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Tag: Guns

ATF Security Guard Pleads Guilty to 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 pleaded guilty Wednesday to crimes related to the thefts.

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, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell.

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

Yates, who faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine, pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dismissing two felony counts.

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

FBI Arrests Leader of Armed Militia That Was Detaining Undocumented Immigrants

Distant border fence in the desert near El Paso and its Mexican neighbor Juarez.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Saturday arrested the leader of an armed militia that was detaining undocumented immigrants at the southern border.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, was arrested in New Mexico, where the United Constitutional Patriots is based, on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the New Mexico attorney general, Hector Balderas, announced.

The arrest comes after the group posted controversial images and video of its operations on its Facebook page, showing members detaining immigrants.

“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” Balderas wrote in a statement. “The arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hand of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”

A spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots claimed responsibility for detaining 5,600 immigrants over the past two months, saying the group’s mission is “to support the Border Patrol.”

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection has urged private citizens not to get involved with detaining immigrants and asked that they instead alert border officials.

Authorities Search for ‘Substantial’ Number of Firearms Stolen From ATF Facility in West Virginia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are searching for a “substantial” number of firearms and gun parts stolen from a government disposal facility in Martinsburg, W.Va., USA Today reports.

Christopher Yates, a security contractor assigned to the ATF  repository in West Virginia, has been charged in connection with the missing weapons and parts.

Yates has allegedly acknowledged transferring at least some of the stolen property to an unidentified person Maryland.

 

2018 on Pace for Record-Breaking Gun Confiscations at U.S. Airports

Guns seized at US airports, via TSA

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The TSA is expected to turn in another record-breaking year for the number of guns seized at airports.

While the final tally has not been made, records show 2018 is well on its way to surpassing the 3,957 guns confiscated the year before.

The number of guns seized at airports has increased every year since at least 2005, when 660 firearms were confiscated.

In just one week in early December, the TSA reported 78 guns were confiscated, ranging from .40-caliber Glocks to 9mm semi-automatics. Of the 78 guns, 63 were loaded.

The airports with the most guns confiscated last year were Atlanta with 245 and Dallas-Fort Worth with 211.

The theories for why more guns are being confiscated ranges from a more diligent security to flyers taking bigger risks out of fear of terrorism.

DEA Agent Indicted on Charges of Decade-Long Affiliation with Deadly Drug Gang

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A sweeping federal indictment alleges a DEA agent began working with a gang a decade ago while he was a police officer in Illinois and continued the work while at the drug agency’s Chicago field office.

According to the indictment, Fernando Gomez, 41, was affiliated with the Organizacion de Narcotraficantes Unidos, a Puerto Rico-based group that imported vast amounts of cocaine into the U.S. and was involved in at least eight drug-related killings.

He was arrested at the DEA’s field office Tuesday morning, The Chicago Tribune reports

When Gomez was a detective for Evanston police, prosecutors said he began working with the gang, obtaining guns from drug dealers and giving them to gang leader Jose Martinez-Diaz, AKA “Tony Zinc.”

The indictment alleges Gomez became a DEA agent to provide protection for the gang.

Ex-Border Patrol Agent Accused of Illegally Selling Hundreds of Firearms

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent is accused of selling hundreds of firearms without a license.

Federal authorities seized more than 200 firearms from the home of Laurence Myers, who was recently indicted., The Arizona Daily Star reports.

Myers, 54, worked at the agency’s Tucson Sector, which confirmed he is no longer employed there.

According to court records, authorities were tipped off by suspicious deposits at a Tucson bank and discovered $300,000 in illegal gun sales.

FBI Arrests California Man for Threatening to Kill Boston Globe Reporters

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a California man who repeatedly threatened violence against Boston Globe journalists, calling them “the enemy of the people,” echoing a phrase often used by President Trump.

An FBI SWAT team armed with military-style weapons arrested Robert Darrell Chain, 68, during a dawn raid in his home in Encino, Calif., the Boston Globe reported

Agents found 20 firearms in the home, including a rifle purchased in May.

Authorities said Chain was angry with the newspaper’s editorial campaign denouncing the president’s attacks against the media.

Chain was charged Thursday with threatening to shoot and kill journalists from the Boston Globe. He was released from jail on a $50,000 bond and told reporters outside federal court that “there’s no free press in America.”

Chain faces up to five years in prison and could be charged with additional crimes related to the weapons found at his home.

Ex-DEA Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Selling Guns to Suspected Drug Traffickers

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former supervisory special agent for the DEA in Nogales, Ariz., faces up to five years in prison for illegally selling firearms, including to suspected drug traffickers.

Joseph Gill pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally selling firearms, including two rifles to men “he had reason to believe intended to use or dispose of the firearms unlawfully, Tucson News Now reports.

Gill, who sold the guns without a Federal Firearms License, is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 26.

According to the Justice Department, Gill purchased firearms from licensed dealers and sold them online.

Investigators said Gill sold two Colt rifles in June 2016 to suspected drug dealers, according to an ATF investigation. Authorities said one rifle was smuggled into Mexico and another was seized at a port of authority.

Gill resigned from the DEA on June 30.