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Border Patrol Agent Accused of Working with Drug Traffickers

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent in South Texas is accused of working with drug traffickers to stage narcotics seizures and sell the drugs for profit.

Eduardo Bazan Jr. was arrested Friday and charged with making false statements about a federal investigation of drug traffickers, San Antonio Express-News reports. 

Bazan’s alleged crimes occurred in February 2007, but agents with Homeland Security Investigations in McCallen didn’t learn of it until October 2013.

“The drug trafficking organization coordinated staged narcotic seizures of sham, or diluted, narcotics with the assistance of law enforcement officials, which enabled the organization to steal drug loads from unwitting narcotics sources of supply,” the complaint says.

The Express-News wrote:

Investigators say one such cocaine seizure took place near the McAllen Border Patrol station with Bazan’s assistance. Federal agents searched the agency database for the report Bazan filed in 2007 detailing the incident.

When HSI agents recently interviewed Bazan, he recalled seizing the load, telling investigators that border agents had discovered bundles of cocaine in a Honda Civic, the criminal complaint says. At first, Bazan denied being tipped off to the location of the drug load and to having received payment for making the seizure.

But when HSI agents interviewed Bazan two days later, he admitted to lying, the document states. Bazan told them he had received information that led to the seizure of about 150 pounds of cocaine and that in return he was paid around $8,000. At first, Bazan claimed to have chased suspects from the drug-laden vehicle, but he later admitted there were no suspects, confessing it was a ruse to make the seizure appear legitimate to other agents, according to the criminal complaint.

Ohio Man Arrested at Airport for Allegedly Trying to Join ISIS

Aaron Travis Daniels was charged with trying to join a terrorist organization.

Aaron Travis Daniels was charged with trying to join a terrorist organization.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Ohio man is accused of trying to board a flight to join ISIS.

Aaron Travis Daniel was arrested at the Columbus airport Monday, NBC News reports. 

The FBI said the Columbus man admitted he sent money to an ISIS recruiter and planed to travel to Libya “for the purpose of joining” the terrorist group.

“He’s accused of paying money that was intended to go to a foreign terrorist organization — in this case [ISIS],” U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman said in a brief news conference outside court Monday. “And then further, he was accused of attempting to provide himself as a fighter” for ISIS.

Daniels, who was held without bond, was charged with knowingly providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

If convicted, he could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.

FBI Moves Office Out of Boston And into Larger Building in Chelsea

New FBI office in Chelsea, Mass.

New FBI office in Chelsea, Mass.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has moved out of the city of Boston and into a new Chelsea facility that has more room for expanded operations.

The FBI Boston Division has already started working at its new headquarters at 201 Maple St., the Boston Globe reports. The new building is 268,000 square feet.

“This new facility will give our employees and law enforcement partners better security, upgraded technologies, and provide more room for our growing task forces,” Harold H. Shaw, the special agent in charge, said in a statement.

The General Services Administration is leasing the eight-story building to the FBI.

The FBI Boston Division is responsible for federal laws in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

“We look forward to continuing to build upon the relationships we’ve established here in Chelsea while maintaining the critical partnerships we’ve developed over the years in Boston,” Shaw said. “We hope our presence in the neighborhood will have a positive impact.”

Other Stories of Interest

Michael McGarrity to Head up Criminal Division in New York FBI Office

fbi logo large

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Michael McGarrity recently served as the first director of the FBI’s  Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, which is tasked with helping save U.S. nationals held hostage abroad.

Now, FBI Director James Comey has appointed him special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the FBI’s  New York Field Office

McGarrity joined the FBI in 1996 and began his career in the New York Field Office, where he investigated violent gangs, Colombian drug trafficking organizations, and international money laundering networks, according to a press release. After Sept. 11, 2001, he transferred to the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force and investigated international terrorism matters.

McGarrity has held leadership positions as the FBI detailee assigned to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, as the FBI’s deputy on-scene commander in Afghanistan, as the supervisor of the FBI’s extraterritorial investigation squad in the Washington Field Office, as the director for Counterterrorism on the White House National Security Staff and as the legal attaché in Switzerland, the press release said.

Before joining the FBI, he was an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

Janet Reno, First Woman to Serve As Attorney General, Died at 78

Former Attorney General Janet Reno.

Former Attorney General Janet Reno.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The United States’ first woman to serve as attorney general, Janet Reno, died early Monday at age 78.

Reno spent her final day at home in Miami before succumbing to complications from Parkinson’s disease. She was surrounded by family and friends, NPR reports. 

“She was the least air-brushed candidate we have ever had for a cabinet-level position,” said Jamie Gorelick, who would later become deputy attorney general. “She was herself and she didn’t change herself for Washington.”

NPR wrote:

Reno served longer in the job than anyone had in 150 years. And her tenure was marked by tragedy and controversy. But she left office widely respected for her independence and accomplishments.

She was not President Bill Clinton’s first choice to head the Justice Department, nor his second. But after his number-one pick went down in confirmation flames, and his second choice also proved controversial, Clinton finally turned to Reno.

She was an unexpected pick. She had no connections to Clinton or Washington. But Clinton wanted a woman, and Reno was a big-time prosecutor, holding the top prosecutor’s job in Miami-Dade County, a position she had been elected to four times over 15 years.

FBI Worked ‘Around the Clock’ to Review New Emails in Clinton Probe

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI worked “around the clock” and used new technology to review a mammoth volume of emails following the FBI’s announcement that it was renewing its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server.

“A lot of this was a matter of technology,” one official told CNN. “Without the technology, this would have taken a lot longer.”

On Sunday, FBI Director James Comey wrote in a letter to Congress that the bureau was confident that it made the correct decision in July that there wasn’t enough evidence to support criminal charges against Clinton.

The investigation is now considered over.

CNN wrote:

But with not all the emails deleted by her attorneys for being personal in nature recovered and not all the devices used to transmit the emails in the FBI’s possession, it is possible something else could turn up that would require more review.

There were some classified emails found in the Abedin review, but the officials stressed the issue is not the classified information so much as proving intent. The sources would not specify how many of the classified emails were new or duplicates of ones already reviewed. Nor would officials say how many there were and what levels of classification they were at.

Another source told CNN that none of the newly recovered emails were referred to other intelligence agencies to conduct a classification review. That suggests that none of them were considered a “close call” in terms of classification, the source said.

“Keep in mind we are focused on intent,” one official said. “We know there are classified materials, but that doesn’t change the conclusion reached back in July.”

FBI Interviews Muslims Following Warning of Possible Terrorism Attack on Eve of Election

fbi logo newBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fears that al-Qaeda may be planning attacks the day before the U.S. election have prompted the FBI to question Muslims in several states, a Muslim community leader told the Dallas Morning News. 

The North Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations said it has received repots that FBI agents were questioning Muslims from Kansas, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.

“It was made apparent to us that the FBI has a list of a couple hundred people they are wanting to visit and ask a series of eight generic questions intended to drum up information about the attacks,” Alia Salem, the group’s director, said.

The FBI in Dallas declined to comment.

On Friday, intelligence officials said al-Qaeda may be planning attacks on the eve of the election.

“The FBI and [Department of Homeland Security], working with our federal, state and local counterparts, share and assess intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety,” the unnamed source told CBS News.

Smugglers Increasingly Using Drones to Drop Drugs over U.S.-Mexico Border

DroneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Smugglers are increasingly using drones to drop drugs over the U.S-Mexico border.

Border Patrol is using six blimps that can detect low-flying aircraft using specialized radar, CBS News reports.  The drones are monitored by Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS), which can cover the entire boarder.

“Our law enforcement operators that see that on the radar and get the drugs, get the bad guys that are waiting for the drugs,” said Rob Brown the TARS program manager 

To fly below the radar, smugglers often fly dangerously low.

“They’ll hug the mountains really close just to try and break up their profile,” said Brent J. Smart, an Air and Marine Interdiction Agent. 

The TARS technology helps agents find drugs that are dropped from the sky.