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FBI

FBI Elevates Murder Investigation of two District Attorneys in Texas, Launches Billboard Campaign

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has launched a public relations campaign to catch the killer or killers of two district attorneys and one of their wives, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Gov. Rick Perry and Kaufman County Crime Stoppers chipped in $200,000 for a reward for the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for killing Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife, Cynthia, and Assistant District Attorney mark Hasse.

The FBI also is posting information about the murders on billboards throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi.

“Words cannot describe the shock and grief this community has suffered over the last several months,” Perry said in a press release. “The criminals responsible for these murders will be caught, convicted and will pay the price for these horrific crimes.”

Both prosecutors were killed this year, and authorities are investigating possible ties between the killings and the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a prison gang.

Google Challenges FBI’s Secretive National Security Letters, Saying They Violate Free Speech Rights

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Google is fed up with the FBI snooping on its users without a warrant.

Now, the company appears to be challenging so-called national security letters, which do not require a warrant to gather electronic information, reports CNet.com.

The judge hearing the case, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco, ruled last month that the national security letters “violate the First Amendment and separation of powers principle” CNet.com reported. But the Justice Department has 90s day to appeal.

New Proposal Calls for Building New FBI Headquarters in Downtown Washington D.C.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has received at least 35 proposals so far to relocate the FBI’s headquarters, and most are in the suburbs.

But the Washingtonian reports that one plan would keep the headquarters in downtown Washington near the Union Station.

The proposal by Republic Properties and renowned architect Arthur Cotton Moore calls for a 2.1 million-square-foot building bordered  by North Capitol Street, Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, and New Jersey Avenue.

The property is currently a parking lot for the Government Printing Office, the Washingtonian reported.

The news is good for many agents who wanted the convenience of being in downtown D.C.

The FBI said its current headquarters is insufficient and flawed.

It’s unclear whether the federal government will decide which proposal to select.

ICE Settles Suit with 22 New Yorkers for $1 Million over Warrantless Search

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

More than 20 New Yorkers will receive a combined $1 million in a settlement with ICE over warrantless raids on their homes, WNYC reports.

Under the settlement, ICE also must change some of its policies and training involving searches.

“Sleeping while Latino is not a suspicious activity that justifies ICE’s forcing its way into homes and terrorizing families at gunpoint,” Ghita Schwarz, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said. “Our brave clients have shown ICE agents that they are subject to the same constitutional restrictions as any other law enforcement officer; they need judicial warrants or valid consent to enter a home.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

President Obama’s Hunt for New FBI Director Leads to Short List of Likely Candidates

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The search for a new FBI director is heating up.

Looking to replace Robert Mueller, whose term has expired, the White House has begun vetting candidates and may be down to a short list of potential successors, NPR reports.

NPR reported that the Obama administration approached Judge Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge in Washington D.C., but he didn’t want the job.

That leaves the White House with a short list of candidates, NPR reported, citing anonymous sources.

Among them are Lisa Monaco, a federal prosecutor; Jim Comey, a former U.S. attorney in New York City; and David Kris, a longtime Justice Department lawyer, NPR wrote.

FBI Informant at Center of New York City Bribery Case Has Own Big Troubles

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI informant who provided vital information about an alleged bribe to get a state senator on the New York City mayoral ballot has his own troubles, NBC 4 New York reports.

NBC 4 identified the informant as real estate developer Moses Stern, 40, who is accused of orchestrating a fraudulent real estate deal totaling more than $100 million. 

Authorities allege Stern owes most of the money to Citigroup, NBC 4 reported.

“We’re gratified to hear the Mr. Stern is cooperating with law enforcement on this important corruption investigation and hope that as part of his deal, the government will insist that he come clean about the 2007 real estate fraud as well,” said Craig Missakian, general counsel for Amusement Industry, which is allegedly owed $13 million.

Stern helped the FBI uncover a bribery plot by State Sen. Malcolm Smith.

FBI Takes Over Embezzlement Investigation of Catholic Priest in Suburban Detroit

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is investigating a Catholic priest in suburban Detroit accused of embezzling more than $400,000 from his church, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Troy police handed over the investigation of Rev. Edward Belczak, 67, a former pastor at St. Thomas More Parish in Troy for three decades, the Free Press wrote.

The Archdiocese of Detroit removed Belczak from his position after nearly three decades as allegations of financial improprieties surfaced.

Belczak is accused of padding his pay and bankrolling a ghost employee.

FBI Uses Special Mobile Unit to Track Down Criminals

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI in Orange County has a special weapon against crime. 

It’s called the Regional Mobile Computer Forensic Laboratory, and it recently helped catch ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, NBC 4 in Southern California reports.

“It’s a self-enclosed mobile laboratory,” said Supervising Special Agent Jason Weiss of the Los Angeles-area Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The mobile unit, nicknamed the “M-Lab,” is one of only six on the country.