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A Chat With U.S. District Court Judge Terrence G. Berg About Being Shot During Attempted Robbery at His Detroit Home


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Terrence G. Berg is a mild-mannered, thoughtful guy who knows plenty about crime.

Before being appointed by President Barack Obama as a federal judge in 2012, he was a federal prosecutor and acting U.S. attorney in Detroit.

In March, he got a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a crime victim. While on his front porch in the University District in northwest Detroit, two men approached and told him they wanted to gain entry to his home. His wife and son were inside.

Berg resisted. One of the men pulled out a gun and shot him in the knee. Both then fled. The case went unsolved until this month when the shooter was charged.

Berg is walking again after undergoing surgeries, though his knee tightens up on him if he sits too long. He works out to stay fit. But the avid jogger isn’t sure he’ll ever jog again.

Berg sat down the other day with Allan Lengel to talk about the ordeal and its impac

FBI Closes 1964 Civil Rights Case with No Charges Against Former Sheriff’s Deputy

fbi-logBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For more than 50 years, Frank Andrews’s family never got justice.

He was shot and killed by an Alabama sheriff’s deputy in 1964 outside of a house known for selling illegal alcohol.

Now the FBI has closed the case and decided against charging the former deputy, Quinnie Donald, The Associated Press reports. 

The FBI determined no charges were warranted.

“I’m proud that they closed it, but I don’t like bringing it up,” Donald said quietly during an interview at his home earlier this month. “I regret that it happened.”

Donald said he was using an unfamiliar pistol and that it fired at the slightest touch when he said he saw Andrews reach for his pocket as if he were trying to pull a knife, the AP wrote.

The Justice Department reopened the case in 2008 but federal agents were never able to gather enough evidence.

New Jersey to Use Cyber Canine to Sniff Out Thumb Drives, Hard Drives And Cell Phones

dog-detroitBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

This is not your ordinary canine.

The FBI is New Jersey is planning to soon crack down on cyber crime with a special dog that will be able to sniff out thumb drives, hard drives and cell phones, NJ 101.5 reports. 

“It’ll be an extremely versatile dog, it’ll be used in almost any type of investigation where we intend to search out or collect digital media,” said New Jersey FBI Special Agent Celeste Danzi.

“He or she will be able to identify these items and find them if they’re hidden or disguised as a pen or even a tiny chip,” she said. “It could be as small as a fingernail, anything that memory can be stored in, the dog will be able to scent or alert on.”

The FBI has bought the dog but it first must undergo about five months of training.

Federal Crackdown on Pain Meds Turning Legitimate Patients into Victims

pain medsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Patients with a legitimate need for pain medication are having a hard time getting their drugs because of a crackdown on opioid addiction, Al Jazeera reports. 

Since the 2013 crackdown began, more pharmacists are refusing to fill valid prescriptions for controlled substances, even to people with a legitimate need.

“But federal drug policy has done the most damage. For the past five years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been orchestrating a high-stakes proxy war between physicians and pharmacists, creating tens of thousands of so-called ‘opioid refugees’ in the process,” Al Jazeera wrote.

Among those hardest hit are poor, minority and elderly people who have a legitimate need for pain meds.

Al Jazeera called it the “equivalent of medical redlining.”

Blaze That Tore Through Mosque in Houston Was Intentionally Set, Officials Said

Detroit fire lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Christmas Day fire at a mosque in Texas was intentionally set, investigators told The Source.

The two-alarm blaze tore the Savory Mosque in Houston at 2:45 p.m., causing significant damage.

No injuries were reported because about 200 people left the mosque about an hour before the arson fire.

The investigation is being handled by the ATF, FBI and Houston police.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime: The TV Series ‘The FBI’


How I Was Locked Up for Not Having Papers At National Park in Texas

border patrol 3By Lisa Ragbir
For The Guardian

In Big Bend National Park my husband, father, daughter and I stood on the banks of the yellow-green waters of the Rio Grande.

On our side – the US side – we planted our feet on a beach of cracked mud. On the other side, a 1,000ft cliff wall rose from the river to run left and right, as far as the eye can see. It was the sort of picturesque photo-op that National Parks are built for.

I pointed across the river and told my father: “That’s Mexico,” to which he replied: “Well if that’s Mexico, why does Donald Trump need to build a wall?”

The adults laughed at the joke and my three-year old asked if she could go potty – all of us unaware that we were in an area that is sometimes referred to as theborder zone.

I didn’t imagine that within the next six hours, I would be locked in a cell by US Border Patrol. My offense? I’m Canadian and I didn’t have my permanent resident card with me.

It began with a stop at the Border Patrol station approximately 80 miles north of the entrance to Big Bend, and just over 100 miles north of the Mexico–US border.

“You all American?” a Border Patrol agent asked.

“No, I’m Canadian!” I said cheerfully – not thinking that my answer would prompt furrowed brows.

“What’s your status?”

Another easy question, I thought. “Permanent resident.”

They asked for my permanent resident card – which I didn’t have with me. But I did offer my driver’s license and my university ID, neither of which were of interest to the agents. When my septuagenarian father identified himself as a Canadian citizen visiting from Montreal, he was asked for his passport. “I didn’t think I needed to carry it because we weren’t crossing any borders”, he said. “Why do I need it?”

I thought it was a good question.

My husband asked: “Do you need to see my ID?” The agent’s replied: “What for?”

It might be worth mentioning here that my husband is Italian-American, from New Jersey. I am a first-generation Canadian of Trinidadian-descent. My husband and I aren’t the same color.

In the mid-1990s, I moved to the US for graduate school before moving to Austin, Texas, in 2007. I was born and raised in Montreal – less than 50 miles from the Canada-US border and only a seven-hour drive to New York City. Growing up, my family made that drive countless times to visit relatives who lived in Brooklyn and Long Island.

In those days, we presented our passports and politely answered all of the questions asked of us. It was a routine that always occurred at the border – not in a border zone – which I didn’t know existed before I traveled within 100 miles of the frontier between Mexico and the US. Aside from the picture-worthy mesas, glimpses of roadrunners and a string of Rock Shops, the border zone is the thing you pass through when you leave a day of family-fun in Big Bend.

It took almost an hour, but the agents were able to confirm that my father had flown into the US, from Montreal, on a Canadian passport. Yet they could not verify that my permanent resident card had not expired. Three agents repeatedly explained that I am required to carry my permanent resident card with me at all times – a fact that I only became aware of in the border-zone. There, after an hour of circular-questioning, a bullet-proof-vested agent said: “Ma’am, we need you to step out of the car.”

To read more click here. 

Key Hillary Clinton Aid Becomes Focus of FBI Investigation Over Handling of Private Email Server

hillary-clintonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A key aid to Hillary Clinton is the focus of a separate FBI investigation into the former secretary of state’s use of a private unsecured server, Fox News reports. 

Bryan Pagliano, who invoked his Fifth Amendment right more than 500 times to avoid testifying before a House Committee investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Investigators are trying to determine more about Clinton’s use of a private server that contained highly classified material.

Another question for investigators is whether he or Clinton “grossly mishandled” highly classified information.