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FBI Seized 18 Devices in Raid of Giuliani’s Apartment, Office

Rudy Giuliani

By Steve Neavling

Federal investigators seized 18 electronic devices when they raided former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office in April, according to newly unsealed court documents.

The FBI also took email and iCloud data from Giuliani and lawyer Victoria Toensing, whose apartment also was raided, The Independent reports.

FBI agents executed a search warrant at the New York City apartment and office of Giuliani, who has been under investigation for his dealings in Ukraine, where he had sought damaging information about President Biden. 

The raid was part of a “covert warrant.”

Prosecutors unveiled the new information while asking for the appointment of a “special master” to determine what is protected by attorney-client privilege. 

FBI Still Investigating Drone That Flew ‘Dangerously Close’ to CBP Helicopter

A CBP air interdiction agent flies a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is still trying to determine who flew a drone close to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter in Tucson, Ariz., about three months ago. 

The drone was “flying dangerously close” to the helicopter at about 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, the FBI said in a news release. 

It appears the remote-controlled aircraft took off from a site about 5 miles south of the city and then flew across Tucson and north over Marana, the bureau said. 

Multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the drone for hours but were unsuccessful. 

No injuries were reported. 

The Federal Aviation Administration made it a crime to unsafely operate a drone in 2018. 

FBI Releases New Videos of Suspects Wanted in ‘Violent Attacks’ at Jan. 6 Riot

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The FBI on Wednesday released two new videos of suspects accused of violently assaulting law enforcement officers during the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

One of the suspects is shown striking officers with a tactical baton after trying to rip off an officer’s mask. Another suspect is shown punching officers with metal knuckles. 

The FBI is hoping the videos help lead to the arrests of the suspects. 

“The American people answered the call when we asked for their help two months ago in identifying 10 individuals captured on video in some of the most violent attacks on officers who were protecting the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” Steven M. D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said. “As difficult as it is to report family, friends, and co-workers, the American public continues to provide vital assistance to the FBI and our partners in this investigation.”

So far, the FBI has arrested more than 425 suspects in connection with the riot. Nearly 90 of the suspects were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers. 

The FBI said they are still searching for some of the most violent suspects. 

“Our work is not done yet,” D’Antuono said.

Border Patrol Agent, Canine Handler Honored After Dying from COVID-19

Border Patrol Agent Freddie Vasquez. Photo: CBP

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent and canine handler who died from COVID-19 was honored Wednesday at a funeral Mass in Texas. 

Agent Freddie Vasquez, 43, was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator in February after authorities say he was infected with the coronavirus while on the job. The CBP determined he died in the line of duty.

“Today, we will lay to rest our friend and brother, Border Patrol Agent Freddie Vasquez,” El Paso Border Patrol Chief Gloria I. Chavez said in a tweet. “We will never forget the impact you have made on our lives, and we will honor your legacy always.  We will miss you Freddie.  Honor First.”

Vasquez, who worked for CBP for nearly 19 years, was given full honors at San Lorenzo Catholic Church in Clint, Texas. 

Vasquez is survived by a wife, three children, two brothers and both parents. 

Last month, his wife Inez Vasquez said she encouraged her husband to get vaccinated but he didn’t follow through. 

“I am left to wonder if he had obtained the vaccine, would he have been left like this, would it have been as severe?” Vasquez, 44, a registered nurse, told The San Diego Union.

CBP Seized More Fentanyl So Far This Year Than All of 2020

Fentanyl found stuffed inside burritos in April. Photo: CBP.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more fentanyl in the first few months of 2021 than in all of 2020. 

As of last month, CBP seized nearly 6,500 pounds of fentanyl, ABC News reports.

By comparisonthe federal agency seized 4,776 pounds of fentanyl last year. 

“CBP’s Office of Field Operations has seen a slight increase in narcotic seizures at its southern border ports of entry in fiscal year 2021,” an agency spokesman told ABC News.

“As cross-border travel shifted to essential-travel only, criminal organizations shifted their operations as well. CBP has seen an increase in seizures amongst U.S. citizens and in the commercial environment as both demographics are exempt from the travel restrictions.”

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to Dr. Darien Sutton, an emergency medicine physician based in Los Angeles and ABC News contributor.

“People don’t realize how dangerous it is,” he said.

FBI Probes Possible Illegal Donations to Sen. Collins’ Campaign

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Photo: U.S. Senate.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating whether a defense company made illegal campaign contributions to the 2020 reelection campaign of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican. 

An unsealed search warrant reveals the FBI is focused on $150,000 in donations from Navatek, a Hawaii defense contractor that has been renamed Martin Defense Group, Axios first reported.

With the help of Collins, Navatek received an $8 million Navy contract before a bulk of the donations poured in. 

According to a court affidavit, Former Navatek CEO Martin Kao used a shell company to donate $150,000 and reimburse family members for smaller contributions. 

Kao was indicted last year on charges of bilking the federal government out of millions of dollars in coronavirus relief aid intended for small businesses. 

“The Collins for Senator Campaign had absolutely no knowledge of anything alleged in the warrant,” Collins spokesperson Annie Clark told Axios.

Maskless DOJ Employees Won’t Have to Prove Vaccination Status, Memo Says

Justice Department employees won’t have to prove they were vaccinated if they decide to enter the agency’s buildings without a mask. 

In a memo obtained by The Hill, managers were instructed not to ask employees about their vaccination status.

The memo comes just after vaccinated federal employees were given permission to go inside the agency’s buildings without a mask following new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Supervisors and managers should not ask about an employee’s vaccination status or use information about an employee’s vaccination status to make decisions about how and when employees will report to a workplace instead of teleworking,” the DOJ told employees in a Friday email. 

The new policy is in stark contrast to the DOJ’s guidance in February that gave employers permission to inquire about their employees’ vaccination status. 

The email on Friday said employees have the option to continue wearing masks. 

“As we go forward, we ask everyone to respect the wishes of our colleagues and visitors and ensure that anyone who chooses to continue wearing a mask while in department buildings and facilities may continue to do so without interference,” DOJ said. 

Ex-CBP Officer Admits Smuggling Her Undocumented Housekeeper into U.S.

By Steve Neavling

A former CBP officer accused of smuggling her undocumented housekeeper into Texas from Mexico has pleaded guilty as part of an agreement with prosecutors. 

Rhonda Lee Walker, who was stationed at the Laredo Point of Entry, agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to bring her housekeeper into the U.S. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed felony counts of illegally transporting the woman into the country and lying to investigators. 

“Walker intended for the woman to illegally enter the country and work for her as a housekeeper and nanny,” acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery said in a statement. “Walker also lied to authorities. She falsely stated Trevino was her biological aunt and denied processing her entry or employing her in her home.”

The investigation, which included nine months of surveillance, began in June 2020 with an anonymous tip to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). The tipster said Walker was employing a live-in caretaker who was not authorized to live or work in the country. 

Surveillance video showed Walker escorting Mexican citizen Yadira Yesenia Trevino-SanMaguel across a pedestrian bridge between the U.S. and Mexico and then walking her through the inspection area, when she scanned in her caretaker’s nonimmigrant visa using a co-worker’s login, according to the OPR complaint. 

In an interrogation, Trevino-SanMaguel admitted she was working for Walker as a caretaker.