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Border Patrol Chief Not Only Knew about Secret FB Page, She Posted on It

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost responded with repulsion when a news agency discovered a secret Facebook group filled with racist, demeaning and sexist content.

“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out,” Provost said in a statement after Intercept revealed the group’s vulgar messages. “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

Turns out, Provost posted on the Facebook group’s page, known as “I’m 10-15,” two months after she was appointed to lead the agency. The group is for current and former border agents.

While her comments were harmless, her posts show she knew about the group before Intercept wrote about it.

The Facebook group included offensive content and demeaning posts that targeted undocumented immigrants and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
 One of the posts was an illustration of President Trump pushing the congresswoman’s head toward his crotch. In another post, a member encouraged agents to toss a “burrito at these bitches,” referring to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who were visiting detention centers.

In one post, commenters questioned the authenticity of a now-viral photo of a drowned man and his younger daughter.

When ProPublica approached CBP about the Facebook group, Provost pledged to launch an investigation.

Last week, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, sent a letter asking Homeland Security’s office to investigate whether Provost or any other leaders previously knew about the group.

Thompson responded to Intercept after it revealed Provost posted on the page.

“This is why I have requested a full investigation into this matter,” Thompson said in a statement. “We need to know who in CBP leadership knew about these deplorable groups, when did they find out, and what action they took, if anything.”

Border Apprehensions Sharply Decline in June After Large Spike

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of migrants detained after crossing the Southwest border dropped in June for the first time this year.

Homeland Security announced a 28% decline in apprehensions from the previous month, with about 104,000 migrants detained in June.

While the flow of migrants typically slows down in the hotter summer months, the decline was steeper than expected. The number of apprehensions so far this year is 140% higher than the same time period last year.

“We are still in an ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis,” the department said in a statement. “We are past the breaking point and in a full-blown emergency. This situation should not be acceptable to any of us.”

The influx of migrants has caused crowded, unsanitary conditions at detention centers.

FBI Arrests Former Top Puerto Rico Officials in Corruption Case

Puerto Rico flag.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested two former top officials in Puerto Rico for allegedly directing about $15.5 million in federal funding to political connected businesses.

According to prosecutors, Julia Keleher, former secretary of the department of education, and Angela Avila-Marrero, former head of the Health Insurance Administration, illegally directed the money to contractors who paid “unauthorized commissions” to help lobby for more contracts.

Both officials served in the administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, prompting officials to calls for his resignation. Among those officials is Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who is the chair of the Natural Resources Committee that oversees Puerto Rico.

“The Puerto Rican people deserve a government that takes public service seriously, that’s transparent and accountable, and that doesn’t let this happen in the first place,” Grijalva said in a statement.

The 32-count indictment charged four other consultants with wire fraud, theft and money laundering.

The charges come at a political sensitive time. Congress recently approved billions of dollars in aid to the island. It wasn’t immediately clear whether that money is now in jeopardy.

DEA Supervisor Busted in ‘Improper Personal Relationship’ with Confidential Source

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA supervisor was involved in an “improper personal relationship” with a confidential source, taking the source on dates and making unjustified payments to the source, according to a report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

The internal watchdog investigation was prompted by a tip from the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which said the unnamed supervisor “caused false statements to be made to justify” payments to the source, The Hill first reported.

The report also states the supervisor took the source on dates using a government vehicle, which is a violation of DEA policy. The supervisor also shared nonpublic information about personnel issues.

“The OIG concluded that the GS violated DEA policy and federal law when the GS approved payments to the CS without proper justification and when the GS approved a form relating to the CS knowing that it included false statements,” the report states.

Prosecutors declined to charge the supervisor, who the report says violated DEA policy and federal law.

‘I’m gonna die,’ FBI Agent Says After Getting Shot in Brooklyn

.Ronnell Watson, via Instagram

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Moments after FBI special agent Christopher Harper was shot while on an undercover stakeout in Brooklyn, he’s heard telling an NYPD officer, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die.”

The dramatic action in December 2018 was caught on a body cam, which was played during the trial of reputed Crips gang member, Ronnell Watson, who is accused of pulling the trigger, The New York Post reports.

“I’m not doing well,” the agent said. “No exit, the bullet’s in me.”

The shooting was captured on surveillance footage.

Harper survived the shooting after suffering a collapsed lung, a broken rib and fractured shoulder blade. He’s expected to testify.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said the shooting was an “attempted execution.”

But Watson’s defense attorney Benjamin Yaster claims his client panicked when he saw a strange car with tinted windows quickly approaching him.

“Does it make sense that Ronell Watson would attempt to murder someone in front of his home, which was decorated for Christmas and outfitted with his mother’s security cameras?” Yaster asked.

One of ATF’s Most Wanted Fugitives Was Arrested at Native American Reservation

Michael Strain

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. marshals arrested one of the ATF’s most wanted fugitives after he spent eight years evading authorities.

Michael Duane Strain, 62, of Iowa, fled after he was indicted on federal firearms charges in 2011. Federal agents found thousands of rounds of ammunition and numerous firearms.

Authorities found Strain on a ranch on a Montana Native American reservation, The USA Today reports.

A self-proclaimed sovereign citizen, Strain refused to comply with government authorities, saying they had no jurisdiction over him. He made the same claim when he was taken into custody, according to court records.

After receiving a telephone tip, marshals found Strain at the Crow Reservation, where he “was basically squatting on the property,” according to an affidavit from Stephen Feuerstein, a detective assigned to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Michelle Sutphin Named Special Agent in Charge of Jackson

Jackson Field Office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michelle A. Sutphin, who most recently served at FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C., has been named special agent in charge of the Jackson Field Office in Mississippi.

Sutphin’s career with the FBI began in 1998 as a special agent investigating violent crimes, gangs, and art crimes at the Chicago Field Office. On 9/11, Sutphin responded to the Pennsylvania plane crash as leader of the Chicago Evidence Response Team.

Special Agent Michelle Sutphin

In 2008, Sutphin was promoted to supervisory special agent and managed the Evidence Response Team Unit at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va.

In 2011, Sutphin was transferred to the Springfield Field Office in Illinois, where she worked on criminal cases in 18 Central Illinois counties. Two years later, Sutphin investigated violent gangs and drug crimes at the St. Louis Field Office.

Sutphin became the team leader in the Inspection Division in 2014 at the bureau’s headquarters, where she led program reviews during inspections of field offices and reviews of shooting incidents.

In 2016, she was promoted to assistant special agent in charge at the Little Rock Field Office in Arkansas, where she oversaw the intelligence program and all national security programs, from counterterrorism and counterintelligence to weapons of mass destruction and cyber matters, in the state.

Sutphin was promoted in 2018 to section chief and chief of staff for the Science and Technology Branch at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.

Sutphin earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University.