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Ex-FBI Agent Featured in Reality Show about Hunting for Priceless Sports Memorabilia

Football Hall of Fame.

Football Hall of Fame.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Kevin Barrows, a former FBI agent who helped bring down mobsters in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is on a new adventure.

Barrows is a private investigator who is searching for sports memorabilia as part of a new six-episode reality TV show, NJ.com reports. 

The show, “Sport Detectives,” will debut April 24 on the Smithsonian Channel and feature Barrows as he helps track down priceless memorabilia that never ended up in the Hall of Fame.

Among the items he’ll be searching for are the basketball from Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point NBA game and any bat used by Yankees legend Lou Gehrig.

Other Stories of Interest

Professional Hackers Helped FBI Unlock San Bernardino Terrorist’s iPhone

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Professional hackers helped the FBI unlock a San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone by exploiting a previously unknown software flaw.

The Washington Post reports that the FBI cracked the phone’s four-digit personal identification number by creating a piece of hardware that would prevent the security feature from erasing all of the data.

The FBI paid the hackers a one-time flat fee.

But the solution won’t help the FBI with every iPhone. The new information was only helpful opening an iPhone 5Cs running the iOS9 operating system.

The bureau is unsure whether it will reveal to Apple the procedure used to open the phone. If the information was shared with Apple, FBI Director James Comey said, “they’re going to fix it and then we’re back where we started from.”

Combat Army Veteran Sues Federal Government Over Its Handling of His PTSD

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Army sergeant who spent 10 months in Afghanistan is suing the federal government for how it handled his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sgt. Anthony Gazoda, 31, of Michigan, joined the Border Patrol after retuning home from a war zone. His job took him to Laredo, Texas.

“After about two months I started noticing my sleep was off. I started having anxiety and depression,” Gazvoda told WDIV

He was sent home after government doctors diagnosed him with PTSD.

“The government’s doctors have evaluated him and said he’s fit to be a Border Patrol agent. We just need to get him out of the southern, arid desert,” attorney Jason Turkish said.

His attorney said the environment created flashbacks of firefights in Afghanistan.

Since then, he said, the government has threatened to fire him if he didn’t return to Laredo.

“You send these brave men and women off to war. You have to be accountable when they return home,” Turkish said.

Terrorism Threat in Europe and U.S. Is ‘Increasingly Lethal,’ House Committee Reports

Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday released an alarming report about terror plots targeting Europe and the disturbing links to ISIS.

The “European Terror Threat Snapshot” also revealed that about 5,000 European citizens have traveled to Iraq or Syria, and more than 1,000 have returned to their countries, the Washington Times reports. 

“ISIS terror operatives have exploited the largest flow of refugees and migrants since World War II to infiltrate Europe undetected. EU member states reported nearly 2 million instances of illegal border crossings involving around 1 million people last year,” the new report noted. “European jihadists are also attempting to radicalize and recruit refugees settling in the European continent.”

In the committee’s monthly terrorism assessment of the U.S., officials warned of increasing danger to the U.S.

“The United States and our allies face an increasingly lethal Islamist terror threat. A global jihadist network operating from safe havens is exploiting Western security gaps to orchestrate a widespread terror campaign, particularly in Europe,” warned Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican and committee chairman.

“Battle-hardened European fighters groomed by ISIS are returning home from Syria to commit acts of terror with the support of local extremist networks, as we have tragically seen in Paris and Brussels. These operatives are also potentially a plane-flight away from our shores. Given the magnitude of the threat across the continent, we are likely seeing only the tip of the jihadist iceberg in Europe.”

DEA Employees Seek to Prevent Release of Videos of Lap Dances at Trial

dea-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

DEA employees charged with lying during national security background checks are trying to avoid the embarrassing release of lap dances during their trial.

Civilian employees and a former officials of the DEA are accused of lying about their ownership of a trip club in South Hackensack, N.J.

Now defense attorneys are trying to prevent the government from introducing the lap dance video into evidence, the New York Times reports. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/nyregion/dea-employees-facing-trial-seek-to-bar-lap-dance-video.html

“The prejudicial effect of the videos would be colossal if they are introduced as evidence at trial,” defense lawyers argued in court papers filed on Monday.

Prosecutors want to provide evidence that the defendants used largely illegal immigrants as dancers.

The government wants to show the jury sexually graphic footage of four lap dances recorded at the club.

Businessman at Center of NYPD Investigation Served As Chaplain of County Police Department

nypd badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Brooklyn businessman who is a target in the widening federal investigation of the NYPD also served as a chaplain for the Westchester County police, the New York Daily News reports. 

But the discovery that he was at the center of the investigation prompted the police department to suspend Jeremy Reichberg from his nonpaying chaplain job.

Reichberg, 42, is suspected of giving gifts to city cops in exchange for a host of favors.

Just three months after county Executive Rob Astorino received a $25,000 donation from Reichberg’s friend, Jona Rechnitz, he received the chaplain job.

“There’s no connection at all,” Astorino spokesman William O’Reilly told The Journal News.

Arizona Republic: Border Walls Are for Suckers, Donald Trump

By Lndia Valdez
Arizona Republica

The news brings us two recent examples of why border walls don’t work. Can someone alert Donald Trump?

Exhibit A comes from the Border Patrol, which issued a press release April 6 asking people to be on the lookout for drones.

“The Yuma Sector Border Patrol has recently encountered small remote controlled aircraft, commonly referred to as drones, being used to smuggle drugs into the United States. The drones vary in size, but are commonly between 2 to 4 feet wide,” it says.

“Drones have been observed primarily in the San Luis area,” the press release continues. “They are known to carry illegal contraband into the U.S. where it is dropped and picked up by smugglers north of the border.”

They included a picture of a drone so everyone would know what to look for. No word on whether the drone in the picture was one captured at the border.

Here’s the rub: The Yuma Sector is the go-to place when border-hawk politicians want to point to a place where fencing has led to “operational control.”

Guess what? The smugglers figured out a way over.

Exhibit B in this tutorial on why walls don’t work comes from a widely viewed video showing would-be smugglers easily scaling a border fence – in full view of Border Patrol agents – then skedaddling back into Mexico when they realize they were being filmed, according to the Associated Press.

Border Patrol spokesman Mark Landess told AP it’s not uncommon for smugglers to scale the steel fence, especially around Nogales, which is a busy drug-smuggling corridor.

To read more click here. 

Congressman Urges Passage of ATF Enforcement Act to End Gun Hypocrisy

gunsBy Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr.
for Washington Post

Those who oppose gun safety legislation often contend that the president and Congress should enforce existing gun laws before considering any new ones. National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre has said that under current federal law, President Obama “could take every felon with a gun, drug dealer with a gun, and criminal gang banger with a gun off the streets tomorrow and lock ’em up for five years or more”; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who holds great power over whether gun legislation sees the light of day, has said that “the federal government is not doing the job they should be doing in enforcing our current gun laws.”

We should call their bluff. The truth is that Congress routinely blocks the power of the federal agency responsible for overseeing and investigating firearms sales: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF is unable to carry out its mission because of the multiple obstacles placed in its path. For example, a 2004 budget amendment blocked the agency from providing data on the tracing of guns used in crimes for any state license revocation action or civil lawsuit. Gun-trace data are critically important for sourcing illegally trafficked firearms and identifying corrupt gun dealers. Another amendment that year banned any requirement that gun dealers keep a physical inventory of their wares. In 2012, Congress said that the ATF couldn’t deny applications to import any shotgun simply because it lacked a sporting purpose. The list goes on.

So what if we didn’t pass new gun safety laws, but instead simply returned to the ATF the authority and autonomy to fully perform its duties? What if this key agency were enabled “to protect communities from violent criminals . . . the illegal use and trafficking of firearms . . . [and] acts of terrorism,” as its mission statement reads, without interference?

Tuesday I will introduce the ATF Enforcement Act, which would restore the agency’s ability to enforce existing gun laws by removing legislative limitations on its operations, enforcement and day-to-day functions. My bill would also allow the person picked to be ATF director to bypass the Senate confirmation process by moving the appointment power to the attorney general. For years, congressional allies of the gun lobby have blocked nominees by both Democratic and Republican presidents. Only one nominee has been confirmed since the position was made subject to Senate approval in 2006.