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Tag: Memphis

CBP Seizes Thousands of Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Nationwide

Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have seized thousands of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in the past few months, but the investigations are draining resources normally used to intercept drugs, CBP said. 

Agents at the port of Memphis recently found more than 3,000 fake vaccine cards that were inside more than 120 packages, CBP announced. Agents spotted a suspicious shipment from Shenzhen, China, that was headed to New Orleans. The package contained 41 blank, “low quality” counterfeit cards with typos. 

It was the 15th intercepted shipment of the night from all over the country. 

“The recipients of this ubiquitous contraband are unfortunately all over the United States,” CBP said in a news release.

The FBI has warned that it’s a crime to buy, sell or use counterfeit vaccination cards. 

“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” Michael Neipert, area port director of Memphis, said in a statement. “If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision. But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my officer’s time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself. CBP Officers at the Area Port of Memphis remain committed to stopping counterfeit smuggling and helping to protect our communities. But just know that when you order a fake vaxx card, you are using my officers time as they also seize fentanyl and methamphetamines.”

Four Suspects Arrested in Shooting of ATF Agent, Police Officer in Tennessee

By Steve Neavling

Three adults and a teenager were charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a Memphis police officer and an ATF agent in Tennessee. 

The shooting occurred about 2:30 p.m. Friday when officers with a violent crimes unit were searching for a carjacked vehicle that was involved in a crash, Memphis police said on Twitter. The four suspects exited a red sedan and fired multiple shots at the officer and ATF agent before fleeing the scene. 

The officer and agents were taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Authorities arrested Adarius Armstrong, 19, Barium Martin, 19, and a 17-year-old. 

U.S. Marshals tracked down a fourth suspect, 19-year-old Julius Armstrong, who was briefly at large.  

“With a Memphis Police Officer and ATF Agent Shot and a suspect on the run, finding the suspect became our number one priority, as we worked to assist our local and federal partners,” U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller said in a statement. “We have used every means possible and were able to locate him within 12 hours. With the assistance of MPD and ATF, we were able to take the suspect into custody with no injuries to him or any law enforcement officer.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge Mickey French added, “Removing the criminal element that uses firearms to facilitate violent crimes is a priority of ATF. ATF’s partnerships with the Memphis PD and the U.S. Marshals Service in the arrest of these individuals will have a lasting impact on the community.” 

Operation Legend Nets 3,500+ Arrests in Nine Cities Since It Launched in July

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 3,500 people have been arrested across nine cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative launched by the Justice Department in July, Attorney General William Barr announced Tuesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, federal authorities and their local partners have arrested about 200 murder suspects and seized roughly 1,000 firearms, 19 kilos of heroin, 11 kilos of fentanyl, 94 kilos of methamphetamine, 14 kilos of cocaine, and $6.5 million in drug money, Barr said at a news conference in Milwaukee.

Of those arrested, about 815 have been charged with federal offenses, 440 with firearms offenses, and 300 with drug-related crimes.

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in nine cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis, Kansas City and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

To see a breakdown by city, click here.

‘Operation Legend’ Leads to Nearly 1,500 Arrests in 8 U.S. Cities, Barr Announces

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 1,500 people have been arrested across eight cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative recently launched by the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, about 217 of those arrests involved federal crimes, most of them drug- and gun-related. ATF agents also seized nearly 400 firearms, Barr said.

“In just a few short weeks, federal investigators working side-by-side with state and local law enforcement have begun to make significant progress towards reducing violence related to illegal firearms, drug trafficking and other crime in our neighborhoods,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a news release. “In Cleveland, Operation Legend’s law enforcement operations have already resulted in 32 defendants charged federally with various drug trafficking and firearms violations. These early results show the potential that Operation Legend has to make our cities and communities a safer place for everyone to live.”

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in eight cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

Click here for a breakdown of arrests by city.

Douglas Korneski Named Special Agent in Charge of Memphis Field Office

Special Agent Douglas Korneski.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Douglas Korneski, a 19-year veteran of the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the Memphis Field Office.

Korneski was serving as a deputy assistant director in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Korneski’s career with the FBI began as a special agent in 2001, working counterintelligence and counterterrorism issues in the Los Angeles Field Office. He also served on the SWAT team.

In 2006, Korneski was promoted to supervisory special agent and transferred to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters.

In 2008, Korneski became unit chief of the newly formed National Security Analysis Center within the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force.

In 2010, he served as the supervisor for domestic terrorism on the Joint Terrorism Task Force at the Atlanta Field Office. In 2014, Korneski served as the assistant special agent in charge of Atlanta’s Criminal Branch.

In 2016, Korneski was tapped to serve as the first section chief of the Office of Private Sector at headquarters.

In 2018, Korneski was named deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, overseeing issues related to mitigating chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threats.

Before joining the FBI, Korneski graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He received a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina and graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Homeland Security Executive Leaders Program.

Federal Agents Deployed to St. Louis And Memphis As Part of Expanded ‘Operation Legend’

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

“Operation Legend,” a violent crime-busting initiative involving federal agents, has expanded to St.Louis and Memphis, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Those cities will join Kansas City, Chicago, Albuquerque, Detroit, Cleveland, and Milwaukee, where ATF, DEA and FBI agents and analysts have been  deployed over the past month. The U.S. Marshals Service also is lending a hand.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said federal agents will work with state and local law enforcement “to take the shooters and chronic violent criminals off the street.”

The agents are not expected to monitor protests like federal officers have in Portland. The Trump administration has been criticized for using federal officers to clash with protesters, which local and state officials, along with Democrats in Congress, have said resulted in escalated tensions.

Violent crime is on the rise in many big cities across the U.S.

The initiative is named after LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was shot and killed in his sleep in Kansas City in June.

‘You Might Not want to Do This:’ Trio Mugs Armed FBI Special Agents in Memphis

Suspects in Memphis mugging.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

“You might not want to do this.”

That’s what one of two victims said to three robbers who demanded the duo hand over their personal belongings Sunday afternoon.

The victims turned out to be armed FBI special agents who were in downtown Memphis admiring a display outside an antique shop, police told WMC-5 Action News.

After handing over a cellphone and wallet, the agents pulled out their concealed weapons, prompting the three suspects to run off.

The agents told police the suspects may have been armed with BB guns.

Police are still looking for the suspects, who were captured on surveillance.

FBI Arrests Truck Driver Over Alleged Mass Shooting Plot at Memphis Church

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a truck driver accused of threatening to “shoot up” a Memphis, Tenn., church after saying he was haunted by “spiritual snakes and spiders in my bed at night.”

Federal authorities said Thomas Matthew McVicker, 38, “made credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide” at the church, which he told a friend placed the snakes and spiders in his bed, The Associated Press reports.

“I’ve only seen them a couple of times but they take form and I can feel them crawling on me and under me,” McVicker said, according to an affidavit filed Monday.

FBI arrested McVicker in Indiana a week before he planned to be in Memphis to carry out the attack, authorities said in court filings.

McVicker’s friend alerted the FBI to McVicker’s alleged plans.

McVicker’s mother told the FBI her son owned a handgun, occasionally used cocaine and methamphetamine and has been treated with schizophrenia.