Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

May 2021
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



FBI Raids UAW Locations As Part of Ongoing Corruption Probe

UAW’s Detroit headquarters.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s ongoing investigation of corruption within the auto industry led to raids four states targeting the United Auto Workers on Wednesday.

FBI and IRS agents raided the homes of UAW President Gary Jones and former  President Dennis Williams, the union’s northern Michigan conference center, and at least three other locations, The Detroit News reports.

The raids come as the union is renegotiating labor contracts for 158,00o auto workers.

The four-year federal investigation has already netted convictions of UAW officials and Fiat Chrysler executives accused of bribery and misusing funds.

DEA Inches Closer to Opening Up More Marijuana Research

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s hesitance to allow for more serious research into marijuana may finally be coming to an end.

The agency announced this week that it’s going to enable more researchers to grow cannabis for studies. For decades, the only entity allowed to research marijuana was the University of Mississippi.

The move could make it easier to legalize marijuana – a step that many states have taken over the past five years.

Marijuana has been illegal on the federal level because it has been labeled a schedule 1 drug, which means it has no medicinal value.

“The main thing that it will likely do is precipitate broader changes in federal policy in marijuana, which will have immense knock-on effects for the industry,” said David Abernathy, vice president of government affairs at the Arcview Group, which markets marijuana research, CNN reports.

Trump Administration Transfers $271M from DHS Agencies to Support Border Enforcement

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security plans to transfer $271 million from some of its agencies to support the Trump administration’s border enforcement efforts.

ICE will use the money to increase the number of beds for detained immigrants and to finance temporary facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, CNN reports.

At least $155 million of that money comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund as the hurricane season approaches.

The Trump administration announced last week that it plans to hold migrant families indefinitely.

DHS notified Congress of its plans in July.

Congressional Democrats criticized the transfer of funds.

“The Trump administration’s plan to divert money away from FEMA at the start of hurricane season to continue its efforts to separate and jail migrant families is backwards and cruel,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “Taking these critical funds from disaster preparedness and recovery efforts threatens lives and weakens the government’s ability to help Americans in the wake of natural disasters. Congress appropriated these funds to meet the American peoples’ priorities and I strongly oppose this effort to undermine our constitutional authority.”

Attorney General William Barr Books Holiday Party at Trump Hotel in D.C.

AG William Barr

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Right or wrong, the optics look bad.

Last month, Attorney General William Barr booked a “Family Holiday Party” in President Trump’s D.C. hotel on Dec. 8 that is likely to deliver Trump’s business more than $30,000 in revenue, Jonathan O’Connell and David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post write.

 The party will include a buffet and an open bar for about 200 people.

The Justice Department says Barr is paying for the party and chose Trump’s hotel only after finding that other hotels were booked.

“Career ethics officials were consulted and they determined that ethics rules did not prohibit him from hosting his annual party at the Trump hotel,” an unnamed Justice official told the Post.

Former ATF Security Guard Gets 14 Years in Prison for Stealing Firearms, Ammunition from Agency

Christopher Lee Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former contract security guard who stole guns, ammunition and firearms parts from the ATF and then sold them was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison.

Christopher Lee Yates, of Martinsburg, W.V., admitted in court that he stole the items from ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch facility near Martinsburg.

An investigation found that Yates stole the guns, ammunition and firearm parts while serving as a security guard from 2016 to 2019.

The theft prompted an investigation that helped the ATF recover 4,625 guns and firearm parts. They included 120 rifles, 60 pistols, four automatic machine guns and three components to make rocket launchers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

What remains unclear is why the ATF didn’t have safeguards in place to avoid the thefts.

Jailed Man Charged with Threatening to Kill Trump, Blow Up White House, Trump Tower

Jesse Blake, via Bedford County Jail

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A New York man locked up in a Pennsylvania jail was charged with threatening to kill President Trump and blowing up the White House, Trump Tower, the Pentagon and the United National headquarters once he gets released from prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

A grand jury indicted 24-year-old Jesse Allen Blake on Aug. 22 on charges that carry a maximum penalty of up to a decade in prison.

According to authorities, Blake mailed a letter to the FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., threatening to blow up the sites and kill Trump.

The Secret Service, with the help of the FBI Task Force, investigated the case.

In a separate case, Robert Pratersch, a 58-year-old Florida man, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for leaving three threatening voicemail messages to the office of Sen. Bernie Sanders, saying he was going to “behead” the senator “ISIS-style” and videotape the execution, the Justice Department announced last week. Pratersch also made “numerous anti-Semitic remarks directed” at Sanders.

FBI Received Increase in Tips from the Public Following Massacres in El Paso, Toledo

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Tips to the FBI increased following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, a sign that the public is taking the gun deaths more seriously.

The FBI’s National Threat Operations Center fielded more than 38,000 tips from the public in the first week following the Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 attacks. NTOC averages 22,000 tips, The Washington Post reports.

At least 28 people have been arrested on allegations of threatening to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in massacres in Texas and Ohio.

In the wake of the attacks, FBI Director Christopher Wray urged law enforcement agencies across the country to become more vigilant in their search for potential mass shooters.

The FBI said tips usually increase following “major incidents.”

“Such increases are often observed after major incidents,” the FBI said in a statement. “As always, the FBI encourages the public to remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.”

Journalist Who Exposed ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s Ties with FBI Dies

One of the books co-written by Gerald O’Neill.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Gerald M. O’Neill, an intrepid Boston Globe journalist who helped expose mobster James “Whitey” Bulger as an FBI informant, has died.

He was 76.

O’Neill was a longtime investigative reporter and editor for the newspaper’s Spotlight Team when he revealed in 1988 that Bulger was killing people while snitching for the FBI. At the time, the bureau was protecting the murderous crime boss.

“That stopped time in Boston,” Stephen A. Kurkjian, one of the original Spotlight reporters, told New York Times for an obit.

Kurkjian said the FBI told the Globe its information was erroneous and would embarrass the newspaper if it dropped the bombshell report. But editors stood behind O’Neill’s investigative work and published the story. After all, O’Neill had valuable sources within the FBI.

“It was a nerve-racking moment,” Dick Lehr, a Spotlight reporter who worked on the series with Mr. O’Neill, told the Times.

A decade later, the FBI finally admitted publicly that O’Neill and his team was right – Bulger was an FBI informant.

O’Neill and Lehr wrote two books about Bulger. One of them, “Black Mass: The Irish Mob, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal,” which was published in 2000, was turned into a 2015 movie in which Johnny Depp starred as Bulger.

O’Neill died at his Boston home Thursday after complications with interstitial lung disease.