Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

December 2020
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: california

Biden Picks Mayorkas to Become First Hispanic, Immigrant to Lead Homeland Security

Alejandro Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden tapped Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first immigrant and Hispanic to lead the Department of Homeland Security. 

Mayorkas, 61, served as deputy homeland security secretary from 2013 to 2016 under President Obama. A former U.S. attorney in California, Mayorkas also served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during Obama’s first term. 

Born in Cuba, Mayorkas and her family arrived as refugees in the 1960s, settling in Southern California. His mother was a Holocaust survivor. Mayorkas graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and earned a law degree from Loyola Law School. 

“When I was very young, the United States provided my family and me a place of refuge,” Mayorkas tweeted. “Now, I have been nominated to be the DHS Secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones.”

Ponzi Scheme Suspect Tries to Evade FBI Using Underwater ‘Seascooter’

The Seascooter found by authorities following the chase. Photo via court records.

By Steve Neavling

A Ponzi scheme suspect led FBI agents on a wild chase that ended in the frigid waters of a remote lake in Northern California. 

When agents tried to arrest Matthew Piercey, 44, near Redding on Monday morning, he fled in a car and headed up Interstate 5 before reaching Lake Shasta, a large reservoir north of Redding. Then Piercey swam into the lake with an underwater submersible device called a “Seascooter” and “spent some time out of sight underwater where law enforcement could only see bubbles,” federal officials said in court documents.

“He remained in the frigid water for approximately 25 minutes,” the complaint reads. 

When Piercey reemerged, authorities arrested him. 

 Piercey and his business partner Kenneth Winton were indicted by a grand jury last week. Piercey is accused of bilking investors out of $35 million between July 2015 and August. Authorities say he preyed on a megachurch where he was a member. 

Piercey faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 

Craig Fair Named Special Agent in Charge of San Francisco Field Office

Craig Fair, special agent in charge of the San Francisco Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

Craig Fair has been named the special agent in charge of the San Francisco Field Office after serving there as the deputy special agent in charge for the past three years.

Fair’s career with the FBI began at the San Francisco Field Office in 1998, serving as a special agent working counterintelligence matters. He was promoted to supervisory special agent in 2015, overseing a counterintelligence squad.

In 2008, Mr. Fair began serving as a unit chief in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., overseeing the bureau’s domestic and extraterritorial investigations and operations countering foreign intelligence collection matters. In 2011, he became acting section chief of Clandestine Services before returning to San Francisco as the assistant special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Branch. 

Fair oversaw San Francisco’s counterterrorism program, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Special Weapons and Tactics Program, and several other programs.

In 2013, Fair returned to FBI headquarters, serving as section chief of the Executive Staff Section of the National Security Branch (NSB). In addition, he served as the special assistant to the NSB executive assistant director. 

In 2014, Fair became deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, leading the FBI’s efforts in preventing, countering, and investigating threats of terrorism or proliferation involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive weapons.

In 2016, Fair returned to San Francisco to serve again as the assistant special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Program before he was named the deputy special agent in charge in 2017.

Fair received a Bachelor of Arts in political economics from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa, and a Master of Arts in criminal justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

DEA Makes Largest Meth Bust in Its History – 2,224 Pounds

The DEA’s biggest methamphetamine seizure. Photo via DEA.

By Steve Neavling

The DEA on Wednesday announced the biggest methamphetamine seizure in American history: 2,224 pounds of the drug recovered in California.  

The Oct. 2 bust took place at stash houses in Riverside County that were connected with the Sinaloa cartel, The Los Angeles Times reports. The DEA also seized 13 pounds of heroin and 893 pounds of cocaine.

The announcement came just three days before CBP announced its second largest methamphetamine seizure on Oct. 9 at the Otay Mesa Port Entry in San Diego. CBP officers seized more than 3,100 pounds of methamphetamine, along with 64 pounds heroin, 29 pounds of fentanyl powder and 37 pounds of pills. 

Together, the seizures “are more than enough to provide a dose of meth for every man, woman and child in the United States and Mexico,” Timothy Shea, acting administrator of the DEA, said Wednesday at a news conference.

Authorities have seen a dramatic increase in methamphetamine seizures near the border. Last year, meth overdoses rose 25%, Shea said. 

ATF Sued in Effort to Reclassify Ghost Guns As Firearms to Make Them Traceable

Homemade gun seized by U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle in February 2020.

By Steve Neavling

California’s attorney general and the fathers of two children who were killed in school shootings have sued the ATF over ghost guns, saying the unfinished frames and do-it-yourself firearm kits are untraceable and ending up in the hands of killers.

The lawsuit aims to force authorities to classify ghost guns, which are often purchased online and assembled by hand, as firearms. They argue the ATF made an arbitrary and capricious decision in 2006 to stop considering the parts as firearms, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Since ghost guns aren’t classified as firearms, they rarely have serial numbers that make them traceable. 

“The only logical intended result of a ghost gun kit is that it will become a firearm,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra told reporters Tuesday.

The ATF declined to comment on pending litigation.  

Some recent high-profile shootings have involved ghost guns, including one at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita that claimed the lives to two students. The parents of those students joined the lawsuit. 

FBI Investigating ‘Guy in a Jetpack’ Spotted by Airline Pilots Near LAX

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating an unusual observation by an American Airlines pilot: A “guy in a jetpack” was flying near Los Angeles’ LAX airport on Sunday evening.

About a minute later, a JetBlue pilot reported seeing a man flying at an elevation of roughly 3,000 feet, FOX11 reports.

“The FBI is aware of the reports by pilots on Sunday and is working to determine what occurred,” a spokesperson said.

The American Airlines pilot notified the control tower that he spotted “a guy in a jetpack” about 10 miles away from airport.

The Los Angeles Police Department flew a helicopter over the area in search of the mysterious man but didn’t see anything.

Once confined to science fiction, jetpacks are becoming more popular. Still, it’s uncommon for jetpacks to fly anywhere near 3,000 feet.

FBI Raids California Home of YouTube Celebrity Following a Mall Riot in Arizona

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI raided the California home of YouTube celebrity Jake Paul on Thursday in connection with a riot at an Arizona shopping mall, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Agents were seen removing firearms from the home.

The FBI also served search warrants in Nevada and Arizona.

“The FBI is executing a federal search warrant at a residence in Calabasas in connection with an ongoing investigation,” an FBI representative said in a statement. “The affidavit in support of the search warrant has been sealed by a judge and I am, therefore, prohibited from commenting as to the nature of the investigation. No arrests are planned.”

Paul was charged with misdemeanors in connection with the riot, but police are dismissing the
case and cooperating with the FBI.

U.S. Marshals Service Arrests Chinese Researcher Accused of Visa Fraud to Steal University Research

Juan Tang, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Chinese researcher accused of visa fraud for allegedly lying about her ties to her country’s military in order to receive an application to work in the U.S.

Juan Tang, 37, was among four researchers who have been charged with visa fraud after federal authorities said they believed the Chinese consulate in San Francisco was harboring her. The other three researchers were previously arrested.

Tang was being held in the Sacramento County jail, USA Today reports.

The Justice Department says Tang lied on two occasions about her military ties in a visa application in October.

Federal authorities suspect the four suspects were trying to steal research from American universities.

Tang was a visiting researcher in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California in Davis.