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FBI Crime Lab Overstated Accuracy of Forensic Tests Used to Prosecutor Suspects

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s crime lab has come under intense scrutiny after a Justice Department review showed the bureau bungled up to tens of thousands of cases, the Huffington Post reports.

Flawed forensic work means many innocent people are likely behind bars, the Huffington Post wrote.

The errors were first exposed in a Washington Post piece that also said local and state labs may be committing even more errors.

The Justice Department has known about the errors for years, but has done little to enforce corrections, the Huffington Post wrote.

FBI Brings Heat on Small Indiana Town over Questionable Bid Awards

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

City officials in a small Indiana town were served grand jury subpoenas as part of an investigation involving loans and grants since 2007, FOX 19 reports.

The mayor, city council president and treasurer were served in what a city councilman described as illegal bid-awarding deals.

FOX 19 wrote that state police and IRS investigators were on hand.

The news agency was unable to reach the city officials for comment.

FBI: Guns Killed More Than 550 Children Between 2006-2010

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Firearms killed more than 550 children ages 12 and under between 2006 and 2010, the Associated Press reports, citing FBI records.

The number of deaths which do not include accidental shootings, have been relatively consistent throughout the five-year period – about 112 annually.

Those deaths are getting closer scrutiny following the shooting massacre at a Connecticut elementary school that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders this month, the AP reported. The total number of shooting deaths of small children won’t be known for another two years.

“This happens on way too regular a basis and it affects families and communities — not at once, so we don’t see it and we don’t understand it as part of our national experience,” Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told the AP.

Man Impersonates Cop in Wake of Connecticut Elementary School Massacre

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What is it with people impersonating FBI agents?

Usually it’s a scam to get personal information or money.

But in a case out of Williamsburg, VA, the motive is a lot less clear.

WAVY.com reported Wednesday that Joseph Wilson was going door-to-door, saying he was examining the area in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting – hundreds of miles away.

Suspicious residents called authorities, who eventually captured Wilson and issued him a summons for impersonating a law enforcement officer.

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NYT Editorial: New Obama Administration Announces Immigration Policy for Smarter Enforcement

New York Times
Editorial

The Obama administration on Friday announced a policy change that — if it works — should lead to smarter enforcement of the immigration laws, with greater effort spent on deporting dangerous felons and less on minor offenders who pose no threat.

The new policy places stricter conditions on when Immigration and Customs Enforcement sends requests, known as detainers, to local law-enforcement agencies asking them to hold suspected immigration violators in jail until the government can pick them up. Detainers will be issued for serious offenders — those who have been convicted or charged with a felony, who have three or more misdemeanor convictions, or have one conviction or charge for misdemeanor crimes like sexual abuse, drunken driving, weapons possession or drug trafficking. Those who illegally re-entered the country after having been deported or posing a national-security threat would also be detained. But there would be no detainers for those with no convictions or records of only petty offenses like traffic violations.

To read more click here.

ATF Hamstrung by Weak Gun Laws, Legislative Restrictions

guns-atf agent

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The ATF’s ability to curb gun violence is severely hampered by legislative restrictions and loopholes in federal gun laws, the New York Times reports, citing law enforcement officials.

Making matters worse, the agency has been without a permanent director for six years.

To start, current law bars ATF from creating a federal registry of gun purchases. That often makes it difficult for officials to track down records to match the serial number of a gun to an owner, the New York Times reported.

The Times wrote that about a third of the cases involve shuffling through cardboard boxes for records because Congress has rejected the establishment of a central database of gun transactions.

While the ATF is equipped to reduce gun crime, it is bogged down by politically motivated laws.

“I think that they’ve really been muzzled over the last several years, at least, from doing their job effectively,” Frederick H. Bealefeld III, a former police commissioner in Baltimore, told the Times. “They’ve really kind of been the whipping agency, caught in the political turmoil of Washington on the gun issue.”

Montgomery County Joins Other Areas in Bid for New FBI Headquarters

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The competition for a new FBI headquarters and thousands of new jobs now includes Montgomery County, a suburban D.C. County in Maryland, the Washington Post reports.

Montgomery joins Prince George County in Maryland and  Fairfax County and Alexandria in Virginia to the list of places soliciting developers and consulting with federal officials about potential new sites to replace the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Virginia.

“Any jurisdiction which has the opportunity to have the FBI in it would be crazy not to figure out how to get the job done,” Steven A. Silverman, Montgomery’s economic development director, told the Post.

Feds are looking for up to 55 acres and 2.1 million square feet of office space, the Washington Post reported.