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FBI Doubles Reward in Case of Chicago Journalist Killed in Belize

Anne Swaney, 39

Anne Swaney, 39

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has doubled its reward for information in helping solve the 2016 murder of a Chicago journalist in Belize.

The FBI upped its reward to $20,000 in hopes of tracking down the killer of Anne Swaney, a 39-year-old Chicago resident who was murdered in western Belize on Jan. 14.

Swaney, executive producer of online operations for ABC7, was staying at a remote resort when she was strangled and sustained blunt force trauma to the neck and head.

Swan’s body was found in a river.

Border Patrol Agents Discover Catapult Used to Smuggle Drugs

A catapult found at the Mexico-Arizona border, via CBP.

A catapult found at the Mexico-Arizona border, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents found a catapult that smugglers were using to throw bundles of marijuana over the Mexican border in Arizona.

Agents on patrol near the Douglas Port Entry discovered the device on Feb. 10, The Arizona Republic reports. 

Several people who were seen near the catapult fled upon seeing the agents.

Agents found two bundles of marijuana that weighed nearly 50 pounds.

Mexican authorities seized the catapult.

Secret Service Director Clancy Is Stepping Down After 2 Years on the Job

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two years after taking the job, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy plans to step down.

Clancy was appointed after fallout from security lapses by agents.

“Congratulations Dir Clancy on your retirement! The men & women of the @SecretService are grateful for your 29 years of service & leadership,” the Secret Service said on Twitter.

Clancy plans to step down on March 4.

President Trump is now charged with appointing Clancy’s replacement.

Clancy was appointed by President Obama.

Other Stories of Interest

Republican Leadership Calls for FBI Assessment of Trump Media Leaks

whitehouseBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are calling for the FBI to investigate recent media leaks involving sensitive discussions in the Trump administration.

“We are going to be outlining all of our concerns over the last 60 days that appear to all be related, maybe even coordinated in some ways,” committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News. “I am going to be asking the FBI to do an assessment of this to tell us what’s going on here because we cannot continue to have these leaks as a government.”

Among the leaks are conversations between the now-former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and Russia; phone calls between President Trump and the leaders of Australia and Mexico; and the investigation into Russia’s role in the U.S. election.

“If [the conversation] was picked up inadvertently, then that would have had to been approved by someone in the last administration to actually unmask his name so that the FBI or intelligence officials knew who it was on the other end of the phone talking to the Russian ambassador,” Nunes explained. “If in fact the press reports are right, someone made the decision to deliberately listen to General Flynn’s phone calls and that is, I think, unprecedented, unwarranted, and flat-out wrong.”

FBI Tracks Suspected Michigan Murderer to Texas Using Facebook

Stephen Marcus Gilbert, 31

Stephen Marcus Gilbert, 31

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 31-year-old man accused of killing one person and injuring another in a shooting in downtown Flint, Mich., was tracked by the FBI using Facebook.

Authorities said they tracked Stephen Marcus Gilbert to Texas after a task force saw on his Facebook page that he had recently visited a woman in Arlington, MLive reports. 

The FBI, however, still had not located Gilbert as of Tuesday morning.

An apartment manager reported that he saw Gilbert walking toward the woman’s apartment.

Gilbert has bee charged with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and four counts of felony firearm, according to court records.

DEA Removes Misleading Information about Marijuana from Its Website

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA has removed from its website information deemed inaccurate about marijuana following months of public pressure.

Americans for Safe Access, a national nonprofit dedicated to making cannabis legal, filed a legal request with the Justice Department last year in hopes of forcing the DEA to remove factually inaccurate information, the L.A. Daily Post reports. 

The nonprofit claimed there were more than 25 false statements on the DEA’s website, including inaccuracies about marijuana causing psychosis and irreversible cognitive declines.

“The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access. “This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses. The federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and doesn’t cause long-term brain damage, or psychosis. While the fight to end stigma around cannabis is far from over, this is a big first step.”

Nearly 700 Undocumented Immigrants Arrested in Recent Raids

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pledge to remove 2 million to 3 million undocumented immigrants from the U.S. began last week when federal officers arrested more than 680 people living in the country illegally, Reuters reports.  

The  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids were conducted in at least a dozen states, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said.

Kelly said 75% of the immigrants arrested had criminal records.

Trump praised his administration for having “really done a great job” arresting immigrants.

“We’re actually taking people that are criminals, very, very, hardened criminals in some cases with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems,” Trump said.

Immigrants were targeted in Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, San Antonio and the Midwest. 

Homeland Security Secretary Says He Has No Clue What a Sanctuary City Is

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What is a sanctuary city?

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly confessed that he had no idea.

“I don’t have a clue,” Kelly told San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman when she asked for a definition.

Kelly was speaking to law enforcement in San Diego.

The definition is important because President Trump signed an executive order that threatened to pull federal funding from every “sanctuary jurisdiction.”

To be sure, what constitutes a sanctuary city has not been made clear. In general, it means cities that refuse to work with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

Other Stories of Interest