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Archive for March, 2022

DOJ Expanding Its Jan. 6 Probe Beyond the Riot

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is expanding its investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to include the events before the riot, The Washington Post and New York Times report.

One of those events was the Jan. 6 rally, attended by President Trump, that preceded the attack. 

In the past two months, a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas requests for information on the planning and execution of the rally. 

One of the subpoenas is searching for information about people “classified as VIP attendees” of the rally. 

Federal prosecutors are also looking for documents and testimony related to the Trump campaign’s promotion of fake electors in a handful of states, as well as Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results. 

Previously, the investigation focused on the rioters. 

Bill to Rename Border Patrol Station in Honor of Fallen Agent Passes U.S. House

Fallen Border Patrol Agent Donna Doss.

By Steve Neavling

The U.S. House passed a bill that would rename the Border Patrol station in Rocksprings, Texas, in honor of fallen Agent Donna Doss. 

The bill, called the Donna M. Doss Memorial Act, would rename the station the Donna M. Doss Border Patrol Station. 

Doss, a 15-year-veteran of Border Patrol, was responding to a call for assistance when she was struck and killed by a vehicle in Abilene on Feb. 2, 2019.

“Donna Doss valiantly served our country as a Border Patrol Agent for nearly 16 years and was tragically killed in the line of duty in 2019,” Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, said in a statement. “Like many of her colleagues in law enforcement, Donna Doss is a hero for her courageous service to our country and sacrificed for her fellow man.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, first introduced the bill in September 2020. He also honored Doss on the Senate floor following her death.

 “Officers like Agent Doss who are lost in the line of duty remind us of the courageous sacrifices that law enforcement, and their families, make each day,” Cornyn said.“Known for her commitment to public safety and her family, I’m proud to see that Agent Doss’ legacy of service to Texas will live on at the Border Patrol Station in Rocksprings in her honor.”

Rep. Tony Gonzalez, R-Texas, added, “Her death is a solemn reminder of the sacrifices our men and women in green – and their families – make every day. I am proud to have her legacy live on in our district by renaming the Rocksprings Border Patrol station in her honor.”

Grand Jury Finds Federal Officer Justified in Killing Fugitive Who Shot at Him

By Steve Neavling

A grand jury found that a member of a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force did nothing wrong when he fatally shot a fugitive who shot at him and fellow officers at a New Jersey apartment, NJ Advance Media reports.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability investigated the case and presented it to the grand jury. 

The federal officer was identified as ICE Deportation Officer Sean Clayton. 

The shooting occurred on July 8, 2020, when Clayton and others on the U.S. Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrived at an apartment to arrest Canty, who was wanted on a parole violation and was suspected of fatally beating his former girlfriend in Harlem.

Once inside the apartment, the task force took several occupants, including children, to a front room. 

“Officers then heard and observed a person in a rear bedroom, recognizing him as Mr. Canty. The officers asked Mr. Canty to walk towards them, but he did not comply. Instead he closed the bedroom door,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

When the task force opened a bedroom door, Canty was pointing a gun at officers. 

“Mr. Canty then fired in the direction of the officers. Officer Clayton returned fire, fatally wounding Mr. Canty,” the statement said.

Canty, who died at the scene, had a loaded 9mm handgun. 

“After considering the facts, evidence, and testimony from the (Office of Public Integrity and Accountability) investigation, the state grand jury found the actions of the officer were justified and therefore no charges should be brought against the officer,” according to the attorney general’s office statement. “An officer may use deadly force in New Jersey when the officer reasonably believes it is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.”

Biden’s 2023 Budget Would Give Big Pay Bumps to TSA Employees

By Steve Neavling

Tens of thousands of TSA employees stand to receive a major pay increase under a spending plan proposed by the Biden administration.

The White House is asking for $9.7 billion for TSA, which is a $1.5 billion increase over 2022, Federal News Network reports.

The idea is to bring pay for TSA officers in line with others in the federal workforce. 

Under the plan, TSA security officers would receive an average 30% increase in base pay, and federal air marshals would receive a 20% bump in base pay. 

Other TSA employees would also receive a pay increase “commensurate with their federal colleagues.”

In May 2020, TSA screeners received an average annual salary of $44,920, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

If approved by Congress, TSA Administrator David Pekoske said he’d increase pay within 90 days. 

“One of the long-standing challenges at TSA has been the pay gap between TSA’s frontline workforce and their counterparts in the rest of the federal government,” Pekoske said in a statement. “Equitable compensation and sufficient pay progression support TSA’s ability to meet mission requirements in the recruitment and retention of employees and positively impacts employee morale.”

Robert Danley Named Chief Patrol Agent of CBP’s Detroit Sector

Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley

By Steve Neavling

Robert B. Danley has been named the new chief patrol agent of CBP’s Detroit Sector.

Danley succeeds Douglas Harrison, who retired after leading the sector for five years. 

Danley’s career with CBP began in 2001, when he entered the U.S. Border Patrol Academy. His first assignment was at Brackettville Station in the Del Rio Scgtor in Texas. 

Since then, Danley has held a variety of leadership positions on the northern and southern borders, the Border Patrol Academy and USBP headquarters. His positions included patrol agent in charge, associate chief and acting deputy chief. 

He’s earned numerous distinctions during his career. He’s a two-time recipient of the CBP Commissioner’s Award for Mission Integration and Partner and Stakeholder Engagement. He also received the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security Meritorious Service Silver Medal for Leadership for his creation of migrant pathways in 2020. 

Danley graduated from northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s of science in justice studies. 

The Detroit Sector has five Border Patrol stations along 863 miles of the border with Canada and encompasses Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. 

Biden Administration Proposes New FBI Headquarters in Suburbs

By Steve Neavling

The Biden administration has revived long-stalled plans to build a new FBI headquarters in suburban Maryland or Virginia. 

In its 2023 budget request released Monday, the White House said the administration “recognizes the critical need for a new FBI headquarters” and that the current J. Edgar Hoover building “can no longer support the long-term mission of the FBI.”

“The Administration has begun a multi-year process of constructing a modern, secure suburban facility from which the FBI can continue its mission to protect the American people,” the administration wrote. “During the next year, FBI and GSA will work to identify a location to construct a Federally- owned, modern and secure facility for at least 7,500 personnel in the suburbs.”

The FBI has been searching for a new headquarters for years, but funding problems and the Trump administration delayed the project. Trump had called for the headquarters, which is a stone’s throw from his Washington D.C. hotel, to be built downtown, rather than in the suburbs. 

The current headquarters is cramped and outdated, the FBI says. 

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting Ghost Gun at Authorities at Secret Service Facility

By Steve Neavling

A Maryland man pleaded guilty to shooting a ghost gun at authorities at a Secret Service facility. 

Jeremiah Peter Watson, 24, pleaded guilty to assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon, the Justice Department said in a news release.

According to prosecutors, Watson blocked the driveway of a Secret Service facility with his car in February 2021. When security officers ordered him to move, he became combative. An officer, believing that Watson was armed, sprayed him with pepper spray, causing him to drive away. 

Soon after, Watson returned and began shooting at security officers from the driver-side window. He then sped off. 

Police located him through his license plate, and found a privately made handgun without a serial number at his home. 

As part of a plea agreement, Watson will be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, if a federal judge approves.  

Stacey Moy Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s San Diego Field Office

FBI Special Agent Stacey Moy.

By Steve Neavling

Stacey Moy has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office. 

Moy, who most recently served as special agent in charge of the Intelligence and Incident Response Division at the Washington Field Office, joined the bureau as a special agent in 2004 in the Washington Field Office, where he investigated foreign counterintelligence and espionage cases. Moy investigated penetrations of the U.S. intelligence community, media leaks, and economic espionage, and also served on the SWAT team.

In 2009, he was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Counterintelligence Division at headquarters, dealing with cases involving the targeting and acquisition of U.S. trade secrets by foreign adversaries.

In 2011, Moy became field supervisor of a counterproliferation squad in the Oakland Resident Agency of the San Francisco Field Office.

In 2014, he served as unit chief of the Counterproliferation Center in the Counterintelligence Division at headquarters. The center is tasked with leading the bureau’s efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other technologies that threaten national security. In 2015, Moy was promoted to assistant section chief of the center.

In 2016, he moved to the San Francisco Field Office to serve as the assistant special agent in charge of the criminal branch in charge of investigating financial crimes, public corruption, civil rights, and violent crimes against children. In 2017, Moy was named a Counterintelligence Division section chief, and in 2019, was promoted to deputy assistant director.

In June 2020, May was named special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division of the Washington Field Office. 

Moy graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. He earned a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College and was a senior executive fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government for Executive Education.