursday. 

The law enforcement officers came under fire while inside an unmarked car that was getting on Interstate 57 about 6 a.m. They were conducting an undercover investigation. 

They were treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. One of the agents was shot in the side, and the other was shot in the hand. A bullet grazed the side of the Chicago police officer’s head.  

According to federal prosecutors, McLaurin admitted shooting the officers with a Glock 9mm, saying the officers’ unmarked car matched the description of a car that a friend said had been driven by “opps” – or members of a rival street gang.”

McLaurin has a criminal record. In 2013, he was sentenced to one year in prison for illegal gun possession. In 2015, he was sentenced to five years in prison for illegal gun possession and delivery of methamphetamine

Prospective FBI Agents Are Now Eligible for a Job If They’ve Used Marijuana More Than a Year Ago

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is taking a more tolerant approach to marijuana use among would-be agents. 

Job applicants who have not consumed cannabis for at least one year are now qualified under employment restrictions that were loosened within the past month, Marijuana Moment reports.

Prospective agents were previously disqualified from the joining the bureau if they had used marijuana in the past three years. 

“Candidates cannot have used marijuana or cannabis in any form (natural or synthetic) and in any location (domestic or foreign) within the one (1) year preceding the date of their application for employment,” FBI’s updated job site says. https://www.fbijobs.gov/working-at-FBI/eligibility

Under another change, marijuana use “before the candidate’s 18th birthday is not a disqualifier for FBI employment.” But the latest update adds, “adjudicative personnel will evaluate the candidate by using the ‘whole-person concept.”

While the FBI made no formal announcements of the loosened restrictions, the bureau mentioned drug use among job candidates in a tweeted posted by the bureau’s Chicago Field Office. 

The more tolerant approach to marijuana use comes as many states legalize cannabis for recreational and medicinal use. While marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, Congress is considering decriminalizing it.

Two ATF Agents, Police Officer Shot During Undercover Investigation in Chicago

By Steve Neavling

Two ATF agents and a Chicago police officer who were working undercover were shot Wednesday morning on the city’s southwest side. 

The law enforcement officers came under fire while inside a car that was getting on Interstate 57, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The officers were taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. One of the agents was shot in the side, and the other was shot in the hand. A bullet grazed the side of the Chicago police officer’s head. 

By Wednesday evening, at least two suspects were in custody. 

In a separate shooting Wednesday afternoon, an Indiana police detective serving on an FBI task force was killed during an ambush near a federal building Wednesday afternoon, The Tribune Star reports.

Terre Haute Det. Greg Ferency, a 30-year-veteran of the police department, was shot outside the FBI’s Indianapolis Resident Agency at about 2:15 p.m. 

An FBI agent returned fire, shooting the suspected gunman. 

It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the shooting. 

After Close Encounter with CBP Helicopter, Drone Sped Away at 100 MPH, Police Said

A CBP air interdiction agent flies a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

A drone that flew dangerously close to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter in Tucson, Ariz., in February sped away at 100 mph in strong headwinds, baffling police who gave pursuit.

Police reports obtained from 12 News describe the mysterious encounter that still has authorities miffed.

It appears the remote-controlled aircraft took off from a site about 5 miles south of the city and then flew across Tucson and north over Marana, the FBI previously said in a news release. 

As a Tucson Police Department helicopter gave chase, the crew was surprised by what they were seeing – or weren’t seeing. They couldn’t see the drone with infrared googles, but they spotted a green light that appeared to be on the underbelly of the drone. 

The drone “maneuvered all over the city” and evaded police, according to the report. 

It was certainly bizarre behavior for a drone. Most commercial drones can’t reach anywhere near 100 mph, and they usually can’t travel for more than five miles. 

“[T]his did not appear to be any off the shelf” drone, the pilot wrote in the report.  

Another helicopter crew member said the drone was “very sophisticated/specialized” and was “able to perform like no other…I have observed.”

After more than an hour, the police helicopter was running out of field and had to stop pursing the drone. 

The FBI is helping with the investigation.