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Coronavirus Fears Don’t Stop Construction of the Border Wall in Arizona

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Construction on the wall on the Arizona border with Mexico has not stopped as the coronavirus outbreak spreads rapidly across the U.S.

Work crews are filling up motels, Airbnbs and mobile home camps in the town of Ajo, while nonessential construction has stopped in most of the country, The New York Times reports.

The theory is that the wall will prevent the spread of the virus from Mexico to the U.S., even though health experts are skeptical.

In the meantime, residents in Ajo are worried that the influx of workers make them more susceptive to the coronavirus.

“This administration’s priority is to get the wall done. The rest of us might as well be damned,” Ajo resident Maria Singleton told the Times.

According to an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Raini Brunson, the agency is following “government and CDC guidelines” as construction increases.

“As the guidance changes, decisions will be made as to how contractor employees will be affected,” Brunson added.


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Jeffrey S. Sallet Named Executive Assistant Director of Human Resources at FBI Headquarters

Jeffrey Sallet

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Jeffrey S. Sallet has been named executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In his new role, Sallet will be responsible for overseeing the Human Resources, Training, Security, and Finance and Facilities Divisions.

Sallet previously served served as the associate executive assistant director of the Finance and Facilities Division.

Sallet’s career with the FBI career began in the New York Field Office, where he investigated public corruption, labor racketeering, organized crime, and counterterrorism cases. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he investigated how the attacks were funded and tracked al Qaeda’s financial assets.

From 2005 to 2007, Sallet served as a supervisory special agent in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters, managing La Cosa Nostra investigations.

In 2007, Sallet became a supervisory special agent at the Providence Resident Agency in Rhode Island, which is a satellite office of the Boston Field Office.

In 2008, he began serving as supervisory senior resident agent in charge of all counterterrorism, public corruption, civil rights, government fraud, and organized crime investigations in Rhode Island.

In 2012, Sallet became assistant special agent in charge in the Boston Field Office, overseeing white-collar crime, public corruption, health care fraud, and civil rights matters. He also led the multi-law enforcement investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013.

In 2014, Sallet served as chief of the Public Corruption/Civil Rights Section in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters.

He was named special agent in charge of the New Orleans Field Office in 2015 and then held the same position at the Chicago office in 2017.

In 2019, Sallet became associate executive assistant director of the Finance and Facilities Division.

Before joining the FBI, Sallet worked in the private sector as an auditor and forensic accountant. He is a certified public accountant and a certified financial forensics professional.


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New York Man Coughed on FBI Agents, Claiming He Had Coronavirus, Authorities Say

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A New York man who said he had the coronavirus coughed on FBI agents while they were arresting him Monday for allegedly lying about the sale of medical supplies, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, of Brooklyn, was charged with assaulting a federal officer and making false statements to law enforcement.

Federal authorities say Feldheim was hoarding life-saving equipment and then selling it for inflated prices. He’s accused of selling a doctor about 1,000 masks for $12,000, a markup of 700%.

Another doctor told investigators that the alleged fraudster had hoarded enough medical supplies “to outfit an entire hospital.” Those items include surgical supplies, hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, and chemical cleaning supply agents.

When agents approached Feldheim outside his house, they kept a safe distance due to coronavirus fears.

“When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth,” the US attorney’s release said. “At that point, Feldheim told the FBI agents that that he had the Coronavirus,” the statement said.


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85+ TSA Workers Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus in At Least 18 States

Coronavirus infections among TSA employees, via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 85 TSA employees have tested positive for the coronavirus in at least 18 states.

In just the past two weeks, 61 TSA screeners and 22 non-screening employees have become infected with the coronavirus. Another five or so screeners tested positive more than two weeks ago.

TSA screeners have a lot of contact with countless travelers, making them vulnerable to transmission.

“TSA is working with the CDC and state and local health departments to monitor local situations as well as the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public,” the agency says on a site that tracks the infections. “Impacted security checkpoints may close as needed, so you may be redirected to other security screening checkpoints at the airport. TSA officers remain dedicated to their mission to ensure that travelers can get to their destinations as safely and securely as possible.”

Three TSA screeners in northern California were the first to test positive on March 11.

Homeland Security officials plan to provide the workers with expired N95 respirator masks found inside a U.S. government warehouse in Indiana.


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David Schlendorf Named Associate Executive Assistant Director of FBI’s Finance and Facilities Division

David Schlendorf, left, administers the oath of office to members of the Honors Internship Program at FBI headquarters. Via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

David Schlendorf, the former assistant director of the FBI’s Human Resources Division, has been named associate executive assistant director of the Finance and Facilities Division at FBI headquarters.

In his new role, Schlendorf will oversee the bureau’s finances, facilities, and logistics functions and serve as a chief financial officer.

Schlendorf’s FBI career began in 2003, when was a special assistant to the chief financial officer. In 2007, Schlendorf was elevated to deputy resource planning officer.

In 2010, he served as the assistant director of the Resource Planning Office, where he oversaw the FBI’s $4.8 billion personnel budget and the allocation of employee positions.

In 2016, Schlendorf was named assistant director of the Human Resources Division, overseeing the recruitment and hiring of thousands of FBI employees, the development of FBI leadership, and the delivery of human resources services.

Schlendorf created the bureau’s special advisor program, which recruited top business school graduates to assist FBI executives with high-impact projects. He also founded the FBI’s Internal Advisory Group, which helps executives solve complex business challenges.

Before joining the FBI, Schlendorf was an associate with The Beacon Group and an analyst with Bowles, Hollowell, Conner & Co.

Schlendorf earned an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


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Weekend Series on Crime History: The Jimmy Hoffa Story


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TSA Employees to Receive Expired Respirator Masks Found in Indiana Warehouse

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

As the number of TSA employees infected with coronavirus continues to climb at alarming rates, Homeland Security officials plan to provide the workers with expired N95 respirator masks found inside a U.S. government warehouse in Indiana.

On Friday, the TSA reported that at least 32 screening officers and 10 non-screening employees in 14 states have tested positive for COVID-19.

On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that authorities found nearly 1.5 million N95 respirators found in an Indiana warehouse. They were part of CBP’s emergency supplies.

The respirators will not be donated to hospitals that have run out of them.


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FBI: Missouri Man Who Plotted Hospital Attack Was White Supremacist in Touch with Army Soldier

Timothy Wilson, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Missouri man killed during a shootout with the FBI on Tuesday was a suspected white supremacist who was in contact with a then-active U.S. Army solder who was planning his own attack, according to the FBI.

More details have emerged about 36-year-old Timothy Wilson, who was “espoused white supremacist” and “made a threat that if any agent attempted to [search his property] they should ‘bring a lot of body bags,” according to the FBI alert obtained by ABC News.

Wilson was planning to soon try to detonate a bomb at a Kansas City-area medical center that was busy handling coronavirus patients.

According to the FBI alert, Wilson had “shared instructions on how to make an” improvised explosive device with another domestic terrorism suspect near Kansas City.

That suspect was Jarrett Smith, whom the FBI arrested in September 2019 for allegedly discussing a plot to bomb a major news network and attack then-Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, ABC News reports.

The FBI had been investigating Wilson for more than a year.


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