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Federal Prison Population Drops for First Time in Decades Under AG Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For the first time in several decades, the federal inmate population has decreased, the Associated Press reports.

The Justice Department revealed that roughly 4,800 fewer inmates were incarcerated last year than the year before.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he anticipates the inmate population to be about 250,000 next week, which is the end of the budget cycle.

“This is nothing less than historic,” Holder said, addressing a conference at the New York University School of Law that was hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice. “To put these numbers in perspective, 10,000 inmates is the rough equivalent of the combined populations of six federal prisons, each filled to capacity.”

Holder has been working to reduce the prison population, saying its costly and contains too many nonviolent offenders.

6 Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies Sentenced Up to 41 Months in Prison for Interfering with Civil Rights Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six deputies for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department were sentenced Wednesday to up to 41 months in prison for interfering with a federal civil rights investigation at a jail.

The federal judge told the defendants that they lacked “courage to do what is right” and showed no remorse.

The sentencing follows a federal jury’s determination that the defendants tried to influence witnesses, threatened an FBI agent with arrest and hid an FBI informant from investigators.

“Blind obedience to a corrupt culture has serious consequences,” United States District Judge Percy Anderson told the defendants before sentencing.

The defendants were:

  • Gregory Thompson, 54, a now-retired lieutenant who oversaw LASD’s Operation Safe Jails Program, who was ordered to serve 37 months in prison and to pay a $7,500 fine;
  • Lieutenant Stephen Leavins, 52, who was assigned to the LASD’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who received a 41-month prison sentence;
  • Gerard Smith, 42, a deputy who was assigned to the Operation Safe Jails Program, who was ordered to serve 21 months in prison;
  • Mickey Manzo, 34, a deputy who was assigned to the Operation Safe Jails Program, who received a 24-month sentence;
  • Scott Craig, 50, a sergeant who was assigned to the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who was sentenced to 33 months; and
  • Maricela Long, 46, a sergeant who assigned to the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who received a sentence of two years in federal prison.

“Interference with a federal investigation cannot be tolerated,” said Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The sentences imposed today allow us to move forward toward an environment of mutual trust and the common goal of delivering justice to victims of crime. I look forward to continued collaboration with our trusted partners at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.”

Army Veteran Who Jumped White House Fence Previously Found with Weapons, Map to White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Army veteran who climbed over a White House fence and made a mockery of security was twice interviewed by Secret Service agents earlier this summer in Virginia and Washington, the Associated Press reports.

Yet during those interviews, the Secret Service determined Omar J. Gonzalez was not a security threat.

The first encounter came during a traffic stop when police found a sawed off shotgun and a map of Washington with a circle around the White House, the AP wrote.

Agents contacted him again after being found near the White House with a small hatchet,

Despite those findings, the Secret Service did not find him a threat.

Other Stories of Interest

Retired Border Patrol Agent Warns of Imminent Threat of Illegal Immigration

Border Patrol Agent, Detainee Not Wearing Seatbelt When Car Veered Off Road

FBI Finds Car Belonging to Cleveland Woman Missing For Month

El Paso to Renew Agreement with CBP to Pay More Staffing Hours at Ports of Entry

Does America Need Homeland Security Department Following Low Moral, Turnover

Americans Who Fought Alongside ISIS Terrorists are Back on U.S. Soil

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has its eye on Americans who fought with ISIS terrorists and are now back on U.S. soil, the Daily Mail reports.

The news comes 10 days after a U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop acknowledged there were 40 “foreign fighter” jihadis on U.S. soil.

“The FBI is looking at them,” a senior Obama administration official said.

White House Press Secretary John Earnest declined to discuss specifics Monday, but he did say the U.S. is “working very closely with our international partners to try to mitigate this threat, to keep eyes on these individuals and to monitor their movements.”

GSA Takes Search for New Headquarters to First of Three Possible Sites

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s search for a new headquarters has begun a new phase.

The General Services Administration is hosting public meetings to gauge interest in relocating the FBI’s Washington headquarters.

The first stop is Springfield, the Washington Business Journal reports. http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2014/09/gsa-takes-the-fbi-headquarters-search-on-the-road.html

The other locations are Greenbelt and Landover.

The meetings are meant to address the Environmental Impact Statement review of the sites.

“We are clarifying the burden that each of these sites carry,” Bill Dowd, the GSA’s FBI relocation project executive, said.

The 58-acre site in Springfield is mostly owned by the federal government and meets the requirements for a new headquarters.

The next public meeting is today in Greenbelt. On Oct. 2, the third session is scheduled for Landover.

ATF Criticized for Plan to Require Gun Owners to Identify Their Ethnicity on Records

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If the ATF gets its way, new gun owners will have to identify their ethnicity on firearm records.

But lawmakers in the House have introduced a bill to eliminate that controversial requirement, The Hill reports.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., demanded answers.

“The right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms is an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Blunt wrote in a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) over the weekend. “The constitutional right of a citizen to own a firearm has nothing to do with race or ethnicity.”

He added: “It is disconcerting that the U.S. government is gathering this type of data on citizens when there is no connection between purchasing a firearm and an individual’s race or ethnicity. Any measure that may interfere with a citizen’s ability to exercise his or her constitutional right to purchase a firearm needs to be questioned.”

 

Opinion from the Boston Globe: Secret Service Should Not Cordon Off White House After Jumper Incident

By Kathleen Kingsbury
Boston Globe

 Last Friday, a man with a knife was able to jump the White House fence on Pennsylvania Avenue and make his way into the president’s residence. The intruder allegedly had more than 800 rounds of ammunition in his car, a federal prosecutor said on Monday.

In response, the Secret Service is reportedly considering expanding the security perimeter around the White House — possibly even making tourists go through checkpoints when they’re several blocks away, according to the New York Times.

It’s terrifying to think that 42-year-old Omar Gonzalez, believed to be a war veteran suffering from PTSD, made it to through the White House’s unlocked front door unimpeded. But erecting a larger cordon around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — and restricting access to “the people’s house” — is an overreaction. The White House isn’t an ordinary private residence; it’s the president’s home only at the will of the electorate. The building and its grounds should be as open to the public as security allows. Regardless of which administration is in office, I always feel a little swell of patriotism every time I happen by it, when I’m walking or driving in Washington, D.C.

So perhaps a better plan would be to make sure the Secret Service does its job better. The episode raised serious questions about potential lapses by the agency, which is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security. The harsh criticism aimed at it over the weekend is appropriate; so is the announcement that Secret Service will conduct an internal review. That will give time for perspective: It’s still worth remembering that agents put their lives on the line to protect the president. And given Gonzalez’s apparent mental illness, their response to the episode may have involved some warranted restraint.

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TSA Busted Canadian Woman with 2 Guns, Hundreds of Ammo, 33 Pounds of Marijuana

TSA confiscates drugs, guns, ammo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Canadian woman is accused of packing her checked luggage full with two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammo and 33 pounds of marijuana, NBC New York reports.

The TSA found the items stuffed into household items like baby wipes, lemonade mix and cat litter.

The 24-year-old woman from Scarborough, Ontario, was arrested and is expected to face drug and weapons charges.

Her flight was headed to Barbados.

It wasn’t immediately clear why she was carrying the guns, ammo and drugs.

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Halts Sen. Rand Paul’s NSA Lawsuit

FBI Widens Investigation of Leaked Nude Celebrity Photos

DOJ Wants to Permit FBI to Hack into PCs of Tor, VPN Users

Media, Non-Residents Barred from DOJ Meeting in Ferguson

Study from 1990s Warned of Vulnerability of White House Fence