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CBP Agent Accused of Fatally Shooting Husband in Florida

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Customs and Border Protection agent Palm Beach County, Fla., has been arrested in the fatal shooting of her husband at the couple’s home.

Marcia Thompson, 39, was on her way to work when authorities allege she shot her 52-year-old husband at least six times, the Palm Beach Post reports.

According to Palm Beach County sherrif’s deputies, Thompson admitted she pulled the trigger on her duty weapon, but said her husband was threatening to kill her.

“I do not believe that Terry Thompson posed such a threat that deadly force was necessary,” Detective Jeremy Gelfand wrote in a court filing.

Thompson is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bond.


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Timothy Langan Named Special Agent in Charge of Kansas City Field Office

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Timothy Langan, a 21-year veteran of the FBI, is the new special agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Office.

Langan had been the acting deputy assistant director in the International Operations Division at FBI headquarters in Washington.

Langan’s career with the FBI began in 1998, when he started working in the Dallas Field Office. He later worked in the Washington Field Office. Early on, Langan investigated Mexican drug trafficking organizations, violent crimes, and international terrorism, was a firearms and tactical instructor and a member of the SWAT team in Dallas, and served on protective details.

In 2007, Langan was promoted to supervisory special agent, serving on the Safe Streets and Gang Unit at FBI headquarters to provide program management oversight and support for gang investigations nationwide. In 2009, he was promoted to legal attaché in Sofia, Bulgaria, which also covers Albania and Macedonia.

In 2013, Langan led a squad investigating public corruption, civil rights, and complex financial crimes at the Nashville Resident Agency of the Memphis Field Office in Tennessee. In 2016, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Miami Field Office, serving as the head of the criminal enterprise branch.

In 2018, Langan was promoted to section chief in the International Operations Division, where he oversaw operational units covering Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He also served as the division’s acting deputy assistant director.

Before joining the FBI, Langan served in the U.S. Marine Corps and as a police officer and detective in St. Charles, Missouri.


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Bernie Sanders Proposes barring ‘Disreputable’ Law Enforcement Officials from Testifying in Court

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a sweeping criminal justice reform plan that includes a proposal aimed at “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials.

Sanders is calling for the creation of a list of “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials who would be barred from testifying in court so testimony from untrustworthy sources does not lead to criminal convictions.”

Sanders also proposed providing “financial support to pilot local and state level no-call lists.”

The plan does not specify the process of deeming law enforcement officials as “disreputable.”

Sanders’ nearly 6,000-word reform plan also calls for cutting the country’s prison population in half and purging the criminal justice system of “institutional racism and corporate profiteering.”


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Self-Identified White Nationalist Accused of Threatening to Shoot Up Jewish Center

James Reardon, via Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Ohio man accused of threatening to attack a Jewish community center was arrested Saturday, a day after an FBI task force made alarming discoveries at his home.

The investigation of James Reardon Jr. began after he posted an ominous Instagram video on July 11 that shows a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle. A caption below the video read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.”

Reardon tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, Ohio, which alerted authorities. His Instagram account included racial slurs.

“That kicked off an intense investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation because of the way the world is,” Middletown Police Chief Vince D’Egidio told ABC-affiiate WYTV.

On Friday, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force raided the man’s home and seized semi-automatic rifles, dozens of rounds of ammo, a gas mask and bulletproof armor. Anti-Semitic and white nationalists propaganda were also discovered at the home.

“According to charges filed, New Middletown Police Department was informed on Friday, August 16, 2019, of an online video posted by James Reardon depicting himself being identified as the shooter at an area Jewish Community Center, the shooting had not actually taken place,” the FBI Cleveland Division told USA Today.

D’Egidio said Reardon had “declared himself as a white nationalist.”

“With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we do our part to make sure we did our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly,” D’Egidio said.

Reardon was jailed on $250,000 bond pending a court hearing Monday.
The FBI said it wasn’t immediately clear whether federal charges would be pursued.

The arrest follows a deadly mass shooting in Dayton, where nine people were killed.


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Weekend Series on Crime History: FBI Agent Talks About the Underwear Bomber


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FBI Agent Cited After Gun, Loaded Magazine Were Stolen from Car in Oakland

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent received a citation after his gun was stolen from a parked car in Oakland, Calif. last month.

A California state law requires law enforcement officials to secure their weapons in a lock box when leaving them in an unattended vehicle, a police department spokesperson told Mercury News on Thursday.

Police are investigating who stole the gun, a loaded .45 magazine, and an FBI jacket from the agent’s parked vehicle in Oakland on July 10. The gun was later found, according to the FBI, which declined further comment because it involves personnel matters.

“Leaving guns unsecured in unattended vehicles creates a serious danger and risk to the public,” Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said in a statement.

The FBI also requires agents to secure their weapons when left unattended.


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FBI Reports Applications for Special Agents Are Up, Employees Are Happier

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An increasing number of people are applying to become FBI special agents, and a new survey suggests job satisfaction is climbing among current bureau employees.

The FBI received 32,000 applications, twice the annual recruitment goal and nearly three times higher than the previous year, the bureau told NBC News.

The numbers are significant after President Trump’s incessant attacks on the FBI and the firing of former director James Comey caused a slump in morale.

The latest internal results show “more employees in FBI field offices said they were proud to work for the FBI, believe in its mission, and would recommend it as a good place to work,” reversing declines in those categories in 2017 and 2018.


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Stejskal: A Michigan Case Tested Free Speech When the Web Was In Its Infancy

The writer, an FBI agent for 31 years, retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office in 2006.

By Greg Stejskal

Free speech has limits, as a famous Supreme Court example illustrates. “Falsely shouting fire in a theater” is not constitutionally protected speech, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in 1919.

Featured_baker_37520
(Photo: Michigan Technology Law Review)

Nearly eight decades later, the first criminal prosecution of threats on the Internet again tested the boundary of free speech. I was a player in that 1995 landmark case.

The defendant was a 20-year-old University of Michigan student who shortened his name to Jake Baker, rather than using Abraham Jacob Alkhabaz. He was described as quiet and nice, and wrote stories with innocent titles like “Going for a Walk.”

But he harbored demons. The stories were lurid, graphic tales of kidnappng, raping, torturing and killing young women – so called snuff stories. Jake posted these at alt.sex.stories, a Usenet chat group, when the Internet was in its infancy. His case raised issues we had not faced.

Urgent questions, still

Almost 25 years later, we still face the tricky, high-stakes questions: Where does freedom of speech end and when does it become a crime? How do you predict when hateful or misogynistic speech will morph into violence? Is it a crime to threaten violence?


Greg Stejskal: Judge Avern Cohn “criticized the government and its ‘overzealous agent,’ referring to me.”

To examine the issue, it’s worth looking back at the federal case of United States v. Alkhabaz, a touchstone in the history of cyber law.

Back then, few people knew of the Internet. Baker’s writings were discovered thanks to a Michigan alumnus, who happened to be in Russia. He stumbled across one of Jake’s stories and knew from the IP address that Jake had some UM affiliation.

The story used the name of a real Michigan coed as a victim. (In court papers and media accounts, she was referred to as Jane Doe.) The real Jane was not aware of her characterization in the story or that she was about to be a player in a First Amendment controversy.

Read more »


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