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Archive for July 30th, 2014

Federal Review: FBI Lab Rife with Forensic Flaws in 1980s, 1990s

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Justice Department have found serious problems at the bureau’s lab that raise serious questions about the guilt or innocence of several thousand people who have been convicted, the Washington Post reports.

The investigation began after the Washington Post exposed flawed evidence two years involving microscopic hair matches.

“I don’t know whether history is repeating itself, but clearly the [latest] report doesn’t give anyone a sense of confidence that the work of the examiners whose conduct was first publicly questioned in 1997 was reviewed as diligently and promptly as it needed to be,” said Michael R. Bromwich, who was inspector general from 1994 to 1999 and is now a partner at the Goodwin Procter law firm.

The review of the cases was halted last year, the FBI said, because of a “vigorous debate that occurred within the FBI and DOJ about the appropriate scientific standards we should apply when reviewing FBI lab examiner testimony — many years after the fact.”

The investigations resumed this month.

“Working closely with DOJ, we have resolved those issues and are moving forward with the transcript review for the remaining cases,” the FBI said.

Some Children Rescued in Sex Trafficking Ring Were Never Reported Missing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some of the 168 children who were rescued from a sex trafficking ring last month were never reported missing, the New York Post reports.

The children, as young as 11, were found in hotel rooms, truck stops and homes.

But some were never reported missing, a big concern for child welfare advocates.

Part of the problem, the advocates say, is that the U.S. needs a standardized approach to report missing children. Some states, for example, also don’t require agencies to alert the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.

Some states also lack laws requiring the reporting of missing children.

Legislation pending in Congress would require both.

Militia Groups Sporting Semi-Automatic Rifles And Camouflage Are Patrolling the Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 10 militia groups are patrolling the Texas-Mexico border despite objection from the federal government, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

The newspaper obtained more than 30 photos showing the armed militia members in camouflage, tactical gear and masks.

CBP responded that it does not “endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their own hands, as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”

State lawmakers also expressed concern and anger.

“Local law enforcement and federal Border Patrol agents have been clear. The presence of these outside independent militia groups does nothing to secure the border; it only creates an unsafe situation for law enforcement officials that are protecting our communities. Unfortunately, the vile rhetoric of my opponent inspires misguided efforts,” said Van de Putte, who is running against state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, for lieutenant governor.

The groups, including Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and Patriots, have been recruiting members since the media began focusing on an influx of Central American immigrants, mostly families and children.

FBI Arrests Indiana Sheriff Accused of Hiring Prostitute, Urging Her to Destroy Evidence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a county sheriff in Indiana on charges that he paid a prostitute $300 for oral sex and then urged her to hide the evidence, the Courier-Journal reports.

The arrest of Sheriff Danny Rodden comes after he was indicted July 23 on charges of lying to federal agents and counseling the destruction of evidence.

Investigators said Rodden paid for the sex act in a Louisville hotel.

Rodden, 60, also is accused of giving the prostitute a badge and sheriff’s department apparel so she could receive discounts at hotels.

“It is a sad day for Clark County. It is a sad day for all elected and appointed officials who do their best to adhere to the high standards expected of those of us who serve the public,” said U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, who announced the charges.

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