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Tag: CBP

Trump’s Pick for ICE Director Criticized Admin As ‘Heartless,’ ‘Devoid of Any Decency’

President Trump’s choice for ICE director, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s choice for ICE director had harsh words for his ouster as head of Border Patrol in 2017.

Then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan wrote in a 2017 email to then-acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan that the administration’s call for “me to leave immediately is heartless and void of any decency and compassion,” Axios reports.

McAleenan, who is now the acting Homeland Security secretary, received another email from Morgan, who wrote “I am being removed in the name of politics – and politics at its worst. … I will not have them believe I willingly left under these circumstances.”

Morgan wrote in another email, “This is wrong on many levels. I have questions but I need to process through a bit more.”

The emails didn’t make clear why Morgan was removed, and no reason was offered when he resigned.
But the National Border Patrol Council, the union for Border Patrol agents, said Morgan was inexperienced. According to an Axios source, Trump made the call after privately talking to NBPC President Brandon Judd.

In a strange turnabout, Judd told Politico that Morgan was the right person to head the agency, in no small part due to his experience at the FBI.

TSA Sending Up to 400 Personnel to U.S.-Mexico Border to Assist with Immigration Surge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is preparing to deploy up to 400 of its personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with the escalation of Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S.

The largest union representing the TSA, the American Federation of Government Employees TSA Council, questioned the move, saying it may “undermine aviation security” at airports during one of the busiest time of the year for air travel.

“The timing of this deployment could not be worse, as we are preparing for yet another busy summer travel season,” Hydrick Thomas, president of the union, said in a statement.

The deployment is part of a Homeland Security effort to send more personnel to the border as immigration surges.

It’s not yet clear what the TSA employees will do at the border, but they won’t have direct contact with immigrants, according to NBC News.

A TSA officials told NBC News that it would not deploy any of its frontline personnel who deal with travelers at airports.

The TSA has identified some personnel, which includes lawyers, air marshals and immigration specialists.

In March an April, more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants crossed the border into the U.S.

FBI Arrests Leader of Armed Militia That Was Detaining Undocumented Immigrants

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

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Saturday arrested the leader of an armed militia that was detaining undocumented immigrants at the southern border.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, was arrested in New Mexico, where the United Constitutional Patriots is based, on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the New Mexico attorney general, Hector Balderas, announced.

The arrest comes after the group posted controversial images and video of its operations on its Facebook page, showing members detaining immigrants.

“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” Balderas wrote in a statement. “The arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hand of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”

A spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots claimed responsibility for detaining 5,600 immigrants over the past two months, saying the group’s mission is “to support the Border Patrol.”

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection has urged private citizens not to get involved with detaining immigrants and asked that they instead alert border officials.

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.”

Investigation Underway After Border Patrol Agents Used Tear Gas on Migrants

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection its investigating agents who used tear gas and paper spray on more than 100 migrants who were illegally trying to enter the country.

The incident began Monday and continued into Tuesday morning as some migrants threw rocks and others helped lift children wrapped in jackets and blankets over razor-edged wire, CNN reports.

“Once again we have had a violent mob of migrants attempt to enter the United States illegally by attacking our agents with projectiles,” said Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security. “As has happened before — in this and previous administrations — our personnel used the minimum force necessary to defend themselves, defend our border, and restore order.”

No injuries were immediately reported.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Killing 4 Women Far from the Only Agent in Legal Trouble

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Accused serial killer, Border Patrol Supervisor Juan David Ortiz, is far from the only agent at the agency to be accused of serious crimes in past five years.

Border Patrol Agent Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles is accused of killing his 27-year-old lover and the couple’s baby. He was charged in April and has pleaded not guilty.

Between 2014-16, more than 20,000 misconduct cases, which include criminal offenses, were filed against employees of Customs and Border Protection, according to the Government Accountability Office, USA Today reports

Of those, 1,300 involved criminal conduct, ranging from drunken driving to domestic violence. An additional 1,000 cases involved mistreatment of detainees, ranging from physical violence to sexual abuse.

Only about 2% of those cases forced agents to resign, retire or be fired.

New Orleans Sector of CBP Now Led by 22-Year Veteran Gregory Bovino

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Gregory Bovino, a 22-year-veteran of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has been named the new leader of the agency’s New Orleans sector.

Bovino is tasked with heading up a sector that encompasses nearly 700 miles of coastal border in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and the Florida Panhandle.

The sector includes border stations in Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Gulfport and Mobile.

Bovino said the key to running a successful sector is collaboration with local and state law enforcement.

“Collaboration and steady communication with our local partners and ensuring that this is ongoing is extremely important to us,” he told the Times-Picayune.

U.S. Customs Officer, Charged with Child Pornography, Faces Up to 10 Years in Prison

U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Houlton, Maine.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A U.S. customs officer in Maine faces up to 10 years in prison on a federal child pornography charge.

Homeland Security began investigatinxg Larry O’Neal, 44, in early January after investigators traced a downloaded file of suspected child pornography to his computer at home in Houtlon, Maine, Bangor Daily News reports

Investigators said they found child pornography on a computer and hard drive, including images of girls about 12 to 14 years performing sex acts.

O’Neal was indicted on Feb. 15 and pleaded not guilty.

A CBP spokeswoman declined to discuss the case but said they agency “is fully cooperating with the FBI and Office of the Inspector General regarding this investigation.”