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Marshall Project: Why Is the FBI So White? Bureau Could Use Diversity

By Simone Weichselbaum
The Marshall Project

Richard Garcia, the FBI assistant director in charge of the bureau’s Los Angeles office, was unfazed to learn in 2005 that the agency had agreed to cooperate in the making of a Hollywood film based on his work managing a rogue agent who was suspected of being a Russian spy. Garcia was two months from retiring, and says he “had already seen it all.”

Four years earlier, the bureau’s counterterrorism division had assigned Garcia to keep a close eye on an agent named Robert Hanssen, an operation that ended with Hanssen serving a life sentence in a federal supermax prison on espionage charges.

But Garcia was nonplussed when “Breach” was released in theaters in 2007. The Mexican-American law enforcement veteran — proudly the highest-ranking Latino in the FBI when he retired — was portrayed by the unmistakably Anglo actor, Gary Cole.

“They made me white,” Garcia says.

Hollywood may have gotten Richard Garcia wrong, but it got the FBI right. The bureau has historically been the least diverse of the majorfederal law-enforcement agencies, and, according to a recent breakdown of the FBI’s 13,455 special agents, decades of lawsuits and promises have not moved the needle on diversity.

The agency’s elite law-enforcement roster is 4.5 percent black, down from 5.7 percent in 1998 and 5.1 percent in 2008. Another 6.8 percent of special agents are Latino, down from 7.1 percent in 1998 and 7.9 percent in 2008, according to bureau statistics.

The higher you go up the agency ladder, the less likely you are to encounter men like Richard Garcia. Latinos make up 2.8 percent of the high-level managerial positions in the agency, according to an FBI spokeswoman. (Blacks make up 5 percent, and Asian-Americans are 2.5 percent.)

To read more click here. 

Justice Department Blasted in Report for Handling of Sex Offenders in Protection Program

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has done a poor job protecting the public from sex offenders who are enrolled in the national witness protection program, according to the department’s inspector general.

The Associated Press reports that of the 10 participants who had been convicted of a sex crime, four were not required to register as sex offenders.

“We believe that a waiver of the registration requirement with no alternative procedures in place to monitor these individuals does not strike a balance between the safety of witness and the risk to the public, but instead elevates the security of the witness over the risk to the public,” the report states.

The Justice Department defended its handling of sex offenders in the program and said that no one who received waivers was convicted of a new sex crime.

But the department pledged to make improvements outlined by the inspector general.

“Admitting and relocating witnesses or their family members who were previously convicted of sex offenses mandates an extraordinarily high level of scrutiny,” the department said in a statement, “and it is department policy that sex offenders are presumed ineligible for relocation services. Overcoming that presumption is extremely rare.”

The FBI’s Wildly Successful Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List Was Hatched 60 Years Ago

He became a familar fixture on the list.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of the FBI’s famous and wildly successful Ten Most Wanted Fugitive program, which has helped capture hundreds of suspects since its inception.

The Imperial Valley News reports that the program’s roots reach back to 1949, when a reporter for the International News Service wrote a story based on his request for a list of the FBI’s “toughest guys.” The FBI handed hi ma list of 10 fugitives, and the story was a sensation.

On March 14, 1950, then-Director J. Edgar Hoover created the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program.

Since then, 473 of the 503 ho appeared on the list were apprehended to located.

Imperial Valley News wrote:

As the nature of crime and FBI priorities has evolved over the years, the makeup of the Top Ten list has also changed. While the list began by featuring bank robbers and murder suspects fleeing state jurisdiction, it has evolved into a tool to search for major organized crime figures, cyber criminals, child predators, and white-collar criminals. The list also reflects the international scope of crime which emphasizes the importance of strong global partnerships in the search for violent criminals who know no boundaries and pose a significant danger to all.

For more on the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program, visit the FBI’s website at www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten.

Secret Service Agents Drove Car Into White House Barrier

By Carol D. Leonnig
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON –– The Obama administration is investigating allegations that two senior Secret Service agents, including a top member of the president’s protective detail, drove a government car into White House security barricades after drinking at a late-night party last week, an agency official said Wednesday.

Officers on duty who witnessed the March 4 incident wanted to arrest the agents and conduct sobriety tests, according to a current and a former government official familiar with the incident. But the officers were ordered by a supervisor on duty that night to let the agents go home, said these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive internal matter.

The episode presents an early test for the Secret Service’s new director, Joseph P. Clancy, who was appointed by Obama last month after a string of security lapses at the White House and other embarrassing missteps and had vowed to restore the agency’s once-stellar reputation.

To read the full story click here.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Fatally Shot in a Shootout in Baton Rouge

Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells was shot in the neck and killed Tuesday in a gun battle in Baton Rouge, La.

Wells, 27, a native of Mississippi, had been with the U.S. Marshals Service since January 2011.

Authorities said that Wells was part of a team executing arrest warrants on fugitive Jamie Croom, who was wanted for double homicide in Baton Rouge.

The team engaged in gunfire with the fugitive and Wells was shot, authorities said. He was immediately transported to Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary, Louisiana, where he died.

The fugitive, Croom, was also shot and transported to a local hospital where he later died.

“Our deputies and law enforcement partners face untold dangers every day in the pursuit of justice in cities nationwide,” Director Stacia A. Hylton said in a statement. “The fugitive who killed Deputy Wells was extremely dangerous, wanted for double homicide and intentionally evaded justice.”

Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement Wednesday, saying:

 “Deputy Marshal Josie Wells was a dedicated law enforcement officer, a remarkable patriot and a courageous public servant. Though he was taken from us far too suddenly and far too soon, he leaves behind an indelible legacy that will live on in the lives he touched; in the work that the U.S. Marshals Service continues to perform; and in a world that is safer because of his devoted service. His loss is a deeply tragic reminder that the work of our law enforcement officers around the nation is extremely serious, profoundly heroic and deserving of our most emphatic support. The thoughts and prayers of the law enforcement community will be with the family and loved ones of Deputy Marshal Wells throughout this difficult time. And as we go forward, the Department of Justice intends to honor his service and his sacrifice by continuing to fight for the values he protected every day, and to defend the American people for whom he gave his life.”

Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, issued a statement:

“We will always remember and honor the indomitable will of Deputy U.S. Marshal Wells, for his heroic sacrifice and his unwavering commitment to protecting the American citizenry.

“The profound loss of our brother is beyond measure, but his willingness to risk his own life in the pursuit of homicidal maniacs is his legacy to all of us. We are all now duty‐bound to bow our heads and pay tribute to a man of honor, and always remember and respect his ultimate sacrifice.”

Border Patrol Agent Arrested Following Allegations of Sexually Assaulting a Child

Luis Angel Lozada

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Police arrested a U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of sexually assaulting a child, MySanAntonio.com reports.

Luis Angel Lozada, 28, is out of jail on a $750,000 bond Saturday.

Lozada has worked for Border Patrol since 2009.

Details of the allegations weren’t immediately clear, but the crimes allegedly occurred in El Paso.

“The U.S. Border Patrol takes every allegation of misconduct seriously,” the agency said in a statement to the newspaper. “The El Paso Sector will cooperate fully with the investigation. The U.S. Border Patrol understands its responsibility to maintain the trust of the community in which we serve and does not tolerate any activity by any of its personnel that may jeopardize that trust.”

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Increases Reward for Missing Retired Agent Levinson to $5M

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson was kidnapped eight years ago this month while traveling to an Iranian island, making him one of the longest-held U.S. residents in history.

CNN reports that the FBI has increased the reward for information on Levinson, who also turned 67 this month, from $1 million to $5 million.

“Levinson traveled to Kish Island, Iran, on March 8, 2007, working on behalf of several large corporations, and his whereabouts, well-being and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance have been unknown since that time,” it said in a statement.

Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iran to cooperate.

“He has spent more than 2,900 days separated from those who love him, and is one of the longest held U.S. citizens in history. Year after year, the family has endured the pain of his absence. It is time for him to come home,” Kerry said.

FBI Agent to Testify about Evidence Collected at Boston Marathon Bombing Site

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The lead FBI agent in the recovery of evidence from the bomb site at the Boston Marathon is expected testify today in the jury trial of Dzhokha Tsarnaev.

FBI Special Agent Sarah DeLair began collecting evidence just hours after the blasts at the crowded finishing line on April 15, 2013, she testified Tuesday, Reuters writes.

It was a gruesome scene, she said, describing seeing “everything from human remains to bomb components to parts of backpacks.”

Today is the fifth day of the trial.

Tsarnaev is charged with killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homed bombs. He also is accused of fatally shooting a police officer three days later.

Tsarnaev is admitting he committed the crimes, but he wants to be spared the death penalty by showing that he was following the lead of his older brother.