A Mexican national accused of shooting an off-duty Border Patrol agent during a robbery in Texas was charged with additional crimes related to more robberies Thursday, the Monitor reports.
Gustavo Tijerina, 30, was charged with seven counts of aggravated armed robbery and three counts of engaging in organized criminal activity in connection with four armed robberies in Cameron County. Cars were stolen in those cases.
Tijerina already has been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr., 36, of Kingsville.
Tijerina likely won’t be going anywhere after his bail was set at $2 million.
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The former head of the Milwaukee FBI office is accused of urging an agent to commit perjury and grilling subordinates for talking with investigators, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
The Office of the Inspector General believes Teresa Carlson likely lied when she was questioned and may have violated federal law by telling an agent to lie under oath.
Despite the findings, the FBI declines to discuss whether she was disciplined, and the Justice Department opted not to prosecute.
Carlson is the acting deputy assistant director of Facilities and Logistics Services Division.
According to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Carlson “conducted herself unprofessionally and exhibited extremely poor judgment” when she allegedly told Special Agent Mark Crider to lie under oath.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice delayed investigations of child pornography tips for months, the Post Crescent reports.
Criticism of the DOJ’s Internet child pornography unit mounted in March, when Milwaukee Special Agent-in-Charge Willie Brantley was fired and Special Agent Anna King resigned. It was discovered that nearly four dozen cases languished for months.
DOJ officials said they are overwhelmed and were forced to prioritize cases.
“A deep dive on any of these cases will reflect that they … were handled appropriately or resulted in discipline,” said DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation Administrator Dave Matthews.
Officials at the office denied any systemic problems existed.
Sen. Chuck Grassley wants answers.
The Republican from Iowa is demanding details of the treatment of Daniel Chong, who was detained and deprived of water and food for five days, the Hill reports.
“The American people still do not know the full details about Mr. Chong’s mistreatment and abuse,” Grassley wrote. “And despite this inexcusable behavior and long-overdue findings, the American people still have no idea whether these agents and administrators are still working for the DEA.”
The letter to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart comes after an Inspector General report that “raises even more questions.”
“Not only were there specific failures by specific agents and employees that led to Mr. Chong’s brutal captivity, as well as a possible attempted cover up by senior DEA officials, but the entire system itself was set up to fail and forestall any future review,” Grassley wrote. “This is wholly unacceptable.”
Chong, a college student, reached a $4.1 million settlement with the DEA.
The sister of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested Monday after police say she threatened to bomb a New York City woman, Fox News reports.
Ailina Tsarnaeva is accused of making the threat via telephone Monday. She been charged with aggravated harassment and is due in court Sept. 30.
Tsarnaeva couldn’t be reached for comment.
Her brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, pleaded no guilty to killing three people in the April 2013 marathon explosions.
JPMorgan Chase was among at least five financial institutions recently hacked in coordinated attacks, the USA Today reports.
A federal law enforcement official told USA Today that investigators believe Russian attackers were behind the hacking. Now FBI agents are trying to determine whether the attacks were related to U.S. sanctions against the Russian government.
The banks lost sensitive data in the attacks.
Companies “of our size unfortunately experience cyberattacks nearly every day,” JPMorgan spokeswoman Trish Wexler said in a statement without confirming the reports. “We have multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels.”
FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the bureau is “working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyber attacks against several American financial institutions.”
The militarization of local law enforcement has become a hot button topic since police in Ferguson employed their weapons during the recent protests, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. What’s not getting as much attention is surveillance equipment that some police forces are getting from federal law enforcement.
In Tacoma, Wash., police were using surveillance known as Stringray that is capable of collecting records on every cell call, text message or data transfer up to a half-mile from the device. It was manufactured by a Pentagon contractor.
More than 40 local law enforcement agencies have similar surveillance.
Privacy groups have warned of the potential for abuse.
“It’s like kicking down the doors of 50 homes and searching 50 homes because they don’t know where the bad guy is,” Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the ACLU, told the News Tribune.
James Tomsheck, who was forced to resign as internal affairs for CBP, said the agency made it difficult for him to investigate internal complaints.
NPR reports that Tomscheck believes some Border Patrol agents aren’t being held accountable because of a culture that evades legal restraints.
Tomscheck said about a quarter of the 28 fatal shootings by agents and officers are highly suspicious, yet no one has paid any consequences.
“I believe the system was clearly engineered to interfere with our efforts to hold the Border Patrol accountable,” he says.
“Some persons in leadership positions in the Border Patrol were either fabricating or distorting information to give the outward appearance that it was an appropriate use of lethal force when in fact it was not.”
Tomscheck said he became a scapegoat for the problems in the agency.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh remained hospitalized Wednesday but officials remained tight-lipped about his condition, the Burlington Free Press reports.
Freeh, 64, of Wilmington, Del, crashed his SUV on a rural stretch of southern Vermont on Monday and has been in the hospital since under armed guard.
Authorities said no drugs or alcohol were involved.
The special protection is in place because of Freeh’s work against terrorists.
The accident remains under investigation.
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- Border Patrol Sued in Fatal Shooting of Man in Mexico
The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization which works closely with law enforcement in the battle against terrorism and protecting civil rights, will present its fifth annual ADL Shield Awards on Sept. 17 in D.C.
The awards are in the area of terrorism and civil rights.
The awards were created in 2010 to recognize law enforcement for major achievements in the fight against hate crimes, domestic and international terrorism, and for protecting civil rights.
“The SHIELD Awards give us an opportunity to publicly recognize and express our appreciation to law enforcement for protecting our nation and its values,” Elise Jarvis, ADL’s Associate Director for Law Enforcement Outreach and Communal Security, said in a press release. “They are a way for us to honor the individuals who guard our lives and freedoms.”
According to a press release, the 2014 ADL SHIELD Award recipients will include investigators and prosecutors from:
- The FBI Washington Field Office, New York City Police Department Intelligence Bureau, US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and Counterterrorism Section for their investigation and prosecution of the founders and leaders of Revolution Muslim, an organization which encouraged terrorist attacks and violence against non-Muslims. Zachary Chesser pled guilty to soliciting murder and attempting to support a designated terrorist group and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Jesse Morton pled guilty to soliciting murder and was sentenced to nearly 12 years in jail. Yousef Al-Khattab pled guilty to using the Internet to place others in fear of serious bodily injury or death and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
- The FBI Baltimore Division and the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Criminal Section for their investigation and prosecution of a Color of Law case in which corrections officers in Maryland beat an inmate over a series of shifts and then subsequently obstructed justice with other officers in an effort to cover up the assault. Fourteen corrections officers were held accountable and convicted under federal law.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Richmond Division and Statesboro Resident Agency and the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia for their investigation and prosecution of Michael Lee Fullmore, a member of the Georgia Knight Rider’s, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, who was arrested after confiding to an FBI informant that he wanted to firebomb a local church in retaliation for the church’s support of the Latino community. He was charged with firearms and drug distribution violations and sentenced to 52 months in prison. Following his conviction, the entire Knight Riders Klan organization was disbanded.
- The Drug Enforcement Administration, US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, US Customs and Border Protection, and US Department of the Treasury for a multi-agency operation which focused on the financial activities of three Lebanese financial institutions, each of which has been implicated for its involvement with the Hezbollah terror group. As of March 2014, more than $150 million dollars had been seized under this Operation.
- The Montgomery County Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their investigation and prosecution of local members of the Moorish Nation, part of the sovereign citizen movement, for felonies which included First Degree Burglary, Conspiracy, and Theft over $100,000 in connection to their occupation of a home in Montgomery County, MD. Honorees received threats to themselves and their families because of their involvement in the case.
Fans of the HBO mob show “The Sopranos,” never got the answer to the big question: Did Tony Soprano die in the last episode?
We last saw the Soprano family on June 10, 2007 eating at a New Jersey diner. Tony was knocking back onion rings. the family was getting together.
But it looked as if Tony was about to get knocked off at the diner. The show ended and we never knew.
Well, apparently Martha P. Nochimson of Vox asked the show’s creator David Chase at a coffee shop.
“No he isn’t.”
Neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to play a role in the car accident that seriously injured former FBI Director Louis Freeh, the Burlington Free Press reports.
Freeh, 64, of Wilmington, Del., remains in serious condition at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. where he’s being protected by armed guards.
The accident happened Monday when Freeh’s 2010 GMC Yukon veered off a rural stretch of road in Vermont.
Investigators found no evidence of brake marks or skids.
Freeh was traveling alone and wearing a seatbelt.
The FBI has been quietly waging a turf battle with other federal law enforcement agencies for taking over violent crimes, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to an internal memo, FBI managers are growing more frustrated with the ATF and Homeland Security for taking over cases that the bureau believes it should handle.
“The jurisdiction encroachment by the ATF continues as a disturbing concern,” the memo distributed last month said, adding that “mission creep by HSI is an issue in an alarming number of field offices.”
Thirty of the FBI’s 56 field offices reported problems with the ATF while handling cases such as human trafficking, drugs and gangs.
FBI Director James Comey doesn’t have the same frustrations, a bureau spokesman said.
“Because some FBI authorities overlap with those of other federal agencies, challenges and conflicts inevitably arise,” Michael Kortan said. “But we have always tried to resolve those conflicts in a professional and collaborative manner, throughout the field and at headquarters, and that will continue.”
The federal government plans to significantly increase the amount of marijuana it manufactures for research.
The U.S. News reports that the DEA increased production from 46.3 pounds to 1,433 pounds.
Before making the decision, the DEA sought public comment and received one remark in favor of the production increase.
“The DEA appreciates the support for this adjusted 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana which will provide for the estimated scientific, research and industrial needs of the United States,” a Tuesday notice in the Federal Register says.
The DEA didn’t approve enough marijuana for research last year, the U.S. News reported.
“Due to the manufacturing process unique to marijuana, including the length of time and conditions necessary to propagate and process the substance for distribution in 2014, it is necessary to adjust the initial, established 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana as soon as practicable,” the DEA said. “Accordingly, the administrator finds good cause to adjust the aggregate production quota for marijuana before accepting written comments from interested persons or holding a public hearing.”
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The FBI Agents Association President Reynaldo Tariche issued a statement about former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash Monday in Vermont.
“On behalf of our members – 12,000 active duty and retired FBI Agents – I want to wish former Director Freeh a speedy recovery. When Louis Freeh was FBI Director, our members knew that he was always there for us, and that he understood the challenges a Special Agent faces in their daily duties. We want Director Freeh to know that we are – and will continue to be – there for him during his recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”
CNN reported that the Vermont State Police said that Freeh was driving a GMC Yukon when it went off the road, struck a mailbox and ran over some bushes.
FBI agents investigating the shooting death of an unarmed teen in Ferguson were handed a potentially damning recording of the encounter with an officer, the Daily Mail reports.
The audio captures at least 11 shots, with a pause after seven of them.
“There sounds like a pause in it (the audio). And when you hear that pause it brings some concern,” said retired Chief Deputy US Marshall Matthew Fog after listening on CNN.
“It is very significant, because if you have a pause there it means somebody had time to think and then fire again.”
A voice in the audio can be heard saying, “You’re so pretty,” before 11 gunshots ring out.
An attorney for the unidentified man with the recording said the audio, if authentic, shows a clear “point of contemplation” while shooting.
A federal judge wants the FBI to conduct an internal investigation to determine whether the bureau pressured a witness not to testify in a case involving videos of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Associated Press reports.
Utah lawyer Jesse Trentadue claims that the FBI threatened the benefits of a former government operative if he testified in a trial.
The FBI’s attorney rejected the allegations as baseless, but U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said he wants the matter investigated more thoroughly.
“If all of this is nonsense, let’s bring this in and put an end to it,” the judge said.
The attorneys are expected to present their results on Nov. 13.
A badge can say a lot about a police officer.
In the case of Rio Arriba County Sheriff Tommy Rodella, the badge can help shelf light on whether he assaulted a man, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
Rodella, who is facing federal civil rights charges, is accused of striking Michael Tafoya, 26, in the face with his badge. The FBI is testing the badge for DNA.
An FBI agent who reviewed a photo of Tafoya’s booking photo showed “a reddish, swollen area under his right eye,” according to an FBI affidavit.
“This is consistent with Tafoya’s statement that sheriff Rodella hit him in the face with his badge, and then ground the badge in his right eye and against his cheek,” the affidavit states.
A 42-year-old Texas woman is accused of offering her 12-year-old relative and a yet-to-be born infant for sex, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
The FBI said Lydia Vasquez was arrested and charged with one count of coercion and enticement of a minor.
According to the criminal complaint, Vasquez offered up the children to her long-distance boyfriend, who actually was an FBI informant in Detroit. In one text message, she offered the 12-year-old relative to “train sexually.”
The woman also offered an infant, who was set to be born in January, to the man to “train” to enjoy sex.
Vasquez was arrested when she went to McAllen Miller International Airport to meet her boyfriend.
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