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Tag: Jackson

FBI Warns of Federal Consequences of Pointing Lasers at Aircraft

Light from a Laser pointer via Wikipedia

Light from a Laser pointer via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Aim a laser at an aircraft and you will face serious consequences, the FBI warned.

The Clarion-Ledger reports that the FBI’s Jackson Field Office recently investigated a laser pointer attack.

“It’s actually a quite serious federal crime, and we want to message that concern to raise awareness, but if that awareness campaign doesn’t work, we do have law enforcement and judicial outcomes up to five years in federal prison and an $11,000 fine,” said Jackson Field Office Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway.

The FBI has seen a more than 1,100% spike in people targeting aircraft with lasers since the bureau began keeping statistics in 2005. In 2015, there were 7,703 FAA-reported laser incidents.

“What can happen is that we think of a very small pinpoint size beam of light, but it spreads out and can cover several feet in diameter,” Alway said.

FBI Director Names Donald Alway As New Special Agent in Charge of Jackson Division

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has a new special agent in charge of the Jackson Division.

MS News Now reports that FBI Director James B. Comey named to the post Donald Alway, who began his career with the FBI in 1996 when he was first assigned to investigate drug violations in the Los Angeles Division.

Since then, he worked counterterrorism and supervised a Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York.

Alway also investigated Iraq under former leader Saddam Hussein when he worked for the Regime Crimes Task Force.

In 2011, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Cincinnati Division.

Young Woman Busted Trying to Pass Through Security with 81 Pounds of Marijuana

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are still scratching their heads after a young woman tried to pass through security with 81 pounds of marijuana.
KHON 2 reports that Anastasia Murdock, 26, was carrying about $100,000 worth of pot in vacuum sealed bags in her luggage at Oakland International Airport on Friday.

“Security says she may have gotten away with a small bit of weed, but 81 pounds is a bit much,” KHON 2 wrote.

The woman, who was flying to Jackson, Mississippi was taken into custody.

Column: The FBI, Some Gay Murders and a Fingerprint Examiner Named Thurman Williams

Greg Stejskal

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office.
 
By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

I was seated, facing Michael Lee Sprague as I interviewed him. We were on the same side of the table. As an FBI agent on the fugitive squad in the Detroit Division, I never liked having anything between me and the person I was interviewing. It was  easier to observe body language, and it didn’t  give the person being interviewed the psychological shield of having an object between them and me.

I was transfixed by Sprague’s eyes. He had just confessed to a double homicide, but his eyes revealed nothing. I knew the aphorism, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” Sprague’s eyes were more like black holes – they didn’t reflect light they absorbed it.

But how did Sprague come to be arrested and interviewed by the FBI?

The story really begins in Jackson, Tennessee. Sprague was a drifter, and he had met Thomas Menth on the road. They had decided to travel together. In December, 1975, they picked up two gay professors from Bethel College which is near Jackson. They had all gone to a room at the Holiday Inn where Sprague and Menth overpowered the professors. They bound and gagged them, stabbed them multiple times and slit their throats – their throats weren’t just slit, the professors were nearly decapitated.

The murder scene was extremely bloody. When Sprague and Menth left the room, one of them put his hands covered with the victims’ blood on the wall near the light switch. This left impressions of several of his fingerprints from both hands. These prints were” identifiable,” but there was a problem.

There was a common myth at the time probably propagated by the movies and TV, that a fingerprint found at a crime scene could be matched with someone if their fingerprints were on record. The reality was, at the time, fingerprints were classified using all 10 fingers. The US central repository for all the fingerprint records was the FBI Identification Division in Washington, DC. (In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI, was responsible for the establishment of a national repository for fingerprints.)

ice photo

When a person was arrested their inked prints were put on a fingerprint card which had pre-marked spaces for each finger. At the Identification Division, the card was classified by fingerprint examiners using the Henry classification system. Each fingerprint is unique like a snowflake. All fingerprints have common characteristics referred to by terms like loups, arches & whorls. Using these common features with their infinite variations, each of the fingerprints is classified with numbers and letters. These individual classifications are written in sequence determined by the order of the fingerprints on the card. The total sequence of all 10 fingers is the classification.

If an investigator were lucky enough to find an identifiable fingerprint at a crime scene, that is, one that was at least partially classifiable, the investigator could compare the single print to the fingerprints of a suspect. But only if a suspect was developed through investigation, a suspect could not be identified with just the found fingerprint.

Read more »

Former and Current Law Enforcement Officials Arrested in Theft Scheme

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested four people – three of them former and current cops – accused of scheming to steal cash from drug dealers, the bureau announced Wednesday, according to the Jackson Free Press.

In September 2011, the men allegedly entered a Jackson, Mississippi, hotel room of suspected drug dealers and stole $23,000 in cash, the FBI reported in a press release.

One of the men arrested, Zack Robinson, 45, is a deputy at the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office. Two others are a former Jackson Police officer (Kent Daniels, 44) and former deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office (Watson Lee Jackson, Jr., 42).

A fourth person, George Hilliard, 43, was arrested.

All made initial court appearances Wednesday.

FBI Building in Miss. Named After Slain Civil Rights Workers and FBI Agent Who Investigated Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI building in Jackson, Miss.,officially has a pretty long name.

The building this week is being named after three civil rights workers killed by Klansmen 47 years ago, as well as the FBI agent who headed the probe, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported.

The paper reported that the James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and Roy K. Moore Federal Building is located at 1220 Echelon Parkway in Jackson. Roy K. Moore is the FBI agent.

“We pushed for the naming because … (of) the history of our state during that time, the fact that these three young men gave their lives and the FBI helped find them and did so much background work for any convictions associated with them,” U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said, according to the paper. “This is part of the healing process.”

The three civil rights workers were killed June 21, 1964.

Ex-Miss. U.S. Attorney H.M. Ray Who Served 20 Years Dies at Age 86

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Mississippi U.S. Attorney H.M. Ray, whose 20- year reign included the 1960s civil rights era, and who served under five presidents, died at age 86, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

Ray was appointed by President Kennedy to the Jackson, Miss. office, and resigned right after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981.

“We were very close. He was a great boss,” former assistant U.S. attorney John Hailman of Oxford, Miss. told the Commercial Appeal.  “Mainly, he insisted that we do the right thing. He was very courageous about taking unpopular stances, and he always backed us up.”

Some of his higher profile cases included the prosecution of  four men linked to the shooting deaths of two people during rioting over the entrance of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi in 1962, the paper reported. The men were not convicted.

Ray also served in the state House from 1948 to 1951. After resigning as U.S. Attorney,  he went off to  practice law with the Wise, Carter, Child & Caraway firm in Jackson. He then went to work for then-state Atty. Gen. Mike Moore, the Commercial Appeal reported.

“He was quite a mentor for me, and I learned a lot from him. He was a great lawyer and an even better person,”  Moore told the paper.

FBI Could Name its Miss. Building After Slain Civil Rights Workers

jackson miss map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A movement is afoot to boost Mississippi’s image.

Some politicians are pushing to name the FBI building in Jackson, Miss., after three slain civil rights workers, who were killed in 1964 during an intense voter registration drive, USA Today reported.

The Jackson City Council is supposed to vote on a resolution on the matter Tuesday, and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson told USA Today that he would support such a measure.

“Given our state and its history, it would do a lot to show that Mississippi has changed,” Thompson said. “I think it’s an excellent idea and one that I would support.”

The civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, were slain in 1964 while taking part in a voter registration drive in Mississippi.

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors in August passed a similar resolution.

FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden told USA Today the FBI will defer to Congress on the matter.

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