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Tag: El Paso

FBI Investigating Disappearance of $500,000+ from National Border Patrol Council Funds

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine what happened to more than $500,000 that is missing from the union that represents about 20,000 Border Patrol agents.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told ProPublica that the FBI’s investigation is targeting an apparent embezzlement scheme involving the bank accounts of the union’s El Paso branch, where money went missing in recent years.

“We know the FBI is looking at it,” Judd said.

In November, Judd notified agents in El Paso that money was missing. In a recording of that meeting, Judd said that the union hired forensic auditors, who found “$352,389.31 that was misappropriated. They also found that there was another $150,035.65 that was not properly paid to the IRS in tax money. Somebody pocketed it, just up and walked away.”

Judd told agents, “We expect there will be indictments.”

The FBI did not comment on the investigation.

City of El Paso Changes Name of Dog Park to Honor Border Patrol K-9 Killed in Line of Duty

5-year-old Belgian Malinois, Bulder.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A dog park in El Paso will be named after Bulder, the Border Patrol K-9 killed in the line of duty in December.

The city of El Paso wants to honor the courageous dog, a 5 -year-old Belgian Malinois.

“People just think it’s a dog. It’s actually a partner. It’s an agent,” Tim Sullivan, chief patrol agent with U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group, said, according to Border Report. “So, this resolution honors him and the sacrifice he made while protecting the other agents.”

Bulder was killed during a shootout that occurred as agents tried to execute a search warrant at a home in El Paso.

The 62-year-old suspect who killed the dog out in a shootout was fatally shot with return fire.

“El Paso has a big heart for our pets and of course for the men and women who serve our community,” City Rep. Claudia Ordaz-Perez said. “So we thought it was just fitting that the only dog splash park in the community that we name this park after K9 Agent Bulder to forever serve in our memories.”

ATF K-9 Killed During Shootout at El Paso Home

The 5-year-old Belgian Malinois died at the scene.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol K-9 was killed during a shootout that occurred as agents tried to execute a search warrant at a home in El Paso.

The 62-year-old suspect shot at agents from his backyard at 6 a.m. Tuesday, striking the 5-year-old dog, The El Paso Times reports. The Belgian Malinois named Boulder died at the scene.

The suspect was fatally shot with return fire.

The arrest warrant involved illegal firearms.

No one else was injured.

Luis M. Quesada Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s El Paso Field Office

Luis M. Quesada

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Luis M. Quesada, who began his career in law enforcement as a Miami police officer, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office in Texas.

Quesada, who most recently he served in the Training Division in Quantico, joined the FBI as a special agent in 1995 and began working in the Miami Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes with a focus on bank robberies, extortion, and kidnappings. In 1998, Quesada voluntarily transferred to the San Juan Field Office in Puerto Rico before returning to Miami in 2001 to investigates drugs. In both offices, Quesada served on the SWAT teams.

Quesada was promoted in 2003 to supervisory special agent and began working in the Counterterrorism Division of the Terrorist Screening Center, which manages and operates the nation’s terrorist watch list.

In 2005, he transferred to the FBI Academy in Quantico as a defensive tactics instructor. Quesada returned to Miami two years later as the supervisor of the violent gang and high-intensity drug trafficking area task force. He later became the acting assistant special agent in charge of Miami’s Criminal Branch.

In 2010, Quesada became the assistant legal attaché in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he promoted FBI interests in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In 2012, Quesada was promoted to a unit chief position in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, focusing on counter-narcotics efforts in Latin America and the U.S. Southwest border.

In 2014, Quesada became legal attaché of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing on counterterrorism threats throughout the Balkans and the U.S.

A year later, Quesada became the assistant special agent in charge of the Criminal Branch in the Jackson Field Office in Mississippi. In 2017, he was appointed to assistant section chief in the Training Division, and a year later was promoted to section chief of the division’s Training Services Section.

Quesada earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Florida International University.

FBI Offers $15,000 Reward After Fire Bombings of El Paso Catholic Churches That Served Hispanics

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for helping tracking down the arsonists responsible for setting fire to three Catholic Churches in El Paso that primarily serve Hispanics and migrants.

The first fire broke out May 7, when someone tossed an “incendiary device” at St. Matthew Catholic Church.

On May, another “incendiary device” was thrown at St. Patrick Cathedral. And on June 15, “an incendiary device” was into the San Judas Tadeo Catholic Church.

Authorities have yet to make any arrests.

No one was injured in the fires.

“We are counting on assistance from members of the community to keep our city safe,” the FBI said in a press release. “We are asking everyone to please remain vigilant for suspicious or unusual activity to include events and persons around you. To date, we have received numerous tips regarding this investigation and multiple law enforcement agencies are involved. Every lead will be thoroughly investigated. Regardless of how insignificant you think your information might be, we strongly encourage you to come forward and welcome your information and assistance. You do have the option to remain anonymous when providing assistance to this investigation.”

Emmerson Buie Jr. Becomes First African American to Lead FBI’s Chicago Field Office

FBI Special Agent Emmerson Buie Jr. via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Emmerson Buie Jr. has become the first African American to serve as special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Office.

Buie, who most recently served as special agent in charge of the El Paso Office in Texas, joined the FBI in 1992, investigating criminal issues at the Colorado Springs Resident Agency of the Denver Field Office.

In 1999, Buie became supervisory special agent and worked in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations Unit in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In 2002, Buie was promoted to senior supervisory resident agent at the Fairview Heights Resident Agency in Illinois.

In 2006, Buie was assigned to London, where he became the assistant and acting deputy legal attaché. He served as the primary contact for coordinating the FBI’s involvement in several international counterterrorism and anti-organized crime agencies.

In 2008, Buie was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of criminal matters and also handled national security and administrative issues in the Springfield Field Office. In addition, Buie was the office’s leadership development coordinator.

In 2014, Buie began serving as the Cyber Division’s senior liaison to the National Cybersecurity, Communication and Integration Center at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he helped coordinate public and private sector investigations and intelligence-sharing efforts between the FBI, DHS, and other agencies.

In 2017, he was named special agent in charge of the El Paso Field Office.

Before joining the FBI, Buie spent four years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and served in Desert Storm. His actions earned him a Bronze Star, Combat Infantry badge, and multiple accommodations and awards. Buie received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.

FBI Received Increase in Tips from the Public Following Massacres in El Paso, Toledo

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Tips to the FBI increased following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, a sign that the public is taking the gun deaths more seriously.

The FBI’s National Threat Operations Center fielded more than 38,000 tips from the public in the first week following the Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 attacks. NTOC averages 22,000 tips, The Washington Post reports.

At least 28 people have been arrested on allegations of threatening to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in massacres in Texas and Ohio.

In the wake of the attacks, FBI Director Christopher Wray urged law enforcement agencies across the country to become more vigilant in their search for potential mass shooters.

The FBI said tips usually increase following “major incidents.”

“Such increases are often observed after major incidents,” the FBI said in a statement. “As always, the FBI encourages the public to remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.”

El Paso’s Border Patrol Chief Being Sent to Detroit Amid Blistering Report

Conditions at one of the El Paso stations, via IG.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Aaron Hull, the controversial chief of the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, is being sent to Detroit following reports of unsafe and unsanitary conditions in border stations in El Paso.

Hull will be replaced by Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez, who is head of the El Centro Sector in California, NBC News first reported.

Customs and Border Protection declined to say why Hull was reassigned, but the move comes after a blistering report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General. The conditions were so deplorable that agents were beginning to arm themselves because they feared a riot.

The IG report documented overcrowded cells, a lack of showers or clean clothes, outbreaks of lice, flu, chickenpox and scabies, and more than half of the immigrants being held outside. Babies had no clean clothing or soft mats on which to sleep.

“With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks,” the report said.

The report also cited declining morale among agents who were worried about riots or hunger strikes. Some agents were even considering retiring early or moving to another agency.

“The current situation where immigrants are simply giving themselves up to the border patrol [and border patrol must detain] is causing low morale and high anxiety. They are seeing more drinking, domestic violence and financial problems among their agents,” the report said.

Despite the documented evidence, DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan insisted that news reports about poor conditions for children at the facility were “unsubstantiated.”

Hull also defended Border Patrol agents, saying he was “impressed” with their handling of an influx of migrants.

A Homeland Security official told NBC News that Hull has a reputation as a “law and order” chief who often acts on his own without permission from his superiors.