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FBI

New FBI Director Comey Is Battling More Than Crime in First Weeks in Office

FBI photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just two weeks into his job at the helm of the FBI, James B. Comey is combating more than global terrorism, government corruption and organized crime.

The budget sequester is forcing the bureau to reduce its $8.1 billion budget by $800 million, adding to the list of pressures on the FBI, the Washington Post reports.

Comey said he was briefed on the sequester before taking the job, but told the Post that he “was very surprised to learn how severe the potential cut is.”

The deficit could continue for a decade, forcing across-the-board cuts of 8.2%, according to the Post.

FBI Busts Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy for Selling Pot Out of Squad Car

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Georgia sheriff’s deputy is accused of peddling pot from his squad car.

The FBI said Darrell Mathis, 40, sold a pound of marijuana to an undercover agent and then coordinated a drug-selling scheme with another agent, the New York Daily News reports.

That scheme involved Mathis transporting pot to another state, according to the FBI.

“The FBI considers such allegations of criminal conduct by law enforcement officers to be a priority investigative matter,” said special agent Mark F. Giuliano of the FBI Atlanta Field Office.

ATF, Already Struggling to Show Relevancy, Snubbed in Navy Yard Shooting Investigation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although the ATF is tasked with tracing guns used in crimes, the agency was virtually left out of the Navy Yard shooting investigation, CBS News reports.

That task was given to the FBI, which located the store where the gun was purchased within a few hours of the shooting.

It was unusual to leave out the ATF, CBS News reported.

“I have never seen an instance where ATF had not been relied upon to trace the gun,” said Mike Bouchard, a former ATF assistant director for field operations. “I have never heard of a situation like that.”

ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun was vague in a statement.

“ATF is the sole federal agency that is authorized to conduct firearms tracing,” Colbrun stated. The ATF’s National Tracing Center “is authorized to trace a firearm for a law enforcement agency involved in a bona fide criminal investigation.”

 

Did FBI Conduct Warrantless Wiretapping of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack?

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was listening to Trenton Mayor Tony Mack’s cell phone calls for nearly six months under the authority of a court.

But that authorization ended two days after agents raided Mack’s home last summer, the NJ.com reports.

Government records now suggest agents continued to tap Mack’s phone, raising major questions surrounding the handling of the probe of the mayor of New Jersey’s capital city.

NJ.com wrote that defense attorneys are likely to challenges any warrantless wiretappings.

“It will come out at the time of motions,” said Jerome Ballarotto, a lawyer for Mack’s co-defendant Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Prohibited from Entering Libya to Arrest Terror Suspects

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Libyan government is barring the FBI from arresting suspects in last year’s deadly terror attack on the U.S. that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, CNN reports.

A top State Department official delivered the news to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

Republicans expressed shock that no one has been brought to justice, especially since federal authorities have already filed charges against suspects in connection with the attack.

“Not one terrorist perpetrator has been captured or killed, despite the president saying that this was his highest priority,” said Rep. Ed Royce, the panel’s Republican chairman.

Some Republicans noted that a CNN reporter interviewed the suspected leader of the attack.

“After a year, we can’t find these people but yet a CNN reporter can go to Benghazi at a hotel, at a coffee shop and have coffee with the suspected ringleader of (of this group) indicted by our government,” Rep. Ted Poe said. “Maybe the FBI ought to just ask the CNN reporter `how did you get a hold of this guy?'”

FBI: Windy City Became Murder Capital of U.S. in 2012

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Chicago led the nation in the sheer number of murders last year with 500, eclipsing even New York, which has a much larger population.

The FBI statistics released this week show that New York City had 419 murders, followed by Detroit with 386 and Philadelphia with 331 last year.

But on a per-capita basis, Flint, Mi., led the nation, followed by Detroit.

Other cities with more than 200 murders include Los Angeles (299), Baltimore (219) and Houston (217).

Of the murders, 69% involved a gun.

 

Washington Navy Yard Shooter Was ‘Wondering Around Looking for People to Shoot’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis was “wondering around looking for people to shoot” and didn’t appear to have specific targets, new FBI Director James Comey said, NPR reports.

It was Comey’s first public comments since taking office this month.

Comey said Alexis used a legally purchased sawed-off shotgun. When he ran out of ammunition, he used a Beretta that he stole from a wounded guard, NPR reported.

The shooting ended a little more than a half hour after it started.

A “sustained exchange” of gunfire killed Alexis, Comey said.

Counterterrorism Expert Named as Head of FBI’s Chicago Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Robert Holley, one of the FBI’s premier counterterrorism experts, was tapped to head the bureau’s Chicago office, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The 55-year-old will join the Chicago office as the new Special Agent in Charge in October, the Sun-Times wrote.

Holley worked in Chicago in the past as the office’s lead counterterrorism expert.

“Bob Holley will be terrific. He is smart, practical, hard-working and gets along with people,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, former U.S. Attorney in Chicago during the Headley investigation. “He has the experience of working side by side with federal, state and local partners as well as prosecutors. And he has the experience supervising important programs at headquarters. Working with Bob was great. The FBI Chicago will be in great hands.”