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Donald Trump: Border Patrol Agents Unable to Enforce Lax Immigration Laws

Donald Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said immigrations laws are so lax that Border Patrol agents can’t do their jobs, The Hill reports. 

“People are walking across the border right now, right in front of these great people we have,” Trump told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We have wonderful Border Patrol people,” he said. “They can do their job, but they’re not allowed to do the job.”

“People are walking into the country [and] nobody even knows where they come from,” he added. “They walk right past guards that are told not to do anything.”

At times, Trump sounded almost paranoid.

“We have lost control of our country,” he said. “We have lost control of our borders.”

Trump wants to tighten border security, cease birthright citizenship and require Mexico to build a wall at the border.

How Anti-Drug Message Became Ubiquitous on Arcade Games in 1980s

This message appeared on countless arcade games

This message appeared on countless arcade games

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Beginning in the late 1980s, the federal government extended its anti-drug message to arcade games.

“Winners Don’t Use Drugs” was a popular slogan that was hatched during a dinner between old friends, Inverse.com reports. 

Bob Davenport, the the FBI’s director of public affairs, met with former FBI Agent Bob Fay, who at the time was the executive director of the American Amusement Machine Association.

“We were talking about my new career and how he had this emphasis on drug awareness,” Fay told Inverse, “and I said, ‘Hey, I might be able to help you out. I’ve got thousands of video games that we could put a message on.'”

That turned into trip to FBI headquarters in Washington.

The two friends decided the best message was “Winners Don’t Use Drugs” because it was concise and snappy.

“We wanted to get it to something that was short,” Fay said, “something that you could say winners not only applied to game-playing, but also if you want to be a winner in life, you can’t use drugs.”

The message became ubiquitous on video arcades in the late ’80.s.

Did it work?

“From some of the feedback that we were getting from the video game industry and others in the drug awareness program, we felt that it was pretty successful,” Davenport said.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: Bank Robber Explains How He Robbed Armored Truck

Border Patrol Finds Drug Smuggler in Scuba Gear Near Long Tunnel to Mexico

Photo via Border Patrol.

Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Border Patrol agents found a man in scuba gear, they knew something odd was afoot.

Turns out, the man was smuggling drugs through a tunnel that was partially underwater at the end of the All-American Canal, about 7 miles east of Calexico, Calif., The Associated Press reports.

Near the man was a breathing tank and several vacuum-sealed packages containing 55 pounds of cocaine.

The April 25 discovery unearthed a 150-foot-long tunnel that stretched from the canal to a house in Mexicali, Mexico.

“Drug smugglers will try anything to move their product — even scuba diving in an underwater tunnel,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. “The ingenuity of the smugglers is matched only by our determination to thwart it.”

Adam S. Cohen Named New Chief of FBI’s Buffalo Office

Adam Cohen/FBI

Adam Cohen/FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Adam S. Cohen, an 18-year veteran of the FBI with expertise in terrorism, is taking over the bureau’s Buffalo office.

Cohen will replace Special Agent in Charge Brian P. Boetig, who will be working outside of the country, the Buffalo News reports. 

Cohen takes the helm in October, FBI Director James Comey announced Thursday.

Cohen began his career with the bureau in the New York City office, dealing with international terrorism cases. Most recently, he served as section chief of the bureau’s Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section.

Cohen graduated from Brandeis University with a bachelor of arts degree in American studies and Dowling College, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration.

Observant, Off-Duty DEA Agent Busts Man with Large Amount of Cocaine in Suitcase

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent was off duty getting his car worked on when he saw a suspicious encounter.

Ricky Nuckles, 41, parked his car at a gas station, where another car pulled up, and a man placed a large suitcase in the back of Nuckles’ car before driving off, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Suspicious, the agent confronted Nuckles, who ran into the store and ditched his cell phone.

The agent spotted a firearm in the driver’s seat and called 911.

As police and more agents arrived, they found cocaine worth $750,000 and a handgun after Nuckles agreed to a search.

“Thanks to a vigilant off-duty DEA agent, 22 kilograms of cocaine is off the streets, and Nuckles’ drug-trafficking days are finished,” U.S. attorney John Horn said.

Nuckles was sentenced Thursday to 17 years and 7 months in prison.

Encounter a Rude or Abusive TSA Agent? Launch a Complaint on Yelp

TSABy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Travelers can now report TSA agents who are abusive or rude.

CNN reports that Yelp, known for restaurant and business reviews, has reached an agreement with the federal government to allow the TSA to respond to reviews.

While travelers have always had the ability to leave comments about TSA agents, there was never a single page or official place to launch those complaints. Now there is.

The idea is to hold government employees more accountable.

Other Stories of Interest

Parker: Supreme Court to Decide Three Thorny Capital Cases

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Supreme Court will begin its 2015-2016 term with oral arguments in October on three tough cases on capital punishment from the minority of states which still maintain a de facto death penalty.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

In Kansas v. Carr, Gleason, the issues presented involve the trial judge’s instruction to the jury and the question of joinder and severance for two defendants during the sentencing proceeding. Carr and Gleason were brothers who were convicted of a series of brutal rapes and murders during a crime spree in Wichita, Kansas in 2000. There was little doubt as to the result of the guilt phase of the trial.

During the death penalty hearing the judge denied the defendants’ request for severance of their cases. The defendants’ case of mitigation was in the words of the Kansas Supreme Court, “so weak it would not pull the skin off of rice pudding.” Although the evidence was not openly antagonistic between the two defendants, the appellate court later speculated that some of the evidence may not have been admitted against both defendants if there had been separate proceedings. The jury’s verdict was death.

The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the convictions but reversed the sentences as a violation of the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The joint proceeding deprived the defendants of an individualized sentence determination. The court went on to hold that the trial judge should have instructed the jury that the defendant need not prove mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the judge had instructed that each juror should assess and weigh the mitigating circumstances.

Predicting the Court’s decisions in the emotion-packed morass of death penalty cases is never easy but not as difficult as divining the rationales of each Justice to support her/his vote. Separating the ultimate result from the nuance of the legal issue without distorting the evolution of the case law in non-capital cases has been a tortured exercise for decades. The defendants point to little concrete harm that resulted from the joinder, but this seems the better issue for them. The instruction issue seems less persuasive.

Hurst v Florida

The following week, October 13th, the Court will hear the case of Hurst v. Florida on whether its previous case of Ring v. Arizona should be extended to void the Florida practice of making the jury’s sentence verdict as only advisory to the trial judge, who makes the decision on a penalty of death, as well as issues on how the jury goes about deciding the advisory verdict.

Timothy Lee Hurst was convicted of the brutal murder of a co-worker in a Popeye’s Fried Chicken restaurant in Escambia County Florida in 1998. The psychologists testified that Hurst’s IQ was between 69 and 78 and therefore not ineligible for the death penalty as being “retarded.”

The jury’s advisory verdict to the trial judge did not identify which “aggravators” they found or whether a majority agreed on a single theory. They voted 7-5 to recommend death. This procedure leaves open the possibility that less than a majority agreed on a single aggravating circumstance, which would justify the jury’s recommendation. The trial judge conducted his own hearing on the issue and ultimately sentenced Hurst to death.

Read more »