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January 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: ap

FBI Flying Low-Hanging Surveillance Planes Using Fictitious Names

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has been operating a fleet of small planes equipped with video and occasionally cell phone surveillance technology, concealing the information from the public by registering the aircraft under fictitious company names, the Associated Press has found. 

What’s more, the surveillance is often used without a judge’s approval.

The AP found that the bureau flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states in a recent 30-day period.

The AP traced the aircraft, which the FBI acknowledged for the first time it was using, to at least 13 fake companies.

The technology allows the FBI to identify thousands of people on the ground through their cell phones.

The FBI says it’s doing nothing wrong.

“The FBI’s aviation program is not secret,” FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said in a statement. “Specific aircraft and their capabilities are protected for operational security purposes.” Allen added that the FBI’s planes “are not equipped, designed or used for bulk collection activities or mass surveillance.”


Ex-FBI Agent Sentenced to 3+ Years for Leaking Intelligence to AP

Steve Neavling 

A former FBI agent who leaked information to the Associated Press was sentenced Thursday to about three-and-a-half years in prison for possessing and disclosing secret information, the AP reports.

Donald Sachteren, 55, was accused of disclosing intelligence about the U.S. operation in Yemen in 2012.

The discovery prompted feds to seize phone records from the AP in search of the source.

“Clearly, you have betrayed your nation,” U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence told 25-year veteran of the FBI, the AP wrote.

The prosecution is part of the Obama administration’s aggressive pursuit of intelligence leakers.

Justice Department Spying has ‘Chilling Effect’ on AP Reporters

Steve Neavling 

The discovery that feds were spying on the Associated Press has had a “chilling effect” on the news agency, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter said, the U.S. News reports.

Reporter Martha Mendoza called the snooping “a massive and unprecedented intrusion” into the reporting of more than 20 reporters, the U.S. News wrote.

“These records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls with work and home phone numbers of individual reporters, the general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for the AP’s House of Representatives press gallery,” Mendoza told an audience at an award ceremony for journalists. “Has this had a chilling effect? It’s unbelievable. Yes it has.”

The AP believes the Justice Department seized phone records during an investigation related to a May 2012 story about the CIA preventing an al-Qaida plot to blow up a bomb about a U.S. plane.

Justice Department Secretly Monitored Phone Calls at Associated Press in “Unprecedented Intrusion”

Steve Neavling

Calling it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion,” the Justice Department covertly collected two months of telephone records from reporters and editors at the Associated Press, CNN reports.

The records came from the work and person phone numbers reporters and other at the AP.

It’s uncertain what officials are looking for, but one theory is that investigators are interested in an AP story about a foiled terror plot, the AP wrote.

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,” Pruitt said.

Even members of Congress were dumbfounded.

“The First Amendment is first for a reason,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. “If the Obama administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation.”

FBI Investigates Who Hacked AP Twitter Feed with Bogus News about White House Explosions

Steve Neavling

The FBI is trying to determine how a hacker or hackers were able to send out a bogus tweet that President Obama was injured in a White House bombing using the Associated Press’ Twitter feed, Reuters reports.

The tweet caused markets to nosedive briefly and sent some people into panic.

The AP Twitter feed has nearly 2 million followers.

The Tweet on Monday read: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Obama is injured.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also is investigating, according to Reuters.

FBI Bashes Media for Inaccurate Reporting on Boston Marathon Explosions

Steve Neavling

The FBI excoriated members of the media after false reports began circulating that an arrest was made in the Boston Marathon bombings, the New York Times reports.

Agents said the city faulty reporting could lead to “unintended consequences” for the massive investigation.

Several news organizations, including the Associated Press, Fox News, CNN and local Boston media, reported that a suspect was in custody.

The FBI responded with a statement Wednesday: “Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”

No Marital Bliss Here: Husband Accused of Burning His Wife’s FBI Car

By Allan Lengel

And as if the agent needed another reason to get a divorce.

The Associated Press reports that authorities charged the husband of an FBI agent of setting her  bureau car on fire with her weapons inside at their Portland, Ore. home.

AP reported that authorities alleged that David Powers, 44, set fire to his wife’s 2009 Dodge Charger.

The couple is in the process of separating.



Meth Lab Seizures Up; Experts Point to “Shake-and-Bake”

By Danny Fenster

According to an AP survey of the nation’s leading states in meth production, lab seizures by law enforcement agencies rose nationally, the AP reports.

In 2011 Missouri was the leading producer, with 2,096 seizures. Missouri was followed by Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky and then Oklahoma.

Across the nation the rise in meth lab seizures rose by about 8.3 percent from 2010 to 2011. The addictiveness of the drug and an increasingly popular and very quick method of producing it both contributed to the rise, experts say, according to AP. That method, know as “shake-and-bake,” quickly produces the drug using a soda bottle which, experts say, has created smaller labs but much more of them.

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