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Tag: Pittsburgh

Combating Opioids And Reemergence of Cocaine, Heroin Is Priority for New Head of FBI’s Pittsburgh Office

Bob Jones, new head of the Pittsburgh Field Office

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The opioid crisis and the revival of cocaine and meth in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is the focus of the new head of the FBI’s Pittsburgh office.

Bob Jones, who recently took over the office, said law enforcement has made a dent in the sale of heroin and prescription painkillers, but the crisis if far from over.

“We’ve been knocking opioids down a little bit, but people are turning to other drugs,” he told the Tribune Review.

Jones also is concerned about the troubling reemergence of cocaine and meth and said the opioid epidemic “is still killing people.”

A native of the Pittsburgh area and graduate of Penn State University, Jones said he has “been trying to come back for the last 32 years.”

Pittsburgh Orders Police to Prepare for Riot If Trump Fires Mueller

Pittsburgh police

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Pittsburgh Police Department has ordered its officers to bring riot gear to work over fears that President Trump will soon fire special counsel Robert Mueller, sparking civil unrest.

Pittsburgh police sent an email to officers on Wednesday, warning that the department has “received information of a potential large protest in the Central Business District” and police should prepare for a riot “until further notice,” according to an internal email first obtained by WTAE-TV, the ABC station in Pittsburgh. 

“We have received information of a potential large scale protest in the Central Business District,” read the internal email from Victor Joseph, commander of major crimes.

“There is a belief that President Trump will soon move to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller,” the email continued. “This would result in a large protest within 24 hours of the firing. The protest would be semi-spontaneous and more than likely happen on short notice.”

He added, “We may be needed to assist in the event that there is a large scale protest.”

Trump has ramped up his criticism of Mueller, who is investigating the president and his campaign, prompting fears that he could soon fire the special counsel.

On Wednesday, Trump wouldn’t confirm reports that he planned to soon fire Mueller, but said his administration has been transparent and cooperative with the probe.

Ohio Man Indicted After Ramming Truck Through Gate at FBI’s Pittsburgh Office

Thomas Ross

Thomas Ross

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Ohio man who rammed a dump truck through a security gate at the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office over the summer was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday.

Thomas Ross is charged with willfully injuring or committing degradation again property of the U.S., the Associated Press reports. 

The Ohio man damaged property but fortunately didn’t injure anyone.

Ross claimed he had a bomb in the truck, but police didn’t find one.

Man Who Slammed Through Gates of FBI Pittsburgh Office Was Struggling Emotionally

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who rammed a dump truck into the gates of the FBI building in Pittsburgh was looking for emotional help, family and neighbors told WTAE.

“He’s been crying out for help, a lot of help, and he asked me if I could find someone for him to talk to,” a neighbor said of Thomas Richard Ross. 

The neighbor added that Ross was taking painkillers after he had fallen off a roof more than 20 years ago.

“I don’t know what kind of pills they gave him but he got addicted and he’s still in pain,” the neighbor said, adding Ross had been paranoid the government was after him. 

His son, Tommy Jr., also said his father had problems with drugs.

Dump Truck Driver Claims He Has Bomb, Smashes into FBI Office in Pittsburgh

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A dump truck driver slammed into a security gate at the FBI offices in Pittsburgh, saying he had a bomb.

Authorities arrested the driver, Thomas Richard Ross, and found no bomb or connection to terrorism, the Associated Press reports.

The New Waterford, Ohio, man was pulled over by Pittsburgh police late Thursday after running red lights and driving erratically. While pulled over, the man said he had a bomb.

The man floored the gas pedal and smashed into the gate, but the security barriers prevented him from going far.

Ross suffered minor injuries and faces numerous charges, including recklessly endanger another person, aggravated assault and fleeing and eluding.

A 25-Year Veteran of FBI Named Pittsburgh’s New Public Safety Director

Wendell Hissrich, via city of Pittsburgh.

Wendell Hissrich, via city of Pittsburgh.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 25-year veteran of the FBI has been named Pittsburgh’s new public safety director.

Wendell Hissrich, 55, a former city paramedic, will begin the job on Jan. 11, the Associated Press reports.

He’ll replace another FBI veteran, Stephen Bucar, who departed in September to become a deputy commissioner with the Pennsylvania State Police.

Hissrich most recently supervised 56 field offices as chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Response Unit at FBI headquarters.

He will be paid $112,500, which is subject to city council approval.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: FBI Director’s Speech on Race Is Two-Way Street

James Comey

By Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
Editorial Board 

During a widely lauded speech at Georgetown University last week, FBI Director James B. Comey proved that he’s no J. Edgar Hoover. Instead of glossing over unpleasant truths about the relationship between minority communities and the police, Mr. Comey seized on the opportunity to acknowledge the reality of racial bias in law enforcement. He also called for a deeper understanding by the public of the difficulty of urban policing.

In a balanced speech, Mr. Comey noted that the African-American community’s concerns about racially biased policing has merit, especially in the wake of high-profile killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement in recent years.

Mr. Comey called for an honest discussion about the perception of black men that many officers carry with them as a result of the arrests they’ve made in high-crime communities. A disproportionate number of African-Americans go through the criminal justice system, a fact that can contribute to suspicions about blacks in every police encounter.

But just as many police officers suffer from a myopia about African- Americans, Mr. Comey said the same can be true of residents. Communities of color should strive to understand what goes through an officer’s mind in policing and protecting a neighborhood. Most officers, who put their own safety on the line, want to help law-abiding citizens and not be written off as racist or hostile.

To read more click here.

Man Accused of Threatening, Stalking FBI Agent to Appear in Court in Pittsburgh

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Ron Bergrin bragged in an e-mail that he could easily destroy an FBI agent for her role in getting his cousin convicted and then sentenced for racketeering and homicide, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

“She thinks she’s living in a safe place, a place where nobody can find out where she lives and where nobody could get to her,” the e-mail says. “I’m going to teach her that I could crush her like the bug she is, if I wanted to. She will never sleep at night again. She will have nightmares. I’m going to investigate her neighbors — like she did to mine.”

Bergrin is scheduled to appear in court today on accusations of threatening the lead investigator in the case, FBI Agent Shawn Brokos, who was transferred to the Pittsburgh office from the Neward office.

Bergrin’s cousin is Paul Bergrin, a former assistant U.S. attorney who got six life terms for arranging to have a witness murdered, among other charges.

Apart from writing the e-mail, Bergrin is accused of repeatedly calling Agent Brokos at her office and sending her Easter cards.