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FBI

James Yacone, head of Denver FBI, Leaving to Head Up Elite Bureau Unit in Virginia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After nearly two years as special agent in charge of the Denver FBI office, James F. Yacone is on his way out to head up an elite FBI unit called   Critical Incident Response Group in Virginia, the Denver Post reports.

James F. Yacone plans to exit March 15, and he’ll replace Robert Blecksmith, who retired, as assistant director at the group, according to the Post. 

Yacone is a graduate of West Point, a decorated combat veteran and a criminal investigator.

Yacone has worked for the FBI since 1995.

Former U.S. Attorney: FBI ‘Stonewalled’ Him over ‘Whitey’ Bulger Case in 1990s

 

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

When then-U.S. Attorney Wayne A. Budd was investigating mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, he said the FBI “stonewalled” him in the 1990s when he asked whether Bulger was an informant, MassLive.com reports.

The assertion came during a confirmation hearing for Attorney Robert Ullmann, who is seeking appointment on a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Court. 

“I think if you talk to anybody, I was one of the people who was trying to do the right thing,” Ullmann told MassLive. “It is a shocking story. You can say that we all should have realized the depth of the protection and the depth of the wrongdoing sooner than we did.”

Budd said the FBI wouldn’t tell him whether Bulger was an informant.

“We sat with the FBI. I said, ‘Listen, I need to know whether or not this guy is one of your people,’” Budd said. “I was told there was not a need for my office to know. Hence, I was never given that information.”

Nearly Three Dozen Proposals Come in for New FBI Headquarters

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI’s search for a new headquarters has drawn nearly three dozen offers from private and local groups, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The FBI wants to abandon its 38-year-old headquarters because it has outgrown the crumbling building and wants to find a new one that can accommodate 2.1 million square feet of offices space. 

The 35 proposals so far represent a “significant interest from the private sector to assist in developing a new, consolidated facility.,” GSA said in a statement to the Baltimore Sun.

It would cost the FBI $80.5 million to fix the current one, the Sun reported.

CPB Issues Furlough Notices to Employees to Offset Cuts from the Sequester

 

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

CPB employees will be furloughed for up to 14 days each because of the spending cuts known as the sequester, the Washington Post reports.

Employees will be issued official notices beginning Thursday, the Post wrote.

Union leaders of warned a serious impact.

“The smuggling organizations are keenly aware of what our operational capabilities are,” said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, representing 17,000 non-supervisory agents, the Standard Examiner reported. “Once they see that we don’t have the manpower we had out on the border previously, they will take advantage.”Federal agencies are required to give 30-day notices before given unpaid leave.

CBP Deputy Protection Director David V. Aguilar said the agency would implement “only the absolute minimum number of furlough days required.”

CBP also plans to reduce overtime and halt hiring, the Post reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Indictments Flow in FBI Probe of Prison “Culture” of Covering Up Inmate Beatings

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — The correctional staffers met at a McDonald’s restaurant to get their stories straight. Having already lied to investigators probing the brutal March 2008 beatings of inmate Kenneth Davis at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, saying they knew nothing about the incident, they needed to make sure they maintained that fiction—even consulting books about interview techniques to help them mislead truth-seekers. A lieutenant, now charged with obstructing justice for helping facilitate the cover-up, had provided the books and shared officers’ home phone numbers in order to set up the meeting away from work.

The jailers’ coordinated cover-up efforts in the aftermath of the Davis beatings are alleged in federal court documents filed in a quickly mounting Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division prosecution based on an ongoing FBI probe. Two federal grand jury indictments for conspiring to beat Davis and cover up the crimes were handed down Feb. 27 against nine current and former Maryland corrections staffers, with other criminal conspiracy charges filed previously against another four.

So far, four current corrections employees—lieutenants Edwin Stigile and Jason Weicht, sergeant Josh Hummer, and correctional officer Walter Steele—and nine former officers have been charged. Three former officers and a former sergeant, Lanny Harris, were charged previously via criminal informations, which are filed with the defendants’ consent and usually indicate a guilty plea is imminent; three of them—Ryan Lohr, Dustin Norris, and Philip Mayo—have already pleaded guilty. The other indicted former officers are James Kalbflesh, Jeremy McCusker, Tyson Hinckle, Reginald Martin, and Michael Morgan. Those indicted face maximum sentences of between 25 and 55 years in prison.

To read full story click here.

Google: FBI Is Spying on Internet Users with So-Called National Security Letters

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been demanding that Google divulge account information of up to thousands of its users to authorities without warrants, Wired.com reports.

Google revealed it has received numerous National Security Letters from the FBI since 2009.

Those letters, which the FBI has abused in the past, are written demands to compel internet service providers and others to divulge confidential information about their customers, Wired wrote.

Google is far from the only one receiving the letters. According to Wired, the FBI issued more than 16,500 National Security Letters in 2011.

The letters do not require court approval, and companies that receive them are prohibited from discussing them.

Congressman Urges FBI to Investigate Death of Openly Gay Mayoral Candidate in Mississippi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Mississippi congressman is urging the FBI to join an investigation into the slaying of an openly gay mayoral candidate, the Associated Press reports.

Marco McMillian, 34, was running for mayor in Clarksdale when someone dragged him of out a car and beat him to death, the AP wrote.

The 22-year-old suspect has been charged but the motive is unclear.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson wants the bureau to investigate to determine whether any federal laws – such as a hate crime against a gay man – were broken.

Mississippi’s hate crime statute doesn’t protect people for sexual orientation.

FBI Investigates After Pilot Spots Drone Near JFK

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a mysterious drone spotted Monday by a commercial pilot near the John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot “saw a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach to Runway 31 Right at John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 1:15 pm,” according to an agency statement to Christian Science Monitor.

“The pilot did not take evasive action. The flight landed safely,” the FAA said.

The drone raises questions as more remote-controlled surveillance aircraft are being tested at airports.