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Tag: court

Border Patrol Agent Admits He ‘Intentionally Struck’ Migrant with Truck

Stock photo of a Border Patrol truck, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who intentionally struck a Guatemalan migrant with his truck in 2017 – and called immigrants “subhuman” – has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor civil rights charge.

Matthew Bowen, a 39-year-old agent stationed in Nogales, faces up to one year in prison after admitting he intentionally struck the 23-year-old migrant while arresting him for illegally crossing the border.

Bowen also has come under fire after text messages surfaced showing he called immigrants “subhuman” and “mindless murdering savages.”

Bowen, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol, was placed on unpaid suspension in June 2018, shortly after he was indicted on assault charges. As part of a plea agree, Bowen will resign.

A video of the incident showed Bowen “accelerating aggressively” and striking Antolin Lopez Aguilar twice with the front of his truck. Bowen then arrested Lopez.

“During my apprehension of (Antonin Lopez Aguilar), I intentionally struck him with an unreasonable amount of force,” Bowen said, according to documents obtained by The Arizona Republic. “My actions when I struck A.L.-A. were not justified and violated his rights protected by the Constitution of the United States.”

Man Charged with Assaulting 3 Secret Service Agents After Hopping White House Fence

Stock photo by Secret Service.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man has been arrested and charged with assaulting three Secret Service agents after he was accused of illegally entering the White House grounds.

Police say Dane Nairns hopped a temporary security barrier  last week and was approached by three agents, NBC 4 Washington reports.

He’s accused of kicking an agent in the eye, grabbing another agent’s radio and gun belt and fighting with a third agent who forced the man’s surrendering by pulling out a taser.

“The individual disobeyed verbal commands of the officer to not enter the restricted area, and the suspect began to run,” a Secret Service spokeswoman said. “The suspect was placed under arrest after the arresting officer fought with him as he was actively resisting arrest and had grabbed the officer’s duty belt.”

The agents were treated at the scene for scrapes and bruises.

Reputed Gangbanger Found Guilty of Shooting FBI Special Agent

Ronnell Watson, via Instagram

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A reputed gang member accused of ambushing an FBI agent and shooting him in the back in broad daylight in Brooklyn was found guilty by a jury Wednesday.

After three hours of deliberations, Ronell Watson was found guilty on charges of attempted murder of a federal officer, assault of a federal officer and possessing and discharging a firearm, New York Post reports.

The reputed Crips gangbanger was accused of shooting FBI Special Agent Christopher Harper, who was parked in a car in front of Watson’s house in Brooklyn. Moments after Harper was shot in the back, he was heard telling an NYPD office, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die.”

Harper survived the shooting and learned about the verdict a few minutes after the jury delivered it. He pumped his fists but declined to comment.

Defense attorney Michelle Gelernt claims his client panicked when he saw a strange car with tinted windows quickly approaching him.

“Ronell Watson was no assassin,” she said. “He’s just as afraid of agent Harper as agent Harper is of him.”

Watson faces up to life behind bars when sentenced.

‘I’m gonna die,’ FBI Agent Says After Getting Shot in Brooklyn

.Ronnell Watson, via Instagram

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Moments after FBI special agent Christopher Harper was shot while on an undercover stakeout in Brooklyn, he’s heard telling an NYPD officer, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die.”

The dramatic action in December 2018 was caught on a body cam, which was played during the trial of reputed Crips gang member, Ronnell Watson, who is accused of pulling the trigger, The New York Post reports.

“I’m not doing well,” the agent said. “No exit, the bullet’s in me.”

The shooting was captured on surveillance footage.

Harper survived the shooting after suffering a collapsed lung, a broken rib and fractured shoulder blade. He’s expected to testify.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said the shooting was an “attempted execution.”

But Watson’s defense attorney Benjamin Yaster claims his client panicked when he saw a strange car with tinted windows quickly approaching him.

“Does it make sense that Ronell Watson would attempt to murder someone in front of his home, which was decorated for Christmas and outfitted with his mother’s security cameras?” Yaster asked.

ATF Security Guard Pleads Guilty to Stealing Firearms, Ammunition from Agency

Christopher Lee Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former contract security guard who stole guns, ammunition and firearms parts from the ATF and then sold them pleaded guilty Wednesday to crimes related to the thefts.

Christopher Lee Yates, of Martinsburg, W.V., admitted in court that he stole the items from ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch facility near Martinsburg, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell.

An investigation found that Yates stole the guns, ammunition and firearm parts while serving as a security guard from 2016 to 2019.

Yates, who faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine, pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dismissing two felony counts.

What remains unclear is why the ATF didn’t have safeguards in place to avoid the thefts.

Mueller Foes Urge Federal Court to End Special Counsel Probe of Russia, Trump

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The legality of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia meddling and possible collision by Trump’s campaign is facing its most significant challenge since he was appointed in April 2017.

Lawyers for witness Andrew Miller, an associate of Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone, asked a federal appeals court on Thursday to end the investigation on the basis that it has no legal authority.

It’s the first challenge to Mueller’s authority that has reached a federal court of appeals.

Mueller’s job was made even more precarious this week when the president replaced Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker, who could take over the special counsel investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Miller’s lawyer, Paul Kamenar, argued that Mueller’s power is excessive and outside the bounds of law because the special counsel position was created in regulation, not by a congressional statute.

“The special counsel does exercise extraordinary prosecutorial and governmental powers,” Kamenar told the judges, Politico reports. “He can bring indictments in multiple jurisdictions. He’s like a U.S. attorney at large.” 

Trump has long called the investigation a “witch hunt,” even as some of his allies have pleaded guilty to numerous charges and even have cooperated with federal prosecutors.

Mueller’s office has argued that a special counsel’s authority has long been upheld by both federal law and the courts have

Ex-Senate Aide James Wolfe Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI about Contacts with Reporters

Jim Wolfe (Linkedin photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide pleaded guilty on Monday to lying to the FBI about contacts with reporters covering the panel’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

James A. Wolfe, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to FBI agents in a December interview in which he denied providing unclassified but protected information about a witness who had been subpoenaed to testify before the committee.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop two similar charges and recommend what amounts to zero to six months in jail, The New York Times reports

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 20.

Wolfe had been in charge of handling classified information provided to the committee for 28 years.

During the investigation, information was brought to light that investigators had violated Justice Department guidelines by secretly seizing years of records from a reporter’s phone and email without giving the required advance notices to the news organizations where she had worked.

Wolfe’s lawyers emphasized in a statement that their client had not been charged with leaking classified information.

“We have seen numerous distortions on social and other media of the facts of this matter,” they said. “So we emphasize again today that Jim was never charged with having compromised classified information, nor is such a charge part of today’s plea. Jim has accepted responsibility for his actions and has chosen to resolve this matter now so that he and his family can move forward with their lives.”

Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Secretly Photographing Woman in Dressing Room Stall

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former special agent for the FBI admitted he secretly snapped photos of a 22-year-old woman while she was trying on clothes in a dressing room stall.

Daniel Brown, who worked in the FBI’s New York Field Office, pleaded guilty to four-degree invasion of privacy in exchange for probation and a psychological evaluation, NJ.com reports

“When confronted by the victim, Brown identified himself as a law enforcement officer,” the news release said.

Brown, who will no longer work at the FBI, is expected to be sentenced Dec. 6.