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Tag: Maryland

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting Ghost Gun at Authorities at Secret Service Facility

By Steve Neavling

A Maryland man pleaded guilty to shooting a ghost gun at authorities at a Secret Service facility. 

Jeremiah Peter Watson, 24, pleaded guilty to assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon, the Justice Department said in a news release.

According to prosecutors, Watson blocked the driveway of a Secret Service facility with his car in February 2021. When security officers ordered him to move, he became combative. An officer, believing that Watson was armed, sprayed him with pepper spray, causing him to drive away. 

Soon after, Watson returned and began shooting at security officers from the driver-side window. He then sped off. 

Police located him through his license plate, and found a privately made handgun without a serial number at his home. 

As part of a plea agreement, Watson will be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, if a federal judge approves.  

Long-Delayed Plans to Build New FBI Headquarters May Soon Be Back on Track

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling

The long-delayed construction of a new a FBI headquarters may be back on track with the introduction of appropriation bills in the Senate. 

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government panel, announced this week language in a bill that would restart the project. 

Van Hollen blamed former President Trump for delaying the project. Trump has long called for the headquarters, which is a stone’s throw from his Washington D.C. hotel, to be built downtown, rather than in the suburbs.

“For the last four years, President Trump did all he could to block our efforts to construct a new FBI consolidated headquarters that meets the security and capacity needs of the Bureau solely because it stood to hurt his personal financial interests,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “We fought back tooth and nail, and now, it’s past time to get this project back on track. That’s why I worked to include language in our proposed legislation requiring GSA to provide an update on the construction of a new headquarters and urging the FBI and GSA to work together to move forward. The status quo is unacceptable.”

Van Hollen has advocated for a new FBI headquarters in Maryland.

The FBI has been searching for a new headquarters for years, but funding problems continue to delay the project. The current headquarters is cramped and outdated, critics say. 

The bill’s new language says:

SEC. 530. (a) No later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the General Services Administration shall transmit to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, a report on the construction of a new headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the National Capital Region.

(b) The report transmitted under subsection (a) shall be consistent with the requirements of section 3307(b) of title 40, United States Code, and include a summary of the material provisions of the construction and consolidation of the FBI in a new headquarters facility, including all the costs associated with site acquisition, design, management, and inspection, and a description of all buildings and infrastructure needed to complete the project.

(c) Any FBI headquarters project shall result in a consolidation of space in the National Capital Area and shall meet key tenets of the space, transportation, and security requirements included in the General Services Administration’s Fiscal Year 2017 prospectus (PNCR–FBI–NCR 17).

Thomas J. Sobocinski Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Baltimore Field Office

Special Agent in Charge Thomas Sobocinski

By Steve Neavling

Thomas J. Sobocinski, who was serving as deputy assistant director of the International Operations Division at FBI headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the bureau’s Baltimore Field Office. 

Sobocinski’s career with the FBI began in 1998, when he investigated violent crime for the Fayetteville Resident Agency of the Charlotte Field Office in North Carolina. Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he began focusing on counterterrorism cases. 

In 2005, Sobocinski was promoted to supervisory special agent and assigned to the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters to work in the International Terrorism Operations Section.

In 2007, Sobocinski served as the FBI’s senior liaison to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A year later, he transferred to the Washington Field Office as a counterterrorism supervisory special agent.

Sobocinski began working on a series of foreign assignments in 2009, when he was appointed assistant legal attaché in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2011, he was promoted to legal attaché in Cairo, Egypt, before moving to London in 2013 to serve as the deputy legal attaché.

In 2016, Sobocinski became the assistant special agent in charge of the Intelligence Branch at the Washington Field Office, and in 2018, was promoted to section chief in the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters. 

In 2019, he became deputy assistant director of the International Operations Division.

Before joining the FBI, Sobocinski was a police officer and special agent with the Secret Service. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from the Purdue University and a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland and Defense Security.

At Least 11 Employees at Secret Service Training Facility Tested Positive for COVID-19 in August

By Steve Neavling

At least 11 employees tested positive for COVID-19 at a Secret Service training facility in Maryland in August, according to a new report. 

It’s believed the employees were infected during training sessions and a graduation ceremony that lacked social distancing, The New York Times reported on Friday morning.

The Times learned about the infections from the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group.

The news comes just hours after the bombshell announcement that President Trump and first lady Melanie Trump became infected with COVID-19.

In a statement, the Secret Service said it “has taken significant precautions at its training center to protect the health and welfare of its trainees and training staff.”  

It’s still unclear whether any of the Secret Service agents who work directly with the president have become infected. 

State of Maryland Challenges Whitaker’s Appointment as AG

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s appointment of a loyalist, Matthew Whitaker, to replace ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing a court challenge.

The state of Maryland plans to ask a federal judge Tuesday to declare that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be the acting attorney general, not Whitaker, as a matter of law, the New York Times reports. 

In a draft filing, the state says Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office.”

The request by Maryland is part of a lawsuit in which the state sued Sessions in his official capacity. Ellen L. Hollander, a 2010 Obama appointee to the Federal District Court for the District of Maryland, must identify Sessions’ successor as a defendant in the litigation.

A lot is at stake. The supervision of Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating Russia and Trump’s campaign and administration belongs to the head of the Justice Department, which is the acting attorney general.

Whitaker has long criticized Mueller’s position as illegal. Rosenstein, on the other hand, appointed Mueller in April 2017 to investigate Russia and the role Trump’s campaign played in election meddling.

Breaking: At Least 3 People Shot Near NSA Headquarters in Maryland

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

At least three people, including a police officer, were shot this morning near NSA headquarters in Maryland, and one suspect is in custody, according to local media reports.

The shooting broke out around 7:15 a.m. near the visitor’s gate at Fort Meade, Fox 5 reports. 

None of the injuries appears to be life-threatening, WBAL reports

Route 32, which is adjacent to the headquarters, was closed both ways.

The FBI is on the scene.

Details were still murky at 8:45 a.m.

FBI Special Agent, Fire Marshal Killed While Waiting for Help on Highway

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Carlos Wolff.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent and state fire marshal were struck by a car and killed Friday while waiting for help on the shoulder of a highway in Maryland.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Carlos Wolff, 36, of Gaithersburg, Md., had crashed his car on I-270 in Rockville and was waiting with Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen, 33, for help when they were struck by a car, NBC4 reports

Wolff, a graduate of American University, left behind a wife and two children.

“Our Carlos was an amazing father, husband, uncle and brother who made us all very proud,” according to a statement from the Wolff family. “He loved serving his country as a part of the FBI. He was always so helpful and giving, not just to his friends but strangers too. Our hearts are broken. We appreciate your prayers during this difficult time.”

Wolf was an 11-year veteran in the investigative division at FBI’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

House Committee Strips Funding for Long-Delayed New FBI Headquarters

The FBI's current headquarters in Washington D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The long-delated project to build a new FBI headquarters just hit another major snag.

A House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday approved rescinding $200 million for a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia, the Baltimore Sun reports. The current headquarters has become cramped and obsolete.

By stripping the money, 11,000 new jobs also are at stake.

“It is reprehensible that House Republicans are playing politics with our national security by rescinding $200 million in funding for the new, fully consolidated FBI headquarters,” Democratic Reps. Steny Hoyer of Southern Maryland and Anthony G. Brown of Prince George’s County said in a joint statement. “House Republicans must stop delaying this project.”

Democrats are hoping to restore the funding.