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Tag: Idaho

Ex-FBI Agent: Idaho Police Should Relinquish Control of University Murders to FBI

By Allan Lengel

As the one-month anniversary of the University of Idaho murders investigation passes, people are expressing frustration. Four students were stabbed to death in a home near campus on the night of Nov. 13 and the killer or killers are at large.

Four students who were murdered (Photos from Today Show)

A former FBI agent Pete Yachmetz tells the New York Post that the Moscow, Idaho police department should relinquish its lead role to the FBI.

“I think the Moscow Police Department is in over its head. I think they’re drowning,” Pete Yachmetz, a security consultant and former FBI agent, tells The Post. “They don’t have the resources to properly address this type of crime.”

The police department in 2019 said it had 37 sworn-in police officers. The department is , is still being backed by 46 FBI investigators, 13 Idaho State Police investigators and 15 of its uniformed staff, the Post reports.

“I think it might be time for them to relinquish the lead agency designation,” Yachmetz said. “The lead agency is the one who makes all the determinations for how the investigation progresses.”

Randy Weaver, Key Figure in Ruby Ridge Standoff, Dies

Randy Weaver, via Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office

By Steve Neavling

Randy Weaver, whose refusal to leave his remote Idaho cabin led to the 11-day Ruby Ridge standoff in 1992, has died, The New York Times reports.

He was 74. 

The cause of his death wasn’t immediately clear. His daughter made the announcement on Facebook.

This year was the 30th anniversary of the standoff, which had become a rallying point for anti-government militias and white supremacist groups. 

Weaver’s wife and son were killed during an exchange of gunfire with federal marshals. 

At the time of the standoff, federal authorities were trying to arrest him on a bench warrant for missing court on gun charges. 

He was later acquitted of most charges. He and his daughters also received money in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the federal government. 

FBI Agent Shot and Wounded in Idaho While Serving Search Warrant

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

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
ticklethewire.com

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
ticklethewire.com

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
ticklethewire.com

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
ticklethewire.com

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
ticklethewire.com

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