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December 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for December, 2021

Border Patrol Agent Who Was Struck by Drunken Driver Remains Hospitalized

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent who was struck by a drunken driver at a freeway checkpoint in southern California remained in the hospital Thursday with life-threatening injuries, The Times of San Diego reports.

The agent, who has not been identified, was helping operate the checkpoint on northbound I-15 at Rainbow Valley Boulevard at about 2:20 a.m. Monday when he was hit by the car. 

The driver, Jaime Alejandro Garcia, 30, of San Bernardino, sped through the area at 60 mph in a 2014 Mini Cooper, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig. 

The agent was “propelled up and over the Mini Cooper” and landed in the freeway’s lanes, Lassig said. 

“(Garcia) continued to drive his vehicle northbound on I-15,” the spokesman said. “USBP agents caught up to the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop approximately one mile from the collision scene.”

The driver was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run.

As of Thursday evening, the agent was at Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar in stable condition. No more details were available. 

Homeland Security Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Hiring First Female Secret Service Agents

Swearing-in ceremony for the Secret Service’s first female special agents on Dec. 15, 1971.

By Steve Neavling

Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of women joining the ranks of the Secret Service.

Five women were appointed to become the agency’s first female special agents on Dec. 15, 1971. 

“We didn’t have an alternative other than to do it; to do it right, to jump a little higher, to try a little harder to shoot a little straighter,” Kathryn (Clark) Childers, one of the first five women sworn in, said, WDVM reports. “I am pleased and proud of the Secret Service for making gender a non-issue.”

Childers was joined by Laurie Anderson, Sue Ann Baker, Holly Hufschmidt and Phyllis Shantz, all of whom served in the Executive Protective Service, now called the Uniformed Division. 

Since then, virtually ever leadership position in the agency has been held by a woman. Some of the top leaders were Director Julia Pierson, Deputy Director Barbara Riggs, and Assistant Director for the Office of Protective Operations Kimberly Cheatle. 

Today, women make up 24% of the Secret Service. 

“What I am hoping for is that we continue the momentum of recruiting, hiring and retaining and advancing women in the Secret Service,” first Latina Deputy Assistant Director Darnelly DeJesus said. 

Watch the ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary.

Homeland Securities Offers Thousands of Dollars to Hackers to Find Vulnerabilities

By Steve Neavling

The Department of Homeland Security is offering hackers thousands of dollars to identify vulnerabilities in its computer systems. 

The bug bounty program, called Hack DHS, is aimed at helping the agency discover vulnerabilities that could be exploited by bad actors. 

Payments will range from $500 to $5,000, with the biggest payouts going to hackers who find the most severe bugs. 

“As the federal government’s cybersecurity quarterback, DHS must lead by example and constantly seek to strengthen the security of our own systems,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement.  “The Hack DHS program incentivizes highly skilled hackers to identify cybersecurity weaknesses in our systems before they can be exploited by bad actors.  This program is one example of how the Department is partnering with the community to help protect our Nation’s cybersecurity.” 

Homeland Security launched its first bug bounty program in 2019. 

Homeland Security Agent Tasered Following Confrontation with Detective

Carmelo Manuel Viera. Photo: Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office. 

By Steve Neavling

A sheriff’s deputy tasered a Homeland Security agent after he allegedly pointed a loaded handgun at two people in a South Carolina sports bar. 

Carmelo Manuel Viera, 47, of Summerville, was charged with two counts of pointing a firearm at a person, unlawful carrying of a pistol, domestic violence and resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, The Post and Carrier reports.

He faces up to 10 years in prison. 

Deputies were called to Shenanigan’s Bar to investigate a man pointing a gun at a woman and bouncer. 

A detective spotted Viera driving a car behind the pub with one of the victims. When Viera was ordered to get out of the car, he walked toward the detective, even though he had been ordered to stop walking. At one point, Viera swung a fist at the detective and then returned to his car and reversed out of the alleyway, according to police. 

Using his squad car, the detective blocked Viera in the alleyway. Viera again exited his car and walked toward the detective, who pulled out his gun and told Viera multiple times to stop walking, according to the report.  

An arriving deputy fired his Taser at Viera, who was incapacitated and then booked in the Dorchester County jail. 

At the time of the incident, Viera was on administrative leave from his Homeland Security job. 

Four FBI Agents Accused of Soliciting Prostitutes Overseas And Lying about It

By Steve Neavling

Four FBI agents hired prostitutes while working overseas and lied to internal investigators about it, according to the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General. 

A fifth of agent is accused of soliciting a prostitute but not hiring her. 

The agents violated FBI and Justice Department policies when they “solicited, procured, and accepted commercial sex,” a summary of the investigation states.

During a polygraph test, the agents denied having sex with prostitutes, according to the report. 

One of the agents provided another FBI official with a “package containing approximately 100 white pills to deliver to a foreign law enforcement officer.”

“During the investigation, the OIG found indications that three of the FBI officials may also have failed to report unofficial contacts with foreign nationals,” the report states. 

So far, of the five agents who solicited sex, two have resigned, two retired and one was removed.”

TSA Reports Record-Breaking Number of guns Confiscated at Airports

By Steve Neavling

The TSA confiscated a record number of guns at airport security checkpoints in 2021, the agency said Monday. 

The agency confiscated 5,700 firearms, surpassing the previous record of 4,400 in 2019, CBS News reports. About 85% of the guns were loaded with ammunition. 

The rate of gun detections in carry-on luggage doubled from the previous high. 

TSA Administrator David Pekoske attributes the record confiscations to more Americans carrying firearms. 

“The reason? I think there’s just more firearm carriage in the country,” Pekoske said. “That’s the best answer I can give you.”

Here are the top 10 airports with firearm confiscations:

  1. Atlanta 
  2. Dallas Fort Worth 
  3. Houston (IAH) 
  4. Phoenix 
  5. Nashville 
  6. Denver 
  7. Fort Lauderdale 
  8. Orlando 
  9. New Orleans 
  10. Salt Lake City 

Border Patrol Agent Struck by Suspected Drunken Driver Along Checkpoint in California

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A suspected drunken driver struck a Border Patrol agent at a freeway checkpoint in southern California early Monday morning. 

The Mini Cooper was traveling about 60 mph at about 2:30 a.m. when it hit the agent, who was working the checkpoint with “all the lanes lit up and traffic cone pattern set up” on I-15 near Rainbow Valley Boulevard, California Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Lassig said, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The agent had major injuries and was rushed to the hospital, where he was in stable condition, Lassig said. 

The 30-year-old driver continued driving after hitting the agent before pulling over less than a mile down the freeway, Lassig said.

The driver, of San Bernardino, was arrested and faces charge of driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run. 

27 Homeland Security Employees Receive 2021 Presidential Rank Awards

By Steve Neavling

More than two dozens Homeland Security employees received the 2021 Presidential Rank Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in the federal career civil service.

“Congratulations to the DHS recipients of the prestigious 2021 Presidential Rank Award, the Nation’s highest civil service recognition, for their exceptional displays of leadership and service,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. “Every single recipient of this award has made a lasting impact on our Department and the Federal government through their talent, integrity, and dedication to our critical mission. In recognizing these incredible public servants for their transformative work, we also celebrate the colleagues who support them. The accomplishments of one are made possible by the contributions of all.”

The recipients of the Distinguished Senior Executive Service Rank Awards, which is presented to leaders who achieve sustained extraordinary accomplishments, are:

  • Angela S. Bailey, Management Directorate
  • Stacey Fitzmaurice, Transportation Security Administration
  • David M. Kohl, Transportation Security Administration
  • Joseph Maher, Office of the General Counsel
  • Gary C. Rasicot, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Keith Turi, Federal Emergency Management Agency

The recipients of the Meritorious Senior Executive Service Rank Awards, which are presented to leaders for sustained accomplishments, are:

  • Donna P. Campagnolo, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Kimberly Cheatle, U.S. Secret Service
  • Susan C. Dunbar, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Paul Fujimura, Transportation Security Administration
  • Karen E. Hanlon, Transportation Security Administration
  • Melanie Harvey, Transportation Security Administration
  • Jennifer B. Higgins, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • James V. Johnson, Science and Technology Directorate
  • Francine J. Kerner, Transportation Security Administration
  • Calvin M. Lederer, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Troy A. Miller, Customs and Border Protection
  • Corey Price, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Timothy Robbins, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Gregory L. Teets, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Kimberly Walton, Transportation Security Administration
  • Kelly Wheaton, Transportation Security Administration

Here’s the complete list of the Presidential Rank Awards.