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Archive for May, 2022

On-Duty Border Patrol Agent Killed in Solo, Rollover Car Crash

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent was killed in a solo car crash in a rural area of California near the U.S.-Mexico border Friday morning. 

The agent was on duty and in an agency-issued vehicle when the crash occurred about 5:40 a.m. in rural East County, authorities told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The agent was alone in the heavily damaged, overturned vehicle.

No more details were immediately available. 

It was the first on-duty death for a Border Patrol agent this year. A CBP officer died from COVID-19 complications in January. 

In the 16 years ending in 2019, 45 CBP officers and Border Patrol agents died in the line of duty. There were no on-duty deaths reported in 2005 and 2015.

DOJ Opens Grand Jury Investigation into Trump’s Handling of Classified Material

President Trump

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department has launched a grand jury investigation into former President Trump’s handling of classified documents after authorities discovered he brought boxes of White House documents to his Florida home. 

Investigators are conducting interviews with former White House aides and issued a subpoena to the National Archives and Records administration to determine how the documents made their way into Mar-a-Lago, The Washington Post reports.

It’s a federal crime to mishandle classified materials. 

The Justice Department declined to comment. 

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said Trump “consistently handled all documents in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Belated attempts to second-guess that clear fact are politically motivated and misguided.”

Authorities recovered 15 boxes of government documents at the Florida home. 

The boxes were supposed to go to the Archives. 

“I can remember watching the Trumps leaving the White House and getting off in the helicopter that day, and someone carrying a white banker box, and saying to myself, ‘What the hell’s in that box?’” David S. Ferriero, who retired last month as archivist of the United States, said in a previous interview.

FBI Agent Accused of Assaulting Traffic Agent for Issuing Parking Ticket in Queens

By Steve Neavling

An FBI agent was arrested Wednesday for allegedly attacking and handcuffing a New York City traffic agent who wrote him a ticket in Queens. 

Kenneth Diu, 46, was on a stakeout when he received the ticket on April 19, police sources told The New York Daily News.

Diu was issued a desk appearance ticket for assault, tampering with public records, computer tampering and obstructing a government administration. 

The agent’s Jeep Cherokee was partially parked in a bus zone, according to city traffic agent Dipankar Dipu. 

The FBI agent placed a bureau placard on his car’s dashboard as Dipu tried to stick a ticket on the Jeep. 

Diu grabbed the ticket from Dipu, voided the ticket and tossed Dipu against the Jeep before placing one handcuff on the ticket agent. By then, a supervisor for the traffic agent arrived.

DOJ Orders U.S. Marshals to Protect Supreme Court Justices Amid Roe v. Wade Draft Opinion

U.S. Supreme Court

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department has ordered the U.S. Marshals to provide protection for the U.S. Supreme Court and its justices amid the looming decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Protesters have staged rallies outside of the homes of some of the conservative justices. 

“The Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the Justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police,” the Justice Department said in a press release Wednesday.

Republicans have called on the Justice Department to provide protection for the justices. 

Former DEA Agent Sentenced to 135 Months in Prison for Taking Bribes from Drug Kingpin

By Steve Neavling

A former DEA agent who accepted bribes from a drug trafficker was sentenced to 135 months in prison on Wednesday. 

Nathan Koen, 45, was charged in November 2019 with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine and one count of bribery of a public official. 

The drug-related charges were dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to bribery. 

Koen accepted bribes from a large-scale drug trafficker in exchange for providing sensitive law enforcement information that helped the trafficker run his drug organization and avoid detection by authorities. 

“This defendant’s actions are a disgrace to the thousands of dedicated law enforcement officers who work with integrity every day to protect and serve our communities,” U.S. Attorney Jonathan D. Ross said in a statement. “His greed and deception have no place in law enforcement, and we are pleased to see this case come to its rightful conclusion.”

 Koen, who had been working for the DEA since 2002, came under investigation by the FBI in 2018. At the time, he was a group supervisor in the Little Rock DEA office. 

In interviews with the FBI, the drug trafficker said he had paid Koen cash in exchange for information and protection. 

Republicans Push to Move Secret Service Back to Treasury Department

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service, which has been a part of the Department of Homeland Security after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, could return to the Treasury Department if Republicans get their way.

The Secret Service was a part of the Treasury Department until it moved to the Department of Homeland Security. 

Reps. Roger Williams, R-Texas, and David Kustoff, R-Tenn., introduced a bill last week that would move the Secret Service back to the Treasury Department, Government Executive reports.

“The Department of the Treasury is a better fit for the Secret Service, as the main responsibility of the agency is to combat financial crimes and counter critical criminal threats to the U.S. financial systems,” Kustoff said in a press release on Tuesday. “Returning the Secret Service to the U.S. Treasury will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its investigations and bolster its capability to combat illicit finance and cybercrime.” 

In a statement to Government Executive, Williams said, “Transferring them from the Department of Homeland security  to the Treasury Department would help fulfill their mission of protecting our nation from the ever-changing threats to our financial system.” Moreover, “this strategic realignment will bolster coordination between the two agencies and increase their capabilities to investigate and combat financial crimes.”

The Secret Service did not comment on the bill. 

The move would need legislative approval. 

Ex-FBI Agent Alfred Baldwin III, Lookout for Watergate Burglars, Dies

Watergate complex via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Agent Alfred C. Baldwin III, who was the lookout for the Watergate burglars and later became a pivotal government witness in the scandal, died in January 2020 but his death only recently came to light, The New York Times reported Tuesday.  

He was 83. 

His death after a battle with cancer was made public in an updated version of the book “The Watergate Burglars” by Shane O’Sullivan. 

On June 17, 1972, as the burglars were inside the Watergate complex, Baldwin was watching across the street. But Baldwin didn’t spot police until it was too late, so he fled before the FBI eventually picked him up. 

Although he was a minor character in the Watergate drama, he played a major role as a government witness, testifying before the Senate Watergate Committee in May 1973 and providing key insights into the scandal. 

Special Agents in Charge Appointed to FBI’s Tampa Bay, St. Louis Field Offices

The FBI’s Tampa Bay and St. Louis field offices have new leaders. 

David Walker was named special agent in charge of the Tampa Bay Field Office. Before the appointment, he was serving as section chief in the Critical Incident Response Group at FBI headquarters. 

Walker’s career with the FBI began in 1998, when he investigated terrorism cases at the New York Field Office. 

Before joining the bureau, Walker was an attorney. 

Jay Greenberg was named special agent in charge of the St. Louis Field Office. Before the appointment, he was serving as assistant director in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters. 

Greenberg joined the FBI in 2005, investigating civil rights, corruption and government fraud out of the Washington Field Office. 

Greenberg received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. Before joining the bureau, he worked in management and technical consulting.