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City of El Paso Changes Name of Dog Park to Honor Border Patrol K-9 Killed in Line of Duty

5-year-old Belgian Malinois, Bulder.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A dog park in El Paso will be named after Bulder, the Border Patrol K-9 killed in the line of duty in December.

The city of El Paso wants to honor the courageous dog, a 5 -year-old Belgian Malinois.

“People just think it’s a dog. It’s actually a partner. It’s an agent,” Tim Sullivan, chief patrol agent with U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group, said, according to Border Report. “So, this resolution honors him and the sacrifice he made while protecting the other agents.”

Bulder was killed during a shootout that occurred as agents tried to execute a search warrant at a home in El Paso.

The 62-year-old suspect who killed the dog out in a shootout was fatally shot with return fire.

“El Paso has a big heart for our pets and of course for the men and women who serve our community,” City Rep. Claudia Ordaz-Perez said. “So we thought it was just fitting that the only dog splash park in the community that we name this park after K9 Agent Bulder to forever serve in our memories.”

FBI Director Wray to Testify before Congressional Committee about Bureau ‘Oversight’

FBI Director Christopher Wray.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray will take the hot seat Wednesday as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about flaws found in the bureau’s investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The hearing, which is set for 10 a.m., will examine oversight issues, including findings by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz that the bureau bungled its surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz said that the FBI’s applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Page contained “significant inaccuracies and omissions” and that agents “failed to meet the basic obligation” to ensure the applications were “scrupulously accurate.”

Horowitz also dismissed some conservatives’ longstanding allegations about the investigation into the Trump campaign, including that top FBI officials were motivated by political bias and illegally spied on Trump advisers.

Suit Alleging Sexual Harassment at FBI’s Training Academy Adds 17th Woman

Training academy in Quantico, Va., via FBI

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A female FBI trainee has become the 17th woman to claim she was sexually harassed at the bureau’s training academy in Quantico, Va.

The Florida woman who was discharged from the training academy joined a lawsuit that alleges the academy is a “good-old-boy network” that exposes women to a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes and sexual advances beginning in 2015.

The lawsuit was amended to include the unidentified woman’s accusations, The Washington Times reports.

The trainee alleges her male supervisors effectively discharged her by issuing numerous situations known as “suitability notations,” which instructors hand out for issues ranging from insubordination to inability to complete a task.

The suit, filed in May, claims some of the women were discriminated against based on their race or disabilities. One African American trainee alleges an instructor called her “spaghetti head” because of her braids.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the mock town known as Hogan’s Alley, where trainees learn about tactical training with fake criminals and terrorists. This phase of training resulted in many women being kicked out of the academy.

At the time of the suit, seven of the 16 women still worked for the FBI.

The women are asking for more female training instructors, an examination of the training evaluation process and $300,000 each for emotional stress.

The FBI has declined to publicly comment on the case.

DEA: Sinaloa Cartel Is Biggest Criminal Threat to U.S., Despite Ex-Leader’s Arrest

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The biggest criminal threat to the U.S. is Mexico’s deadly Sinaloa Cartel, a notorious drug trafficking syndicate whose leader is serving life behind bars, according to a new DEA report.

The cartel, founded in 1988, “maintains the most expansive footprint in the United States,” according to the 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment, reported by The Daily Mail.

The Sinaloa Cartel generates an estimated $11 billion annually through sales of fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine that are smuggled into the U.S. through borders in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and West Texas.

In July 2019, the cartel’s notorious leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was sentenced to life in prison. Despite his arrest and conviction, the cartel remains strong and is led by his sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, Iván Archivaldo Guzmán and Jesus Alfredo Guzmán.

Authorities Seize Record-Breaking $134M Worth of Counterfeit Super Bowl Merchandise

Counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A record-breaking $134 million worth of counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise was seized in Miami ahead of the big game Sunday.

Authorities from CBP, ICE and Homeland Security Investigations targeted international shipments of the counterfeit merchandise, as well as flea markets, retail outlets and street vendors, as part of the ongoing sting Operation Team Player, which focuses on counterfeit sports merchandise. They seized fake jerseys, jewelry, hats, cell-phone accessories and thousands of other bogus items that were to be sold to unsuspecting consumers.

Last year, Operation Team Player seized $24.2 million worth of counterfeit sports merchandise.

“Every day, cargo containers containing billions of dollars’ worth of counterfeit goods enter the United States through its land, sea and air ports of entry,” Steve Francis, director of Homeland Security Investigations’ Intellectual Property Rights, said in a news release. “This year’s record-breaking ‘Operation Team Player’ results affirm HSI’s commitment to protecting American consumers, the economy, and legitimate business, by ensuring Super Bowl 54 is not compromised by transnational criminal networks exploiting fan enthusiasm for illicit profits. Sports fans from around the world, who’ve spent their hard-earned money to support their favorite NFL team, deserve to receive genuine, high-quality officially licensed merchandise in return.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Iran-Contra Affair

Barr Taps Timothy Shea to Serve As D.C.’s Top Interim Attorney

The Justice Department’s Timothy Shea to serve as DC’s top U.S. attorney.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr on Thursday named one of his closest advisers, Timothy Shea, to serve as the District of Columbia’s interim U.S. attorney.

Shea, 59, who is currently Barr’s counselor at the Justice Department, will oversee 300 prosecutors at the nation’s largest U.S. attorney’s office, which handles federal and local cases, The Washington Post reports.

Shea will replace Jessie K. Liu, who steps down Friday after President Trump nominated her to become the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes.

In a statement, Barr said Shea was “a fair prosecutor, skillful litigator, and excellent manager is second-to-none, and his commitment to fighting violent crime and the drug epidemic will greatly benefit the city of Washington.”

Shea’s service at the Justice Department ranges from working as a line prosecutor to serving as associate deputy attorney general.

Updated: Ex-FBI Translator Gets Probation for Making False Statements in Terrorism Case

Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Updated: 9:40 a.m. Monday — A former FBI translator was sentenced to probation Friday after he admitted doctoring transcripts when his own voice came up on intercepts of phone calls placed by a terrorism suspect, the Associated Press reports. He was also fined $1,000.

________________

A former FBI translator is expected to be sentenced in federal court today after he pleaded guilty to making false statements in a case involving a terrorism suspect.

Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie, 68, of Burke, Virginia, was arrested in May on charges of lying to investigators about having contact with a man accused of joining a militant Somali group tied to terrorism.

In November, Wehelie pleaded guilty to making false statements, saying he doctored transcripts to hide the fact that he received a phone call from the man, who had been under surveillance.

The Justice Department said Wehelie had a personal relationship with the suspect, who had left a voicemail on Wehelie’s phone. When Wehelie translated the call, he changed his name to “unidentified male.”

The terrorism suspect’s phone was under court-ordered surveillance.

According to federal prosecutors, Wehelie later disclosed that he had been friends with the suspect for years.

Wehelie faces up to 25 years in prison, but sentencing guidelines call for zero to six months in jail.