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News Story

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Suspected of Starting Large Wild Fire

fire via pixabayBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators are trying to determine whether an off-duty Border Patrol agent who was target shooting sparked a large wild fire in southern Arizona.

Border Patrol officials indicated in a statement to Fox News that they were aware of an investigation that “involves an off-duty Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent” that they did not identify.”

“The agent was involved in recreational shooting and immediately reported the fire after it begun,” officials with the Tucson Sector added.

State fire officials declined to comment on the investigation.

The fire burned 63 square miles of grass, brush and trees.

Other Stories of Interest

National Review: Trump’s Immigration Enforcement Is More Important Than a Wall

Border fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Editorial Board
National Review

A head of a potential government-shutdown battle, President Trump is reportedly willing to forgo a congressional down payment on a “big, beautiful wall” on America’s southern border. Despite his insistence on the wall’s importance to his immigration-enforcement agenda, the president is apparently open to postponing negotiations on funding until September, when Congress will take up the 2018 budget.

The maximalist version of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall was always a quixotic enterprise. From Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, Calif., the U.S.–Mexico border stretches nearly 2,000 miles, often across rugged, harsh terrain — including Texas’s Big Bend National Park and Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Building a single, monolithic wall is not feasible for much of this territory, as Trump himself acknowledges at times. The proposed route of a wall also cuts through privately owned land, raising serious legal questions. Nevertheless, more barriers in select places are welcome. We have repeatedly suggested as much and, the fulsome rhetoric of the president notwithstanding, this is the goal of the Department of Homeland Security.

But, as we have also suggested, physical barriers along the southern border ought to be just one element of a larger immigration-enforcement agenda. So far, President Trump has used his executive power fairly effectively toward this end, signing off on a series of orders that roll back some of President Obama’s worst overreaches, and directing executive-branch agencies to aggressively enforce laws rendered toothless by his predecessor. He has encouraged Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol to hire. Last week, he signaled an interest in ending the well-documented abuse in the H-1B visa program, which employers have used to undercut American workers in high-skilled jobs.

These and other policies, and their (usually) clear promulgation, are already having an effect on the flow of illegal immigration into the U.S. DHS reports that border apprehensions of parents and children decreased 93 percent — from 16,000 to just over 1,100 — from December 2016 to March 2017. DHS secretary John Kelly suggests that news of the new administration’s tougher line on illegal immigration is discouraging many would-be illegal immigrants from taking the risk of crossing the border.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

Baltimore Seeks Help with Its Skyrocketing Murder Rate

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Baltimore surpassed 100 murders so far this year, the quickest the city has reached that mark in two decades.

Now Mayor Catherine Pugh is asking for the FBI to help crack down on violence and help solve open homicide cases, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.  

Hoping to explore all options, the mayor said she expects the FBI to respond to her formal request for help by the end of the week.

“We just want more assistance by our FBI partners,” she said. “The conversation has been around what additional assistance they can provide. We believe there could be more people on the street. In terms of technology we’ve done some things … but there’s some more technology out there that the city has not had access to.”
It’s not yet clear what kind of help the FBI would offer, but Pugh said she’ll take any assistance she can get.

Border Patrol Gets Its First Woman Leader in 93-Year History

Acting Director of the Border Patrol Carla Provost.

Acting Director of the Border Patrol Carla Provost.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol’s first woman to serve as acting chief was named Tuesday to lead the agency as the Trump administration tries to build a wall on the border of Mexico and hire an additional 5,000 agents.

Carla Provost, who was the deputy chief since October, replaces Ronald Vitiello, who became acting deputy commission of Customs and Border Protection, the Associated Press reports. 

Provost is the fourth person to lead the agency since late 2015. She is the first woman to lead the agency in its 93-year history.

Customs and Border Protection said it’s not yet clear how long Provost and Vitiello will serve in the acting roles.

2 Arkansas Juvenile Detention Officers Plead Guilty to Assaulting Youth Inmates

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI said it is “appalled” after discovering that two former juvenile detention officers at an Arkansas facility conspired to assault youth inmates.

Investigators said the two officers peppers-sprayed inmates who posed no threat.

Those officers, former White River Juvenile Detention Center supervisors Capt. Peggy Kendrick, 43, and Lt. Dennis Fuller, 40, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to assault juvenile inmates in U.S. District Court. Kendrick also pleaded guilty to falsifying a report by trying to cover up that she pepper-sprayed a 16-year-old girl.

“In some instances, they then shut the compliant juveniles in their cells after pepper spraying them to ‘let them cook,’ rather than immediately decontaminating them,” a news release said. “Kendrick also encouraged the juvenile detention officers, who unjustifiably assaulted juveniles, to falsify their incident reports to cover up the assaults.”

The cause remains under investigation by the FBI in Little Rock.

The officers have been fired.

Secret Service Can’t Keep Up with ‘Tidal Wave of Threats’ to Trump

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

So many threats are made against President Trump because of his habit of tweeting false or incendiary information.

“The Twitter thing is creating a lot of hassles,” said Dan Bongino, a former protective detail agent for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “It’s generated a tidal wave of threats that the Secret Service can’t ignore.”

The FBI said it is “appalled” after discovering that two former juvenile detention officers at an Arkansas facility conspired to assault youth inmates.

Investigators said the two officers peppers-sprayed inmates who posed no threat.

Those officers, former White River Juvenile Detention Center supervisors Capt. Peggy Kendrick, 43, and Lt. Dennis Fuller, 40, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to assault juvenile inmates in U.S. District Court. Kendrick also pleaded guilty to falsifying a report by trying to cover up that she pepper-sprayed a 16-year-old girl.

“In some instances, they then shut the compliant juveniles in their cells after pepper spraying them to ‘let them cook,’ rather than immediately decontaminating them,” a news release said. “Kendrick also encouraged the juvenile detention officers, who unjustifiably assaulted juveniles, to falsify their incident reports to cover up the assaults.”

The cause remains under investigation by the FBI in Little Rock.

Bongino said the Secret Service doesn’t have the resources to investigate every social media threat.

“It’s an arithmetic impossibility to interview every single person who sends a threat. It’s not possible,” he said. “By necessity they have to triage what’s credible and what’s not and it’s tough to do by just looking at a 140-character tweet.”

The Secret Service also is worried about Trump’s safety while he takes predictable weekend trips to his private Mar-a-Lago club.

“I used to joke if we don’t know where we’re going then the jackal doesn’t either,” Bongino said. “Patterns always hurt.”

One of FBI’s Top Most Wanted Expected to Arrive in Chicago on Numerous Charges

Fidel Urbina, via FBI

Fidel Urbina, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and local police had been looking for Fidel Urbina since 1998, when he is accused of bludgeoning a 22-year-old woman while he was on bond on charges of kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting a different woman in Chicago.

Urbina was placed on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list in June 2012, prompting Mexican authorities to arrest him in September in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, The Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

Urbina is expected to arrive in Chicago on Tuesday after the extradition process is complete.

He is charged with sexually assaulting both women and murdering Gabriella Torres.

“Many family members have waited a long time for this day to come and they deserve the opportunity to face the accused in a court of law,” Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Chicago Field Office, said following the arrest.

Homeland Security to Open Center for Victims of Crimes by Undocumented Immigrants

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Americans who were victimized by crime perpetuated by undocumented immigrants will have a new resource under the Homeland Security Department.

The Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) is expected to open today. The idea is to inform victims of the immigration proceedings of suspects, the Associated Press reports.

The office is part of an executive order by President Trump, who pledged to open the office during a speech to Congress in February.

Critics question the motive behind the office because studies have indicated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born U.S. citizens.