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Texas Special Agent Died in ‘Tragic Accident’ While Working with U.S. Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Texas Department of Public Safety special agent was working with the U.S. Border Patrol when he died in a “tragic accident” Friday, DPS said in a press release.

Anthony Salas, 37, was helping provide security during an arrest at a U.S. border wall when the vehicle flipped about 7:30 p.m.

Photos of the crashed vehicle were posted on Facebook by the Eagle Pass News Leader.

Details about the crash weren’t immediately clear. 

Salas was rushed to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he died just after 11 a.m. on Saturday. 

Salas joined DPS in 2013 and was stationed in El Paso. He previously served as a trooper with the Texas Highway Patrol. 

Salas also served on the DPS West Texas Special Response Team and the U.S. Marine Corps before joining the department. 

Nicholas Dimos Named Assistant Director of FBI’s Finance And Facilities Division

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Nicholas Dimos has been named the assistant director of the Finance and Facilities Division (FFD) at FBI headquarters. 

Previously, Dimos was the division’s deputy assistant director.

Dimos’ duties are to oversee the bureau’s finances, facilities, and logistics functions and serve as the chief financial officer, head of contracting activity, and real property officer.

Dimos was a budget analyst in the finance Division when he first joined the FBI in 2006. 

In 2009, Dimos became a team leader in the Budget Formulation and Presentation Unit, overseeing budget development.

In 2012, he served as an acting supervisor and transition leader and a year later was transferred to the development team of the FBI’s new financial system, which Dimos helped implement.

In 2014, Dimos became the national intelligence financial manager and served as the FBI’s senior financial liaison with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Office of Management and Budget, and Congress on national intelligence financial matters.

In 2015, he was promoted to assistant section chief of the Finance and Facilities Division, where he oversaw budget formulation, execution, and reporting across all FBI funding sources.

In 2017, Dimos became the deputy assistant director of FFD, serving as the FBI’s deputy chief financial officer. His responsibilities included the budget, procurement, accounting, and audit functions. He also headed up several initiatives to modernize financial services. 

Before joining the bureau, Dimos was a middle school science teacher in Philadelphia. He received an economics degree from DePauw University in Indiana and a graduate degree in security studies from Georgetown University.

Weekend Series on Crime: Is the NY Mob Back?

FBI Director Wray Says Hostage Standoff in Texas Was ‘An Act of Terrorism’

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director Christopher Wray called Saturday’s hostage standoff at a Texas synagogue an “act of terrorism targeting the Jewish community.”

“This was not some random occurrence,” Wray said in an address to the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday. “It was intentional; it was symbolic, and we’re not going to tolerate anti-Semitism in this country.”

He added, “We recognize that the Jewish community, in particular, has suffered violence and faces very real threats from really across the hate spectrum.”

Wray’s statements are in stark contrast to the bureau’s initial statements that the attacker, Malik Faisal Akram, was not motivated by antisemitism. On Saturday night, Matthew DeSarno, special agent charge of the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, said Akram was driven by an issue “not specifically related to the Jewish community.”

Wray’s sought to send a different message. 

“To be targeted at your place of worship, a space meant to be a sanctuary in every sense of the word, is, in my view, one of the most heinous acts of violence that can be committed,” Wray said. 

Wray pledged to continue combating anti-Semitism. 

“e’re going to keep digging to get more answers for Congregation Beth Israel, for the Colleyville community, and for the Jewish community as a whole,” Wray said. “I know it’s disheartening to see that these kinds of attacks continue to happen and that there are people out there who target members of the Jewish faith.

“But you can be confident that we in the FBI stand with you. And it is my hope that you will continue to see us as a trusted partner and as a valued resource, as we work together in our collective fight against violent extremism.”

To read Wray’s full address, click here.

U.S. Arrests Second Suspect in Connection with the Assassination of Haitian President

Haitian President Jovenal Moïse. Photo: Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department announced charges Thursday against a second suspect accused of being involved in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise. 

Haitian-Chilean citizen Rodolphe Jaar, 49, is charged with conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap, the Justice Department said in a news release

Jaar is the second person arrested and charged in the U.S. in connection with the assassination. 

Jaar is accused of providing weapons to about 20 Columbian citizens who played a role in assassinating Moise. Prosecutors allege he also housed some of the Columbians. 

Jaar faces up to life in prison if convicted. 

Homeland Security arrested and charged another suspect, Mario Antonio Palacios, earlier this month. 

Border Patrol Agents Help Crash Victims in 2 Separate Accidents

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents rushed to the aid of car crash victims on two separate occasions this week. 

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, agents from the Laredo North Station in Texas responded to a tractor-trailer rollover accident on the Interstate 35 west access road near the 9-mile marker north of Laredo. While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Border Patrol medics provided medical aid to two occupants in the truck.

On Tuesday, agents from the Freer Station in Texas responded to a two-vehicle crash involving an 18-wheeler and pickup truck on U.S. Highway 59 west of Freer, Texas. Agents provided medical aid to four occupants until an ambulance arrived. 

Last year, fast-acting Border Patrol agents sprung into action numerous times when they saw people in danger.

Ex-Detroit City Councilman Sentenced to Prison As Part of Widening FBI Investigation

By Steve Neavling

The FBI’s broadening investigation into corruption in the city of Detroit led to the sentencing Wednesday of a former Detroit City councilman. 

Andre Spivey, 47, was sentenced to two years in prison for accepting more than $35,000 in bribes. 

“It is the mission of the FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force to thoroughly investigate the conduct of elected officials who – like Mr. Spivey – abuse their positions of power and the public’s trust for their own personal gain,” Josh P. Hauxhurst, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, said in a statement. “Today’s sentencing serves as a warning to all public officials who allow greed to triumph over duty, that federal agents will never cease in their relentless pursuit for justice.”

Spivey is among an increasing number of city employees who were arrested as part of “Operation Northern Hook,” an investigation into corruption within Detroit government and the police department related to towing contracts. 

Spivey, who resigned from council on Sept. 29, pleaded guilty to conspiring with an unidentified staff member to commit bribery. Spivey and the staff member collected more than $35,000 in cash bribes from an undercover agent or confidential informant on eight different occasions between 2018 and 2020. 

As part of the investigation, the FBI also raided the homes and offices of two other council members on Aug. 25. To date, they have not been charged. 

Four current and former Detroit cops were charged with bribery in connection with the investigation. 

“Public corruption undermines the faith of the people in their leaders,” U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison said. “Public officials who take bribes will be punished, and I am determined to take every action to root out corruption within the City of Detroit or anywhere else in this district where we find it.”     

How Foreign Spies Tap Into U.S. Police Departments

The author is editor-in-chief of SpyTalk

By Jeff Stein

The arrest in New York last week of an Egyptian-American accused of spying on exiles opposed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s repressive regime has lifted the curtain on a “significant” but little noted national security issue: the recruitment of U.S. state and local police by foreign intelligence agencies. 

Pierre Girgis, a dual Egyptian-U.S. citizen in Manhattan, worked at the “direction and control” of several Cairo agencies to advance the regime’s interests in the United States from 2014 through 2019, according to a federal indictment handed down Jan. 6.

Girgis, a Capital One bank vice president who openly promoted interchanges between Egyptian officials and American police, had a secret helper, according to the Justice Department:  a source in local law enforcement. FBI wiretaps overheard Girgis and Egyptian officials talking about exploiting the (unnamed) police officer for private information on anti-regime activists here. 

The Girgis case is hardly atypical, law enforcement sources say. The full number and disposition of such cases in recent years was not readily available from the Justice Department, but according to former FBI counterintelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi and other former national security officials, efforts by foreign spy agencies to recruit U.S. state and local police is a persistent problem.

“Certain foreign intelligence services consistently seek to recruit American police officers for their access to non-public information” which helps them track down dissidents here, Figliuzzi told SpyTalk. “This continues to be a significant concern.” 

To read the full story click here.