Site Search

Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

March 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Secret Service

Secret Service Officer Acquitted of Raping ATF Agent in Hotel Room

By Steve Neavling

A Secret Service officer charged with raping a female ATF agent was acquitted Thursday. 

Joshua L. Johnson, 32, was found not guilty by a jury after one day of deliberations, The Washington Post reports.

Johnson was accused of raping the agent in a hotel room in Alexandria, Va., in June 2020. 

Johnson stood trial for a second time after the first one was dismissed by a judge when a juror was disqualified and an alternate was not given appropriate legal instructions. 

Johnson, who received the U.S. Homeland Secretary’s Award for Valor for defending the White House from a gunman in 2016, testified during both trials and maintained his innocence. 

The ATF agent also testified during both trials. 

“I just remember fixating on the clock, because I remember thinking it was late, and I had to be up early in the morning,” the ATF agent testified about the encounter. “I was numb. I was so in shock because I never thought he would do something like that. That wasn’t the type of relationship we had.”

They had met on Instagram around 2015 and were “friends with benefits,” hooking up for consensual sex once or twice a year. 

During their last encounter, the agent testified that they had consensual sex but she asked him to stop, and he did. But after she went to sleep, she testified, Johnson pinned her down and raped her without wearing a condom. 

First Black Woman to Serve as Secret Service Special Agent Has Died

By Steve Neavling

Zandra Flemister, a trailblazer who made history as the first Black woman to serve as a Secret Service special agent, died last week. 

She was 71. 

Flemister served for four years before leaving the agency because of racial discrimination.

“The level of accomplishments that my wife managed … under the conditions that she lived, that to me says a hell of a lot about the woman,” Flemister’s husband, John Collinge, told NPR.

Flemister died from Alzheimer’s complications.  

“I’ve gotten an incredible outpouring from Black women Secret Service agents past and present, and they are looking to her now as, I guess I would say, a forgotten pioneer who has been rescued from oblivion,” Collinge said of the emails and calls he has received in recent days.

Flemister joined the Secret Service in August 1974, a week before President Richard Nixon resigned. 

But her stint with the agency was plagued by discrimination. 

She left the Secret Service in 1978 for a lower-paying job at the State Department. 

Flemister received a degree in political science from Northeastern University. 

Not long after, a Secret Service recruiter at a job fair encouraged her to apply to be a special agent. 

“That was the point at which she discovered she was a racial pioneer,” Collinge said. “No one said anything to her. I do not believe there was any preparation for her as a racial pioneer and there certainly was no effort to provide her with any level of support.”

Biden Distrusts Some Secret Service Agents, New Book Says

By Steve Neavling

President Biden has trust issues with some Secret Service agents and was skeptical of details about his dog Major biting agents. 

That’s according to a new book by Chris Whipple, The fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden’s White House

The book explains that Biden was worried about some of the Secret Service agents’ support of former President Trump. 

“A bigger problem was Biden’s discomfort with his Secret Service detail; some of them were MAGA sympathizers. He didn’t trust them,” Whipple wrote in an excerpt obtained by The Hill.

Another of Biden’s concerns was that “the Secret Service if full of white ex-cops from the South who tend to be deeply conservative.”

Adding to the distrust was news that the Secret Service had deleted text messages from around the time of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Biden believed the “Secret Service had looked both incompetent and politicized.” 

Then there were the Secret Service’s accounts of a biting incident involving Major, the president’s German shepherd rescue dog, which allegedly bit an agent. The president didn’t trust an agent’s account of what happened. 

Biden “wasn’t buying the details” and said the agents were never at the location of the incident. 

“Somebody was lying, Biden thought, about the way the incident had gone down,” Whipple wrote.

The book will be released on Jan. 17. 

FBI Worried about ‘Blue on Blue’ Confrontation with Secret Service in Mar-a-Lago Search

By Steve Neavling

Before deciding to search Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence for evidence that he illegally possessed classified documents, the FBI was worried about a “blue on blue” confrontation with Secret Service agents. 

That’s among the revelations in a Washington Post story that details numerous concerns the FBI had about searching one of the former president’s home.

One of the concerns was the remote possibility of a confrontation between FBI agents searching the home and the Secret Service agents who guard Trump. 

“Executing a search like that is sensational enough. Doing it without the former president there is probably the best good-faith effort you can make to reducing the probability of it becoming even more sensationalized,” Jeffrey Cortese, a former FBI supervisor, told the Washington Post. “They would want to get in and get out without any complications.”

Luckily for the FBI, Trump was not home, and there was no confrontation. 

Leaked List Shows 300+ Oath Keepers Members Worked for Homeland Security Agencies

By Steve Neavling

Hundreds of members of the far-right militia group, the Oath Keepers, are current or former employees of the Department of Homeland Security, according to a leaked membership list obtained by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).

The list shows that more than 300 members of the extremists group described working for various DHS agencies, including the ICE, Secret Service and Border Patrol. 

The list, from 2015, likely doesn’t include all of the group’s members. 

Whether DHS is aware of the membership list is an open question. 

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last year that “extremism has no place at DHS and we will work with urgency and focus to address it.”

One member wrote, “I am currently a 20 year Special Agent with the United States Secret Service.” Another agent wrote, “I have been on President Clinton and President Bush’s protective detail. I was a member and instructor on the Presidential Protective Division’s Counter Assault Team.”

Some even described themselves as supervisors. 

One man wrote he is a “Current Supervisory Border Patrol Agent” in Southern California. Another worked at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Va. 

“Given what we’ve learned since January 6th about the extent of extremist beliefs and membership among elected officials and other government employees, these numbers are deeply troubling, yet not surprising,” U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., told the OCCRP. “What’s equally disturbing is the lack of transparency from the Department of Homeland Security on its methods for identifying, tracking, and eradicating this very real threat to our democracy and the rule of law.”

3 Border Patrol Agents Commit Suicide in Past 3 Weeks

Border Patrol Agent Javier Fabela died on Nov. 13.

By Steve Neavling

Three CBP officers agents committed suicide in the past three weeks, which brings the total suicides within the agency to 14 in 2022, the Daily Mail reports.

Border Patrol Agent Roque “Rocky” Sarinana, 46, died on Nov. 6, followed by Agent Javier Fabela, 50, on Nov. 13. 

Agent Robert M. Boatwright, a 49-year-old canine handler, died on Nov. 20. 

Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz shared news on the latest suicide on Twitter on Monday. 

“On behalf of our Border Patrol family, I extend our deepest condolences to BPA Boatwright’s family, friends, and colleagues,” Ortiz wrote. “Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, said the ongoing migrant crisis is a “very serious epidemic.”

“With long hours, horrific scenes, and anxiety-provoking situations, our men and women in green are being pushed to their breaking point every single day,” Gonzales told the Daily Mail.

“This year, 14 Border Patrol agents have taken their own life – and that is 14 too many,” he added. 

Whether the work environment contributed to the agents’ death is not publicly known. 

5 Secret Service Vehicles Used by Biden’s Detail Burst in Flames

By Steve Neavling

Five rental vehicles hired by President Joe Biden’s Secret Service detail went up in flames earlier this week in a parking lot at Nantucket Memorial Airport. 

The Secret Service rented the vehicles while the Biden’s were in Nantucket on their annual Thanksgiving vacation.

A preliminary investigation found that the culprit appears to be a Ford Expedition that was under recall for a faulty battery, The Detroit Free Press reports

“The Secret Service had rented the vehicles for the president’s trip and dropped the SUVs off at Hertz on Sunday night,” Anthony Guglielmi, Secret Service communications chief, told the Free Press on Wednesday. “We were made aware of one Ford SUV catching fire early Monday morning. That SUV was parked next to several other vehicles which also caught fire because of the proximity to the Ford SUV. We had no issues when we drove the vehicles and they were returned without incident. The Ford SUV that caught fire was a Secret Service support vehicle and not used to transport any protectees.” 

The vehicles that were damaged included a Chevy Suburban, Ford Explorer, Infiniti QX80, Ford Expedition and a Jeep Gladiator.

Fire officials said it appears the Expedition caught fire and spread to nearby vehicles. 

“There is nothing to lead us to believe it was intentionally started,” Fire Chief Michael Cranson told the Nantucket Current. “The investigation is pretty much complete. There was too much damage to determine an exact cause, so it’s going to go down as undetermined. It appears to have started in the engine compartment, but whether it was a battery issue, a fuel line issue, we don’t know.”

Head of Trump’s Secret Service Detail on Jan. 6 Detail Testifies Before House Select Committee

By Steve Neavling

The head of former President Trump’s Secret Service detail on Jan. 6, 2021, testified Thursday before the House select committee investigating the insurrection, CNN reports.

Robert Engel’s testimony could provide key details about Trump’s actions inside the presidential limousine. 

In June, Hutchinson told the committee that Trump wanted to join the riot and lunged at a secret Service agent in a limousine when he was told he couldn’t go.

“The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said ‘Sir; you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol.’ Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson testified.

Engel previously met with the committee before Hutchinson’s testimony.

The Secret Service’s top spokesman testified before the committee earlier this month.