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Tag: Florida

Bomb Suspect Left Behind Trail of Clues for FBI

Bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The part-time DJ arrested on charges of sending bombs to prominent Democrats left a trail of evidence for the FBI.

Lab technicians discovered matching DNA on separate pipe bombs and identical fingerprints on two packages.

On social media, he misspelled “Hilary” Clinton and Debbie Wasserman “Shultz” – the same mistakes made on the mailings.

US News reports that intercepted, bubble-wrapped manila envelopes contained vital forensic evidence that was sufficient for investigators to arrest 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc while he was spinning records at a Florida nightclub. 

“Criminals make mistakes so the more opportunities that law enforcement has to detect them, the greater chance they’re going to be able to act on that, and that appears to be what happened here,” said former Justice Department prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty, who prosecuted the Boston Marathon bombing case.

The evidence led authorities to a man with a long criminal history who appeared to be living in his van.

Sayoc is due in court Monday afternoon.

Updated: Fingerprint Match and Misspellings Lead to Arrest of Man Sending Bombs

One of the devices with a return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Updated: 4:16 p.m. Sat.  — The Washington Post reports: A Florida man with a criminal history and a fervor for President Donald Trump sent at least 13 mail bombs to prominent Democrats, Justice Department officials said, crediting DNA, a fingerprint match and misspellings for the key break in a case that spread fear of election-season violence with little precedent in the U.S.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida, faces five federal charges in connection with a mail bomb plot that spurred a weeklong, coast-to-coast investigation that continued even after he was taken into custody Friday as investigators scrutinized additional suspicious packages.

______________________________

Federal authorities’ hunt for a serial mail bomber who targeted critics of President Trump is honing in on Florida, where at least some of the 10 packages originated.

Bomb squad, canine units and federal investigators examined a U.S. mail distribution center at Opa-Locka,  northwest of Opa-Locka, where authorities believe some of the packages were passed through.

“Some of the packages went through the mail. They originated, some of them, from Florida,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielse said during an interview with Fox News. “I am confident that this person or people will be brought to justice.”

Florida became a focal point after a device addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder was discovered en route to the return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

So far, no suspects have been identified.

Each package consisted of a manila envelope with bubble wrap, a computer-printed address label and six “forever” postage stamps. Stuffed inside each envelope was a tape-wrapped device assembled with pieces of plastic PVC pipe that included black powder and shards of shrapnel, perhaps glass. Each pipe had a timing-like mechanism.

Trump initially called for “unity” and civility Wednesday, but at 3:15 a.m. Friday, he slammed CNN, where one of the bombs was sent.

“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!’” Trump tweeted.

The bombs have been sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton, former California Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former attorney general Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, billionaire philanthropist George Soros and CNN’s New York headquarters.

FBI, ATF Agents Search Baltimore Home After Sunday’s Mass Shooting in Florida

The shooter, David Katz, (right) was 24 years old. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Heavily armed FBI and ATF agents wearing bulletproof vests searched the Baltimore home Sunday night of the father of the man who opened fire at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., leaving three dead and 11 others injured.

Authorities identified the shooter as 24-year-old Baltimore resident David Katz, who killed himself. According to investigators, Katz was in Jacksonville, participating in a football video game when he opened fire shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

ATF and FBI agents arrived at the townhouse of Katz’s father around 6 p.m. and searched the home for about four hours, the ATF said at a press conference.

Authorities were tight-lipped about what, if anything, they found at the home on the 1200 block of Harbor Island Walk.

Venezuelan President Who Accuses U.S. of Overthrow Attempts Seeks Help from FBI

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Venezuelan president who routinely suspects the U.S. is trying to overthrow him is now turning to America – more specifically, the FBI – for help investigating an assassination attempt.

President Nicolás Maduro said he believes the suspects led to Floria, Peru and Columbia, BBC reports

The U.S. said it would cooperate but has yet to indicate whether the FBI would pay a visit with a country that has a tense relationship.

The U.S. increased sanctions on Venezuela after accusing the country of rigging the  presidential election so Maduro would win a second term.

On Saturday, the president shocked many by saying he would work with the U.S. if it agreed to help track down the would-be assassins.

“If the US government offered, or confirmed its offer, of FBI cooperation to investigate, I would accept it,” he said.

Maduro alleges the mastermind behind the attack came from “terrorist” cells in Florida.

Two drones laden with explosives detonated near where the president was delivering a speech on Aug. 4.

The president was unscathed, but seven soldiers were injured.

Retired Secret Service Agent Warned Florida School of Vulnerabilities 2 Months Before Shooting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s some disturbing news.

Two months before the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, a retired Secret Service agent warned administrators that the school could be vulnerable to a gunman, the Sun Sentinel reports:

Gates were unlocked. Students did not wear identification badges. A fire alarm could send students streaming into the halls. Active-shooter drills were inadequate, he said.

The retired agent, Steve Wexler, said he made his point by strolling through the school with Post-it notes, attaching them to places his bullets or knife would land if he were an intruder. No one stopped him, he said.

In an interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Wexler said he was invited to analyze the school’s security and presented his recommendations to four staff members.

“I said, ‘This stuff is blatantly obvious. You’ve got to fix this,’” Wexler said.

He never heard another word from the district, he said.

FBI Tracked Record 30 Mass Shootings in 2017

Gun seized in Las Vegas as part of operation/dea photo

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI reported 30 active shootings in 2017, more than any year on record, according to a recently released report by the bureau. 

The 30 reported active shootings are an increase over the 20 reported in 2016.

Between 2016 and 2017, 221 people were killed and 722 people injured.

Most active shootings took place in Florida, California and Texas.

Those years also saw the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. The Las Vegas music festival shooting left 58 people dead and 489 injured in 2017.

In 2016, the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orland, Fla., killed 49 people and wounded another 53.

The combined 50 shootings in 2016 and 2017 came at the hands of men acting by themselves.

Secret Service Investigating Vandalism at Trump International Golf Club

Vandalism of an entrance sign at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigative the vandalism of an entrance sign at the Trump International Golf Club near the president’s Florida estate Mar-a-Lago resort over the weekend.

Red plant was splattered onto the entrance of the club at West Balm Beach, Fla. on Saturday night, and authorities found a can of paint nearby, ABC News reports

Images online show paint covering some of the letters on the polished stone structure.

The Secret Service declined to comment.

The golf club is about 5 miles from Mar-a-Lago.

Trump was spotted at the golf club this weekend.

Orlando Shooter’s Father Was FBI Informant, But Judge Won’t Dismiss Case Against Widow

Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The discovery that the father of the man who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub in 2016 was an FBI informant was an insufficient reason to reject the case against the widow of the mass shooter, a judge said Monday.

Lawyers for Noor Salman urged a judge to throw out the case because prosecutors withheld information that Omar Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, worked as a confidential FBI informant at various times between January 2005 and June 2016.

But U.S. District Judge Paul Byron rejected a motion to dismiss or declare a mistrial, saying Seddique Mateen’s role as a former informant “does not change the dynamic of whether Noor Salman aided and abetted,” NBC News reports

Salman is on trial on charges of aiding and abetting her husband’s June 2016 attack on Pulse, a popular gay club in Orlando, and obstructing law enforcement’s investigation by falsely denying her role in the attack, which was one of the deadliest mass shootings on U.S. soil.

Omar Mateen told police before he was killed that he shooting was done in the name of ISIS.