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Tag: HSI

Feds Raid Michigan Home of High Ranking Homeland Security Investigations Official

Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Vance Callender

By Steve Neavling

Federal agents have raided the Michigan home of a high-ranking Homeland Security official who is under investigation for alleged misconduct. 

The raid occurred Friday at the Royal Oak home of Vance Callender, 49, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations’ Detroit office, The Detroit Free Press reports.

The office overseas investigation in Michigan and Ohio. 

A neighbor said plainclothes agents removed a briefcase and manila envelope. 

“Special Agent-in-Charge Callender is a highly decorated federal law enforcement official whose security and reputation are our top priority. That said, some rumors about him online are incorrect. To the extent, Mr. Callender is required to enforce or defend his rights, he is prepared to do so,” Callender’s lawyer, Nick Oberheiden, said in statement.

Oberheiden declined to elaborate on the investigation or the “rumors.” 

In a statement, an ICE spokesperson said, “As public servants working for a law enforcement agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) takes allegations of misconduct very seriously. Any allegations of misconduct are appropriately investigated, and any employee, regardless of rank or seniority, who has committed provable misconduct, will be held accountable.”

The statement added, “Where necessary, ICE works with federal and/or state and local law enforcement who may investigate such allegations. Per agency protocol, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) will also review the allegations.”

Callender has been the head of the Detroit office for about a year. Prior to that, he oversaw investigations in San Antonio. 

Callender’s career in law enforcement began in 1995, when he was a sheriff’s deputy in Victoria County in Texas. 

He became a special agent with the U.S. Customs Service in 2001. 

Callender has a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Texas State University. 

U.S. Agents Find ‘Sophisticated’ Tunnel for Drug Trafficking Near Border

Sophisticated tunnel found near the U.S.-Mexico border. Photo: ICE

By Steve Neavling

U.S. agents and Mexican authorities discovered a large, “sophisticated” tunnel near the U.S.-Mexico border that was outfitted with electricity, ventilation, a rail system with a cart and an electronic hoist, ICE announced. 

The 183-foot-long subterranean tunnel was found beneath a house in the city of Mexicali in the Mexican state of Baja California near Calexico, Calif. 

It was used by drug traffickers, who dug the tunnel nearly 22 feet beneath the ground, ICE said. 

“These types of tunnels enable drug traffickers to conduct illicit activities virtually undetected across the U.S.–Mexico border,” Cardell T. Morant, special agent in charge of HSI San Diego, said in a statement. “Discovering and shutting down these tunnels deals a major blow to drug trafficking organizations because it denies them the ability to smuggle drugs, weapons and people across the border.”

U.S. Marshals, HSI Rescue 31 Missing Children After Yearlong Operation

By Steve Neavling

Federal and local authorities have rescued 31 missing children following a monthlong operation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced. 

The U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security Investigations partnered with local police on “Operation Missing in the Metroplex,” reuniting the children with their legal guardians. 

“To observe law enforcement partnerships and community concerns culminate into such a successful recovery outcome is rewarding,” Acting U.S. Marshal Quintella Downs-Bradshaw said in a statement. “Victims should know they are not forgotten, there is hope and a way to return home.”

Seven of the children – all girls between the ages of 13 and 17 – were tied to sex trafficking. 

“While this joint operation lasted approximately 30 days, HSI Dallas will continue working relentlessly to identify and recover missing children who become vulnerable to human traffickers across the North Texas region,” HSI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin said. “Our continued collaboration with our local, state and federal law-enforcement partners and non-governmental organizations is vital to combatting this global epidemic.”

ICE HSI Special Agent Makes Heroic Rescue of Child, Woman in Burning Car

This is the remains of the SUV that crashed, via Homeland Security.

This is the remains of the SUV that crashed, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent John DeJohn was driving home from a fishing trip in Corpus Christi, Texas, he spotted an SUV that had crashed in a field.

DeJohn, of HSI Houston, sprinted to the vehicle and discovered it was on fire.

The special agent found a young girl screaming for help, pinned underneath the SUV. Her mouth was bleeding and she appeared to have a broken leg.

DeJohn and others who stopped lifted the vehicle and rescued the child.

As the fire was spreading, a passerby cut the seatbelt of the unconscious driver, and the group pushed the car back on its wheels to rescue the bleeding woman.

“We commend Special Agent DeJohn for the heroic action taken to save others on a moment’s notice,” Mark Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Houston, said in a press release from ICE. “This is a testament to HSI special agents everywhere who are willing put their lives in jeopardy every day to help others.”

DeJohn said, “You don’t ever want to be a hero, because that means someone’s life is in peril.”

ICE HSI Agent Pleads Guilty to 21 Counts

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent has pleaded guilty to leaking information to relatives involved in drug trafficking, authorities said.

Jovana Deas, 33, of Rio Rico, Ariz., pleaded guilty to all 21 counts against her, the FBI said in a statement on Monday. Deas was an agent with the HSI Nogales office.

Deas admitted to using her credentials to illegally obtain and disseminate government documents classified as Official Use Only, said the FBI. Some of the documents were later found on the laptop of her former brother-in-law–who is associated with drug trafficking groups in Mexico–by Brazilian law enforcement. Deas further admitted to illegally accessing, stealing, and transferring sensitive U.S. government documents, and to obstructing HSI investigations. She pled guilty to seven felony violations–punishable by up to five years each–and 14 misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year each.

Deas’s sister, Dana Maria Samaniego Montes, was also charged with violations of federal law. Montes is a former Mexican law enforcement official with alleged ties to drug trafficking organizations, but is a fugitive believed to be at large in Mexico.

Deas’s sentencing is set for April 11.