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Tag: New York

Stephen Belongia Named Special Agent in Charge of Buffalo Field Office

Special Agent Stephen Belongia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Stephen Belongia has been named special agent in charge of the Buffalo Field Office in New York.

Belongia, who most recently served as the section chief of Cyber Readiness at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., first joined the bureau as a special agent in 1997 in the Phoenix Field Office, where he investigated criminal and counterterrorism issues.

While in Phoenix, Belongia became supervisor of a white-collar crime squad in 2010, focusing on investment and complex security frauds. He later led a counterterrorism squad.

In 2011, he was deployed to Iraq on a temporary assignment, investigating international contract corruption. In 2013, Belongia became an assistant legal attaché in Nairobi, Kenya, where he investigated, among other things, piracy and the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall.

Belongia returned to Nairobi and began serving in the Human Resources Division at FBI headquarters, focusing on policy and administrative roles.

In 2017, Belongia was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Tampa Field Office in Florida, where he led the cyber, counterintelligence, human intelligence, technical, surveillance, intelligence, and administrative programs.

In 2019, Belongia was elevated to section chief of Cyber Readiness at FBI headquarters, working on a variety of tasks, including cyber education and training, human capital, strategic management, security, logistics, financial management, and workforce development. In addition, conceived and led several initiatives that included the FBI Cyber Academy, Cyber Pipeline, and the Cyber 2025 Strategic Review.

Before joining the bureau, Belongia earned a bachelor’s degree in business from California State University in Sacramento and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Oxford. Before becoming a special agent, Belongia worked as a CPA for KPMG.

Anti-Defamation League Hires Ex-FBI Official to Work With Law Enforcement Partners

Greg Ehrie (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Greg Ehrie, a 22-year veteran of the FBI, has been hired by the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization, as vice president of  Law enforcement and Analysis.

In this role, Ehrie will lead efforts to “further partnerships and engagement” with federal, state and local law enforcement across the country and supervise new program development to battle hate,  the ADL said in a press release.

During his tenure with the FBI, Ehrie rose to special agent in charge of the Newark Field Office.  He previously served in a number of posts including  supervisor of the New York Office’s Domestic Terrorism squad and section chief of the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Operations Section.

Additionally, he was deployed for two years to the Joint Task Force, U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was named the first permanent supervisor for FBI Detainee Operations. The job included being a senior representative to the Intelligence Community and leading a team that conducted detainee interviews, threat assessments and analysis.

He graduated in 1990 from Manhattan College in New York  where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has also earned executive certificates from the Kellogg School of Management,  Northwestern University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 

The ADL promotes itself as a leading anti-hate organization.

Thomas Relford Named Special Agent in Charge of Albany Field Office

Special Agent Thomas Relford.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Thomas Relford, who had been serving as an inspector at FBI headquarters, has been tapped as special agent in charge of the Albany Field Office in New York.

Relford joined the bureau as a special agent in 1996 at the New Orleans Field Office, investigating criminal and counterterrorism cases. In 2005, he was promoted to supervisor of the Baton Rouge Resident Agency in Louisiana, overseeing investigative programs.

In 2008, Relford became the legal attaché in Dakar, Senegal, where he oversaw investigations in 11 Western and Central African countries and served as FBI liaison to local law enforcement and government agencies. In 2010, he went to Nairobi, Kenya, to serve as legal attaché for three years. Relford was responsible for the oversight and investigative programs in five countries, including the probe into the 2010 World Cup bombing in Kampala, Uganda.

In 2013, Relford was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Office, where he was in charge of the National Security Branch. In 2015, he led the Criminal and Administrative Branch. He was promoted in 2018 to inspector in the Inspector Division at headquarters, where he inspected investigative and administrative programs of the bureau nationwide.

Before the FBI, Relford served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force for four years and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri and a Masters of Public Administration from Troy University.

New York Man Coughed on FBI Agents, Claiming He Had Coronavirus, Authorities Say

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A New York man who said he had the coronavirus coughed on FBI agents while they were arresting him Monday for allegedly lying about the sale of medical supplies, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, of Brooklyn, was charged with assaulting a federal officer and making false statements to law enforcement.

Federal authorities say Feldheim was hoarding life-saving equipment and then selling it for inflated prices. He’s accused of selling a doctor about 1,000 masks for $12,000, a markup of 700%.

Another doctor told investigators that the alleged fraudster had hoarded enough medical supplies “to outfit an entire hospital.” Those items include surgical supplies, hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, and chemical cleaning supply agents.

When agents approached Feldheim outside his house, they kept a safe distance due to coronavirus fears.

“When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth,” the US attorney’s release said. “At that point, Feldheim told the FBI agents that that he had the Coronavirus,” the statement said.

3 Dozen TSA Employees Tested Positive for Coronavirus in 12 States

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The number of TSA employees who have tested positive for coronavirus has soared to 36 since the outbreak began two weeks ago.

Of those, 28 are TSA screening officers who have close interactions with the public. Another eight non-screening employees with limited interactions with the public have tested positive.

The positive cases are spread across 12 states: Washington, Nevada, California, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, New York and New Jersey.

Hundreds of TSA screeners and other employees also are quarantined because they either had contact with coworkers who tested positive or because they are showing symptoms.

At some airports, multiple TSA screeners have tested positive. There are six cases involving workers at John F. Kennedy International Airpot in New York and four at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

Three TSA screeners at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in California were the first agency employees to test positive for coronavirus on March 10.

For details of each positive case, click here.

 

Via TSA

 

FBI Warns That Some White Supremacists Want to Weaponize Coronavirus Against Cops, Jews

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some white supremacist groups are encouraging members to weaponize the coronavirus by spreading it to cops and Jews, the FBI has alerted local police.

These extremists are directing their followers who get infected with coronavirus to spread it by employing methods that include using spray bottles with their bodily fluids, according to the alert obtained by ABC News.

“Members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions,” according to the alert from the FBI’s New York office.

The FBI said white supremacists groups are asking members to spread the virus to Jews by going “any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship.”

“Anti-government folks in America love to target law enforcement as a symbol of America’s authority,” Don Mihalek, the executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation, tells ABC Newss. “It’s just sad that that’s their focus at a time of crisis in the nation.”

Some white supremacists groups have been blaming Jews for the coronavirus outbreak and the stay-at-home orders that are forcing nonessential businesses to shut down.

“From pushing the idea that Jews created the coronavirus virus to sell vaccines to encouraging infected followers to try to spread the illness to the Jewish community and law enforcement, as the coronavirus has spread, we have observed how white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have used this to drive their own conspiracy theories, spread disinformation and incite violence on their online platforms,” said Michael Masters, the head of Secure Communities Network, a group that coordinates security for Jewish organizations and synagogues nationwide.

“While the world faces a deadly pandemic, it’s a stark reminder that certain groups – notably the Jewish community and law enforcement – must also continue the battle against those who wish to hurt or kill them,” Masters continued. “As the economic situation remains fragile and civil society disrupted, the potential for the followers of hate to act becomes more likely … and more deadly.”

Off-Duty Secret Service Agent Shot Charging Dog in Brooklyn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Secret Service agent fatally shot a dog that he says charged him in Brooklyn shortly before 10 p.m. Monday.

The New York Police Department is investigating.

“An off duty Secret Service employee was involved in the shooting of an unleashed dog in Brooklyn, NY this evening. As this is an ongoing NYPD investigation, the Secret Service will not have further comment,” the NYPD told The Daily Beast.

The dog appeared to be about 35 pounds, and its body was covered in a white sheet with what appeared to be a leash.

Former ICE Director Homan Pledges to Run Against ICE Critic Sen. Gillibrand

Former ICE Director Thomas Woman.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Thomas Homan, who was President Trump’s first acting ICE director, pledged to run against U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat and former presidential candidate who has suggested abolishing ICE.

Homan said he’s tired of listening to Gillibrand’s anti-ICE rhetoric and wants to remove her from her Senate seat.

“Let me just say this: When I do return to New York and Sen. Gilibrand is still around, she won’t be around because I’ll take her on,” Homan said on Larry O’Connor’s “Examining Politics” podcast.

Homan, who served as ICE director from January 2017 to June 2018, acknowledged he’s no longer a New York resident but would return to the state to run against Gillibrand.

Gillibrand became the first sitting senator to join the “Abolish ICE” movement in June 2019.  Since then, president candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said he also wants to abolish ICE.

Homan defended the agency and its agents, saying, “ICE are the good guys.”