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FBI Agents Raid County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Chief in Indiana

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Federal agents raided a county sheriff’s office and fire chief’s home in Indiana on Monday, the Indy Star reports.

Agents conducted the raids at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the home of a Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Department.

It’s believed the raids are connected, but the FBI declined to discuss any details.

 

 

Customs And Border Protection Officer Arrested for Allegedly Helping Smuggle Drugs into U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A 38-year-old Customs and Border Protection Officer is accused of helping drug smugglers cross into the U.S., Fox News reports.

Jose Luis Zavala, who works in Brownsville, Texas, was arrested on charges of drug smuggling and corruption.

He was arrested Dec. 12 and placed on administrative leave. An initial story incorrectly stated that he was a Border Patrol agent.

“CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission,” CBP said in a statement. “The overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe. We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigation of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty.”

Diego G. Rodriguez Named Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office

Diego Rodriguez /fbi photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Diego G. Rodriguez, who headed up the FBI’s Dallas office, has been named the assistant director in charge (ADIC) of the FBI’s New York Field Office.

Rodriguez succeeds George Venizelos, who is retiring after 24 years in the FBI, the agency said.

Rodriguez joined the FBI in 1990 at the New York Field Office and was a member of the SWAT team and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.

In 1997, he headed to San Juan Division, where he was a SWAT team member. He was also assigned to a drug/money laundering task force with the Puerto Rico Police Department.

In 1999, he was promoted to supervisory special agent in in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters.

In 2001, he transferred to the Miami Division, where he supervised a multi-agency drug squad under the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Initiative.

Rodriguez returned to FBI headquarters in 2003 as chief of the Field Oversight Unit in the Directorate of Intelligence.

Shortly after, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office in April 2006 as the criminal, counterterrorism, and intelligence program manager, according to a press release.

He was then promoted to chief of the Domain and Collection Management Section in the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI Headquarters.

In July 2010, he was named a special agent in charge in New York where he oversaw the Criminal Division. In June 2012, he headed up the Dallas Division.

 

 

Before his FBI career, Mr. Rodriguez was a teacher in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1988 from St. John’s University in New York.

Border Patrol Agent Shot at While Pulling Over Car in Texas, Returns Fire As Suspects Fled

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent came under fire Sunday morning while pulling over a car during a routine traffic stop, KFOX14 reports.

The incident happened around 7:25 a.m. when the suspect opened fire on the agent as he approached the car in Hudspeth County, which borders Mexico in Texas.

The agent returned fire but the driver and occupants were able to run away into the brush. Authorities were still searching for the suspects at the end of the weekend.

The agent didn’t sustain any serious injuries.

Secret Service Investigates Creed Frontman’s Alleged Plot to Assassinate President Obama

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Secret Service is investigating claims that Creed singer Scott Stapp was on a mission to assassinate President Obama on the delusional belief that he was working for the CIA, People reports.

The singer’s wife told a 911 operator last month that Stapp was having a schizophrenic episode, riding shirtless on his bicycle carrying a backpack with what he believed were papers and hard drives from the CIA.

“He thinks he’s part of the CIA. He thinks they’re trying to kill him and he has a bunch of paperwork in his backpack that [says] he’s a CIA agent and he was supposed to assassinate Obama,” Jaclyn, 34, said during the call.

The Secret Service said it is investigating.

“We are well aware and we’ll take appropriate action,” Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor said.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Seeks to Diminish Gender Gap to Address Influx of Female Migrants

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The gender gap among Border Patrol agents is significant, even as more women are crossing the border illegally.

The Los Angeles Times reports a 173% in the number of apprehended female immigrants, yet just 5% of the agency’s 21,000 agents are women.

Border Patrol hopes to correct the disparity by aggressively recruiting women.

“Other federal law enforcement [agencies] were at 16% female. We’ve stayed at 5%,” said Shevannah Wray, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection in the Tucson sector. “We need to increase that number in order to have females to search females that we arrest. And then just to reflect the workforce of the U.S.”

While Border Patrol rules do not prohibit male agents from searching female migrants, the agency prefers women for that role.

Another perk of female agents is having someone that women can trust. According to Amnesty International, three of every five female migrants are sexually assaulted during their trek.

“There are females that have been abused along their journey,” Wray said. “So I imagine that they may feel more comfortable talking to a female agent.”

 

3 Columbians Who Helped Kidnap, Murder FBI Agent sentenced to 20+ Years

James Terry Watson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Three Columbian nationals who participated in the kidnapping and murder of DEA Special Agent James “Terry” Watson in Bogota, Columbia, on June 20, 2013, were sentenced to 20 to 27 years.

The defendants had previously entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to kidnap and aiding and abetting the murder of an internationally protected person, the Latin American Herald Tribune .

Héctor Leonardo López, 34, Julio Estiven Gracia Ramírez, 32, and Andrés Álvaro Oviedo García, 22, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and aiding and abetting the murder of an internationally protected person. Today, U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced López to 25 years, Gracia Ramírez to 27 years, and Oviedo García to 20 years.

The defendants admitted they lured victims, including Watson, into taxis, kidnapping and mugging them.

On June 20, Watson was attacked with a knife and stun gun while in the back of the cab. He managed to escape but died from his injuries.

“Throughout his law enforcement career, Special Agent Watson’s service was both selfless and courageous,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “With this action, we continue our work to hold accountable those who were responsible for his murder. In the weeks ahead, we expect to take additional steps to bring the perpetrators to justice. And in all that we do, our nation’s Department of Justice will continue to honor Special Agent Watson’s sacrifice, to safeguard the nation he served, and to protect the values and principles he defended all his life.”

 

FBI Warns That Iran Is Preparing for Potential Cyber Attack on U.S. Businesses

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Federal investigators have an ever-evolving threat that John Edgar Hoover could never have anticipated – hacking.

The FBI issued a warning to businesses recently about a sophisticated Iranian hacking operation that could soon target energy firms, defense contractors and educational institutions, Reuters reports.

The operation hacked at least 50 businesses in 16 countries last week, according to cyber security firm Cylance Inc.

The firm believes the Iranian government is behind the attacks, but the FBI stopped short of making that conclusion.

Tehran has been spending a lot of money on its cyber abilities.

“They are good and have a lot of talent in the country,” said Dave Kennedy, CEO of TrustedSEC LLC. “They are definitely a serious threat, no question.”