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Tag: Virginia

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

 

Updated: Ex-FBI Translator Gets Probation for Making False Statements in Terrorism Case

Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Updated: 9:40 a.m. Monday — A former FBI translator was sentenced to probation Friday after he admitted doctoring transcripts when his own voice came up on intercepts of phone calls placed by a terrorism suspect, the Associated Press reports. He was also fined $1,000.

________________

A former FBI translator is expected to be sentenced in federal court today after he pleaded guilty to making false statements in a case involving a terrorism suspect.

Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie, 68, of Burke, Virginia, was arrested in May on charges of lying to investigators about having contact with a man accused of joining a militant Somali group tied to terrorism.

In November, Wehelie pleaded guilty to making false statements, saying he doctored transcripts to hide the fact that he received a phone call from the man, who had been under surveillance.

The Justice Department said Wehelie had a personal relationship with the suspect, who had left a voicemail on Wehelie’s phone. When Wehelie translated the call, he changed his name to “unidentified male.”

The terrorism suspect’s phone was under court-ordered surveillance.

According to federal prosecutors, Wehelie later disclosed that he had been friends with the suspect for years.

Wehelie faces up to 25 years in prison, but sentencing guidelines call for zero to six months in jail.

Marine Deserter Wanted for Murder Added to FBI’s Most Wanted List

Michael Alexander Brown

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Marine accused of murdering his mother’s boyfriend in Virginia less than a month after deserting his military post has been added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List of fugitives.

Michael Alexander Brown, 22, is believed to be “armed with a high-powered rifle and may have access to other weapons,” according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia.

Sheriff’s officials believe he may be hiding in the woods because he frequents national parks and forests.

Authorities said Brown fled after fatally shooting his mother’s boyfriend on Nov. 9 in the man’s home in Hardy, about 10 miles east of Roanoke, Va.

Less than a month earlier, Brown deserted his post at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Brown’s arrest.

Earlier this month, Brown was charged with second-degree murder.

Theft of Thousands of Guns, Parts from ATF Facility Reveals Serious Problems at Agency

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF officials are being evasive about the theft of thousands of guns and firearm parts that were supposed to be destroyed.

Many of the guns had been seized by law enforcement, and others were retired service weapons from the ATF, FBI, DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies.

The weapons disappeared after being sent to the ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch in Martinsburg, W.Va., where they were supposed to be destroyed.

The case has exposed the ATF’s failure to keep track of guns sent to the facility and detect when weapons are stolen. The agency has declined to publicly reveal the extent of the thefts, and ATF officials have been evasive when questioned by Congress.

One of the suspects in the thefts, Christopher Yates, a guard at the ATF facility, has admitted stealing thousands of firearms, gun parts and ammunition before selling them. The 52-year-old, a contract employee for the ATF for 16 years, pleaded guilty in federal court in April to stealing government property. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in August.

Yates managed to steal the guns and parts for years without the ATF knowing.

The ATF has failed to provide detailed information on the thefts to Congress, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In a March 28 letter to senators, then-Acting ATF Director Tom Brandon cited Yates’ open case as a reason for failing to provide more information.

“We cannot at this time characterize the scope of the thefts from the Martinsburg facility,” wrote Brandon, who retired in April.

Senators are pledging to get to the bottom of the case.

“The ATF is tasked with protecting our communities and the theft of a substantial amount of weapons, parts and ammunition from ATF facilities raises significant concerns,” Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., wrote in a statement to the Journal Sentinel. “Our committee is seeking a full accounting of this situation, and we hope the ATF will be as transparent as possible while we continue to pursue answers.”

Without a proper accounting of stolen guns, agents at each of the ATF’s 25 field offices have been assigned to search for stolen weapons. That search is taking resources away from fighting crime.

Public Invited to Interact with DEA Special Agents During Lecture Series

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a special agent for the DEA?

The DEA Museum in Arlington, Va., is offering the public an opportunity to hear from several special agents as part of a lecture series Tuesday. They will discuss who they are and what they do.

The event is free. Register at EventBrite.com. Can’t make it? The event will be live-streamed.

Speaking during the lecture series are Steve Fraga, who works with law enforcement counterparts in South America and Central America; Michelle Spahn, who serves as supervisory special agent and DEA 360 strategy coordinator; and Amador Martinez, who works on a number of assignments at DEA headquarters.

According to the event page:

Special Agents are on the front line for drug law enforcement in America and around the world. DEA’s goal is to eliminate illegal drug distribution, prosecute traffickers and destroy the financial infrastructure of these organizations. As the federal government’s premier drug law enforcement agency, our mission has never been so important. Agents are prepared for innumerable tasks including facilitating informant contacts, making drug arrests, community outreach, and international diplomacy.

Special Agents must maintain many skills to perform in less than ideal and often high pressure situations. While in the field, agents may investigate and help prosecute major violators of controlled substance laws, and partner with federal, state, local, and foreign officials in managing drug intelligence programs. Agents are often identified as the people who arrest and search subjects and seize assets connected to illicit drug trafficking, but they are also responsible for collecting and preparing evidence and performing other judicial functions. DEA Special Agents have a long-standing history in combating the critical problems of drug trafficking.

The event is from 11 a.m. to noon in the auditorium of DEA headquarters at 700 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, Va.

For more information, call the DEA Museum at (202) 307-3463.

FBI Revives Investigation into Murder of Virginia State Trooper in 1984

Trooper Johnny Rush Bowman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI is breathing new life into a long-dormant investigation of a Virginia State trooper who was stabbed 45 times at his house 1984.

The 34-year-old case has left investigators frustrated because they’ve been unable to identify the killer, who left behind a wig, sunglasses and a construction hard hat, ABC News reports

The attacker rang the doorbell at Trooper Johnny Rush Bowman’s home in Manassas, Va., and stabbed him to death while his family was inside the house.

The FBI hopes to receive tips in the cold case by announcing a $50,000 reward to find the killer.

“There are several milestones in August and September [including] the anniversary date of the murder and what would have been Trooper Bowman’s birthday and as a result, the FBI is offering a significant reward of $50,000 to bring attention to this unsolved murder,” FBI spokesperson Kadia Koroma told ABC News via email Wednesday.

“No one has forgotten Trooper Bowman — not his family, his friends, and certainly not law enforcement,” Matthew DeSarno, special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, said in a statement released by the FBI on Monday.

FBI Makes Gruesome Discovery at Alleged Dogfighting Ring in D.C. Area

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI seized more than a dozen dogs during a raid in the Washington D.C. area over an alleged dogfighting ring.

Authorities are asking the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District in Virginia to allow feds to keep the dogs. Found during the raid at homes in Temple Hills, Md., and Washington D.C. were items related to dog breeding, fighting and training, WTOP reports

The FBI arrested 12 people on Aug. 24, charging them with identity theft and credit card and bank fraud.

Agents found a dog treadmill, a blood-splattered fighting ring and vests weighted with sand bags.

Homeland Security Warned Law Enforcement of Violence 3 Days Before Charlottesville Rally

James Fields is accused of driving into a group of anti-racists, killing one person and injuring many more.

James Fields is accused of driving into a group of anti-racists, killing one person and injuring many more.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three days before clashes broke out during the deadly Charlottesville rally on Aug. 12, Homeland Security issued a warning to law enforcement about the high probability that the event would be “among the most violent to date” between white supremacists and anti-racists.

Politico reports that it obtained a copy of the Aug. 9 “law enforcement sensitive” assessment. 

The warning by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis raises questions about law enforcement’s preparation for the violence that would erupt.

The report reminded authorities that similar protests involving white supremacists and anti-racist extremists turned violent.

“Anarchist extremists and white supremacist extremists online are calling on supporters to be prepared for or to instigate violence at the 12 August rally,” the assessment warned.

The report also indicated that a “probable” white supremacist had posted a “call to arms” online, saying “antifa must be destroyed.

“They predicted it,” one senior law enforcement analyst from another state said of the assessment. Each side was saying, “’All right everybody, go get your weapons, and we’re gonna go kick their asses.’ And that’s exactly what happened in Charlottesville.”

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