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Tag: North Carolina

FBI Opens Civil Rights Probe into Fatal Police Shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

Andrew Brown Jr.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has launched a federal civil rights investigation into the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina last week. 

“Agents will work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to determine whether federal laws were violated,” FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch told The News & Observer on Tuesday. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further.”

Brown, 42, was shot five times, including once in the back of the head, while Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office deputies were serving drug-related search and arrests warrants on April 21, one day after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd.

Details of the shooting remain murky.

The city has imposed a curfew after protesters took to the streets demanding justice.  

North Carolina Man Convicted of Shooting at ATF Agents Who Were Conducting Surveillance

By Steve Neavling

A North Carolina man who fired a shotgun at two ATF agents who were conducting surveillance was convicted of assaulting federal officers and multiple firearm charges. 

A jury found Gary Lynn Gatlin, 50, guilty on Wednesday, and he now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. 

ATF agents were surveilling Gatlin on suspicion of firearm trafficking on April 15, 2020, when he approached them on Water Tower Road in Orrum, N.C., and fired four shots at their vehicle. The agents, who were not injured, had identified themselves as law enforcement. 

Police recovered empty shotgun shell cartridges and a Mossberg Maverick Model 88 shotgun and other firearms. 

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 7. 

Grenade Sought by ATF Exploded, Killed Teen in North Carolina

Grenade sold in North Carolina, via ATF.

By Steve Neavling

The ATF made an urgent public plea in late December for help tracking down a hand grenades that were “thought to be inert” after they were sold to unsuspecting customers at an antique mall in North Carolina. 

Unfortunately the ATF wasn’t able to locate one of the grenades before it exploded and killed a Virginia teenager two days before Christmas.

The grenade were sold at the Fancy Flea Antique Mall in Shallotte. 

The store owners thought the grenade was a dud, the ATF said in a news release. The ATF is asking for the public’s help tracking down the other grenades. 

“The grenades were thought to be ‘inert’ MK2 grenades, a style used during World War II,” the ATF said. “At the time of sale, neither the vendor nor buyer(s) believed the grenades to be functioning or hazardous.”

ATF Special Agent Honored After He Was Accidentally Killed in Hawaii Police Department

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

John Bost III, an ATF special agent who died last month after being accidentally shot at a police station in Hawaii, was honored Tuesday with a procession and final salute by members of Maui’s law enforcement.

ATF ruled the death an accident after a rifle discharged at the Kihei police station.

“John will be remembered as an outstanding special agent, greatly admired and respected by all who knew him,” the ATF and Maui Police Department said in a news release, according to Hawaii News Now . “He was deeply committed to ATF’s mission of safeguarding our communities from violent criminals, and will be profoundly missed.”

Bost will be laid to rest in North Carolina, where his family lives.

Sen. Burr Stepping Down as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Amid Federal Probe of Stock Sell-Off

Sen. Richard Burr

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Sen. Richard Burr is stepping down as the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman after FBI agents seized his cell phone as part of a federal investigation of his mass sell-off of stocks.

Justice Department and SEC investigators are investigating whether Bur violated a law that bars members of Congress from trading on insider information obtained from their privileged position.

“This is a distraction to the hard work of the committee and the members, and I think the security of the country’s too important to have a distraction,” Burr told reporters at the Capitol in an interview recorded by C-SPAN.

It’s not yet clear who would replace Burr, a Republican from North Carolina.

Burr sold a significant chunk of his stock portfolio on Feb. 13, when his committee was receiving daily updates on the coronavirus.

A week later, the stock market declined sharply.

No, the FBI Is Not Threatening to Arrest You Over the Phone. It’s a Scam

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI warned the public Wednesday about a phone scam in which the caller claims to be an FBI agent, and the bureau’s real phone number in its Charlotte office appears on caller IDs.

The caller demands money purportedly owed to the government and threatens arrest if they don’t make an immediate payment.

The caller often has extensive information on the target of the scam, including their full name, birthdate, family members and even cell phone number.

The FBI noted that it does not demand money or threaten arrest over the pone.

Marine Deserter Wanted for Murder Added to FBI’s Most Wanted List

Michael Alexander Brown

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Marine accused of murdering his mother’s boyfriend in Virginia less than a month after deserting his military post has been added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List of fugitives.

Michael Alexander Brown, 22, is believed to be “armed with a high-powered rifle and may have access to other weapons,” according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia.

Sheriff’s officials believe he may be hiding in the woods because he frequents national parks and forests.

Authorities said Brown fled after fatally shooting his mother’s boyfriend on Nov. 9 in the man’s home in Hardy, about 10 miles east of Roanoke, Va.

Less than a month earlier, Brown deserted his post at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Brown’s arrest.

Earlier this month, Brown was charged with second-degree murder.

Husband of Forensic FBI Photographer Called Person of Interest in Wife’s Death

Kathleen Miller, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The husband of a forensic FBI photographer from Alabama is a person of interest in the drowning death of his wife.

Authorities found 60-year-old Kathleen Miller, of Huntsville, Ala., in a shallow creek in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina on Oct. 7.

Gregory Miller called 911 and calmly reported his wife, who had no health issues, had fallen in the creek.

“I tried to call for help. I need help,” the husband said in a 911 call obtained by WAAY-TV. “My wife has fallen in the water, and I couldn’t get her out. … I wish I could be of more help.”

The couple were camping at the park when Gregory Miller said his wife disappeared after saying she wanted to check out Santeetlah Creek. Her husband said he later discovered her body face down in the creek.

Several law enforcement agencies are investigating the case.