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Relatives Claim Gangster John Dillinger Wasn’t Shot at Chicago Theater

Gangster John Dillinger, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Relatives of notorious American gangster John Dillinger believe they have evidence that their bank robbing uncle was not shot by the FBI at a theater in Chicago in 1934.

Now they want to exhume the body buried under the headstone at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis to determine whether it belongs to Dillinger. They plan to conduct DNA tests.

That plan hit a snag after Dillinger’s nephew, Mike Thompson, filed a suit to prevent the cemetery from interfering with plans to exhume the body. A court hearing is set for Oct. 1, but the state issued a permit that set a deadline for exhumation about two weeks earlier.

“Per the approved application, if the exhumation does occur, it must occur on Sept. 16,” an Indiana State Department of Health official told CNN.

Then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover declared Dillinger as “Public Enemy No. 1” after his gang killed at least 10 people, robbed banks and even staged three jailbreaks from 1933 to 1934.

Last month, the FBI disputed claims that the FBI killed another man who was not Dillinger.

“A wealth of information supports Dillinger’s demise including 3 sets of fingerprints, all positively matched,” the FBI tweeted.

Lawsuit Targets Ex-FBI Agent Who Runs an Anti-Muslim Consulting Group

Former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former Minnesota sheriff has filed suit against an FBI agent turned anti-Muslim provocateur following an alleged assault at an annual sheriff’s conference in Reno in June 2017.

The lawsuit claims former FBI agent John Guandolo, founder and president of a counter-terrorism consulting services, assaulted then-Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek for expressing concerns about the company’s anti-Muslim propaganda. The company, Understanding the Threat, is characterized as an Islamophobic hate group in the lawsuit.

After hearing about the concerns, Guandolo is accused of assaulting the former sheriff, causing “great bodily injury,” the lawsuit states. Stanek received medical attention and “has not fully recovered,” according to the suit.

Two months after the alleged assault, a Hennepin County judge granted a restraining order against Guandolo, who retired from the FBI in 2008 and became a conservative, anti-Muslim propagandist.

Stanek once suggested former CIA Director John Brennan secretly converted to Islam and later accused a Muslim college professor of having ties to terrorism. Both claims have been debunked.

Prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges in the case, saying it was unclear who initiated the confrontation.

The lawsuit claims Guandolo’s company “markets as a counter-terrorism consulting firm to profit from instilling anti-Muslim bigotry in law enforcement agents.”

DEA Opens New Office in Duluth, Minn., to Crack Down on Illicit Drugs

News conference announcing the new DEA office in Duluth, via the DEA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The DEA is opening a new office in Duluth, Minn., to crack down on illicit drugs.

Richard Salter Jr., special agent in charge of the DEA’s Omaha Division, said a partnership with the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force “provides a force-multiplier for all involved agencies.”

“This partnership brings additional federal law enforcement and prosecutorial resources that will help dismantle criminal drug trafficking organizations currently causing destruction to many of our families and communities,” said in a news release.

The Duluth Post of Duty is the DEA’s 240th domestic office. The new office is part of the Omaha Division, which has 11 offices covering Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and counties in Western Illinois and Western Wisconsin.

Salter said he’s grateful for the partnerships with state, local and tribal law enforcement.

“We’re merely embedding DEA agents into the very successful and long-standing Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force,” Salter said. “The DEA’s strength is our global network of intelligence and operational resources throughout the United States that enables us to respond rapidly and expand investigations that often link to other major U.S. transportation-hub cities, the U.S.-Mexico border, and ultimately to drug cartels in Mexico and fentanyl suppliers in China.”

FBI Tracks down a 19th Century Painting Stolen by the Nazis During WWII

“Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina,” via U.S. Attorney’s Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI tracked down an Ivan the Terrible painting that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II and returned the massive artwork to the Embassy of Ukraine.

The 19th century oil painting, titled “Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina,” was looted from the Dnepropetrovsk Art Museum in Nazi-occupied Ukraine in 1941. More than 75 years later, the FBI’s Art Crime Team was tipped off that the Mikhail N. Panin painting was being prepared for auction.

The 64-square-foot painting was preserved and “admired” for decades in the Connecticut home of Gabby and David Tracy, who had no idea the artwork had been stolen, according to the FBI. In 1987, the couple came into possession of the painting when they bought the home in which artwork had been hung.

“The FBI is proud to work with our partners to mark this important art repatriation and return the painting to the Ukrainian Embassy. The FBI works to return stolen art and other property to preserve the history and culture of countries around the world,” Timothy M. Dunham, special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, said in a news release. “Returning art to the proper owners is important and meaningful work made possible by our talented special agents and analysts.”

Prosecutors Clear Border Patrol Agents, Officers in Deadly Shooting in Las Cruces

Dashcam image via Las Cruces Police Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents, deputies and police officers will not be charged in connection with the shooting death of a suspect in the parking lot of a Las Cruces Home Depot, prosecutors told KRQE.

Investigators said the suspect, Francisco “Paco” Tarin, opened fire at a Las Cruces police officer who had responded to a June 17 call about a suspicious man threatening employees at a nearby Jack in the Box. While the officer drove himself to a hospital, a group of officers, deputies and border agents responded and found the suspect in the Home Deport parking lot.

After Tarin refused to surrender, he was shot with a non-lethe bean bag round. Tarin responded by shooting at the group of officers and agents, prompting them to return fire, killing the suspect.

The Officer-Involved Incident Task Force investigated the shooting and sent its findings to the district attorney’s office for review.

Doña Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio cleared the law enforcement officers of wrongdoing.

FBI, ATF Conduct Raids as Part of Probe into Deadly California Boat Fire

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI, ATF and U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday raided the Santa Barbara offices of a diving company that owns the boat that caught fire off the California coast and killed 34 people on Labor Day.

Federal agents also served warrants to search two boats owned by the company, Truth Aquatics, the Los Angeles Times first reported.

Authorities have been trying to determine the cause of the fire and why no one below the deck was able to escape. The only survivors were a captain and four crew members, who were on deck when the fire broke out shortly after 3 a.m.

No one was arrested during the raids as investigators snapped photos and seized boxes.

“You can only do so much with your basic investigative efforts, and at some point you have to use a search warrant as the means to collect information,” Lt. Eric Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office told the Times.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon and LBJ Talk About J. Edgar Hoover’s Death

Judge: FBI Terror Watch List Violates Constitutional Rights of U.S. Citizens

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An FBI watch list of more than one million people identified as “known or suspected terrorists” infringes on the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens in the database, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga said the Terrorist Screening Database violates Americans’ constitutional right to due process, NBC News reports.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by 23 Muslim Americans, who argued they were wrongly included in the database, which they say is overly broad and inaccurate.

The plaintiffs said they were subjected to abuse and harassment while traveling.

“The general right of free movement is a long-recognized, fundamental liberty,” he wrote. “Inclusion in the TSDB accordingly imposes a substantial burden on Plaintiff’s exercise of their rights to international travel and domestic air travel” which he adds is a “deprivation of liberty interests.”

The FBI has not responded to media requests for comment.