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Claustrophobic? Exploring Underground Drug-Smuggling Passages Probably Not for You

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Someone with claustrophobia should not work with Border Patrol’s Entry team, which explores underground drug-smuggling passages near the border with Mexico.

The Los Angele Times reports that prospective members of the team must prove they can handle tight spaces by wiggling through a two-foot wide pipe for about 20 yards.

“You know right off if it’s playing with someone’s mind,” said Lance LeNoir, who leads the five person squad. “It takes some psyching up, to say the least, to do the job.”

The job is getting more difficult because team members are finding longer and tighter underground passages.

The average tunnel of the past two years was 2,450 feet.

Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Stealing Cash Seized During Drug Investigations

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI accused of stealing more than $126,000 in cash seized during drug investigations pleaded guilty Monday.

The Los Angeles Times reports that former special agent Scott M. Bowman admitted he stole cash to fund a lavish lifestyle that included plastic surgery and cars.

Bowman, 45, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, falsification of records, conversion of property by a federal employee and witness tampering.

“As Mr. Bowman takes responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty, the public should be reminded that FBI personnel are held to the highest standards and misconduct of any kind is taken very seriously,” said James Struyk, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI’s field office in Los Angeles.

Bowman was an FBI agent since 2005 and was a member of an anti-gang task force in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

FBI Searches Home of Aging Gangster for Evidence of Unsolved Boston Art Heist

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum  in 1990.

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is searching the backyard of an aging mobster in Connecticut for evidence of art that was stolen two decades ago from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

ABC News reports that this is the third time the FBI has searched in and around the ranch house, owned by Robert “Bobby the Cook” Gentile, who is serving 2.5 years in prison for drug and gun charges.

Gentile’s attorney said his client is surprised the FBI is back at the ranch.

“He laughed and he couldn’t believe they were, that they were at his house again, and he said, this is a quote, ‘They ain’t gonna find nuttin,’” attorney Rome McGuigan said.

During the 1990 heist, 13 paintings were stolen.

MSNBC Host Accuses FBI of Injecting Politics into Hillary Clinton Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

MSNCB host Joe Scarborough, who is a former congressman, suggested Monday that the FBI may be playing politics with the Hillary Clinton investigation.

Scarborough claimed on “Morning Joe” that Clinton clearly violated the law by using a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

“Why is FBI investigation taking the FBI so long?” Scarborough asked.   “This is a clear [case of] mishandling of classified information.  Whether you bring an indictment against Hillary Clinton or those around her, it is a clear mishandling of classified information.  It doesn’t take this long. Why is the FBI dragging their feet? … What is their political motivation for dragging their feet?

Panelist Mike Barnicle said he does not believe politics are involved.

“I have not spoken to anyone who believes there is an indictable offense that has occurred.”

FBI Must Choose Between Prosecuting Some Cases and Revealing Investigative Methods

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s refusal to reveal some of its secret investigative methods is backfiring in several cases.

The Intercept reports that the FBI most recently jeopardized a child pornography case against against a Washington State school administrator because the FBI doesn’t want to reveal how it got evidence.

The FBI gathered its evidence by inserting malware on the computers of people suspected of using a child-porn website.

U.S. District Cout Judge Robert Bryan in Tacoma agreed with defense lawyers for Jay Michaud of Vancouver, Wash., who said he has a right to review the malware.

“The consequences are straightforward: the prosecution must now choose between complying with the court’s discovery order and dismissing the case,” Michaud’s defense attorneys wrote in a brief filed last week.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Arrests Man Accused of Planning to Bomb a South Florida Synagogue

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI says it foiled a terrorist attack at a South Florida synagogue.

Agents arrested on Friday a man who is accused of planning to throw an explosive device into the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, WSVN.com reports. 

Agents were posing as terrorists and said no one was in danger because the suspect was being monitored.

“I think about, before we had a baby, that we used to go there for services, and God forbid, it could have been us,” said Stephanie Levine. “Thank God they stopped him, but had they not, it would have been such a horrible thing to happen to this neighborhood.”

CIA Tweets U.S. Capture of Osama bin Laden – Five Years Later

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA commemorated the five-year anniversary of killing Osama bin Laden with a series of live tweets.

On Sunday, the CIA tweeted that bin Laden was found “on third floor and killed.”

“The takedown of bin Laden stands as one of the great intelligence successes of all time. History has been a key element of CIA’s social media efforts,” CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said, according to ABC. “On the fifth anniversary, it is appropriate to remember the day and honor all those who had a hand in this achievement.”

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Died on This Date in 1972

J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover died 44 years ago Monday.

Here is the original New York Daily News story about his death on May 2, 1972:

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, 77, the nation’s towering symbol of law enforcement for nearly half a century, died at his home during the night.

Death struck without warning. Hoover believed himself in excellent health and put in a full day at work yesterday.

President Nixon made an impromptu appearance in the White House press room to praise Hoover’s “unparalleled devotion” to his country and to express his “profound sense of personal loss.” The President ordered that all flags on government buildings be flown at half staff.

Congress swiftly passed a resolution providing for Hoover’s body to lie in state that traditionally is reserved for Presidents, war heroes and distinguished legislators. He will be the first civil servant in American history to be so honored.

Hoover’s body was found on the floor beside his bed in his northwest Washington home by his maid, Annie Fields, who arrived about 8:30 a.m. to make his breakfast.

Dr. James L. Luke, District of Columbia coroner, attributed Hoover’s death to “hypertensive cardiovascular disease” — an ailment linked to high blood pressure. Luke said the immediate cause of death could have been a heart attack. He said an autopsy was not indicated.

Hoover’s body will lie in state in the rotunda from tomorrow morning until 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The funeral service will be at the National Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. Thursday. Nixon will deliver the eulogy.

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