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September 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

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Federal Judge Criticizes DEA Agents for Questionable Tactics Dealing with Pipe Shops

DEALetterHatBy Steve Neavling

A judge admonished questionable tactics by the DEA to shut down a dozen pipe shops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the owners of Ziggyz pipe shops said the DEA threatened his landlords in an attempt to force the stores to close, the Tulsa World reports. 

The judge did not like that tactic.

“The government may not attack what it views as illegal activity by simply putting someone out of business, through ‘leaning’ on their landlords or customers or other backdoor means,” U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton wrote in an order dated Aug. 18.

Under the judge’s order, federal agents are prohibited from contacting Ziggyz landlords or seeking forfeiture proceedings.

Cocaine Production in Bolivia Drops for 4th Year in Row After DEA Was Kicked Out

boliviaBy Steve Neavling

For the fourth year in a row, cocaine production declined in Bolivia after the DEA was forced to leave the country, Mint Press News reports. 

Last year, cocaine production dropped 11% over the prior year, according to the United Nations.

The DEA was forced out of Bolivia seven years ago, and instead of seeking punitive measures, the Bolivian government found alternative crops for farmers.

“Bolivia has adopted a policy based on dialogue, where coca cultivation is allowed in traditional areas alongside alternative development [in others],” Antonino de Leo, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s representative in Bolivia, told VICE News.

“It’s not only about making money off a crop. In the old fashioned alternative development approach, we substitute one illicit crop for a licit crop. It’s about a more comprehensive approach that includes access to essential services like schools, hospitals, and roads in areas that traditionally have been hard to reach,” Leo added.

TSA Screener Accused of Sexually Assaulting Passenger After Flight

tsa_logoBy Steve Neavling

A TSA screen is accused of imprisoning and sexually abusing a college student in a bathroom following a flight to LaGuardia Airport in New York, CNN reports. 

The screener, Maxi Oquendo is accused of illegally imprisoning and screening the 21-year-old woman in an area where passengers aren’t supposed to be screened, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

“Hey, ma’am, I need to scan your body and your luggage,” the screener allegedly told the passenger, according to the statement.

The TSA employee is then accused of forcing the woman into a bathroom before he allegedly “had her lift up her shirt and unzip her pants and touched her breasts and other areas of her body over and under her clothing.”

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: John Connally Talks to LBJ About Conspiracy Rumors

Fox 2’s Charlie LeDuff Puts ICE Agent’s Fatal Shooting to a Personal Test


By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — When Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy last week cleared ICE agent Mitchell Quinn of wrong doing in the fatal shooting in Detroit of Terrance Kellom, she talked about some key evidence including a hole in the attic of the house he was shot in.

Worthy, at a press conference, said that a fugitive task force had entered the home in April looking for Kellom, 20, who was wanted for an armed robbery of a pizza delivery man.

At some point, Worthy said, Kellom dropped through a hole in the attic and came after the agent with a hammer. The agent opened fire and killed him.

Kellom’s dad, Kevin Kellom, insisted all along that his son never dropped through a hole in the ceiling or had a hammer. He said his son was  shot without provocation as he was surrendering.

Worthy said that wasn’t the case, and cleared the ICE agent of wrongdoing. She also said evidence showed Kellom’s clothes and body were coated in drywall, insulation and wood from the attic.

After the press conference, the lawyer for the Kellom family, Karri Mitchell, told reporters there was no way an adult could have dropped through the hole in the attic, insisting it was far too small. Therefore, he said, the whole scenario the prosecutor laid out had no credibility.

The lawyer’s claim about the attic hole being too small was likely enough fodder for some to continue doubting the ICE agent’s version of events.

To his credit, LeDuff had a very professional, even-handed interview with the father. He asked him some tough but fair questions. Then LeDuff, as part of his report for “The Americans with Charlie LeDuff,” decided to test whether someone could have actually gone through the hole in the attic.

It’s the kind of real reporting we seldom see any more.

The father encouraged him to try, saying there’s no way that his son, who weighs 110 pounds, could have slipped through the small hole. And he suggested there was no way LeDuff, who weighs 170 pounds, could slip through the hole.

As the camera rolls, LeDuff drops through the hole to the floor below. It was a big moment. (See video below).

LeDuff then asks the father if there’s any way, because he loved his son so much, that he thinks he saw things that didn’t actually happen.

Kevin Kellom says no.

When LeDuff asks if it would have been a bigger story had the ICE agent been white instead of black. Kellom replies:

“If it was a white shooting down my son? Yup, I do (think it would get more attention). I do. I do because – I’m not racist or nothing, but that’s what people look for when you get a killing like that. They look for it to be a white officer killing a black man.

“This wasn’t no white officer. This was a black man killing another black man. That’s what’s hard for me to accept. I’m used to hearing – you see the news – a Caucasian officer shoot down a black man, but when you hear the news about a Caucasian man doing wrong – got a warrant out for his arrest – he always get arrested, don’t he? He don’t get killed.”

At the end of the press conference last week, Worthy, who is black, says:

“Yes, black lives matter. Of course, they matter. But you know what else matters? Credible facts matter.”

Mother Sues Border Patrol After Son Fatally Shot in Back of Head

Jose Arambula/Pima County Sheriff's Department

Jose Arambula/Pima County Sheriff’s Department

By Steve Neavling

A mother is suing Border Patrol after an agent killed her son south of Tucson last year.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Elisa Beckel filed suit in federal court Friday, claiming she “has lost the love, affection, companionship, care, protection and guidance since the death” of Jose Luis Arambula.

Arambula was shot in the back of the head by Border Patrol Agent Daniel Marquez during a chase through a pecan grove.

The agent said he fired the gun because Arambula gestured as if he, too, had a gun and was about to shoo.

Marquez struck Arambula once, firing nine times.

Arambula died at the scene.

Associated Press Sues Justice Department Over Records Related to Fake AP Story

AP LogoBy Steve Neavling

The Associated Press is suing the Justice Department after the FBI created a fake AP story in an attempt to plant surveillance software on a suspect’s computer, the Huffington Post reports.

The AP filed suit Thursday over the FBI’s failure to provide public records related to the ruse.

“The FBI both misappropriated the trusted name of The Associated Press and created a situation where our credibility could have been undermined on a large scale,” AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser said in a 2014 letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder.

The FBI used a fake AP story in hopes that a 15-year-old boy suspected of making bomb threats would click on the link, which would enable the software and reveal where he lived and his Internet address.

Since then, the FBI has refused to turn over documents related to the case.

“It is improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization,” Kaiser wrote. “The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation.”

ATF: Man Who Killed 2 Virginia Journalists Legally Purchased Gun in July

 Vester Lee Flanagan II

Vester Lee Flanagan II

By Steve Neavling

The gun used to killed two TV reporters in Virginia were purchased legally by the man who pulled the trigger, The Roanoke Times reports. 

Vester Lee Flanagan II bought the Glock 9 mm pistol in July from a federally licensed gun dealer in Virginia, an ATF official said.

ATF spokesman Tom Faison said a proper background check was conducted.

“I have no indication that anything was done illegally or improperly, or any shortcuts were made,” Faison said.