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Unarmed Man Shot by Secret Service Was Threatening to Kill People Near White House, Authorities Say

File photo via Secret Service.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An unarmed man shot by a Secret Service officer, prompting President Trump to duck out of a press conference Monday, was shouting that he was going to kill people near the White House, The Associated Press reports.

Myron Basil Berryman, 51, of Forestville, Md., was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday and charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer.

When a uniformed Secret Service officer approached Berryman at the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, a few blocks from the White House, Berryman said he had a gun and moved aggressively toward the officer, Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Tom Sullivan told the Associated Press.

Berryman is a licensed boxer who had been charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in the past, The New York Post reports.


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Border Patrol Agent with Cache of Ammunition Was Arrested by Mexican Army

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent was arrested by Mexican army soldiers on claims that he crossed the border into Juárez with a cache of firearm ammunition.

The agent, whose identity wasn’t disclosed, was charged but later released after U.S. and Mexican authorities discussed the case, El Paso Times reports.

The agent was crossing the border in a personal vehicle using an international bridge connecting El Paso and Juárez on Aug. 4. A border inspection allegedly uncovered 30 rounds of ammunition, a loaded firearm magazine and a bulletproof vest.

“We don’t know what he came to do or what he wanted to do,” Mexican army Gen. Miguel Angel Hernandez said at a briefing on an unrelated issue.

In a statement, Border Patrol said, “Following a series of meetings between U.S. and Mexican authorities the agent was released and returned to the U.S. the morning of August 5.”


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Border Patrol Agent Charged with Drug Trafficking After Agents Find Duffel Bags Full of Drugs

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent has been charged with drug trafficking after prosecutors say he loaded two duffel bags full of drugs into a vehicle at an airport in Phoenix.

Carlos Victor Passapera Pinott, 53, assigned to the Tucson Sector Ajo Border Patrol Station, was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, ICE says in a news release.

Prosecutors say the duffel bags contained 21 kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin and one kilogram of fentanyl plus some 350,000 pills believed to fentanyl.

Agents executed a search warrant at his Buckeye, Ariz., home and found about $329,000 in cash and another $40,000 in his vehicle, prosecutors say.

If convicted, Passapera faces up to life in jail and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.


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DOJ Lawyer Suggests Secret Info May Have Prompted Barr to Drop Flynn Case

Attorney General William Barr

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr may have decided to drop the criminal case against Michael Flynn based on secret information, a government lawyer said Tuesday.

The possible existence of nonpublic information was revealed by Jeffrey Wall, the acting U.S. solicitor general, during an appeals court hearing over the dismissal of Flynn’s case in federal court.

“The attorney general sees this in the context of nonpublic information from other investigations,” Wall told the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“It may be possible that the attorney general had before him information that he was not able to share with the court and so what we put in front of the court were the reasons that we could, but it may not be the whole picture available to the executive branch,” Wall said.

“The attorney general made that decision or that judgment on the basis of lots of information,” Wall added. “Some of it is public and fleshed out in the motion. Some of it is not.”

The appellate court is trying to determine whether a lower-court judge was obligated to accede to the Justice Department’s request to dismiss the case.


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Douglas Korneski Named Special Agent in Charge of Memphis Field Office

Special Agent Douglas Korneski.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Douglas Korneski, a 19-year veteran of the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the Memphis Field Office.

Korneski was serving as a deputy assistant director in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Korneski’s career with the FBI began as a special agent in 2001, working counterintelligence and counterterrorism issues in the Los Angeles Field Office. He also served on the SWAT team.

In 2006, Korneski was promoted to supervisory special agent and transferred to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters.

In 2008, Korneski became unit chief of the newly formed National Security Analysis Center within the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force.

In 2010, he served as the supervisor for domestic terrorism on the Joint Terrorism Task Force at the Atlanta Field Office. In 2014, Korneski served as the assistant special agent in charge of Atlanta’s Criminal Branch.

In 2016, Korneski was tapped to serve as the first section chief of the Office of Private Sector at headquarters.

In 2018, Korneski was named deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, overseeing issues related to mitigating chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threats.

Before joining the FBI, Korneski graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He received a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina and graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Homeland Security Executive Leaders Program.


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Wray Taps Former Law Partner to Serve as Top FBI Attorney

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray has named a former law partner to serve as the bureau’s next general counsel.

Jason A. Jones, a partner at law firm King & Spalding LLP, will replaces Dana Boente, who was criticized by Republicans for the FBI’s handling of the investigation into President Trump’s administration. He resigned under pressure in June.

Wray and Jones used to work together at King & Spalding.

Jones previously served as a federal prosecutor for nearly a decade, prosecuting suspects for a range of crimes, including murder, racketeering, terrorism, and money laundering. At the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York, Jones served on the Guantanamo Bay Review Task Force.

In 2014, Jones served as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general. In addition, he served on the attorney general’s Capital Case Review Committee.

Jones later became assistant chief of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit in the Justice Department’s Fraud Section, where he investigated and helped prosecute companies and people accused of bribing foreign officials.

After leaving the Justice Department, Jones became a partner at King & Spalding’s Special Matters and Government Investigations team.

A graduate of Dartmouth College with a law degree from Cornell University, Jones received the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Award for Excellence in Criminal Litigation, and the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s Federal Prosecutor Award.


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Trump Pressured Intelligence Agencies to Quash Report about Russia’s Election Interference

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump pressured intelligence agencies to quash part of classified report that revealed Russia was trying to help him win the 2020 election, according to The New York Times Magazine.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) compiled the report, known as a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which concluded that Russia sought to interfere in the election.

As the ODNI was finishing the report, Trump staffers attempted to remove the section about Russia interfering in the election.

“I can affirm that one of my staffers who was aware of the controversy requested that I modify that assessment,” former director of national intelligence Dan Coats tell The Times. “But I said, ‘No, we need to stick to what the analysts have said.'”

Soon after, Trump forced Coats to retire early.

Without Coates at the helm, the NIE soft-peddled the conclusion, stating, “Russian leaders probably assess that chances to improve relations with the US will diminish under a different US president.”

Numerous federal agencies concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, but Trump downplayed the reports.


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Virtual Surveillance Towers Show Promise As Alternative to Steel, Concrete Border Walls

Construction of a border wall, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Steel and concrete border walls get all the media hype, but a new mobile technology may prove to be a far more effective and inexpensive way to combat illegal immigration.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is trying out telescoping surveillance towers on the Arizona border that can track illegal crossers with infrared and daytime cameras, along with laser range-finders, NPR reports. Capable of tracking a target miles away, the autonomous surveillance towers can be mounted on a pickup truck and operated remotely.

“The camera sees something, it’s going to alert and send that information to an agent in the field. So my iPhone will have an app on it and that information will come directly to me,” Kelly Good, deputy executive director of CBP’s Program Management Office Directorate, says.

Steel and concrete walls, however, appear to be the Trump administration’s priority.

“We now are in a time where we can build this virtual border wall technology. We have that already. I mean, you got the autonomous surveillance towers,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat from a border district, says. “But there’s political pressure from the White House. They’re saying, ‘Build me the wall. Get me miles.’ “


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