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Tag: Guns

Former ATF Security Guard Gets 14 Years in Prison for 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 was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison.

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.

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

The theft prompted an investigation that helped the ATF recover 4,625 guns and firearm parts. They included 120 rifles, 60 pistols, four automatic machine guns and three components to make rocket launchers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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

FBI Arrests Truck Driver Over Alleged Mass Shooting Plot at Memphis Church

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a truck driver accused of threatening to “shoot up” a Memphis, Tenn., church after saying he was haunted by “spiritual snakes and spiders in my bed at night.”

Federal authorities said Thomas Matthew McVicker, 38, “made credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide” at the church, which he told a friend placed the snakes and spiders in his bed, The Associated Press reports.

“I’ve only seen them a couple of times but they take form and I can feel them crawling on me and under me,” McVicker said, according to an affidavit filed Monday.

FBI arrested McVicker in Indiana a week before he planned to be in Memphis to carry out the attack, authorities said in court filings.

McVicker’s friend alerted the FBI to McVicker’s alleged plans.

McVicker’s mother told the FBI her son owned a handgun, occasionally used cocaine and methamphetamine and has been treated with schizophrenia.

FBI: Ohio Teen Who Threatened Federal Agents Had 10,000 Rounds of Ammo in His House

Justin Olsen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An 18-year-old Ohio man who went by the name “ArmyOfChrist” was arrested by the FBI for allegedly making online threats against federal law enforcement and Planned Parenthood.

Agents found about 10,000 rounds of ammunition, assault-style weapons and shotguns, according to an FBI affidavit.

The FBI began investigating Justin Olsen after discovering his iFunny account. In June, “ArmyOfChrist” posted, “shoot every federal agent on sight.”

The investigation was “based upon the observation by FBI Anchorage into multiple Internet postings in which ArmyOfChrist discussed supporting mass shootings, and assault and/or targeting of Planned Parenthood,” according to the affidavit.

In another post, he allegedly wrote, “Don’t comply with gun laws, stock up on stuff they could ban. In fact, go out of your way to break these laws.”

Olson was charged Monday with one count of threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer.

Olson insisted during interviews with federal authorities that he had no violent intentions and was being “hyperbolic.”

How FBI Is Handling Mass Shooting Threats After Bloody Weekend

FBI Director Christopher Wray, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About a week ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the Senate that white supremacy is responsible for most domestic terrorism cases so far in 2019.

Then came Saturday, when a gunman who pledged to attack “as many Mexicans as possible” opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others. Early Sunday morning, another gunman killed 9 people and injured 26 others in just 30 seconds in Dayton, Ohio. The motive of that shooting remains unclear.

The bureau is worried the attacks will inspire more acts of violence.

“The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence,” the bureau said in a news release. “The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online.”

So what’s the FBI doing about the threat of domestic terrorism? According to CNN, Wray has ordered a new threat assessment at the bureau’s offices nationwide in an attempt to stave off future attacks.

A command group at the FBI’s Washington headquarters will lead an effort to get field offices to identify threats of mass shootings.

The bureau also is assisting in the investigations of the shootings in Texas and Ohio.

“On behalf of the FBI, I offer sincere condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by this weekend’s violence, and we stand by them during this difficult time. We will bring the full resources of the FBI to bear in the pursuit of justice for the victims of these crimes.” Wray said in a statement. “I am proud of our state and local law enforcement partners and the immediate response of FBI agents, analysts, and professional staff, working in close coordination to assist them. I have been in contact with the president and the attorney general, and they both have expressed their support for the FBI’s work in the wake of these tragedies.”

Gilroy Mass Shooter Posted White Supremacist Manifesto Before Opening Fire

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

About an hour before opening fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on Sunday, the 19-year-old gunman posted about a white supremacist manifesto on Instagram.

Santino William Legan, who killed three people and injured 15 others, encouraged his Instagram followers to read, “Might Is Right or the Survival of the Fittest,” a fringe book that describes black and Jewish people as inferior and advocates for women as property.

The Instagram post, reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications, has been removed.

“Books play a big role in the white supremacist movement,” Peter Simi, a professor of sociology at Chapman University in Southern California who studies political extremism and violence, told the Chronicle. “Posting (about a book) is a clear shout to say the reason I’m doing this violence is not just personal but to say I’m acting on behalf of a larger movement.”

The shooting follows congressional testimony by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who said most domestic terrorism cases in the past nine months have been “motivate by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.”

“Read Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” Legan wrote.

Legan was killed by police shortly after he opened fire.

The FBI and ATF are helping local police investigate.

One of ATF’s Most Wanted Fugitives Was Arrested at Native American Reservation

Michael Strain

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. marshals arrested one of the ATF’s most wanted fugitives after he spent eight years evading authorities.

Michael Duane Strain, 62, of Iowa, fled after he was indicted on federal firearms charges in 2011. Federal agents found thousands of rounds of ammunition and numerous firearms.

Authorities found Strain on a ranch on a Montana Native American reservation, The USA Today reports.

A self-proclaimed sovereign citizen, Strain refused to comply with government authorities, saying they had no jurisdiction over him. He made the same claim when he was taken into custody, according to court records.

After receiving a telephone tip, marshals found Strain at the Crow Reservation, where he “was basically squatting on the property,” according to an affidavit from Stephen Feuerstein, a detective assigned to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

FBI Warned in 2016 about Gunman at Federal Courthouse in Dallas

Brian Clyde via Facebook

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI was warned in July 2016 about the man who opened fire outside of a federal courthouse in Dallas before being shot to death by law enforcement.

Brian Clyde’s half-brother told the FBI that his sibling should not be permitted to buy a gun because of his obsession with firearms and suicidal thoughts, their mother said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Clyde’s family also said he was placed in a mental institution but was still able to buy a rifle.

Clyde was fatally shot after opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building.

The FBI confirmed the half-brother’s call but insisted there was little they could do.

“The information provided did not contain any specific threat, and no investigation was conducted,” the FBI wrote in a statement.

At the time, the FBI said, the bureau had no legal cause to investigate.

Clyde had no history of violence. His family believed his goal was to get killed.

Theft of Thousands of Guns, Parts from ATF Facility Reveals Serious Problems at Agency

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF officials are being evasive about the theft of thousands of guns and firearm parts that were supposed to be destroyed.

Many of the guns had been seized by law enforcement, and others were retired service weapons from the ATF, FBI, DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies.

The weapons disappeared after being sent to the ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch in Martinsburg, W.Va., where they were supposed to be destroyed.

The case has exposed the ATF’s failure to keep track of guns sent to the facility and detect when weapons are stolen. The agency has declined to publicly reveal the extent of the thefts, and ATF officials have been evasive when questioned by Congress.

One of the suspects in the thefts, Christopher Yates, a guard at the ATF facility, has admitted stealing thousands of firearms, gun parts and ammunition before selling them. The 52-year-old, a contract employee for the ATF for 16 years, pleaded guilty in federal court in April to stealing government property. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in August.

Yates managed to steal the guns and parts for years without the ATF knowing.

The ATF has failed to provide detailed information on the thefts to Congress, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In a March 28 letter to senators, then-Acting ATF Director Tom Brandon cited Yates’ open case as a reason for failing to provide more information.

“We cannot at this time characterize the scope of the thefts from the Martinsburg facility,” wrote Brandon, who retired in April.

Senators are pledging to get to the bottom of the case.

“The ATF is tasked with protecting our communities and the theft of a substantial amount of weapons, parts and ammunition from ATF facilities raises significant concerns,” Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., wrote in a statement to the Journal Sentinel. “Our committee is seeking a full accounting of this situation, and we hope the ATF will be as transparent as possible while we continue to pursue answers.”

Without a proper accounting of stolen guns, agents at each of the ATF’s 25 field offices have been assigned to search for stolen weapons. That search is taking resources away from fighting crime.