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Archive for September 30th, 2019

Eyes in the Sky: How CBP Combats Drug Smuggling with Blimps

A CBP blimp, via Donna Burton of CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Blimps hovering 10,000 feet above the U.S. border are helping combat drug smuggling operations.

Customs and Border Protection is using eight unmanned, unarmed blimps as eyes in the sky as part of the agency’s Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS).

“TARS is the most cost-efficient capability that we own,” Richard Booth, director of domain operations and integration for CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, says on CBP’s website. “TARS is like a low-flying satellite system, but cheaper to launch and operate.”

The blimps “fly like kites in the wind,” said Rob Brown, CBP program manager for TARS.

“Raising radar and other sensors to high altitude boosts surveillance range, and the physical sight of an aerostat is a visual deterrent to illegal activity in the air and on the ground,” Brown said.

Drug smugglers often fly low to avoid ground-based radar, but they can’t evade the blimps’ radar.

Father Recalls Horrifying Encounter with FBI Agent: ‘I Just Want Some Justice’

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent is accused of chasing a teenager inside his home in California and pointing a gun at him over a prank – and the agent has yet to face trial nearly two years later.

“If this had happened to me, this thing would have been over and two months later, I’d be in prison,” father Chris Perry told CBS13. “I have more flashbacks and whacked out visions of it all the time.”

The horrifying incident happened in December 2017, when the boy was celebrating his 14th birthday. He and a friend decided to knock over an inflatable snowman on the FBI’s agent yard in Roseville.

The FBI agent, Michael Corrigan, is accused of chasing the teen to his home and then pointing a gun at him.

“I fly out of bed and I turn the corner and there’s a dude in my house, two feet inside my house pointing a gun at my son and his friend, and I just flipped and tackled him out the door. It was just panic,” Perry said.

Last year, the agent was charged with a felony. But after all this time, the case has still not gone to trial.

“It’s been two years. I just want some justice with it,” Perry said.

The FBI declined to comment on the case and whether the agent has been disciplined.

Defense attorney Bill Portonova responded in a written statement: “Special agent Michael Corrigan is an honorable family man with an exemplary career in law enforcement and he has full faith that these unfortunate proceedings will achieve a just end.”

On Friday, Corrigan was in court for a status conference, but no date has been scheduled yet for a trial.