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Archive for September 24th, 2014

Police Who Want to Use Federal Cell Phone Surveillance Required to Keep Technology quiet

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has prohibited local and state police from discussing the capabilities of surveillance technology that enables law enforcement to eavesdrop on cell phone calls, the Washington Post reports.

A letter obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the FBI requires police departments to sign a “non-disclosure agreement” before buying the equipment.

The so-called cell site simulators trick phones into routing their calls through surveillance, the Washington Post wrote.

The FBI said the disclosure of the technology could make it possible for criminals to avoid or detect the surveillance.

“The FBI routinely asserts the law enforcement sensitive privilege over cell site simulator equipment because discussion of the capabilities and use of the equipment in court would allow criminal defendants, criminal enterprises, or foreign powers, should they gain access to the items, to determine the FBI’s techniques, procedures, limitations, and capabilities in this area,” said an affidavit by an FBI official in April.

FBI, Homeland Security Warn of ISIS-Inspired Attacks in U.S. Following Airstrikes in Syria

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Homeland Security are warning that ISIS-inspired Americans or visitors may try to launch a domestic attack in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against extremists in Syria, CBS News reports.

The agencies issued bulletins that urged law enforcement to “be vigilant.” ISIS and other terrorist groups have been recruiting Americans. Attorney General Eric Holder said the U.S. needs a new approach.

“It will be focused on people who have terrorist connections and come up with new ways in which information is shared between INTERPOL members that, frankly, don’t exist now,” he said. “We have red notices that we use for people who are charged with crimes. But we’re gonna come up with a new kind of notice that deals with people who are suspected of engaging in terrorist activities.”

Federal Prison Population Drops for First Time in Decades Under AG Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For the first time in several decades, the federal inmate population has decreased, the Associated Press reports.

The Justice Department revealed that roughly 4,800 fewer inmates were incarcerated last year than the year before.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he anticipates the inmate population to be about 250,000 next week, which is the end of the budget cycle.

“This is nothing less than historic,” Holder said, addressing a conference at the New York University School of Law that was hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice. “To put these numbers in perspective, 10,000 inmates is the rough equivalent of the combined populations of six federal prisons, each filled to capacity.”

Holder has been working to reduce the prison population, saying its costly and contains too many nonviolent offenders.

6 Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies Sentenced Up to 41 Months in Prison for Interfering with Civil Rights Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six deputies for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department were sentenced Wednesday to up to 41 months in prison for interfering with a federal civil rights investigation at a jail.

The federal judge told the defendants that they lacked “courage to do what is right” and showed no remorse.

The sentencing follows a federal jury’s determination that the defendants tried to influence witnesses, threatened an FBI agent with arrest and hid an FBI informant from investigators.

“Blind obedience to a corrupt culture has serious consequences,” United States District Judge Percy Anderson told the defendants before sentencing.

The defendants were:

  • Gregory Thompson, 54, a now-retired lieutenant who oversaw LASD’s Operation Safe Jails Program, who was ordered to serve 37 months in prison and to pay a $7,500 fine;
  • Lieutenant Stephen Leavins, 52, who was assigned to the LASD’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who received a 41-month prison sentence;
  • Gerard Smith, 42, a deputy who was assigned to the Operation Safe Jails Program, who was ordered to serve 21 months in prison;
  • Mickey Manzo, 34, a deputy who was assigned to the Operation Safe Jails Program, who received a 24-month sentence;
  • Scott Craig, 50, a sergeant who was assigned to the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who was sentenced to 33 months; and
  • Maricela Long, 46, a sergeant who assigned to the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who received a sentence of two years in federal prison.

“Interference with a federal investigation cannot be tolerated,” said Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The sentences imposed today allow us to move forward toward an environment of mutual trust and the common goal of delivering justice to victims of crime. I look forward to continued collaboration with our trusted partners at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.”

Army Veteran Who Jumped White House Fence Previously Found with Weapons, Map to White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Army veteran who climbed over a White House fence and made a mockery of security was twice interviewed by Secret Service agents earlier this summer in Virginia and Washington, the Associated Press reports.

Yet during those interviews, the Secret Service determined Omar J. Gonzalez was not a security threat.

The first encounter came during a traffic stop when police found a sawed off shotgun and a map of Washington with a circle around the White House, the AP wrote.

Agents contacted him again after being found near the White House with a small hatchet,

Despite those findings, the Secret Service did not find him a threat.

Other Stories of Interest

Retired Border Patrol Agent Warns of Imminent Threat of Illegal Immigration

Border Patrol Agent, Detainee Not Wearing Seatbelt When Car Veered Off Road

FBI Finds Car Belonging to Cleveland Woman Missing For Month

El Paso to Renew Agreement with CBP to Pay More Staffing Hours at Ports of Entry

Does America Need Homeland Security Department Following Low Moral, Turnover