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Tag: Ohio

FBI Arrests 4 Toledo City Councilmen, Attorney in Sweeping Bribery Scandal

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested four Toledo City Council members who are accused of public corruption and accepting kickbacks in exchange for favorable votes.

The bribery charges against Democrats Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, and Garrick “Gary” Johnson carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Harper also was charged with interstate communications with intent to extort.

The council members were arrested without incident early Tuesday.

A private Toledo attorney, Keith Mitchell, is accused of soliciting and funneling bribes to Harper and has been charged with bribery and extortion. The FBI is “actively seeking the whereabouts of Keith Mitchell,” FBI Special Agent Eric Smith said during a news conference, The Toledo Blade reports.

Smith said the council members committed a “fundamental breach” of their public oath.
The scandal involves nearly $35,000 in bribes.

“The residents of Toledo should know, as should every other resident of the Northern District of Ohio, that where there are allegations of public corruption and kickbacks, we and our federal partners will be there every time,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a statement.

The council has 12 members.

“I am shocked and heartbroken by today’s arrests,” Toledo Wade Kapszukiewicz said in a written statement. “This is a terrible day for Toledo — and for everyone who believes in the good that can be accomplished through public service.”

FBI Arrests Cleveland Man Accused of Plotting to Kidnap, Kill And Steal Weapons from Law Enforcement

Christian Stanley Ferguson, via Summit County Jail.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 20-year-old Cleveland man accused of plotting to ambush law enforcement, kill them and steal their weapons to begin an uprising, the bureau announced Tuesday.

Christian Stanley Ferguson was taken into custody at Cuyahoa Valley National Park without incident Friday and charged with attempted kidnapping.

Ferguson caught the attention of law enforcement by posting violent and extremist posts on the Discord app, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

“Over several weeks, Ferguson discussed his desire to call police to report a false crime was in progress to prompt a response by law enforcement,” the FBI said in a statement. “Specifically, he expressed an interest in a response by federal law enforcement because he believed they had better quality firearms and body armor to steal. He made statements about tactical options for killing multiple targets and the disposal of their bodies. He reaffirmed his plan to ambush law enforcement, kill them, rob them of their weapons, and start an uprising.”

Ferguson conducted practice drills with an AR-15 and even made a distress call at the national park “to gauge response time by park rangers.”

“Ferguson believed four federal officers arrived and indicated that if that many officers respond to the real event, they would likely have to kill them all,” the bureau said. “The FBI was able to successfully monitor these meetings.”

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

 

William ‘Chris’ Hoffman Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office

FBI Special Agent William “Chris” Hoffman.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

William “Chris” Hoffman, who was serving as an inspector at FBI headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the bureau’s Cincinnati Field Office.

Hoffman’s career as an FBI special agent began in 1998 at the Durant Resident Agency, Choctaw Nation of the Oklahoma City Field Office, where he investigated Indian Country crimes, ranging from homicides and public corruption to crimes against children.

In 2003, Hoffman was transferred to the Guam Resident Agency of the Honolulu Field Office, serving as the coordinator of the FBI’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force for the Western Pacific.

In 2006, he began working at the Birmingham Field Office in Alabama before becoming the first agent from that office to deploy on temporary duty to Iraq. In addition, he served as coordinator of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Birmingham between 2007 and 2011. Hoffman was elevated to supervisory special agent in 2011, serving on Birmingham’s Counterterrorism Squad as the program coordinator for international terrorism, domestic terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction.

In 2015, Hoffman became an assistant inspector and team leader in the Inspection Division at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.

In 2016, Hoffman served as assistant special agent in charge of the criminal and administrative branches and the SWAT team for the Memphis Field Office in Tennessee. In 2018, he returned to Washington as an inspector.

Before joining the FBI, Hoffman earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Clemson University. He went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as an officer and detective in the Greenville Police Department in South Carolina.

Self-Identified White Nationalist Accused of Threatening to Shoot Up Jewish Center

James Reardon, via Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Ohio man accused of threatening to attack a Jewish community center was arrested Saturday, a day after an FBI task force made alarming discoveries at his home.

The investigation of James Reardon Jr. began after he posted an ominous Instagram video on July 11 that shows a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle. A caption below the video read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.”

Reardon tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, Ohio, which alerted authorities. His Instagram account included racial slurs.

“That kicked off an intense investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation because of the way the world is,” Middletown Police Chief Vince D’Egidio told ABC-affiiate WYTV.

On Friday, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force raided the man’s home and seized semi-automatic rifles, dozens of rounds of ammo, a gas mask and bulletproof armor. Anti-Semitic and white nationalists propaganda were also discovered at the home.

“According to charges filed, New Middletown Police Department was informed on Friday, August 16, 2019, of an online video posted by James Reardon depicting himself being identified as the shooter at an area Jewish Community Center, the shooting had not actually taken place,” the FBI Cleveland Division told USA Today.

D’Egidio said Reardon had “declared himself as a white nationalist.”

“With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we do our part to make sure we did our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly,” D’Egidio said.

Reardon was jailed on $250,000 bond pending a court hearing Monday.
The FBI said it wasn’t immediately clear whether federal charges would be pursued.

The arrest follows a deadly mass shooting in Dayton, where nine people were killed.

FBI: Ohio Teen Who Threatened Federal Agents Had 10,000 Rounds of Ammo in His House

Justin Olsen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An 18-year-old Ohio man who went by the name “ArmyOfChrist” was arrested by the FBI for allegedly making online threats against federal law enforcement and Planned Parenthood.

Agents found about 10,000 rounds of ammunition, assault-style weapons and shotguns, according to an FBI affidavit.

The FBI began investigating Justin Olsen after discovering his iFunny account. In June, “ArmyOfChrist” posted, “shoot every federal agent on sight.”

The investigation was “based upon the observation by FBI Anchorage into multiple Internet postings in which ArmyOfChrist discussed supporting mass shootings, and assault and/or targeting of Planned Parenthood,” according to the affidavit.

In another post, he allegedly wrote, “Don’t comply with gun laws, stock up on stuff they could ban. In fact, go out of your way to break these laws.”

Olson was charged Monday with one count of threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer.

Olson insisted during interviews with federal authorities that he had no violent intentions and was being “hyperbolic.”

How FBI Is Handling Mass Shooting Threats After Bloody Weekend

FBI Director Christopher Wray, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About a week ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the Senate that white supremacy is responsible for most domestic terrorism cases so far in 2019.

Then came Saturday, when a gunman who pledged to attack “as many Mexicans as possible” opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others. Early Sunday morning, another gunman killed 9 people and injured 26 others in just 30 seconds in Dayton, Ohio. The motive of that shooting remains unclear.

The bureau is worried the attacks will inspire more acts of violence.

“The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence,” the bureau said in a news release. “The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online.”

So what’s the FBI doing about the threat of domestic terrorism? According to CNN, Wray has ordered a new threat assessment at the bureau’s offices nationwide in an attempt to stave off future attacks.

A command group at the FBI’s Washington headquarters will lead an effort to get field offices to identify threats of mass shootings.

The bureau also is assisting in the investigations of the shootings in Texas and Ohio.

“On behalf of the FBI, I offer sincere condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by this weekend’s violence, and we stand by them during this difficult time. We will bring the full resources of the FBI to bear in the pursuit of justice for the victims of these crimes.” Wray said in a statement. “I am proud of our state and local law enforcement partners and the immediate response of FBI agents, analysts, and professional staff, working in close coordination to assist them. I have been in contact with the president and the attorney general, and they both have expressed their support for the FBI’s work in the wake of these tragedies.”

2 DEA Agents, 8 Sheriff’s Deputies Taken to Hospital for Fentanyl Exposure in Ohio

File photo of pills laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Two DEA agents and eight sheriff’s deputies were taken to a hospital in Ohio early Wednesday after they were exposed to the powerful opioid, fentanyl.

The agents and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s deputies were raiding a home in Rocky River around 5:30 a.m. when they came in contact with fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an increasing danger to law enforcement as more drug dealers use the potentially lethal opioid to make heroin and painkillers more potent.

The deputies and agents were examined and determined to be OK, Cleveland.com reports

During the raid, two young children were at the home, where one man was arrested.