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May 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Deputy U.S. Marshal Indicted Following ‘Rape Fantasy’ Plot Against Ex-Girlfriend

By Steve Neavling

A deputy U.S. Marshal has been indicted on charges of cyberstalking and perjury after allegedly plotting a bizarre scheme with his then-wife to frame his ex-girlfriend for crimes she did not commit. 

Ian R. Diaz, 43, of Brea, Calif., was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on numerous charges, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Diaz and his then-wife Angela Maria Diaz are accused of creating  fake Craigslist accounts using his ex-girlfriend’s name. Using the accounts, they allegedly told men to engage in a “rape fantasy” with his then-wife. 

The plan was to make it look like his ex-girlfriend was trying to lure men to his house to rape his wife, the indictment alleges

After staging “one or more hoax sexual assaults,” the couple reported to police that Diaz’ ex-girlfriend was to blame. 

“Diaz and his then-wife then reported this conduct to local law enforcement, falsely claiming that [Diaz’ ex-girlfriend] posed a genuine and serious threat to Diaz and his then-wife,” the news release said.

It worked – at first. His ex-girlfriend was arrested and held in jail for nearly three months. 

But at some point, federal investigators realized it was all a ruse, and Diaz’s ex-girlfriend was exonerated. 

It’s unclear why it took so long to charge Diaz. 

TSA Not Adequately Staffed to Handle Pipeline Security, Critics Say After Ransomeware Attack

In the aftermath of the ransomeware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, critics say the Transportation Security Administration is not adequately staffed to protect the 2.7 million miles of pipeline in the U.S. 

The TSA has nearly 50,000 officers devoted to airports, but only 34 staff positions to oversee pipelines and cybersecurity, ABC News reports. 

“I don’t think they have really the personnel or the expertise to do the job right now,” Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., told ABC News. “We absolutely need more oversight on pipeline security and other areas of critical infrastructure.”

Kiersten Todt, managing director of the Cyber Readiness Institute, went even further. 

“I don’t think that TSA should be responsible for the cybersecurity of the pipelines,” she told ABC News.

For now, House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member John Katko said the TSA should continue overseeing pipeline security. 

“Right now, we need to focus on building existing capabilities and resources while ensuring federal roles and responsibilities are clear,” Katko said in a statement.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Cali Cartel in the 1990s

Some Border Patrol Agents Disgruntled over Biden’s More Liberal Policies

Photo via Border Patrol

President Biden is not winning over some Border Patrol agents, whose frustrations are prompting them to consider early retirement. 

Reuters interviewed dozens of current and former agents and found “growing dissatisfaction among some rank and file members” over Biden’s more liberal border policies.

Some disgruntled agents are even buying joke coins that say “U.S. Welcome Patrol.”

Some of the agents also oppose Biden’s choice to lead U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, who is awaiting confirmation by the Senate. 

The acting Border Patrol chief last month wrote a memo in which he opposed the Biden administration’s new directive to cease using the term “alien” to refer to migrants. 

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, faults Biden for the recent increase in border crossings. 

“I can confidently say that President Biden owns this crisis,” Judd said. “It is his fault.” 

Activists Hired Women to Lure FBI agents into Making Disparaging Remarks about Trump

A group of shadowy conservative activists teamed up with a former undercover British spy to target perceived enemies of President Trump, including FBI agents and then-National Security Adviser H.R. McCaster, according to a new report. 

The conservative group Project Veritas secretly surveilled FBI employees from a pricey rented home in the Georgetown section of Washington D.C., The New York Times reports.

The goal was to smear and discredit FBI staffers and others in the Trump administration who were believed to be opponents of the president. 

One tactic involved female undercover operatives arranging dates with FBI employees in hopes of catching them on secret recordings making disparaging remarks about Trump. The undercover women made fake dating app profiles to lure FBI employees and brought hidden cameras and microphones on the dates.

At the center of the scheme was Richard Seddon, a former British spy who trained Project Veritas operatives in 2016 to infiltrate labor unions and political campaigns. 

It’s unclear whether Trump was aware of the effort, according to the report. 

Number of Single Adults Crossing Border Increases, While Families, Children Decline

By Steve Neavling

An unusually high number of migrants crossing the border are single adults, as opposed to asylum-seeking adults and children.

Nearly two of every three border encounters in April were adults traveling alone, The Associated Press reports.

Border Patrol had 108,301 encounters with single adults in April, an increase of 12% from March. More than half of them are from Mexico. 

About 90% of those adults were expelled from the U.S.

Children, on the other hand, are exempted form expulsion and allowed to stay in pursuit of asylum claims under the Biden administration. 

With so much attention spent on families and unaccompanied children, some current and former border enforcement officials said single adults and drug smugglers have more opportunities to evade capture. 

In the meantime, Border Patrol had encounters with 17,171 children in April, a 9% decrease from March. Families that encountered Border Patrol also dropped 10% in April. 

White Supremacy Is Greatest Threat to U.S., Garland, Mayorkas Testify

Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

By Steve Neavling

The heads of the Justice Department and Homeland Security warned senators Wednesday that white supremacy is the most serious threat facing the U.S. 

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the departments are cracking down on violent extremism.

“The department is taking a new approach to addressing domestic violent extremism, both internally and externally,” Mayorkas said. 

Garland said the Jan. 6 insurrection was “an attempt to interfere with the fundamental element of our democracy, a peaceful transfer of power.”

“I have not seen a more dangerous threat to democracy than the invasion of the Capitol,” Garland said. 

He added, “We will use every appropriate tool at our disposal to deter and disrupt such criminal acts and to bring their perpetrators to justice.”

The Justice Department has charged more than 430 people in connection to the deadly riot. 

Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy called the threat “uniquely dangerous” in his opening remarks. 

“Attacks and plots by domestic extremists are at historic highs, with the majority of them being planned by those on the far right espousing white supremacist and related ideologies,” Leahy said. “In 2020 alone, white nationalists and like-minded extremists conducted 67% of terrorist plots and attacks in the United States. We cannot deny we are facing a class of criminals who feel more emboldened than ever.”

Read Garland’s full comments here.

New Book Chronicles Missteps, Successes of Secret Service

File photo via Secret Service.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump sought to remove Secret Service personnel who he believed was overweight or short. 

Vanessa Trump, the ex-wife of Donald Trump’s eldest son, dated a Secret Service agent shortly after her divorce with Donald Trump Jr.

And during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, Secret Service agents were unable to get Vice President Dick Cheney immediately to safety in an underground bunker because they forgot the S-keys to open the shelter. 

These are some of the takeaways in “Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service,” a new book by Washington Post reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Carol D. Leonnig. The book will be released to the public next week. 

The Washington Post obtained an advance copy of the book and wrote that the book “chronicles the successes, missteps and evolution of the agency tasked with protecting the American president.”

“Although Leonnig does depict some heroics by the Secret Service, her 487-page tome largely focuses on the challenges and stumbles — bureaucratic and otherwise — of the agency she describes as ‘spread dangerously thin’ through 11 presidents, starting with the assassination of John F. Kennedy and placing a particular emphasis on the George W. Bush, Obama and Trump eras.”