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Archive for February, 2022

FBI Helps Portland Police Investigate ‘Ridiculous’ Number of Shootings

Kieran Ramsey, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is assisting Portland police investigate what it called a “ridiculous” amount of shootings. 

The help is part of a partnership established last year called, Safe Streets Task Force, KOIN-TV reports.

At a news conference Tuesday, Kieran Ramsey, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said many of the shootings are connected to gang violence and the homeless population. 

Ramsey said the FBI will begin investigating the “worst of the worst” criminals who are using guns almost “indiscriminately.” 

The bureau is also offering rewards for seven shootings. 

Ramsey acknowledged in an interview with KOIN-TV that it won’t be easy. 

“Things like we saw over the weekend. A huge number of shootings. Mass shootings. Where, multiple injuries, multiple homicides. That bothers me all the time. I think, again, the fact that if we continue to see this pace, this year will break last year’s records,” Ramsey said.

Famed Mobster Jerry Tillinghast dies at Age 75

Jerry Tillinghast, via Adult Correctional Institutions.

By Steve Neavling

Convicted mobster Jerry Tillinghast, who wrote a book about his life after spending nearly 30 years in prison, has died. 

He was 75. 

The Providence Journal reports that Tillinghast had been battling several illnesses.

Tillinghast was an enforcer for the Patriarca crime family in the 1960s and 1970s and wreaked havoc in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He also was accused of participating in the infamous Bonded Vault heist in Providence in 1975. 

He was later convicted of killing mob loan shark George Basmajian in 1978. He was arrested less than an hour later at a Providence bar. 

When Tillinghast was 39 years old in 1985, he was stabbed in the neck in a maximum security prison. 

In 2005, he was paroled. 

While out of prison, Tillinghast wrote a book titled “Choices: You Make ‘em You Own ‘em” that was released in 2018.

Authorities Investigate Border Patrol Agent’s Fatal Shooting of Man Near Mexico Border

By Steve Neavling

Federal and local law enforcement officials are investigating a Border Patrol agent’s fatal shooting of a man in a rugged area near the Mexico border in Arizona over the weekend. 

“Early indications are that one male subject, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, was fatally wounded by a Border Patrol agent who was on duty with additional personnel,” the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said, according to the Associated Press.

CBP is investigating along with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.  

The shooting occurred at about 10 p.m. on Saturday in the Skeleton Canyon area of the Peloncillo Mountains in Douglas , a few miles north of the border. 

Officials have not yet released the identity or nationality of the man who was fatally shot. Details of the shooting remained murky as of Monday evening.

Border Patrol Agents Discover Baby Under a Bush, Wrapped in Camouflage in Arizona

Border Patrol agent. Photo: CBP

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents discovered a baby wrapped in camouflage under a bush near the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona last week, KOLD reports.

About 38 minutes before the baby was discovered, agents apprehended a group of migrants who were traveling with the baby. At the time, no one mentioned the baby.

The mother later told agents that the baby was being carried by another member of the group. 

Agents concluded that the mother did not intentionally endanger the child. 

The baby and her mother, who were both in reported good health, were reunited and sent to Mexico through the Lukeville, Arizona Port of Entry. 

FBI Warns Private Sector about Potential Russian Cyber Attacks in U.S. As Tensions over Ukraine Heighten

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is warning the private sector in the U.S. about potential state-sponsored cyber attacks from Russia as the country prepares for a possible invasion of Ukraine. 

The warning was issued in a Liaison Information Report dated Feb. 20 and obtained by Newsweek.

“The FBI Cyber Division, in coordination with the FBI’s Office of Private Sector (OPS), prepared this LIR to inform the private sector about the threat of Russian state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) cyber activities, while tensions with Russia are heightened,” the report stated.

“The FBI is engaging in efforts to support the U.S. response and to secure the Homeland from any Russian actions; historically, Russian state-sponsored APT cyber activities increase when tensions are high with Russia,” the report added.

The report points to the weakening security situation on Ukraine’s border. 

“Due to the increased threat of Russian military action, the security situation in Ukraine could deteriorate with little notice,” the report said. “The United States, along with its Allies and partners, has underscored its readiness to impose significant costs on Russia if it takes further military action against Ukraine, potentially further increasing the volume/severity of Russian APT cyber activities.”

According to the report, Russian APT actors “have used spear phishing and brute force cyber network attacks (CNA), while exploiting known vulnerabilities against accounts and networks with weak security.”

“Russian APT actors have targeted a variety of U.S. and international critical infrastructure, including entities in the Defense Industrial Base, Healthcare and Public Health, Energy, Telecommunications, and Government Facilities Sectors,” the report stated. “Finally, Russian malign influence actors have and continue to use social media accounts, overt and covert media connections, and message amplification to articulate narratives designed to exclude or isolate groups from one another.”

Weekend Series on Crime: East LA Gang Member

https://youtu.be/Y1Cxefu3b3s

Disgraced FBI Agent John Connolly Remains Free of Jail After Living Longer Than Expected

By Steve Neavling

When disgraced former FBI agent John Connolly was released from prison in February 2021, he was expected to live about another year. 

On Thursday, the one-year anniversary of his release, Connolly was still alive and living in Massachusetts. 

Even though his one-year medical break from prison is over, he will remain free unless he “violated conditions of his medical release,” a spokesman for the Florida Commission on Offender Review told the Boston Herald.

Connolly, who has multiple melanomas and diabetes, was granted a medical release by a 2-1 vote of the commission.  

“There is nothing in his conditions that state surviving (more than a year) is a violation,” Angela Meredith from the Florida commission said. “I have no more updates on the case.”

Connolly had been serving a 40-year sentence for working with mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger. 

While working for the FBI’s Boston Field Office in the 1970s, Connolly recruited Bulger as an informant. Connolly was convicted of second-degree murder for participating in a plot to kill a Florida businessman in 1982 at the urging of Bulger, who was killed in a West Virginia prison in 2018. 

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Under Investigation in Fatal Shooting of Family Member

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

An off-duty Border Patrol agent is under investigation after he says he accidentally shot a family member in Arizona on Wednesday evening. 

Police arrived to find the 26-year-old victim unresponsive at a home in Sierra Vista, with a gunshot wound to the torso, shortly before 8 p.m., KOLD-TV reports.

The victim, identified as Jacob Sellers of Michigan, was pronounced dead about an hour later at Canyon Vista Medical Center. He was visiting family members at the time. 

Police said the shooter is Stevan Djordjevic, a 44-year-old Border Patrol agent. 

No charges have been filed as of Thursday.