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Archive for April 17th, 2018

As Trump Attacks, More Americans Are Losing Confidence in Mueller Probe

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The public’s confidence in special counsel Robert Mueller is dropping as President Trump and his allies step up their attacks against the probe, the FBI and the Justice Department.

Mueller’s favorability ratings fell 11 points over the past month, with 32% of Americans viewing the special counsel favorably, 30% holding an unfavorable view and 38% without an opinion, according to an NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist Poll

The poll shows Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided over the former FBI director appointed to investigate Russia and President Trump’s campaign. Mueller’s favorability among Democrats is at 56%, with 19% viewing him favorably and a quarter uncertain.

Nearly half of surveyed Republicans expressed an unfavorable view of Mueller favorability, a dramatic increase from 30% last month. About 16% of Republicans view Mueller favorably, and another 35% are undecided.

Independents are almost evenly divided, with 35% viewing Mueller favorably, 30% unfavorably and 34% are unsure.

David Bowdich Replaces McCabe as The FBI’s #2 Agent

David Bowdich (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David Bowdich has been named deputy director of the FBI, officially replacing Andrew McCabe, who was fired shortly before his retirement.

Bowdich is regarded as being far more popular than McCabe among agents.

He recently served as the associate deputy director, where he oversaw the management of all FBI personnel, budget, administration and infrastructure, as well as the inspection and insider threat programs, a  press release said.

He began his career as a special agent in 1995 in the San Diego Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes and gangs and served as a SWAT Team operator and sniper.

In 2003, he was promoted to FBI headquarters where he served in the Criminal Investigative Division and the director’s office.

From September 2012 to December 2014, he served as the special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division in the Los Angeles Field Office.

From December 2014 to April 2016, Bowdich served as assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles Field Office.

In 2013, he was named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year. 

Retired Head of FBI’s Minneapolis Division Takes Job with Federal Reserve Bank

Richard Thornton, former FBI agent in charge of the Minneapolis division.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Richard Thornton, the former agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis division, has been appointed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as its vice president of law enforcement and operations.

Thornton, who retired from the FBI on Feb. 28, will take the helm at the Minneapolis Fed’s law enforcement department and operations at the Minneapolis and Helena, Mont., offices, according to the bank.

“We are very excited to have someone of Rick’s experience, stature and strong reputation join the bank,” Chief Operating Officer Ron Feldman said in a statement. “We know he will make great contributions to the bank, the Federal Reserve System and the community at large.”

In statement to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Thornton said, “The strong leadership and the important mission of the Minneapolis Fed made this an extremely attractive opportunity for me.”

Thornton was replaced in the bureau’s Minneapolis division by Jill Sanborn, a veteran counterterrorism agent who led the FBI’s investigation of the San Bernardino mass shooting in 2015. 

DEA Warns of New Drug More Potent Than Fentanyl After Death

Carfentanil is chemically similar to the deadly opioid fentanyl but is stronger.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The DEA is warning about a highly potent and dangerous drug that has already claimed a life in Arizona.

Carfentanil, which is chemically similar to the deadly opioid fentanyl but is stronger, is used to tranquilize elephants and has “an analgesic potency 10,000 times that of morphine and is used in veterinary practice to immobilize certain large animals,” according to the DEA’s online fentanyl fact sheet

A 21-year-old man with carfentanil in his system was found dead in his car parked outside of a restaurant, according to the DEA’s Phoenix Field Division.

“The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s report confirmed the presence of carfentanil, yet the source of the carfentanil remains unknown,” according to the alert.

Drug dealers are adding carfentanil into heroin and other illicit drugs because it’s relatively cheap and highly potent.

“Carfentanil is an extremely dangerous drug and its presence in Arizona should be incredibly alarming for all of us, including the DEA and our law enforcement partners who continue to combat the opioid epidemic in this state,” Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona, told the AZFamily.com. http://www.azfamily.com/story/37968096/new-drug-on-arizonas-streets-dea-confirms-first-carfentanil-overdose-death

Jurors Deliberates Today in Trial of Border Patrol Charged with Killing Mexican Teen

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Jurors in the trial of a Border Patrol agent charged in the shooting death of a teenager in Mexico are set to begin deliberations Tuesday morning.

In closing arguments, prosecutors told the jury that Agent Lonnie Swartz fired his across the border in Nogales, Mexico, because he was fed up with people throwing rocks, the Associated Press reports. 

Defense attorneys countered that Swartz, who is charged with second-degree murder, feared for his and his fellow agents’ safety after he began hearing rocks striking the fence.

Swartz fired 16 shots, striking 16-year-old Elena Rodriguez wight times in the back and twice in the head.

Last week, Swartz testified for more than two hours, telling the jury that he heard rocks striking the fence and that a fellow agent had been injured. He added that an alleged drug smuggler, whom the rock-throwers were said to be protecting, had a large knife in his pocket.

“I was scared, scared to be hit by a rock, (scared) for my partner,” Swartz said. “I had to act quickly. I only had seconds to stop the threat.”

But the fellow agent testified earlier that he was not injured and that a rock rolled onto his foot.

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