The Obama administration is going explore the need for deploying National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border, the Washington Post reports. The administration has dispatched a team of military and national security officials to examine whether the Rio Grande Valley would benefit from a military “temporary assist.”
Despite objections from Democrats, Texas Gov. Rick Perry decided earlier this week to send 1,000 of his state’s National Guard troops to the border over the next month.
“The assessment team will review support options that increase U.S. Customs and Border Protection capacity to conduct enforcement and processing activities and to enable DHS to implement a surge plan that addresses spikes in the influx of UACs [unaccompanied alien children]/migrants along the Southwest Border,” a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST
- Ex-Queens Councilman Admits He Took $10K in Sting
- FBI Agents Square Off Against Philadelphia Children in Softball
- Informant Accused of Double-Crossing FBI, Local Police
- FBI Searches for Men Suspected of 8 ‘Violent, Takeover Robberies’
- FBI Stays with Amazon for Public Cloud Project
CBP plans to hire 2,000 new agents thanks to funding provided in the 2014 budget, KTAR reports.
The hiring of agents to secure the air, land and sea ports has nothing to do with the current immigration crisis involving unaccompanied Central American children, officials said. “This was in the pipeline,” said CBP spokeswoman Theresa Small. “It has nothing to do with the influx of Central American children.”
The plan is to fill the positions by the end of fiscal year 2014 to “enhance security, help reduce wait times and facilitate growing volumes of legitimate goods and travelers that are critical to the health of our nation’s economy,” the CBP said in a press released.
For more information on the positions, visit www.cbp.gov/careers.
Funding to combat illegal immigration may be gone in less than a month, warned Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson.
Johnson is urging lawmakers to approve an emergency spending bill.
At the current rate, Johnson said funds for the U.S. Immigration Customs would dry up in the mid-August. Cash for Border Protection would be gone by mid-September.
Authorities are hoping the U.S. House can reach a compromise on the bill before the month-long August recess.
President Obama is asking for $3.7 billion in emergency spending.
A judge convicted a suspended New Jersey police captain of using an FBI database to check to do backgrounds of players on a minor league baseball that he followed, Philly.com reports.
Brian Brady, 52, of Sparta, also directed subordinates to use the National Crime Information Center database to conduct a background check on a home health aid for his mom. He was the third ranking officer of the state Human Services Police.
Brady was found guilty of official misconduct and computer theft.
Brady “repeatedly treated a restricted law enforcement database like his personal information clearinghouse,” said Criminal Justice Division Director Elie Honig.
“There’s no room in law enforcement for this type of rogue behavior,” Honig said.
Brady faces up to 20 years in prison.
The number of ATF cases recommended for prosecution dropped by a third since 2004, according to data compiled by Syracuse University, the Washington Times reports.
Federal investigators and gun law experts said the decline is attributed to a policy change in the Obama administration, which has changed its focus to regulatory-type cases.
“Within the later part of the Bush years, case selections within the ATF have gone from mostly violent crime cases – which is their forte – toward the regulatory, where they look at dealers, manufacturers and trafficking cases – and they take a lot more time to develop,” said Robert Sanders, a former ATF assistant director. “The agencies philosophy has shifted to guns are the problem, and access to guns are the problem, rather than the criminal being the direct indicator of crime.”
Under Obama, the agency merged its regulatory division with law enforcement.
The result was the loss of law-enforcement and an increased focus on regulation, the Washington Times wrote.
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST
The new head of the Seattle FBI office is wiping off the dust of a 13-year-old investigation into the fatal shooting of a Seattle federal prosecutor after expressing “momentum” in the case, the Seattle Times reports.
“It’s an ongoing, active investigation,” Special Agent in Charge Frank Montoya Jr. said during a wide-ranging news briefing. The news comes after the previous special agent in charge, Laura Laughlin, reportedly reduced the size of the task force working the case of Thomas Wales.
Montoya said he’s encouraged with the prospect of solving the case, which involves active leads.
Wales was shot in his basement through a window in the backyard.
A witness said a man fled.
DETROIT — As we thought would be the case, the PBS show Tuesday night on Jimmy Hoffa — “Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?” – didn’t crack the case as the pre-show hype suggested it might. And it certainly didn’t leave you feeling as if you knew what really happened to the Teamster boss.
It was entertaining, but a little cheesy, particularly for a PBS production.
Retired FBI Agent Greg Stejskal, who was interviewed in the show, told ticklethewire.com after the show that he thought it was full of “a lot of speculation” and “I thought pretty far fetched as far as some of the connections they made.”
“There’s a lot of information there,” he said. “But I thought they took a lot of literary license making things fit together that didn’t necessarily fit together and basically ignored things that would have argued otherwise.”
The PBS website hyped the upcoming show:
For decades, investigators have searched for clues about what happened to Hoffa and why. Was he murdered? If so, who wanted him dead? After serving prison time for conspiracy and fraud, Hoffa was pardoned by President Richard Nixon. What interest did the White House have in Jimmy Hoffa?
Recently declassified government files reveal shocking evidence of corruption at the highest levels. Interviews with a former mob lawyer, a murder witness, and an FBI agent are among the sources History Detectives unearth as they track Jimmy Hoffa’s final hours and answer the question: “Who killed Jimmy Hoffa?”
The show gave a lot of weight to a death bed confession of Frank Sheeran, a friend of Hoffa who was described as a hitman. Sheeran said he killed Hoffa at a home in Detroit.
Stejskal said the FBI investigated and was dismissive of his claims.
It also talked about President Richard Nixon possibly taking mob money, something that had reported in the past.
David Ashenfelter, a former Detroit News and Detroit Free Press reporter, and a Pulitzer prize winner, who was interviewed in the show, told ticklethewire.com:
“I think Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance remains a mystery. I found the archival footage very interesting. I enjoyed the program.
“I thought they covered all of the major leads and brought a younger generation up to date on one of the biggest mysteries of the 20th Century,” he added. “But as it always turns out in the Hoffa mystery, we don’t know much more than we knew when the FBI wrote the Hoffex Memo six months after Jimmy Hoffa vanished.”
The FBI is considering launching its own investigation into the death of a Staten Island man who died after he was placed in a chokehold by police, The New York Post reports.
The bureau also is “monitoring” the investigation by the New York Police Department.
George Venizelos, the chief of the FBI’s New York office, spoke with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton about the death.
Eric Garner, 43, died of cardiac arrest after an undercover cop put him in a chokehold. A video shows Garner struggling to say he can’t breathe but police sustained the hold.
Gangster John Dillinger was the fed’s first Public Enemy Number One.
It was June 22, 1934, and Dillinger was wanted for at least 12 bank robberies, four police department robberies and the murder of a police officer. Outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago, agents from the Department of Investigation of the Justice Department shot and killed Dillinger after he reached for a gun, Reason recounts.
The nationally publicized capture catapulted J. Edgar Hoover and his “G-Men” into heroes, prompting Congress to approve the creation of the FBI.
A federal monitor will investigate and review the Newark Police Department after the Justice Department found that officers routinely violated the constitutional rights of its citizens, The Star-Ledger reports.
The DOJ reached an agreement over the federal monitor with the city of Newark.
A three-year review of the police department found troublesome problems with officers who ignored the rights of residents.
“The people of Newark deserve to be safe, and so do the thousands who come here,” New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.
“They also need to know the police protecting them are doing that important — and often dangerous — work while respecting their constitutional rights.”
Newark will become the first city in New Jersey to come under the overnight of a federal watchdog.
A union representing Border Patrol agents charge that the TSA is allowing undocumented immigrants to board American planes without a passport or other official identification, Fox News reports.
TSA strongly denies claims that the TSA is allowing immigrants to board planes with a “Notice to Appear” in lieu of proper identification.
“This is the dream of every terrorist in the world,” Shawn Moran, vice president of the union, told Fox News. “There is no way of knowing who is on board the jetliners.”
Fox News says Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, confirmed immigrants were boarding planes without proper ID.
“TSA is letting them go around security,” the source told Judicial Watch. “No picture ID, just a slip of paper.”
The TSA says it’s not true.
“These reports are false,” the TSA said in a statement. “A Notice to Appear, issued by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), is not an acceptable form of ID at the TSA checkpoint.”
In a wildly popular political move Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he will deploy about 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Mexico border, a decision that will cost the state about $12 million a month. Perry also has said that he would commit $1.3 million each week to the state’s Department of Public Safety to assist in border security.
It’s a bold, expensive step, but the border hawks will love it.
There’s only one problem.
It makes no sense.
The Perry plan might have a grain of practicality if the people crossing the border actually wanted to evade capture.
But it’s just the opposite.
Any number of news reports have pointed out that the overwhelming majority of kids involved in the massive wave of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America crossing into the United States are not trying to elude the border patrol.
Instead, they want to be caught.
To read more click here.
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST
- How FBI Agents Busted 4 Sheriff’s Deputies Selling Drugs
- Seattle FBI Chief Sees Hope Old Fatal Shooting of Prosecutor
- FBI Investigates Brazen Armored Truck Heist in New Orleans
- FBI to Add Biometrics Tech Center to West Virginia Campus
- Homeland Security Nets 192 Arrests on Immigrant Smuggling Charges
Omaha native and retired FBI agent Greg Stejskal recently returned to the scene of a famous crime: the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.
Stejskal, who worked on the case of the missing former Teamsters Union president, was interviewed for the PBS program “History Detectives” at the Red Fox restaurant in suburban Detroit, where Hoffa was last seen.
The ex-agent is curious as to whether the “History Detectives” turned up something new. The “Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?”documentary airs at 9 tonight.
Says PBS: “Recently declassified government files reveal shocking evidence of corruption at the highest levels.”
To read more click here.
Listen to his interview below on WDET in Detroit.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not actually exist.
At least 91% of the people agents have locked up using those stings were racial or ethnic minorities, USA TODAY found after reviewing court files and prison records from across the United States. Nearly all were either black or Hispanic. That rate is far higher than among people arrested for big-city violent crimes, or for other federal robbery, drug and gun offenses.
The Justice Department used questionable tactics to identify and prosecute terrorism suspects, a new human rights report offers, the Washington Post reports.
Human Rights Watch offered a scathing assessment of the FBI and Justice Department, which are accused of injecting fear into some Muslim communities because of the use of surveillance and informants.
The report, which follows a lengthy examination of U.S. terrorism prosecutions, says feds have targeted people with mental and physical disabilities, using tactics that critics decry as entrapment.
“The report clearly shows, in many respects, the American public is being sold a false bill of goods,” said Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch. “To be sure, the threat of terrorism is real,” she said. “But in many of the cases we documented, there was no threat until the FBI showed up and helped turn people into terrorists.”
The Justice Department defended its record.
“The Department of Justice has been a steadfast ally of our nation’s civil rights groups for decades,” Marc Raimondi, a Justice Department spokesman, said. “The report itself acknowledges that the legal process used in the cases it highlighted is not only lawful but is also specifically approved by federal judges. . . . We do not and cannot target individuals solely for engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment, which includes free speech and religion.”
A man who spent 26 years in prison in the 1982 slaying of a Washington woman was exonerated following the discovery that the FBI made a critical lab error during the investigation, the Washington Post reports.
Kevin Martin, 50, who long maintained his innocence, was cleared following DNA evidence that contradicted FBI lab results that tied Martin to the scene of the attack.
It’s the fifth time in five years that prosecutors in Washington conceded making errors by an elite forensic unit.
“I am free at last. I am humbled. I never gave up,” Martin said, hugging his lawyers as his fiancé and family gathered around him.
“I just want to live,” Martin said.
Martin was accused of killing Ursula C. Brown, whose body was found near a dumpster next to an elementary school. She had been stabbed, sexually assaulted and shot in the head.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) wrote this column for the San Diego Union-Tribune.
By Darrell Issa
In May 2013, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an investigation into efforts of an Internal Revenue Service division, which under the supervision of former Director Lois Lerner, systematically selected organizations with conservative sounding names for delay and enhanced scrutiny. But despite evidence of wrongdoing and criminal acts, more than a year later there have been no indictments. Media leaks from the investigation have even pointed to a predetermined outcome that no one will end up facing criminal charges. Amid concerns that numerous factors have compromised the investigation, top U.S. Department of Justice officials continue to rebuff bipartisan calls for a special prosecutor.
This past Thursday, the Department of Justice’s number two official, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, testified before Congress about his department’s criminal investigation of the IRS targeting scandal. What little the Justice Department would share about what it says is an ongoing effort raised more concerns that the current investigation suffers from political interference, conflicts and a stunning lack of competence.
To read more click here.
Peter Edge, who became head of Homeland Security Investigations for ICE in May, began his law enforcement career began chasing crack cocaine dealers in Newark, NJ.com wrote in a feature about Edge.
“He had a very calm demeanor,” said Robert Laurino, who worked with Edge in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. “Nothing ever shocked Peter.”
Now Edge is responsible for more than 10,000 employees and a $2 billion budget.
“When you start out like that, nothing surprises you,” said Edge, who took over the top job in May after serving as the deputy associate executive director. “You’ve been in a situation where you don’t know what’s behind door No. 1. In this job you’re constantly dealing with problem sets that have to be solved.” Now Edge has some new threats to worry about.
“Criminal networks are increasingly sophisticated in taking advantage of the many ways in which the internet can streamline communications, financing and logistics — just as it does for legal enterprise,” Edge said.
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST
- ATF Overwhelmingly Targeted Racial, Ethnic Minorities in Drug Stings
- FBI, Gulfport Police Investigate Murder of 5-Year-Old Girl
- Justice Department Creating Disability Training for Police
- Border Patrol Detaining Fewer Unaccompanied Children
- FBI: Orange County Man Planned to Join Terrorists Overseas
DETROIT — Is Mahmoud Bazzi, 71, a Lebanese native who operates an ice cream truck in Dearborn, a war criminal?
Jim Schaefer of the Detroit Free Press headed to Ireland for a detailed report on the whole ordeal.
Schaefer reports that folks in Dublin say Bazzi was responsible for the murder in 1980 of Derek Smallhorne and Thomas Barrett, who were part of the Irish Defense Forces working for the United Nations peace keeping forces in Lebanon. A third Irish private, John O’Mahony, was shot twice but survived.
Schaefer writes that there are two eye witnesses linking him to the murders. Bazzi, through interpreters, denies it all.
Schaefer reports that on Tuesday, U.S. Homeland Security officers arrested Bazzi at his apartment in east Dearborn. He’s due this week in federal court in Detroit where authorities plan to start the deportation process to send him to his native Lebanon.
Schaefer reports that Bazzi is being held on an immigration violation. He used someone else’s passport to enter the country 21 years ago, Schaefer reports. U.S. authorities won’t say whether he will face charges linked to the shootings.
To read more click here.
Read full-version at the Detroit Free Press.
A new documentary, “The Newburgh Sting,” chronicles the story of four New York men who were snared by the FBI in a terrorism scheme, the New York Daily News reports.
The film, which airs today on HBO, tells the story of four Muslim converts who joined an FBI-fabricated plot to bomb synagogues in the Bronx and shoot military planes from the sky.
The filmmakers question the FBI’s decision to create a plot and get the struggling men to go along with it.
The men received 25 years in prison.
“This case is often cited as an example of entrapment, but in making this film, I’ve come to believe it was something much, much worse,”producer David Heilbroner said.
“The FBI committed a fraud on Congress and the American people by taking our tax dollars and creating a terrorist threat that, without the FBI, never would have existed at all,” he added.