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Tag: agents

Border Patrol Agents Say Trump Has Boosted Morale

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Among the biggest supporters of Donald Trump during the presidential election were Border Patrol agents because of the Republicans pledges to crack down on illegal immigration.

Agents have long complained that the border is too porous and doesn’t have enough federal protection.

Now agents are hoping President Trump will change that.

“When Trump was elected, there was an increase in optimism among the agents, but nothing like what we’ve seen in the past few days,” Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News

Trump has already pledged to hire 5,000 more federal agents, build a wall and suspend “catch and release.”

Agents said morale had plummeted under President Obama, but hopes are now high.

Black Secret Service Agents Reach $24M Agreement in Discrimination Lawsuit

Secret-Service-BadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An agreement has been reached over a long-running lawsuit that alleged the Secret Service discriminates against black agents.

More than 100 agents have reached an agreement with Homeland Security and the Secret Service, NPR reports. 

The pact still needs approval from a court.

Under the agreement, the Secret Service would pay $24 million, but the agency wouldn’t be required to admit wrongdoing. Included in the settlement are lump sum payments as high as $300,000 per agent.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he was “pleased that we are able to finally put this chapter of Secret Service history behind us.”

“Had the matter gone to trial,” it would have required that we re-live things long past, just at a time when the Secret Service is on the mend,” Johnson wrote in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed in 2000 on behalf of agents who claimed they were routinely denied promotions as less-qualified white agents received better jobs.

Obama Denies Clemency for Native American Convicted of Killing 2 FBI Agents

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama will not grant clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who was found guilty of killing two FBI agents during a shootout at a South Dakota reservation in 1975.

The president denied Peltier’s application for clemency, the Washington Times reports. 

The clemency was “not warranted,” the administration’s Office of the Pardon Attorney told Peltier’s attorney.

“Your client’s application was therefore denied by the president on January 18, 2017… Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision,” the notice stated.

Peltier is 72 and seriously ill.

“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”

The FBI Agents Association President Thomas O’Connor  issued a statement:

The FBI Agents Association agrees with the decision of the Obama Administration to deny Leonard Peltier’s petition for executive clemency. In well over a dozen appeals, twice reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, every aspect of Mr. Peltier’s trial has been reviewed in detail. Mr. Peltier has never taken responsibility for his crimes while imprisoned.

Our thoughts today are with the families of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, who were killed by Mr. Peltier in 1975.  The FBI Agents Association will continue to counter efforts by Mr. Peltier’s legal and public relations team to portray him as anything other than who Leonard Peltier really is: an unremorseful, cold-blooded killer. Mr. Peltier should remain in prison and not be shown a mercy he refused to offer to Agents Coler and Williams in 1975, and has denied to their families and friends over the past four decades.

I would like to thank FBIAA members, the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and former FBI Supervisory Agent Ed Woods for their advocacy efforts against executive clemency for Mr. Peltier.

Border Patrol Agents Came Under Increasing Attack at Year’s End

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have been attacked more viciously and frequently than previous periods over the past few months.

The agency reported that its agents were assaulted nearly 160 times between October and November, and one agent was nearly maimed, Frontiers reports. 

In December, the level of violence increased, and one agent was nearly maimed. In southern Arizona, one agent was shot at in Cochise County, another nearly lost his dumb while making an arrest, and others were forced to fight to keep their weapons from being used against them, Border Patrol union President Art Del Cueto said.

“It was a back-and-forth fight. The agent almost got his thumb completely gnawed off. The illegal alien fought him, two other agents showed up and he got in a fight with the other two agents.”

Border Patrol, which declined to provide details of the agent who nearly lost his thumb. The agency released this statement:

“On Dec. 24, a Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent attempted to arrest a suspected illegal immigrant in a remote area near Lukeville, Arizona, when the suspect became assaultive toward the agent. Two more agents responded to assist and the suspect was arrested. All three agents and the suspect were transported to a local hospital, treated and released. The suspect is being held on immigration violations. Assault charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.”

The agent is still injured.

“I’ve talked with him, I’ve heard he has some damage still. He doesn’t have feeling in his thumb yet but from speaking to the agent, the agent did explain he pretty much gnawed his finger down to the bone. The agent tried pulling his finger from his mouth and the guy just clamped down tighter,” Del Cueto said.

Pharmaceutical Companies Hire DEA Agents Tasked with Cracking Down on Opioids

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The pharmaceutical industry, which distributes highly addictive opioids that have lead to the heroin epidemic and nearly 180,000 overdoses in the past decade, has hired dozens of top-level DEA officials, the Boston Globe reveals. 

The DEA began an aggressive campaign to curb opioid use, and in 2005, agents began cracking down on companies that distribute the painkillers.

In the past decade, the pharmaceutical companies and their law firms have hired at least 42 DEA officials, most of whom were responsible for regulating the industry.

‘‘The number of employees recruited from that division points to a deliberate strategy by the pharmaceutical industry to hire people who are the biggest headaches for them,’’ said John Carnevale, a former director of planning for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy who now runs a consulting firm. ‘‘These people understand how DEA operates, the culture around diversion and DEA’s goals, and they can advise their clients how to stay within the guidelines.’’

A pharmaceutical spokesman said the industry has been hiring experts in prescription drug.

‘‘Our industry is highly specialized, and the function of drug-diversion experts even more so,’’ said John M. Gray, chief executive of the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, which represents drug distributors. ‘‘As such, for these individuals who want to continue to grow in their areas of expertise, it is logical for them to pursue government and industry roles that are closely aligned with their professional experience.’’

The Boston Globe wrote, “The number of hires from one key division shows how an industry can potentially blunt a government agency’s aggressive attempts at enforcement.”

Border Patrol Union Confers with Donald Trump about Securing the Border

national border patrol councilBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 16,000 agents, met with Donald Trump to determine how best to secure the border.

NPR spoke with Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd about the discussions.

The union endorsed Trump during the election.

Listen here:

Secret Service Agents Protecting Presidential Candidates Often Work for Free

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service agents who are on the campaign trail are working hundreds of hours of overtime without pay because of a cap on federal income.

Since early 2016, agents have worked overtime for free because of the demanding scheduling during this unusual election cycle, BuzzFeed reports. 

While Secret Service agents are routinely paid overtime, unlike many of their federal cohorts, they are hitting caps on overtime pay.

Agents are prohibited from making more than $160,3000 a year, even if they work around-the-clock.

As a result, hundreds of agents will never get paid for their extra time.

The Senate and House were considering raising the cap by about $10,000, but the measures have essentially stalled.

First Outsider to Head Border Patrol Is Facing Complex Challenges

New Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

New Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the first outsider to head the Border Patrol in its 92 years, Mark Morgan is facing a broad array of issues, from corruption in the ranks to the increase in children and families pouring across the border.

Morgan, who is a former U.S. Marine, LAPD officer and FBI agent, also has been criticized for shedding his dark business suit to wear the Border Patrol uniform, the Los Angels Times reports. 

The appointment of Morgan, 51, has been opposed by Border Patrol’s most powerful union because he didn’t climb up through the ranks and never experienced the arduous task of being an agent.

“The really tricky part is to make sure he has buy-in from the rank and file and the boots on the ground who will be following his leadership,” said Michelle Brané, an immigrant rights advocate at the New York-based Women’s Refugee Commission, who met with Morgan last month.

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