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Archive for August, 2021

CBP Seizes Thousands of Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Nationwide

Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have seized thousands of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in the past few months, but the investigations are draining resources normally used to intercept drugs, CBP said. 

Agents at the port of Memphis recently found more than 3,000 fake vaccine cards that were inside more than 120 packages, CBP announced. Agents spotted a suspicious shipment from Shenzhen, China, that was headed to New Orleans. The package contained 41 blank, “low quality” counterfeit cards with typos. 

It was the 15th intercepted shipment of the night from all over the country. 

“The recipients of this ubiquitous contraband are unfortunately all over the United States,” CBP said in a news release.

The FBI has warned that it’s a crime to buy, sell or use counterfeit vaccination cards. 

“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” Michael Neipert, area port director of Memphis, said in a statement. “If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision. But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my officer’s time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself. CBP Officers at the Area Port of Memphis remain committed to stopping counterfeit smuggling and helping to protect our communities. But just know that when you order a fake vaxx card, you are using my officers time as they also seize fentanyl and methamphetamines.”

Charles A. Dayoub Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Kansas City Field Office

FBI Special Agent Charles Dayoub

By Steve Neavling

Charles A. Dayoub, who was serving as section chief in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Office. 

Dayoub began his career as a special agent in 2005, when he was assigned to the El Paso Field Office in Texas, investigating counterterrorism as a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). He also served on the El Paso SWAT team. 

In 2008, he joined the JTTF in the Washington Field Office.  

In 2011, Dayoub was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters, where he oversaw international terrorism originating in the Horn of Africa. 

He was promoted in 2013 to supervisory special agent of a JTTF squad in the Philadelphia Field Office. 

In 2015, Dayoub was picked to lead the Newtown Square Resident Agency of the Philadelphia Field Office. As the supervisory senior resident agent, he supervised multiple programs, including white-collar crime, violent crime, crimes against children, health care fraud, and gangs and criminal enterprise investigations. 

 In 2017, he returned to the Counterterrorism Division as the assistant section chief of the international terrorism operations section that covered extraterritorial terrorism investigations and operations in the Middle East and Europe and includes the FBI’s Fly Team. 

In 2019, Dayoub was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Cyber Branch at the Washington Field Office, where he was responsible for cyber national security and criminal computer intrusion investigations and operations. He also oversaw the Cyber Task Force and the Computer Analysis Response Team. 

In 2020, he was promoted to section chief of the Counterintelligence Division at headquarters. 

Before joining the FBI, Dayoub was enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and practiced law in Dallas.  He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Baylor University and a Juris Doctor from the Texas Tech University School of Law. 

Ex-FBI Deputy Director McCabe Lambasts Trump for ‘Threatening Law Enforcement’

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe accused former President Trump of “threatening law enforcement” after he demanded “justice” against the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 riot. 

In an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” McCabe called Trump’s remarks “incredibly dangerous.”

“We know this for a fact. It is not something we are theorizing about,” he said. “We have seen before the impact that the president’s words have on his most die-hard and emotional supporters.”

McCabe cited examples of Trump’s rhetoric leading to violence.  

“We have seen an attempted bombing plot by a domestic extremist who was arrested some years ago who said he was following the directions of President Trump,” he said. “We all saw the insurrectionists on January 6th acting what many of them had said, they thought they were following his direction.”

In a statement last week, Trump suggested Babbitt, who stormed the Capitol with other insurrectionists, was a patriot. 

“I spoke to the wonderful mother and husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun,” Trump said. “We know who he is. If this happened to the ‘other side,’ there would be riots all over America, and yet there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side.”

Trump continued, “The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be justice!”

McCabe explained how Trump’s remarks were dangerous. 

“Let’s face it,” he said. “When he says ‘we know who you are,’ that’s a threat. That’s the same sort of language that a mob boss or a drug kingpin would use to threaten a subordinate.”

McCabe added, “You have the former president of the United States threatening members of law enforcement. It’s just outrageous.”

Border Patrol Agent Struck, Dragged by Car at Checkpoint in Texas

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A 37-year-old man was charged after authorities said he struck and dragged a Border Patrol agent with his car while smuggling a migrant in Texas. 

The assault occurred at the Ysleta Station checkpoint in El Paso County at midnight on Aug. 10. 

It was the third assault on a Border Patrol agent in one week, according to the FBI. 

Ivan Mendoza, of El Paso, was being questioned by an agent at a secondary inspection at the immigration checkpoint. When the agent tried to open one of the car’s doors, Mendoza sped off while striking and dragging the agent, the FBI said. 

The agent was taken to the hospital in non-life-threatening condition. 

“The men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol work tirelessly to keep our borders safe,” FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Downey said in a statement. “Over the past week we have received three assault on federal officer allegations targeting U.S. Border Patrol agents. Assaults on Border Patrol agents or any other federal agents/officers or task force officers will not be tolerated and will be addressed swiftly by our office so they can continue to carry out their sworn duty to protect our communities.”

Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Gloria I. Chavez added, “Our agents continue to display valor and courage in the most trying circumstances. This is just another example of the inherent dangers our agents face every day.”

D.C. Panel Approves Suspending Ex-FBI Lawyer Kevin Clinesmith’s License for 1 Year

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith.

By Steve Neavling

A legal disciplinary committee in Washington D.C. has approved a negotiated agreement to suspend former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith’s law license for one year after he was convicted of altering an email in connection with the surveillance of former Trump aide Carter Page.

Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 400 hours of community service on Jan. 29 for altering an email used to seek the continued surveillance of Page. The email suggested that Page was not a source for the CIA, even though he had a relationship with the agency. 

In June, Clinestmith agreed to the one-year suspension of his law license. The suspension is retroactive to start in August 2020.

Clinesmith faces a two-year suspension as part of a separate disciplinary deal in Michigan. 

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility noted that Clinesmith showed remorse and had no prior disciplinary history. 

“All of the evidence regarding respondent’s intent supports the contention that he did not act with fraudulent intent,” the committee said.

The D.C. Court o f Appeals will review the committee report. 

Former DEA Agent Sentenced to 13+ Years for Perjury, Obstruction, Theft

Former DEA Agent Chad Allan Scott. Photo: St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office

By Steve Neavling

A former DEA agent was sentenced Thursday to more than 13 years in prison on nine charges related to official misconduct. 

Chad Allan Scott, 53, of Covington, La., was convicted in August 2019 and June 2021 of perjury, obstruction of justice, theft, and other charges. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Scott obtained a conviction against an alleged drug dealer by committing perjury and directing others to commit perjury. To take possession of a truck that a drug dealer bought him, he falsified forms. And worried about an investigation against him and two other law enforcement officers, he and the others conspired to throw evidence of their misdeeds into the swamps outside New Orleans. 

He also stole money and possessions from suspects in drug cases. 

“Chad Scott wielded his police powers to victimize the very citizens he had sworn to serve and protect, eroding the community’s trust in law enforcement and undermining the rule of law,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid said in a statement. “Today’s sentencing shows that law enforcement officers who betray the public’s trust will be held accountable and punished accordingly.”

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram added, “Chad Scott took an oath to serve his community with integrity, but rather than use his badge to protect his community, he used it to break the law. This goes against everything that the Drug Enforcement Administration stands for. Scott betrayed the very people he was entrusted to protect and today he is being held accountable for his crimes.”

Douglas A. Williams, Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office, said the case against Scott shows “that no one is above the law.”

“Corrupt officials who break the law and breach their oaths will be prosecuted and sent to prison, even if they come from within the ranks of federal law enforcement,” Williams said. 

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Remembered After Fatal Crash

Photo: U.S. Border Patrol via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

Douglas L. Hatcher was just three months from retiring from the U.S. Border Patrol when he died in an off-duty recreational vehicle crash in Texas earlier this week.  

Hatcher, 50, was a supervisory agent at the Uvalde Station in South Texas. 

He died Monday at University Hospital in San Antonio. 

“We are deeply saddened to inform you of the loss of one of our own,” the Uvalde Station said on Facebook. “He will be missed by everyone.”

Hatcher began his career in Carrizo Springs before he was transferred to Del Rio Sector.

While not working, Hatcher was a frequent volunteer, youth football coach, and father of two sons, according to Uvalde Leader-News.

“He was a good father, a good man, and a good neighbor,” Hatchher’s longtime friend and neighbor, Betty Hilderbran, said. “He always had a smile.”

First United Methodist Church member Nancy Feely recalled how Hatcher delivered a box of to-go meals to coworkers who weren’t able to attend a law enforcement appreciate dinner on July 24.

“Our deepest condolences to the entire Hatcher family,” Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco said. “May he rest in peace. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and all the United States Border Patrol agents. May God keep y’all strong and united through these difficult times.”

Inmate Sentenced to 21 Years Behind Bars in Murder-for-Hire Plot Against U.S. Attorney, FBI Informant

Richard Robert Gilbert. Photo Spartanburg County Detention Center.

By Steve Neavling

A federal inmate has been sentenced to an additional 21 years behind bars for a murder-for-hire plot against an assistant U.S. attorney and a confidential FBI informant, the Justice Department announced this week.

Richard Robert Gilbert, a Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate, was serving a 130-month sentence for trafficking methamphetamine in Kentucky in 2017. While in prison, he used a contraband cell phone in an attempt to hire a hitman to kill the federal prosecutor and a key witness in his drug trafficking case. 

Unbeknownst to Gilbert, he was arranging the murder with an undercover FBI task force officer. As a downpayment for the hit, Gilbert sent the officer a $2,000 check from his prison canteen account. He planned to pay the rest using money from real estate investments. 

Gilbert provided maps and directions to the undercover officer. 

U.S. District Juge Henry M. Herlong, Jr., sentenced Gilbert to 262 months in prison. 

The FBI and BOP Special Investigative Services Team led the case.