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A federal judge suspects that seven attorneys representing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives committed fraud in the case of a retired federal agent who infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang in Arizona.
Court of Federal Claims Judge Francis Allegra banned the attorneys from filing documents in his court, and he ordered additional hearings to investigate the attorneys’ actions, essentially creating a trial within a trial.
The accusations are spelled out in newly unsealed court documents in the case involving former federal agent Jay Dobyns, a onetime University of Arizona football star who sued the ATF for improperly handling threats against him following his undercover stint with the Hells Angels.
The judge previously ruled in Dobyns’ favor, but withdrew his own decision after learning about the ATF attorneys’ conduct.
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A Congressional dispute over Homeland Security’s budget means the Secret Service cannot hire new agents or reform the beleaguered agency until the impasse is over, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, Reuters reports.
Johnson expressed deep concerns about the impasse, saying a lot is at stake – the security of borders, airports and coastal waters.
The agency’s spending authority ends Feb. 27, and Republicans are showing no signs of backing down until they block President Obama’s executive orders that would protect about 5 million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.
“This means we cannot invest in the things the independent panel recommended to improve the Secret Service; we cannot hire new Secret Service agents for the coming presidential election cycle,” Johnson said of the budget uncertainty.
A former Washington D.C. cab driver accused of providing material support to a group linked to al Qaeda has landed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, CNN reports.
A $50,000 reward has been offered for the capture of the 29-year-old Somali-born U.S. citizen, Liban Haji Mohamed.
The FBI said Mohamed provided material support to Al Shabaab, which has launched numerous deadly terrorist attacks.
Investigators believe Mohamed left the U.S in the summer of 2012.
“Not only did he choose to go to Somalia and fight with Al Shabaab, he took a prominent role in trying to recruit people to fight for Al Shabaab,” said Carl Ghatas, special agent in charge of the counterterrorism division at the FBI’s Washington field office.
Aaron Ford, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark division, is retiring and taking a job with PSE&G, NJ.com reports.
Ford, who also served as the agent in charge of the FBI’s Memphis division, will finish his 30-year FBI career today.
He will be in charge of PSE&G’s internal investigations, serving as the head of the utility’s Business Assurance and Resilience department.
“Even though I am leaving a top notch agency, I am confident I am joining a great company in PSE&G that shares similar values of integrity, which is due to the outstanding workforce they have,” Ford said.
Ford became head of the Newark division in April 2013.
America’s immigration debate has become red hot because President Obama’s critics not only believe that he lacks the authority to act without the consent of Congress, but also that he must not change internal enforcement priorities before first “securing the border.”
The truth is, the single most important thing Congress can do to meaningfully improve our border security is pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Too often, border security is viewed as preventing the illegal entry of people and goods across state lines. However, border security also is about ensuring the safe, efficient flow of commerce and increasing international trade. Comprehensive reform will do both, while our current approach serves neither objective.
I say this as someone who has made countless trips to the U.S.-Mexico border. I’ve seen firsthand how our current approach to policing the border is based on muddled objectives and unmeasurable benchmarks that mask failure.
Our failure to secure the border is not for a lack of trying. Congress has passed at least four laws since 1986 authorizing increases in Border Patrol personnel. In 1980, there were 2,268 Border Patrol agents at the southwest border; under President Obama, that number grew to an all-time high of 21,730. There was 14 miles of fencing on the border in 1990; under this administration, we’ve erected nearly 651 miles of new fencing and dramatically increased our mobile surveillance capabilities.
Yet there is scant evidence that we can spend our way out of this problem.
A former FBI agent who shot his estranged wife in the chest four times at their home testified that he had no choice but to pull the trigger, Fredericksburg.com reports.
An emotional Arthur Gonzalez insisted Wednesday that he was forced to protect himself when his estranged wife attacked him with a knife.
“Everything was such a blur. I was in disbelief, shock,” Gonzales testified. “Even though we were apart, I still loved her as the boys’ mother.”
Gonzalez, who is charged with second-degree murder, spoke of his turbulent marriage, which led to him filing for divorce in 2012. He said his relationship with his wife was cordial during the separation because of their two sons.
The jury is expected to deliberate today.
Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, a former scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico, was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for leaking classified nuclear weapons data to a person he believed to be a Venezuelan government official.
Mascheroni, 79, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Argentina, was sentenced in Albuquerque by U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson. His wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, 71, previously was sentenced in August 2014 to a year and a day of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release for her conviction on conspiracy and false statement charges.
A Justice Department press release stated:
Mascheroni, a Ph.D. physicist, worked as a scientist at LANL from 1979 to 1988 and held a security clearance that allowed him access to certain classified information, including “Restricted Data.” Roxby Mascheroni worked at LANL between 1981 and 2010, where her duties included technical writing and editing. She also held a security clearance at LANL that allowed her access to certain classified information, including “Restricted Data.” As defined under the Atomic Energy Act, “Restricted Data” is classified information concerning the design, manufacture or use of atomic weapons; the production of special nuclear material; or the use of special nuclear material in the production of energy.
Mascheroni and Roxby Mascheroni were indicted in September 2010 and charged with conspiracy to communicate and communicating Restricted Data to an individual with the intent to secure an advantage to a foreign nation, as well as conspiracy to convey and conveying classified information. The indictment also charged Mascheroni with concealing and retaining U.S. records with the intent to convert them to his own use and gain, and both defendants with making false statements.
Mascheroni pleaded guilty in June 2013, to counts seven and eight of the indictment, charging him with conversion of government property and retention of U.S. records, and counts 10 through 15, charging him with making false statements. Mascheroni also pleaded guilty to a felony information charging him with two counts of communication of Restricted Data and one count of retention of national defense information.
In entering his guilty plea, Mascheroni admitted that in November 2008 and July 2009, he unlawfully communicated Restricted Data to another individual with reason to believe that the data would be utilized to secure an advantage to Venezuela. He also admitted unlawfully converting Department of Energy information to his own use and selling the information in November 2008 and July 2009, and failing to deliver classified information relating to the United States’ national defense to appropriate authorities and instead unlawfully retaining the information in his home. Finally, Mascheroni admitted making materially false statements to the FBI when he was interviewed in October 2009.
Roxby Mascheroni pleaded guilty in June 2014, to count six of the indictment, charging her with conspiracy, and counts 16 through 22, charging her with making false statements. She also pleaded guilty to a felony information charging her with conspiracy to communicate Restricted Data. Roxby Mascheroni admitted that between October 2007 and October 2009, she conspired with Mascheroni to convey Restricted Data belonging to the United States to another person with reason to believe that the information would be used to secure an advantage to Venezuela. She also admitted making materially false statements to the FBI when she was interviewed in October 2009.
The indictment in this case did not allege that the government of Venezuela or anyone acting on its behalf sought or was passed any classified information, nor did it charge any Venezuelan government officials or anyone acting on their behalf with wrongdoing. The indictment also did not allege any wrongdoing by other individuals working at LANL.