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Tag: Kentucky

Creepy Clown Hysteria Prompts Sheriff to Ask for Help from FBI, Homeland Security

Creepy clown, via Wikipedia

Creepy clown, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A clown hysteria has swept across social media and is now prompting law enforcement to take some drastic – and potentially unconstitutional – measures.

The panic appeared to start in August in Greenville, S.C., where clowns were reportedly luring children into the woods.

“From there, it ballooned into reports of people in clown costumes lurking in parks, assaulting people, chasing people and even threatening to kill people,” reports Network World, which chronicled law enforcement actions in light of the hysteria. 

A sheriff in Kentucky has asked the FBI and Homeland Security to help investigate a “creepy clown” threat. The sheriff in Gallatin County even warned that “clown threats” may face charges of “inducing panic and terroristic threatening.”

This week, Gallatin County Kentucky Schools said it received a “vague threat of violence” from two “clowns” who threaten to shoot high school students. As a result, school attendance plummeted 48%.

Network World wrote that most of the clown reports are rumors or pranks.

Gallatin County Sheriff Josh Neale told people to forward threatening messages from clowns to the police, who were “aggressively looking into each and every message.” Neale said he was consulting with the FBI and Homeland Security over the clown threats. He added, “The person or people making the ‘clown threats’ could face local charges of inducing panic and terroristic threatening.”

Other police have also addressed the clown threat after it was going viral in social media. Wearing a “full clown costume” in public got one man arrested in Kentucky. He was charged with “wearing a mask in a public place and disorderly conduct.” He’s notthe only “clown” who has been arrested.

Kentucky’s Barbourville Police warned that dressing like a clown “can create a dangerous situation.” While “approaching people in a threatening manner” is illegal, so too is “assaulting, shooting, attacking or otherwise injuring someone simple because they are wearing a costume.”

Column: DEA’s Actions with Industrial Hemp in Kentucky Is Arbitrary

By Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Cincinnati.com

On the afternoon of May 14, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture filed suit against the federal government. Enough is enough.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is illegally preventing shipment of hemp seeds to Kentucky in clear violation of federal law. For weeks, we have dealt with unnecessary government bureaucracy, federal officials unwilling to discuss the law or answer questions, and delay … after delay … after delay.To understand what led to legal action, you have to know the journey. From the beginning, Kentucky has taken a legally responsible pathway to reintroducing industrial hemp to our agricultural economy. We did everything “by the book” and in record time. We revived the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, pulled together an unprecedented bipartisan coalition, passed a landmark state law legalizing hemp production in Kentucky, and traveled to Washington and worked with our congressional delegation to change federal law.

The Agricultural Act of 2014, signed into law by the president of the United States in February, authorizes states where hemp production is legal to carry out research pilot programs “notwithstanding any other federal law.”

A couple of weeks ago, a 250-pound shipment of hemp seeds meant for legal Kentucky hemp pilot programs was imported from Italy to Chicago. The shipment cleared customs in Chicago, but then, in an arbitrary and capricious about-face, the DEA seized the seeds when they arrived in Louisville. We negotiated for their release for days, and we thought we had the matter resolved. But then, DEA attached conditions to the release of the seed requiring the department to obtain a Schedule 1 controlled substances research registration and prohibiting private farmers with sites duly certified by and registered with the department from participating in the pilot programs.

When we confronted the DEA about this, the response was, “Make a counter-offer.”

FBI Crime Lab in Quantico, Va., Helps Track Down Terrorists Who Used IEDs

Robert Mueller

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A little-known FBI crime lab near Washington played a critical role in convicting two men who helped target American soldiers in Iraq with improvised exploding devices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammad pleaded guilty to smuggling Stinger surface-to-air missiles and money to terrorists in Iraq from the one place you wouldn’t expect to find jihadists – Bowling Green, Ky.

Lab technicians at the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico, Va. found evidence linking Alwan to the use of an IED in Iraq, the LA Times reported.

The lab has processed more than 80,000 IED submissions.

But FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III fears the lab may be hit by budget cuts.

Former Iraqis Accused of Terrorism Are Sentenced to Federal Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Two former Iraqi residents who were living in Kentucky were sentenced to prison this week for their involvement with terrorist activities, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 25, was given a life sentence, while his conspirator, Waad Ramadan Alwan, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.

Both had already pleaded guilty.

“These are experienced terrorists who willingly and enthusiastically participated in what they believed were insurgent support operations designed to harm American soldiers in Iraq,” U.S. Attorney David Hale said. “The serious crimes of both men merit lengthy punishment, and only the value of Alwan’s immediate and extensive cooperation with law enforcement justifies our recommendation of a reduced sentence for him. Bringing these men to justice is the result of a comprehensive law enforcement effort.”

The defendants tried to ship weapons and money to Iraqi insurgents, the FBI said.

Kentucky Gun Shop Owner Charged with Threatening ATF Agent

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Anger management is a great idea for those working around firearms for a living.

Unfortunately former Kentucky gunshop owner and former prison employee Ted Ray Schlenker, 48, of Louisville didn’t get that memo.

Schlenker is charged with mailing threats and a gun to ATF agent Dan Volk in Bowling Green. Reports AP, he’s been in federal custody since his April 28th arrest.

Damning evidence was found at Schlenker’s home, discrepancies were found in his gun shop records, and he may have also had a motive.

ATF considered Schlenker a person of interest in two prior incidents. In January 2010 a grenade exploded on the property of a former co-worker’s family, after Schlenker had faced disciplinary action at work. That March a letter containing white powder and a grenade pin was sent to the same worker at the prison.

This recent ‘care package’ was sent to the ATF agent overseeing Schlenker’s investigation.

To read more, click here.

Fed Judge Says Govt. Doesn’t Have to Pay for FBI Agent Smashing Up $750,000 Ferrari

Latest model of Ferrari F50

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Having immunity has its benefits.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn of Detroit has dismissed a lawsuit by a suburban Detroit insurance company that was trying to get the government to pay up after an FBI agent smashed up a stolen $750,000, 1995 F50 Ferrari that was in government custody, the Associated Press reported.

The judge ruled that federal law grants immunity to the feds if the property is being held by law enforcement, AP reported.

The judge concluded that the wreck was “certainly unfortunate,” but the government can’t be sued in these matters, AP’s Ed White  reported.

AP reported that the insurance company, Motors Insurance of Southfield, Mi., believes the FBI agent and the prosecutor in the car were taking the Ferrari for a joyride when the agent lost control in 2009 in Lexington, Ky.

AP reported that the car was stolen in Rosemont, Pa., in 2003 and eventually recovered in Kentucky.

AP reported that an email released to the insurance company showed that Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson was invited for a “short ride” before the car was moved from the impound garage.

 

Ky. FBI Agent Who Headed Up Major Corruption Case Dies of Heart Attack While Jogging

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 46-year-old FBI agent, who headed a major corruption probe in Clay County, Ky., died Tuesday from an apparent heart attack while jogging, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The paper reported that Timothy S. Briggs, 46, who had been an agent since 1997, suffered the heart attack while jogging with another agent Tuesday near the FBI office in London, Ky.

The paper reported that the agent who was jogging with Briggs and another person, and later emergency personnel and doctors, tried CPR on Briggs, but to no avail.

“He had a tenacity about him that not a lot of investigators have,” fellow agent Greg Cox told the paper. “He would never let go.”

The paper reported that Briggs headed up a corruption probe in Clay County that started with a drug investigation and snow balled into a case involving vote-buying and other public corruption. More than 60 people were convicted.

Justice Dept. Not Budging: Won’t Pay for $750,000 Car FBI Agent Smashed

Latest model of Ferrari F50

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT –– A Michigan insurance company insists it’s still not getting justice from the Justice Department.

The Associated Press reports that the Justice Department is still refusing to pay $750,000 to a Michigan insurance company for a stolen Ferrari F50 that was recovered, but then was wrecked while being driven by an FBI agent in Kentucky. The Justice Department has refused to release many documents to the insurance company about the incident involving the car that was stolen from a dealership in Rosemont, Pa.

A hearing on the matter is set for June 13 in Detroit.

The Justice Department claimed in a lawsuit filed by the Southfield, Mi. insurance company, Motors Insurance,  that it was immune to tort claims when law enforcement possesses certain goods, AP reported.

The rare car was stolen in 2003 and recovered five years later in Kentucky, AP reported. It became evidence in an ongoing probe.

In May 2009, FBI agent Fred Kingston was moving the car when he lost control and crashed into a curb.