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Tag: LA

Weekend Series on Crime History: The LA Mob

Travelers Rate Airports for Efficiency of Checkpoints, Arrive at Different Conclusions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What are the most efficient and headache-inducing airport checkpoints in the nation?

The USA Today sought to find out by asking frequent flyers to voluntarily rate checkpoints for efficiency.

The results were subjective and varied by traveler.

Some targeted Orlando, Los Angeles and Raleigh, NC, as the least efficient airport checkpoint. One traveller offered good experiences at Las Vegas.

The TSA responded: “TSA’s top priority is to protect the traveling public, and every policy and security procedure in place is designed to mitigate threats to passengers and the aviation sector — which we know our adversaries continue to target,” the agency said in a written statement. “TSA is always taking steps to enhance our procedures, to most importantly stay ahead of evolving threats and, wherever possible, to also improve the experience of the traveling public. ”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI: ICE Agent Justified in Fatal Shooting of Colleague Who Turned Gun on Boss

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has determined that an ICE agent did nothing wrong when he gunned down a fellow agent who had fired shots at a supervisor in February 2012, the L.A. Times reports.

Ezequiel Garcia fired six shots at Kevin Kozak, the Los Angeles field office’s second in command, during a meeting about Garcia’s job performance.

His colleague, who was not named, intervened by shooting and killing Garcia, the Times wrote.

Kozak was severely injured.

“The surviving agents were not culpable, and no criminal charges are being pursued,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told the Times.

Rumor Mill Works Overtime in Controversy Between FBI and LA County Sheriff’s Dept.

 
Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The rumor mill has been working overtime involving the controversy between FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Lee Baca is fuming that the FBI didn’t tell him about its investigation into inmate abuse, or the fact that the FBI, in an undercover sting, paid a sheriff’s deputy about $1,500 to sneak a cellphone into an inmate who happened to be an FBI informant. When  Baca learned of it all, he was none too happy.

The sheriff announced an investigation into the whole matter and into the sheriff’s deputy who snuck the phone in the jail. The deputy has since resigned, the LA Times reported. It is a crime to sneak a phone into the jail.

Things have been heating up.

A source tells ticklethewire.com that sheriff’s deputies on Monday night visited the home of the FBI case agent in the matter and told her they planned to arrest her. They did not on Monday. On Wednesday, after ticklethewire.com reported the incident, Sheriff Baca told the Los Angeles Times of the possibility of charging the agent:  “No, I don’t think so. It’s not worthy of pursuing, in view of the greater good.” He said the agent directed the deputies’ questions to her supervisor,and Baca dismissed suggestions the visit by deputies was intended to intimidate the agent.”

At the same time, word began circulating this week that the case agent’s supervisor,  Victor Cockrell, an FBI supervisor in the Los Angeles civil rights division, which was handling the case, suddenly decided to retire. Some suggested there might be a connection between the retirement and the case.

But Cockrell told ticklethewire.com on Wednesday that his decision to retire has nothing whatsoever to do with the case.

“It was time to retire,” he said. “I have served my country and it’s time to do something else.”

He declined to comment on the case, saying it would be inappropriate to comment on any case.

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI Los Angeles office, told ticklethewire.com on Wednesday via email: “Mr. Cockrell’s comment speaks for itself and we wish him the very best.”

Regarding the overall investigation, she told the Times: “With regard to the investigation, FBI agents at all times were acting within the course and scope of their duties and were in compliance with FBI policy and practices.”

Whatever the case, people in law enforcement in Los Angeles have been talking about the controversy, which is sure to percolate  for a while.

Feds Bust Man at LA Airport with 15 Live Lizards Strapped to Chest

Gecko/new zealand govt photo
Gecko/new zealand govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Talk about odd traveling companions.

U.S. Customs agents busted Michael Plank of Lomita, Calif., at the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday with 15 live Australian lizards strapped to his chest, the Associated Press reported.

Plank, who was returning from Australia, violated the law by failing to have the proper permits for the animals, the AP reported.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday Plank had two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks, AP reported. He is scheduled to be a arraigned Dec. 21.