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Archive for May, 2022

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. 

Border Patrol Agent Justified in Fatal Shooting of Migrant, Prosecutor Says

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a migrant in a remote canyon in Arizona in February won’t be charged with a crime, the Cochise County Attorney’s Office said. 

An investigation uncovered no evidence to contradict the official explanation of the shooting involving Agent Kendrek Bybee Staheli, the Arizona Daily Star reports

The shooting occurred after two agents on horseback approached a group of migrants in Skeleton Canyon on Feb. 19.

After the agents apprehended three migrants, Carmelo Cruz Marcos “picked upon a large rock and appeared to be ready to strike” Staheli, according to Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre. That’s when Stahli shot Marcos several times. 

“Based upon the available evidence, the shooting was legally justified, and there would be no reasonable likelihood of conviction on any criminal charge if pursued,” McIntyre wrote.

Biden to Nominate David Pekoske to Another As TSA Administrator

By Steve Neavling

President Biden plans to nominate David Pekoske to serve a second term as administrator of the TSA, the White House said.

Former President Trump first nominated Pekoske in 2017, and his five-year term began in August 2017. 

The agency has more than 600,000 employees and is tasked with security operations at nearly 440 airports nationwide. 

Pekoske also served as acting secretary of Homeland Security from January 20, 2021, to February 2, 2021. 

Before joining the TSA, he was the second in command at the Coast Guard. 

“If confirmed by the Senate for a second five-year term, we will continue to work tirelessly to improve employee recognition and pay, fostering a diverse and inclusive TSA culture, and pursuing innovative approaches to respond to emerging threats,” Pekoske said in a message to TSA employees, The Washington Post reports. “My top priority as Administrator has been and will always be supporting our incredible workforce.”

CBP to Stop Using Critical Incident Teams Accused of Cover-Ups

By Steve Neavling

CBP will no longer use secretive teams within Border Control that conduct internal investigations into misconduct by agents after coming under scrutiny by Democrats in Congress, the agency announced in a memo.

Critical Incident Teams were tasked with providing evidence to CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigate most allegations of agent misconduct. 

CBP increased oversight of the teams after Democrats urged Biden’s administration to examine them.

Border community advocates also have questioned the effectiveness of the teams, calling them “shadow police units.”

Democrats and immigration advocates accused Border Patrol of essentially investigating itself.  Some have accused the teams of covering up for agents who used excessive force. 

“Ensuring CBP has a robust and responsive critical incident response process is essential to maintaining the public’s trust,” the memo states. 

Weekend Series on Crime History: Mobster Whitey Bulger

TSA Busts Man with 23 Weapons in Carry-on Bag

By Steve Neavling

The TSA caught a Virigina man with 23 weapons in his carry-on bag at a checkpoint at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. 

The bag contained nine scalpels, eight folding locking-blade knives, three martial arts throwing knives, a dagger, switchblade and a pair of brass knuckles. 

TSA officers found the weapons Wednesday after the carry-on bag when through the X-ray machine.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police issued the man a citation. 

“Even in the sometimes chaotic environment of the screening checkpoints, the TSA officers at our airport do an amazing job every day by keeping dangerous items out of the aircraft cabin,” John Busch, TSA federal security director for the airport, said in a statement said. “It’s important to acknowledge them and the significance of their mission.”

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Endorses Dettelbach to Lead ATF

ATF nominee Steve Dettelbach

By Steve Neavling

Steve Dettelbach, President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, picked up a key endorsement from the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. 

The organization, which represents more than 26,000 law enforcement professionals from dozens of agencies, including the ATF, made the endorsement in a letter to senators obtained by NBC News.

In the letter, FLEOA President Larry Cosme said Dettelbach has a “proven history of working with law enforcement agencies, corrections officials, advocates, stakeholders, and elected officials across the political spectrum.”

He added, Dettelbach’s “dedication towards the advancement of public safety initiatives should go a long way towards restoring the public trust.”

Biden nominated Dettelbach, a former Senate-confirmed U.S. attorney, in April. Pro-gun groups immediately opposed the nomination. 

Biden’s first pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, couldn’t get enough votes in the Senate for confirmation last year. 

The agency has been without a permanent leader since 2015.