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Archive for March 3rd, 2017

Weekends Series on Crime: The Australian Mafia

Gun Store Burglaries Jumped 30%, Reaching Alarming Levels in 2016

ATF photo

ATF photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Gun store burglaries reached record numbers in 2016, marking a 30% increase over 2015.

The 558 reported burglaries at licensed firearms dealers is higher than any period since the ATF began tracking burglaries and robberies five years ago, The Trace reports. 

During the 2016 break-ins, the number of firearms stolen reached 7,488, a 59% increase over 2015, which had previous held the record for gun store burglaries.

Compared to 2012, when the ATF began compiling data on such crimes, burglaries from licensed dealers jumped by 48%, while the number of guns stolen increased by 73%.

Many of those guns end up on the black market.

“These crimes victimize law-abiding federal firearms licensees, causing a threat to their livelihood and even personal safety at times, and the stolen firearms further pose a threat to the safety of our communities,” said ATF spokeswoman Amanda Hils. “ATF special agents and industry operations investigators across the country work alongside our local and state law enforcement partners to prevent, respond to, and investigate these incidents.”

FBI Director Is Holding Back Details of Trump-Russia Probe, Democrat Says

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democrats who hoped to learn more about the investigations into Russian meddling in the U.S. elections were disappointed after a closed-door meeting with FBI Director James Comey.

“At this point we know less than a fraction of what the FBI knows,” said U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Newsweek reports. 

Schiff said the committee plans to investigate the potential collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Disappointed that the FBI failed to give the panel a full intelligence briefing, Schiff said Comey will be called back.

“There were very large areas that were walled off, and those walls are going to have to come down if we are going to do our job,” Schiff said.

Democrats Urge FBI to Investigate Whether AG Sessions Lied Under Oath

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintains he never lied under oath by denying he communicated with Russian officials, but Democrats aren’t so sure.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee is asking the FBI to investigate whether Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing, the Hill reports. 

Lawmakers penned a letter to FBI Director James Comey and Channing D. Phillips, the U.S. attorney for Washington D.C., urging them to investigate whether Sessions broke the law.

“Efforts by Attorney General Sessions to assert that his testimony was not false or even misleading because he met with the Russian Ambassador in his capacity as a Senator, rather than a campaign representative, appear to be disingenuous at best as the questions put to him did not in any way ask if the meeting was campaign related,” they wrote.

Sessions acknowledged Thursday that he met with Russian officials twice during Trump’s campaign, but insisted the subject of the election was never discussed. Sessions also pledged to recuse himself from future investigations into the Trump campaign.

Desperate to Hire Agents, Border Patrol Holds Job Seminars Nationwide

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pledge to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents is no easy task because the agency is already struggling to maintain its current staff.

In hopes of recruiting more people to apply, the government is holding career fairs around the country and in colleges.

“Immigration, it’s a hot topic right now,” said Adam Leasure, a 19-year-old undergraduate at Temple University in Philadelphia, where one career fair was held. “But I think that when they enforce the laws they have to, such as getting the big cartels and that stuff out of the border, I think it’s very important and very interesting.”

Under Obama’s administration, Border Patrol struggled to fill open positions, partly because of the agency’s rigorous screening process.

“Criminal justice students are always interested in federal law enforcement because it actually pays much better than regular, local county or city agencies are going to pay,” said Professor Cheryl Irons, a former prosecutor who teaches criminal law at Temple

Trump has pledged to ramp up the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. But Border Patrol needs more staff to carry out the plan.

Other Stories of Interest

Judge Tentatively Approves $1M Settlement to Children in Border Patrol Lawsuit

Anastasio Hernandez Rojas.

Anastasio Hernandez Rojas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Seven years of litigation may finally be over after a San Diego federal judge tentatively approved a $1 million settlement to the children of a Mexican man who was fatally beaten and shot with a Taser at a California port of entry.

The money will be split by the five children of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, who was killed during the confrontation at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on May 28, 2010, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

“This agreement is not justice,” said Hernandez Rojas’ common-law wife, Maria Puga, at a news conference following the hearing. “My husband’s life does not have a price. The decision had to be taken and it was difficult. We had to turn the page.”

Two of the children are still minors.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Louisa Porter told the two 10-year-olds that he delayed signing the final order under to ensure the funds don’t need to go through probate.

“I hope you use the funds so you can have a good life going forward,” Porter told the two 10-year-olds. “He came to this country to improve his life, and he’d like to see your lives improved by virtue of all the sacrifices he made for you.”