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Tag: Super Bowl

Homeland Security Warns of Potential Truck Protest Targeting Super Bowl, State of the State

Truck protest in Canada. Photo by Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

Homeland Security is warning local and state authorities that the truck blockade by Canadians protesting COVID-19 restrictions may target locations in the U.S., including the Super Bowl and State of the Union.  

In a bulletin to law enforcement agencies, the agency says it has received reports that truckers are planning to “potentially block roads in major metropolitan cities.”

The Super Bowl in Los Angeles is scheduled for Sunday, and the State of the Union address in Washington D.C. is on March 1. 

“DHS is tracking reports of a potential convoy that may be planning to travel to several U.S. cities,” an agency spokesperson told NPR. “We have not observed specific calls for violence within the United States associated with this convoy and are working closely with our federal, state and local partners to continuously assess the threat environment and keep our communities safe.”

Authorities Seize Record-Breaking $134M Worth of Counterfeit Super Bowl Merchandise

Counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A record-breaking $134 million worth of counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise was seized in Miami ahead of the big game Sunday.

Authorities from CBP, ICE and Homeland Security Investigations targeted international shipments of the counterfeit merchandise, as well as flea markets, retail outlets and street vendors, as part of the ongoing sting Operation Team Player, which focuses on counterfeit sports merchandise. They seized fake jerseys, jewelry, hats, cell-phone accessories and thousands of other bogus items that were to be sold to unsuspecting consumers.

Last year, Operation Team Player seized $24.2 million worth of counterfeit sports merchandise.

“Every day, cargo containers containing billions of dollars’ worth of counterfeit goods enter the United States through its land, sea and air ports of entry,” Steve Francis, director of Homeland Security Investigations’ Intellectual Property Rights, said in a news release. “This year’s record-breaking ‘Operation Team Player’ results affirm HSI’s commitment to protecting American consumers, the economy, and legitimate business, by ensuring Super Bowl 54 is not compromised by transnational criminal networks exploiting fan enthusiasm for illicit profits. Sports fans from around the world, who’ve spent their hard-earned money to support their favorite NFL team, deserve to receive genuine, high-quality officially licensed merchandise in return.”

169 People Arrested in FBI Operation Targeting Sex-Trafficking Before Super Bowl in Atlanta

Credit: Deposit Photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There was more than potential terrorist threats on the mind of the FBI involving Super Bowel LIII in Atlanta.

The FBI said Tuesday that 169 people were arrested in an operation targeting the threat of sex trafficking leading up to the big event.

A press release said an 11-day sting, starting Jan. 23, resulted in the arrest of 26 alleged traffickers, 34 people accused of trying to engage in sex acts with minors, nine alleged juvenile sex-trafficking victims and nine more alleged adult victims, Fox News reports. 

“The operation’s goal was to raise awareness about sex trafficking by proactively addressing that threat during the Super Bowl and events leading up to the Super Bowl,” the press release read. “Sex trafficking is not just a problem during large-scale events, it is a 365-day-a-year problem in communities all across the country.”

19-Year-Old Sports Memorabilia Collector Led FBI to Stolen Tom Brady Jerseys

The FBI returns Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jerseys to Gillette Stadium. Photo via FBI.

The FBI returns Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jerseys to Gillette Stadium. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 19-year-old sports memorabilia collector and avid Patriots fan provided FBI with the tip that led investigators to the person who stole Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jerseys.

Dylan Wagner said he sold an unrelated jersey on eBay to Martin Mauricio Ortega, who showed off his impressive collection, CBS Boston reports

“He sent me 30 photos of his collection. Front and center was Tom Brady’s Super Bowl 49 Jersey. I asked him outright, ‘How did you get that?’ and he says ‘I’ll tell you later,’” Wagner explained.

Dylan shared the photos with a friend, who happened to be an ATF special agent in Boston.

Special Agent Christopher Arone later heard about Brady’s missing game jersey after this year’s Super Bowl.

“He sent me a link to an ESPN article. It stated it is not the first time a jersey was stolen from Brady and it happened after the Seahawks Super Bowl,” Wagner recalled. “I couldn’t believe this guy would have the audacity to go in and steal something that someone worked so hard for.”

Ortega was spotted leaving the Patriots’ locker room with something tucked under his arm.

The FBI and police in Mexico were able to recover both Super Bowl jerseys and return them to the Patriots.

“I would love to meet Brady one day, hopefully. It would be a dream come true. I’m just really glad he gets his jerseys back,” Wagner said.

Crackdown on Sex Trade at Super Bowl Leads to More than 200 Arrests

super bowl 50By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A crackdown on the sex trade at the Super Bowl led to the arrests of more than 12 pimps, 85 johns and 129 prostitutes in the Bay Area.

The Contra Costa Times also reports that seven juveniles were recovered.

The multi-agency crackdown was the result of six moths of preparation before the big game.

“High-profile events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for sex trafficking criminal enterprises,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bertram Fairries.

Meet Randi, an ATF Bomb-Sniffing Dog Who Will Help with Super Bowl Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

She has four legs and a powerful sense of smell.

Randi, an ATF canine, will be working security during the Super Bowl in California this weekend, Guns.com reports. 

Randi is a trained explosive-sniffing dog with three-a-half years on the job

The canine also was used to detect explosives outside of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.

NFL, FBI Leaders Identify ‘No Credible Threats’ to Super Bowl 50 on Sunday

super bowl 50By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and NFL security leaders said they’ve identified “no credible threat” to Super Bowl 50 – so far, the Associated Press reports. 

Security will continued to examine the perimeter of Levi’s Stadium to assess any terrorism risks.

Jeffrey Miller, NFL senior vice president of security, expressed satisfaction with the joint effort between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to address any issues that arise.

“It gives the NFL a great deal of confidence in the safety of our premiere event, our teams and our fans,” Miller said at a news conference Wednesday. “I can speak for Commissioner (Roger) Goodell in saying that we are deeply appreciative of the leadership, resources and attention to detail put forth by our public safety partners.”

Officials said the lessons from recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have been helpful.

“Every year is different. The world situation, the threat picture is different every February,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. “We are, with the NFL, with our federal partners, and state and local law enforcement, focused on layered security, seen and unseen. We learned from events of the past but we have to protect against events of the future. So, we try to anticipate things that can happen from multiple different directions. But we’re always informed by recent events and what we see in the world situation.”

Super Bowl: Feds Worried About ‘Complex Plot’ Involving Severed Fiber Optics

Levi's Stadium, via Wikipedia.

Levi’s Stadium, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators are trying to determine whether recent attacks on the fiber optic systems in California are tied to a “more complex plot” against the Super Bowl in the San Francisco area.

Internal memos between the FBI and Homeland Security show that intelligence analysts are worried about a series of unsolved incidents in which fiber optic cables were deliberately severed in the Bay Area, NBC reports. 

The memo detailed risks that include the fiber optic system, drones and attacks in crowded areas outside of Levi’s Stadium.

Still, the memo read, “The FBI and DHS have no information to indicate any specific, credible threats to or associated with Super Bowl 50 or related events.”

The memo also warned that attacks by an individual – as opposed to a larger terrorist group – “are of particular concern.”

Between July 2014 and June 2014, at least 10 fiber optic cables were deliberately severed in areas relatively close to the stadium.