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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.

Wisconsin May Hire 5 Justice Department staffers to Investigate Cop-Involved Shootings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The national outcry over cop-involved shootings may mean more accountability in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker said he may change his mind and include in the budget enough money to hire five state Justice Department staffers to investigate the officer-involved deaths, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports.

“If DOJ feels as though additional funding is necessary to address these cases, we are willing to work with them and the state Legislature to ensure adequate funding,” Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said in an email.

One of the most recent officer-involved shootings occurred March 6 in Madison, where Tony Robinson was fatally shot by a white cop, prompting large protests.

Other Stories of Interest


Border Patrol Agent Accuses Homeland Security of Manipulating Statistics

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent told a Senate committee Tuesday that Homeland Security is fudging border statistics to make the border seem safer than it actually is, The Business Insider reports.

“I want to be crystal clear – the border is not secure,” said border agent Chris Cabrera in prepared testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday.

“That is not just my opinion or the position of the NBPC,” he said, speaking on behalf of the National Border Patrol Council. “Ask any line agent in the field and he or she will tell you that at best we apprehend 35 to 40 percent of the illegal immigrants attempting to cross. This number is even lower for drug smugglers who are much more adept at eluding capture.”

Cabrera said the number of footprints from immigrants, for example, are severely undercounted and that supervisors create incentives for agents to lie.

“Agents who repeatedly report groups larger than 20 face retribution,” he said. “Management will either take them out of the field and assign them to processing detainees at the station or assign them to a fixed position in low volume areas as punishment.”

“Needless to say agents got the message and now stay below this 20 person threshold no matter the actual size of the group,” he added.

FBI Investigating Massive Cyberattack on Premera Health Insurance Company

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a large cyberattack on the Premera health insurance company after concerns that personal and financial information of nearly 11 million customers has been compromised, ABC News reports.

Premera said there’s no evidence yet that data was used “inappropriately.”

The company discovered the “sophisticated attack” nearly seven weeks ago and quickly learned that the hacking began in May 2014. The FBI was immediately notified, the company and bureau said.

“Cybercrime remains a significant threat and the FBI will continue to devote substantial resources and efforts to bringing cyber criminals to justice,” FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said in a statement.

Premera is beginning to warning customers of the breach.

“[T]he attackers may have gained unauthorized access to members’ information, which could include members’ name, date of birth, Social Security number, mailing address, email address, telephone number, member identification number, bank account information, and claims information, including clinical information,” Premera said in its statement. “Individuals who do business with Premera and provided the company with their email address, personal bank account number, or Social Security number are also affected.”

Letter Addressed to White House Headed to Third Round of Testing for Cyanide

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Did an envelope addressed to the White House contain cyanide?

It’s going to take a third round of testing after the initial biological testing came back negative but a follow-up test found a “presumptive positive” for the deadly poison, the Secret Service said.

The New York Times reports that the letter was found in an off-site facility where White House mail is screened. 

The Secret Service declined to further discuss the issue.

In early 2013, a Mississippi man sent a ricin-laced letter to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker and Mississippi judge Sadie Holland. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, The Times wrote.

Boston Globe: FBI Should Re-Open City’s ‘Most Notorious Unsolved Mystery’

By The Boston Globe
Editorial Board

After Decades of frustration, the FBI ought to try opening its files on the Gardner Museum heist in hopes that fresh vision will help crack Boston’s most notorious unsolved mystery. The theft of 13 priceless works of art, including Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” 25 years ago on March 18, left a gaping hole in the city’s cultural landscape. The FBI has worked hard to find them, and appeared to be close to a breakthrough two years ago. But as another anniversary passes, and witnesses who might have useful information get a year older, the bureau should enlist the public’s help in a more robust way.

In 2013, the bureau and the museum announced that they believed they knew who stole the paintings, and identified them as “members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England.” Apart from that, though, investigators didn’t make much specific information public. Instead, it created a dedicated FBI website and displayed billboards in the Philadelphia area, where the bureau thinks some of the art may have ended up. The publicitygenerated tips, but no art.

Typically, criminal investigators reveal as little information as possible before making an arrest, mostly to avoid tipping off targets, but partly to discourage irresponsible bystanders from trying to take matters into their own hands. There are enough fresh examples of the dangers of crowd-sourced criminal investigations — just think of the false accusations after the Marathon bombing — to reinforce that conventional wisdom.

But the Gardner heist is different. Getting the art back to its home on the Fenway is far more important than actually arresting anyone.

To read more click here. 

Here is a listing of the works stolen, according to the FBI:

Vermeer, The Concert
Rembrandt, A Lady and Gentleman in Black
Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Rembrandt, Self-Portrait
Govaert Flinck, Landscape with Obelisk
Manet, Chez Tortoni
Degas, La Sortie de Pesage
Degas, Cortege aux Environs de Florence
Degas, Program for an artistic soiree (1)
DegasProgram for an artistic soiree (2)
Degas, Three Mounted Jockeys
Chinese Beaker or Ku
Bronze Eagle Finial

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri Lt. Gov. Kinder: DOJ Is More Racist Than St. Louis, Ferguson

Peter Kinder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said the Justice Department is “obsessed with race” and has demonstrated more racism than “than anywhere I see in the St. Louis area,” The Huffington Post reports.

Kinder claims protests over the death of Michael Brown are “based on a lie” and have been exacerbated by a Justice Department report that concluded Ferguson has systematically discriminated against black residents.

The problem, Kinder said, was that the Justice Department is staffed with “hard-left radical leftist lawyers.”

“There is more racism in the Justice Department than anywhere I see in the St. Louis area,” he said. “We’ve come an enormous way in 50 years, that’s not to say that we don’t have still more to do. It is the left, it is the Eric Holder and the Obama left and their minions that are obsessed with race while the rest of us are moving on beyond it.”