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Officials: Border Patrol Under Heavy Fire from Mexican Cartels Near Texas

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents came under heavy fire from the Mexican side of the border Friday night, Fox News reports.

Authorities believe .50-caliber rounds were fired at the U.S. side of the riverbank near Rincon Peninsula across from Reynosa, Mexico. Sources told Fox News that the gunfire likely came from Mexican drug cartels.

“We don’t have any armor that can stop a .50-caliber round, so our Border Patrol agents had to take cover when the rounds were richocheting around them,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas said.

“When the shooting stopped, about 40 to 50 people came out on the U.S. side and turned themselves in. So clearly the rounds were being fired to suppress every effort to stop anybody intervening with anyone or anything coming across,” Gohmert added. “We have no idea what or how many or whom came across with the other illegal immigrants.”

The shooting comes at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of an immigration crisis involving unaccompanied children from Central America.

Report: Obama Administration Ignored Warnings of Brewing Border Crisis

white house photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly a year before a flood of unaccompanied children from Central America created a crisis along the border, the Obama administration was warned that the U.S. was not adequately prepared for such a situation, the Washington Post reports.

A team of Border Patrol agents was assigned to the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and was alarmed by the potential for problems.

This year, more than 57,000 Central American migrants were caught entering the U.S. illegally, and President Obama has declared a humanitarian crisis.

The administration could have better managed the problem had it acted soon, the Post found during interviews with experts and former government officials.

Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief, said the crisis was “not on anyone’s radar” and was considered a “local problem.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: LBJ Talks to J. Edgar Hoover About Mississippi Civil Rights Workers’ Murders in 1964

httpv://youtu.be/6lHfVnZgy4U

FBI Arrests Four Americans Following Fake Sex-Slave Auction in Arizona

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has arrested four American men after setting up a sting featuring a fake sex-slave auction in Arizona, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Agents set up the sting after the men expressed an interest in buying sex slaves through an online Malaysian slave trading organization that the FBI had been investigating.

Undercover agents set up a fictitious auction.

“We came to realize that there was a portion of the human-trafficking threat that we were underappreciating,” said George  Steuer, supervisory special agent in the Phoenix FBI office. “We realized that there was this group of individuals in the U.S. who were interested in owning a human slave both for sexual exploitation and domestic labor.”

But defense lawyers say the FBI went too far.

“I thought I’d heard of everything until I got this case,” said George Klink, a Phoenix attorney who represents one of the men. “It’s an awful waste of resources.”

US Sees Fewer Undocumented Central American Children Crossing Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border in South Texas has declined over the past 10 days, authorities said.

That’s good news for an agency that has become overwhelmed by a surge of children entering the country without their parents, Fox New reports.

Since October, federal authorities have arrested more than 57,000 undocumented children.

Border Patrol also converted a 55,000-square-foot warehouse to temporarily house up to 1,000 children.

“We arrested 80 juveniles yesterday, so within the last 10 days we’ve seen a decrease in the number of juveniles arrested,” Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector Chief Kevin Oaks

The Los Angeles Times toured the facility in McAllen, Texas, where squalid, cramped conditions were reported earlier in the month because of the immigration surge from Central America.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI, NTSB Prepare to Investigate Downed Malaysia Airlines Flight


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and NTSB officials are planning to investigate the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which killed 298 people.

Authorities believe the plane was struck by a missile over an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

ABC News reports that the separatists who control the area have agreed to allow investigators access to the site to recover bodies and collect evidence.

It’s not yet clear when the investigating will begin.

The plane crashed at 12:15 p.m.

The FBI and NTSB described their role as an advisory one.

FBI Likes, Hates Idea of Driverless Cars For Public Use

"Hands-free Driving" by Steve Jurvetson (Wikipedia.org)

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI likes the idea of driverless cars but also fears them, according to a newly released FBI report.

While the cars would help chase down criminals, they also would help them flee, the FBI wrote in the report, Forbes reports.

According to the FBI, the driverless cars could serve as getaways for criminals, who wouldn’t need to pay attention to the road and could even shoot at pursuers.

The FBI believe the cars will be approved for public use within the next seven years.

But there are perks to driverless cars for the FBI. Response times could quicken, for example, because the cars avoid potential collisions and detection.

The report adds that “algorithms can control the distance that the patrol car is behind the target to avoid detection – or intentionally have a patrol car make opposite turns at intersections, yet successfully meet up at later points with the target.”

FBI Launches Nationwide Probe into Fungal Meningitis Outbreak That Killed 64

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has launched an investigation into a fungal meningitis outbreak that sickened 751 people nationwide, killing 64, the Tennessean reports.

Authorities are blaming the outbreak on contaminated steroids manufactured by a Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center and used in spinal injections as pain relief.

Joan Peay of Nashville met with an FBI agent after she came down with fungal meningitis in 2012. “They are creating a criminal case against New England Compounding Center,” Peay said. “They are just at the point now where they are interviewing patients.”

She was questioned about how she contracted the illness and how it impacted her.