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Tag: Seattle

FBI: Seattle Cop Smuggled Massive Amounts of Marijuana to Baltimore

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI busted a Seattle police officer who authorities say helped smuggling hundreds of pounds of marijuana to Baltimore.

Alex Chapackdee, a 17-year veteran of the force, was arrested and was among four men charged with conspiring to distribute marijuana, the Associated Press reports. The 44-year-old office is the brother-in-;aw of the group’s alleged ringleader.

“While (it is) always disturbing to investigate one of our own, I am proud of the detectives and commanders who worked diligently on this case,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a written statement. “Officer Chapackdee’s conduct is disgraceful and disappointing. While he will have his due process in the courts, I hope these charges demonstrate to our community that SPD will not tolerate corrupt behavior in our ranks.”

According to the FBI, Chapackdee drove marijuana from Seattle to Baltimore in his recreational vehicle several times last fall. The FBI said he deposited nearly $20,000 in cash into his bank account.

Chapackdee, who is on unpaid leave, also is accused of accepting $10,000 a month from his brother-in-law to alert him to any law enforcement investigations and to keep an eye on marijuana grow operations,

Chapackdee’s attorney, David Gehrke, declined to comment on the allegations but said the charges have been difficult for him and his family, which includes a wife and four children.

“This is a huge fall from grace, an embarrassment,” Gehrke said.

The investigation was prompted by a confidential source.

Seattle Councilwoman Wants FBI, ATF Cameras Removed Because of Trump

Portland Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, via Wikipedia.

Portland Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Seattle councilwoman wants the FBI and ATF to remove cameras on city utility poles because of concerns with the Trump administration.

“I think it is totally unacceptable for the city of Seattle to be complicit in federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies surveilling Seattle’s public spaces,” Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant said, reports Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “As a sanctuary city, we should not be filming our general population and we certainly should not be sending that data to law enforcement agencies now being run by the Trump administration.”

The comments come after a U.S. District Court judge ruled last week that the city has no authority to release information about the cameras through public records requests.

Sewant is backing a proposal to require a warrant or council approval to erect cameras on the city’s utility poles.

Seattle Debates Removing FBI Cameras Under President Trump’s Administration

Seattle surveillance cameras, via Seattle City Council.

Seattle surveillance cameras, via Seattle City Council.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Seattle is considering removing federal surveillance cameras around the city to avoid potential misuse under President Trump’s administration.

The Seattle City Council plans to call for the removal of the cameras, which have been operating since at least 2015, Seattle Weekly reports. 

Leading the move is Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

“It is totally unacceptable for the City of Seattle to be complicit in federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies surveilling Seattle’s public spaces,” Sawant said in a press release. “As a sanctuary city we should not be filming our general population, and we certainly should not be sending that data to law enforcement agencies now being run by the Trump administration.”

Among her concerns is “normalizing a Big Brother mentality.”

FBI Cyber Security Expert May Dodge Prison for Collecting Child Pornography

Brian Haller

Brian Haller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI cyber security expert who was busted collecting child pornography may dodge jail and be allowed to live across the street from a Seattle elementary school.

Brian Haller, who led an FBI group that fought cybercrime, was arrested after agents discovered that he had used a Tor network site to collect hundred of files of child pornography, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 

Although Haller faces up to five years in prison, federal prosecutors have asked a judge to spare him jail time when he is sentenced Friday for possession of child pornography.

A federal judge will decide whether to grant leniency.

“The sentence suggested by prosecutors is nearly unheard of for child pornography crimes in the region,” The Post-Intelligencer wrote. “Haller would be Western Washington’s first federal child porn convict to catch such a break since the U.S. Sentencing Commission started tracking the crime separately five years ago.”

IRS Agent in Seattle Convicted of Bribery

IRS

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After three days of deliberations, a federal jury in Seattle last week convicted an IRS  agent of soliciting and accepting a bribe.

Paul G. Hurley, 43, of Seattle,  was convicted on two felony counts on Friday. Sentencing is set for May 13.

According to testimony at trial and records filed in the case, authorities said that Hurley in the summer of  2015 was randomly assigned to audit the corporate taxes of Have a Heart Compassion Care, Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary.

During a meeting at one of the dispensary locations, Hurley presented the owner with the findings of the audit and said he had saved him  “millions” during the audit,  and he lived paycheck to paycheck, according to a press release.

Hurley asked the owner for $20,000.

The business owner and his attorney reported the solicitation of a bribe to the FBI.

Working with the FBI, the business owner met twice with Hurley and recorded conversations and delivered cash in marked bills, authorities said.  Some of the cash was seized when Hurley was arrested following the second meeting with the business owner.

 

 

Lawyer: Federal Air Marshals Should Not Use Gun Ranges That Aren’t Lead Free

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal air marshals should not be using gun ranges that aren’t proven to be led free, the top attorney for the marshals told TSA on Tuesday.

The Seattle Times reports that a letter from attorney Lawrence Berger, who represents the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, was sent to to the agency expressing the concerns.

The letter following an April 13 investigation by the Seattle Times that revealed TSA has endangered hundreds of employees by having them use commercial ranges that have lead contamination.

“FLEOA demands that the Transportation Security Administration immediately cease and desist contracting with or otherwise utilizing any gun range that has not been inspected by or received an up-to-date clearance from OSHA that the range is safe from toxic poisoning,” Berger said.

The Seattle Times wrote:

When lead-based ammunition is fired, lead vapor and dust spread into the air and onto surfaces. If a range doesn’t have proper ventilation and fails to adequately clean the range, air marshals can be overexposed to lead. Shooters might also track the metal home and contaminate others. Children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning.

Other Stories of Interest


Suspect Fatally Shot by Border Patrol Agent Wanted for Murder in Washington

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent last week was wanted for murder, KMVT.com reports. 

Investigators said a man was crossing the border illegally in Sumas in Washington when the shooting occurred.

“The subject refused the agents commands then assaulted one of the agents with an unknown incapacitating spray,” said Dan M. Harris Jr., chief Border Patrol agent for the Blaine sector.

Turns out, the suspect, 20-year-old Jamison Childress, was wanted for murder outside Whatcom County, where the shooting happened.

 

 

Former FBI Agent in Charge of Seattle Quietly Dismisses Discrimination Lawsuit

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Laura M. Laughlin, the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle office before abruptly resigning last year, has dismissed her lawsuit against the bureau and Justice Department, King 5 News reports.

Laughlin filed a federal lawsuit in 2011, claiming she faced sex discrimination and retaliation.

“As the agent in charge of 300 agents in Seattle, she was one of the highest level FBI agents ever to sue the bureau,” King 5 News wrote.

It’s still not clear why Laughlin quietly dismissed the case. Neither she nor her attorney could be reached for comment.

The Justice Department released a statement.

“Ms. Laughlin dismissed her case with no settlement,” said Assistant US Attorney Marine Utgoff Braswell.

 Other Stories of Interest