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Archive for April, 2022

Retired LAPD Officer Alleges CBP Officers Sexually Assaulted Her at Border

By Steve Neavling

A retired Los Angeles Police Department officer filed a lawsuit against CBP, alleging she was sexually assaulted and harassed by border officers. 

Janine Bouey said she was crossing into the U.S. after a dentist appointment in Tijuana in June 2020 when a CBP officer was “flirtatious and pushy, and he pressed her to give him her home address,” according to the lawsuit, NBC-7 San Diego reports. After Bouey declined, the lawsuit alleges “the officer pulled her out of line and took her to the main building.”

Then a female officer “intentionally groped Bouey” over her clothes, the lawsuit claims, and she was placed in a “holding pen with other people,” even as she repeatedly said she was a U.S. citizen and a retired LAPD officer. 

She was then forced to remove all her clothes except for her bra and underwear while “the police officer who had inappropriately searched me the first two times was behind me with a flashlight,” Bouey said at a news conference Tuesday. She was eventually forced to remove her bra and underwear. 

“After I took off my clothes, I was made to turn around. I had to bend over, I had to squat multiple times at their direction,” Bouey said.

Andrea Guerrero, executive director of the community organization Alliance San Diego, said a lot of people were at fault for what happened. 

“It was not one officer alone who harmed Janine. Everyone who came into contact with her was complicit in her degrading treatment,” Guerrero said. “That includes the officer who racially profiled her and pulled her out of line, the officer who shoved a dog’s nose into her buttocks, the officer who penetrated her genitalia, the officer who forced her to remove all her clothes and had her bend over while others looked, the officer who took her shoelaces, her jewelry and belongings, handcuffed her to a bench, dismissed her pleas and tossed her out the back door.”

CBP declined to comment on the case. 

Biden to Nominate Former U.S. Attorney to Serve As ATF Leader

Former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach

By Steve Neavling

President Biden plans to pick a new nominee to lead the ATF after his previous nomination fell short in the Senate last year, Politico reports

The nominee is former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach, a Democrat who has advocated for reinstating the assault weapons ban and universal background checks on firearms purchases.

Dettelbach served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio from 2009 to 2016. He ran an unsuccessful campaign to serve as attorney general in Ohio in 2018.  

He has been working in the private sector for BakerHostetler, serving as co-leader of the firm’s national Whte Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations team.  

Dettelbach is married with two children. 

Biden’s first pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, couldn’t get enough votes in the Senate for confirmation. The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation were putting up a fight to stop Chipman’s nomination and have spent more than $4 million in radio and TV ads in the home states of moderate Democrats and Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine.

The ATF’s acting director, Marvin G. Richardson, has been accused by gun control advocates of cozying up to the gun industry.

Justice Department Seizes Russian Oligarch’s Yacht

By Allan Lengel

The Justice Department has seized a superyacht belonging to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said at the request of DOJ, a Spanish court issued an order freezing the superyacht, known as “The Tango,” that is docked in Palma de Mallorca. 

Garland vowed that there will be more actions like this.

Secret Service Paying $30,000 Monthly Rent in Malibu to Protect Hunter Biden

By Allan Lengel

The U.S. Secret Service is paying more than $30,000 a month to rent a Malibu mansion to protect Hunter Biden, The Guardian reports.

Hunter Biden (Photo: Center for Strategic & International Studies)

The house includes “gorgeous ocean views” and “resort style living at its finest.” It has six bedrooms, six baths, a gym, a tasting room and a guesthouse, a pool and a spa, the publication writes.

The agents are renting the house to be close to Biden, who is reportedly paying about $20,000 to rent a mansion, the Guardian reports.

The Secret Service is obligated to protect a president’s family.

Biden Tells Inner Circle Trump Should Be Prosecuted, NY Times Reports

By Allan Lengel

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland is coming under criticism inside the Beltway for not taking legal action against former President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that as recently as late last year, President Joe Biden told his inner circle that Trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted. The Times cites “two people familiar with his comment.”

The Times reports that Biden has never voiced his concerns directly to Garland, who he hopes would act less like a ponderous judge and more like a decisive prosecutor.

Garland said the DOJ only feels the pressure to do the right thing.

Acting ATF Director Accused of Cozying Up to Gun Industry

By Allan Lengel

Marvin G. Richardson, the ATF acting director, is being accused by gun control advocates of cozying up to the gun industry at a time President Biden is pushing for a crackdown.

Acting ATF Director Marvin Richardson

The New York Times reports that in late January President Joe Biden repeated his vow to halt the sale of parts used to make deadly “ghost guns.”

But Richardson, who was expected to have already put that policy in place, told a gathering of weapons manufacturers that the rule banning those online parts would not be completed until June.

The Times reports that the slow enactment infuriated Biden allies.

“A.T.F. needs a top-to-bottom overhaul,” John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control group funded by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, told the Times. “That starts with the administration making sure the agency has the resources and leadership it needs to regulate an industry that has consistently prioritized profits over public safety.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: Frank Nitti

Explosive-Detecting Canine Retires After Spending His Career Keeping Travelers Safe

By Steve Neavling

TSA celebrated the career and retirement of Bruno, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever who was trained as an explosive detection canine, and his handler Kathy, during a retirement ceremony. 

Bruno was trained as a passenger screening canine (PSC) to detect explosives and explosive materials. 

Since October 2019, Bruno and his handler Kathy have screened thousands of travelers and their belongings for potential security threats at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, where he spent his entire career.

“TSA canines like Bruno are premiere security ambassadors and a favorite of travelers who depart HNL,” TSA Federal Security Director Jenel Chang said in a statement. “We are most proud of the work that Bruno and Kathy have done together to secure the transportation network. We wish them Aloha as they move onto the next phase of their lives together.”

TSA officers gifted Bruno more than 100 squeaky tennis balls, and he was presented with an edible, dog-friendly cake. 

Bruno is 4 years old and will continue to live with Kathy as he transitions into his retirement.