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Tag: agents

Government Shutdown Is Stymying Investigations by Federal Agents And Lowering Morale

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF and Customs and Border Protection are finding that the government shutdown is stymying ongoing investigations.

Many law enforcement officials are being denied travel and money to pay informants involving investigations because there is a lack of available cash, The Washington Post reports.

“The lack of funding is impacting agents’ ability to travel to forward their cases,” said Thomas O’Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association. “As we go forward, those funds are not going to be available and in some cases are not available now.”

Low morale also is a factor. Federal law enforcement employees are considered essential and must work without a paycheck. The stress of financial problems at home can affect their work performance, law enforcement officials said.

“My biggest concern is there’s going to be an agent who is not going to be focused on his job,” Nathan Catura, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said. “He’s going to be out on the street doing some enforcement of something, and he’s going to get hurt. Heaven forbid there’s an agent who gets killed because his mind isn’t on the job.”

Catura added: “Other law enforcement people I continue to speak to, they share the same concerns. The longer this drags out, the more I’m concerned that something’s going to happen.”

Border Patrol Agents in South Texas Murdered, Raped & Assaulted At Least 10 People

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have murdered, raped, kidnapped or viciously attacked at least 10 people in South Texas over the past four years.

In September, an agent in the Laredo sector, told investigators he had fatally shot four prostitutes during a 12-day killing rampage. Another Laredo agent, Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles, 29, has been charged with fatally stabbing his girlfriend and their 1-year-old son.

In March 2014, Agent Esteban Manzanares sexually assaulted a teenager and viciously attacked her friend and mother while they tried to seek asylum. Manzanares never stood trial because he killed himself.

The cases have prompted serious questions about the hiring practices of agents and whether the federal agency missed red flags.

2 DEA Agents, 8 Sheriff’s Deputies Taken to Hospital for Fentanyl Exposure in Ohio

File photo of pills laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Two DEA agents and eight sheriff’s deputies were taken to a hospital in Ohio early Wednesday after they were exposed to the powerful opioid, fentanyl.

The agents and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s deputies were raiding a home in Rocky River around 5:30 a.m. when they came in contact with fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an increasing danger to law enforcement as more drug dealers use the potentially lethal opioid to make heroin and painkillers more potent.

The deputies and agents were examined and determined to be OK, Cleveland.com reports

During the raid, two young children were at the home, where one man was arrested.

Report: Homeland Security Office ‘Rife with Offensive and Racially Hostile Behavior’

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s office in Virginia is “rife with offensive and racially hostile behavior,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declared.

Investigators discovered that a supervisor had called black and Latino employees “monkeys,” and one agent’s photo showed a black child in a fried-chicken bucket, according to a report obtained by The Virginian-Pilot

Somer black employees were subjected to race-based discrimination, the repot also found.

Homeland Security plans to appeal the report’s findings.

FBI Investigating 2 Separate Attacks on Border Patrol Agents

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating two attacks against Border Patrol agents in south Laredo.

One case involves drug smugglers who chucked rebar spikes at agents. In the second case, human smugglers are accused of striking an agent with a Chevrolet Suburban, the Laredo Morning Times reports. 

In the first case, occupants of another Suburban were approached by agents attempting to perform a vehicle stop. The occupants threw handmade rebar spikes at the agents, strike and damaging a Border Patrol vehicle.

The occupants were arrested, and agents said they found four bundles of marijuana worth an estimated $225,000.

In the second case, agents were pursuing a gray Chevrolet Suburban for failing to yield to a Border patrol vehicle. An agent was taken to the hospital after being injured when the Suburban crashed into the Border Patrol vehicle. All six occupants were immediately apprehended.

“These events illustrate the dangers the men and women of the United States Border Patrol face every day in securing our border. Criminal organizations have no regard for human life and pose a threat to law enforcement and the community,” said Laredo Sector Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Scott Good.

FBI Continues to Become Whiter Despite Recruitment Campaign

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s campaign to integrate its predominately white ranks has failed to bring more African Americans on board.

In fact, a smaller share of the FBI’s ranks are African American than a decade ago, when black agents made up 6.5% of the ranks. Today, only 4.4% of the bureau’s 13,500 agents are black, even though African Americans represent about 12% of the U.S. population, Intercept reports.

Intercept wrote

“And that’s just the race problem within the FBI. It’s hard to diversify an agency that many still associate with the systemic surveillance, infiltration, and repression of civil rights activists in the past — and which maintains ample discretion today to target individuals and groups it deems suspicious based on criteria that all too often reflect their race or religion. The bureau’s efforts at reform, so far, have been mostly aimed at recruiting a more diverse force. But people of color who do sign up to join its ranks often find themselves isolated as they come face to face with racism and discrimination within the bureau, as well as with the bureau’s often racist and discriminatory policing.”

In July 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey delivered a speech at a historically black university and called the lack of diversity a “crisis,” pledging to reverse the trend.

A year earlier, Comey, in his “hard truths speech,”  declared, “The FBI is overwhelmingly white and male among my agent force. … I have to change the numbers.”

Some experts say the problem isn’t recruitment; it’s alienation.

“National security policies that the public should know about demonstrate racial and ethnic bias that make it hard for people to work there who are not conformists,” Michael German, a former FBI agent and a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Intercept. “The problem is that the FBI is a very conformist organization. So anybody who publicly criticizes the FBI is ostracized from the wider FBI fraternity – and I say fraternity because it is still almost all male, as well as almost all white.”

 

Trump Pledges to Deploy National Guard Troops in Not-So Unprecedented Move

Distant border fence in the desert near El Paso and its Mexican neighbor Juarez.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump boldly signed a proclamation Wednesday directing National Guard troops to the southwest border in what he falsely called an unprecedented move to crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

President Barack Obama deployed 1,200 members of the National Guard to the border in 2010, President George W. Bush’s decision in 2010 to send up to 6,000 National Guard members to increase military presence at the border in a two-year operation dubbed “Jump Start.”

Under the previous presidents’ plans, the guard members built infrastructure and conducted surveillance but left the arrests and enforcement up to Border Patrol agents who were trained in border enforcements.

Trumps plans, which lacks details about the operation, would not allow troops to come into physical contact with immigrants, three administration officials told NBC News

Homeland Security announced the policy in a statement Wednesday afternoon that read, “To secure the border and make America safe, we need to deploy the National Guard. Deploying the National Guard will serve as an immediate deterrent while dramatically enhancing operational control of the U.S. border.”

The statement added the troops would “support federal law enforcement personnel … and that federal migration authorities “will direct enforcement efforts.”

Trump’s announcement, which caught some of his advisers by surprise, pledged Tuesday, Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with the military.” 

Details like the number of troops to be involved and how long they will stay there remain unknown and are expected to be hammered out in the coming days, officials said.

Congress Rejects Trump’s Plan to Dramatically Increase Agents to Combat Illegal Immigration

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Congress rejected President Trump’s push for a significant increase in the number of federal law enforcement officers to combat illegal immigration.

Trump called for a dramatic increase in the number of ICE and Border Patrol agents, but Congress declined the funding, citing the agencies’ admission that it could not reach the hiring goals, Government Executive reports

The 2018 omnibus spending bill called for funding 1,000 new ICE agents, but Congress approved the hiring of just 65 additional agents

Congress also rejected Trump’s proposal to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and provided funding for just 500 new agents.

“The budget request for new Border Patrol agents, in particular, was not supported by any analysis of workload and capability gaps across CBP that would be necessary to evaluate the benefits of the proposal as compared to other investments,” congressional appropriators stated.

Both agencies have been unable to meet lofty hiring goals because of recruiting problems.

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