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May 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Weekend Series on Crime History: Russian Spies in the U.S.

FBI, DOJ Investigating How Gov. Cuomo’s Admin Handled Nursing Home Deaths

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo via City of New York.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI and Justice Department have launched an investigation into how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration handled nursing home residents who were infected with COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic.

Federal authorities are investigating whether Cuomo’s coronavirus task force manipulated data to downplay deaths in nursing homes, The Times Union of Albany first reported.

“As we publicly said, DOJ has been looking into this for months,” Richard Azzopardi, spokesman for the governor, said. 

It wasn’t immediately clear whether any task force members have been interviewed yet. 

Cuomo had come under fierce criticism after requiring nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to accept people who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were in the hospital. The directive was later rescinded. 

The Cuomo administration previously reported 8,500 nursing home coronavirus-related deaths, but the true toll was closer 15,000. 

Accused Insurrectionist Charged After Threatening to Shoot FBI Agents in Videos

Suzanne Kaye, 58, threatens FBI agents on social media.

By Steve Neavling

A Florida woman has been charged with threatening to shoot FBI agents after they interviewed her about her alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot. 

Suzanne Kaye, 58, is accused of posting two videos to social media, including one captioned, “F**k the FBI!!,” in which she declares she’s a “f**king patriot” while drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels, Huffington Post reports.

“You think I’m gonna let you come f**king talk to me?” Kaye says of the FBI. “You’re out your motherfucking mind, bro. That’s not gonna happen. I’m a f**king patriot, and I exercise my First Amendment right, my freedom of speech, and my Second Amendment right to shoot your f**king ass if you come here.”

In a second video posted on TikTok, Kaye makes a similar threat. 

“I know my f**king rights,” she says in the video. “My Second Amendment right to carry a gun to shoot your f**king ass if you come to my house. So f**k you, f**k you following me, I don’t care. I’m glad you know who I am, motherfucker.”

Kaye has been charged with interstate communication of a threat. 

Border Patrol Agents Rescued 200+ People Stranded During Historic Storm

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents have rescued more than 200 people since a historic storm brought snow and frigid temperatures to Texas. 

“Big Bend Sector Border Patrol Agents have risked their own lives in the on-going effort to patrol the sector despite the winter weather,” CBP said in a news release. “Agents have successfully rescued over 200 people in recent days from dangerous conditions in the area, saving life and limb.”

Many of the people had been abandoned by smugglers or were lost as temperatures plummeted. Some called 911 for help.

Early Wednesday, agents from the Laredo South Station helped seven people who were lost south of Laredo. An agent from the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station in New Mexico is credited with saving the life of a woman with hypothermia who was stranded in the desert during a snowstorm. 

“In addition to the physical and environmental risks faced by individuals hoping to cross illegally into the U.S., they are also vulnerable to life-threatening abuse and neglect by unscrupulous smuggling organizations,” Border Patrol said in a statement. “Criminal entities fill their pockets while exploiting a vulnerable population and have no regard for the safety of migrants. The criminal organizations often attempt to smuggle individuals inside trailers which with the recent low temperatures, the inside can become as cold as a freezer.”

Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly Gets Ok for Release From Prison For Medical Reasons

By Steve Neavling

John Connolly, the disgraced former FBI agent who was sentenced to 40 years behind bars for working with mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, will be released from prison after his lawyers said he has terminal cancer. 

The Florida Commission on Offender Review voted 2 to 1 to grant Connolly’s request for medical release on Wednesday. 

“We are pleased,” his attorney James E. McDonald told CNN. “John is 80 years old, he has cancer, and from my perspective, he’s been wrongfully convicted. Which is why I’ve been representing him for free for 15 years.”

Connolly’s release date has not been set yet, but McDonald said he expects him to be released as early as Friday.

In requesting the medical release, another of Connolly’s lawyer, Peter Mullane, said Connolly has “two serious illnesses.”

“He has multiple melanomas and pretty bad diabetes,” Mullane. 

While working for the FBI’s Boston Field Office in the 1970s, Connolly recruited Bulger as an informant. Connolly was convicted of second-degree murder for participating in a plot to kill a Florida businessman in 1982 at the urging of Bulger, who was killed in a West Virginia prison in 2018. 

Border Patrol Agent Saves Life of Woman Stranded in Desert During Snowstorm

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent in New Mexico is credited with saving the life of a woman with hypothermia who was stranded in the desert during a snowstorm. 

Agents from the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station were called to help two people stranded in the desert on Monday. The couple had been exposed to the bitter cold for three days, and one of them was unresponsive and showing signs of hypothermia. 

An arriving agent requested medics, and after rendering aid to the woman, he carried her a half mile to his vehicle.  When EMS arrived, the medics transported her to a hospital. 

It turned out the couple had COVID-19. The responding agent has been quarantined pending testing. 

“Although I’m extremely proud of the heroic actions by our agent, this event once again illustrates the high risks of COVID-19 exposure that exists for our Border Patrol agents,” El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said in a statement.

“Our agents will place themselves in harm’s way, go any length, to render aid to those in need, not knowing the victims are COVID-19 positive.  Now we will take measures to quarantine our agent, sanitize and decontaminate the vehicle, and ensure our agent gets tested due to the COVID-19 exposure.”

Renovations Planned for FBI HQ As Search Begins for New Building

FBI headquarters, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

As the Biden administration begins exploring plans to relocate the FBI headquarters, the current building in Washington D.C. will receive much-needed renovations. 

The General Services Administration set aside $5 million to renovate parts of the J. Edgar Hoover Headquarters, a crumbling, cramped, and antiquated building that has been a source of frustration for agents and employees. The 2.8-million-square-foot building was dedicated in 1975. 

In the meantime, the GSA has 90 days to develop a plan for a new building, The Washington Post reported earlier this month.

The long-time search for a new home was stymied by the Trump administration. In 2017, Trump’s GSA scrapped a plan to build a new headquarters in the Washington suburbs in favor of building a smaller headquarters in downtown D.C., which would have required some staff to relocate to Alabama, Idaho and West Virginia. 

President Biden has indicated he plans to move forward with finding a new home in the Washington D.C. region. 

Secret Service Arrests Two People with Weapons And Letter to Biden Near White House

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service arrested two people near the White House after one of them told agents they were in possession of weapons and a letter to President Biden. 

One of them had a BB gun, and the other was in possession of an unregistered pistol and ammunition, The Hill reports.

“During the course of the encounter and subsequent arrests, the individuals posed no immediate danger to any Secret Service protectee,” the Secret Service said.

The pair voluntarily approached the agents on Friday and said they “were there to meet with the President of the United States and had a letter to deliver to him.”

“On Feb. 13 at approximately 5:24 p.m., two individuals approached U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officers near 15th St. NW and Pennsylvania Ave,” a Secret Service spokesperson told The Hill.

“One of the individuals disclosed the possession of a weapon and was immediately detained and the second individual disclosed the location of an additional weapon in a vehicle nearby. Uniformed Division officers located the vehicle and took possession of the weapon. The first individual was arrested for possession of a BB gun and the second individual was arrested for carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition,” the spokesperson added.

Biden was on the way to Camp David at the time and was not at the White House.