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Tag: San Diego

FBI Hassles Students for Shooting Video Outside FBI Field Office

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two FBI agents paid a visit to the home of a college student after she and two other journalism students shot video outside of the bureau’s field office in San Diego.

An FBI spokesman said two agents visited the home because they were concerned about people shooting video outside of the bureau without calling ahead like many other journalists do, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

First Amendment experts expressed concern with the visit, saying the students did nothing wrong and were intimidated by the agents.

The students said they received permission from a guard to shoot the video, and the guard even took down their drivers’ license information.

But before long, they were told to leave.

Justice Department Blasts DEA for Lax Punishment of Agents Behind Cruel Detainment

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department criticized the DEA for the lax discipline of agents who detained a San Diego college student and left him without food or water for five days, NPR reports. 

Daniel Chong was handcuffed and left in a dark room during the 2012 detention in which he tried to stay hydrated by drinking his own urine.

“What happened to Mr. Chong is unacceptable,” the Justice Department said in a letter released Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The DEA’s failure to impose significant discipline on these employees further demonstrates the need for a systemic review of DEA’s disciplinary process.”

Chong settled with the government for $4.1 million.

“I didn’t stay sane,” he told All Things Considered’s Audie Cornish in May 2012, weeks after his arrest. “Eventually, by the second or third night … I went completely insane and was just trying to get a grip on reality, on what’s happening to me.”

FBI Arrests 6 in Minneapolis, San Diego in Connection with Terrorism Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI terrorism investigation netted six arrests in Minneapolis and San Diego on Sunday.

Information was murky early Monday, but a press conference later in the day is expected to shed light on the charges and allegations.

“There is no threat to public safety,” Ben Petok, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Andy Luger, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Among those arrested were members of Minneapolis’ sizable Somali population.

“The community is in a state of confusion,” Jamal said Sunday night. “They don’t know what is going on. … This is a very serious issue. We as a community are concerned about losing our kids to [ISIL].”

Border Patrol Supervisor Pleaded Not Guilty to Bathroom Peeping Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol supervisor accused of hiding a video camera in the women’s bathroom at the agency’s station in San Diego pleaded not guilty Thursday.

U-T San Diego reports that Armando Gonzalez, 46, pleaded not guilty to 19 counts related to the camera.

Authorities said at least a dozen women were captured on at least 170 videos, and the identities of some of the victims are still unknown.

Gonzalez maintains he installed the motion-activated cameras to investigate suspicions that an employee was using illegal drugs.

“He’s been a very good employee for the Border Patrol for two decades,” Anthony Colombo, who represented Gonzalez on Thursday, said.

Border Patrol Supervisor to Be Charged Today for Allegedly Installing Camera in Women’s Restroom

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A U.S. Border Patrol supervisor accused of hiding a camera in a women’s bathroom is expected to be officially charged today following a federal investigation.

Reuters reports that Armando Gonzalez, 46, was arrested and is being held on charges that are expected to be unsealed today.

Gonzalez is accused of installing the camera in the women’s restroom at the San Diego Border Patrol station and capturing eight women on video.

The employees included Border Patrol agents and women who work for other federal agencies.

San Diego Park Improvements Become Impediments for Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Enhancements at a San Diego park have caused an unusual rift between the Border Patrol union and city park officials.

NBC San Diego reports that wooden bollards were placed around the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park in 2013 to prevent cars from driving into the park.

But those roadblocks are now impeding border protection, the union claims, because law enforcement officials can’t get around them.

“It looks to me the design is there in the middle of the roads to keep the Border Patrol agents off those roads where we ordinarily patrol,” said Border Patrol Union Representative Gabe Pacheco.

 

Now Border Patrol worries that illegal immigrants will use the barriers to their advantage.

But park officials said the bollards are important.

“Bollards are used for 2 main reasons: (1) Public Safety- Protect trail users from vehicular traffic; (2) Stewardship of Public Lands- Protect areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive,” park’s department spokeswoman Shannon Singler told NBC.

Border Patrol Makes Rare Move by Firing Warning Shots from Blackhawk Helicopter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

In a rare show of force, Border Patrol agents fired warning shots from a Blackhawk helicopter to stop a panga boat that authorities suspected was smuggling drugs off the San Diego coast, the Associated Press reports.

The boat was spotted by the Coast Guard, and men were spotted throwing what authorities believe were bales of marijuana overboard.

Two Border Patrol boats also became involved in the pursuit.

Agents fired several warning shots after the boat refused to stop.

The warning shots worked: The three men on the boat surrendered and stopped the boat.

Border Patrol said it has never used such a tactic on the West Coast.

David Bowdich to Head Up FBI’s Los Angeles Office

David Bowdich

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David Bowdich is moving up.

The special agent in charge of Counterterrorism in the FBI’s Los Angeles office has been named the assistant director in charge.

Bowdich,  who was named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year in 2013, had served as the SAC since 2012.

Bowdich became an agent in 1995 and was assigned to the San Diego Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes and gangs and served as a SWAT team member and sniper, the FBI said. He led a yearlong wiretap investigation that culminated in the first federal racketeering convictions ever to be brought against street gang members in the Southern District of California.

In 2003, he went to headquarters where he served in the Safe Streets and Gang Unit. In late 2005, he returned to San Diego and supervised a multi-agency gang task force. In 2009, he was named assistant special agent in charge of the San Diego Field Office in 2009.

In 2011, Bowdich was selected to handle the transition of a new FBI Director. After Robert Mueller got a two-year extension, he was named special assistant to the associate deputy director.