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Tag: Texas

Texas to Arm Property Owners With Spy Equipment Along the Mexican Border

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Private landowners may play a key role in the battle to crack down on human and drug smugglers along the Mexican border, Reuters reports.

Texas officials announced an initiative Thursday to allow landowners to equip their property with hundreds of small, motion-activated cameras.

Many landowners already have an incentive.

“Our farmers and ranchers are being shot at, they are being intimidated, they are being chased off their own property on an all-too-frequent basis,” said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

The cameras are part of a test program to seize drugs from the border, Reuters reported.

Thousands of Recorded Phone Calls Helped FBI Investigate Sale of Suspicious Electronics to Russia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Federal agents investigating a Houston business that is accused of sending microelectronics that can be used for weapons and radar to Russia spied on damning phone calls, the Houston Chronicle reports.

One of the most revealing phone calls that helped the FBI was a phone call between an ARC Electronics manager and college newspaper reporter who inquired about the business’ ability to get around strict export laws.

“We’re lying,” the manager said, according to the Chronicle.

In another call, among thousands recorded by the FBI, a company manager told a Russian employee, “We will be f—–,” if someone found out about the exports, the Chronicle reported.

 

Eight Arrested in Alleged Scheme to Sell Cutting-Edge Military Technology to Russia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Houston company accused in a scheme to sell high-tech electronics to the Russian military and intelligence agencies told employees to hide information about the technology, the Associated Press reports, citing an FBI agent.

In custody are Arc Electronics Inc. owner Alexander Fishenko and seven employees accused of illicitly selling military technology to Russia since 2008, according to the AP.

The company’s director of procurement, the AP reported, is a Russian immigrant and current U.S. citizen who is considered a flight risk.

A detention hearing is set for Wednesday, the AP reported.

FBI Probes Fatal Police Shooting of Double Amputee in Houston

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a Houston police officer used excessive force by fatally shooting a double-amputee in a wheelchair at a home for the mentally ill, the Associated Press reports.

The AP said police were responding to a call about an irate one-armed, one-legged man who wouldn’t come down.

One of the officers said he shot the 45-year-old amputee in the head because he felt cornered by the wheelchair and feared his partner was in danger by what turned out to be a ballpoint pen, according to the AP.

“It is my desire to have everyone reserve judgment until all the facts and evidence in this investigation have been gathered,” Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said.

Homeland Security Watchdog: Turf Battles Over Internal Public Corruption Investigations Has Subsided

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The top overseer of the Homeland Security Department told a House committee that turf battles over internal public corruption investigations had subsided, the Center for Investigative Reporting reports.

But acting Inspector General Charles K. Edwards wouldn’t answer questions about an ongoing investigation of a Texas branch office.

Edwards said his 219 investigators are on top of the nearly 1,600 cases of accusations of employee misconduct.

Several agents and top officials are the subject of an investigation in Texas over allegedly doctored reports ahead of an internal inspection.

Texas Trucking Company Owner Wants Compensation for DEA Sting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The owner of a Texas trucking company is demanding the DEA compensate him for an undercover sting that led to his employee’s death and the damage of a company truck, the San Antonio Express reports.

Truck company owner Craig Patty said he had no idea Lawrence Chapa was working undercover for the DEA until he received a call that his employee was shot eight times, the Express wrote.

Chapa was using a Kenworth T600 truck, which hauls sand, to drive marijuana across the Mexican border as part of an undercover sting.

Chapa was shot by carjackers trying to rob the truck and marijuana, according to the Express. More than a dozen law enforcement officials witnessed the attack.

New Leader Takes Over ATF Houston Field Division

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Melvin D. King Jr.’s long law-enforcement career is taking him to Houston, where he will be the new special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Field Division, according to ATF.

King began his career with the federal agency in 1988, when he was assigned to the Washington Field Division in Richmond. He helped found “Project Exile,” a strategy to reduce firearms in cities.

Since then, King has worked in New Jersey, South Carolina and North Carolina, according to the agency.

“I am happy to be here in South Texas and under my leadership we will continue the ATF mission to reduce violent crime and stop firearms trafficking to criminals both domestically and internationally,” King said a press release. “I plan to continue to work closely with other law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Another one of my priorities will be to partner with the firearms and explosives dealers in South Texas as we conduct our mission to regulate the industry.”

Closing Arguments to Begin Today in Texas Voter ID Law Trial

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Judges who will determine the fate of Texas’ controversial voter ID law are to hear closing arguments in the case today after both sides wrapped up testimony Thursday.

During the hearing, some experts testified that the law, which would require voters to show a valid ID, would disproportionately affect minorities. Lawyers for Texas countered that there is no evidence to make such a claim.

The Justice Department claims the new law violates the Voting Rights Act, which was designed to protect minority voting rights.

The judges expect to make a decision before November’s election.

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