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Archive for September 12th, 2013

Former Fox2 Reporter Simon Shaykhet Leaves Detroit FBI to Return to TV

FBI spokesman Simon Shaykhet being interviewed by WXYZ.

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — After 1 year and 10 months as the FBI spokesman in Detroit, Simon Shaykhet — the guy with the hard to spell last name — is returning to TV as a reporter.

“The FBI was a terrific experience and I was proud to be able to represent such a prestigious law enforcement organization,” Shaykhet told Deadline Detroit.

Shaykhet, 32, who worked for Fox2 for 5 1/2 years before joining the FBI, has joined WXYZ-TV as a general assignment and investigative reporter. He did an internship with WXYZ back in 2003.

Shaykhet, a Detroit native, was first hired at the FBI by Andy Arena, who then headed up the Detroit office. Arena was very outgoing and considered very press friendly. When Arena departed to head up the Detroit Crime Commission, he was replaced by Robert Foley III, who seemed less at ease with the press and was considerably lower profile. Foley transferred weeks ago to Florida.

Shayket insists both Arena and Foley were great to work for, acknowledging that each had a different style.

“Channel 7 was an excellent fit for me,” he said. “It was a great opportunity for me to go back to journalism, and it happened to occur just as my boss at the FBI was transferring to another position. ”

To read more click here.

ADL To Hand Out Awards to Law Enforcement that Battled Hates Crimes and Terrorist Threats

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish organization in Washington, will honor law enforcement heroes who have protected the public from hate crimes and terrorist threats.

The fourth annual ADL SHIELD Awards will be held on Monday, Sept. 23rd in Washington and the recipients will include members of the FBI Washington Field Office. The ADL works closely with agencies like the FBI and ATF to battle hate crimes and terrorism.

“The Award gives us an opportunity to publicly recognize and express our appreciation to those who protect our nation and its values,”Elise Jarvis, ADL’s Associate Director for Law Enforcement Outreach and Communal Security, said in a statement.

The 2013 ADL SHIELD Award recipients will include:

  • Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Washington Field Office Joint Terrorism Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for the year-long investigation and subsequent prosecution of Amine El Khalifi, who attempted to bomb the U.S. Capitol building. On June 22, 2012, El Khalifi pled guilty to using a weapon of mass destruction in a terrorist operation and he was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
  •  Leonardo Johnson and Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, Evidence Response Team, and Violent Crimes Task Force, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for their response to and investigation and prosecution of Floyd Lee Corkins, II, who on August 15, 2012, opened fire at the Family Research Council and shot Leonardo Johnson. On February 6, 2013, Corkins pled guilty to charges of committing an act of terrorism while armed, assault with intent to kill while armed, and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition. Leonardo Johnson will be attending and speaking at the ceremony.
  •  Special Agents Mia Winkley and Kevin Comiskey of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Baltimore Field Office and United States Department of Justice Trial Attorney AeJean Cha for the investigation into and prosecution of individuals responsible hanging a dead raccoon by a noose on the porch of a black family in Maryland. They identified five suspects, all of whom plead guilty to civil rights charges for their involvement in the conspiracy to commit a hate crime.
  •  Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Special Operations Division, Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team, and Kabul Country Office, and the United States Department of Justice Criminal Division, Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section for the investigation and prosecution of Haji Bagcho, one of the world’s most prolific drug traffickers whose proceeds helped fund the Taliban. On June 12, 2012, Bagcho was sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment and ordered to forfeit more than $250,000,000 in drug proceeds and his property in Afghanistan.
  •  

Column: Homeland Security Exposes Constitutional Loop Hole to Conduct Searches

Dale McFeatters
The Eagle-Tribune

The Founding Fathers valued privacy enough to specify in the Fourth Amendment that the people had the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures unless a warrant was issued.

Among other items, they specified “papers.” In a rare moment of shortsightedness, they failed to specify laptops, cellphones and thumb drives. The feds, if they had any clue that these electronic devices might contain incriminating information, could of course go to court and obtain a warrant.

But the Department of Homeland Security has found a way around that constitutional technicality, as in the recent case of David House, who came to the feds’ attention for having raised funds for the defense of secrets-leaker Chelsea Manning, formerly Pfc. Bradley Manning. No telling what secrets House may have had, but it apparently wasn’t worth the hassle of going to court to find out.

Instead, according to the Associated Press: “U.S. agents quietly waited for months for House to leave the country, then seized his laptop, thumb drive, digital camera and cellphone when he re-entered the United States. They held his laptop for weeks before returning it, acknowledging one year later that House had committed no crime and promising to destroy copies the government made of House’s personal data.”

To read more click here.

Long-Serving Border Patrol Chief to Retire After 25 Years, Reflects on Advances

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com


Chief Enrique “Henry” Mendiola Jr., whose 25 year of service makes him one of the longest-serving agents of the Border Patrol RGV Sector, is retiring, ValleyCentral.com reports.

Mendiola was only 20 years old when he joined the Border Patrol in 1988.

“When I came in we were still doing ink fingerprints, we had no databases, not even computers,” Mendiola said.

A lot has changed since then. The number of agents has increased 500%, and apprehensions have declined, he told ValleyCentral.com.

“We have made a lot of progress.  Apprehensions are well under the million range where they were back then,” Mendiola said.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Families of 19 Homicide Victims Want to Speak Out During ‘Whitey’ Bulger Sentencing

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was convicted of 11 murders, the victims of 19 homicide victims want to be heard during sentencing in November, The Boston Globe reports.

Bulger’s attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., initially considered opposing the request but acknowledged there’s not much he can do.

“Federal law permits family members of alleged victims to speak at sentencing, even if the government was unable to prove that the defendant was responsible for their loved ones’ death,” Carney told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Boston.

Each family speaker will be given 5 to 10 minutes to talk during sentencing.

Donald Trump Is Considering a Deal to Acquire FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s real estate empire may soon include the FBI’s headquarters in Washington D.C., the Washington Post reports.

Trump said he’s considering bidding on the J. Edgar Hoover Building for redevelopment. He already owns the building across the street, the Old Post Office Pavilion.

The FBI has been looking for developers and investors to acquire the hulking building in exchange for a newly built FBI headquarters in the region.

Trump said he’ll decide soon whether to bid.

“We’ll be watching the FBI as to what’s going to happen,” Trump told the Washington Post. “Whether or not we will bid on it, we may, we may not. Now if we do as good a job as we will do with [the Old Post Office], people may ask us about it.”

Homeland Security Tests Robotic Fish Designed to Sniff Out Contraband

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s a like a drone for the ocean.

Homeland Security is testing a six-foot-long robotic fish that is designed to find contraband in a ship’s hull, The Rancher reports.

Equipped with sophisticated sensors, the BIOSwimmer is shaped like a tuna and highly maneuverable.

Serving as the launching ground for the robotic fish is a century-old battleship that saw two World Wars, The Rancher wrote.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife is pleased to make the Battleship TEXAS available to serve the nation in the interests of strengthening port security,” says Andy Smith, TPWD’s ship manager. “The tests underway this week will be instructive in the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to refine this innovative technology so it may be deployed to make our maritime environment safer. The Battleship TEXAS is showing us that you’re never too old to be of service to your country.”