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June 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for June, 2022

Deputy U.S. Marshal Charged with Unlawful Obtaining Cell Phone Location Information for Personal Reasons

By Steve Neavling

A deputy U.S. Marshal was indicted in federal court with unlawfully obtaining cell phone location information by misusing a law enforcement service for personal reasons and later lying about it, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. 

Adrian Pena, 48, of Del Rio, Texas, is accused of obtaining cell phone location information about multiple people with whom he had personal relationships and their spouses. 

To obtain the information, Pena allegedly uploaded false and fraudulent documents to Securus Technologies Inc. 

When authorities became aware of the allegations, Pena is accused of lying to investigators about his use of the service. 

He went even further by persuading a person to sign an affidavit attesting that he or she had given Pena unlimited access to his or her personal cell phone information at all times, prosecutors allege. 

Pena was indicted on 11 counts of obtaining confidential phone records, two counts of false statements, and one count of falsification of a record, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

AG Garland Says He’s Watching U.S. House Hearings on Jan. 6 Riot

Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Photo: DOJ)

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General Merrick Garland said he’s watching the Jan. 6 hearings as some of the committee members are advocating criminal charges against former President Donald Trump and others.

“I’m watching and I will be watching all the hearings, although I may not be able to watch all of it live,” Garland said at an unrelated press conference, NPR reports. “But I’ll be sure that I’ll be watching all that. And I can assure you that the January 6 prosecutors are watching all the hearings as well.”

Citing a pending investigation, Garland declined to give “my own personal responses to this kind of evidence that is coming out.”

The House Select committee on the Jan. 6 riot held its second day of hearings on Monday, with plans to hold several more by the end of July. 

During the first hearing on Thursday, Vice Chair Liz Cheney urged the Justice Department to prosecute more people in connection with the riot. 

“We are proceeding with full urgency with respect, as I’ve said many times before, to hold all perpetrators who are criminally responsible for Jan. 6 accountable, regardless of their level, their position and regardless of whether they were present at the events on Jan. 6,” Garland said. “We’re just going to follow the facts wherever they lead.”

CBP Busts Man hiding 10+ Pounds of Fentanyl in Motorcycle at Border

Fentanyl pills found inside the air filter box of a motorcycle.

By Steve Neavling

CBP officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry found more than 10 pounds of fentanyl pill hidden inside a motorcycle. 

The pills were inside vacuum sealed packages stuffed in the air filter box of a 2007 Suzuki motorcycle. 

The discovery was made shortly after 11 a.m on June 6, when the 22-year-old driver was trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. 

The diver said he was going to San Diego and showed his valid California driver’s license. 

The diver was referred to an intensive inspection after CBP officers noticed tampering on the fuel tank. That’s when officers spotted the blue Fentanyl pills. 

The street value of the drugs were estimated at $122,280. 

“No matter the conveyance type, our officers are trained to detect any type of tampering within a motor vehicle,” Anne Maricich, CBP deputy director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement. “It makes me proud to know that our officers are always alert and ready to disrupt these transnational criminal organizations smuggling attempts”

The driver was taken into custody by Homeland Security Investigations for further processing. 

Mexican National Sentenced to 214 Months in Prison for Shooting at Border Patrol Agents

By Steve Neavling

A 35-year-old Mexican national who shot at two Border Patrol agents during a high-speed chase in January was sentenced to 214 months in prison.

Sergio Trevino was driving a Chevy Suburban when Border Patrol agents attempted to pull him over near Bracketville in Texas. During the pursuit, Trevino shot at the agents several times. 

Trevino’s vehicle was stopped by spike strips. He fled on foot and was later apprehend. 

Found inside the vehicle were six Honduran nationals. 

Trevino pleaded guilty to one count of assault on a federal officer and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence on March 31, 2021. 

“Sergio Trevino not only placed the lives of the U.S. Border Patrol agents who were attempting to apprehend him in peril, but also the lives of the undocumented noncitizens he was transporting and everyone traveling on the road that day,” U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff said in a statement.  “Thankfully no one was seriously injured by his senseless and dangerous actions. The collective efforts of agents from the U.S. Border Patrol, FBI, ATF, and Homeland Security Investigations, brought Mr. Trevino to justice so that he will no longer be a threat to the community for many years to come.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr. added, “Today’s sentencing sends a strong message to those who would commit violent acts against federal officers. The FBI will continue to work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions at the border as well as throughout the United States.”

CBP Moves to Stop Sale of ‘Offensive,’ Fake Commemorative Coin Depicting Controversial Interaction

Fake CBP comparative coin on eBay.

By Steve Neavling

CBP is trying to stop the sale of an “offensive,” fake commemorative coin that depicts a controversial interaction between a Border Patrol agent on horseback and a Haitian immigrant near the border in Del Rio, Texas.

The coin was for sale on eBay for $15.19. The seller sold 41 coins, and it was sold out as of Monday morning.

A senior CBP agent official told Washington Examiner that the coin was not authorized by the agency.

“The images depicted on this coin are offensive, insensitive, and run counter to the core values of CBP. This is not an official CBP coin,” Luis Miranda, assistant commissioner for CBP’s Office of Public Affairs, said.

“The CBP Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is investigating whether or not it is being sold by anyone at CBP, and will take appropriate action if so,” Miranda added. “The CBP Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) will also send a cease-and-desist letter to any vendor who produces unauthorized challenge coins using one of CBP’s trademarked brands.”

CBP’s Office of Personal Responsibility drafted a 500-page report detailing the investigation into horse-mounted Border Patrol agents accused of mistreating Haitian migrants last year. The report has yet to be released.

Although the agents have been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, they could still face discipline, up to termination, if they were found to have broken agency policies. 

Weekend Series of Crime History: 50 Year Anniversary of Watergate

Ex-TSA Officer Expected to Plead Guilty to Attempted Drug Smuggling Charge

By Steve Neavling

A former TSA agent accused of smuggling what he believed was methamphetamine though Los Angeles International Airport is expected to plead guilty Friday, City News Service reports

Michael Williams, 39, was charged with one count of attempting to distribute methamphetamine. 

Williams was the subject of an undercover operation in 2020 after federal authorities believed he was helping smuggle narcotics past security checkpoints at LAX. On two different occasions during the investigation, William met with a “drug source” to collect a backpack full of what actually was fake meth, which he was to smuggle into LAX and deliver it to a source inside a men’s restroom during his shift. In exchange, he received a total of $8,000 in cash, according to the Justice Department.  

Williams was caught on LAX security cameras leaving the restroom in his uniform before starting his shift, according to the DOJ.  

Williams faces up to 20 years in prison. 

The FBI and DEA assisted in the investigation. 

GOP Candidate for Governor in Michigan Arrested by FBI for Role in Jan. 6 Riot

Gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley

By Steve Neavling

The FBI arrested a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan on Thursday for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

Ryan Kelley faces four misdemeanor counts of knowingly entering or remaining in restricting buildings or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, knowingly engaging in an act of physical violence against person or property in a restricted building or grounds, and willfully injuring or committing depredation against any property in the U.S. 

Kelley is accused of joining the mob that stormed the Capitol and climbed scaffolding outside the building. 

Kelley, who sells real estate, is among five candidates on the Republican primary ballot for governor. 

He built his reputation on the far right by organizing an armed protest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions at the state Capitol in 2020. He’s also called for the arrest of Democratic officials in Michigan, citing baseless conspiracy theories.