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Tag: minnesota

Minneapolis Man Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison for Impersonating FBI Agent

By Steve Neavling

A Minneapolis man who impersonated an FBI agent was sentenced to 10 months in prison. 

Benard Holmes, 67, called an unidentified victim in July 2017 and “spoofed his telephone number to make it appear that he was calling his victim from the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office.”

During the call, Holmes identified himself as “FBI Special Agent John Tidwell,” used a fake FBI badge number, and claimed he was investigating terrorism connected to the victim’s household. He cited fake evidence from computer and IP address at the victim’s home. 

Holmes questioned the victim with “highly charged words,” such as “ISIS” and “Patriot Act.”

Holmes pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating a federal officer on Oct. 20. 

Holmes’ motives were unclear in a Justice Department news release.

The FBI and Bloomington Police Department investigated the case. 

3 Sheriff’s Departments Removed Deputies from U.S. Marshals Task Force over Body Cam Policy

U.S. Marshals prepare to make an arrest. (Stock photo via USMS)

By Steve Neavling

Three county sheriff’s departments in Minnesota are removing deputies from a U.S. Marshals task force until they are allowed to wear body cameras. 

The move by Ramsey, Anoka and Hennepin counties comes after two sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a Black man last week while serving on a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force. There was no video footage of the shooting because the deputies had been prevented from wearing body cameras, despite a change in Justice Department policy in October to allow local law enforcement to wear cameras. 

Ramsey County became the latest sheriff department to pull deputies from the U.S. Marshal’s North Star Fugitive Task Force until cameras are allowed. 

“Neither the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office nor the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office was offered the opportunity to use body cameras until last Friday in the wake of Winston Smith’s death,” Sheriff Fletcher said in a statement issued to KARE 11.

In a new Justice Department memo, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said earlier this week that ATF, FBI and U.S. Marshals agents will soon be required to wear body cameras.

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.

DEA Opens New Office in Duluth, Minn., to Crack Down on Illicit Drugs

News conference announcing the new DEA office in Duluth, via the DEA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The DEA is opening a new office in Duluth, Minn., to crack down on illicit drugs.

Richard Salter Jr., special agent in charge of the DEA’s Omaha Division, said a partnership with the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force “provides a force-multiplier for all involved agencies.”

“This partnership brings additional federal law enforcement and prosecutorial resources that will help dismantle criminal drug trafficking organizations currently causing destruction to many of our families and communities,” said in a news release.

The Duluth Post of Duty is the DEA’s 240th domestic office. The new office is part of the Omaha Division, which has 11 offices covering Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and counties in Western Illinois and Western Wisconsin.

Salter said he’s grateful for the partnerships with state, local and tribal law enforcement.

“We’re merely embedding DEA agents into the very successful and long-standing Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force,” Salter said. “The DEA’s strength is our global network of intelligence and operational resources throughout the United States that enables us to respond rapidly and expand investigations that often link to other major U.S. transportation-hub cities, the U.S.-Mexico border, and ultimately to drug cartels in Mexico and fentanyl suppliers in China.”

DOJ Charges Minnesota FBI Agent with Leaking Records to Media

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Minnesota FBI agent has been charged with leaking confidential documents to a news organization, becoming the first target of the Justice Department’s crackdown on federal government leaks.

Terry James 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.

The Justice Department filed two counts that allege Albury unlawfully disclosed and retained defense information. 

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. 

In a statement to the Washington Post, Albury’s attorneys said: “Terry Albury served the U.S. with distinction both here at home and abroad in Iraq. He accepts full responsibility for the conduct set forth in the Information. We would like to add that as the only African-American FBI field agent in Minnesota, Mr. Albury’s actions were driven by a conscientious commitment to long-term national security and addressing the well-documented systemic biases within the FBI.”