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FBI Adds California Murder Suspect to Top 10 Most Wanted List

Omar Alexander Cardenas

By Steve Neavling

A California gang member suspected of killing a man standing outside a barber shop was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list

Omar Alexander Cardenas, of San Fernando Valley, is accused of killing 46-year-old Jabali Dumas with a gunshot wound to the head outside Hair Icon Barber Shop on Foothill Boulevard on Aug. 15, 2019.

According to the FBI, Cardenas likely didn’t know the victim and “fired approximately six shots into public space.”

“He is not only a risk to the public, but he may also have information related  to other violent crimes,” FBI Special Agent Michael Alker said in a statement. 

Cardenas is suspected of being a member of the Pierce Street Gang and goes by the nickname Dollar. 

Cardenas is described as 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-7 and weighs about 240 to 300 pounds. He has dark brown or black hair, a beard, and brown eyes. 

“He normally wears thick prescription glasses and has at least one tattoo,” Alker said.

Anyone who has seen Cardenas is urged to call the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI. 

FBI Finds No Signs of Jimmy Hoffa Under New Jersey Bridge

James R. Hoffa

By Steve Neavling

Once again, a search for the missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa uncovered no evidence of his whereabouts. 

In the latest search, the FBI searched land under a New Jersey bridge, the Pulaski Skyway, the bureau said Thursday.

Hoffa, one of America’s most powerful labor leaders, has been missing for 47 years. Hoffa was last seen outside of a Michigan restaurant in 1975 and was legally dead in 1982. There have been dozens of searches for his body since then. 

The latest search was prompted by a deathbed statement by a man who says he buried Hoffa’s body in a steel drum. 

Agents scoured for evidence in October and June. 

“Nothing of evidentiary value was discovered during that search,” Special Agent Mara R. Schneider, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, told Deadline Detroit. “While we do not currently anticipate any additional activity at the site, the F.B.I. will continue to pursue any viable lead in our efforts to locate Mr. Hoffa.”

Donald Alway Named Assistant Director in Charge of FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office

Assistant Director in Charge Donald Alway

By Steve Neavling

Donald Alway has been named assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles Field Office, where he began his career 26 years ago.  

Alway began working for the FBI as a special agent in 1996, when he was assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office to investigate drug trafficking organizations.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he helped at the crime scenes in New York City and at the Pentagon.

In 2003, Alway was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters, and in 2005, he became the deputy on-scene commander in the Iraq Theatre of Operations for the Regimes Crimes Task Force before working as the acting legal attaché in Doha, Qatar.

In 2007, Alway went to the New York Field Office to supervise a joint terrorism task force squad, specialized responses, and special event planning.  

In 2011, he became assistant special agent in charge of the National Security Branch in the Cincinnati Field Office.

A year later, Alway returned to headquarters as a section chief in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD). 

In 2014, he was appointed special agent in charge of the Jackson Field Office in Mississippi.

Alway became the deputy assistant director of the Training Division in 2016, and as assistant director in 2018. 

In 2019, Alway was appointed assistant director of the WMDD.

Before joining the bureau, Alway  was a deputy sheriff in Los Angeles County. 

He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and master’s degrees from California State University at Long Beach and from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Secret Service Now Says Deleted Text Messages Can’t Be Recovered

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service says it’s unable to recover deleted text messages surrounding the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

The U.S. House committee investigating attempts to overturn the election was seeking the records in hopes that the texts would reveal new information about Trump’s interactions in the lead-up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The National Archives said Tuesday that it’s seeking more information on “the potential unauthorized deletion” of Secret Service texts, The Washington Post reports.

The Secret Service says none of the thousands of records it plans to turn over will offer new insight into the insurrection. 

Beginning in mid-January 2021, most of the Secret Service agents’ cell phones were purged as part of a agency-wide reset of staff phones. 

Steven Dettelbach Sworn in As First Senate-Approved ATF Director in 7 Years

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach, left, with Attorney General Merrick Garland

By Steve Neavling

Steven Dettelbach was sworn in Tuesday as the new ATF director, becoming the first Senate-approved leader of the agency in seven years. 

“Thank you, Attorney General Garland, and I also want to say thanks to President Biden for your confidence in me, for fighting for the American people every day and for fighting to provide ATF with a permanent director,” Dettelbach said at the investiture ceremony at the Justice Department.

Dettelbach said the job is his “single greatest honor of my professional life,” but it’s also the “greatest professional challenge of my life.”

At a time of mass shootings and other gun violence, Dettelbach said the ATF has to be willing to take new approaches. 

“We have to be open to new ideas,” he said. “We have to be open to new partnerships. We have to be open to a new and urgent sense of unity.”

Dettelbach acknowledged the job will be difficult.

“Make no mistake, the agency and its mission are challenged as never before. We all know about it,” he said. “Rising crime, rising firearm violence, rising mass shooting incidents and a rising tide of extremist violence that threatens people and safety in this nation. 

“And it’s going to take all of us in this nation, in law enforcement, working together to address those threats.”

He told ATF employees that “you have my heart, my soul, you have everything that I can give to try to join you in this effort.”

Before introducing Dettelbach on Tuesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he had faith in the new director. 

“I know that you will lead this agency, particularly its courageous and dedicated individuals, with integrity and skill,” Garland said.

Watch the ceremony here.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?521820-1/steven-dettelbach-sworn-atf-director

FBI to Focus on Diversity When It Hires Next Batch of Special Agents

By Steve Neavling

The FBI will focus on diversity as it plans to hire 900 new special agents over the next year. 

“People I think have a picture in their mind of what an FBI agent is – a white male in a suit perhaps wearing a hat,” Dallas-based supervisory special agent Lara Burns told 5 NBCDFW.

Most agents are currently white men.  

“We must reflect the diversity in this country,” Burns said.

The diversity will go beyond race and gender to include backgrounds and professions. 

The FBI has been focused on hiring people with computer and science experience. 

To apply, visit fbijobs.gov.

Secret Service to Turn Over Deleted Text Messages to Jan. 6 Committee

By Steve Neavling

The U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection plans to receive previously deleted text messages from the Secret Service, panel member Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., told The Hill.

The news comes after the inspector general for Homeland Security told the committee that Secret Service agents erased text messages sent and received on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6.

The committee believes the texts may reveal new information about Trump’s interactions in the lead-up to the insurrection. 

Testimony last month from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson raised new questions about Trump’s actions on Jan. 6. Cassidy said Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent in a limousine when he was told he couldn’t go to the U.S. Capitol, where protesters turned violent.

Hutchinson also said Trump tried to grab the steering wheel after he was told he couldn’t go to the Capitol. 

Kentucky County GOP Deletes Baseless Conspiracy Theory about New ATF Director

Former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach

By Steve Neavling

A county Republican Party in Kentucky removed a Facebook post that called new ATF Director Steven Dettelbach a “Jewish anti-gun activist.” 

The post by the Bracken County Republican Party baselessly claimed Dettelbach’s confirmation demonstrated the “Jewish junta” is growing in strength,” The Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

The U.S. Senate last week narrowly approved Dettelbach to serve as the director, making him the agency’s first permanent leader since 2015.

The county posted the conspiracy theory on Friday and quickly drew criticism. 

“A Jewish anti-gun activist, Steve Dettelbach, has just been made director of the ATF,” read the Facebook post. “The Jewish junta is getting stronger and more aggressive.”

The county party chairwoman, Karin Kikendol, later criticized the post. 

“Earlier today, I was made aware of an inappropriate post on the Bracken County GOP Facebook page,” Kirkendol wrote on Facebook. “That post does not represent the values of the Bracken County Republican Party. It was incredibly insensitive. We will investigate how this occurred and we commit to tighter oversight of our social media going forward.”

Anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories have been growing on the far right since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.