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Tag: Alabama

Paul Brown Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Mobile Field Office in Alabama

FBI’s Mobile, Ala., Field Office. Photo: FBI

By Steve Neavling

Paul W. Brown has been tapped to serve as special agent in charge of the FBI’s Mobile Field Office in Alabama. 

Before the appointment, Brown was serving as the deputy assistant director in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI headquarters.

Brown’s career with the FBI began in 2006, when he was assigned to the Bedford Resident Agency in New Hampshire, a sub-office of the Boston Field Office. He investigated criminal violations and then counterterrorism. He also was the coordinator of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and was deployed to Iraq to support counterterrorism efforts.

In 2012, Brown became supervisory special agent and moved to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters. After a promotion, he became unit chief in 2013 and served as a program manager over U.S.-based international terrorism investigations.

In 2015, Brown went to the Jacksonville Field Office in Florida, where he led the North Florida JTTF.

In 2018, he was chosen to serve as the assistant special agent in charge of the cyber, counterintelligence, and crisis response programs of the Phoenix Field Office. A year later, Brown was promoted to section chief and appointed director of the FBI’s High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group. 

In 2020, Brown became deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, helping lead the bureau’s efforts to prevent and diminish threats of the criminal use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive materials. 

Before joining the FBI, Brown served as an officer in the U.S. Army and worked as a business consultant for a multinational professional services company. He received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and an MBA from Tarleton State University in Texas.

Ex-FBI Agent Charged with Rape Hid His Checkered Past

Christopher Bauer. Photo: Montgomery County Detention Center

By Steve Neavling

An Alabama state trooper, who came to the state agency after being kicked out of the FBI because of sexual misconduct claims, was arrested last week on charges of raping an 11-year-old girl. 

Christopher Bauer hid his checkered past from the state agency by producing a fake FBI letter that falsely suggested he had a clean record, an Associated Press investigation found.

In late 2018, Bauer was working in the bureau’s New Orleans office when the FBI suspended him without pay and removed his security clearance. Among the allegations were that he had raped a co-worker at knifepoint. 

When Bauer, 41, applied to be a trooper in 2019, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said it found “no derogatory comments were uncovered by former employers” when it conducted a “full and thorough” investigation. 

On his application, Bauer said he was still working at the FBI and never revealed the disciplinary action taken against him.  

Last week, Bauer was charged with sodomy and sexual abuse of a child under 12.  

5 of 6 Alabama Law Enforcement Officers Fatally Shot in 2019 Were Killed with Stolen Guns, ATF Says

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Five of the six Alabama law enforcement officers fatally shot in 2019 were killed with stolen guns, the ATF said after tracing each weapon.

“Alabama has lost six peace officers already in what has been a heartbreaking 2019. Five officers met their end of watch staring down the barrel of a gun held by someone prohibited by Alabama and federal law from possessing the firearm in the first place,’’ Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town tells AL.com.

Those killed with stolen weapons were Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter, Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder, Auburn Police Officer William Buechner, Tuscaloosa Police Det. Dornell Cousette, and Huntsville Police Officer Billy Fred Clardy III.

“Crime guns are all too common in Alabama which is why, from the moment I was sworn, I have prioritized prosecutions of felons and drug dealers with guns and we will continue to execute that priority aggressively,” Town says.

Until earlier this year, it was a misdemeanor to be in possession of a stolen weapon worth less than $500. It is now a felony.

In all of the cases of stolen guns, the accused shooters were prohibited from legally possessing a gun

“Thousands and thousands of guns are reported stolen every year in Alabama, not even counting from the gun stores,’’ David Hyche, ATF’s assistant special agent in charge in Alabama, said. “We’ve had as many as 22, or 23, gun stores hit in a year just in Alabama.”

“Guns are absolutely money on the street. Guns are money for dope,’’ he added. “Drug dealers typically will take guns just like money. They’re just liquid assets.”

FBI’s $1B Investment in State-of-the-Art Campus in Alabama to Create Thousands of Jobs, New Technology

FBI rendering of one of the bureau’s new buildings at Redstone Arsenal.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s $1 billion investment on a new state-of-the-art campus in Huntsville is expected to add thousand of new jobs and six new buildings for the bureau.

“We really look at it like a HQ2, a backup for the footprint that we have here in Washington, D.C.,” Paul Abbate, associate deputy director at the FBI, told CNBC in a rare interview. “It’s really the future of the FBI, and it’s all about technology, innovation, talent and resiliency.”

The FBI is making its expansion at Redstone Arsenal, an enormous Army base that leased nearly 1,600 acres to the bureau.

The campus will focus on terrorism, ballistics, explosive devices and even digital threats.

“Our cyberdivision views Huntsville as a current and really future training ground for the tactics, skills expertise that we need in the cyber-realm to work across all the threats we face and put ourselves and our people in the best position to stop that from coming at us,” Abbate said.

About 400 FBI employees currently work at Redstone. The first phase of construction is expected to be finished in 2021 and draw nearly 1,400 bureau employees from the Washington D.C.-area. Over the next decade, an additional 4,000 jobs or more could be added.

The FBI created a webpage to help recruit more employees to the Huntsville area.

Husband of Forensic FBI Photographer Called Person of Interest in Wife’s Death

Kathleen Miller, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The husband of a forensic FBI photographer from Alabama is a person of interest in the drowning death of his wife.

Authorities found 60-year-old Kathleen Miller, of Huntsville, Ala., in a shallow creek in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina on Oct. 7.

Gregory Miller called 911 and calmly reported his wife, who had no health issues, had fallen in the creek.

“I tried to call for help. I need help,” the husband said in a 911 call obtained by WAAY-TV. “My wife has fallen in the water, and I couldn’t get her out. … I wish I could be of more help.”

The couple were camping at the park when Gregory Miller said his wife disappeared after saying she wanted to check out Santeetlah Creek. Her husband said he later discovered her body face down in the creek.

Several law enforcement agencies are investigating the case.

Forensic FBI Photographer Found Dead at National Forest in North Carolina

Nantahala National Forest via Wikipedia. Photo by Notneb82.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A woman found dead in a creek in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina last week was a forensic FBI photographer.

Kathleen Polce Miller, of Huntsville, likely drowned, but authorities have not definitely determined the cause of death, The News And Observer reports.

Miller and her husband were camping at the park on Oct. 7 when she disappeared. Police said she told her husband that she wanted to check out Santeetlah Creek. Soon after, her husband discovered her body and called 911.

Authorities are investigating the death “from a criminal standpoint, the Graham County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday.

Theft Trial for ATF Senior Agent in Alabama is Delayed

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Trial in Birmingham, Ala., for senior ATF agent Jay Bagwell, who is charged with theft, has been delayed as a result of back surgery, AL.com reports.

The “prescribed pain medication renders the defendant unable to effectively participate in the defense of his case,” U.S. Chief Judge Karon O Bowdre wrote. The trial will resume when he recovers.

An indictment alleges that in November 2014 Bagwell “embezzled, stole, purloined, and knowingly converted to his use and the use of another, a thing of value of the United States and of any department or agency thereof.” The indictment only says that the amount of money exceeds $1,000.

“It is our privilege to represent Jay Bagwell, a twenty-five year veteran ATF agent. If a thorough investigation had been conducted by the government, and Mr. Bagwell allowed to provide documentation, this charge would have never existed,” defense attorney Lance Bell said. “We have provided documentation to the government to exonerate this charge and restore Mr. Bagwell’s good name. I wish that I could say more at this time, but I think that the end result will speak for itself.

More Than 50 Girls Receive Creepy Package at Schools in Southeast

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

More than 50 girls in elementary schools across the Southeast have received unsolicited packages from someone claiming to be a mentally disabled 14-year-old who has been the target of bullying.

The FBI and local police are investigating why someone posing as “Atur Bhuck of Santa Fe, NM” sent the packages containing food and a letter encouraging the girls to write him back via email, according to the Covington County District Attorney’s Office in Alabama, which posted a “Predator alert” on Facebook.

Investigators have tracked down the package sender to an IP address that appears to originate in Houston. And that same IP address turns up on websites about girls’ underwear.

No suspects have been identified yet but parents are encouraged to call authorities if their children receive a similar package.