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ATF: Medical Marijuana Cardholders Barred from Buying Guns

medical marijuanaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The continuing battle between states and the federal government over medical marijuana just got a lot more intense.

The ATF said Wednesday that medical marijuana cardholders are not allowed to buy guns from licensed dealers, 40/29 News reports.

Although medicinal cannabis has been approved in 29 states, marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. Under President Trump’s administration, the feds are increasing the crackdown on medical marijuana.

People who buy gun from a licensed dealer are required to disclose whether they’re an unlawful marijuana or drug user. Because marijuana is illegal federally, that means anyone who uses it is an unlawful user, said ATF spokesman Kevin Moran.

Storied FBI Agent Carlos Fernandez Retires After Combating Terrorism

FBI Agent Carlos Fernandez, via LinkedIn

FBI Agent Carlos Fernandez, via LinkedIn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Carlos T. Fernandez, the legendary FBI agent who spent most of his career fighting terrorism, is retiring after 21 years.

The 50-year-old agent in charge of New York’s counterterrorism division has accepted a job with media giant Viacom, where he’ll lead their global security at their Times Square headquarters, PageSix.com reports. 

During his illustrious FBI career that began in 1996, Fernandez investigated terrorism in Yemen after the USS Cole bombing, in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks and in Libya after Benghazi.

New York City police will miss Fernandez.

“There’s been no better collaborator (with the NYPD) than Carlos, and he spent his entire career protecting New York City from acts of terrorism,” NYPD Assistant Commissioner J. Peter Donald told Page Six. “We’ll miss him — he’s the best.”

He’ll also be missed by colleagues.

“Carlos is a great American, a great agent and a great friend,” Jeffrey Ringel, who worked with Fernandez at the FBI for 19 years, said. “His retirement is a big loss for New York, but his legacy will live on at the FBI.”

Page Six wrote:

He became a supervisor within the Counterterrorism Division of the New York Field Office in 2010, and in 2015 he became the Special Agent-in-Charge overseeing the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Keeping New Yorkers safe, his division has thwarted attacks such as a Times Square massacre plotted by ISIS sympathizer Mohamed Rafik Naji, who intended to drive a garbage truck into a crowd before his 2016 arrest. They also foiled a Hezbollah strike with the 2017 arrest of Ali Kourani, who cased JFK for an attack. Last week, Bronx man Saddam Mohamed Raishani was arrested for trying to travel to Syria to join ISIS.

Senate Intelligence Committee Expects to Soon Review Comey Memos

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is expected to soon review memos written by former FBI Director James Comey to document his conversations with President Trump.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said Wednesday that he’s received assurances that committee leaders will receive the memos, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

Warner called the memos “critical information we have to have as part of our review process.”

Also on Wednesday, committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said he hopes the panel will be able wrap up its investigation by the end of the year.

As part of the investigation, the committee is expected to interview Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, at a yet-to-be-determined date.

Large Drug Bust in Colorado Targets Marijuana Grown for Out-of-State Sales

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA, along with local and state police, arrested 43 people as part of a major drug bust in Colorado that involves thousands of pounds of marijuana that was intended to be shipped outside of the state.

Authorities, who are calling “Operation Toker Poker” the state’s largest marijuana bust, said the suspects in the multi-state scheme were exploiting Colorado’s law that allows the sale of recreational marijuana, CBS4 in Denver reports. 

According to law enforcement, many of the suspects moved their marijuana grow operations to Colorado to pose as cannabis caregivers in order to launder more than $200,000 per month.

The marijuana was grown out of the suspects’ homes.

Nearly 20 suspects are still on the loose.

“When you think the Denver Police Department and the DEA are going after users, I can tell you, after 30 years of doing this, we don’t care about marijuana users, we never have and we never will,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge David A. Schiller. “We care about those coming into our state, taking advantage of the laws.”

Owner of Gigantic Lobster Angry That TSA Photographed ‘Dinnah’

Giant lobster posted on the TSA's Twitter account.

Giant lobster posted on the TSA’s Twitter account.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Georgia man is irate after discovering that his 20-pound lobster was photographed by TSA agents and went viral on the agency’s Twitter account.

“They are dumb,” Christopher Stracuzza told the New York Times of the TSA. “They are like the dumbest people in the world.” 

While on a trip to a market in Connecticut, Stracuzza bought 12 standard lobsters and the gigantic one.

The 32-year-old auto-body repairman spent $700 on the lobsters, which he planned for a cookout at his home in Savannah, Ga.

Stracuzza checked a cooler with the lobsters with his luggage at a Boston airport. When he arrived home, he noticed the cooler had been tampered with.

Then a friend told him his giant lobster was posted by a TSA agent and another official on the agency’s official Twitter account.

“We share images through social media to provide helpful travel tips and to better inform the traveling public about T.S.A.’s mission,” an agency spokesperson told the New York Times.

Other Stories of Interest

Hard For Robert S. Mueller to Avoid the Limelight

download

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Robert S. Mueller III, the stoic former director of the FBI, never seemed like the kind of guy who enjoyed basking in the glow of the limelight. His successor, James Comey, seemed far more comfortable testifying on the Hill, holding press conferences.

But these days, as Mueller takes on the job of special counsel, bumping up against a president who’s not shy about speaking up and trash talking, it’s hard to avoid the limelight.

The latest comes in the form of a Time magazine cover with Mueller’s G-Man looking photo and the words: “The Lie Detector. Someone’s not telling the truth.”

Time magazine’s David Von Drehle writes:

Trump has traded the anguished Hamlet Comey for the adamantine Marine Robert Mueller, the Justice Department ramrod who remade the FBI after 9/11. As special counsel appointed in the wake of the Comey firing, Mueller has one job, no deadline and bottomless resources, and he is assembling an all-star team of veteran prosecutors whose expert backgrounds go beyond counterintelligence to include money laundering, corporate fraud and the limits of Executive Branch power.

Sensing the trouble he had dug himself into, Trump tweeted, “You are witnessing the single greatest Witch hunt in American political history.” Perhaps all Presidents feel the same way if they find themselves under the withering gaze of a high-profile investigator. Whether called a “special prosecutor” in the Richard Nixon era or “independent counsel” in the Bill Clinton years or “special counsel” today, the specific powers change, but the overall effect is quite the same. Trump’s predecessors could tell him that such investigations are sometimes survivable, but they are not controllable. Trump is at the front end of political cancer treatment: live or die, it will be a draining, miserable experience.

The thing is, Trump can tweet about Mueller and the investigation all he wants. Mueller won’t tweet back and isn’t likely to engage in any public dialogue contesting anything the president says.

Mueller, 72, the former Marine, is on a mission.

And only one thing, short of illness or death, will stop him: Getting fired.

FBI Informant Committed Fraud While Working Undercover on Terrorism Sting

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI placed an awful lot of trust in a Florida man who had just been released from prison for committing fraud.

Soon after Mohammed Agbareia got out of prison and moved to Palm Beach County, the FBI hired him to work as an undercover informant on a high-profile terrorism sting, the Sun Sentinel reports. 

Despite his past legal troubles, the FBI considered him a “national security asset” and extolled his “usefulness as a provider of intelligence of the FBI.”

Yet, Agbareia continued to commit fraud almost immediately after leaving prison, even as he was providing undercover information to the FBI, according to prosecutors.

The new charges allege Agbareia resumed operating a similar fraud scheme that landed him in prison in 2007 and didn’t stop until his arrest on June 21.

The FBI declined to comment.

Trump’s Nominee for FBI Director to Face Tough Questions about His Past

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s safe to say President Trump’s nominee for FBI director, Christoper Wray, will face tough rounds of questions during his confirmation hearing before the Senate.

After all, some senators and legal experts have accused the president of obstructing justice by firing former director James Comey in retaliation for investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Special counsel Robert Mueller and his high-powered team of lawyers is investigating those very allegations.

Wray, whom Trump called “a man of impeccable credentials,” is likely to be hammered about why he removed from his law firm’s website in January the fact that he represented an undisclosed American energy executive who was under criminal investigation by the Russian government. 

Wray’s law firm, King & Spalding, represents the Russian energy firm Rosneft, which has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the International Business Times reports

Wray also is likely to be grilled about his representation of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime Trump supporter, in the Bridgegate scandal. Christie has declined to say whether he recommended Wray to Trump.

And several civil liberties advocates are expressing concerns about Wray.

“Christopher Wray’s firm’s legal work for the Trump family, his history of partisan activity, as well as his history of defending Trump’s transition director during a criminal scandal makes us question his ability to lead the FBI with the independence, even-handed judgment, and commitment to the rule of law that the agency deserves,” American Civil Liberties Union National Political Director Faiz Shakir said in a statement.