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December 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Idaho

FBI Agent Shot and Wounded in Idaho While Serving Search Warrant

By Allan Lengel

An FBI agent was shot and wounded Thursday while trying to serve a search warrant at a home near the Nez Perce Tribal Fish Hatchery at Cherrylane in rural Nez Perce County in Idaho, The Lewiston Tribune reports.

The agent is recovering from non-life threatening injuries, according to a news release issued by the FBI Salt Lake City division.

The suspect, Manuel P. Villalobos III, 42, was arrested and booked at the Nez Perce County Jail at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

The FBI issued a statement:

“On February 7, 2019, an FBI agent was shot while conducting court-authorized activity in Lenore, Idaho, near Lewiston.  The agent suffered non-life threatening injuries.  No other information will be released at this time.”


New Data Center at FBI Site in Idaho to Add 350 Employees

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling

A data center under construction at an FBI site in Pocatello, Idaho, plans to hire 350 employees when the building is finished, the Idaho State Journal reports

The influx of employees will include both new hires and transfers.

“We’ve always talked to them about 300 to 400 jobs for this data center so it’s great news,” said Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad.

The FBI center in Pocatello, which opened in 1985, has provided telecommunications and database support for bureau field services nationwide.

The average estimate salary for each job is $60,000 a year.

Bannock County Development Corporation Executive Director John Regetz said he expected the data center to collaborate with Idaho County University.

“It could really expand our high-tech talent base,” he said.

ICE Eyes Idaho Jail As New Location to House Detained Immigrants

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling

An Idaho jail could soon house immigration detainees and eventually be used for immigration hearings as ICE officials look for more detention space.

ICE is looking for a new location after losing access to 300 beds at the Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork, Utah, Magic Valley reports

Local officials said they don’t plan on act on the proposal until ICE provides more details about using the Jerome County Jail in south-central Idaho.

“It’s something ICE is dealing with internally, and Jerome County is kind of just waiting for their response as to what they want to do,” said Commissioner Roger Morley.

Because of a lack of space for detainees, ICE must send undocumented immigrants to Seattle or Salt Lake City.

“(Salt Lake City) believes the addition of 50 beds at Jerome County Detention Center would allow for streamlined detention operations and facilitate fewer and less frequent transfers of detainees out of state,” according to a document obtained by Magic Valley.

Other Stories of Interest

Idaho Photographer Arrested for ‘Public Voyeurism’ for Filming FBI Office

By Steve Neavling

An Idaho man says police violated his First Amendment rights by arresting him for recording video outside of an FBI office.

“I stopped directly across the street and filmed vehicles entering the FBI complex for approximately 10 minutes before a police car drove up behind me,” Sean Johnson wrote to KIFI/KIDK reporter Chris Oswalt in an email. “I was standing on the sidewalk across the street from the complex, near a bus stop. I was just standing there filming, not saying anything to anyone, nor waving my arms around or otherwise causing a commotion.” 

Johnson was approached by an officer who claimed the cameraman was violating the state’s public voyeurism law by recording people without permission. But that law refers to sex crimes.

All federal employees in 2010 were given a three-page memo that states, “Remember the public has the right to photograph the exterior of Federal Buildings from publicly accessible spaces, such as streets, sidewalks, parks or plazas.”

Federal courts have protected the rights of people to photograph and video-record from public space.

“I was taken to jail and held for 15 hours until I paid my bail of $300 directly from my own account,” Johnson wrote in his email. “I have since retained an attorney and the expectation is that the charge of ‘obstruction and delay’ will be dropped by the prosecutor.”

Judge Dismisses Charge Against FBI Worker Accused of Tipping Off Husband of Probe

courtroomBy Steve Neavling

A judge dismissed a charge against an FBI worker in Idaho accused of tipping off her husband about a child pornography investigation.

Local News 8 reports that 6th District Magistrate Judge Rick Carnaroli dismissed the charge, saying the state didn’t meet its burden of proof.

Prosecutors alleged Jennifer Barnett, head of building security at the FBI office in Pocatello, informed her husband about the investigation before it was completed.

Because the charge was dismissed without prejudice, the state could refile charges against Barnett.

Other Stories of Interest

Concerns Raised About How Accused Shooter Boarded Commercial Airline

Kyle Odom

Kyle Odom

By Steve Neavling

A man accused of shooting a church pastor was able to board a commercial airline in Idaho despite an attempted murder warrant for his arrest, the Associated Press reports. 

Kyle Odom managed to board the plane without problems and traveled to Washington D.C.

The Transportation Security Administration said local law enforcement didn’t inform them of the arrest warrant until Monday evening, hours after Odom boarded the plane.

“TSA had not received a law enforcement bulletin to ‘be on the lookout’ for the suspect,” the agency said in a press statement.

Although TSA screens passengers on the government’s Terrorist Watchlist, it has no similar database for wanted criminals.

Odom, 30, who law enforcement said wrote a manifesto about Martians controlling Earth, was arrested after allegedly throwing items onto the lawn of the White House.

Other Stories of Interest

Sister of Kidnapping, Murder Suspect Files Claim Against FBI for Killing Brother

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling

The sister of a man killed in the Idaho wilderness after authorities said he abducted a 16-year-old girl and killer her relatives is suing the FBI for $20 million, saying her brother never got a fair trial, the Associated Press reports. 

The attorney of Lori DiMaggio Robinson filed a claim with the FBI Thursday and plans to soon file suit.

“We need a lot more information,” attorney C. Keith Gree said. “We need to know why the officers felt like they were being targeted and to find out if they truly were in harm’s way.”

James DiMaggio, 40, was killed in August 2013 after triggering a massive manhunt.

He was shot six times after the FBI said he fired rifle shots as a rescue attempt was underway.

“The FBI agents’ unprivileged use of force therefore constitutes an assault and battery against DiMaggio, leading to DiMaggio’s wrongful death under Idaho law,” attorneys stated in the claim. “None of the agents present sought to intervene to prevent the excessive force, though able.”

Read the Judge’s Order Regarding FBI Agent In Idaho Who Killed Herself

By Allan Lengel
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill of Idaho issued this order regarding FBI agent  Rebekah Morse, who apparently lied under oath when she told the judge that she turned off her phone and wasn’t texting while on the witness stand.  The texts had nothing to do with the case against Diversified Business Services and Investments.

Morse killed herself shortly after she was confronted about the texting.

The judge ordered the government to turn over to the defense information regarding the incident. Below is the court order, which was provided to by the website

 The Court has examined in camera certain materials submitted by the
Government. The defendants have requested access to all the material. In this decision,
the Court will determine what evidence the defendants are entitled to view.
FBI Agent Rebekah Morse testified for the United States on March 18
and 19,
2014. On March 19, 2014, during a recess, a juror commented to the Court’s Law Clerk
that Agent Morse was texting while on the witness stand during the time the Court and
counsel were occupied at a sidebar conference. When questioned by the Court about this
concern of the juror, Agent Morse denied texting. She explained that during her
testimony, her phone vibrated, and to turn it off she claimed that she had to first enter her
password. That explanation satisfied counsel and the Court. To resolve the one juror’s
expressed concern – and to address any unexpressed concerns by other jurors – the Court
Case 1:13-cr-00091-BLW Document 441 Filed 03/25/14 Page 1 of 11Memorandum Decision & Order – page 2 

instructed the jury that Agent Morse was just turning off her cell phone by first punching
in her password.
 The trial then proceeded forward with further cross examination of Agent Morse.
But during that cross examination, the Court reflected further on the matter and became
concerned that the juror had expressed her concern in such a way as to suggest that Agent
Morse may have texted on more than one occasion. Agent Morse’s explanation about
turning off her cell phone on one occasion did not address the possibility that she might
have been texting on two or three occasions. After conferring with counsel, and with
their approval, the Court advised Agent Morse of a potential inconsistency in her
testimony and took possession of her cell phone. Agent Morse was to return for further
testimony the next day, March 20, 2014. Tragically, she was found dead the morning of
March 20, 2014, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Court subpoenaed the text records and the e-mails taken from the cellphone of
Agent Morse for the dates of March 18, 2014, through and including March 19, 2014.
The Court has now received those records and thoroughly examined them – they contain
the contents of all texts and e-mails sent and received by Agent Morse on those two days.
The Court has also examined (1) the FBI’s 302 Report of FBI Agents’ interview with
Agent Wyand who had interviewed Agent Morse during the evening of March 19, 2014;
(2) what appears to be a note written by Agent Morse and found at her home on March
20, 2014; and (3) notes of IRS Special Agent Josh Culbertson on March 19, 2014, when
members of the prosecution team met with Agent Morse.
Case 1:13-cr-00091-BLW Document 441 Filed 03/25/14 Page 2 of 11Memorandum Decision & Order – page 3 

 With regard to the text and e-mail messages, the Court compared the times they
were sent (or received) to the times provided (to the second) by the Real-Time transcript
of the court proceedings. The only times that Agent Morse texted while on the witness
stand were during a sidebar held on March 19, 2014. The sidebar was held from
12:02:47 to 12:10:41 p.m., and during that sidebar, Agent Morse sent 4 text messages and
received 4 text messages. At no other time during a sidebar on March 18th or 19th did
Agent Morse send any text messages or e-mails.

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