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Tag: california

3 Dozen TSA Employees Tested Positive for Coronavirus in 12 States

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The number of TSA employees who have tested positive for coronavirus has soared to 36 since the outbreak began two weeks ago.

Of those, 28 are TSA screening officers who have close interactions with the public. Another eight non-screening employees with limited interactions with the public have tested positive.

The positive cases are spread across 12 states: Washington, Nevada, California, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, New York and New Jersey.

Hundreds of TSA screeners and other employees also are quarantined because they either had contact with coworkers who tested positive or because they are showing symptoms.

At some airports, multiple TSA screeners have tested positive. There are six cases involving workers at John F. Kennedy International Airpot in New York and four at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

Three TSA screeners at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in California were the first agency employees to test positive for coronavirus on March 10.

For details of each positive case, click here.

 

Via TSA

 

3 TSA Screeners Test Positive for Coronavirus in Northern California

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Three TSA screeners in northern California have tested positive for the coronavirus, the agency said Tuesday.

The employees work at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and are the first TSA screeners to test positive with the coronavirus.

The agency didn’t disclose the identities of the workers.

“The officers are receiving medical care and all TSA employees they have come in contact with over the past 14 days are quarantined at home,” the TSA said in a statement.

“Screening checkpoints remain open and the agency is working with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as well as the California Department of Public Health and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to monitor the situation as well as the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public. We will update as more information becomes available.”

The positive tests are troublesome because screeners have contact with thousands of passengers a day.

On Sunday, the FBI confirmed one of its employees from the San Francisco Division tested positive for the coronavirus.

The FBI also has ordered $40,000 worth of face masks and hand sanitizers in the event of a pandemic.

FBI Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus; Bureau Prepares for Possible Pandemic

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the coronavirus, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus has infected an FBI employee from the San Francisco Division.

In a statement, the FBI said the employee works at a small satellite office, and his coworkers have returned home.

The FBI statement:

An employee of the FBI San Francisco Division has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus). This employee works in a small satellite office. The other employees at the site have returned to their homes until further notice, and everyone known to have been in contact with the infected employee has been notified of possible exposure.
The FBI has contacted local health officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control and the Bureau will take all necessary remedial and precautionary measures to protect our employees, their families and our community.
At this time, we assess our operations have not been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and we will continue steadfast in our mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution.

The FBI also has ordered $40,000 worth of face masks and hand sanitizers in the event of a pandemic, CNBC reports.

The masks and disinfectants “are to be stored throughout the country for distribution in the event of a declared pandemic,” according to the bureau’s purchase order.

TSA Officer Accused of Coercing Woman into Twice Bearing Her Breasts

Via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A TSA officer is accused of coercing a female passenger into showing him her breasts twice during a security screening at Los Angeles International Airpot.

Johnathon Lomeli, 22, was arrested last week  on charges of fraud or deceit to falsely imprison a woman passing through security, the Associated Press reports.

Prosecutors said Lomeli told the woman he needed to inspect her bra to ensure she wasn’t concealing anything. He then told her to lift her shirt “to show me your full breasts” and then demanded she pull her pants away from her waist so he could take a look.

After telling her she was free to go, he allegedly said she had nice breasts.

Aaron Heitke Named Chief Patrol Agent for San Diego Sector

Aaron Heitke, chief patrol agent of the San Diego Sector.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Aaron Heitke, a 22-year veteran of the Border Patrol, has been promoted to chief patrol agent of the San Diego Sector.

Heitke most recently served as the sector’s deputy chief patrol agent. In 2015, he served as the chief patrol agent for the Grand Forks Sector in North Dakota.

Heitke joined the Border Patrol in 1998, serving at the Wellton Station in the Yuma Sector. In 2004, Heitke became supervisory Border Patrol agent at the Grand Marais Station in the Grand Forks Sector and was named its Patrol Agent in Charge in 2005.

In his current role, Heitke will manage more than 2,400 agents and mission support staff and oversee the sector’s eight Border Patrol stations.

A native of Minnesota, Heitke earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He then earned a juris doctorate at the University of North Dakota School of Law. Before joining the Border Patrol, he practiced law for a short period.

Border Officials Discover Longest Drug-Smuggling Tunnel Ever Found Along Southwest Border

Longest drug-smuggling tunnel ever found along the southwest border.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol officials said Wednesday they discovered the largest drug-smuggling tunnel ever found along the southwest border.

The intricate, bending tunnel stretches more than three-quarters of a mile and features a rail system, forced air ventilation, elevator and a complex drainage system.

The 5-and-a-half-foot tall tunnel begins in an industrial area in Tijuana, Mexico, and meanders more than 4,300 feet into a San Diego neighborhood, CBP said.

“I am thrilled that this high level narco-tunnel has been discovered and will be rendered unusable for cross-border smuggling. I am proud of the tremendous efforts of the Tunnel Task Force and our agents,” Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said in a news release.

“The sophistication and length of this particular tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling,” said Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego.

Officials first discovered the tunnel in August.

“As efforts to strengthen security on our Southern Border increase, Mexican drug cartels are forced underground to smuggle their deadly drugs into the United States,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John Callery. “The sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the determination and monetary resources of the cartels.  And although the cartels will continue to use their resources to try and breach our border, the DEA and our partners on the Tunnel Task Force will continue to use our resources to ensure they fail, that our border is secure, and that tunnels like this are shut down to stem the flow of deadly drugs entering the United States.”

Former CBP Official Sentenced to 31 Months in Prison for Illegally Selling Guns

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former CBP watch commander who operated an illegal gun-selling business and committed other crimes while serving in law enforcement was sentenced Monday to 31 months in prison.

Wei Xu, 58, pleaded guilty in July to four felonies, including unlawfully dealing in firearms, possessing unregistered firearms, lying to a federal agency, and tax evasion, NBC News reports.

Prosecutors said Xu exploited his position as a law enforcement officer to buy and sell off-roster handguns. He also admitted to selling nearly 100 guns over two decades without a federal license, as required by law.

“Mr. Xu betrayed his oath to uphold the laws of the United States solely to put more money in his pocket,” Nick Hanna, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement.

Xu’s attorney, Mark J. Werksman, said described the sentence as fair and said his CBP service convinced a judge to reduce his prison time by a year.

Xu began working with CBP in 2004 and has been on administrative leave from his position at the Long Beach Seaport in California. He likely will be fired, Werksman said.

FBI Investigating Corruption in Blooming Marijuana Industry in California And Nevada

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI warned in August that the blooming marijuana industry was a “public corruption threat” because of the money and power involved.

Now the bureau is investigating whether public officials in California accepted bribes from Sacramento-area marijuana businesses who wanted favorable treatment, including licenses to open dispensaries, The Sacramento Bee reports.

Sacramento officials recently called for an investigation into the cannabis dispensary licensing process following the decision to grant eight dispensary permits to a group linked to a Ukrainian-born businessman indicted last for alleged violations of federal campaign finance laws.

In Nevada, the governor also has called for an investigation into potential corruption in the legal marijuana industry.

Details of the investigations were murky, and the FBI declined to provide divulge details.
In a podcast in August, the FBI warned about the threat of public corruption in the marijuana industry and urged listeners to call their local bureau field offices if they suspect public corruption