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Homeland Security Agents Reportedly Paid for Sex Acts by Trafficking Victims

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Two Homeland Security agents investigating a transnational network of illegal massage parlors engaged in sex acts with the alleged victims in two Arizona cities, according to reports uncovered by Today’s News-Herald.

The reports indicate two agents participated in sex acts at massage parlors at least 10 times with Asian immigrants who were forced into sex slavery.

The two-year trafficking investigation began in 2016, when police were tipped off about several massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City in Arizona. When local police departments found evidence that some of the employees may have been victims of human trafficking, they called in the Department of Homeland Security.

According to investigative reports, the agents negotiated prices for hand jobs and other sex acts.

In September 2018, police arrested eight people on charges of sex trafficking, money laundering, and operating a house of prostitution.

But charges against two of the suspects were dismissed last week because the two federal agents refused to testify.

Homeland Security officials did not respond to questions about why the agents didn’t show up.

One of the women arrested in the case filed a lawsuit 0n Sept. 30 in an attempt to get more information from Homeland Security, including the disclosure of the agents’ identifies and all reports generated during the probe.

FBI Looking into former Kentucky Gov. Bevin’s Onslaught of Pardons

Former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is examining numerous controversial pardons issued by Matt Bevin during his final weeks as governor, The Louisville Courier Journal reports.

The Republican pardoned or commuted the sentences of more than 600 criminals, including violent felons, soon after he lost his bid for re-election in November.

State Rep. Chris Harris, D-Forest Hills, told reporters that he was contacted by a criminal investigator inquiring about the pardons.

“I can confirm that I have been contacted by someone looking into the pardons that were issued by Gov. Bevin on his way out the door,” he said. “The impression I got is that there was an investigation ramping up.”

An additional two sources told The Courier Journal that Harris has been questioned by the FBI.

The FBI office in Louisville didn’t return questions for comment.

FBI, ATF Agents Find Drugs, Gun on Private Plane Carrying Lil Wayne

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI and ATF agents found drugs and a gun on a private plane carrying Rapper Lil Wayne Monday night.

Tipped off about drugs and a firearm possibly aboard the plane, agents executed a search warrant when the aircraft landed at Opa-locka Executive Airport.

Agents found cocaine and a gun and briefly detained Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., The Miami Herald reports.

The plane was a Gulfstream G-V that can carry up to 14 passengers and crew. It was was traveling from California, according to Opa-locka airport officials.

It wasn’t clear who tipped off law enforcement.

Lil Wayne’s defense attorney told reporters that his client was “cleared” to leave the scene.

The case remains under investigation.

In 2009, Lil Wayne served a year in jail after cops found a .40-caliber pistol on his tour bus in 2007.

Border Patrol Agents at Risk As Migrants Increasingly Cross Border Using Sewage-Filled Culverts

Via CBP

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Smugglers are encouraging migrants to cross the U.S.-Mexico border using a culvert system that drains raw sewage at the U.S.-Mexico border.

By doing so, Border Patrol agents, emergency workers and migrants face the risk of drowning and being exposed to highly toxic substances, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Sewage flows through the Tijuana River Valley culvert system during storms, quickly traversing a maze of drainage pipes that empties out at the border.

At least 45 migrants have been apprehended while using the sewer and storm water tunnels since October, Agent Jarrett Decker, a public affairs officer in the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector, says.

The quick-moving storm water is unpredictable and contains a sewage, cancer-causing chemical waste and industrial compounds.

“A lot of times, agents are risking their own lives to save someone here,” Decker said.

5 of 6 Alabama Law Enforcement Officers Fatally Shot in 2019 Were Killed with Stolen Guns, ATF Says

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Five of the six Alabama law enforcement officers fatally shot in 2019 were killed with stolen guns, the ATF said after tracing each weapon.

“Alabama has lost six peace officers already in what has been a heartbreaking 2019. Five officers met their end of watch staring down the barrel of a gun held by someone prohibited by Alabama and federal law from possessing the firearm in the first place,’’ Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town tells AL.com.

Those killed with stolen weapons were Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter, Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder, Auburn Police Officer William Buechner, Tuscaloosa Police Det. Dornell Cousette, and Huntsville Police Officer Billy Fred Clardy III.

“Crime guns are all too common in Alabama which is why, from the moment I was sworn, I have prioritized prosecutions of felons and drug dealers with guns and we will continue to execute that priority aggressively,” Town says.

Until earlier this year, it was a misdemeanor to be in possession of a stolen weapon worth less than $500. It is now a felony.

In all of the cases of stolen guns, the accused shooters were prohibited from legally possessing a gun

“Thousands and thousands of guns are reported stolen every year in Alabama, not even counting from the gun stores,’’ David Hyche, ATF’s assistant special agent in charge in Alabama, said. “We’ve had as many as 22, or 23, gun stores hit in a year just in Alabama.”

“Guns are absolutely money on the street. Guns are money for dope,’’ he added. “Drug dealers typically will take guns just like money. They’re just liquid assets.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Story of Al Capone

Homeland Security Discovers Long Tunnel Used to Smuggle Drugs in Nogales

Tunnel entrance, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Investigations special agents found an 82-foot-long tunnel that has been used for a few months to smuggle drugs near Nogales, Ariz.

Agents on the Border Enforcement Security Task Force were executing a search warrant when they discovered the tunnel, according to KOUN9-TV.

The tunnel, which was 8-feet-deep and had a ventilation system, led from a house in Nogales to a wastewater pipeline in Rio Rico, Ariz.

The tunnel appeared to have been used by Mexican nationals, two of whom were arrested on charges of possession and conspiracy to distribute hard narcotics.

Agents seized 200 pounds of meth, more than 6.5 pounds of fentanyl, nearly two pounds of heroin, and nearly three pounds of cocaine.

 

Homeland Security Ranked As Worst Federal Agency to Work – Again

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security ranks as the worst federal agency to work – again.

Of the 17 large federal agency, Homeland Security ranked lowest, according to a poll by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for public Service and global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, HSToday reports.

Homeland Security has been without a permanent leader, and its engagement score of 52.3 out of 100 represents a 0.8-point drop over 2018. Ratings dropped most dramatically for pay, employee sills and mission match. But there were improved scores for teamwork training, innovation and effective leadership.

The overall scores across all agencies increased modestly, despite a lengthy government shut down that affected 40% of 2 million federal employees.