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Tag: Washington

Libyan-Born Comedian Awarded $35,000 in Lawsuit over Interaction with Border Patrol

Comedian Mohanad Elshieky. Photo: Twitter

By Steve Neavling

A Libyan-born comedian who says he was racially profiled and illegally detained by Border Patrol agents after a stand-up show in 2019 was awarded a $35,000 settlement from the federal government.

Mohanad Elshieky, who was granted asylum in 2018, filed suit after agents pulled him off a Greyhound bus in Spokane, Wash., and falsely accused him of being in the country illegally. His tweets about the ordeal went viral.

“I explained to them that I was granted Asylum here in the United States,” Elshieky tweeted, “and that the work permit they currently hold and the license are impossible to get unless your presence here is legal. They told me that I was lying and these could pretty much be falsified.”

In a settlement with the federal government, Elshieky will receive $35,000, according to the Northwest Immigration Rights Project.

“To have the same government that is supposed to protect me accuse me of lying and being here illegally really shook me and undermined my hard-fought sense of safety,” Elshieky said in a statement. “I’ll never forget the harassment and humiliation by the officers when it was clear I belonged in the United States and on that bus. I hope my experience can at least be a wake-up call for others, and a lesson for CBP and its agents to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and to honor their rights.”

Washington Man Arrested for Allegedly Pointing Laser at CBP Agents in Helicopter

FAA illustration of a laser pointed at an aircraft.

By Steve Neavling

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent sought medical attention after he was struck in the eye last week by a laser pointer while flying a helicopter in Washington state. 

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ronald Gregory Boettcher, 34, on a charge of first-degree unlawful discharge of a laser on Wednesday, The Belligham Herald reports.

Two CBP agents were in the helicopter when they said a laser was aimed into the cockpit. The helicopter was performing training approaches at Bellingham International Airport. 

Deputies responded to a report of the incident and talked to a neighbor who said the laser had come from a backyard where Boettcher lives, sheriff’s spokeswoman Deb Slater said in an email. 

Boettcher denied involvement and said he didn’t possess a laser. Deputies later found one at the home, Slater said. 

Laser illumination incidents have been on the rise, with 6,852 reported in 2020, according to lasersafety.com. That’s up from 6,213 in 2019 and 5,663 in 2018. 

CBP Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Smuggling Drugs into Prison

Photo via Border Patrol

A CBP officer is accused of sneaking drugs into a Washington State prison for her boyfriend, a gang member who was convicted of murder. 

The FBI is investigating Officer Melissa Mesa on allegations she smuggled methamphetamine and suboxone into into the Clallam Bay Corrections Center, The Daily Beat reports, citing an FBI search warrant application.

The drugs were allegedly for Say Keodara, who was sentenced in 2011 to 69 years in the shooting death of a homeless man during a botched robbery attempt at a Seattle bus stop. 

A CBP spokesperson said Mesa is no longer working at the agency. 

“Melissa Mesa’s employment with CBP has been terminated. CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP officers/agents perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” the spokesperson said. “CBP fully cooperates with all criminal and administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, whether it occurs on or off duty. The investigation is ongoing and we have nothing further to add at this time.”

A confidential source tipped off state investigators about Mesa in May 2020. Correctional officials informed the FBI after learning that Keodara and Mesa were romantically involved. 

“During their relationship, Keodara asked Mesa to meet with individuals in the community in order to obtain illegal drugs and illegally obtained prescription drugs for the purpose of passing the drugs to others for introduction into CBCC,” the warrant application states. “Keodara also asked Mesa to conduct financial transactions on his behalf in furtherance of the drug conspiracy.”

Mesa has not yet been charged. The case is still under investigation. 

Man Who ‘Worshipped’ Trump Pleads Guilty After Threatening Secret Service Agents with a Sword

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Washington State man who threatened Secret Service agents with a sword in West Virginia has pleaded guilty to assault.

Joshua Wills, 31, of Bremerton, Washington, told a judge he was driving to Washington D.C. to see President Trump when he was confronted by Secret Service agents, who had received reports that he was in possession of a katana sword, The Associated Press reports.

When three Secret Service agents went to a campground where Wills had gone to spend the night in October 2018, “Wills pulled out his sword and brandished it at us,” Secret Service Agent Thomas Fleming said in a criminal complaint.

“Officers fired two non-lethal shotgun rounds to incapacitate Wills and he was wrestled to the ground,” Fleming said.

Wills’ father told Secret Service agents that his son had “worshipped” Trump and meant no harm. He planned to deliver unknown evidence to the president and stand outside the White House gate with a sword.

“One sure fire way not to see the President of the United States is to brandish a weapon and threaten the safety of local and federal officials,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said.

Wills could be ordered to spend up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 9.

CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan Calls Out Portland Leaders After Violence Breaks Out

CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan on Fox & Friends Weekend.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan slammed political leaders in Portland over their handling of violence in the city Saturday after Border Patrol agents were sent in to assist.

“What we saw in Portland last night was criminal and we stood strong with our federal partners to resist that,” Morgan told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday.

“Where are the local political leaders?”

Portland police declared the protest “a riot” late on Independence Dat after fires were set and violence broke out.

“These are not protesters, these are criminals who got together and organized and planned and actually brought weapons, they brought shields, they brought frozen water bottles, rocks, lasers, weapons with the intent to destroy a federal building and harm law enforcement officers,” Morgan said.

The protest comes after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Morgan called out one of the “criminals” for “trying to assault one of the CBP employees while he was being arrested.”

Retired FBI Agent: ‘No FBI Agent Has to Take a Knee’

The writer served 27 years in the FBI, 21 of them tactical with four SWAT teams and the HRT (Hostage Rescue Team). He retired in 2012.  He also served in Marines for eight years.   His commentary is in response to a report in ticklethewire.com that FBI agents in Washington recently took a knee at the urging of people protesting police brutality and the death of  George Floyd.

By Dale Monroe

Dale Monroe

No FBI agent has to take a knee to defend anyone’s 1st Amendment rights. 

You only take a knee if you don’t have the courage, character, and confidence that you fight evil every day, including against those who violate the Constitutional rights of others. 

For 27 years, I and all those that I served with, stood for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity, and that was more than enough for us to get any job done in any situation.   

We (the FBI) are the ones who are primarily responsible for investigating civil rights violations.  As such, we take a knee for, or to no one.

The anarchistic in D.C. need to be educated as to what the FBI stands for and what the Agents do each and every day.  And that does not include taking a knee.

FBI Agents Take a Knee in Washington During Protests

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some law enforcement officers around the country have taken a knee in solidarity with protesters marching against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Now, a video posted on the social media platform TikTok shows FBI agents in Washington recently taking a knee for protesters who urged them to do so.

Some appreciated the gesture, but not all.

“Makes me sick,” one former FBI agent tells ticklethewire.com. “We took an oath to defend our country,  not to submit to those that don’t respect our country.”

But former FBI agent Tom O’Connor, who retired from the bureau last year, and served as the president of the FBI Agents Association from 2016-19, has a different take, telling ticklethewire.com:

“During these difficult times, Law Enforcement Officers and Agents are having to make difficult decisions in an effort to protect the absolute right of 1st Amendment free speech and protest.  At the same time keeping the public safe from those who wish to highjack the important voice for change.  Taking a path to avoid the potential for violence is the right choice.”

@sonnywithnochancesTHE FBI KNEELED WITH US IN DC!!!! ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ ##blacklivesmatter ##blm ##georgefloyd♬ original sound – sonnywithnochances

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