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Tag: CBP

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.”

Trump’s Choice to Lead CBP Finally Begins Confirmation Process

Acting CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

Acting CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s nominee to head U.S. Customs and Border Protection has finally begun the confirmation process.

Kevin McAleenan told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday morning that among his top priorities is stemming the flow of opioids into the country, Courthousenews.com reports

McAleenan is serving as acting CBP commissioner and previously was the deputy commissioner under the Obama administration.

Hearings were postponed following news that McAleenan was accused of having an affair with a subordinate and improperly funded an immigration detention center. But the Inspector General for Homeland Security has cleared McAleenan of any wrongdoing.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol to Test New, Smaller Drones at Tucson Sector

Drone via CBP.

Drone via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol hopes to add smaller drones to its surveillance arsenal and will begin testing the unmanned aircraft this month in the Tucson sector, Tucson.com reports

The agency uses bigger drones, but Border Patrol is looking for something that is small enough to easily transport and fly in hard-to-access areas.

Agents will test three series of drones: Puma, Raven and InstantEye Quadcopter.

The drones may also include sensors, infrared cameras and facial-recognition technology. 

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Uses Aircraft to Rescue People Trapped in Hurricane Harvey Flooding

CBP helps rescue Houston residents stranded by historic flooding.

CBP helps rescue Houston residents stranded by historic flooding.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As Hurricane Harvey continues to dump heavy rain on Houston, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is using aircraft to help rescue people trapped by historic flooding.

CBP’s Air and Marine Operations from Tucson are using UH-60 Blackhawks, 12 crew members, five support staff and three search-and-rescue agents whose expertise is water rescue, Tucson.com reports. 

At 12:30 p.m. Monday, air crew members rescued four people trapped in their homes.

The Tucson Sector also plans to send 50 Special Operations Detachment agents Tuesday for public safety purposes.