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News Story

Thieves Break into Homeland Security Agents’ Cars in Detroit’s Corktown Area

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Detroit’s popular Corktown business district continues to have problems with car thefts and break-ins.

The latest: Two unmarked cars belonging to federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security were broken into Wednesday night at Corktown as agents were dining at the new Batch Brewery at 1400 Porter St., Mara MacDonald of WDIV reports. Laptops and other equipment were taken, sources tell the station.

The Department Homeland Security ordered the vehicles towed and taken to a location where investigators will look for evidence, MacDonald adds.

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FBI to Investigate Hanging Death of Black Man in Mississippi

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping investigate the hanging death of a 54-year-old black man in Mississippi.

Local police in the small central Mississippi town of Port Gibson requested the bureau’s help to determine whether Otis Byrd was murdered or committed suicide.

Byrd was last seen on March 2 and was found Thursday hanging from a tree in the woods.

“We want to make sure it was not a racial hate crime,” Derrick Johnson, head of the state chapter of the NAACP, told the Los Angeles Times. “We cannot stand by in 2015 and watch a lynching, if in fact that’s what happened.”

The focus Thursday was on combing the scene for evidence.

“We seen a man who had a bedsheet tied around his neck,” Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas told CNN.

 

 

Judge Threatens Justice Department with Sanctions over Immigration Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Justice Department attorneys are under scrutiny after a federal judge said they may have misled him about when President Obama’s immigration plans were implemented.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who has blocked President Obama‘s immigration executive action, hinted that sanctions could be forthcoming if he was misled about when the administration launched the controversial immigration plans.

Hanen questioned whether the administration reneged on a pledge not to implement a primary part of Obama’s program – offering people reprieve from deportations.

“Like an idiot I believed that,” Hanen said.

Justice Department attorney Kathleen Hartnett apologized for any confusion and said the administration was not intending to deceive the court.

Border Patrol Agent Fatally Shot ‘Illegal Border Crosser;’ Investigation Under way

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An investigation is underway after a Border Patrol agent fatally shot a suspected “illegal border crosser” Thursday while on patrol near the U.S.-Canada border in Washington State,  CNN reports.

CBP said the agent, whose identity has not been released, fired his weapon after he was assaulted by the suspect.

“The agent had been hit by pepper spray but wasn’t seriously injured, according to police radio traffic,” The Bellingham Herald wrote.

The shooting occurred between Sumas, Washington, and Abbotsford, British Columbia near the Huntington Border Crossing.

Secret Service Director Disputes News Accounts of White House Crash

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service Director Joe Clancy disputed news reports that two high-ranking agents drunkenly crashed into a gate at the White House.

“Previous reports of a crash are inaccurate — there was no crash,” Clancy said at a Senate Appropriations Homeland Security subcommittee hearing, CNN reports. 

“The video shows the vehicle entering the White House complex at a speed of approximately one to two miles per hour, and pushing aside a plastic barrel. There was no damage to the vehicle,” he said.

Still, Clancy said it was “unacceptable” that it took five days for him to be notified of the incident.

“If it is determined that any one of our employees concealed information about this alleged incident, they will be held accountable,” he told the panel. “Our mission is too important for this to happen. It undermines my leadership and I won’t stand for it.”

Other Stories of Interest

Video Shows Border Patrol Agent’s Questionable Handling of Motorist

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A video has surfaced showing a Border Patrol agent potentially mishandling a driver who refused to say where he was going and declined a search.

“What is your reasonable suspicion?” asked Rick Herbert, who was in the car with his 4-year-old son.

The agent grabbed Herbet by the arm.

“Hey, dude, stop, I got to unbuckle my seatbelt first,” Herbert told him. “You’re being recorded, just so you know.”

Herbert was shoved against the window of the back seat, handcuffing him in front of his child.

Do you think the agent crossed the line?

FBI Special Agent Fired Amid Allegations of Stealing Cash While on Drug Task Force

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A special agent for the FBI has been fired and is under investigation for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars while working on a drug task force in Riverside, Calif., ABC7 reports. 

Scott Bowman, who joined the bureau in 2005, was escorted out of FBI headquarters in early February and fired. He had transferred to D.C. after being on the task force.

He is now the subject of a criminal investigation. Bowman most recently was a supervisory special agent at Washington D.C. headquarters after working out of the Los Angeles field office.

Now questions have been raised about Bowman’s handling of criminal cases, and about 75 current and former defendants in drug cases have received a letter from the government about Bowman’s termination.

The Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section and the Office of the Inspector General is investigating.

“The alleged misconduct was brought to our attention late last year,” said David Bowdich, Assistant Director In Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office. “As soon as we learned of that, we gathered some initial facts and we immediately turned this over to the Inspector General’s Office under D.O.J.”

The letter adds: approximately $15,582 in funds under Bowman’s control and possession that were seized during state search warrants executed on June 14, 2014 and June 25, 2014 in United States V. Miller, ED CR 14-89-JGB, are missing and Bowman has not provided any plausible explanation for the missing funds.”

Details of FBI’s Closely Guarded ‘Stingray’ May Soon Become Public

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI directed a local police department to drop criminal charges against a suspect in 2012 to avoid the public finding out about a secret device to track people, CNN reports.

The device, called the “Stringray,” allows investigators to find suspects by tracking their cell phones. The technology mimics a cell phone tower, tricking the phone into switching over to the “Stringray” while investigators access the location.

Judge Patrick H. NeMoyer in Buffalo, NY, has indicated he wants the FBI to turn over details of the secret technology that the bureau was using with Erie Police in Pennsylvania.

According to CNN, police used the device to track several criminal suspects, four missing people and a suicidal person.

But the judge believes the public has a right to know more details of the technology.