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Tag: Arizona

FBI Investigating Breaches Against Two State Voter Systems

ballot box flintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine who hacked voting registration databases in Illinois and Arizona ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The FBI discovered breaches in the databases in both states and is urging officials in both states to increase security, Reuters reports. 

Agents are now investigating whether other states also were targeted.

But it’s unclear whether there was an effort to manipulate votes since much of the information is already publicly available.

Still, the FBI has become increasingly concerned about Russian-sponsored hackers who likely targeted the Democratic National Committee and others within the party.

An FBI spokeswoman said the agency “routinely advises” on “various cyber threat indicators observed during the course of our investigations.”

Arizona Terror Suspect Said He’s Willing to Kill Parents for the Cause

Mahin Khan is a terrorism suspect.

Mahin Khan is a terrorism suspect.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Tucson man accused of planning terrorist attacks across Arizona allegedly told an FBI agent that he was willing to kill his parents if necessary, Tucson News Now reports. 

Mahin Khan, 18, has been charged with plotting terrorist attacks and remains in jail without bond.

FBI Agent Benjamin Trentlage, who is leading the case, said during Khan’s bond hearing that the man had recorded phone conversations with an undercover FBI employee who pretended to be an ISIS supporter.

“On one occasion the undercover employee expressed concern that Mr. Khan’s parents might find the undercover employees phone number and report it to the FBI. And in response Mr. Khan said that if they did that he would kill them himself,” said Trentlage. 

In 2015, he was in regular contact with a known ISIS operative in Syria, the FBI said.

“He requested information about building explosives and said that he wanted to join ISIS and he would do whatever was needed,” said Trentlage.

Border Patrol Agents Rescue 15 Undocumented Immigrants in Open Mine

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents rescued 15 undocumented immigrants after the tried to hide in an open pit mine south of Tucson.

The rescue happened after agents were tracking illegal immigrants who had entered the mine in Green Valley, Tucson.com reports. 

Search-and-rescue agents used ropes to help the immigrants, who were adult males from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

No one was injured.

DEA Arrests Nogales Police Officer on Allegations of Buying, Possessing Narcotics

Danzita Hernandez

Danitza Hernandez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA arrested a Nogales, Ariz., police officer for allegedly buying and possessing narcotics.

Tucson News Now reports that Danitza Hernandez was arrested while she off duty on Wednesday.

She was charged with two felony counts of illegal possession of narcotic and use of an electronic device during a drug transaction.

The Nogales Police Department has placed Hernandez on administration suspension.

The police department said it is cooperating with the DEA.

Burden Pasenelli, Legendary Female FBI Agent Who Shattered Stereotypes, Dies

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Burden Pasenelli, a former special agent who shattered gender barriers in the FBI, died Tuesday in Arizona following a brief illness.

Pasenelli was 71.

A former Seattle police officer, Pasenelli joined the FBI and became the bureau’s first female assistant director and first woman special change in charge of a bureau office, the Seattle Times reports.

Pasenelli was described as a no-nonsense pioneer and a loyal friend.

After 26 years with the bureau, Pasenelli retired in 1999. “She really was exceptional, both as a leader and as a person,” said Kate Pflaumer, the former U.S. Attorney in Western Washington and a longtime friend and colleague of Pasenelli.

Pasenelli rose to power at a time when there were very few female agents.

“I was raised on a farm,” she said in a 2012 FBI video interview. “I could work as hard as any man could, so I figured I was worth as much as any guy.”

Woman Arrested After Hitting Border Patrol Horse in the Face

Karla Banegas-Banegas

Karla Banegas-Banegas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman accused of transporting marijuana also faces a charge of animal cruelty after allegedly punching a horse in the face.

Karla Banegas-Banegas, 29, was with a group of nine people spotted with backpacks along the Barry Goldwater Bombing range in Why, Ariz., about 30 miles north of the Mexican border, AZCentral reports. 

As the group fled, agents caught up with six of the nine suspects.

Banegas-Banegas “punched a USBP horse in the face with a closed fist,” records said. The extent of the horse’s injuries was unknown.

Agents reported finding seven backpacks fun of “green, leafy plant material” that ended up being marijuana.

“The remoteness of the area makes it an ideal place for drug smugglers to attempt to smuggle narcotics into the United States,” court documents said.

Judge: Border Patrol Not Liable in Shooting Death of 19-Year-Old U.S. Citizen

Carlos LaMadrid was shot by a Border Patrol agent.

Carlos LaMadrid was shot by a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a man near the order fence in Douglas, Ariz., used justified force, a judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge James A. Soto said Agent Lucas Tidwell was not liable for the death of a 19-year-old U.S. citizen during a March 2011 shooting, Tucson.com reports. 

The death of Carlos LaMadrid prompted a civil lawsuit by his mother. The suit claims Tidwell was “grossly negligent” when he shot an unarmed LaMadrid.

The judge said Tidwell only fired his gun after rocks were thrown at him.

“A reasonable person in Tidwell’s position would believe that he was facing unlawful deadly physical force where rocks the size of softballs or bricks are being thrown from 15 feet away and 10 feet above you directly at your head at 50 to 60 miles per hour,” Soto wrote.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Felony Assault After Nightclub Fight

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who is a trained mixed martial arts fighter has been charged with felony assault after he allegedly punched a man in the face numerous times at a nightclub in Arizona.

Yuma police said Chance Farrar punched a man in the face six or seven times, breaking his cheekbone, after an argument over dancing with a woman, KYMA reports. During the attack, the victim’s head struck a woman in the nose.

 “The punch that was thrown to male subject caused his head to go back and strike her in the face,” said Lori Franklin of the Yuma Police Department.

Farrar, who has been an agent for 15 years, told police he acted in self-defense because of the victim’s tone of voice and body language.

Farrar was suspended without pay.