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Archive for March 20th, 2015

ATF Director B. Todd Jones Calling it Quits; Tom Brandon Will Step Up

US Attorney B. Todd Jones

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

B. Todd Jones, the head of ATF, who first stepped in as acting director in 2011, and later became the first ATF directory in history to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, is stepping down, effective March 31.

The announcement from ATF came in a press release, which said he’s departing to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Jone’s number two person, Thomas Brandon, will step in as acting director.

“ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our nation safer every day,” said Jones in a statement. “I have seen firsthand their extraordinary commitment to combatting violent crime, ridding the streets of criminals, and leveraging all available resources to keep our communities safe.”

“I will truly miss leading and working side-by-side with these men and women in their pursuit of ATF’s unique law enforcement and regulatory mission,” Jones added.

Jones initially held two jobs in 2011: He was named acting director of ATF while still serving as U.S. Attorney in Minnesota. President Obama nominated him for the permanent post on Jan. 24, 2013, and he ended his job as U.S. Attorney after being confirmed as ATF director.

Tom Brandon/atf photo

ATF Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon will serve as Acting Director. Brandon was appointed Deputy Director of ATF in October 2011.

 

 

Weekend Series on Crime: The Watergate Break-in

Thieves Break into Homeland Security Agents’ Cars in Detroit’s Corktown Area

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Detroit’s popular Corktown business district continues to have problems with car thefts and break-ins.

The latest: Two unmarked cars belonging to federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security were broken into Wednesday night at Corktown as agents were dining at the new Batch Brewery at 1400 Porter St., Mara MacDonald of WDIV reports. Laptops and other equipment were taken, sources tell the station.

The Department Homeland Security ordered the vehicles towed and taken to a location where investigators will look for evidence, MacDonald adds.

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FBI to Investigate Hanging Death of Black Man in Mississippi

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping investigate the hanging death of a 54-year-old black man in Mississippi.

Local police in the small central Mississippi town of Port Gibson requested the bureau’s help to determine whether Otis Byrd was murdered or committed suicide.

Byrd was last seen on March 2 and was found Thursday hanging from a tree in the woods.

“We want to make sure it was not a racial hate crime,” Derrick Johnson, head of the state chapter of the NAACP, told the Los Angeles Times. “We cannot stand by in 2015 and watch a lynching, if in fact that’s what happened.”

The focus Thursday was on combing the scene for evidence.

“We seen a man who had a bedsheet tied around his neck,” Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas told CNN.

 

 

Judge Threatens Justice Department with Sanctions over Immigration Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Justice Department attorneys are under scrutiny after a federal judge said they may have misled him about when President Obama’s immigration plans were implemented.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who has blocked President Obama‘s immigration executive action, hinted that sanctions could be forthcoming if he was misled about when the administration launched the controversial immigration plans.

Hanen questioned whether the administration reneged on a pledge not to implement a primary part of Obama’s program – offering people reprieve from deportations.

“Like an idiot I believed that,” Hanen said.

Justice Department attorney Kathleen Hartnett apologized for any confusion and said the administration was not intending to deceive the court.

Border Patrol Agent Fatally Shot ‘Illegal Border Crosser;’ Investigation Under way

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An investigation is underway after a Border Patrol agent fatally shot a suspected “illegal border crosser” Thursday while on patrol near the U.S.-Canada border in Washington State,  CNN reports.

CBP said the agent, whose identity has not been released, fired his weapon after he was assaulted by the suspect.

“The agent had been hit by pepper spray but wasn’t seriously injured, according to police radio traffic,” The Bellingham Herald wrote.

The shooting occurred between Sumas, Washington, and Abbotsford, British Columbia near the Huntington Border Crossing.

Secret Service Director Disputes News Accounts of White House Crash

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service Director Joe Clancy disputed news reports that two high-ranking agents drunkenly crashed into a gate at the White House.

“Previous reports of a crash are inaccurate — there was no crash,” Clancy said at a Senate Appropriations Homeland Security subcommittee hearing, CNN reports. 

“The video shows the vehicle entering the White House complex at a speed of approximately one to two miles per hour, and pushing aside a plastic barrel. There was no damage to the vehicle,” he said.

Still, Clancy said it was “unacceptable” that it took five days for him to be notified of the incident.

“If it is determined that any one of our employees concealed information about this alleged incident, they will be held accountable,” he told the panel. “Our mission is too important for this to happen. It undermines my leadership and I won’t stand for it.”

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