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Border Patrol Agents Help Crash Victims in 2 Separate Accidents

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents rushed to the aid of car crash victims on two separate occasions this week. 

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, agents from the Laredo North Station in Texas responded to a tractor-trailer rollover accident on the Interstate 35 west access road near the 9-mile marker north of Laredo. While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Border Patrol medics provided medical aid to two occupants in the truck.

On Tuesday, agents from the Freer Station in Texas responded to a two-vehicle crash involving an 18-wheeler and pickup truck on U.S. Highway 59 west of Freer, Texas. Agents provided medical aid to four occupants until an ambulance arrived. 

Last year, fast-acting Border Patrol agents sprung into action numerous times when they saw people in danger.

Ex-Detroit City Councilman Sentenced to Prison As Part of Widening FBI Investigation

By Steve Neavling

The FBI’s broadening investigation into corruption in the city of Detroit led to the sentencing Wednesday of a former Detroit City councilman. 

Andre Spivey, 47, was sentenced to two years in prison for accepting more than $35,000 in bribes. 

“It is the mission of the FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force to thoroughly investigate the conduct of elected officials who – like Mr. Spivey – abuse their positions of power and the public’s trust for their own personal gain,” Josh P. Hauxhurst, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, said in a statement. “Today’s sentencing serves as a warning to all public officials who allow greed to triumph over duty, that federal agents will never cease in their relentless pursuit for justice.”

Spivey is among an increasing number of city employees who were arrested as part of “Operation Northern Hook,” an investigation into corruption within Detroit government and the police department related to towing contracts. 

Spivey, who resigned from council on Sept. 29, pleaded guilty to conspiring with an unidentified staff member to commit bribery. Spivey and the staff member collected more than $35,000 in cash bribes from an undercover agent or confidential informant on eight different occasions between 2018 and 2020. 

As part of the investigation, the FBI also raided the homes and offices of two other council members on Aug. 25. To date, they have not been charged. 

Four current and former Detroit cops were charged with bribery in connection with the investigation. 

“Public corruption undermines the faith of the people in their leaders,” U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison said. “Public officials who take bribes will be punished, and I am determined to take every action to root out corruption within the City of Detroit or anywhere else in this district where we find it.”     

How Foreign Spies Tap Into U.S. Police Departments

The author is editor-in-chief of SpyTalk

By Jeff Stein

The arrest in New York last week of an Egyptian-American accused of spying on exiles opposed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s repressive regime has lifted the curtain on a “significant” but little noted national security issue: the recruitment of U.S. state and local police by foreign intelligence agencies. 

Pierre Girgis, a dual Egyptian-U.S. citizen in Manhattan, worked at the “direction and control” of several Cairo agencies to advance the regime’s interests in the United States from 2014 through 2019, according to a federal indictment handed down Jan. 6.

Girgis, a Capital One bank vice president who openly promoted interchanges between Egyptian officials and American police, had a secret helper, according to the Justice Department:  a source in local law enforcement. FBI wiretaps overheard Girgis and Egyptian officials talking about exploiting the (unnamed) police officer for private information on anti-regime activists here. 

The Girgis case is hardly atypical, law enforcement sources say. The full number and disposition of such cases in recent years was not readily available from the Justice Department, but according to former FBI counterintelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi and other former national security officials, efforts by foreign spy agencies to recruit U.S. state and local police is a persistent problem.

“Certain foreign intelligence services consistently seek to recruit American police officers for their access to non-public information” which helps them track down dissidents here, Figliuzzi told SpyTalk. “This continues to be a significant concern.” 

To read the full story click here.

DEA Museum Seeks New Venues to Present Its Traveling Exhibit

DEA Museum. Photo: DEA

By Steve Neavling

The DEA Museum is looking for new venues and cities to present its traveling exhibit called, “Drugs: Costs and Consequences.”

The museum has already been seen by 20 million people in 17 locations. 

The interactive exhibit is intended for people of all ages and has a special focus on youth. 

The ideal locations for future presentations are museums, science centers, and educational public spaces. 

The museum debuted in 1999 and has evolved ever since. 

It explores the history of drug use, misuse and the DEA’s crackdown on drugs.  

Included are more than 180 artifacts with touchscreen timelines. 

Record Number of Firearms Discovered at Airport Checkpoints in 2021

By Steve Neavling

The TSA seized nearly 6,000 guns at airport checkpoints nationwide in 2021, a record amount for a single year and a 35% increase over the previous year. 

The TSA said 86% of the 5,972 guns were loaded. 

The most firearms – 507 – were seized at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The second most – 317 – were discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport came in third, with 245 firearms. 

Rounding out the top 10 were:

4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, 196

5. Nashville International airpot, 163

6. Denver International Airpot, 141

7. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, 128

8. Orlando International Airport, 124

9. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, 119

10. Salt Lake City International Airport, 115

The number of firearms discovered at checkpoints has been increasing nearly every year since 2008: 

CBP Arrest Rapper Vic Mensa After Allegedly Finding Drugs in Suitcase

Drugs allegedly found in the luggage of rapper Vic Mensa. Photo: CBP

By Steve Neavling

CBP officers arrested raper Vic Mensa at Washington Dulles International Airport over the weekend after allegedly finding illegal drugs in his luggage. 

Officers said they found 41 grams of LSD and more than 300 grams of psilocybin capsules, gummies, and mushrooms in the 28-year-old’s luggage after he arrived from Ghana at about 7 a.m. Saturday. 

Mensa’s real name is Victor Kwesi Mensah. 

Mensa was arrested and charged with felony narcotic possession. 

“Travelers can save themselves time and potential criminal charges during their international arrivals inspection if they took a few minutes to ensure that their luggage is drug free,” Daniel Escobedo, area port director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C., said in a statement. “Narcotics interdiction remains a Customs and Border Protection enforcement priority and we remain committed to working closely with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure that those who transport illegal narcotics into the United States are investigated and prosecuted.”

On an average day, CBP process more than 650,000 travelers at airports, seaports and land border crossings.  

FBI, Homeland Security Warn about Potential Violence Targeting Faith-Based Communities

By Steve Neavling

Faith-based communities are at risk of further violence, the FBI and Homeland Security said in a letter Monday, following a hostage standoff at a Texas synagogue over the weekend. 

“Faith based communities have and will likely continue to be targets of violence by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists,” the letter from Paul Abbate, FBI deputy director, and John D. Cohen, the top intelligence official at DHS, says, CNN reports.

According to the letter, online forums known to host domestic violence extremists have discussed Jewish targets connected to COVID-19 conspiracy theories, election fraud lies, and “even the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and resettlement of Afghans to the United States.”

The letter added that the global pandemic and the growing idealogical divide in the U.S. could result in violence. 

“Foreign influence actors have also promoted narratives online intended to sow discord in the U.S. and foreign terrorist groups continue to encourage followers to conduct attacks and use social media to incite violence,” the letter states.

Happy MLK Day from ticklethewire.com

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”  Martin Luther King Jr.

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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King, Jr