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Archive for May, 2022

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. 

10-Year-Old Battling Cancer Is Sworn in As Youngest CBP Officer

10-year-old Devarjaye Daniel is sworn in as a CBP officer.

By Steve Neavling

Battling terminal cancer, 10-year-old Devarjaye Daniel wanted more than anything to become a law enforcement officer. 

On Tuesday, Daniel was sworn into the ranks of CBP as the newest and youngest officer at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. 

“This is right up his alley,” Theodis Daniel, Devarjaye’s father, said in a news release.  “He turned down a trip to Disney World because law enforcement is all he wants to do.”

CBP Port Director Shawn Polley administered the oath and then put Daniel through some training. 

“It was my distinct pleasure to welcome “DJ” into the CBP family,” Polley said. 

CBP officers taught Daniel about intellectual property rights violations and CBP’s K9 team. 

He also received a tour of CBP operations at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

His first day ended with hugs, handshakes, jokes and some joy. 

Daniel has been sworn into nearly 400 law enforcement agencies.

Steven Maloney Assumes Leadership of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office

CBP’s Baltimore Field Office Commander Stephen Maloney. Photo: CBP

By Steve Neavling

Stephen T. Maloney, a former Baltimore school teacher, officially took the helm of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. 

CBP welcomed Maloney at a ceremony last week. 

“Today, we celebrate Steve Maloney becoming the Director of Field Operations for Customs and Border Protection’s Baltimore Field Office, which is an office that is integral to our national security and our economy,” CBP’s Deputy Commissioner Troy A. Miller said. “I can honestly say there’s no better person to lead the Baltimore Field Office than Steve. His experience, knowledge, and compassion position him perfectly to lead the Baltimore Field Office and I have no doubt that he will lead our mid-Atlantic operations with integrity, valor, commitment, and passion.”

Maloney said he is eager to lead the agency’s office.

“In the past nearly six months I have met many employees of the Baltimore Field Office and I am humbled to lead them and even prouder to serve alongside them,” Maloney said. “I have loved my job just about every day since I started with this agency and this agency has given me the opportunity to do incredible things. But there is no job in this agency that I am more excited for than this one, and so it is with drive, determination and great passion that I accept and assume command of the Baltimore Field Office.”

Maloney was a high school teacher at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Baltimore. 

A native of Maine, Maloney most recently served as the director of CBP’s Field Transformation Team at CBP headquarters. 

Maloney’s career with the agency began in 2002, when he was an immigration inspector in Miami. He later held several leadership positions at strategic ports of entry and represented CBP internationally as an instructor, team leader and short-term advisor in Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria and Israel. 

Maloney received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgetown University. He graduated from the CBP Leadership Institute in 2017. 

In Baltimore, Maloney will be responsible for more than 900 employees throughout the mid-Atlantic region.