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Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Caught Running His Mouth During Prison Visit

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Boston Marathon Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is running his mouth.

The New York Daily News reports that Tsarnaev made a “statement of to his detriment” while his sister was visiting him in prison.

Federal prosecutors didn’t reveal what Tsarnaev said but objected to his attorneys trying to suppress the statement.

The FBI was monitoring the visit from his sister.

“Despite the presence of an FBI agent and an employee of the Federal Public Defender, was unable to temper his remarks and made a statement to his detriment which was overheard by the agent,” reads a memo from government attorneys.

L.A. Times Editorial: It’s the U.S.-Mexico Border, not the Wild West

By L.A. Times
Editorial 

Now we have an idea why the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service was keeping secret an independent report of its encounters at the Mexican border. Because it has something to hide.

As The Times’ Brian Bennett reported last week, an independent report by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum sharply criticized the agency for a “lack of diligence” in investigating fatal encounters involving its agents. The report, based on internal case files of 67 shooting incidents leading to 19 deaths between January 2010 and October 2012, also faulted some of the agents’ practices, including positioning themselves in the “exit path” of fleeing vehicles apparently as a pretext for opening fire in self-defense. Not only is that contrary to commonly accepted policing practices, but it endangers passengers in the car as well as the agents, since a dead driver can’t control a moving vehicle.

The report also reinforced earlier findings by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General on the even more bizarre practice of agents firing across the border when people on the other side throw rocks at them. Yes, a thrown rock can cause significant damage, including death if it strikes an unprotected head. But to respond to rock throwing with live ammunition across an international border — on 22 occasions in 2012 — strikes us as excessive. Was there really no other way to address the problem?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Homeland Security Department, is the biggest police agency in the nation. It has doubled in size since 9/11 and now employs more than 43,000 Border Patrol agents and customs officers.

Certainly there are dangers involved in patrolling the border, and agents must be able to protect themselves. But the agency must also train its employees to operate professionally and not to respond to aggression with excessive force.

Click here to read more.

FBI Insists It Destroys Fingerprints During Expedited Airport Screening Process

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

There’s good news for travelers: They can expedite the slow screening process at airports.

The bad news: They’ll have to give up a set of their fingerprints to ensure they are the person they say they are, the Chicago Tribune reports.

But the FBI said there are no privacy concerns because law requires the bureau to delete the prints or return them to the TSA.

The ACLU expressed relief.

“If they say that, I believe them that they’re not using this as an enrollment” into the fingerprint database, Jay Stanley, an ACLU senior policy analyst, said. “And I think that’s good.”

Journal Sentinel Editorial: ATF’s Stings Were an Embarrassing ‘Joke’ by Federal Government

By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 
Editorial 

The deputy director of the ATF told a congressional subcommittee last week that the agency is out of the business of undercover storefront stings for now after embarrassing revelations in this newspaper that illustrated how badly botched some of these operations were.

Thomas E. Brandon told the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security that there were no operations underway and that the ATF had beefed up oversight.

That’s good, because the agency’s stings were a joke.

A series of Journal Sentinel articles found that the agency used mentally disabled people to promote operations and then arrested them on drug and gun charges; opened storefronts near churches and schools and attracted kids with free video games and alcohol. Agents paid too much for guns, leading folks to buy guns elsewhere and sell them back to the government at drastically inflated prices, and agents let armed felons leave the phony storefronts and bought stolen goods, which made crime worse in nearby neighborhoods.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the subcommittee, called the Milwaukee sting an “abysmal failure.”

To read more click here.

 

 

Network Engineer Tapped FBI, Secret Service Phones Using Google Maps

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A network engineer managed to listen to phone calls to the FBI and Secret Service by using Google Maps.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Bryan Seely created fake listings and was able to listen to calls at the FBI office in San Francisco and the Secret Service office in Washington D.C.

When calls were made to those offices, Seely could record the conversation.

Google said it has made adjustments to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Seely alerted both agencies to the problem.

 

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Weekend Series on Crime History: FBI’s Donnie Brasco

httpv://youtu.be/gwOm5hOFKbI

Mentally Ill Man Gets 15 Years in Prison for Plotting to Blow up Bank of America in California

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A homegrown terror plot in California was so fanciful and bizarre that few people believe the California suspect could have pulled it off.

Nevertheless, a judge sentenced Aaron Llaneza to 15 years in prison Thursday for trying to blow up a Bank of America in Oakland with a fake bomb, which investigators provided, the Associated Press reports.

Llaneza, who is mentally ill, doesn’t have the capacity to do actual damage, his attorney said.

“Matthew was not a radicalized jihadist but rather a delusional, severely mentally disturbed young man; he had no technical skills to speak of,”  Assistant Federal Public Defender Jerome Matthews wrote in a memo. “He had no training or background that would have helped him to accomplish an actual bombing; he was preternaturally suggestible and desirous of being accepted; and, not least, he had no desire to inflict mass casualties.”

Federal investigators disagreed.

“Defendants’ offense conduct here was very serious. He knowingly and willfully participated in a plan to blow up a bank building. He created the plan and selected the target. He helped build what he believed to be a large bomb to accomplish the plan. He drove the bomb to the bank building, placed it in a location designed to maximize its destructive force, then attempted to detonate it twice,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Caputo wrote in the memo. “Had the bomb been real, it would have destroyed at least a portion of the building and easily could have killed or seriously injured innocent bystanders.”

Lawmakers Call for FBI Investigation of Private Prison in Idaho Over Understaffing, Falsified Records

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A private prison in Idaho is under fire for possible criminal wrongdoing.

Top Democratic lawmakers in the state are urging the FBI to investigate Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison company based in Tennessee, because the state lacks the manpower and expertise to handle such a large inquiry, the Associated Press reports.

The company admitted last year that it understaffed the Idaho Correctional Center, the largest prison in the state, and that employees falsified records to cover up the vacancies.

“We request that the FBI investigate whether CCA, its employees, or its officers and leadership engaged in criminal conduct and defrauded the state of Idaho and our citizens by falsifying time sheets over many years to hide chronic understaffing. We also ask that you use your expertise to define the nature and scope of any investigation since the full nature of the potential criminal activities is, at present, unknown,” a group of lawmakers wrote.