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J. Britt Johnson Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Division

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

J. Britt Johnson, who began his career with the FBI in 1995 and spent much of his time combating violent crime, will serve as special agent in charge of the bureau’s Atlanta division, the FBI announced Monday.

FBI Director James B. Comey tapped Johnson for the role.

Johnson was most recently the deputy assistant director in the Criminal Investigative Division.

According to the FBI:

In April 2002, Mr. Johnson was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Unit within the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters. In August 2004, he was promoted to chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Countermeasures Unit and managed the FBI’s counterterrorism response policy and program management for the FBI’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Counterterrorism Programs.

Mr. Johnson transferred to the Atlanta Field Office in April 2005, where he oversaw the domestic terrorism and threat squad on the JTTF. In December 2005, he became the supervisory special agent of the division’s Field Intelligence Group. In October 2008, Mr. Johnson was promoted to assistant special agent in charge over the intelligence, surveillance, and aviation programs.

Mr. Johnson was promoted in August 2009 to section chief of the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), where he supervised transport aircraft, field aviation surveillance, and ground surveillance programs.

In February 2012, Mr. Johnson became a deputy assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters and was responsible for strategic intelligence analysis and collection and targeting against priority global threats. In June 2012, he was re-assigned as deputy assistant director of the new Analysis and Strategic Issues Branch in the Directorate of Intelligence.

In January 2013, Mr. Johnson was designated as acting assistant director of CIRG and oversaw all aspects of the FBI’s rapid response to and management of crisis incidents.

He was promoted to deputy assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division in March 2013.

A Georgia native, Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Auburn University.

D.C. Businessman Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal, D.C. Campaign Finance Laws

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A D.C. businessman pleaded guilty Monday to felony charges in connection with secretly channeling more than $3.3 million in illegal campaign donations to at least 28 political campaigns, the FBI announced.

Jeffrey E. Thompson, 58, pleaded built to two conspiracy charges – conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws and failure to comply with D.C. laws government campaign finances.

A Sentencing date was not set.

“Election after election, Jeff Thompson huddled behind closed doors with corrupt candidates, political operatives, and businessmen, devising schemes to funnel millions of dollars of corporate money into local and federal elections,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said. “Today’s guilty plea pulls back the curtain on years of widespread corruption. With Mr. Thompson’s cooperation, we have the opportunity to hold many wrongdoers accountable and to usher in a new era of honesty, integrity, and transparency in D.C. politics.”

Former Secret Service Leader Michael Mullen Named to Management Team of Cyveillance

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael Mullen, a former assistant to the special agent in charge of the Secret Service, has joined Cyveillance as vice president of security services, PR Newswire reports.

Mullen served for 25 years as a special agent.

In his new role, Mullen will oversee products that include web and social media monitoring and assessing threats.

“Mike’s outstanding career in the Secret Service and his experience in working with global enterprises to control and mitigate corporate risk made him a natural choice to lead this practice,” Scott Kaine, president of Cyveillance, said. “Enterprises continue to seek new methods to address threats to their virtual and physical assets. With Mike leading our Security Services team, we will expand our capabilities to better help organizations proactively understand and respond to threats using the intelligence we provide from global online sources.”

At Least 10 Countries Investigating Mysterious Disappearance of Malaysian Airlines

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The United States and at least nine other countries are investigating the disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines jetliner, CBS News reports.

The Boeing 777, which included 239 people, has been missing for four days.

Without any sign of trouble, authorities are having trouble pinning down why the plane disappeared.

It’s unclear whether it was a pilot error, plane malfunction or a hijacking.

The plane departed Malaysia early Saturday en route to Beijing before disappearing from radar.

Agent-In-Charge of ATF’s Rochester Field Office Is Finalist for Massachusetts Police Job

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Scott Heagney, agent-in-charge of the ATF’s Rochester field office, is the finalist for the position of police chief of Firchburg, Mass.

The Sentinel & Enterprise reports that Scott Heagney was selected by Mayor Lisa Wong to replace Police Chief Robert DeMoura.

Heagney began his career serving five years with the Franklin Police Department.

“I was extremely impressed with Scott’s grounding in police work and his out-of-the-box career at the ATF — both will serve Fitchburg well as we grapple with many complex issues facing towns across the country,” Wong said. “Mr. Heagney did incredibly well during the Assessment Center conducted on several of the applicants by the search firm, Badgequest.”

The city council will consider the appointment on March 18.

“I have risen through the ranks of a local Massachusetts police department as well as a federal law enforcement agency,” Heagney wrote in his cover letter. “I believe the police are in the service business and must be responsive to big and/or small problems and concerns alike, with equal energy and vigor.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Man Arrested After Climbing Security Fence to Try to Gain Access to FBI Field Office in California

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man is in custody after climbing a security fence and trying to gain access to the FBI field office in Sorrento Valley, ABC 10 reports.

The suspect, 36-year-old William Durant, called media outlets at the time and said he wanted to talk to a federal agent.

“One of our security officers tried to stop him and in course of doing so, the man told him he had a weapon,” said Foxworth. “That weapon has not been seen.”

About 6 hours later, SWAT officers were seen on the roof, leading the suspect away in handcuffs.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the suspect wanted to talk with an agent.

Family Takes Note of Former FBI Agent Robert Levinson’s Disappearance After Seven Years

Robert Levinson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It has been seven long years since FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while on a mission for the CIA in Iran.

“Today we remind the world that, after seven years, Bob is still not home with those who love him – his wife, sons, daughters, grandchildren and friends,” the family said in a emailed statement Friday, ABC News reports. “Bob’s continued imprisonment defies the humanity in all of us. After seven years, we have almost no words left to describe our life without Bob… We miss everything about [him]. No matter where we turn, Bob is absent.”

Levinson was retired from the FBI when he was kidnapped from Kish Island off Iran’s coast on March 9, 2007.

Only recently was it discovered that Levinson was working as a freelance spy for the CIA.

The family’s attorney expressed anger that the real story of his work as a CIA was never divulged.

“[R]ather than acknowledge what they had done and try and save Bob’s life, they denied him,” McGee said.

Border Patrol Chief Says Agents Can Still Shoot Rock Throwers, As Long As They Pose Threat

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol has been under fire recently for using lethal force on people who throw rocks at agents near the U.S.-Mexico border, Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher said in a new directive Friday, according to the Washington Post.

“Agents shall not discharge firearms in response to thrown or hurled projectiles unless the agent has a reasonable belief, based on the totality of the circumstances, to include the size and nature of the projectiles, that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious injury,” Chief Fisher said in the directive.

The decision by Fisher roiled critics who say Border Patrol agents often are too quick to shoot.

“Border Patrol Chief Fisher’s new guidance on use of force leaves much to be desired. It is largely a restatement of existing policy, which is a shame because clearly existing policy isn’t working,” said Chris Rickerd, policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Rickerd is calling for an investigation into the past five years of deadly force by the Border Patrol.