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Archive for August, 2021

Secret Service Warned of Potential for Violence a Day Before Jan. 6 Riot

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service warned the U.S. Capitol Police about the potential for violence on Jan. 5, a day before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, according to new documents obtained by POLITICO.

It’s just the latest lapse in intelligence by the Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement agencies that failed act on credible warnings.

On Jan. 5, the Secret Service emailed a tip issued by a “concerned citizen” at the Denver Field Office about people who were headed to Washington D.C. to “attend tomorrow’s rally and ‘incite violence.’”

The email was obtained by the watchdog group Citizens of Responsibility and Ethics in Washington via a Freedom of Information Act request.

“Per our Denver Field Office, a concerned citizen reported that [REDACTED] were flying into BWI today to attend tomorrow’s rally and ‘incite violence,’” the email states. “In addition, the source reports that [REDACTED] previously made threats against President-Elect Biden. The source also reported that [REDACTED] was driving to DC with gear and weapons, to include ballistic helmets, armored gloves and vests, rifles, and suppressors.”

The email referred to the travelers’ motives, saying they were “in the area to protest election fraud, support President Trump.”

Included in the email was a screenshot of a Facebook post from one of the people attending the rally.

“We have an opportunity in Front of us to take back our country and abolish the deep state once and for all,” the post says. “Call me some right wing conspiracy theorist if you will I don’t give a [f—] I read the Facts and I study history.”

Another email from the Secret Service warned of “multiple threatening Parler Posts directed at DC Police.”

“While the subject appears to be targeting MPDC, the subject calls for violence against any law enforcement in DC that ‘sides with the enemy,’” the Secret Service email states.

Despite this and other warnings, the Capitol Police were unprepared for the violence that broke out on Jan. 6, which resulted in the injuries of dozens of Capitol Police officers.

In a statement, the Capitol Police said it had received no intelligence to suggest “a large-scale attack.”

Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Springfield Division Sean Cox Set to Retire

FBI Special Agent Sean M. Cox

By Steve Neavling

Sean M. Cox, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Springfield Division, plans to retire next month. 

Cox, a 22-year veteran of the bureau, has led the Springfield Division since 2014. 

Cox joined the FBI in June 1999, with his first assignment at the Chicago Division, where he investigated narcotics, fugitives and counterterrorism matters.

He was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters in 2004. He managed the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List and served as the bureau’s representative to the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC). 

In 2006, Cox was promoted to a supervisory special agent in the Milwaukee Division, where he created the division’s first Field Intelligence Group. In 2009, he took over supervisory responsibilities for the division’s counterintelligence program.

Cox was promoted in 2011 to assistant special agent in charge of the National Security Branch in the St. Louis Division, where he oversaw the division’s international and domestic terrorism, counterintelligence, cyber, intelligence, crisis management, security, and surveillance and aviation programs. He also served as the leadership coordinator for the Leadership Development Program at FBI headquarters.

Before joining the FBI, Cox served in the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin. He received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Mount Senario College.

Man Wearing Fake Border Patrol Uniform in a Bogus Patrol Vehicle Arrested with 10 Migrants

The driver of this Bogus Border Patrol vehicle was arrested. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

A human smuggling suspect was busted wearing a fake Border Patrol uniform while driving a phony patrol vehicle in Arizona.

The driver and 10 migrants inside the vehicle were arrested near Tucson by Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol agents, said John R. Modlin, interim chief Border Patrol agent of the Tucson Sector.

“This is not a Border Patrol vehicle,” Modlin tweeted with a photo of the SUV.

The vehicle bears a striking resemblance to the authentic Border Patrol vehicle. 

Modlin didn’t mention when the incident occurred or provide any more details about the driver, such as his age and nationality. 

In a separate incident, Customs and Border Protection officers at the Chicago International Mail Branch seized 28 counterfeit DEA badges this week. Last weekend, CBP officers discovered eight fake DEA badges and one counterfeit FBI badge.

Border Patrol Agent Boosts Morale with New Mural at Agency’s Presidio Station

Border Patrol Agent Janenne Ellis in front of a new mural at the Presidio Border Patrol Station. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

It’s so hot in Presidio, Texas, that most buildings are light tan or brown to keep the heat down.  

At the Presidio Border Patrol Station, a new building was brought in, with its tan exterior facing the main entrance gate. 

For Border Patrol Agent Janenne Ellis, the broad side of the building was a perfect “blank canvas” that could boost morale. 

“That is what you see when you come in the gate here,” Ellis, an Army veteran, said. “The side of a blank wall. When they were putting it up, I was thinking that would be so cool if we had a mural here.”

And so began a project to paint a large mural incorporating symbols and silhouettes representing the region and Border Patrol across the length of the building. Featured in the mural are horse patrols, ATVs, an unmanned aerial system, and Texas itself. 

Ellis, the only female agent at the Presidio Station, was joined by her husband and other volunteers, including coworkers and medical staff, to paint the mural using their own supplies on off-duty hours. 

Silverio Escontrias, Presidio’s patrol agent in charge, was impressed. 

“The mural is a direct reflection of Presidio Stations Esprit de Corps and our agents’ dedication to border security,” he said.

Sean L. McGoffin, Big Bend Sector’s chief patrol agent, said he’s considering similar initiatives across the sector.

“I am grateful for the pride and initiative shown by Watch Commander Ellis and everyone that assisted with this project,” McGoffin said. “This initiative is a direct reflection of the professionalism and attention to detail that all our Big Bend Sector employees put into their duties on a daily basis. Going above and beyond the call of duty by utilizing their own resources and time truly embodies the U.S. Border Patrol’s motto of Honor First.”     

A new mural at the Presidio Border Patrol Station. Photo: CBP.

Antony A. Jung Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Anchorage Field Office

Special Agent Antony Jung

By Steve Neavling

Antony A. Jung, who was serving as a section chief in the FBI’s Information Management Division in Virginia, has been named special agent in charge of the bureau’s Anchorage Field Office in Alaska. 

Jung became an FBI special agent in 2004, when he was assigned to the Baton Rouge Resident Agency in the New Orleans Field Office. In addition to investigating criminal matters, he led a Safe Streets Gang Task Force and a crisis negotiator.

In 2009, he moved to the Miami Field Office and was later promoted to supervisory special agent and moved to the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters and the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Fusion Center. 

In 2014, Jung was chosen to serve as a supervisory special agent in the Kansas City Field Office in Missouri, where he led a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and squad investigating transnational organized crime and OCDETF matters.

In 2017, Jung was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Criminal and Administrative Branch of the Anchorage Field Office, where he also served as the acting special agent in charge.

In 2019, Jung became section chief in the Information Management Division, where he led the National Name Check Program Section. 

Before joining the FBI, Jung was a lieutenant with the Florida Highway Patrol. Previously he was a state trooper, serving on the Tactical Response Team and was a certified police and firearms instructor. 

Jung also served in the Army National Guard. He received a bachelor’s of science degree and a master’s of science degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida and a doctorate in human services from Capella University. 

He is a recipient of the FBI director’s Manuel J. Gonzales Ethics Award.

Internal U.S. Capitol Police Investigation Clears Officer in Jan. 6 Fatal Shooting

By Allan Lengel

An internal investigation conducted by the U.S. Capitol Police has cleared the officer of wrongdoing in the Jan. 6 shooting at the Capitol of Ashli Babbitt of California, the Washington Post reports.

Ashli Babbitt

The findings come in wake of the Justice Department’s decision that the officer would not face criminal charges. The 35-year-old California woman was shot as she tried to force her way through a set of doors inside the Capitol during the insurrection while Congress members feared for their safety.

President Trump had praised Babbitt and questioned the officer’s action.

The department said in a memo outlining the investigation that the officer acted within department policy, which allows deadly force to protect themselves or others from serious physical harm, the Post reports.

Mexico President Open to Freeing Drug Lord Imprisoned for Murder of DEA Agent Camarena

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

By Steve Neavling

Convicted drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, who was imprisoned for the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, may be a free man soon.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that he’s open to granting a pardon to Felix Gallardo under a proposed new law aimed at freeing thousands of prisoners. 

“If it is justified,” Lopez Obrador said of the drug lord’s potential release, “of course, yes.”

“I also want him to understand my situation, that I do not want anyone to suffer. I do not want anyone to be in jail. I am a humanist,” Lopez Obrador said.  

He added that the case will be reviewed by prosecutors. 

Felix Gallardo, now 75, was considered the godfather of Mexican drug smuggling and the co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the Camarena’s murder, and in 2017, he was re-sentenced by a Mexican court to 37 years in prison and a reparation payment equivalent to $1.2 million.

Lopez Obrado made the remark following a prison interview with Felix Gallardo that was aired by NBC News.

‘Morale Is in the Toilet:’ Border Patrol Agents Overwhelmed by Surge in Illegal Immigration

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents are becoming exceedingly “downtrodden” as illegal immigration increases and resources remain scant, according to the agency’s union said. 

“Morale is in the toilet,” Jon Anfinsen, the president of the National Border Patrol Council’s Del Rio chapter for the Border Patrol’s union, told The Washington Examiner. “Morale is low because agents aren’t allowed to do their job — if our job is to be out patrolling the border in between the ports of entry and actively searching for people who have crossed illegally, but we’re not allowed to go do that job, it basically creates this defeated feeling in everyone.”

Take a 245-mile stretch of the border surrounding Del Rio, Texas, where there are only 12 agents – the lowest number in Border Patrol’s history, despite a surge in illegal immigration. 

Since agents aren’t allowed to speak with reporters, The Washington Examiner interviewed five current agents and three former senior officials to get a sense of what it’s like to work along the border. 

“Agents are primarily indoors, processing, and we’re dealing with the people who are flagging us down — the ones who are walking up to us and turning themselves in,” Anfinsen said. “Meanwhile, the immigrants who don’t want anything to do with us, they’re running away, although sometimes they’re walking because they have no need to run because we’re not there.”

Illegal immigration has reached its highest level since 2000, and it gets worse by the month. Of the illegal crossings, 60% are in Texas and New Mexico. But in Texas, as many as half of the agents have been removed from the border to process people in custody. Countless numbers of migrants are slipping into the border unnoticed.

“Morale is tanking fast. This can be seen in the simple statements made by agents, but even more importantly, it can be seen in increasing processing times. Agents are just flat tired, and we are seeing and hearing it,” a former senior official at CBP wrote in an email.