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Tag: Phoenix

FBI Special Agent Kerry Inglis Receives Director’s Award for Excellence in Investigation

By Steve Neavling

FBI Special Agent Kerry Inglis of the Indianapolis Field Office received the Director’s Award for Excellence in Investigation for helping take down a drug-trafficking organization. 

Inglis was the case agent on Operation Electric Avenue, which led to a series of raids at two dozen locations in Indianapolis and Phoenix and resulted in the arrests of 25 people, including drug kingpin Richard Grundy III and his organization, the Grundy Crew. 

Grundy, whose drug organization was called the Grundy Crew, was convicted in August 2019 of conspiracy to distribute drugs worth $3.5 million in 2016 and 2017. 

The Grundy Crew distributed more than 400 pounds of methamphetamine and large amount of cocaine, heroin and marijuana. 

FBI Officers Reward for Help Locating Gunman Who Fired at Task Force Officer

Footage of three men entering the suspect vehicle about 10 minutes before the shooting. Photo: FBI

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is offering a reward for help identifying people who fired several shots at a bureau task force officer in a drive-by shooting in Phoenix last month. 

A task force vehicle came under fire in the early hours of April 23 near 20th Street and Wier Avenue in south Phoenix. 

The officer was not injured. 

About 10 minutes before the shooting, surveillance footage shows three men entering the suspect vehicle, a white 2003 Hyundai Sonata. 

The reward is up to $10,000. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s Phoenix Office at 623-466-1999. 

HSI Returns Nearly 300 Pre-Columbia Artifacts to Mexican Officials

One of the recovered artifacts. Photo courtesy of Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

Homeland Security Investigations returned nearly 300 pre-Columbia artifacts to Mexican officials this week during a repatriation ceremony at the Mexican Consulate in Nogales. 

The 277 pieces included arrow heads, axe heads, hammer heads, spear heads and small stone carvings that were between 1,000 and 5,000 years old and “of significant cultural value,” HSI said in a news release.

The repatriation follows two separate HSI investigations by special agents in Phoenix and Nogales. 

Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix, presented the relics to Ricardo Santana, Mexican consul general ambassador in Nogales, and Jose Luis Perea, director of the Mexican Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) in Sonora.

“The cultural significance of artifacts from regions around the world extends beyond any monetary value,” Brown said. “The pieces, like those discovered, are fragments of history; and it is an honor to return them to their rightful home country. HSI fully supports the importance of antiquities and cultural property, and it is through these repatriations that new generations are able to experience a part of their nation’s story.”

Perara said the timing was culturaly significant. 

“This repatriation comes at an opportune time, in the year of a very significant commemoration for Mexico – the 500th anniversary of the taking of Tenochtitlan, which was a heartrending encounter between the cultural universes of Western Europe and America,” Perea said. “This event allows us to deeply recognize the pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico, as well as the resistance and presence of its contemporary indigenous peoples.”

HSI conducts investigations for the Department of Homeland Security. Among its roles is investigating thefts of cultural property. 

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Drug Trafficking After Agents Find Duffel Bags Full of Drugs

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent has been charged with drug trafficking after prosecutors say he loaded two duffel bags full of drugs into a vehicle at an airport in Phoenix.

Carlos Victor Passapera Pinott, 53, assigned to the Tucson Sector Ajo Border Patrol Station, was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, ICE says in a news release.

Prosecutors say the duffel bags contained 21 kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin and one kilogram of fentanyl plus some 350,000 pills believed to fentanyl.

Agents executed a search warrant at his Buckeye, Ariz., home and found about $329,000 in cash and another $40,000 in his vehicle, prosecutors say.

If convicted, Passapera faces up to life in jail and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

FBI Arrests U.S. Woman Accused of Attempting to Provide Material Support to al-Qaeda

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A U.S. woman has been arrested on allegations of attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda, the Justice Department announced.

The FBI on Wednesday arrested Jill Marie Jones at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, where federal authorities say she planned to board a flight to Turkey to join the terrorist group in Afghanistan.

Two undercover FBI agents, including one who posed as a member of al-Qaeda, were communicating with Jones, who said she planned to send money to help al Qaeda buy scopes for rifles that would be used to kill American soldiers. She sent the undercover FBI agent a $500 gift card in May 2020, the DOJ says.

During the communications, Jones said she planned to travel overseas to assist al Qaeda, according to the DOJ.

Man Arrested After Shooting at FBI’s Phoenix Field Office

FBI’s Phoenix Field Office, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A man has been arrested after authorities say he shot at the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office on Monday.

According to the FBI, the man approached the building and then fired his weapon at an employee who was exiting at around 2 p.m,, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The FBI and Phoenix Police Department tracked down the man, who has not been identified, on Interstate 17 and arrested him without incident.

The motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately clear.

No one was injured.

Sean Kaul Named Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix Field Office

Special Agent Sean Kaul

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Sean L. Kaul, who led the Honolulu Field Office since 2017, has been named special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Office.

Kaul began his career as an FBI agent in 2000, where his first assignment was the Bakersfield Resident Agency of the Sacramento Field Office in California.

Kaul worked in numerous offices, from Atlanta to Washington D.C. He served as a special agent bomb technician in Atlanta and Bakersfield, Calif.

In 2011, Kaul served as a supervisory special agent for the Washington Field Office, where he led the Northern Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force and received an Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.

In 2013, Kaul became an assistant special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Office, where he led the criminal branch and four Indian County resident agencies.

In 2016, he was promoted to section chief in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters before taking charge of the Honolulu Field Office.

Before joining the FBI, Kaul was a captain in the U.S. Army. He has a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.

Head of DEA’s Phoenix Division Faces Discipline over Relationship with Subordinate

Phoenix DEA Special Agent in Charge Douglas Coleman, via DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Douglas Coleman, the head of the Phoenix Division of the DEA, could soon be disciplined after an internal investigation concluded he had an “unprofessional personal relationship” with a subordinate.

The Justice Department Office of the Inspector General recently issued a scathing report about the relationship between Coleman and his administrative assistant and division spokeswoman Erica Curry, the Arizona Family reports

The investigation found that the self-described “best friends” engaged in an inappropriate romantic relationship that created the appearance of favoritism. Coleman, for example was Curry’s boss when she received bonuses, promotions, special accommodations and questionably high travel expenses.

The investigation concluded Coleman’s conduct amounted to misuse of office and the failure to maintain high standards of personal conduct.

With the report in hand, the DEA must now decide whether Coleman should be disciplined.

“The matter remains ongoing within the DEA disciplinary system and we cannot comment at this time,” a DEA spokeswoman said.