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Tag: Florida

ATF Reports Alarming Increase in Stolen Firearms from Gun Shops

File photo of guns, via ATF

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF released a disturbing new report that shows national firearm theft and losses in gun shops increased 20% in 2016. 

The report indicates that 18,394 weapons were stolen last year, and a vast majority were pistols, rifles, revolvers and shotguns.

“Losses and thefts of firearms have increased dramatically in terms of the gun stores,” ATF Special Agent Michael Knight told WHNT19 News

He added: “Also, what has increased extremely, at a high rate, is the armed robberies, and this is a violent crime. This means that the public could potentially be at arms length of the criminal element who are focusing on these gun stores.”

Georgia led the nation with 1,539 stolen or missing firearms in 2016. Florida followed with 1,260 and Texas with 1,247.

Hawaii, by contrast, reported just three stolen or missing firearms.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA Raids Popular Miami Gym, Arrests Co-Owner on Charges of Selling $10M in Steroids

sbf-dea-badge-webBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents stormed a popular Miami gym early Wednesday morning and arrested the co-owner on charges of leading an international steroid production and distribution ring, the Miami Herald reports.

DEA agents knocked down walls in a second-story office in search of evidence.

The federal government alleges that Iron Addicts co-owner Richard Rodriguez operated a supplement company that produced and sold $10 million in illegal anabolic steroids.

According to a criminal complaint, 37-year-old Rodriquez and his wife were the leaders of a nine-member steroid ring.

Secret Service Investigates Student Who Threw Object at Trump Motorcade

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A middle school student admitted he threw a 2X4 piece of lumber at President Trump’s motorcade in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday afternoon.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office is expected to file charges, CNN reports

Four other juveniles were implicated in the incident.

Trump’s motorcade was near his Mar-a-Lago resort.

No one was injured.

Secret Service continues to investigate the incident.

ATF Investigation of Pasadena Police Officer Leads to Search of Home

pasadena-policeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF executed a search warrant at a home owned by a Pasadena police officer on Thursday.

The officer is on paid administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation, CBSLA.com reports. 

“The ATF told [Pasadena Police] Chief [Phillip] Sanchez its investigation was unrelated to the officer’s duties with the department,” William Boyer, spokesman for Pasadena, wrote in a news release.

Federal agents were spotted loading dozens of gun cases from the officer’s home in Sierra Madre.

“The officer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs review per department policy,” Boyer said. “The officer has not been arrested nor have there been any charges filed against the officer at this point.”

Florida Airport Shooter Told FBI He Had ‘Terroristic Thoughts’ 2 Months Ago

Esteban Santiago

Esteban Santiago

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Armed with a loaded handgun, Esteban Santiago walked into an FBI office in Anchorage, Alaska, two months ago and said he had “terroristic thoughts” and was being forced by the CIA to watch ISIS videos.

The FBI handed him to local police, and he was taken to a mental health facility and his handgun was seized, NBC News reports. 

Four days later, police returned his gun, and Santiago was a free man.

Last week, Santiago opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale airport, killing five people and wounding eight.

If the FBI took the threat more seriously, Santiago may have never carried out the shooting.

But FBI officials counter that Santiago’s interactions in Alaska were a routine reality for the bureau, occurring nearly every day.

“Guidelines governing the evaluation of potential terrorist threats need to be adjusted so that the FBI has greater flexibility when assessing the risk posed by someone who has been brought to their attention,” said John Cohen, a Rutgers University professor and former counter terrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland. “Behavioral assessment protocols and threat management strategies have proven highly effective in preventing assassinations school shootings and other acts of violence, and those same tools should be available on a consistent basis to counter terrorism investigators.”

FBI Agent Who Interrogated Saddam Hussein Leads Florida Airport Shooting Probe

FBI Agent George Piro interviewed on 60 Minutes in 2008

FBI Agent George Piro interviewed on 60 Minutes in 2008

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI agent who is in charge of the investigation into the Florida airport shooting was known for interrogating Saddam Hussein alone for months.

George Piro, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami field office, is leading the investigation into the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that killed five people, the Associated Press reports.

Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old Iraq war veteran, is facing the death penalty if convicted.

Piro pledged to fight for the families and victims.

“I want to ensure these families that law enforcement is working tirelessly in order to ensure justice is served,” he said.

Pro became an FBI agent in 1999 and is a native of Beirut, Lebanon. He is fluent in Arabic and Assyrian.

FBI Suspects Russia Hacked Emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI suspects what Democrats have been saying for weeks: Russian intelligence agencies hacked the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and a contractor handling Florida voter data, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

And now top Russian officials are no longer denying the country was involved in a separate attack of the Democratic National Convention. President Vladimir Putin, for example, said it’s irrelevant who hacked the computer records.

“Everyone is saying, ‘Who did it?’” Mr. Putin said at an investor forum in Moscow. “But does it matter that much? It’s what’s inside the information that matters.”

Just weeks before the election, the FBI has uncovered numerous political targets for hackers.

Clinton’ campaign chairman, John Pedesta, also suggested Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hacks of his emails.

“This level of meddling by a foreign power can only be aimed at boosting Donald Trump and should send chills down the spine of all Americans, regardless of political party,’’ accusing Trump of “continuing to side with the Russians.”

Arson Suspected at Florida Mosque Where Orlando Nightclub Shooter Worshiped

fire via pixabayBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Local law enforcement is asking the FBI and ATF to join the investigation into a suspicious fire early Monday morning at the Fort Pierce, Fla., mosque where the Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had worshiped.

“Evidence has revealed that this fire was set intentionally,” St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Maj. David Thompson told reporters, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

The fire broke out at about 12:30 a.m. at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce. No injuries were reported.

Surveillance video shows someone approaching the mosque.

“Immediately after the individual approached, a flash occurred and the individual fled the area,” Thompson said.