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Tag: deaths

FBI Investigating Deaths of Woman, 3 Children Found Near U.S.-Mexico Border

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating after a woman and three children were found dead near the Rio Grande River in South Texas on Sunday.

Border Patrol agents found the bodies of two infants, a toddler and a 20-year-old woman near the U.S. border with Mexico.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra tweeted late Sunday that “deputies are awaiting FBI agents who will be leading.”

The sheriff said the bodies were discovered in Las Paloma Wildlife Management Area south of McAllen, Texas.

The deaths come as border officials are struggling to handle an influx of undocumented immigrants who are crossing the border.

FBI Analyzes Minibar Samples at Dominican Republic Resort Following Deaths

Dominican Republic via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is analyzing samples from at least one minibar at the popular Bahia Principe resort and hotel in the Dominican Republican after nine Americans have died in the country in the past year.

The FBI is helping Dominican authorities, who routinely test samples taken from minibars when someone dies in a hotel room, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Health told CNN. The samples are tested for bacteria.

Authorities are trying to determine whether the victims consumed alcohol from the resort before they died and if any of the alcohol contained chemicals or other harmful additives.

Agents have been collecting blood samples from people who have died under mysterious circumstances. Those samples will be compared to minibar samples. The results could take up to a month.

Three of the nine victims were found dead in their rooms at the resort.

FBI Assists Dominican Republic with Mysterious Deaths of Americans

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is assisting authorities in the Dominican Republic investigate a string of American tourist deaths in recent months.

Six American tourists have died of unknown causes at resorts since late last year, CBS reports.

The first death involved a Maryland man who died while celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino late last year.

At the same resort in April, Robert Wallace became ill quickly after drinking a scotch from the minbar and died three days later.

At the Bahia Principe resort, Miranda Schaup-Werner and Yvette Monique Sport died of heart attacks, according to death certificates, but Sport’s sister, Felecia Nieves, is skeptical.

“We were promised within three months that we would receive a toxicology report. To this day, which is almost a year now, we’ve got nothing,” Nieves said.

Also at the Bahia Principe resort, Edward Holmes and Cynthia Day both died in their rooms after celebrating their engagements.

Of the nearly seven million tourists who visit the Dominican Republic, U.S. residents are the most common.

Weekend Series on Crime: The Rise of Mexican Black Tar Heroin

ATF Concludes Deadly Fire at Texas Fertilizer Facility Was Intentionally Set

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A massive explosion at a fertilizer facility in Texas that killed more than three dozen people and injured hundreds was intentionally set, the ATF said Wednesday.

The announcement comes more than three years after the explosion.

The ATF said it has ruled out “all reasonable, accidental and natural causes,” the Washington Post reports. 

The agency has not made any arrests yet and is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible.

The explosion also leveled nearby homes.

Other Stories of Interest

The Hill: How Body Cameras on Border Patrol Agents Could Save Lives

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.By Pedro Rios
The Hill

In 2010, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a husband and father of five, was handcuffed, tortured and brutally beaten to death by 12 Border Patrol agents at the San Ysidro border crossing in California. The horrifying incident witnessed by dozens of people exposed a systemic problem with the nation’s largest law enforcement agency: that Border Patrol agents operate with impunity, without meaningful accountability, and in complete opaqueness.

The abuses by agents are widespread and well documented. Since January of 2010 more than46 people have died as a result of an interaction with the Border Patrol. This past June, a woman was killed when Border Patrol agents intentionally rammed their boat into another boat carrying 20 people. In 2012, a Border Patrol agent shot 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez repeatedly in the back before he died. He was on his way to a local market to buy food staples in the Mexican city of Nogales, along the border with Arizona.

In the Hernandez Rojas case, a civilian bystander recorded the incident from the safety of an elevated pedestrian walkway. The video shows 12 Border Patrol agents, who are armed with batons and a Taser, brutally beating and tasing Rojas — who was lying on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. Six years later, not one of the 12 agents has been charged or even fired.

Hernandez Rojas’s widow, Maria Puga, is leading the movement for expanded oversight and accountability, including the demand that Border Patrol agents wear body cameras, which are a proven deterrent of abuse. A study shows that when officers wear them, the use of force plummets over 50 percent. Both civilians and officers experience fewer injuries when officers wear body cameras.

 

DEA to Crack Down on Synthetic Drug That is Causing Deaths, Erratic Behavior

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is tackling yet another disturbing trend involving a synthetic drug that is causing hysteria and bizarre behaviors among users.

The substance is known as “flakka” and is similar to bath salts, Vice News reports. 

The drug is primarily manufactured in China and sold online under brand names like “Cloud Nine,” Scarface,” and “Lunar Wave.” The drug sells for about $3 to $5 and is often accompanied with a warning that it’s “not for human consumption.”

The drug mimics the effects of methamphetamine and other speed.

One reported user ran naked through the streets of Florida and tried to stab a cop with his own badge. In another incident, a Florida man ran naked from what he believed was a pack of vicious German shepherds.

In Broward County in southern Florida, a medical examine reported 63-flakka-related deaths since September 2014. Last summer, emergency rooms in the country admitted more more than 300 people for symptoms related to flakka.

Taking synthetic drugs is “nothing but a game of Russian roulette,”  chief DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told VICE News said. “The unknown should scare people. You don’t know where it came from, or the kind of lab it was manufactured in.”

Other Stories of Interest

CBP, Border Patrol Fail to Deliver on Promise to Be Transparent About Shootings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection pledged to become more transparent and accountable when it comes to agents using deadly force, but the USA Today reports that the agency is struggling to meet that promise.

At least 46 people – 16 of whom were Americans – have been killed by Border Patrol agents and CBP officers were on duty.

Then CBP’s acting internal affairs chief, Mark Alan Morgan, told reporters that he doubts any of the agents or officers were were disciplined in the deaths.

The USA Today rattles of a list of suspicious cases, including an unarmed teen shot in the back and agents shooting through a border fence in Mexico.

Despite the existence of a study on the issues, CBP kept it a secret for 15 months before it was leaked to the media.

“It just boggles my mind that DHS would hide this information,” said Wong, the retired CBP assistant deputy commissioner for internal affairs. “We’re not talking about terrorist activities or national security; we’re talking about things the American public should be aware of, should have access to. For them to say we can’t tell you how many people have been investigated for excessive use of force, well, I don’t understand the rationale.”

Other Stories of Interest