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Tag: Houston

FBI Agent Sued in Botched Mission to Rescue Hostage in Houston

Jimmy Tony Sanchez was one of three people arrested in the kidnapping case.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who shot and killed a hostage during a botched rescue mission in Houston in January has been sued.

The lawsuit was filed by Brooke Pearce, the sister of Ulises Valladares, who was killed when an unidentified FBI agent fired two shots into a Houston home.

The lawsuit alleges an illegal search and seizure and wrongful death, the Houston Chronicle reports

“(Valladares) had a very good job and was studying to be an engineer, so had the FBI not killed him he would’ve been able to support his son,” said Randall Kallinen, one of the attorneys who brought the lawsuit along with U.A. Lewis. “The main goals are to find out what happened so other hostages aren’t killed, and also to get compensation for this child’s future.”

The FBI responded that the shooting is being investigated by the bureau, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the Houston Police Department.

“No additional information will be provided, as this matter is under review by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General,” an FBI spokeswoman said.

The Houston Chronicle wrote:

Law enforcement raided a Houston residence in the 7300 block of Elbert Street in the early hours of Jan. 25, nearly a day after Valladares, 47, was taken for ransom from his Conroe home by two men who later claimed to be members of a Mexican cartel. Investigators have since said that was a scare tactic designed to intimidate Valladares’ brother, Ernesto Valladares, into giving them money.

An FBI agent used an M-4 assault rifle to break into an unlit side room through a window where Valladares was held and bound, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in January. The agent, who did not know Valladares was in the room and fearing that one of the kidnappers was attempting to wrestle the rifle away from him, fired two shots, one of which killed the Conroe father.

More Than 50 Girls Receive Creepy Package at Schools in Southeast

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

More than 50 girls in elementary schools across the Southeast have received unsolicited packages from someone claiming to be a mentally disabled 14-year-old who has been the target of bullying.

The FBI and local police are investigating why someone posing as “Atur Bhuck of Santa Fe, NM” sent the packages containing food and a letter encouraging the girls to write him back via email, according to the Covington County District Attorney’s Office in Alabama, which posted a “Predator alert” on Facebook.

Investigators have tracked down the package sender to an IP address that appears to originate in Houston. And that same IP address turns up on websites about girls’ underwear.

No suspects have been identified yet but parents are encouraged to call authorities if their children receive a similar package.

FBI Expected to Reveal New Details of Houston Man Accused of Plotting Terrorist Attack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is expected to reveal more details Thursday about an 18-year-old Houston man accused of plotting a violent attack in U.S. soil.

U.S.-born Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya is set to appear in federal court for a detention hearing, the Houston Chronicle reports

Damlarkaya was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on one count of providing material support to terrorists, two counts of attempting to provide material support to ISIS and two counts of unlawfully distributing explosive information, according tot he Justice Department.

Most of the charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Damlarkaya’s public defender declined to discuss the case.

DEA’s Will Glaspy No Stranger to Drug Battle Along Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Will Glaspy, who recently took charge of the DEA’s Houston office, is no stranger to the drug battle.

Glaspy has spent more than decade battling drug traffickers along the Texas border, reports Click2Houston.com. He tells the station the Mexican cartels still have a strong presence in the Texas region.

Below is an interview with the station.

Departing DEA Leader in El Paso Warns of Cartels Smuggling Heroin, Meth to U.S.

Getting HighBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the leader of the DEA in El Paso prepares to leave his job for a promotion to lead the Houston Division, he warned that the Mexican cartels are continuing to expand their heroin and meth trafficking business. 

“Every day we try to answer the prayers of those parents who are praying that drugs, violence and crime will pass over their children,” Will R. Glaspy said in an interview last week with El Paso Times

Glaspy, who served more than three years as the special agent in charge of the DEA’s El Paso Division, is scheduled to start working in Houston on Sept. 18.

Glaspy said drug cartels are turning away from marijuana in favor of meth and heroin.

The El Paso Times wrote:

During his time in El Paso, Glaspy said that his agents handled cases such as the arrests of Sinaloa-cartel affiliated drug traffickers in El Paso, Albuquerque meth traffickers and “Operation Crystal Mountain,” which targeted meth dealers on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

The No. 1 priority in the El Paso region is fighting Mexican drug cartels, with the No. 2 priority being “community impact cases” that target local drug-dealing groups, Glaspy said.

DEA agents deal more with border drug-trafficking issues in El Paso, Las Cruces and Alpine, which covers the vast Big Bend area.

“Basically, what we are trying to do is target command-and-control of the Mexican organizations sending the drugs up here,” Glaspy said.

Border Patrol Rescued 450 People Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas

Border Patrol boat, via CBP

Border Patrol boat, via CBP

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has rescued about 450 people in the Houston area in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

John Morris, chief of staff in South Texas, told the Associated Press that agents “absolutely 100% here for rescue and safety” and are not enforcing immigration laws. 

Morris said Border Patrol deployed 35 boats to navigate the flooded streets. The boats came from stations along the Rio Grande.

The agency drew criticism for failing to suspend highway checkpoints in Texas as the storm was moving across the state.

Authorities Warn Houston Flood Victims of Homeland Security Impersonators

homeland-security-investigationsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are warning flood victims in Houston that Homeland Security impersonators are telling residents to evacuate before burglarizing their homes.

In response, Houston officials are urging residents to ask for officials’ badges and credentials before taking orders, the Associated Press reports

The city also notified residents that ICE won’t be conducting immigration enforcement operations in the area, including at shelters.

The hurricane’s death toll has reached at least 18 and is expected to climb.

Houston Mayor Offers to Help Immigrants Facing Deportation in Midst of Flooding

border patrol helicopterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Aware that some undocumented immigrants want call for help from flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he would help any immigrant who faces deportation as a result of requesting assistance.

“There is absolutely no reason” why anyone shouldn’t call for help, Turner said at a press conference, The Hill reports

“I and others will be the first ones to stand up with you,” said Turner. “If you need help and someone comes and they require help, and then for some reason, then somebody tries to deport them, I will represent them myself, okay?”

Turner encouraged immigrants to call for help if they need it.

“If you are in a stressful situation, I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you’re religion is, I don’t care what your language is, you come and take advantage of every service that we have,” he said. 

“If you’re in a stressful situation and you need help, you call us for help. We want you to call. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should not call okay?”

U.S. Custom and Border Protection and ICE said its “highest priorities” will be saving lives.

“Routine noncriminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks,” the agencies said. “The laws will not be suspended, and we will be vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm.”

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