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FBI

FBI Probes Source of Weapons Used by Gunman Who Killed 5 in Santa Monica

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

One big mystery behind the gunman who killed five people in Santa Monica is how he got his weapons.

Federal authorities recovered two weapons from John Zawahri – a semiautomatic rifle and an old “black-powder handgun,” The Los Angeles Times reports.

Authorities also are trying determine how he amassed a large collection of ammunition.

“We’ve been at his house, going through his computer too,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the case was ongoing.

The L.A. Times reported that Zawahri has a history of mental illness.

Pennsylvania Justice Under FBI Probe Over Wife’s Referral Fees Involving Law Firms

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery is the target of an FBI investigation involving referral fees received by his wife, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

His wife and chief aide, Lise Rapaport, received 19 referral fees for connecting clients with personal-injury law firms, the Inquirer reported.

One of those fees was for $821,000 after a lawsuit was settled in a medical-malpractice case, the Inquirer wrote.

An attorney for the couple declined there was a federal investigation.

“You’re indulging rumors without any facts,” the attorney, Dion G. Rassias, told the Inquirer.

FBI: Bank Robberies Riding Two-Decade Decline, Smaller Payouts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Bank robberies no longer have the glamour of Bonnie and Clyde.

The FBI reports that there were fewer than 4,000 robberies in 2012, according to Fox 40 Sacramento.

That’s compared to 9,400 bank robberies in 1991.

Robbers also are taking off with less money, $7,600 per heist in 2012. By contrast, each robbery netted $12,400, Fox 40 reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

ATF’s B. Todd Jones Faces Tough Questions Tuesday from Senate Judiciary Committee about

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones’s nomination to head the ATF has become mired in congressional politics, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Nearly six months after he was mentioned as a candidate, Jones is expected to face tough questions from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I am looking forward to meeting with the committee and answering all their questions,” Jones told the Star Tribune.

Republicans say they are concerned about his leadership as a temporary ATF head and his positions on gun-control.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

NSA Debate Likely to Extend to Confirmation Hearings of James Comey

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee to lead the FBI, James Comey, is likely to face scrutiny over government surveillance following the discovery that the NSA had access to virtually all Americans’ phones, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That’s because Comey, a former prosecutor, is intimately familiar with surveillance.

In 2004, Comey threatened to resign from the Justice Department after senior White House aides wanted to reauthorize a secret surveillance program over Comey’s opposition.

“I don’t think the Senate will hold up his confirmation, but I do think you’ll have these collateral issues becoming part of the confirmation process,” said Joe Whitley, a former senior lawyer with the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department during the Bush administration. “Both sides of the aisle, I think, will ask questions about it, and one or more senators could say they want answers on this before they move forward with the confirmation process.”

Pregnant Texas Actress Arrested for Allegedly Sending Ricin-Tainted Letters to President

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A pregnant Texas actress is accused of sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and falsely accusing her husband of sending them, Fox News reports.

During interviews with the FBI, Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, accused her husband of sending the letters and then later claimed he “made her” do it,” Fox News wrote.

Richardson faces up to 10 years in prison on a charge of mailing a threatening communication to the president.

The letters threaten violence against gun-control advocates.

 

Abuctions by Non-Custodial Parents up 50 Percent in Last Year

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is reporting a disturbing trend in non-custodial parents abducting their children to retaliate against the legal custodian.

Instances of such abuse rose 50% last year, the FBI reported. The reasons vary from seeking revenge to trying to get the former partner back.

“Unfortunately, the threat of violence – and death – in these cases is all too real,” said Ashli-Jade Douglas, an FBI analyst in the Violent Crimes Against Children Intelligence Unit, which specializes in child-abduction matters. “ Most non-custodial parental abductors want retaliation. They feel that if they can’t have the child full time—or any amount of time—then the other parent shouldn’t have the child, either.”

U.S House Approves Spending Increase in Homeland Security’s Budget, But Veto Looms

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While many federal agencies are getting the budget ax, the House of Representatives on Thursday approved a nearly $1 billion increase in the Department of Homeland Security’s $39 billion budget, Reuters reports.

The Republican-controlled chamber voted predominately along party lines, 245-182.

But the budget plan faces a possible veto from President Obama because of disputes over federal spending.

Another bill is floating in the Democrat-led Senate, Reuters reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST