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Archive for December, 2021

FBI Reviewing Ghislaine Maxwell’s Black Book of British Associates

By Allan Lengel

The FBI is looking at convicted sex abuser Ghislaine Maxwell’s list of more than 300 British associates, the Mirror reports.

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell

The British paper reports that U.S. prosecutors vow to pursue those involved in her “pyramid scheme of abuse”.

The names contained in the ‘little black book’ she built with her sex offender lover Jeffrey Epstein include some of the UK’s highest-profile people, including their pal Prince Andrew, the publication writes and goes on to report:

There is no allegation of wrongdoing against those detailed in the directory, with the FBI seeing them as potential witnesses “unless the evidence leads them elsewhere.”

2021: Looking Back at Heroic Border Patrol Agents

A Border Patrol agent rescued a driver from this burning car in metro Detroit in July. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

Fast-acting Border Patrol agents – some of them off-duty – sprung into action this year when they saw people in danger. 

In November, agents form the McAllen Border Patrol Station in Texas rescued a man from a burning car just before it burst into flames. The agents heard a vehicle crash and found the driver bleeding and slumped over the wheel. They wasted no time pulling the driver to safety. 

In September, agents from the Brownsville Station rescued a woman from a smoking car before it erupted in flames on U.S. Highway 77 in Brownsville, Texas.

On the same day, an off-duty Border Patrol agent from the Laredo Sector witnessed an armed man destroying property in a parking lot and immediately called police. The gunman then began opening fire aimlessly, “causing chaos with the surrounding civilians,” CBP said in a news release. After helping clear people from the scene, the agent identified himself and deescalated the situation before police arrived.

On Aug. 29, CBP officers were credited with saving the life of a young woman who appeared to be overdosing on opioids. Two men carried the semi-conscious woman to the pedestrian lanes at the Douglas Port of Entry in Arizona on Sunday evening. While a supervisory CBP officer notified the Douglas Fire Department, a CBP-trained medic administered two doses of Narcan. 

On July 31, an off-duty Border Patrol agent saved a man from a burning car in metro Detroit.

Also in July, an off-duty agent from the El Centro Sector helped thwart a carjacking in what the agency called a “heroic act.”

In the same month, an off-duty Border Patrol agent in San Diego detained a man who was slashing a knife through the air while approaching bystanders.

These were just some of the heroic actions of Border Patrol agents this year. 

Retired FBI Agent Gets Second Chance After Prosecutors Say He Charged Children with His Truck

By Steve Neavling

A retired FBI agent who brought down Hell’s Angels and corrupt politicians dodged jail time and a criminal conviction after he was accused of charging children on bikes with his truck.

Prosecutors said Clifford Hedges, 62, of Longmeadow, Mass., chased middle-school age children after they blocked his truck and taunted him on June 2, 2020. He was charged with four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and one count of negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

After pleading guilty to “facts sufficient” on Wednesday, Hedges was given one year of probation and ordered to attend an anger management course, MassLive reports.

If he meets the conditions of his probation, the case will be dismissed in a year. 

Hedges is a 27-year veteran of the FBI. 

Homeland Security Investigations Wants a Divorce from ICE

By Steve Neavling

Hampered by ICE’s negative reputation, federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations are making a dramatic proposal: Leave ICE. 

The suggestion was laid out in a report obtained by The Washington Post.

“Separating HSI into its own standalone agency is not simply a branding preference,” agents said in the document. “HSI’s affiliation with ICE significantly impedes investigations and HSI’s ability to fulfill its mission.”

The agents said their relationship with ICE is endangering their safety, frightening crime victims, and undermining their partnerships with other agencies. 

Congressional approval would be needed to break HSI from ICE. 

CBP Deletes Border Patrol Official’s Tweet about Arrest of ‘Potential Terrorist’

Photo: Shuttersotck

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol official’s tweet that said agents detained a “potential terrorist” was deleted because CBP said it violated protocols and contained “law enforcement sensitive information,” Fox News reports.

In a tweet on Dec. 20, Yuma Sector Chief Chris Clem said an unidentified 21-year-old man was arrested near Yuma, Ariz., the previous week. 

“#USBP #YumaSector agents apprehended a potential terrorist who illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico Thursday night,” Clem wrote. “The 21-year-old migrant from Saudi Arabia is linked to several Yemeni subjects of interest. #BorderSecurity is #NationalSecurity.”

In a statement, CBP spokesman Luis Miranda said the post was removed because “it contained law enforcement sensitive information, violating agency protocols.”

“All individuals encountered at or between U.S. ports of entry are screened and vetted against a broad range of law enforcement and intelligence information to determine if they pose a threat to national security or public safety, consistent with the law,” Miranda said.

Miranda added that the investigation is ongoing. 

Soon after Clem’s tweet, the Saudi embassy said the man pictured in the tweet was “not a Saudi citizen.”

TSA Employees Hit Hardest by COVID-19, with More Than 12,500 Workers Infected

By Steve Neavling

More than 12,500 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. 

Of those, 33 have died, according to TSA data.

No federal agency has been harder hit by the virus than the TSA. 

Most of the infected employees are screening officers, who have frequent contact with travelers. 

Miami International led the nation in COVID-19 infections, with 658 employees testing positive. John F. Kennedy International in New York followed with 546, and Los Angeles International Airport had  452.

Other airpots with at least 200 infected TSA employees:  

Newark Liberty International 455

Chicago O’Hare International 444

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International 418

Orlando International 404 

Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport 391

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International 374

George Bush Intercontinental in Houston 316

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas 276

Phoenix Sky Harbor International 273

Logan International in Boston 259

Philadelphia International 217

LaGuardia in New York 214

Denver International 206

Former CBP Officer Sentenced to Probation in Plot to Intimidate Victim of Son’s Sex Crimes

Elizabeth Landeros

By Steve Neavling

A former CBP officer who attempted to interfere in a sex crimes investigation involving her son has been sentenced to three years of probation. 

Elizabeth Landeros, 44, who resigned as part of a sentencing agreement, was accused of trying to intimidate a victim who had accused her son of child molestation. 

Landeros’ son was indicted on five counts of sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15 in June 2018. Prosecutors said Landeros used various law enforcement databases to search for the victim’s personal information and then conspired to pressure the victim to recant the allegations against her son.

The FBI, Homeland Security and Office of Inspector General investigated the case. 

Landeros was sentenced in Pima County Superior Court. 

Here’s a copy of the sentencing agreement.

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman Named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year for 2021

By Allan Lengel

Every year federal law enforcement agents and officers put their lives on the line.

Officer Eugene Goodman on Jan. 6 (Screenshot from video)

With that in mind, we can think of no better person to give the ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year Award for 2021 than Eugene Goodman, the veteran U.S. Capitol Police officer who faced an angry mob on his own in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and managed to lure the rioters away from the Senate chamber at great risk to himself. It’s the selflessness that represents the best in federal law enforcement.

It’s the first time since we began giving out the award in 2008 that it is going to a federal police officer rather than a federal agent or prosecutor.

Jan. 6 stands as a shameful stain on American history. But from that comes the pride many Americans feel for the heroics of Eugene Goodman. The U.S. Senate certainly felt that pride, adopting a resolution in February awarding Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal.

Previous recipients of the ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year Award include: Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008):  Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009), Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010);  Thomas Brandon, deputy Director of ATF (2011); FBI agent John G. Perren, who was assistant director of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Directorate (2012); David Bowdich, special agent in charge of counterterrorism in the Los Angeles FBI Field Office(2013);  Loretta Lynch, who was U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn at the time (2014); John “Jack” Riley,  the DEA’s acting deputy administrator (2015); D.C.  U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips (2016); Joe Rannazzisi, a retired DEA deputy assistant administrator (2017); Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (2018); DEA agent Joe Piersante (2019) and Geoffrey S. Berman, the ex-U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York (2020).