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Tag: Minneapolis

ATF Investigating 250+ Fires in Minneapolis Amid Unrest Following George Floyd’s Death

Via Pixabay

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The ATF is investigating more than 150 fires that broke out during unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“We are making excellent progress with tremendous help from the public,” ATF Special Agent Terry Henderson tells KARE-11 news.

So far, nine people have been arrested in connection with the fires. Another 20 persons of interest have been identified, and the ATF is trying to track them down.

“This is a large scale, large scope event. It is certainly unprecedented for this field division to have this many fires at one time,” Henderson says.

“We have seen a tremendous response from the public providing us with information in regards to these crimes.”

Agents are combing through surveillance and cell phone footage.

FBI Director Wray Visited Minneapolis Field Office That Is Investigating Death of George Floyd

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray stopped by the bureau’s Minneapolis Field Office Tuesday morning to meet with employees and get updates on the investigation into the death of George Floyd.

Wray visited the office for a quick “welfare check” on agents who are working on the civil rights case and investigating violent protests, Minneapolis FBI spokesman Kevin Smith told the Associated Press.

Agents are trying to determine whether civil rights charges are warranted against former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Wray also was briefed on the civil rights investigation.

Trump Urges DOJ, FBI to Expedite Investigation of George Floyd’s Death at Hands of Police

George Floyd’s arrest before he died.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump said Wednesday that he’s urged the FBI and Justice Department to expedite the investigation of an unarmed black man who died while in custody in Minneapolis.

“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd,” Trump tweeted.

“I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”

The four officers involved in the incident have been fired.

Protests escalated into violence over the past two days as demonstrators demanded justice for Floyd.

Rainer S. Drolshagen Named Special Agent in Charge of Minneapolis Field Office

Rainer Drolshagen, special agent in charge of the Minneapolis Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Rainer S. Drolshagen has been named special agent in charge of the Minneapolis Field Office.

Drolshagen, who recently served as a deputy assistant director in the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI headquarters, joined the bureau as a special agent in 1997. His first assignment was with the Johnson City Resident Agency under the Knoxville Field Office in Tennessee, where he investigated criminal and national security cases.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Drolshagen led an evidence team investigating the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

In 2006, Drolshagen became supervisory special agent in the Military Liaison and Detainee Unit in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters. A year later, he was named the FBI’s representative to U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

In 2009, Drolshagen landed at the Dallas Field Office, serving as the supervisor of the Safe Streets Task Force. He later created and led the Southwest Border Task Force to combat violent crime and money-laundering.

In 2014, Drolshagen was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Charlotte Field Office in North Carolina, where he oversaw the office’s intelligence program, administrative matters, and SWAT team. In 2016, he became chief of staff to the associate deputy director at headquarters.

In 2017, Drolshagen became the deputy assistant director of the Operational Programs Branch of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

In 2018, he began serving as deputy assistant director of the Intelligence Operations Branch in the Directorate of Intelligence, overseeing program management of the FBI’s human intelligence operations, intelligence-related information technology, threat review and prioritization, and the integration of intelligence across the FBI and U.S. intelligence community.

Before joining the FBI, Drolshagen served in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Desert Storm. Drolshagen earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Clemson University.

The Department of Defense awarded Drolshagen the Superior Civilian Service Award in 2004 and 2009.

Jill Sanborn Named Assistant Director of FBI’s Counterterrorism Division

FBI Special Agent Jill Sanborn.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Jill Sanborn, who most recently served as the special agent in charge of the Minneapolis Field Office, has been named assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.

Sanborn brings plenty of experience as a counterterrorism agent.

Sanborn began her career as a special agent with the FBI in 1998, when she was assigned to the Phoenix office to investigate bank fraud and computer intrusions. For most of her 20-plus-year career, Sanborn has been involved in counterterrorism operations, holding leadership positions in the Washington and Los Angeles field offices.

In 2001, she joined the Phoenix Joint Terrorism Task Force before becoming a member of the Counterterrorism Division’s Fly Team in 2006. On the fly team, Sanborn served in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Kenya, and Pakistan.

In 2010, Sanborn began serving as the acting deputy director for law enforcement at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. The following year, she was promoted to unit chief in the Counterterrorism Division, taking charge of more than 400 extraterritorial investigations covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia.

In 2012, Sanborn returned to the field as a supervisory special agent at the Washington Field Office, managing overseas kidnapping cases and the extradition of four high-value terrorism subjects.

In 2015, Sanborn’s next promotion took her to the Los Angeles Field Office, where she served as assistant special agent in charge – a position that put her in charge of overseeing counterterrorism issues in Orange County and the cities of West Covina and Riverside in California. That’s where Sanborn served as the assistant special agent in charge of investigating the 2015 San Bernardino terrorism attack that left 14 dead and 22 injured.

In 2016, Sanborn was promoted to section chief in the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters, overseeing all counterterrorism investigations overseas. Then in 2018, she was named head of the Minneapolis Field Office.

Sanborn earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Portland.

Before joining the FBI, she served as an investigator at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilt to Leaking Secrets to Media

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent has pleaded guilty to leaking confidential documents to a news organization, becoming the first federal employee convicted as part of the Justice Department’s crackdown on government leaks.

Terry James Albury, 39, who previously was a special agent in the Minneapolis division, faces up to 20 years in prison on two counts of retaining and disclosing defense information.

“As this prosecution demonstrates, we will not waiver in our commitment to pursue and hold accountable government officials who violate their obligations to protect our nation’s secrets,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement.

Albury has said he was exposing “systemic biases” within the bureau when he allegedly gave a national reporter documents relating to assessing confidential informants and “threats posed by certain individuals from a particular Middle Eastern country,” according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

An outline of the charges doesn’t mention the reporter or the news organization, but the timing of the alleged leaks coincide with an Intercept story published on Jan. 31, 2017, that accuses the FBI of aggressively investigating people deemed to have valuable sources. 

Federal prosecutors said they will continue to aggressively pursue government leakers.

“Terry Albury betrayed the trust bestowed upon him by the United States,” U.S. Attorney Doherty-McCormick said in a statement.  “Today’s guilty plea should serve as a reminder to those who are entrusted with classified information that the Justice Department will hold them accountable.”

Retired Head of FBI’s Minneapolis Division Takes Job with Federal Reserve Bank

Richard Thornton, former FBI agent in charge of the Minneapolis division.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Richard Thornton, the former agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis division, has been appointed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as its vice president of law enforcement and operations.

Thornton, who retired from the FBI on Feb. 28, will take the helm at the Minneapolis Fed’s law enforcement department and operations at the Minneapolis and Helena, Mont., offices, according to the bank.

“We are very excited to have someone of Rick’s experience, stature and strong reputation join the bank,” Chief Operating Officer Ron Feldman said in a statement. “We know he will make great contributions to the bank, the Federal Reserve System and the community at large.”

In statement to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Thornton said, “The strong leadership and the important mission of the Minneapolis Fed made this an extremely attractive opportunity for me.”

Thornton was replaced in the bureau’s Minneapolis division by Jill Sanborn, a veteran counterterrorism agent who led the FBI’s investigation of the San Bernardino mass shooting in 2015. 

Former Head FBI’s Minneapolis Division Running for Governor in Kansas

Michael Tabman, retired special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis division.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Michael Tabman, the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis division, is running for governor in Kansas.

The agent-turned-security consultant is among more than 20 candidates vying for the governor’s seat.

Since retiring from the bureau in 2007 after 24 years of service, Tabman has lived in Johnson County in Kansas with his wife and children and wants to give back.

“As Governor, I want to restore all that makes Kansas such a wonderful place to live,” the New York native said on his campaign website.

Tabman said his priorities are improving and protecting schools, reducing health care costs and protecting civil liberties.

No stranger to violence, Tabman advocates more stringent regulations on “weapons of mass murder” but still supports the right to own a firearm.

In 2005, Tabman was the special agent in charge of the mass shooting at a Native American reservation in Minneapolis known as the “Red Lake Massacre.”

After Tabman retired, he sued the FBI, claiming the bureau smeared his character and denied him promotions because of false allegations that he mishandled a complaint against Special Agent Harry Samit. 

A judge dismissed the suit.