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Archive for March 9th, 2016

FBI Under Investigation After Agents Shot at Wildlife Occupier But Never Reported It

Scene at federal wildlife refuge six weeks ago.

Scene at federal wildlife refuge six weeks ago.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents are under investigation after it was discovered they fired shots at LaVoy Finicum at the federal wildlife refuge and never reported it.

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson said the two bullets fired by the FBI did not strike Finicum, who was shot three times by state troopers and killed about six weeks ago, Washington Post reports. 

State police were justified in the fatal shooting, but Nelson said the FBI agents “did not disclose their shots to investigators, nor did they disclose specific actions they took after the shooting.”

The sheriff’s office and the Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating the FBI’s involvement.

The FBI did not comment.

NSA Whistleblower Snowden Said FBI’s Claim That Only Apple Can Unlock iPhone Is ‘Bulls—‘

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said the FBI could have easily unlocked an iPhone and called the bureau’s fight with Apple a sham, CNBC reports. 

“The FBI says Apple has the ‘exclusive technical means’,” to unlock the phone, Snowden said during a discussion at Common Cause’s Blueprint for Democracy conference in Washington on Wednesday.

“Respectfully, that’s bullshit,” Snowden said.

Snowden explained that the FBI could have bypassed the iPhone’s auto-erase function but failed to do so.

Other technology experts backed up those claims, but said the FBI made a big error by trying to reset the iCloud password.

CNBC wrote:

Even so, security researchers say there are other options, like “de-capping” the phone’s memory chip to access it outside the phone (which Snowden has also mentioned), or resetting the phone’s internal counter so that you can guess the passwords as many times as you want. Those techniques are hard and expensive and could destroy the phone, experts say — but have worked in the past.

FBI Director Comey Appears to Be Ruffling the Feathers of the Obama Administration

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey is ruffling feathers in the Obama administration over his aggressive posturing, The Hill reports. 

Some of the issues are Comey’s fight with Apple, his suggestion that the Black Lives Matter movement has hindered police and his warning about “gaps” in the screening of Syrian refugees.

Then there’s the issue of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner who is under investigation for her use of a private e-mail server while she was the secretary of state.

Comey, a Republican who donated to Mitt Romeny’s presidential campaign in 2012, has shown he is “not attached to the strings of the White House,” said Ron Hosko, the former head of the FBI’s criminal investigative division and a critic of Obama’s law enforcement strategies.

On the Apple issue, “It’s just not clear [Comey] is speaking for the administration,” said Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism and cybersecurity chief. “We know there have been administration meetings on this for months. The proposal that Comey had made on encryption was rejected by the administration.”

Former law enforcement officials said Comey may be giving the president more than he bargained for.

“He takes very seriously the fact that he works for the executive branch,” added Leo Taddeo, a former agent in the FBI’s cyber division. “But he also understands the importance of maintaining his independence as a law enforcement agency that needs to give not just the appearance of independence but the reality of it.”

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Murdering Mexican Teenager Set for Trial in November

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who has been charged with murder after shooting and killing a Mexican teenager through a border fence is expected to face a trial in November.

Nov. 7 is the trial date set by U.S. District Court Judge Raner C. Collins.

Border Patrol agent Lonnie Ray Swartz was charged with second-degree murder in September in the killing of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, AZCentral reports. 

The trial has been delayed multiple times.

The teenager’s mother, Araceli Rodriguez, said she hopes the right jury is selected.

“I hope that the jury that is deciding the case has morals, is a jury made up of members who have children, is a jury that knows good from bad, that can distinguish the truth from lies,” she said. “I hope that the jury leans towards justice. To choose justice.”

The U.S. government intends to call eight expert witnesses at the trial, including a ballistics expert and three forensic medical examiners.

DEA to Crack Down on Synthetic Drug That is Causing Deaths, Erratic Behavior

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is tackling yet another disturbing trend involving a synthetic drug that is causing hysteria and bizarre behaviors among users.

The substance is known as “flakka” and is similar to bath salts, Vice News reports. 

The drug is primarily manufactured in China and sold online under brand names like “Cloud Nine,” Scarface,” and “Lunar Wave.” The drug sells for about $3 to $5 and is often accompanied with a warning that it’s “not for human consumption.”

The drug mimics the effects of methamphetamine and other speed.

One reported user ran naked through the streets of Florida and tried to stab a cop with his own badge. In another incident, a Florida man ran naked from what he believed was a pack of vicious German shepherds.

In Broward County in southern Florida, a medical examine reported 63-flakka-related deaths since September 2014. Last summer, emergency rooms in the country admitted more more than 300 people for symptoms related to flakka.

Taking synthetic drugs is “nothing but a game of Russian roulette,”  chief DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told VICE News said. “The unknown should scare people. You don’t know where it came from, or the kind of lab it was manufactured in.”

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