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Archive for April, 2022

Biden to Pardon First Secret Service Agent to Serve on Presidential Detail

Joe Biden, via Shutterstock.com.

By Steve Neavling

President Biden plans to pardon three people, including the first Secret Service agent to serve on presidential detail. 

Abraham Bolden, 86, is among “three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities,” Biden said in a statement, NBC News reports.

Bolden, who served on President John F. Kennedy’s detail, was charged with bribery in 1964 after he was accused of trying to sell a copy of a Secret Service file. He was convicted in a second trial after the first one ended in a hung jury.

Key witnesses acknowledged they lied during the second trial, but Bolden was denied a retrial and served several years in federal prison. 

Bolden, of Chicago, has long insisted he is innocent and wrote in a book that he was targeted for blowing the whistle on racist and unprofessional behavior in the Secret Service.

McCarthy Warns of Possible Impeachment of Mayorkas over Immigration

Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

By Steve Neavling

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Republicans may try to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

McCarthy made the statement Monday during a visit to the southern border, The Hill reports

“This is his moment in time to do his job,” McCarthy said. “But at any time if someone is derelict in their job, there is always the option of impeaching somebody.”

Mayorkas is scheduled to testify before the House on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Republicans are opposed to lifting Title 42, which has allowed the U.S. to deny asylum-seekers a hearing.

The Biden administration said it plans to lift Title 42 on May 23. 

Mayoraka’s “first response to us should be, ‘We should not lift Title 42,’ ” McCarthy said. “They’re not prepared to protect, and we cannot sustain what will happen to this nation.” 

Although Democrats have a slim majority in the House, that could change in the November mid-terms, which would make impeachment far more likely. 

Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting at U.S. Marshals in Salt Lake City

By Steve Neavling

A 46-year-old Utah man has pleaded guilty to shooting at U.S. Marshals while they tried to arrest him in Salt Lake City in May 2021. 

Epifanio Welch pleaded guilty last week to felony counts of assaulting a federal officer and shooting a firearm during a crime of violence, the Justice Department said. 

The incident occurred while U.S. Marshals were attempting to apprehend Welch and another suspect who were wanted on multiple arrest warrants. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the marshals were warned that Welch and Humphrey may engage in “suicide by cop.”

As they tried to execute the search warrants, marshals came under fire multiple times. 

After arresting the suspects, authorities recovered four firearms during a search of the home.  

Welch later acknowledge firing multiple shots at law enforcement officers. 

None of the officers were injured. 

Oliver Rich, Jr. Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s San Antonio Field Office

By Steve Neavling

Oliver E. Rich, Jr. has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office in Texas. 

Rich had been serving as the chief of staff to the deputy director at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

Rich began working as a special agent for the FBI in 2004 in the Houston Field Office, where he was assigned to white-collar crime and national security investigations. 

In 2009, he became supervisory special agent and managed sensitive investigations and operations in the Clandestine Operations Section of the Counterintelligence Division at headquarters. 

In 2012, Rich began working in the Field Flight Operations Unit of the Critical Incident Response Group, managing national aviation operations and flying some of the FBI’s most sophisticated aircraft. 

In 2013, Rich moved to the Atlanta Field Office, where he served on multiple operational squads and flew as a pilot and certified flight instructor in support of aviation and surveillance operations. 

In 2016, he became supervisor of Atlanta’s counterintelligence squad and led a team of agents and analysts dealing with priority national security threats. 

Rich became leader of Atlanta’s public corruption and civil rights squad in 2019, and later in the year, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of Atlanta’s Criminal Branch. In 2020, he became leader of the Administrative and Operational Support Branch, where he was responsible for Atlanta’s crisis response assets, weapons of mass destruction program, financial management and tactical teams. 

In 2021, Rich became chief of staff for the deputy director. 

Weekend Series on Crime History: East LA Gangs

FBI: Proud Boys Member Made Threatening Call to Agent Investigating Jan. 6 Attack

Barry Bennett Ramey during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Photo: FBI

By Steve Neavling

A Florida man connected to the Proud Boys is accused of making a threatening call to an FBI agent who was investigating his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. 

Barry Bennett Ramey, 38, was arrested Thursday after agents say he pepper-sprayed police during the riot, according to an FBI affidavit.

Special Agent Ryan Nougaret said he received a threatening call from Ramey while investigating his connection to Jan. 6. 

“Is this Mr. Nougaret? And you still live at [your affiant’s home address],” said the caller, whom the FBI says was Ramey.  

The agent later received a text message from the same number with a VIN number for a vehicle that the agent previously owned. 

“Check that VIN number.;),” the text started.

Ramey’s charges include assault on federal law enforcement officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon, obstructing law enforcement, entering or remaining on restricted grounds with intent to impede, knowingly engaging in an act of physical violence while using or carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon and an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds. 

13 Nassar Victims Seek $130M in Claims from FBI over Mishandled Investigation

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

Thirteen sexual abuse survivors of disgraced former USA Gymnastic team doctor Larry Nassar are each seeking $10 million from the FBI, alleging that Nassar continued to abuse victims because agents mishandled the investigation, lawyers said Thursday.

“This is the largest failure on the part of law enforcement in the history of the world as it pertains to the protection of children, and there must be institutional accountability to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” attorney Jamie White said in a statement, Reuters reports.

The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded in July 2021 that the bureau bungled the investigation, and the FBI acknowledged the findings and made no excuse for the blunders. 

During the investigation, which began in 2015, the FBI waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.   

The report accused W. Jay Abbot, the former special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, of lying to the inspector general during the internal investigation “to minimize errors” made by his office.

According to the report, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young athletes between 2015 and August 2016. Nassar is effectively serving a life sentence in prison. 

TSA Removes COVID-19 Employee Information After Mask Mandate Lifted

By Steve Neavling

The TSA is no longer reporting the number of its employees who are actively infected with COVID-19, Forbes first reported.

The move came after a federal judge struck down the mask mandate aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. 

As of last month, when the agency was still posting the number of positive cases among TSA employees, nearly 23,000 of its workers had been infected by COVID-19 and 36 had died, more than any other federal agency. 

The agency removed the number of total confirmed cases, as well as a list of airports and the number of employees who were infected at each. 

“TSA was among the only agencies to report its infection information so transparently,” a TSA spokesperson told Forbes via email.

On Monday, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a Florida judge who was appointed by President Donald Trump, struck down the mask requirement on airplanes, trains, buses, and other public transportation. 

The Justice Department said Wednesday that it is appealing the decision.