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Tag: Houston

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.”

Houston Man Charged with Planning to Blow up Confederate Statue

Andrew Schneck in his high school yearbook.

Andrew Schneck in his high school yearbook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 25-year-old accused of planning to blow up a Confederate statue in Houston has been arrested after authorities found high-powered explosives in the home he shares with his parents.

A park ranger discovered Andrew Schneck hiding in the bushes near a 112-year-old Confederate statue with explosives, the Houston Chronicle reports. 

Nearby Tony Rice University was evacuated after the explosives, which were detonated by bomb squad experts, were found inside his home.

Schmeck was charged Monday with attempting to maliciously damage property and was placed in federal custody. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

Houston Board Repairman Charged with Alleged Plot to Bomb Apartment Building

Suspect Cary Lee Ogborn

Suspect Cary Lee Ogborn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Houston boat repairman accused of plotting to bomb an apartment building was charged in federal court Monday.

Cary Lee Ogborn’s alleged plot was thwarted by an undercover FBI agent, the Houston Chronicle reports. 

“With terrorism, you don’t want to be reactive,” said Shauna Dunlap, spokeswoman for the FBI in Houston. “Our goal is to detect and deter events before they occur. An effective way to do this is through an undercover operation.”

The 50-year-old’s arrest Friday came after he received a package online that he thought contained dynamite, a grenade and a remote detonator.

According to the FBI, Ogborn ordered the explosives online through an underground website, AlphaBay. An FBI agent posed as a vendor and was able to foil the plot.

Authorities arrested him shortly after he picked up the package.

ATF Arrests Man Accused of Setting Fire to Houston Mosque on Christmas Day

Gary Nathaniel Moore

Gary Nathaniel Moore

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities arrested a man accused of setting a Houston mosque on fire on Christmas Day, Houston Public Media reports. 

ATF isn’t sure what motivated Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, to commit arson at the mosque.

Moore told authorities that he worshipped at the mosque.

At this time, there is no evidence of a hate crime, authorities said.

Moore was charged with one felony count of arson at a place of worship.

Other Stories of Interest

Blaze That Tore Through Mosque in Houston Was Intentionally Set, Officials Said

Detroit fire lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Christmas Day fire at a mosque in Texas was intentionally set, investigators told The Source.

The two-alarm blaze tore the Savory Mosque in Houston at 2:45 p.m., causing significant damage.

No injuries were reported because about 200 people left the mosque about an hour before the arson fire.

The investigation is being handled by the ATF, FBI and Houston police.

Other Stories of Interest

ATF Agent Arrested After Allegedly Brutal Assaulting Father at Football Game, Waving gun at Crowd

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An ATF agent has been arrested after authorities said he brutally beat a father at a high school football game and then waved his gun at the crowd when they tried to intervene, KHOU.com reports. 

ATF Special Agent Marc Delpit now faces charges of aggravated assault after the incident at St. Thomas High School in Houston.

The father of one of the football players, Delpit allegedly approached another football player’s father and began to fight.

Marc Delpit

Marc Delpit

“ATF takes these allegations very seriously,” said Senior Special Agent Nicole Strong with the Houston Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms and Explosives.

“Pending the outcome of the investigation, the agent in question has been placed on administrative leave with pay and has been relieved of his firearms, badge and credentials,” Special Agent Strong said.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Acknowledges It Violated Own Rules by Investigating Pipeline Protesters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI acknowledged Tuesday that it violated its own guidelines in 2013 by investigating environmental advocates who were protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, The New York Times reports. 

Agents were investigating claims that some opponents planned to damage part of the existing pipeline, which sends oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Without approval from their office or chief lawyer, FBI agents gathered information about opponents and combed through databases for information on environmental advocates. The investigation appears to have been prompted by communication from the Houston office.

Agents are required to get authorization for such an investigation and did not, the Times wrote.

A further investigation revealed no evidence that protesters planned to damage the pipeline.