Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

December 2021
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Florida

CBP Agents Rescue Man Standing Atop a Sinking Airplane Off the Florida Coast

By Steve Neavling

Customs and Border Protection agents happened upon a plane crash off the coast of Florida and rescued the lone occupant who was standing atop the sinking aircraft. 

Air and Marine Operations’ (AMO) Tampa Marine Unit was conducting a join operation with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Impact Unit on Nov. 9 when agents and deputies spotted a man climbing out of the plane about a hundred miles north of Tampa along Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

“The situational awareness and quick actions of the Marine Interdiction Agents and Sheriff’s Deputies prevented a possible human tragedy,” Michael Matthies, deputy director of Marine Operations, said in a statement. “We are thankful we have the proper resources and trained personnel to perform when incidents like this present themselves.” 

AMO is responsible for assessing and confronting security threats using aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise. In the 2020 fiscal year, AMO seized or disrupted more than 194,000 pounds of cocaine, 278,000 pounds of marijuana, nearly 16,000 pounds of meth, 952 weapons and $51.5 million. AMO’s operations also led to 1,066 arrests and the apprehension of 47,872 undocumented migrants. 

FBI’s First Latina to Lead a Field Office Is Named Assistant Director of Insider Threat Office

Special FBI agent Rachel Rojas

By Steve Neavling

Rachel Rojas, who was serving as special agent in charge of the Jacksonville Field Office in Florida, has been named assistant director of the Insider Threat Office at FBI headquarters. 

Rojas’ career with the FBI began in 1996, when she served as an investigative specialist for the New York Field Office.

After completing her academy training in 2000, Rojas began investigating administrative and drug matters in New York. Following 9/11, she investigated financing data and communications linked to the attack. 

In 2005, Rojas was promoted to a supervisory special agent and transferred to the Terrorism Financing Operations Section of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters. In 2007, she returned to New York to oversee the applicant program before shifting her focus to mortgage and bank fraud. 

In 2012, Rojas became assistant special agent in charge of New York’s Criminal Division, where she was responsible for overseeing financial crime threats, public corruption, civil rights, health care fraud, and other issues. 

The following year, Rojas was named assistant special agent in charge of New York’s Violent Criminal Threat Branch, managing the Safe Streets gang and violent crime task forces, bank robberies, fugitives, human trafficking, and other programs. 

In 2015, Rojas returned to FBI Headquarters to serve as a section chief in the Security Division, where she was responsible for the physical and technical protection of bureau employees, facilities, information, and operations worldwide. 

In 2019, Rojas was appointed to lead the Jacksonville Field Office in Florida, becoming the first Latina special agent in charge. 

Rojas received a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from Boston University and a master’s degree in international management/leadership from Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. 

Trump Bills Secret Service $40,000+ to Use Single Room at Mar-a-Lago

By Steve Neavling

Former President Trump billed the Secret Service more than $40,000 for agents this spring to use a room at Mar-a-Lago resort to protect him. 

The Secret Service was charged $396.15 each night to use a single room as a workspace for agents, The Washington Post reports.

The charges continued until at least April 30, when he moved to his club in Bedminster, N.J. for the summer. 

The daily room rate is the same amount Trump charged the Secret Service during his presidency. 

While former presidents get protection for life, the rate Trump, a billionaire, is billing is unprecedented. 

“It’s tacky,” Jeffrey A. Engel, the director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, told The Washington Post. “Just because you can make a buck doesn’t mean you should make a buck. And especially when you have a situation where you’re an ex-president. You’re not going to starve.”

Son of Fallen FBI Agent Surprised with Birthday Caravan

Eli Alfin, the son of fallen FBI agent Daniel Alfin, waves at law enforcement. Photo: Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office organized a surprise birthday caravan for the 5-year-old son of FBI Agent Daniel Alfin, who was killed while executing a search warrant at a home in Florida in February. 

Local and federal authorities joined in the celebration, delivering gifts to Eli Alfin. 

“The Alfin family has been through an indescribable loss and we wouldn’t miss the opportunity to join in this special celebration and show them our support,” the Broward County Sheriff’s Office tweeted on Sunday. 

Alfin and FBI Agent Laura Schwartzenberger were fatally shot outside the Sunrise, Fla., apartment of David Lee Huber, a 55-year-old systems engineer who was suspected of possessing child pornography. Three other FBI agents were shot and have since recovered.

Alfin and Schwartzenberger specialized in investigating child pornography and crimes against children and worked out of the Miami Field Office. 

Alfin, a New York native, was first assigned to the FBI’s Albany Field Office office in 2009. 

Florida Nurse Accused of Threatening to Kill Vice President Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris.

By Steve Neavling

A Florida nurse has been charged with threatening to kill Vice President Kamala Harris.

Niviane Petit Phelps was arrested last week after authorities said she recorded and sent a series of videos to her husband in jail, according to a Secret Service complaint, USA Today reports.

In the videos, Phelps allegedly said she planned to murder the vice president and was practicing at a gun range and applying for a concealed weapons permit. 

She also claimed Harris “isn’t actually Black,” the complaint states. 

The criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida states that Phelps “knowingly and willfully made threats to kill and inflict bodily harm upon the Vice President of the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 871.”

Phelps faces up to five years in prison if convicted. 

Phelps, a 20-year employee of Jackson Health System, was suspended from her job. 

DOJ Investigating Rep. Gaetz for Alleged Sexual Relationship with Teenage Girl

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is investigating U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., for a sexual relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year-old girl, The New York Times reports

The investigation is trying to determine whether Gaetz, a 38-year-old conservative firebrand and close ally of former President Trump, violated federal sex trafficking laws. The probe began under then-Attorney General William Barr. 

Gaetz denied the allegations on Twitter and in media interviews, saying he and his family “have been victims of an organized and criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name.”

“We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals,” Gaetz tweeted. The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart the investigation.”

Gaetz repeated his denials on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program, which the host later called “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”

The investigation is part of a broader probe of allegations against Joel Greenberg, a former county official in Florida who was arrested last year on charges of sex trafficking of a minor. 

https://twitter.com/ArtValley818_/status/1377073895421870082

Rapper Kodak Black Offers to Pay College Tuition for Children of Slain FBI Agents

FBI Special Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger

By Steve Neavling

The popular rapper Kodak Black is offering to pay the college tuition of the children of the two FBI agents who were killed last week while trying to serve a search warrant at a Florida home.

Black, who was recently pardoned by President Trump, reached out to the FBI to make the offer to the three children because he “knows what it’s like to lose loved ones and grow up in a single-parent home, and he wants to make sure the mourning families don’t ever have to worry about sending their kids to college,” TMZ reports

Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger were fatally shot by a man accused of possessing child pornography. Alfin had a 3-year-old, and Schwartzenberger’s children were 4 and 9.

Black, whose legal name is Bill Kapri, was pardoned last month by Trump. In 2019, he was sentenced to 46 months in prison on federal weapons. 

It wasn’t immediately clear if the families accepted Kodak’s offer. 

FBI: Pensacola Gunman Who Killed 3 Sailors Planned Attack with Al Qaeda

Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Saudi Air Force officer who killed three sailors at a military base in Florida in December 2019 worked with Al Qaeda to plan the attack, federal authorities said.

The connection was made after FBI technicians finally gained access to a cell phone that Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani tried to destroy, Attorney General William Barr said at a news conference, according to a New York Times report.

The FBI and Justice Department criticized Apple for refusing to unlock the gunman’s phone.

Authorities said the gunman, a Saudi Air Force cadet training with the American military in Pensacola, communicated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to plan the attack, which injured eight others.

Apple said it helped the FBI and gave investigators access to the gunman’s online storage accounts.

“The false claims made about our company are an excuse to weaken encryption and other security measures that protect millions of users and our national security,” Apple said in a statement.