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Archive for December 23rd, 2014

David Bowdich to Head Up FBI’s Los Angeles Office

David Bowdich

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David Bowdich is moving up.

The special agent in charge of Counterterrorism in the FBI’s Los Angeles office has been named the assistant director in charge.

Bowdich,  who was named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year in 2013, had served as the SAC since 2012.

Bowdich became an agent in 1995 and was assigned to the San Diego Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes and gangs and served as a SWAT team member and sniper, the FBI said. He led a yearlong wiretap investigation that culminated in the first federal racketeering convictions ever to be brought against street gang members in the Southern District of California.

In 2003, he went to headquarters where he served in the Safe Streets and Gang Unit. In late 2005, he returned to San Diego and supervised a multi-agency gang task force. In 2009, he was named assistant special agent in charge of the San Diego Field Office in 2009.

In 2011, Bowdich was selected to handle the transition of a new FBI Director. After Robert Mueller got a two-year extension, he was named special assistant to the associate deputy director.

 

Ex-FBI Agent Robert Lustyk Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Sell Confidential Info

Robert Lustyik

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI agent Robert Lustyk agent pleaded guilty Tuesday in New York federal court to bribery charges, admitting that he provided internal law enforcement documents and other confidential information about a prominent citizen of Bangladesh for use by a political rival in exchange for cash, authorities said.

“Robert Lustyik discarded the FBI’s principles of ‘fidelity, bravery, and integrity,’ and sold his badge to the highest bidder,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell in a statement. “Greed has no place in public service or law enforcement. The Department of Justice will root out corruption wherever it takes hold, and hold accountable those who abuse the public’s trust for personal gain.”

Lustyik, 52, of Westchester County, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in a bribery scheme, soliciting bribes by a public official, conspiracy to defraud the citizens of the United States and the FBI, theft of government property and unauthorized disclosure of a Suspicious Activity Report, authorities said in a press release.

Sentencing is set in New york for April 30.

The press release states:

According to the complaint, indictment, court hearings, and today’s plea proceeding, Lustyik was an FBI special agent who worked on the counterintelligence squad in the White Plains Resident Agency. Johannes Thaler was Lustyik’s friend, and Rizve Ahmed, aka, “Caesar,” was an acquaintance of Thaler. From September 2011 through March 2012, Lustyik, Thaler and Ahmed engaged in a bribery scheme.

As part of the scheme, Lustyik and Thaler solicited payments from Ahmed, in exchange for Lustyik’s agreement to provide internal, confidential documents and other confidential information to which Lustyik had access by virtue of his position as an FBI special agent. The documents and information pertained to a prominent citizen of Bangladesh (Individual 1), who Ahmed perceived as a political rival. Ahmed sought, among other things, to obtain information about Individual 1, to locate and harm Individual 1 and others associated with Individual 1.

As part of the scheme, Lustyik and Thaler exchanged text messages, including messages about how to pressure Ahmed to pay them additional money in exchange for confidential information. For example, in text messages, Lustyik told Thaler, “we need to push [Ahmed] for this meeting and get that 40 gs quick . . . . I will talk us into getting the cash . . . . I will work my magic . . . . We r sooooooo close.” Thaler responded, “I know. It’s all right there in front of us. Pretty soon we’ll be having lunch in our oceanfront restaurant . . . .”

As another example, in late January 2012, Lustyik, upon learning that Ahmed was considering using a different source to obtain confidential information about Individual 1, sent a text message to Thaler stating, “I want to kill C . . . . I hung my ass out the window n we got nothing? . . . . Tell [Ahmed], I’ve got [Individual 1’s] number and I’m pissed. . . . I will put a wire on n get [Ahmed and his associates] to admit they want [a Bangladeshi political figure] offed n we sell it to Individual 1].” Lustyik further stated, “So bottom line. I need ten gs asap. We gotta squeeze C.”

Thaler and Ahmed previously pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy to commit fraud, and are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2015.

FBI Warns of Alleged ISIS Threat to Blow Up Bridge Over Mississippi River

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is investigating an anonymous threat that ISIS plans to blow up the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge over the Mississippi River sthis month, FOX13 News reports.

The FBI sent a letter of warning to local law enforcement.

“According to an anonymous complainant, as of December 2014, ISIS instructed an ISIS member, a presumed USPER (U.S. person) in Memphis, with a direct order to blow up the Memphis-Arkansas bridge on an unknown date, activating ISIS terror cells in the United States,” the warning reads.

The FBI said there’s no evidence yet that the threat is legitimate.

“Although we received an anonymous threat, there is no actionable intelligence regarding an attack on the bridge. We take every threat seriously and whenever we receive a threat like this we take steps to inform all of our law enforcement partners,” Supervisory Special Agent Joel Siskovic, spokesman for the FBI Memphis Division, told FOX13 News.

About 56,000 cars and trucks use the bridge daily.

FBI to Help Train 30,000 Officers to Handle Active Shooters in Public Places

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI plans to train 30,000 officers nationwide how to handle an active shooter in schools, businesses and other public places, the USA Today reports.

More than 200 agents are helping with the training, which was hatched after the 2012 Newton, Conn., school massacre.

“We have found a block of training that, in a short period of time, provides the best investment in saving lives,” FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano said.

The training, which is in partnership with Texas State University, is critical and aimed at shaving time to respond, identify and “eliminate” suspects.

“If we don’t get the initial response right, it’s always going to be a train wreck,” said Terry Nichols, assistant director of Texas State’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center. “You have to stop the threat. That means urging first responding officers to move quickly toward the gunfire. That’s hard to do, even if you are a law enforcement officer.”

Less Marijuana But More Dangerous Drugs Seized by Border Patrol This Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A lot less marijuana was seized this fiscal year by the U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego, but the agency has seen a sizable increase in the amount of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin confiscated, KPBS reports.

Leaders at the San Diego sector said the seizures represent a tighter security.

“I am very pleased with our progress within San Diego sector’s area of responsibility,” said Chief Patrol Agent Paul Beeson in a statement. “The level of border security achieved over the years has resulted in an increase in the quality of life along the border as noted by the development of housing, shopping malls, small businesses and community infrastructure.”

Although marijuana seizures were down, it remained the most popular drug by weight. Agents seized 17,497 pounds of marijuana, 1,697 pounds of cocaine, 2,880 ounces of heroin and 1,797 pounds of meth.

The agency also arrested nearly 30,000 people for entering the country illegally during the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Watchdog Report: Secret Service Refuses to Turn Over Mandatory Security Data

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 
 
A watchdog report has sharply criticized the Secret Service for refusing to disclose mandatory data on its computer security systems to Homeland Security, making it difficult to measure the department’s security practices, the Hill reports.

The report by the DHS Office of Inspector General condemned the Secret Service, saying its “refusal to provide the required data created a significant deficiency in the Department’s information security program.”

“Your agency’s action puts at risk its own information systems and those of the Department as a whole,” DHS Inspector General John Roth wrote in an Oct. 29 letter to acting Secret Service director Joseph Clancy.

Clancy took over the Secret Service recently after the resignation of director Julia Pierson, who came under fierce criticism for her handling of security.

“I am deeply concerned that your agency’s unwillingness to provide the required continuous monitoring data feeds prevents the Department from overseeing and managing an effective information security program,” Roth wrote to the Secret Service.

TSA Agent Arrested After Estranged Wife’s Body Found in Van in Florida

Herve Placide

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A TSA agent has turned himself in after his estranged wife was found dead in a parked van Monday in Florida, the New York Daily News reports.

Herve Placide, 49, was arrested Monday following the discovery of his wife in a Walgreens Parking lot in Poinciana, Fla.

Placide is considered a suspected but was not charged as of Monday evening, the Daily News wrote.

A family member told police that Placide drove off with Magalie Placide after a physical altercation between the two.

About 45 minutes later, her body was found in the van.

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