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Tag: Colorado

Colorado Man Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Assaulting ATF Agent with Car

By Steve Neavling

A Colorado man who struck an ATF agent with his car was sentenced to more than nine years in prison, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Dallas Michael Theiss, 24, was at a 7-Eleven store in April when ATF agents and officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department surrounded his car in an attempt to arrest him. 

To evade capture, Theiss accelerated towards an ATF agent who was standing near the doorway of the store. 

Theiss struck the agent, who opened fire on Theiss. The agent was injured, and Theiss fled the scene. 

Following a brief pursuit, Theiss barricaded himself in a Colorado Springs home for about two hours before he was taken into custody. 

A search of his car uncovered two guns. 

“This case demonstrates the kind of heroic acts that federal law enforcement officers undertake every day to keep us safe,” Acting U.S. Attorney Matt Kirsch said in a statement.  “Taking violent offenders off the street is a dangerous business, and we are grateful no one was killed in this incident.”  

ATF Special Agent in Charge David Booth added, “We are fortunate the injuries our agent suffered were not fatal. Through extraordinary bravery and professionalism in the face of imminent danger, this violent criminal was taken into custody without anyone else being harmed. We applaud the United States Attorney’s Office in their success in this case thus removing a violent criminal from our communities.”

MSNBC: ATF Must Be Empowered to Play Bigger Role in Combating Mass Shootings

By Steve Neavling

The mass shooting that left 10 people dead at a Colorado supermarket underscores why the ATF must become a bigger part of the solution, MSNBC columnist Hayes Brown argues.

Brown points out that the NRA has “systematically weakened ATF with the support of congressional Republicans.”

Brown writes:

“The restrictions have all focused on the bureau’s mandated tasks: issuing licenses for federal firearm licensees, which then have to use the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System when making sales; inspecting gun dealers for compliance with the law; and cracking down on illegal gun sales.

Those would be challenging enough, but ATF has to rely on a patchwork of laws to prevent illegal gun trafficking, since there’s no comprehensive federal law against gun trafficking. And as Berlow’s piece explained, over the years Congress has included a number of “riders,” or “bits of permanent law tacked onto an appropriations bill,” to the ATF’s funding.

Some of the most restrictive are the Tiahrt Amendments, which seem perfectly tailored to keep ATF small and ineffective. These riders block ATF from centralizing records it gets from licensed gun dealers, keep ATF from disclosing to anyone the contents of a federal database that tracks guns that authorities recover from crime scenes, make it illegal for ATF to require gun dealers to create a paper trail of how many guns they have in inventory and require the FBI to have a way to destroy any identifying information in a background check within 24 hours of clearing a gun sale.

These provisions can be undone only with an affirmative act of Congress. And don’t think about trying to transfer anything that ATF should be doing to another government body — there are riders blocking any funding for that, too. As things stand, ATF is so weak that it can’t even strip licenses from gun dealers effectively, even after multiple infractions.”

To read more, click here

Former FBI Agent Charged with Storing Sensitive Documents at His Home

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent is accused of storing sensitive government documents at his home in Chicago.

Yen Cham Yung, who retired from the bureau in 2016, was arrested in Colorado and charged with stealing sensitive government documents, The Associated Press reports.

Some of the documents included information about gang surveillance and undercover informants, as well as emails between FBI supervisors who were leading investigations into organized crime.

The 57-year-old is accused of keeping memos of understanding between the CIA and FBI, in violation of national security protocols. He is not accused of trying to sell or disseminate the information.

The alleged transgressions came to light after his wife said in an a protection order against him that she had discovered the documents in August at their Colorado Springs home.

An FBI search of the home uncovered dozens of digital storage devises.

Yang’s career with the FBI began in 1996 and includes stints in field officers in Chicago, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and Indonesia.

FBI Arrests Army Veteran After Finding 4 Pipe Bombs in His Colorado Home

Bradley Bunn, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI agents arrested a 53-year-old Army veteran in Colorado for allegedly planning to use pipe bombs against law enforcement officers who tried to seize his weapons.

Bradley Bunn, a carpenter, was arrested Friday while walking to his car to head to an armed protest at the Denver State Capitol to rally against stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. prosecutors told The Durango Herald.

According to prosecutors at a court hearing on Wednesday, Bunn insisted he had the constitutional right to possess weapons, including land mines and artillery, and that he would “take out a few” law enforcement officers if they tried to seize his weapons.

During a search of his home, the FBI found bomb-making materials, an Army guide on building booby traps, and four pipe bombs, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Tonini.

His public defender said Bunn had mental health issues from serving in Iraq.

Michael H. Schneider Named Special Agent in Charge of Denver Field Office.

FBI’s Denver Field Office, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Michael H. Schneider has been tapped to serve as the special agent in charge of the Denver Field Office.

Most recently, Scheinder was serving as a deputy assistant director of the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG).

Schneider joined the FBI in 2004, working at the Bedford Resident Agency in New Hampshire under the Boston Field Office, where he investigated crimes and led a Safe Streets Gang Task Force.

In 2009, Scheider was promoted to supervisory special agent in the International Terrorism Operations Section at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. In 2011, he led the counterterrorism program and Joint Terrorism Task Force at the St. Louis Field Office.

In 2014, Schneider became assistant special agent in charge of the National Security Branch of the St. Louis Field Office, overseeing counterterrorism, counterintelligence, intelligence, and cyber programs. He also led the field office’s response to the shooting of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, whose death prompted Black Lives Matter protests across the country.

In 2017, Schneider was tapped to serve as chief of the Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Section of CIRG. He also served as the U.S. government’s on-scene commander for the Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

In 2018, he was promoted to deputy assistant director of CIRG.

Schneider earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from Indiana University School of Business. Before joining the FBI, he worked in corporate finance and investment banking.

FBI: Undercover Sting Ensnares White Supremacist Who Planned to Bomb Colorado Synagogue

Richard Holzer

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 27-year-old white supremacist accused of planning to bomb a Colorado synagogue as part of a “racial holy war.”

Richard Holzer was arrested Friday night after he believed he was picking up pipe bombs and dynamite from co-conspirators who turned out to be undercover federal agents.

Holzer planned to bomb the Temple Emanuel synagogue in Pueblo, Colo., the FBI alleges.

While picking up the phony bombs, Holzer was carrying a copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and wearing a Nazi armband, The Washington Post reports, citing FBI Special Agent John W. Smith’s court filing.

Holzer faces up to 20 years in prison after he was arraigned Monday on a charge of attempting to obstruct people from exercising their religious freedom through force and attempted use of explosives and fire.

“We thwarted an imminent threat to our community,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips said at a news conference.

Holzer caught the attention of the FBI earlier this year when investigators spotted anti-Semitic posts on social media. Posing as a white supremacist, an undercover agent established a relationship with Holzer, who sent pictures of himself with guns and swastikas.

Holzer is accused of telling the undercover agent he was “getting ready” for a “racial holy war.”

The FBI said Holzer confessed to the plot after his arrest.

Walmart Shoppers Ran for Cover When FBI Task Force Used Flash-Bang Grenades

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Walmart shoppers were in for a scare Monday when they mistook flash-bang grenades as gunshots.

The FBI Street Task Force in Colorado used the flash-bang devices to help arrest three people.

Unaware of the task force’s presence, shoppers ran for cover.

“All of a sudden all these people started running down the aisle yelling, ‘Active shooter,’ shopper Edward Johnson told CBS4. “The Walmart employees herded us in the backroom and locked the door. We were in there for 15 min then they let us out,” Johnson said. “But, there were cops everywhere. Then, they started arresting a lady. It was absolutely the scariest situation I have ever witnessed.”

No more information was available late Monday.

ATF, FBI Help Local Police Investigate Colorado School Shooting

Devon Erickson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF are helping local law enforcement investigate a mass shooting at a Colorado school that left one student dead and eight others injured Tuesday.

Two shooting suspects – a female juvenile and 18-year-old man – were arrested after authorities said they opened fire in two separate classrooms shortly before 2 p.m. at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school just eight miles from Columbine High School. Police identified the adult suspect as Devon Erickson.

The victims were ages 15 and older, and the male student who died was 18 years old, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Several of the victims were in critical condition, NBC News reports.

The FBI and ATF will help execute search warrants and determine a motive.

Last month, the STEM school was among several schools that canceled classes while the FBI searched for a woman “infatuated” with the Columbine shootings. She was later found dead from an apparent suicide.