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Archive for November 4th, 2021

Magnus, Biden’s Nominee to Lead CBP, Advances to Full Senate Vote

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, picked to lead CBP.

By Steve Neavling

A Senate committee on Wednesday narrowly advanced President Biden’s nomination of Chris Magnus to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

The Senate Finance Committee voted 15-13, pushing the nomination to a vote before the full Senate. The only Republican to vote in favor of Magnus was Sen. Bill Casey, of Louisiana. 

Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., cited Magnus’ experience as a police chief and his compassionate but tough stance on immigration. 

“He shares the view that enforcing our immigration laws and treating people humanely — those two priorities are not mutually exclusive. We can do both,” Wyden said, Arizona Public Radio reports.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, wasn’t on board, pointing to Magnus’ testimony during a conformation hearing last month. 

“The nominee was asked by members of this committee multiple times to acknowledge we face a crisis. He declined to do so,” Crapo said.

During the confirmation hearing, Magnus sought to assuage some Republicans by signaling support for two of former President Trump’s most controversial policies. He said he would consider finishing some of the border wall that the Biden administration has stopped and indicated he supported the Trump-era public health order that authorizes the rapid removal of migrants and asylum-seekers without an immigration hearing. 

Magnus, 60, who has served as Tucson’s police chief since 2016, was a vocal critic of some of Trump’s immigration policies and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement before his nomination. 

If confirmed by the Senate, Magnus has a tough job ahead of him as the nation grapples with a border problem and the separation of migrant children from their families. 

Magnus also would be the first openly gay CBP commissioner. 

Biden’s ATF nominee David Chipman floundered in the Senate after every Republican and Angus King, an independent from Maine, refused to support him.

Suspected Leader of MS-13 in Honduras Added to FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List

By Steve Neavling

The suspected leader of the notorious MS-13 gang in Honduras has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. 

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias, also known as Alexander Mendoza and Porky. 

Archaga Carias has been charged with racketeering conspiracy, possession of machines guns and cocaine importation conspiracy in the Southern District of New York. 

“He’s wanted for, among other crimes, facilitating the transportation of multi-ton loads of cocaine through Honduras into the United States, as well as possession and conspiracy to possess machine guns that were used by gang members to support international drug trafficking,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Nick Durgin said in a statement Wednesday.

Archaga Carias is accused of murdering and participating in the murder of rival gang members and others associated with M-13. He was sentenced to a lengthy prison term after a Honduran tribunal convicted him of conspiracy and other charges in August 2018.  

Then in February 2020, Archaga Carias escaped Honduran custody when about 20 armed men wearing police and military uniforms stormed a courthouse where he had a scheduled hearing, killing multiple police officers. 

The Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV), which formed in 2019 to combat MS-13, is investigating Archaga Carias’ disappearance. 

“This is a joint effort,” Durgin, who supports JTFV for the FBI, said. “When we work together with our partners, we can see the crossover and better address the threat.” 

M-13 poses a serious threat in Central America, the U.S., and other parts of the world, the FBI said. 

“MS-13 is an international criminal organization whose business model is extreme violence,” Durgin said. “Capturing this individual would send a clear message to MS-13 that their violent activity and narcotics trafficking will not be tolerated.”