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Border Patrol Agent Charged with Sexual Assault, Tampering with Evidence

Border Patrol Agent David Villarreal

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent in Laredo has been charged with sex assault, tampering with evidence and official oppression.

Agent David Villarreal turned himself into Laredo police last week after being served with arrest warrants, Laredo Morning Times reports

A woman in her 30s reported to police on March 26 that Villarreal sexually assaulted her.

Police declined to release more details.

Sara Melendez, Laredo Sector Border Patrol spokeswoman, said the agency is taking the allegations seriously.

“While it is CBP policy not to comment on an ongoing investigation, such actions will not be tolerated. CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission. CBP personnel perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” she said in a statement.

Stejskal: Following the Making of HBO Docu-drama, I’m Reminded of What I Think Bo Schembechler Would Have Done To Address Penn State Scandal

HBO has produced a docu-drama about Joe Paterno & the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State scandal starring Al Pacino as Paterno. This column first ran in 2012 and is a summary of what the investigation of the scandal revealed and poses the question, how Bo Schembechler would have dealt with the Sandusky and the scandal.

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

Last November I wrote a column about how I thought legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler would have handled the Penn State scandal.

Since then Joe Paterno was fired and subsequently died from cancer. Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 46 of 48 counts of sexual child abuse involving 10 boys.

Now the results of an independent investigation, the Freeh report, have been released.

As I had speculated in my column, Joe Paterno knew of allegations of Sandusky’s sexual child abuse as early as 1998. He apparently forced Sandusky to “retire” from the PSU coaching staff (after the 1999 season), but gave him a unique severance package including $168,000 and the designation Assistant Professor Emeritus – thus, allowing Sandusky continued, unrestricted access to Penn State athletic facilities.

This makes Paterno’s actions and inaction in 2002 all the more indefensible. When confronted with an eyewitness account of Sandusky sexually abusing a child in a shower at the PSU football facility, Paterno passed the report to his superiors.

Not Report It 

But rather than actively pursue it, Paterno counseled that the allegations not be reported to law enforcement or child welfare services.

Paterno was an active participant in the cover-up. Then he lied about it under oath.

I am more certain now that faced with the situation that occurred at Penn State, Bo Schembechler would have handled it differently from the beginning, and it would not have ended like this.

Here is the column as it appeared last November:

“Do the Right Thing –Always,” Bo Schembechler

Read more »

DOJ Taps Federal Prosecutor to Oversee Production of Clinton-Related Documents

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department, under intense pressure from Republicans and President Trump, said last week that its tapping a federal prosecutor in Chicago to produce documents related to the FBI’s handling of the Hillary email investigation.

The Justice Department missed a Thursday deadline to provide the House Judiciary Committee with documents related to the inquiry and a report about the department’s decision to fire former FBI Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

On Saturday, Trump criticized the DOJ missing the deadline.

“What does the Department of Justice and FBI have to hide? Why aren’t they giving the strongly requested documents (unredacted) to the HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE?,” Trump tweeted “Stalling, but for what reason? Not looking good!”

The documents were subpoenaed last month by committee chairman, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va.

The missed deadline was also criticized by republicans.

“This is unacceptable — it’s time to stop the games,” Rep. Mark Meadows., R-N.C., tweeted.

John Lausch will oversee the production of the documents and will report directly to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the New York Times reports.

DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sessions requested the appointment.

“By appointing Mr. Lausch to oversee this specific document production, our goal is to assure Congress, the president and the American people that the F.B.I. is going to produce the relevant documents and will do so completely and with integrity and professionalism,” Flores said in a statement.

FBI Solves Mystery of 4,000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy with Severed Head

The severed, mummified head found in a ransacked tomb, via Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI solved a century-long mystery over the identify of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummy whose severed head was discovered in a burial chamber ransacked by thieves.

It was a major breakthrough for the FBI – and the scientific community – because genetic material had never been successfully extracted from a four-century-old mummy, the New York Times reports

A team of American archaeologists discovered the head in Deit el-Bersha, an ancient Egyptian necropolis. They determined the tomb belonged to a governor called Djehutynakht and his wife, but they were unable to decipher the gender of the head.

So they turned to the FBI, which used advanced DNA sequencing to determine the head belonged to governor by drilling into a tooth extracted from the skull. Odile Loreille, an FBI biologist, used the remains of the tooth, dissolved it in a chemical solution and them ran it through a DNA copy machine.

She deduced from the ratio of sex chromosomes that the skull belonged to a male.

The successful discovery advances a powerful DNA collecting technique that will help the bureau’s forensic studies.

Feds Shut Down Backpage.com, Charge the Owner Amid Human Trafficking

Michael Lacey, a founder of Backpage.com.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Friday shut down and seized Backpage.com, a classifieds website that has drawn intense scrutiny for its sex ads, some of which included teenagers.

Michael Lacey, a founder of the website, was charged Friday in a 93-count indictment. Details of the charges, however, were sealed, and an attorney for Lacey couldn’t provide any more specifics in an interview with the Arizona Republic Federal authorities also raided Lacey’s home in Sedona, Ariz.

Backpage.com provides a place for people to sell items, seek roommates, list upcoming events or advertise jobs openings.

But its most lucrative service is in sex, with listings for adult escorts and other sex services. 

Weekend Series on Crime History: Philly’s Godfather, Little Nicky Scarfo

FBI’s Top Congressional Liaison Quietly Steps Down for Private Sector Job

Greg Bower, FBI’s former top liaison for Congress during probe of Russia.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s top liaison on Capitol Hill quietly left his job on March 30.

Greg Brower, an FBI assistant director who ran the bureau’s Office of Congressional Affairs, began a new job this week as a shareholder in the litigation department of the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck law firm.

Then-FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Trump’s administration last year, made Brower, a senior lawyer, his deputy counsel and later a congressional liaison.

Brower said his departure had nothing to do with Comey’s firing or the most recent termination of the former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

“No circumstances, other than I had just accepted an offer from Brownstein some weeks earlier, so I happened to make the transition this week,” Brower told BuzzFeed News. “I think Chris Wray’s doing an outstanding job, and I have an excellent working relationship with Chris, but I couldn’t pass up the offer.”

Other Stories of Interest

Celebrated Civil Rights Photographer Doubled As a Secret FBI Informant

Ernest Withers

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Photographer Ernest Withers won over the trust of civil rights leaders, capturing some of the most iconic images of the civil rights era.

He snapped some of the storied photos from the time – Martin Luther King Jr. riding on one of the first integrated buses in Montgomery, the Little Rock school integration showdown and the dramatic moment in a Mississippi court room when Emmett Till’s great uncle pointed an accusing finger at the abductor of his great-nephew.

His presence was so ubiquitous and his photos so powerful that he won the trust of civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, who considered Withers a friend.

But the beloved photographer wasn’t just recording history. He was an FBI informant who shared a plethora of inside information to the bureau that had surveilled King Jr. for years.

Withers’ double life was exposed in 2010 by dogged Memphis reporter Marc Perrusquia, who exposed the photographer’s double life in the pages of the Commercial Appeal. But the story raised more questions than it answered because the FBI declined to turn over once-classified documents.

Perrusquia sued the FBI and won, giving him thousands of records that confirmed Perrusquia was a very active informant who provided inside information from 1958 to 1976.

Just short of the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination this week, Perrusquia published a 344-page hardcover book about Withers’ double life – “How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement.”

Perrusquia recently explained his motive to write the book during an interview with the Tennesseean newspaper:  One of the main things I want people to understand is that I’m not trying to erode Ernest Wither’s place in history as a legitimate Civil Rights figure. I’m just trying to cast a light on this hidden history that wasn’t known before. The stuff that Withers did for the FBI does not eclipse what he did for the movement, but it does rival it. His story is instructive to readers who want to learn from history. These government operations were very corrosive to our democracy. This story provides a good lesson for this country going forward — freedom of speech, the right to protest — these are cherished American values that we don’t want eroded because views are either unpopular or considered dangerous.