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Tag: agents

Homeland Security: CBP Agents Disciplined for Offensive Facebook Posts

Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on ABC’s “This Week.”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection agents who posted offensive and sexually demeaning content on Facebook have been disciplined, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told ABC’s “This Week.”

McAleenan said some agents were placed on “administrative duties” and others were warned to stop the conduct in letters. He did not specify how many agents were involved.

“The agents will be held accountable if they are CBP employees who did inappropriate things. I don’t think it’s reflective of the men and women we have,” McAleenan said.

The Facebook page, called “I’m 10-15,” was first reported by ProPublica on Monday. The page is used by current and former agents.

The Facebook group included offensive content and demeaning posts that targeted undocumented immigrants and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
 One of the posts was an illustration of President Trump pushing the congresswoman’s head toward his crotch. In another post, a member encouraged agents to toss a “burrito at these bitches,” referring to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who were visiting detention centers.

Commenters also questioned the authenticity of a now-viral photo of a drowned man and his younger daughter.

When ProPublica approached CBP about the Facebook group, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost denied knowing about it and pledged to launch an investigation.

But Politico reported that CBP officials knew about a secret, sexist and demeaning Facebook group for at least three years. In 2016, Border Patrol agents reported offensive photos that included simulated sex acts and other offensive material, a current Homeland Security official told Politico.

McAleenan on Sunday said he “was not aware of this group” at the time. Since then, he claimed, one agent was disciplined.

Politico received screenshots of Facebook posts that were reported to CBP. One agent appeared in two photos, one of which showed him simulating sex with a training mannequin. The other showed the agent smiling and posing with what appeared to be a human skull. In a third photo, an agent appeared to be defecting in the Arizona desert.

The reported photos resulted in a now-closed investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Agents Fear Riots Because of Deplorable Conditions at Border Station

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The conditions were so deplorable at an El Paso border station that agents were beginning to arm themselves because they feared a riot, according to an internal report by the Homeland Security’s Inspector General.

Despite the documented evidence, DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Friday insisted that news reports about poor conditions for children at the facility were “unsubstantiated.”

The IG report, first obtained by NBC News, documented overcrowded cells, a lack of showers or clean clothes, outbreaks of lice, flu, chickenpox and scabies, and more than half of the immigrants being held outside. Babies had no clean clothing or soft mats on which to sleep.

“With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks,” the report said.

The report also cited declining morale among agents who were worried about riots or hunger strikes. Some agents were even considering retiring early or moving to another agency.

“The current situation where immigrants are simply giving themselves up to the border patrol [and border patrol must detain] is causing low morale and high anxiety. They are seeing more drinking, domestic violence and financial problems among their agents,” the report said.

Border Patrol Agents to Begin Receiving Bonuses for Staying with Agency

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is offering an incentive to retain agents as the agency becomes inundated with an increase in families cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Every Border Patrol agent who agrees to stay on the job another year will receive a bonus that equates to a 5% pay increase, CBP announced in a news release Wednesday.

“Investing in the men and women of the United States Border Patrol continues to be my top priority,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said. “Their experience and expertise is critical to successfully accomplishing the border security mission.”

Beginning in June, agents will begin accumulating the bonuses on a daily basis. In September, agents will start receiving the bonuses.

The retention incentive has been branded as part of “a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy for the U.S. Border Patrol.”

“CBP has aggressively implemented an innovative and multifaceted recruitment and retention strategy, improving the frontline hiring process and related capabilities,” said John P. Sanders, a senior official performing the duties of commissioner. While these efforts have led to considerable progress, CBP continues to strengthen all aspects of its strategy to meet the Executive Order’s mandate.”

Sanders added, “We are facing a humanitarian and border security crisis on the Southwest border, and those who serve on the frontline are vital to that effort. I would like to thank the National Border Patrol Council for their support in moving this initiative forward.”

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.