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News Story

Walmart Shoppers Ran for Cover When FBI Task Force Used Flash-Bang Grenades

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Walmart shoppers were in for a scare Monday when they mistook flash-bang grenades as gunshots.

The FBI Street Task Force in Colorado used the flash-bang devices to help arrest three people.

Unaware of the task force’s presence, shoppers ran for cover.

“All of a sudden all these people started running down the aisle yelling, ‘Active shooter,’ shopper Edward Johnson told CBS4. “The Walmart employees herded us in the backroom and locked the door. We were in there for 15 min then they let us out,” Johnson said. “But, there were cops everywhere. Then, they started arresting a lady. It was absolutely the scariest situation I have ever witnessed.”

No more information was available late Monday.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Assault Called Migrants ‘Subhuman,’ ‘Unworthy of Kindling for a Fire’

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent accused of striking a Guatemalan man with his government-issued vehicle in December 2017 and then lying about it blasted migrants as “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of kindling for a fire,” new court documents allege.

Prosectors are trying to show that the text messages from Agent Matthew Bowen, 39, show his “great disdain” for migrants, The Arizona Republic reports.

Bowen, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol, also texted, “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!”

In another text message to Agent Lonnie Ray Swartz, who was acquitted of manslaughter charges last year after shooting through a border fence in Nogales in 2012, Bowen called rock throwers “mindless murdering savages.”

Bowen was indicted by a grand jury in May 2018, accused of depriving the Guatemalan man of his civil rights and falsifying records.

Bowen’s attorney Sean Chapman is trying to prevent a jury from seeing the texts. If the judge permits the jury to see the texts, Chapman wrote that he’d argue that such language is “commonplace throughout the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, that it is part of the agency’s culture, and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen’s mind-set.”

Trump’s Pick for ICE Director Criticized Admin As ‘Heartless,’ ‘Devoid of Any Decency’

President Trump’s choice for ICE director, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s choice for ICE director had harsh words for his ouster as head of Border Patrol in 2017.

Then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan wrote in a 2017 email to then-acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan that the administration’s call for “me to leave immediately is heartless and void of any decency and compassion,” Axios reports.

McAleenan, who is now the acting Homeland Security secretary, received another email from Morgan, who wrote “I am being removed in the name of politics – and politics at its worst. … I will not have them believe I willingly left under these circumstances.”

Morgan wrote in another email, “This is wrong on many levels. I have questions but I need to process through a bit more.”

The emails didn’t make clear why Morgan was removed, and no reason was offered when he resigned.
But the National Border Patrol Council, the union for Border Patrol agents, said Morgan was inexperienced. According to an Axios source, Trump made the call after privately talking to NBPC President Brandon Judd.

In a strange turnabout, Judd told Politico that Morgan was the right person to head the agency, in no small part due to his experience at the FBI.

Jeffrey Rosen Confirmed As DOJ’s Second-in-Command Despite No Experience As Prosecutor

Jeffrey Rosen at the Senate confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey Rosen, who has no experience as a prosecutor, is now the second-in-command at the Justice Department.

The Senate voted along party lines Thursday to confirm confirm Rosen to replace former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the embattled official who initiated Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

Rosen has never served in the Justice Department. He previously served as general counsel at the Department of Transportation and at the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.

Democrats said they opposed Rosen because he lacks DOJ experience and refused during congressional testimony to pledge to release the full, unredacted Mueller report.

“We need a Deputy Attorney General who knows the Justice Department,,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a statement after Rosen’s confirmation. “Mr. Rosen simply does not have the qualifications for this critical assignment.”

Republicans praised Rosen for his “rock-solid reputation,” as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Rosen has “the experience, skills and the temperament we want in a deputy attorney general.”

Rosen was nominated by President Trump in February.

ATF Headquarters Evacuated After Employee Felt Sick from Package with ‘a Suspicious Liquid Substance’

Photo via ATF.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF’s headquarters in Washington D.C. was evacuated Thursday afternoon after an employee said she felt sick after opening a package containing “a suspicious liquid substance.”

Hazmat crews tested the substance and did not detect anything harmful. The substance was sent to a lab for further analysis, ATF said on Twitter at 4:32 p.m.

“Hazmat is out, substance tested clear, will send to lab for further analysis,” tweeted.

D.C. Police, Fire and EMS also responded to the scene.

There were no updates on the employee early Friday morning.

“More information will be released at the appropriate time,” ATF tweeted.

TSA Sending Up to 400 Personnel to U.S.-Mexico Border to Assist with Immigration Surge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is preparing to deploy up to 400 of its personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with the escalation of Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S.

The largest union representing the TSA, the American Federation of Government Employees TSA Council, questioned the move, saying it may “undermine aviation security” at airports during one of the busiest time of the year for air travel.

“The timing of this deployment could not be worse, as we are preparing for yet another busy summer travel season,” Hydrick Thomas, president of the union, said in a statement.

The deployment is part of a Homeland Security effort to send more personnel to the border as immigration surges.

It’s not yet clear what the TSA employees will do at the border, but they won’t have direct contact with immigrants, according to NBC News.

A TSA officials told NBC News that it would not deploy any of its frontline personnel who deal with travelers at airports.

The TSA has identified some personnel, which includes lawyers, air marshals and immigration specialists.

In March an April, more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants crossed the border into the U.S.

Michigan Republican Indicted on Charges of Attempted Extortion, Bribery, Lying to FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal grand jury has indicted Michigan state Rep. Larry Inman on charges of attempted extortion, bribery and lying to an FBI agent.

The Republican from Traverse City faces up to 15 years in prison after authorities said Wednesday that he solicited money via text messages from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.

In one of the text messages, the third-term Republican wrote, “We never had this discussion.”

In exchange for the money in June, Inman pledged to vote “no” on repealing the state’s prevailing wage law, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Offie for the Western District of Michigan.

“We will get a ton of pressure on this vote,” Inman is accused of texting to a union representative, asking for a larger increase in donations to his campaign. “Its not worth losing assignments and staff for $5,000. . . . My suggestion is you need to get people maxed out.”

House Speaker Lee Chatfield, a Republican, called for Inman to resign.

“Everyone in the House is surprised and disappointed by this news,” Chatfield said in a statement. “The indictment just came to my attention this morning, and I am still gathering more information. There’ll be more to say once we’ve been able to have a longer conversation with Rep. Inman. Until then, I have directed the House Business Office to take control of the representative’s office to ensure consistent services are available for the people of Grand Traverse County. Additionally, Rep. Inman has been removed from his committee assignments effective immediately.”

Inman also is accused of lying to the FBI, denying he solicited bribes.

Russians Hacked 2 Florida Voter Databases, But FBI Won’t Identify the Counties

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian hackers accessed voter databases in two Florida counties, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday after a meeting with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

DeSantis’ meeting came after the Robert Mueller report revealed that “at least one” Florida county’s election system was successfully penetrated by Russians.

DeSantis said he was told to keep the information secret and was unable to identify the two counties that were targeted.

“I’m not allowed to name the counties. I signed a [non]disclosure agreement,” DeSantis told The Miami Herald, emphasizing that he “would be willing to name it” but “they asked me to sign it so I’m going to respect their wishes.”

DeSantis emphasized that the hackers were only able to glimpse at the voter polls and did not manipulate any information.

“It did not affect any voting or anything like that,” he said.

The FBI declined to divulge details to the media, but an FBI spokesperson told The New York Times that “investigators did not detect any adversary activity that impacted vote counts or disputed electoral processes during the 2016 or 2018 elections.”