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WikiLeaks Faces Extradition to U.S. in What Could Become Major Break in Mueller Case

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be extradited to the U.S. from an Ecuadoran embassy in London in what could become a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Assange said Monday that Ecuador could soon end his six-year asylum, Reuters reports

Assange, known for releasing sensitive documents through WikiLeaks, could be a big witness in Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has struck plea deals with others tied to Trump in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

Assange likely knows more than anyone whether the Trump campaign was involved with leaking hacked emails that hurt Hillary Clinton during the election.

Longtime Trump supporter Roger Stone originally claimed he was in contact with Assange, but he has since walked back those statements.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Smuggling Cocaine During His Night Shift

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A veteran Border Patrol agent is accused of paying drug traffickers $650,000 for 90 pounds of cocaine while working the night shift at a remote border crossing in southern Arizona. 

Ramon Antonio Monreal-Rodriguez was charged with conspiracy to smuggle cocaine in Tucson and on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, the Arizona Daily Star reports

Monreal-Rodriguez is accused of making cocaine purchases on Sept. 18 and Sept. 22 and keeping some of the drugs in his government-issued car until his shift ended.

The 32-year-old Vail resident, who worked at the Border Patrol’s station in Three Points, was arrested on Sept. 25 on charges of “conspiracy to make false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms and aiding and abetting the commission of such offenses.”

Monreal-Rodriguez resigned on the day he was arrested.

Federal Prosecutors Seeking Death Penalty Against Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter

Robert Bowers

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the man who opened fire at a busy Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people and injury six others.

Robert Bowers, 46, who was injured in a shootout with police, is scheduled to appear for his first court appearance Monday.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said prosecutors are seeking the death penalty after Bowers burst into the Tree of Life Congregation on Saturday morning and shouted his hatred towards Jewish people as he opened fire. He was armed with an AR-15 and three handguns.

Court records indicate Bowers told one officer, “They’re committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews,” according to CBS News.

It’s a very horrific crime scene,” Wendell Hissrich, the city’s public safety director, told reporters Sunday. “It’s one of the worst that I’ve seen, and Ive been on some plane crashes. It’s very bad.”

Bomb Suspect Left Behind Trail of Clues for FBI

Bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The part-time DJ arrested on charges of sending bombs to prominent Democrats left a trail of evidence for the FBI.

Lab technicians discovered matching DNA on separate pipe bombs and identical fingerprints on two packages.

On social media, he misspelled “Hilary” Clinton and Debbie Wasserman “Shultz” – the same mistakes made on the mailings.

US News reports that intercepted, bubble-wrapped manila envelopes contained vital forensic evidence that was sufficient for investigators to arrest 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc while he was spinning records at a Florida nightclub. 

“Criminals make mistakes so the more opportunities that law enforcement has to detect them, the greater chance they’re going to be able to act on that, and that appears to be what happened here,” said former Justice Department prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty, who prosecuted the Boston Marathon bombing case.

The evidence led authorities to a man with a long criminal history who appeared to be living in his van.

Sayoc is due in court Monday afternoon.

Weekend Series on Law Enforcement History: President Clinton Nominates Louie Freeh As FBI Director

Western Kentucky Poised to Reopen FBI Office for Drug-Related Crimes & Crises

Paducah, Ky

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to open a new office in western Kentucky.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConell, who advocated for the new location, said the office in Paducah will focus on drug-related crimes and another crisis in the region, the Associated Press reports

Paducah used to have a satellite office until it closed in 2007.

Paducah police Chief Brandon Barnhill said he’s exited to partner with the FBI.

Updated: Fingerprint Match and Misspellings Lead to Arrest of Man Sending Bombs

One of the devices with a return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Updated: 4:16 p.m. Sat.  — The Washington Post reports: A Florida man with a criminal history and a fervor for President Donald Trump sent at least 13 mail bombs to prominent Democrats, Justice Department officials said, crediting DNA, a fingerprint match and misspellings for the key break in a case that spread fear of election-season violence with little precedent in the U.S.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida, faces five federal charges in connection with a mail bomb plot that spurred a weeklong, coast-to-coast investigation that continued even after he was taken into custody Friday as investigators scrutinized additional suspicious packages.

______________________________

Federal authorities’ hunt for a serial mail bomber who targeted critics of President Trump is honing in on Florida, where at least some of the 10 packages originated.

Bomb squad, canine units and federal investigators examined a U.S. mail distribution center at Opa-Locka,  northwest of Opa-Locka, where authorities believe some of the packages were passed through.

“Some of the packages went through the mail. They originated, some of them, from Florida,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielse said during an interview with Fox News. “I am confident that this person or people will be brought to justice.”

Florida became a focal point after a device addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder was discovered en route to the return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

So far, no suspects have been identified.

Each package consisted of a manila envelope with bubble wrap, a computer-printed address label and six “forever” postage stamps. Stuffed inside each envelope was a tape-wrapped device assembled with pieces of plastic PVC pipe that included black powder and shards of shrapnel, perhaps glass. Each pipe had a timing-like mechanism.

Trump initially called for “unity” and civility Wednesday, but at 3:15 a.m. Friday, he slammed CNN, where one of the bombs was sent.

“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!’” Trump tweeted.

The bombs have been sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton, former California Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former attorney general Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, billionaire philanthropist George Soros and CNN’s New York headquarters.

Former GOP Congressional Candidate Accused of Trying to Kill Someone with Radioactive Material

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Republican Congressional candidate in Wisconsin was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he tried to purchase a legal dose of radioactive substance online with the intent of killing someone.

Jeremy Ryan, 30, of Madison, tried to make the purchase in March and October with the intent of using it to kill an unnamed person, NBC15 reports, citing court documents. 

FBI agents searched his home Wednesday night. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they found any radio active material.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Wisconsin is expected to charge Ryan on Thursday with attempted possession of radioactive material with the intent to causer death. Ryan, who lost the Republican primary election in August, faces up to life in prison.