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Archive for June 20th, 2017

Philip Celestini Named SAC of Intelligence Division at FBI Washington Field Office

Philip Celestini

Philip Celestini

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Philip Celestini, who served as section chief in the Cyber Division at FBI headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division in the FBI Washington Field Office.

Celestini joined the FBI in 1992 in the Charlotte Division.

In 2006, Celestini transferred to the Baltimore Division where he served as the Joint Terrorism Task Force coordinator and squad supervisor.

He was later promoted to supervisory senior resident agent of the Rockville, Md.,  RA, where he oversaw criminal and national security investigations in metropolitan Washington and western Maryland.

Celestini starts his new post on July 10.

DEA Raid in California Nets Enough Fentanyl to Kill All of Illinois

Synthetic opioid tablets

Synthetic opioid tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA, following a long-term investigation, seized a record-breaking amount of fentanyl and secured enough evidence for a federal indictment against three alleged traffickers in San Diego.

Those charged with possession of 44.1 kilograms of the deadly synthetic opiate are Jonathan Ibarra, 45, Hector Fernando Garcia, 46, and Anna Baker, 30, according to the Times of San Diego.  They face up to life in prison and $10 million in fines.

The nearly 100 pounds of fentanyl is enough to kill the entire state of Illinois, Courthouse News reports

Fentanyl is one of the leading causes of opioid deaths in the U.S. because it is up to 100 times more potent than heroin. A dose as small as 3 milligrams could kill 9,475 people.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Refuses to Release Comey’s Trump Memos to Media Because of Ongoing Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has declined Freedom of Information Act requests from several media outlets asking for copies of the memos that fired FBI Director James Comey wrote following President Trump’s one-on-one meetings with the bureau boss before he was terminated.

Comey revealed the existence of the memos when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.

Those memos could be critical evidence to the special counsel team that is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey and allegedly directing him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In denying the FOIA request, the FBI responded that the records were exempt from disclosure because of “pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to those responsive records, and the release of the information in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

Former AG Eric Holder Mulls Run for President in 2020 As He Fights Trump’s Agenda

Former AG Eric Holder

Former AG Eric Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Outraged by the actions of Donald Trump, former Attorney General Eric Holder is leading the legal fight against the president and is even considering running for president in 2020.

“Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes,” Holder told Yahoo News in an exclusive interview about his plans. “But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. A certain familiarity as the first African-American attorney general. There’s a justified perception that I’m close to President Obama. So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country. 

“Now is the time to be more visible,” Holder added. “Now is the time to be heard.”

Holder traveled to California to speak in favor of legislation SB 54, also known as the California Values Act, which is designed to intervene in the Trump administration’s effort to force cash-strapped local police departments to help federal authorities deport undocumented immigrants.

Holder, who was one of President Obama’s closest friends and appointees, has been serving as outside counsel to the California legislature.

Holder said he attended Monday’s press conference “to dramatize there issue, to raise the consciousness of people, to help the legislation along.”

Investigators Now Probing Role of Michael Flynn’s Business Partner

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal investigation is targeting ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and one of his former business partners over payments they received by three Russian companies and a Netherlands-based company controlled by a Turkish businessman.

The investigation is designed to determine whether the payments from foreign clients to Flynn’s now-inactive Flynn Intel Group violated the law, sources knowledgeable of the investigation told Reuters.

What’s new is the discovery that Flynn’s business partner, Bijan Kian, has become a subject of the widening investigation.

Neither of the men’s attorneys returned calls for comment.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is running the investigation, is part of an FBI probe into Flynn’s consulting firm lobbying on behalf of Turkey, for which it was paid $530,000 by Inovo. Flynn’s firm never properly disclosed the money or relationship.