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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.

Sean Kaul Named Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix Field Office

Special Agent Sean Kaul

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Sean L. Kaul, who led the Honolulu Field Office since 2017, has been named special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Office.

Kaul began his career as an FBI agent in 2000, where his first assignment was the Bakersfield Resident Agency of the Sacramento Field Office in California.

Kaul worked in numerous offices, from Atlanta to Washington D.C. He served as a special agent bomb technician in Atlanta and Bakersfield, Calif.

In 2011, Kaul served as a supervisory special agent for the Washington Field Office, where he led the Northern Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force and received an Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.

In 2013, Kaul became an assistant special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Office, where he led the criminal branch and four Indian County resident agencies.

In 2016, he was promoted to section chief in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters before taking charge of the Honolulu Field Office.

Before joining the FBI, Kaul was a captain in the U.S. Army. He has a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.

FBI, ICE Scan Driver’s License Databases to Conduct Facial-Recognition Searches

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been given access to driver’s license photos to conduct facial-recognition scans without motorists’ consent.

ICE officials were authorized by three states to use the repositories of license photos to scan through facial-recognition technology in search of undocumented immigrants, according to documents obtained by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology and first reported by The Washington Post.

The searches involved databases from Utah and Vermont, which complied with ICE’s request to access the photos. In Washington, agents also were given permission to scan license photos, but it wasn’t immediately clear if those searches were carried out.

The discovery comes as Congress considers a moratorium on facial-recognition technology because of serious concerns over privacy rights and the inaccuracy of the systems. Researchers said the technology is racially biased and prone to errors, which could lead to false arrests.

“Law enforcement’s access of state databases,” particularly driver’s license databases, is “often done in the shadows with no consent,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md. said in a statement to The Post.

San Francisco became the first city to ban the technology. In Detroit and Chicago, police departments have software that enables them to conduct facial-recognition searches in real-time.

Homeland Security: CBP Agents Disciplined for Offensive Facebook Posts

Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on ABC’s “This Week.”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection agents who posted offensive and sexually demeaning content on Facebook have been disciplined, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told ABC’s “This Week.”

McAleenan said some agents were placed on “administrative duties” and others were warned to stop the conduct in letters. He did not specify how many agents were involved.

“The agents will be held accountable if they are CBP employees who did inappropriate things. I don’t think it’s reflective of the men and women we have,” McAleenan said.

The Facebook page, called “I’m 10-15,” was first reported by ProPublica on Monday. The page is used by current and former agents.

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.

Commenters also questioned the authenticity of a now-viral photo of a drowned man and his younger daughter.

When ProPublica approached CBP about the Facebook group, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost denied knowing about it and pledged to launch an investigation.

But Politico reported that CBP officials knew about a secret, sexist and demeaning Facebook group for at least three years. In 2016, Border Patrol agents reported offensive photos that included simulated sex acts and other offensive material, a current Homeland Security official told Politico.

McAleenan on Sunday said he “was not aware of this group” at the time. Since then, he claimed, one agent was disciplined.

Politico received screenshots of Facebook posts that were reported to CBP. One agent appeared in two photos, one of which showed him simulating sex with a training mannequin. The other showed the agent smiling and posing with what appeared to be a human skull. In a third photo, an agent appeared to be defecting in the Arizona desert.

The reported photos resulted in a now-closed investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Who Erased 18 Minutes on the Nixon Tape?

Email: Border Agents Forced Migrant to Walk with ‘I like men’ Sign

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection agents are accused of trying to humiliate a migrant by forcing him to walk around wearing a sign that read, “I like men,” in Spanish, according to emails obtained by CNN.

The March 5 incident is one of several episodes revealed in emails by an agent who accused colleagues of repeated incidents of inappropriate behavior.

“I am forwarding to the Office of Professional Responsibility, the office charged with looking into these allegations,” a CBP official told CNN.

The Honduran man was visibly upset as he was paraded around other detainees at an El Paso processing center, according to the email.

The agent who blew the whistle to a supervisor said CBP took no action.

The report is just the latest discovery of offensive behavior by border agents, and a lack of discipline by supervisors.

CBP Aware of Secret, Offensive Facebook Group for Years

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection officials knew about a secret, sexist and demeaning Facebook group for at least three years but declined to say whether anyone was disciplined.

In 2016, Border Patrol agents reported offensive photos that included simulated sex acts and other offensive material, a current Homeland Security official told Politico. A former DHS officials also said he knew about the Facebook group during the past year.

Neither official was aware of any serious actions taken against members of the group, called “I’m 10-15,” which was first reported by ProPublica on Monday.

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, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost denied knowing about it and pledged to launch an investigation.

Politico received screenshots of Facebook posts that were reported to CBP. One agent appeared in two photos, one of which showed him simulating sex with a training mannequin. The other showed the agent smiling and posing with what appeared to be a human skull.

In a third photo, an agent appeared to be defecting in the Arizona desert.

The reported photos resulted in a now-closed investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility. But a CBP spokesperson declined to say whether any disciplinary action was taken.

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