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FBI Abruptly Changes Course on Hiring Company to Grade Positivity of News

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has ended its controversial quest to hire a company to grade whether news is positive, neutral or negative, the Washington Times reports.

The bureau abruptly removed the contract solicitation without explanation, and the FBI declined to discuss it.

Journalism ethicists expressed worries about the FBI’s plans to grade news coverage.

“You would certainly worry this could affect access,” Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor for Northeastern University, said. “It might affect the way they’re going to approach your questions, whether they’re going to be extra careful not to make news if you’re on the ‘bad list.’”

Now the FBI is looking for a clipping service but not a grading system.

Border Patrol Agent: Feds Let Central American Gang Members Loose in U.S.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent claims that gang members from Central America are being released into the U.S., Fox News reports.

Agent Chris Cabrera said the federal government is releasing gang members if they have family members in the U.S.

“If they have family in the United States, they’ll release them to the family, even if they’re admitted gang members,” Cabrera explained to Fox News. “We’ve had a couple that had admitted to murders in their home country. They were 17 years old, 16 years old, and the United States government thought it fit to release them to their parents here in the United States.

“Even if he’s a confirmed gang member, a confirmed criminal even by self-admission, we for some reason don’t send them back to their home country, we release them into our country.”

Cabrera blames the release on a “loophole.”

“They found a loophole with the unaccompanied women and children,” Cabrera told Fox News. “We don’t have anywhere to house these women and children and if the child has no family back in his home country, or claims he has no family back in his home country, we have to release him to a parent who is here.”

Two Honduran Nationals Face Federal Charges for Allegedly Assaulting Border Patrol Officer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Honduran nationals are accused of violently assaulting a Border Patrol officer near the Rio Grande City in Texas, the Brownsville Heralds reports.

Marco Tulio Avelar-Gomez, 45, and Nelson Dionosio Chavarria-Ramos, 25, face federal charges after the alleged assault.

The Border Patrol agent, whose identity is not being released, approached the men when Chavarria-Ramos punched the agent several times in the face while Avelar-Gomez held the agent down.

The men were spotted and arrested.

Border Patrol is reporting a rise in the number of violent crimes because of an influx of immigrants.

MLB Wants Names of New Baseball Players Accused of Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Baseball fans, brace for another wave of disclosures about players accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.

ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball is urging the DEA to identify the players in an attempt to begin an investigation.

Now the feds are trying to determine how they are going to honor the request after discovering previously undisclosed players suspected of using the drugs by Biogenesis, a clinic accused of providing the concoctions to baseball players.

MLB wants the names to begin disciplining the accused players.

The DEA said it expects more arrests and accusations to surface.

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Judge Admonishes FBI for Silly Argument for Not Releasing Public Records

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s argument for resisting an inmate’s Freedom of Information Act request is “transparently implausible,” a federal judge said in admonishing the bureau, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The FBI made the bizarre argument that the “FOIA request need not be disclosed because they reside on two CDs and a thumb drive.”

The FOIA requests by Gregory Bartko, who is serving prison time for conspiracy, mail fraud and selling unregistered securities, seek records involving the federal prosecutor who handled his case.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg said the FBI must turn over the documents.

“The Bureau’s rationale seems to be that the electronic media in question are not ‘records’ for FOIA purposes because they are physical items that were presented to prosecutors as evidence,” Boasberg wrote. “Why this reasoning would exclude CDs that hold documents in digital form but not, say, the printer paper that will eventually hold this Opinion is beyond the Court.”

“In any case,” Boasberg continued, “no sophistry is necessary here, as Congress, with commendable technological foresight, amended FOIA in 1996 to cover records ‘maintained by an agency in any format, including an electronic format.’”

FBI Director Comey Pledges to Help St. Louis Crack Down on Violent Crime

FBI Director James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While visiting the bureau’s St. Louis office, FBI Director James Comey pledged to help police chiefs in the region combat violent crime, St. Louis Public Radio reports.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson asked for help with chronic gun offenders.

“Missouri, in my opinion, has some of the more lax gun laws of all the 50 states,” Dotson said.  “So when we encounter individuals that consistently use fire arms to commit crimes, can the FBI help us develop cases that we can take to the U.S. attorney and get prosecution on a different level and keep the community safe?”

Comey said the field office plans to help.

Comey was visiting the office as part of a planned tour of all 56 of the agency’s field offices.

The visits, he said, are used to “both learn about how it’s going and to talk to my partners, especially to say what are we doing well here, what can we do differently; are there things I can take from this community and try to spread elsewhere.”

Gunmen Accused in Fatal Shooting of Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Suspected of Crime Spree

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two gunmen accused of murdering an off-duty Border Patrol agent in front of his family during a fishing trip in Texas are expected to soon be charged in connection with a series of robberies and carjackings at secluded fishing spots in Cameron County, Fox News reports.

The man are believed to be tied to the Gulf Cartel.

Gustavo Tijerina, 30, and Ismael Hernandez, 40, were charged Tuesday in the murder of Javier Vega Jr. in Willacy County. They also were charged with the attempted murder of Vega’s father, who was shot in the hip.

Border Patrol released this statement on Wednesday:

“Words cannot express our sorrow for the loss of our brother, when we lose one of our own, it feels as if we’ve lost a beloved member of our own family,” said Chief Patrol Agent Kevin Oaks. “I wish to express to his family and friends my deepest condolences. May the peace that comes from the memories of the time you shared together, comfort you now and in the difficult days ahead.

“Prior to joining the Border Patrol, Agent Vega served his country as a Marine. His service in the Marine Corps and in the Border Patrol is a true testament to the type of man he was. His character, work ethic and desire to help others are commendable. His death is not only a loss for RGV Sector and the U.S. Border Patrol, but for our entire community.

“The Kingsville Station is at a loss,” said Kingsville Station Acting Patrol Agent in Charge Arnold Perez. “Not only did Javier strive to be the best agent and K-9 handler, but he also made it a point to develop and truly care about his friendships.”

“In the days that have followed this devastating loss, the impact has been immediate and sorrowful. In the many comments and thoughts expressed by those who knew him best, his family and friends were an obvious priority and focus in his life. His co-workers say he was a good man, devoted to his family, particularly his wife, Paola, and sons, Javier Vega III, Jiovanni, and Jarod. He was a beloved son and brother, and had a passion for life.”

TSA Employee Busted in Sex Sting That Started on Craigslist

tsa.gov

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA employee is accused of trying to solicit sex with a mother and her young daughter on Craigslist, the San Francisco Gate reports.

George Hristovski, 54, of Sacramento, faces federal child pornography charges after a sheriff’s investigator spotted an ad seeking a mother and daughter for sex.

The investigator posed as a 30-year-old woman with a 13-year-old daughter. The two exchanged dozens of emails.

Hristovski, an inspector, also thought he was emailing the 13-year-old girl, whom he tried to solicit sexual information and photos, authorities said.

The TSA suspended Hristovski.

“TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and expects all TSA employees to conduct themselves with integrity and professionalism,” said TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein. “These alleged crimes are egregious and intolerable.”

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