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6 Los Angeles County Officials Convicted in Federal Jail Probe Involving FBI Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty Tuesday of attempting to interfere with a civil rights investigation into the county jails, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The two lieutenants, two sergeants and two deputies face up to 15 years in prison after the jury found them guilty of trying to hide an informant from FBI agents during an investigation into a jail scandal.

Attorneys for the defendants said they were only following orders from superiors.

One of the jurors interviewed after the trial said he believed the sheriff’s officials were following commands but crossed the line.

“At a certain point there are things you can’t do,” said the juror, a truck driver who lives in the Crenshaw district but would identify himself only as Ron.

The conviction is a big victory for prosecutors as they delve deeper into the jail investigation.

New York State Senator Charged with Lying to FBI; Son Also Indicted

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

State Sen. Thomas W. Libous and his son Matthew were indicted Tuesday on separate charges, the New York Times reports.

Sen. Libous, 61, of Birmingham was charged with lying to federal agents, while his son was charged with filing false tax returns.

Libous, who first won a seat in the Senate in 1988, is the chamber’s second-highest-ranking Republican and is considered a powerbroker in politics.

Libous denied any wrongdoing.

“I am innocent from all these charges,” Libous said. “It’s very disappointing and we are going to fight them.”

Border Patrol Union: Court Ruling Endangers Agents Because of Fear of Lawsuits

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An appellate court’s ruling that permitted a Mexican family to sue Border Patrol agents could endanger officers, the agency’s union said Tuesday, according to the Texas Tribune reports.

Agents worried about lawsuits may be more reluctant to use deadly force when necessary, according to the National Border Patrol Council.

“We’re concerned, and we think [Monday’s ruling] is going to have a very chilling effect,” said Shawn Moran, vice president at-large and a spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council.

On Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the family of a Mexican child can sue the Border Patrol agent who fatally shot the boy.

The ACLU applauded the decision.

“Today the Fifth Circuit helped ensure that [Customs and Border Patrol] agents are held accountable for shocking and outrageous abuse, even when their victims aren’t inside the U.S.,” Adriana Piñon, an ACLU of Texas staff attorney, said in a statement.

Secret Service Agent Sentenced to 20-40 Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing Child

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Secret Service agent accused of molesting a child was sentenced to between 20 and 40 years in prison Tuesday, Boston CBS Local reports.

Wilbur “Tom” Clark, 70, of East Kingston, N.H., pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, one count of felonious sexual assault, and one misdemeanor of obscene matter.

Clark was a Secret Service agent for more than two decades.

He was accused of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 at his home in East Kingston, N.H.

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FBI Says It Has No Clue How Many Americans It Spies On; Senator Calls for Reform

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has no idea how many Americans it spies on.

Time reports that the FBI keeps very few records on domestic surveillance, a discovery that incensed Sen. Rob Wyden, D-Ore.

Wyden requested information on the number of American citizens who are subject to FBI surveillance and ended up with more questions than answers.

“The FBI does not track how many queries it conducts using U.S. person identifiers,” the letter says. “the FBI does not distinguish between U.S. and non-U.S. persons for purposes of querying Section 702 collection.”

Wyden was not happy about what he called a “huge gap in oversight.”

“When the FBI says it conducts a substantial number of searches and it has no idea of what the number is, it shows how flawed this system is and the consequences of inadequate oversight,” Wyden said in a statement.

FBI to Interview 12-Year-Old Missing Boy Who Turned Up in Basement of Detroit Home

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to interview a 12-year-old boy who went missing before turning up in the basement of his home in a strange case that has gotten international attention, the Free Press reports.

The forensic interview of Charlie Bothuell is scheduled for today.

“Based on the outcome of this interview, the Detroit Police Department may be submitting a package to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office as early as Wednesday afternoon,” according to a statement from Detroit police. “For the time being, Charlie is currently staying with relatives in an undisclosed location.”

After Bothuell was found in the basement of his home Wednesday, suspicions fell on the father and stepmother, who allegedly told the boy to hide in the basement and “not to come out, no matter what he hears.”

The son also told authorities that his father tried to drive a PVC pipe into his chest.

Appeals Court: Mexican Boy’s Family Can Sue Border Patrol Agent in Fatal Shooting

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a decision that could have widespread consequences for federal law enforcement, an appeals court ruled Monday that a Border Patrol agent can be sued for fatally shooting a 15-year-old Mexican boy across the border, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The three-judge panel in New Orleans said the 2010 shooting of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca contain allegations that, if true, would amount to “an official abuse of power so arbitrary as to shock the conscience.”

It’s rare for a court to extend constitutional protections to non-citizens.

“It’s a huge human rights victory,” said attorney Robert Hilliard, who represents the boy’s family. “It gives you a voice inside a U.S. courtroom. They have to focus on, ‘Did the border agent do something wrong?'”

The lawyer for the accused agent said the case may go before the full appeals court.

“Classifying it as a leap is an understatement,” said attorney Randolph J. Ortega. “They have extended the protections of the U.S. courts into foreign countries where the U.S. does not have any jurisdiction.”

DHS: 150 Border Patrol Agents Sent to South Texas Over Immigration Crunch

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About 150 Border Patrol agents are being sent to South Texas to help out authorities who are overwhelmed by a spike in illegal immigration from Central America, the Statesman reports.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson made the announcement on his third trip to the Border Patrol’s McAllen station in southernmost Texas in the last month and a half.

The station has been inundated by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who have been arrested since October.

What remains unclear is whether the new agents are temporary or permanent.

Johnson said again that he children won’t be invited to stay in the U.S., saying “journey is not safe.”

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