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Texas Businessman Takes Case Against FBI to Supreme Court

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The owner of a trucking company in Texas, where FBI agents used an 18-wheeler without permission and the driver was killed, wants to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Houston Chronicle reports that owner Craig Patty filed a $6.4 million lawsuit for damages following the November 2011 incident, which involved a botched Zetas Cartel sting.

In March, an appeals court dismissed the suit. Now Patty is appealing the case to the Supreme Court.

“The facts of this case are straight out of a Hollywood movie, and yet are completely true and undisputed,” Houston lawyer Andy Vickery states in recent petition to the court.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Agent Wounded During Shootout with Man Wanted for Shooting Cop

Dracy Pendelton

Dracy Pendelton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent was wounded Sunday morning following a shootout with a man wanted in connection with injuring a central Illinois police officer.

The unidentified agent was hospitalized with a nonlethal gunshot wound.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Dracy “Clint” Pendleton was wanted for wounding a police officer following a traffic stop on May 7.

Police said a member of the agency’s SWAT team was wounded when authorities approached an abandoned house in the Shawnee National Forest at 5 a.m. Sunday.

A police robot found Pendleton’s body on the second floor. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he shot himself or he was shot by authorities.

Existing Walls Along the Mexico Border Are Expensive to Maintain, Difficult to Enforce

Border Fence.

Border Fence.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fences along the Mexico border are expensive to maintain and difficult to police.

Drug traffickers often smashed through the barrier with trucks. Others sneak in when it’s foggy, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

About 670 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico has a fence. In California, maintaining a fence cost $9 million a year and requires surveillance cameras, underground sensors, welders and stadium lights.

The debate over the effectiveness of fences has gained traction after Donald Trump said he wanted to build a wall along the entire border.

Border Patrol Union Criticized by Own Agents for Endorsing Trump for President

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol union’s decision to endorse Donald Trump for president has polarized the rank-and-file and attracted unwanted attention.

“Mr. Trump is correct when he says immigration wouldn’t be at the forefront of this presidential campaign if months ago he hadn’t made some bold and necessary statements. And when the withering media storm ensued he did not back down one iota,” read the endorsement letter from the union, which represents 16,500 agents.

This was the first time the union has endorsed a presidential candidate.

But many agents weren’t happy because many don’t like Trump, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

For one, about half of the agents on the Southwest border are Hispanic.

“The Border Patrol has changed tremendously in the last 10 to 20 years. It has more than doubled in size and has brought in a lot of new recruits from all over country. That has increased the diversity of the agency,” said David Shirk, an associate professor of political science at the University of San Diego.

“While all of them are committed to the agency’s mission and believe strongly in work that they’re doing, they don’t reflect some of the more traditional stereotypes of the Border Patrol as a bunch of white guys chasing Mexicans.”

Don McDermott, a former supervisor of an anti-smuggling unit in San Diego, said the endorsement, which was made by a  group of 11 union leaders, makes the agency look bad.

“It is probable that the endorsement of Mr. Trump would expose both the union and the individual members to accusations of xenophobia and even racism,” McDermott said. “The reputation of the agency and of every agent is called into question.”

First 7 Students Graduate with Newly Created Minor in Homeland Security

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany.

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The first seven students graduated with a newly created minor in homeland security and other emergency fields at a New York state college, the Washington Times reports. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the students may play an important role in responding to emergencies that range from terrorism to extreme weather.

The first academic year at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany attracted more than 270 students.

State education officials hope to soon create a major in the field.

CIA Tip Led to Imprisonment of Nelson Mandela in Apartheid-Era South Africa

Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A CIA’s tip to apartheid-era South Africa led to the arrest of Nelson Mandela, according to a deathbed interview with the agent.

The interview with former CIA agent Donald Rickard will be aired as part of British film director John Irvin’s new film, “Mandela’s Gun,” reports Newsweek. 

“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved, grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said, accordingly to The Sunday Times.

“We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.”

Mandela ended up incarcerated for 27 years before the was released in 1990.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: Who Was Jack Ruby

Judge Forces Woman to Unlock iPhone with Fingerprints, But It Doesn’t Work

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the FBI couldn’t open an iPhone in Los Angeles, a judge made the controversial decision to let the bureau force a woman to unlock the phone with her fingerprints.

But it didn’t work, CNN reports. 

The case involves Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan, the girlfriend of an accused gangster. 

“They forced her to use all 10 fingers to unlock the phone. But it didn’t unlock the phone,” said George G. Mgdesyan, the attorney who represented the couple.

Turns out, the Touch ID feature expires if it’s not used within 48 hours.

When that didn’t work, the FBI tried another route.

“They asked for a password. She said, ‘It’s not my phone,'” Mgdesyan explained.