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Archive for April 14th, 2017

FBI Director Warns about Fake News from Countries Like Russia

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey warned about fake news being produced in foreign countries in an organized disinformation campaign, the Associated Press reports.

Comey said that adversaries such as Russia “used all kinds of vectors to try and influence and undermine our own faith in our democratic processes.”

Comey told a crowd at Newseum event that the FBI would be vigilant in identifying fake news stories.

“The most important thing to be done is people need to be aware of the possibility that what they’re reading has been shaped by troll farms looking to push a message on Twitter to undermine our confidence” about the electoral process, Comey said.

The FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies said Russia tried to interfere in last year’s presidential election to make Donald Trump look like the favorable candidate. Part of the disruptive efforts included paid social media users, or “trolls.:

“One of the most important things we can do is be transparent about efforts to interfere with our process `cause then those interference efforts lose some of their force,” Comey said.

New Documentary TV Series Will Focus on FBI; Director Comey Likes the Idea

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey is allowing filmmakers access to the bureau’s New York offices for a year to film a new documentary TV series.

“We have to care what people think about us,” Comey explained during an interview at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “The faith and confidence of the American people is the bedrock.”

The series, “Inside the FBI: New York,” will be produced by Dick Wolf, the creator of “Law and Order,” and documentarian Marc Levin, CBS News reports. 

Comey hopes the series will improve the FBI’s image after the bureau’s controversial handing off the Hillary Clinton investigation last year.

“I worry sometimes that people don’t know us,” Comey said. “We did a lot last year that confused people.”

The filmmakers already captured video of the FBI’s responses to terrorism between September 2015 and September 2016.

Border Patrol Tries to Fill Vacancies with Former Agents As Immigration Crackdown Continues

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Border Patrol is reaching out to former agents in hopes of filling enough jobs to carry out President Trump’s expanded crackdown on illegal immigration.

The Tucson Sector tweeted Thursday, “Tucson Sector is seeking to reinstate agents who voluntarily separated #USBC over 12 mo. ago.”

“We are trying to hire for attrition, meet mandates of staffing levels, there’s an executive order that we’re trying to hire more agents and that’s one of the messages we want to send out is that we’re hiring and this is a way we can reach potential applicants that have been cleared as agents,” Agent Christopher Sullivan in the Tucson Sector Border Patrol public affairs office explained to Tucson News Now.

Hiring former agents is easier than hiring new ones because they’ve already passed a background check and have experience that doesn’t require as training.

“Some of the benefits of rehiring previous agents is that they don’t have to travel to the academy and get retrained. They’re already trained as agents previously, so it saves us money as in training costs and it also strea

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent. A

mlines the hiring process,” said Sullivan.

To learn more about the rehiring process, click here.

Man Charged in 2010 Murder of Border Patrol Agent Terry to Be Extradited to U.S.

Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 38-year-old man convicted in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry may soon end up in an American prison.

The Mexican government began the extradition process of Heraclio “Laco” Osorio-Arellanes, who was arrested Wednesday in the state of Chihuahua on a provisional arrested warrant by the U.S., the Arizona Republic reports. 

The Republic reports:

Osorio-Arellanes is the sixth of seven defendants taken into custody in connection with the killing of Terry, 40, in a nighttime gunbattle on Dec. 14, 2010,  in a remote canyon near Rio Rico in Santa Cruz County, about 10 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The gunbattle took place between Border Patrol agents who included Terry and a Mexican “rip crew” — criminal gangs that hide in the desert on the U.S. side of the border to rip off smugglers transporting drugs or migrants into the United States from Mexico.

Terry’s death touched off a major political controversy after it was revealed that two guns recovered after the Arizona shootout were linked to “Operation Fast and Furious,” a botched federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun-trafficking probe that lost track of hundreds of weapons.

The so-called “gun-walking” scandal resulted in the 2011 resignation of U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives in 2012 voted to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over a dispute concerning “Fast and Furious”-related documents.

FBI Raids Pennsylvania Home of Suspected White Supremacists

FBI file photo of KKK items.

FBI file photo of KKK items.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI raided a Pennsylvania home as part of an investigation into white supremacists.

About 50 agents from the FBI and other federal agencies raided the home in Phillipsburg near Penn State University in central Pennsylvania.

Federal authorities declined to provide more specifics about the investigation or raid.

“It’s more than just a guy in his basement. That’s for sure,” Southern Poverty Law Center senior investigative reporter Ryan Lenz told lehighvalleylive.com.

Neighbors said the they often saw white supremacists at the home that was raided.

2 Secret Service Uniformed Officers Fired After Fence-Jumper Approached White House

white house big photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Secret Service uniformed officers were fired Thursday after a man jumped a White House fence and managed to wander around for 16 minutes.

In a statement, the Secret Service said the investigation is ongoing, but the agency declined to provide additional information.

The incident happened on March 10, when 26-year-old Jonathan Tran approached the doors and windows of the White House.

The fence-jumping was just the latest breach of security at the White House in the past year.

Other Stories of Interest

Fresno State Professor Under Federal Investigation After Tweeting That Trump Should Hang

Fresno State Professor Lars Maischak

Fresno State Professor Lars Maischak

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Fresno State professor is under investigation after tweeting that President Trump must hang to save democracy.

History Professor Lars Maischal, who was born in Germany, apologized and deleted the tweet, which stated, ““to save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better,” the Fresno Bee reports

Maischal said he is “prepared to take full responsibility for my statements.”

Fresno State President Joseph Castro said he has not made a decision on Maischal’s fate because the university is still investigating.

The FBI and Secret Service are investigating.

ATF: Law Enforcement Officers Increasingly Buying Guns, Illegally Selling Them to Public

File photo of guns, via ATF

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is warning police departments that federal law enforcement officers are increasingly buying and illegally reselling unlicensed guns, which often are ending up in the hands of criminals.

The agency called the scheme an “emerging problem” that is adding to the flood of illegal firearms in the country the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. 

Among the guns sold on the black market are “off-roster” guns that only can be purchased by law enforcement.

“Recently, ATF has discovered that some law enforcement officers who do not have a (Federal Firearms License) are purchasing ‘off roster’ firearms and reselling those firearms to non-law enforcement entities for a profit,” Special Agent in Charge of the ATF in Los Angeles Eric D. Harden wrote in an advisory.

Some of the guns are surfacing at crime scenes.

“In some instances, ATF has discovered officers who purchased more than 100 ‘off roster’ firearms that were subsequently transferred to non-law enforcement individuals,” Harden continued. “Such transactions potentially constitute violations of federal firearms laws, to include dealing firearms without a FFL, and lying on a federal firearms form when purchasing said firearm — also known as ‘straw purchasing.’ ”