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Tag: california

Two Men Charged in Theft of FBI Agent’s Gun, Credentials, But Glock-22 Still Missing

Authorities arrested and charged two men they believe are involved in the smash-and-grab theft of an FBI agent’s gun and credentials near San Francisco on Feb. 20.  

But law enforcement didn’t recover the agent’s .40 caliber Glock-22, badge, identification or key card, which apparently were kept in a backpack in the agent’s car, The Mercury News reports.

One of the suspects, Marvin Raul Guerra, who is accused of breaking into the agent’s car, allegedly confessed to the break-in and said he and his co-conspirator threw the gun and credentials out of the window of the getaway car when they realized it belonged to law enforcement. 

Also charged was Jose Ochoa Gutierrez, who is accused of driving the getaway car. He’s accused of aiding and abetting theft of government property. 

Authorities did recover protein bars that were inside the agent’s backpack.

The agent and his wife were eating at a downtown Lafyette restaurant on Saturday when the theft occurred. 

Gun, Badge, Credentials Stolen from FBI Agent’s Car Near San Francisco

A thief stole a gun, badge and credentials from an FBI agent’s car near San Francisco over the weekend. 

The theft occurred at about 12:15 p.m. Saturday in Lafayette, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Stolen were a .40 caliber Glove 22 pistol and FBI badge and credentials. 

It wasn’t immediately clear where the items were stored in the car. 

“The investigation remains ongoing and we cannot provide further comment at this time,” the bureau said in a brief statement. 

The FBI is working on the case with the Lafayette Police Department.

Man Shoots Himself Outside FBI’s San Diego Field Office

FBI’s San Diego Field Office. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

A man shot himself outside of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office on Wednesday  after displaying a handgun. 

At about 4 p.m., FBI agents responded to the scene, where the bureau said the man appeared to be suicidal. 

FBI crisis negotiators, bomb techs and SWAT agents were on the way when the man turned the gun on himself. 

“Agents rendered medical aid and paramedics were called,” the FBI said in a statement. “The man is being transported to the nearest medical facility and the scene is secure.”

The FBI and San Diego Police Department are investigating. 

It was not immediately clear whether the man survived the self-inflicted shooting. 

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.