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Archive for September 2nd, 2016

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Story of Prohibition

Putin: Hacking of DNC Emails Was Public Service But Denies Government Responsible

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Vladimir Putin denied accusations that Russia’s government hacked thousands of Democratic National Committee emails and documents, but said the action was a public service.

“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?’’ Putin said in an interview with Bloomberg at the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on Thursday. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.’’

Putin has long been a critic of Hillary Clinton, who compared his annexation of Crimea in 2014 to Adolph Hitler’s actions before WWII.

“There’s no need to distract the public’s attention from the essence of the problem by raising some minor issues connected with the search for who did it,” Putin said of the DNC breach. “But I want to tell you again, I don’t know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this.”

Bloomberg reports:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has high confidence that the government in Moscow was behind the theft at the DNC and other Democratic Party organizations seeking to propel Clinton to victory over Republican Donald Trump in November, a person familiar with the findings has said. Trump has praised Putin as a great leader and the billionaire’s former campaign chairman spent years working for the Kremlin ally who was ousted from Ukraine’s presidency in 2014.

FBI Warns Clinton, Trump Campaigns of Cyberattacks, Foreign Spies

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has warned Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaigns that they may become targets for foreign spies.

The warnings were issued to presidential campaign staffers Wednesday during separate security briefings in Washington, sources told ABC News. 

While the briefings were described as standard, they come amid recent hacks of the Democratic National Committee and other party organizations.

An FBI official said the sessions were voluntary “awareness briefings.”

The FBI is investigating coordinated cyberattacks of the Democrat National Committee and other Democratic organizations.

Blogger Charged with Threatening to Kill FBI Agents Is Released After Jury Deadlocks

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Orange County, Calif., blogger accused of threatening to behead and slit the throats of FBI agents was acquitted on some charges, and jurors were deadlocked on others.

U.S. District Judge Josephine L. Staton declared a mistrial and ordered Peter Ronald Wexler to be released, CNN reports. 

Wexler, 50, testified that he intended to be provocative in his posts by using sarcasm and hyperbole, but he did not intend to convey serious threats against the agents.

Prosecutors had to convince jurors that Wexler’s comments were “a serious expression of an intent to physically harm or murder” the agents.

“Mr. Wexler is very happy about today’s results,” Wexler’s attorney, Caleb Mason, said. “He’s very glad the justice system has worked so far.”

Wexler once wrote: “Is it murder to kill an FBI Pig who knocks on your door without a warrant?” Wexler allegedly wrote in a blog post. “I think not.”

Immigrants, Cartels Circumvent Border Walls by Digging Tunnels

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have found dozens of tunnels near the border of Mexico.

When agents locate the taste underground networks used by Mexican drug cartels, they dump concrete to seal the passageway and stamp them with a date, the New York Times reports. 

“The clock is ticking as soon as they complete a tunnel,” said Kevin Hecht, a Border Patrol tunneling expert. “They know that we will eventually find them. But if even one load gets through before we find it, they consider it a success.”

Many of the tunnels are used to circumvent large walls – like the one supported by Donald Trump.

“The Border Patrol has done an incredible job, given its resources,” said Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, the White House drug policy director in the Clinton administration. “But it would be a stretch to say that the border and border communities are secure when the agency lacks a high-confidence ability to detect cross-border tunnels. No wall is going to fix that.”

Trump has pledged to use sensor to  “find and dislocate tunnels and keep out criminal cartels,” but no such technology has proven successful.

Family of Man Fatally Shot by FBI to File Wrongful Death Claim

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

David Coborubio was at his friend’s house playing video games in Los Angeles County when the FBI entered the house on Aug. 25 and fatally shot him in the chest.

The 31-year-old’s family plans to file a wrongful death claim against the FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,  89.3 KPCC reports. 

The search warrant was for his friend, Paul White, who was wanted on a parole violation.

The family’s attorney said Coborubio ran toward the backdoor of the home when he and his friend saw an armed man at a gate at the end of the driveway.

Coborubio said she heard three gunshots, followed by someone yelling “FBI.”

“He lay dying on the door of my bedroom,” Martinez said. “He came to warn me. … I saw my baby at the door of my room dying.”

The FBI declined to say whether Coborubio was armed or if agents believed he was armed.

“In order to carry out a fair and objective investigation, we have not provided details beyond what was contained in the statement,” said spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

Other Stories of Interest