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December 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for December, 2021

Brutal Jan. 6 Attacks on Police Revealed on Newly Released Video Released by DOJ

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department released three hours of footage from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that showed police officers coming under intense attack. 

The videos were released after several media outlets sued for access. 

The footage shows rioters “push(ing) police further back, jabbing at them with flag poles and hitting them with a baton, spraying pepper spray, taking riot shields and crushing an officer in a door all while banging against the walls and cheering as they filmed the assault on their phones,” CNN said.

It’s the longest government-captured video released by U.S. authorities. 

More than 700 people have been charged so far in connection with the insurrection. 

A U.S. House committee is investigating the riot. 

Exploding Golf Balls? Machine Gun Bong? TSA Found Some Weird Items at Airports

By Steve Neavling

Yes, the TSA confiscated a record number of guns at airport security checkpoints in 2021. 

But that wasn’t all the agency found as travelers resumed traveling during the pandemic.

TSA agents discovered exploding golf balls, a stun gun disguised as a smart phone, a Nightmare on Elm Street-themed cleaver, exploding golf balls, grenades, a realistic replica bomb, a machine gun bong and bullets hidden in a Mentos gun container. 

The TSA shared the confiscated items on Instagram

Exploding golf balls. All photos via TSA.
Bullets inside a Mentos container.
A replica time bomb.
A stun gun disguised as a smart phone.
A bong resembling a machine gun.

Merry Christmas From

Photo by Michael Lucido

Washington Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Shooting at ATF Agents

By Steve Neavling

A Washington man who fired a shotgun at four ATF agents has been sentenced to 35 years in prison, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Patrick Elliott Pearson, 49, of Moses Lake, was convicted by a jury of assaulting the agents, engaging in a drug conspiracy, discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

Pearson was accused of running a meth and heroin ring in greater Grant County and Yakima areas from 2015 to 2019. 

When ATF agents, Grant County detectives and local police officers descended on Pearson’s compound on the morning of July 16, 2019 to serve search and arrest warrants, Pearson, from inside his trailer, repeatedly shot at agents from the ATF’s Special Response Team. 

Unable to see if anyone else was inside the trailer, ATF agents didn’t fire back. 

Pearson tried to take his own life by turning the shotgun on himself and was life-flighted to Spokane for medical treatment. 

“No one can be allowed to shoot at law enforcement. Numerous brave ATF agents went to Mr. Pearson’s trailer that morning to do their jobs by executing a lawful court order and serving a valid arrest warrant,” U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref said in a statement. “Thanks to Mr. Pearson’s poor aim, this community has not had to endure the potential tragedy of fallen ATF officers. Today’s sentence sends a clear warning to anyone who thinks they can shoot their way out of an arrest and get away with it – they cannot. If they try, the United States Attorney’s Office will work with its federal, state, and local partners to investigate and prosecute them to the fullest extent provided by law. When Mr. Pearson saw on his video screens that ATF was present with a warrant, he simply had to surrender to avoid the most serious charges in this case. Instead, with reckless disregard for human life, he tried to hurt or kill a number of agents.”

Jonathan T. McPherson, special agent in charge of the ATF Seattle Field Division, added, “The actions of the ATF Special Agents and officers from our partner agencies that day are truly commendable. They acted with high regard not only for the safety of the surrounding community, but also for Mr. Pearson, despite the fact that he was shooting at our Special Response Team. We are thankful none of our Special Agents were injured and that Mr. Pearson will serve a significant sentence.”

Newly Hired TSA Agent Literally Leaps into Action to Save Baby’s Life at Airport

TSA Agent Cecilia Morales. Photo: TSA

By Steve Neavling

A rookie TSA agent leaped over a conveyor belt at Newark Liberty International Airport to save a baby who wasn’t breathing. 

Cecilia Morales, a trained emergency medical technician who joined the agency in late October, sprung to action when a mother screamed for help. Morales shouted instructions to the mother, “but she was so nervous and I knew if I didn’t get over there, it wasn’t going to be a good outcome.”

“I jumped over the checkpoint conveyor belt rollers and she gave me the baby,” Morales said in a news release. “I performed the infant Heimlich maneuver on him.”

Holding the 2-month-old baby to keep his airway open, Morales patted him on the back. After the first effort failed, she did it again, and the baby began to breathe again. 

As an EMT, Morales previously saved adults and children with the Heimlich, but she never tried it on a baby. 

“Two months on the job and she’s literally a life-saver,” Thomas Carter, TSA’s federal security director for New Jersey said. “Officer Morales’s quick reaction and actions helped ensure that this family will have a happy holiday season. Her actions were inspiring.”

TSA Manager Ayrana Frazier added, “In the moment Officer Morales was selfless, and her priority was to save a life. We are proud to call her one of our own.” 

Former FBI Chief of Staff Corey Ellis Named Interim U.S. Attorney

Corey F. Ellis

By Steve Neavling

Corey F. Ellis, former FBI chief of staff, has been appointed as interim U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina. 

Ellis is replacing former acting U.S. Attorney M. Rhett DeHart and will be responsible for federal criminal prosecutions and civil litigation within South Carolina. He’ll supervise about 62 U.S. attorneys, 75 support staff and 18 contract support staff, the DOJ said in a statement.

Ellis served as chief of staff for FBI Director Christopher Wray. He also held several leadership roles in the Justice Department, including as chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. Ellis also was the first assistant in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina. 

His career as a prosecutor began in the district attorney’s office in Hendersonville, North Carolina. 

Ellis received an undergraduate degree from Brown University and his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law. 

FBI Agents Blended into Portland’s Racial Justice Protests to Conduct Surveillance

A fire at a protest in Portland. Photo: Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

FBI agents embedded themselves in Portland’s racial justice protests, wearing plainclothes and marching alongside activists to record their activities and notify local police of potential arrests, The New York Times reports

The covert surveillance of antifascists, communists, racial justice advocates and anarchists continued after protest crowds grew smaller but also rowdier, smashing windows and setting fires. 

When protests turned violent, agents increased their surveillance and reported back to local law enforcement. 

Inside the bureau, some agents worried that the protests went too far, raising First Amendment issues. 

Kieran L. Ramsey, special agent in charge of the Portland Field Office, defended the surveillance, saying agents were pursuing “violent instigators who exploit legitimate, peaceful protests and engage in violations of federal law.”

“At all times, our focus was on those planning and committing significant criminal activity or acts of violence,” Ramsey said. 

The surveillance continued into 2021. 

FBI Pledges to Continue Investigating Pam Am Flight 103 on 33rd Anniversary of Bombing

Crashed Pan Am Flight 103/Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

On the 33rd anniversary of the terrorist bombing, the FBI said it’s not done investigating the attack on Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people. 

“Thirty-three years after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the #FBI and our partners are still seeking justice for the 270 victims,” the bureau tweeted Tuesday. 

The Boeing 747 was en route to New York from London when it exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. The bomb was hidden inside a cassette player stored in a suitcase. 

All 259 passengers and crew members were killed, and an additional 11 people died from the wreckage on the ground. 

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah were charged in connection with the bombing in 1991. A decade later, the court acquitted Fhimah and convicted al Megrahi. A third person, Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, was charged in the case in December 2020 on the 32nd anniversary of the bombing.

The Libyan government accepted responsibility and paid nearly $3 billion to the victims’ families. 

Families of the victims have continued to push for an investigation to determine who else was responsible. 

The Justice Department also issued a statement Tuesday, saying it was continuing to investigate the case. 

“One year ago today, the Justice Department filed criminal charges against a third conspirator,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said. “Those charges are one more step toward justice for those we lost and they reflect the resolve of the women and men of the Department of Justice – no matter how long it takes – to see those responsible brought to justice in the United States.”