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Appellate Court Overturns Order to Reduce Detainees at ICE Facility Over Coronavirus Fears

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Adelanto ICE Processing Facility in California won’t have to remove a significant number of its detainees after a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel overruled a lower court’s order, The Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter issued a preliminary injunction on April 23, ordering the facility near Los Angeles to decrease the population by at least 250 people by April 30 over fears of a coronavirus outbreak. The facility holds about 1,200 detainees but has room for nearly 2,000.

The Trump administration urged the appellate court to halt the injunction.

But the three-judge panel said Hatter’s order to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for detention facilities may remain intact.

The case began with a lawsuit by the ACLU of Southern California and the law firm Latham & Watkins.

“We remain very concerned about people who remain detained at Adelanto and will do everything we can to protect them,” ACLU attorney Minju Cho said.

DOJ Urges Judge to Toss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against FBI Over ‘Distinct’ Claims

Training academy in Quantico, Va.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department urged a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by current and former FBI recruits who allege the academy is a “good-old-boy network” that exposes women to a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes and sexual advances beginning in 2015.

DOJ lawyers argued the class-action lawsuit is inappropriate because each defendant leveled separate and distinct allegations against different instructors without specifying a specific FBI policy that led to the alleged harassment, The Washington Times reports.

Rather, the lawyers said, each of the 16 women should file individual lawsuits.

“Here, plaintiffs have simply failed to allege the required ‘glue’ holding their allegations of disparate treatment together,” the department wrote.

The suit, filed last year, claims some of the women were discriminated against based on their race or disabilities. One African American trainee alleges an instructor called her “spaghetti head” because of her braids.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the mock town known as Hogan’s Alley, where trainees learn about tactical training with fake criminals and terrorists. This phase of training resulted in many women being kicked out of the academy.

At the time of the suit, seven of the 16 women still worked for the FBI.

The women are asking for more female training instructors, an examination of the training evaluation process and $300,000 each for emotional stress.

“The instructors and fellow trainees who are alleged to have discriminated, as well as the timing and the factual nature of the alleged discrimination, are entirely different in the administrative complaints and allegations of” the two plaintiffs, DOJ lawyers wrote.

“Accordingly, to resolve these two separate administrative complaints, the FBI necessarily would have conducted two completely separate investigations which would have involved gathering distinct documents and interviewing different witnesses.”

Keri Farley Named Special Agent in Charge of Intelligence Branch of FBI New York Field Office

FBI’s New York Field Office, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Keri Farley, who had been serving as the acting chief of staff for the National Security Branch at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. has been named special agent in charge of the Intelligence Branch of the New York Field Office.

Farley’s career with the FBI began in 2004 at the Boston Field Office, investigating a variety of national security issues. In 2007, she was transferred to the New York Field Office. In 2010, she was promoted to supervisory special agent over New York’s first Terrorist Use of the Internet squad.

In 2012, Farley became supervisor of the Joint Terrorism Task Force at the Long Island Resident Agency under the New York Field Office. She was promoted in 2014 to assistant inspector and team leader in the Inspection Division at FBI headquarters.

In 2016, Farley was tapped to serve as assistant special agent in charge of the Intelligence Branch of the Charlotte Field Office in North Carolina. In 2018, she was named chief of the Human Intelligence Section in the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters. She was appointed to acting chief of staff of the National Security Branch in 2020.

Before the FBI, Farley practiced labor and employment law after earning a bachelor’s degree in industrial relations from Cornell University and a juris doctorate from Emory University School of Law.

Farley also played for the U.S. National Handball Team.

Thomas Relford Named Special Agent in Charge of Albany Field Office

Special Agent Thomas Relford.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Thomas Relford, who had been serving as an inspector at FBI headquarters, has been tapped as special agent in charge of the Albany Field Office in New York.

Relford joined the bureau as a special agent in 1996 at the New Orleans Field Office, investigating criminal and counterterrorism cases. In 2005, he was promoted to supervisor of the Baton Rouge Resident Agency in Louisiana, overseeing investigative programs.

In 2008, Relford became the legal attaché in Dakar, Senegal, where he oversaw investigations in 11 Western and Central African countries and served as FBI liaison to local law enforcement and government agencies. In 2010, he went to Nairobi, Kenya, to serve as legal attaché for three years. Relford was responsible for the oversight and investigative programs in five countries, including the probe into the 2010 World Cup bombing in Kampala, Uganda.

In 2013, Relford was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Office, where he was in charge of the National Security Branch. In 2015, he led the Criminal and Administrative Branch. He was promoted in 2018 to inspector in the Inspector Division at headquarters, where he inspected investigative and administrative programs of the bureau nationwide.

Before the FBI, Relford served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force for four years and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri and a Masters of Public Administration from Troy University.

DEA Agent, Telecom Specialist Suspended Amid Allegations of Stealing PPE And Toilet Paper

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent and a telecommunications specialist have been suspended amid allegations that they stole person protective equipment, toilet paper and other supplies that have been in short supply amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Special Agent Javier Hernandez is accused of stealing PPE, toilet paper and batteries from an agency warehouse used to store the items in Florida, the Associated Press and 10News WTSP report.

The telecommunications specialist, whose identity was not disclosed, also is suspected of stealing the items but returned them after he was confronted by a supervisor.

It wasn’t clear whether the employees acted alone or together.

Agency officials are investigating the security measures at the facility.

Homeland Security: China Downplayed Severity of Coronavirus While Hoarding Medical Supplies

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the coronavirus, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Chinese government likely “concealed the severity” of the coronavirus outbreak in early January so it could hoard medical supplies needed to fight the contagion, according to an intelligence report from Homeland Security.

Meanwhile, China dramatically increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies before the World Health Organization knew how serious the disease was, according to the four-page report obtained by the Associated Press

“We further assess the Chinese Government attempted to hide its actions by denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data,” the report states.

China first alerted WHO about an unknown, pneumonia-like disease on Dec. 31, 2019, and continued to provide some updates about the mysterious outbreak throughout January 2020.

The Trump administration recently ramped up rhetoric about China not being forthcoming about the severity of the virus.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Chambers Brothers Crack Gang in Detroit

Trump Insists Newly Released FBI Documents Prove Michael Flynn Was Mistreated

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump insisted Thursday that newly released FBI notes “exonerated” Michael Flynn, reviving his conspiracy theories that federal authorities had schemed to bring down his national security adviser.

Trump seized on documents detailing how FBI officials planned to handle a January 2017 interview with Flynn, who was serving at Trump’s national security adviser at the time.

The documents indicated the FBI was preparing to close the case before top bureau officials made a last-minute reversal, The Washington Post reports. The documents don’t show why the reversal occurred.

Although Flynn eventually pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat, Trump said the documents prove Flynn was treated unfairly.

“Look at what they did to the guy,” Trump told reporters Thursday. “What they did to this man, they tormented him.”

Trump later indicated he would “certainly consider” rehiring Flynn.

Legal experts say Flynn’s lawyers will have a tough time convincing a judge that he was entrapped.

“It is not a close call,” Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney who also served as FBI Director James Comey’s chief of staff, told The Washington Post. “In this situation, Flynn had three options: tell the truth, lie or refuse to talk. The FBI did not plant a lie, urge him to repeat the lie, record him in the lie, and then prosecute him for lying. That might be entrapment. Here, Flynn was predisposed to lie, chose to talk, and then lied. That’s not entrapment.”