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Archive for June, 2022

CBP Supervisor Charged with Stealing Money in Alleged Overtime Scheme

By Steve Neavling

A CBP supervisor accused of falsifying hours on his timesheet has been charged with stealing money from the U.S. government. 

Alfonso Gonzalez, 45, of Laredo, was arrested Friday after a federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment. 

Between September 2020 and September 2021, Gonzalez allegedly recorded night and weekend hours on his timesheet that he didn’t work. On several occasions, he was in Mexico when he indicated on his timesheet that he was working. 

In addition, he’s accused of fabricating excuses to justify his overtime hours. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges he stole nearly $6,500. 

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine. 

The investigation was conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility. 

Weekend Series on Crime History: How the Mob Operates

U.S. Marshal And K-9 Shot While Serving Arrest Warrant in Chicago

By Steve Neavling

A deputy U.S. marshal and police dog were shot while a task force was trying to serve an arrest warrant Thursday in Chicago. 

Chicago police and members of the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force were trying to arrest a person at about 1:20 p.m. on West Belmont, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The offender fired shots at the task force, causing non-life-threatening injuries to the deputy marshal. A U.S. Marshals Service K-9 dog was also wounded. 

A Chicago police officer returned fire but did not strike anyone. 

Authorities arrested two people, and the investigation is ongoing.

Ex-DHS Secretary Johnson Suggests Graphic Images Would ‘Awaken the Public’ on School Shootings

Former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson.

By Steve Neavling

As school shootings continue to increase, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson suggested that “something graphic is required to awaken the public to the real horror” of the massacres.

“I lack the moral standing to tell a parent to accept and approve, for the greater good, the public display of photos of his or her dead child. Only they can judge the additional weight that doing so would place on them, at a time when they are already struggling with unimaginable grief,” Johnson wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post

“Nor do I suggest the release of any images in particular. But something graphic is required to awaken the public to the real horror of these repeated tragedies,” he added,

Johnson pointed to the impact that photos have had on historical events, from Black protesters being beaten in the south to a white cop kneeling on the neck of George Floyd. 

“Conversely, imagine if there had been no video of Floyd’s killing, leaving us with the initial Minneapolis police report, which was headed simply, ‘Man dies after medical incident during police interaction,’” Johnson wrote.

Johnson called the Uvalde elementary school shooting a “crime scene” that lawmakers should view more closely. 

“Robb Elementary School in Uvalde is a crime scene. If there were a case to go to trial, the prosecution would have to present publicly the shocking evidence of guilt. Put another way: Why must innocent schoolchildren, for the rest of their lives, carry the vivid memories of the executions of their teachers and classmates, while federal and state lawmakers (and the adult constituents who elect them) are spared?” he wrote. 

Johnson closed his piece by writing, “I am convinced that part of the reason we’ve been unable to do this is because the public and the politicians who purport to represent them lack a vivid understanding of the price being paid. The horror has been kept under wraps. To truly judge the trade-offs of the status quo, the death and destruction must be honesty revealed. We need a game changer. We need an Emmett Till moment.”

Secret Service Agent Who Was Wounded in Reagan Assassination Attempt Says He Accepts Hinckley’s Release

John Hinckley Jr

By Steve Neavling

John W. Hinckley Jr., who shot Ronald Reagan and three others outside a D.C. hotel in 1981, will be released on June 15, and a Secret Service agent who was wounded in the shooting said he accepts the judge’s ruling, NBC Chicago reports

In issuing a written release order, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said Hinckley, who turns 67 on Sunday, doesn’t appear to pose a danger anymore. 

“John Hinckley tried to kill the president of the United States. He came very close to doing so,” Friedman said Wednesday. But “without losing sight of what he did 40 years ago, he has been the most scrutinized person [in America’s mental health system] … living under a microscope as none of us have.”

Then-Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy, who was wounded in the shooting, spoke after the ruling Wednesday. 

“I hope they’re right,” McCarthy said. “They seem to have been right so far, but there isn’t much room for error.”

He added, “The doctors have said he’s no longer a danger for himself or others and I’ll take their word on that. And as I said during the last 10 years or so when he was released from time to time and they increased it, he hasn’t violated any of the rules, so that’s encouraging.”

In addition to Reagan and McCarthy, Hinckley also shot White House press secretary James Brady and Washington Police Officer Tim Delahanty. 

Off-Duty CBP Agent Who Rescued Students Defends Police Response to Massacre at Texas School

Border Patrol Agent Jacob Albarado, via Facebook

By Steve Neavling

The off-duty CBP agent who rescued students during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas defended the police response to the massacre.

Jacob Albarado told CBS News he believes officers did nothing wrong. 

“I can’t speak on their behalf on what they were doing and how they were assessing the situation because I wasn’t there,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to breach the door. I don’t know what was happening in their mind.”

He added, “I know my fellow officers and, to me, I believe they were doing everything in their power they could do.” 

The shooting claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers before law enforcement officers confronted the shooter and killed him. 

Police have faced widespread criticism over their failure to act promptly to stop the 18-year-old shooter, who had barricaded himself in a classroom full of children. 

More than an hour had passed before the shooter was killed.

The Justice Department is investigating the police response to the shooting.

Albarado was getting his hair cut when he received a frantic text message from his wife, who works at the school. He grabbed a shotgun from his barber and rushed to the school, slipped into a wing of the building and began rescuing students. 

70 Children Rescued by Multi-Agency Operation in Texas

Photo: ICE

By Steve Neavling

A multi-agency operation in Texas recovered 70 missing children in a three-week period, ICE announced Tuesday.

Operation Lost Souls was a joint effort involving Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, the Texas Department of Public Safety and numerous other federal, state and local agencies. 

The operation ran from the end of April through mid-May in western Texas. 

The recovered children ranged in age from 10 to 17, and most were runaways. Some were victims of sex trafficking, as well as physical and sexual abuse. 

“Operation Lost Souls exemplifies Homeland Security Investigations’ commitment to protecting the public from crimes of victimization. In this case, we are looking out for our children – our community’s most precious resource,” El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho said in a statement. “HSI is committed to continue working with our law enforcement partners to locate, recover and help missing children heal, while ensuring that perpetrators are held responsible for these heinous crimes and brought to justice.”

Authorities attributed the success to teamwork. 

“At the Department of Public Safety, teamwork is one of our core values,” DPS Major Matthew Mull said. “We are grateful for all of our law enforcement partners who participated in this operation and who work around-the-clock every day to protect our communities, including our youth.”

Anyone with information about human trafficking is asked to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.

Jury Finds Clinton Campaign Lawyer Not Guilty of Lying to FBI

U.S. Attorney John Durham. Photo: DOJ

By Steve Neavling

Michael Sussman, a cybersecurity attorney who represented Hillary Clinton during the presidential election, was acquitted by a jury Tuesday of lying to the FBI. 

The jury’s decision represents a significant defeat for special counsel John Durham, who was investigating the origins of the federal investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

Sussmann was accused of lying to the FBI in September 2016 by falsely saying he was not representing Clinton’s campaign. At the time, Sussmann told the FBI that cybersecurity researchers were concerned about possible ties between Russia and the Trump organization. 

The false statement “deprived the FBI of information that might have permitted it to more fully assess and uncover the origins of the relevant data and technical analysis, including the identities and motivations of Sussmann’s clients,” the indictment stated. 

Sussman’s lawyers have long called the prosecution baseless and political. 

The jury took six hours to deliberate. 

After the trial, the jury’s forewoman said the Justice Department had a weak case. 

“Personally, I don’t think it should have been prosecuted,” the forewoman said, adding the government “could have spent our time more wisely,” The Washington Post reports.

Former Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham three years ago to investigation wrongdoing during the Russia-Trump investigation. 

Sussman thanked the jury. 

“I told the truth to the FBI,” he said. “Despite being falsely accused, I am relieved that justice ultimately prevailed in this case. As you can imagine, this has been a difficult year for my family and me. But right now, we are grateful for the love and support of so many during this ordeal, and I’m looking forward to getting back to the work that I love.”