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Operation to Root Out Corrupt Law Enforcement Leads to Arrest of DEA Officer

Johnny Jacob Domingue, former DEA task force officer.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former DEA task force officer in Louisiana who previously admitted stealing drugs and money while on the job found himself in federal court in another case in which he’s accused of distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Johnny Jacob Domingue was arrested in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday on allegations he negotiated the purchase and transport of cocaine this summer, the Justice Department announced.

The arrest was part of Operation Blue Shame, an ongoing sting designed to root out corrupt law enforcement officers. Homeland Security is leading the operation, with the help of local police, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and CBP’s air and marine units.

Domingue is accused of traveling from Louisiana to Edinburg, Texas, to pick up a vehicle loaded with cocaine stashed in a secret compartment and then distribute the drugs drugs, according to ICE.

Domingue faces 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine.

Operation Blue Shame has led to the arrests and prosecution of at least seven law enforcement officers and 20 individuals.

Man Who ‘Worshipped’ Trump Pleads Guilty After Threatening Secret Service Agents with a Sword

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Washington State man who threatened Secret Service agents with a sword in West Virginia has pleaded guilty to assault.

Joshua Wills, 31, of Bremerton, Washington, told a judge he was driving to Washington D.C. to see President Trump when he was confronted by Secret Service agents, who had received reports that he was in possession of a katana sword, The Associated Press reports.

When three Secret Service agents went to a campground where Wills had gone to spend the night in October 2018, “Wills pulled out his sword and brandished it at us,” Secret Service Agent Thomas Fleming said in a criminal complaint.

“Officers fired two non-lethal shotgun rounds to incapacitate Wills and he was wrestled to the ground,” Fleming said.

Wills’ father told Secret Service agents that his son had “worshipped” Trump and meant no harm. He planned to deliver unknown evidence to the president and stand outside the White House gate with a sword.

“One sure fire way not to see the President of the United States is to brandish a weapon and threaten the safety of local and federal officials,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said.

Wills could be ordered to spend up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 9.

Whistleblower Accuses DHS of Suppressing Reports on Russian Election Interference

Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A whistleblower says he and other Homeland Security analysts were ordered to downplay Russian election interference because it “made Trump look bad.”

In a written complaint, Brian Murphy, the Homeland Security official, accuses acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf of directing him to suppress assessments on Russia and later withhold a report on Russian propaganda attacking Joe Biden’s mental health, The New York Times reports.

The directives amounted to a national security threat, Murphy said.

Murphy also says Kenneth Cuccinelli II, the second in command at Homeland Security, directed him to water down threats of white supremacy to make them “appear less severe” and to add information on violent “left-wing” groups.

In August, Murphy was reassigned to Homeland Security’s management division following news that his office collected intelligence on protesters and journalists in Portland. But in the complaint, Murphy said the real reason for his demotion was his raising concerns about the orders.

“Mr. Murphy followed proper, lawful whistle-blower rules in reporting serious allegations of misconduct against D.H.S. leadership, particularly involving political distortion of intelligence analysis and retaliation,” Mark S. Zaid, Murphy’s lawyer, said in a statement.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are calling on Murphy to testify during a private session on Sept. 21.

“We will get to the bottom of this, expose any and all misconduct or corruption to the American people, and put a stop to the politicization of intelligence,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and chairman of the committee said.

Calling Murphy a “disgruntled former employee,” a White House spokeswoman said Murphy had “never sought to dictate the intelligence community’s focus on threats to the integrity of our elections or on any other topic.”

Homeland Security spokesman Alexei Woltornist also rejected the allegations.

“We flatly deny that there is any truth to the merits of Mr. Murphy’s claim,” Woltornist said. “D.H.S. looks forward to the results of any resulting investigation, and we expect it will conclude that no retaliatory action was taken against Mr. Murphy.”

Alarming Amount of Meth Disguised in Liquid Form Is Crossing Border

Seized liquid methamphetamine, via DEA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers are crossing the border with an alarming amount of methamphetamine disguised in liquid form.

Federal authorities have found it in gas tanks, coolant containers, storage jugs, and bottles of water, pop and apple juice.

So far this fiscal year, feds have seized more than 141,000 pounds of meth, up from 68,585 the previous year.

After liquid meth crosses the border, drug dealers dehydrate it to return it to its crystal form.

“We have seen an increase in the methamphetamine seizures by various agencies to include DEA, DPS and Border Patrol, significant quantities of methamphetamine being smuggled,” Dante Sorianello, the assistant special agent in charge of the DEA in the San Antonio district, told News4SA.

Ex-Special Agent in Charge of Albany Field Office Accused of Sexually Harassing Subordinates

James Hendricks, former special agent of the FBI’s Albany Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

James N. Hendricks, the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Albany Field Office, is accused of sexually harassing eight subordinate employees and creating a hostile work environment for another employee, according to an Inspector General’s Office obtained by The Albany Times Union.

The IG says the harassment happened while Hendricks was serving as chief of the Countermeasures Operation Section in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at the bureau’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

Hendricks was tapped to lead the Albany Field Office in July 2018 and stopped working for the bureau earlier this year.

The FBI declined to discuss the allegations.

“We don’t have anything more to add, other than the FBI is committed to fostering a work environment where all of our employees are valued and respected,” an FBI spokesperson said. “We have a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual harassment.”

The Times Union couldn’t reach Hendricks, 50, for comment.

Sharp Rise in Illegal Drug Seizures As Cartels Adapt to Coronavirus Pandemic

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are reporting a steep rise in the seizure of illegal drugs as cartels adopt to new tactics during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.

Most notably, meth seizures along the border through August have more than doubled over all of fiscal year 2019. Marijuana and fentanyl seizures also are higher than last year.

Via CBP.

“Cartels are constantly finding new and innovative ways to smuggle not only illegal immigrants, but also drugs,” Morgan said, BorderReport.com reports. “We saw a precipitous drop in March but they changed their tactics and procedures quickly and are right back on top.”

After a sharp decline in drug trafficking amid the pandemic, drug traffickers are now focusing on deadly drugs that are easier to hide and more cost-effective to ship. Morgan pointed to the seizure in mid-August of 158 pounds of liquid meth that were concealed in three cases of bottled water.

Seizures of drugs such as meth, heroin and fentanyl rose 56% in August compared to July.

The increase in drug trafficking has translated to a surge in violence in Mexican border towns, Morgan said. Since the end of August, Tijuana has reported 1,339 homicides, many of them drug-related.

Ex-FBI Agent Strzok Calls Trump a ‘Counterintelligence Threat’ in New Book

Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok, via EPA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Peter Strzok, a former FBI agent who played a key role in the Russia-Trump investigation, described the president as a “counterintelligence threat” in a new memoir.

Strzok, who spent more than 20 years as a counterintelligence agent before he was removed from the special counsel team over disparaging texts about Trump in 2017, wrote in “Compromised” that he witnessed the president’s “willingness to accept political assistance from an opponent like Russia — and, it follows, his willingness to subvert everything America stands for,” The New York Times reports.

“That’s not patriotic,” Strzok wrote. “It’s the opposite.”

Strzok claimed Trump pressured the FBI to fire him in August 2018 and used the texts to whip up conspiracy theories. In August 2019, Strzok filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department and FBI, claiming his termination was politically motivated.

“The reporting about my texts hadn’t only whipped Trump into a frenzy,” Strzok wrote. “It had also sent Republicans in Congress into a righteous peeve, giving them fodder for right-wing indignation that would eventually ferment into the deep-state fairy tale that would consume conservative media.”

In the book, which is set to be released Tuesday, Strzok defended the investigation into Trump’s campaign,

The bureau was “investigating a credible allegation of foreign intelligence activity to see where it led,” Strzok wrote. “It started with Russia, and it was always about Russia.”

Happy Labor Day from ticklethewire.com