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Tag: Los Angeles

FBI Investigating ‘Guy in a Jetpack’ Spotted by Airline Pilots Near LAX

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating an unusual observation by an American Airlines pilot: A “guy in a jetpack” was flying near Los Angeles’ LAX airport on Sunday evening.

About a minute later, a JetBlue pilot reported seeing a man flying at an elevation of roughly 3,000 feet, FOX11 reports.

“The FBI is aware of the reports by pilots on Sunday and is working to determine what occurred,” a spokesperson said.

The American Airlines pilot notified the control tower that he spotted “a guy in a jetpack” about 10 miles away from airport.

The Los Angeles Police Department flew a helicopter over the area in search of the mysterious man but didn’t see anything.

Once confined to science fiction, jetpacks are becoming more popular. Still, it’s uncommon for jetpacks to fly anywhere near 3,000 feet.

5 Senior FBI Officials Violated Gift Policies by Attending Playoff Baseball Game, DOJ Watchdog Concludes

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Five senior FBI officials who attended a Los Angeles Dodgers playoff following a security briefing violated the bureau’s gift policies, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General concluded.

The officials took up an offer to watch the game after the meeting had ended on October 15, 2018, The Hill reports.

“The officials held an executive management meeting at the table, discussed sensitive law enforcement information during the executive management meeting, and ate food from a buffet in the club that had a market value of more than $60 per person,” the OIG said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We found that two of the five FBI senior officials were primarily responsible for these violations. The OIG additionally concluded that one of the FBI senior officials violated FBI policy by consuming alcohol while on duty at the sporting event,” the watchdog added.

A more senior official who was found to be “primarily responsible” for the violations has been reassigned.

At the time, the FBI was investigating whether the team had bribed foreign officials in an attempt to smuggle players from Cuba.

TSA Officer Accused of Coercing Woman into Twice Bearing Her Breasts

Via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A TSA officer is accused of coercing a female passenger into showing him her breasts twice during a security screening at Los Angeles International Airpot.

Johnathon Lomeli, 22, was arrested last week  on charges of fraud or deceit to falsely imprison a woman passing through security, the Associated Press reports.

Prosecutors said Lomeli told the woman he needed to inspect her bra to ensure she wasn’t concealing anything. He then told her to lift her shirt “to show me your full breasts” and then demanded she pull her pants away from her waist so he could take a look.

After telling her she was free to go, he allegedly said she had nice breasts.

Ryan T. Young Promoted to Assistant Director of the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI HQ

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Ryan T. Young will serve as the assistant director of the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., the bureau announced Monday.

Young is leaving his position as special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division in the Los Angeles Field Office.

Young’s career as a special agent with the FBI began in 2001, when he was assigned to the Miami Field Office to handle counterintelligence matters. In 2007, he was promoted to supervisory special agent in charge of the Cuban Counterintelligence Squad before becoming the chief of internal policy in the Resources Planning Office at FBI headquarters in 2012.

In 2014, Mr. Young created the Syria-Iraq Task Force in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and led a 72-member inter-agency task force whose mission is to combat ISIS in Iraq and the Levant. In 2015, he became assistant special agent in charge of the Intelligence and Administrative branches in the Dallas Field Office.

In 2016, Young began serving as the section chief for the Directorate of Intelligence’s Strategic Technology Section, where he “was responsible for providing enterprise technology to operational entities addressing the FBI most challenging threats,” the bureau says. He also commanded a team embedded with the Defense Intelligence Agency’s National Media Exploitation Center.

In 2018, Young began serving as special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division of the Los Angeles Field Office, where he was in charge of the bureau’s second largest Joint Terrorism Task Force and weapons of mass destruction investigations in the Los Angeles region and in Southeast Asia. Young also took charge of all crisis management and response assets, which ranged from the SWAT Team and Evidence Response Team to bomb technicians and other programs.

Before joining the FBI, Young earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in criminal administration and counseling from Western Oregon State University.

Young also served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. In 2010, he was awarded the FBI Director’s Award for Outstanding Counterintelligence Investigation “for his work on the case of a Department of State employee and his wife who provided classified U.S. information to the Cuban government for 30 years,” the bureau says.

FBI Agents Raid LA City Hall, LADWP Amid Corruption Probe

Los Angeles City Hall by Michael J Fromholtz.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents raided Los Angeles’ city hall and a public utility agency Monday amid a sweeping federal investigation into public corruption.

Agents served search warrants at city hall and the Department of Water and Power (LADWP) on Monday morning, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The search warrants were under a sealed affidavit, and federal authorities declined to comment on the nature of the investigation.

No one was arrested as of Monday night.

The raid comes amid a sweep FBI investigation into city hall that involved foreign investments in Los Aneles real estate. Two councilmen and other high-level officials have been named in that investigation.

“We were notified earlier this morning that federal search warrants were being executed today,” a spokesman for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “The mayor’s expectation is that any city employee who is asked to cooperate will do so fully and immediately.”

Trump’s Threats of Large-Scale ICE Raids Never Materialized

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump threatened mass roundups of undocumented immigrants over the weekend, but nothing remotely close to that happened.

There were only scattered reports of ICE raids in New York City and a small town in Florida.

Raids expected in major cities, including Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver, Philadelphia and Atlanta, never happened, at least not on a large scale. Many of those cities only saw large protests, which underscore the anxiety nationwide as immigrant communities grapple with what’s next.

Mayors in Los Angeles and New York City criticized Trump’s threats.

“Here’s the blunt truth: @realDonaldTrump isn’t trying to ‘secure our borders.’ He’s trying to make America HATE again,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.

Ice declined to comment on the raids – or lack of them.

“As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” an ICE spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.

White House officials walked back some of the threats of large-scale raids.

“I take issue with the word ‘raids,’” Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary and communications director, said Sunday. “These are law enforcement officials carrying out law enforcement operations as they have done in the past and will continue to do.”

Controversy Surfaces in Wake of FBI Officials Attending Dodgers’ Playoff Game

Dodger Stadium (deposit photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some FBI agents in the Los Angeles division have been bothered by allegations that top brass attended a Dodgers playoff game last Fall for free while the team was under federal investigation, the website, True Pundit reports.

A source confirms to ticklethewire.com that some agents were concerned about the appearance of a conflict, and said the top brass in question included three special agents in charge in the LA division– Matthew Moon, Voviette Morgan and Stephen Woolery. Other members of the FBI LA office were also there.

The matter has been the subject of a probe by the Office of Inspector General, which on Wednesday morning declined comment. The Los Angeles FBI also declined comment on Tuesday.

Top management was supposedly at the game to get briefed by law enforcement and security personal at Dodger Stadium.  One question is whether they stayed afterwards to watch the game and enjoy complimentary food, one person said.

“There were agents who were assigned to the game for special events, so the SACs (special agents in charge) had no business being there — or maybe one,” said the source who talked about agents’ concerns. “They just took advantage of the situation.”

The source went on to say that FBI management has been quick to go after agents for “unsubstantiated allegations, but they seem to be immune to the rules they’re enforcing. ”

Last October, Sports Illustrated reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had launched “a sweeping probe” into possible corruption tied to the recruitment of international players, centered on potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Dodgers figured prominently in the probe, which is not being overseen by the LA FBI office.

The magazine also reported that multiple alleged victims of smuggling and human trafficking operations have already  given evidence to law enforcement agents or testified before a federal grand jury.

In its report, the publication, True Pundit, erroneously reported that the game in question was during the World Series. It was a post-season game, but not the World Series. Some other facts in the story were also suspect including allegations that the officials “racked up” a massive tab in freebies running into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Lawrence Berger, a New York Attorney representing the top brass in the Los Angeles FBI, tells ticklethewire.com “there’s no truth to any of the allegations in the publication. I understand the Office of Inspector General has reviewed the story and agrees that there’s nothing factual in that. But they haven’t yet issued a report.”

Sports Illustrated cited a “thick dossier of documentation”  that was provided to the FBI at the beginning of the probe and that the “Los Angeles Dodgers, a franchise with extensive scouting and development operations in the Caribbean, figure most prominently in the dossier.”

Sports Illustrated went on to report:

 Internal communications by the Dodgers show concerns about what team officials called a “mafia” entrenched in their operations in the Caribbean and Venezuela, including a key employee who dealt “with the agents and buscones” and was “unbelievably corrupt.” Other personnel were suspected of being tied to “altered books” or “shady dealings,” according to the documents.

 

FBI Names Jennifer C. Boone As Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore Field Office

Jennifer Boone, special agent in charge of the Baltimore Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI has named Jennifer C. Boone, a 22-year veteran of the bureau, as special agent in charge of the Baltimore Field Office.

Boone most recently served as special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Field Office, where he career began with the FBI in 1997, working multiple investigative programs.

Boone later served in both the Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence divisions at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. At one point, she was detailed to the U.S. Senate.

In 2009, the FBI promoted her to a supervisory special agent, and she led a counterintelligence squad at the Washington Field Office.

Boone later served as director in Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council at the White House before being promoted to an assistant agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office, focusing on the Counterintelligence and Cyber Branch.

In early 2016, Boone returned to Washington D.C. as chief of the Counterproliferation Center. She was later named deputy assistant director in the Counterintelligence Division at the bureau’s headquarters.

In 2018, the FBI named Boone the special agent in charge of Cyber and Counterintelligence at the Los Angeles Field Office.

Boone, who is a certified FBI negotiator, received a bachelor’s of science degree in foreign service and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.