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Tag: special agent

FBI Agent Who Died After Exposure to 9/11 Toxins Laid to Rest in Moving Ceremony

Former FBI Agent Mellisa Morrow, via GoFundMe.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who died of brain cancer after she was exposed to contaminants while working at the Pentagon crash site in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was laid to rest in a moving ceremony this week.

Special Agent Melissa Morrow, 48, who served in the Washington Field Office’s Evidence Response Team on 9/11, was one of the first responders after a passenger jet crashed into the building. Doctors confirmed she was exposed to dangerous toxins while spending 10 weeks collecting evidence at the site.

“She fought this terrible illness with every fiber of her being,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said during the memorial service in Kansas City Tuesday. “Melissa said that when she finally came to terms with the horrible reality of it all, she had a decision to make, and that decision was to fight it with every ounce of courage and strength she could muster.”

Morrow worked in the FBI’s Washington Field Office before joining the bureau’s Kansas City field office.

“She was filled with pride to be keeping her hometown crowd safe from harm,” Wray said. “It meant the world to her, and that kind of work ethic –- that kind of investment in the work you’re doing –- exemplified the bureau at its best, and is all too rare in today’s world.”

Because she was certified by the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, her death was classified as a Line of Duty Death.

Other Stories of Interest

Judge Rules Against FBI in Reporter-Impersonation Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI incensed news organizations after reporters discovered the bureau used special agents to impersonate a journalist to help capture a suspect in a string of anonymous bomb threats in 2007. 

Saying the impersonation “endangers the media’s credibility and creates the appearance that it is not independent of the government,” two media groups sued the FBI for records to show how often the bureau had masqueraded as news organizations. 

The FBI responded that it had no such records.

But last week, a D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the FBI failed to adequately search and locate documents related to the practice of using undercover agents to pose as journalists to go after suspects, Courthouse News reports

Courthouse News writes:

Two media groups brought the underlying challenge based on reports about how the FBI apprehended an individual who in 2007 made a series anonymous bomb threats to a Seattle high school, causing near-daily evacuations of students, teachers and administrators.

Believing the threats were the handiwork of a narcissist, the FBI agents investigating the matter devised a plan: They would flatter the culprit into clicking a link that appeared to be press coverage suggesting he’d outsmarted the authorities.

When he did, a specialized malware would be secretly delivered to his computer and it would reveal his location. The plan worked and the individual calling in the bomb threats was arrested.

A technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union spotted the FBI’s ruse several years later while reviewing documents from an earlier records request. News of the media-impersonation tactics quickly made national headlines. The New York Times even printed a letter in justification of the ruse from FBI Director James Comey Jr.

In the wake of the controversy, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Associated Press filed three FOIA requests for documents on the FBI’s impersonation of journalists and creation of “fake news” in the course of investigations.

The Remarkable Life of FBI Special Agent Jerry Crowe – 1924-2017

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jerome K. “Jerry” Crowe, a retired FBI special agent who played a significant role in major cases and founded the bureau’s first SWAT team in Los Angels, died following a longtime battle with Alzheimer’s disease, The Daily Breeze reports

He was 93.

The WWII Amy veteran joined the FBI in 1951 and spent all but his first year in the Los Angeles Field Office, before retiring in 1979.

Crowe was an FBI firearms instructor and worked on major cases such as the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. and Patty Hearst.

In the Sinatra case in December 1963, Crowe was chosen to deliver a $240,000 ransom to the kidnappers. Within days, Sinatra’s only son, who was 19 years old, returned unharmed to his parents, and the kidnappers were arrested.

Crowe founded the FBI’s SWAT team and became its leader in May 1974.

The bureau renamed in Crowe’s honor the FBI Regional Counterterrorism Training Center at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Orange County in 2011.

“Jerry was an outstanding FBI agent,” read a statement announcing the name change, “who was selected for this honor because it was his foresight in fostering the SWAT concept in Los Angeles and his ability to create and lead the original L.A. SWAT team, which helped to create a legacy that is now an integral and important part of the FBI throughout the nation.”

Crowe was a native of Florida.

The Daily Breeze wrote:

Born in Cocoa, Florida, on Oct. 4, 1924, Crowe was the youngest of three children born to John and Mary Crowe. He graduated from Daytona Beach Mainland High, where he lettered in football and track and field.

Following older brother Jack Crowe into the Army in 1943, he was sent to Europe a year later and, in 1946, was discharged and returned to the United States.

After graduating from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, in 1950 with a degree in business administration, Crowe joined the FBI. His first supervisor in the FBI, after he was assigned to the bureau’s Seattle office, was Mark Felt, who later gained fame as anonymous Washington Post informant “Deep Throat” in the Watergate scandal.

A lifelong sports fan, Crowe met Los Angeles native Margarita Sanchez at a Los Angeles Rams football game at the Memorial Coliseum in 1952. Married in October 1953 and settling in Redondo Beach in 1957, they reared three children: Jerome, Robert and Nancy.

Before retiring from the FBI, where he mostly was assigned to bank robbery investigations and served as a counselor to the 86th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Crowe earned a master’s degree in police administration from Cal State Los Angeles.

After leaving the bureau, he worked as director of security at Gibraltar Savings for more than a decade before retiring.

FBI Agent: Driver Won’t Be Charged with Domestic Terrorism in Death of Protester

James Fields is accused of driving into a group of anti-racists, killing one person and injuring many more.

James Fields is accused of driving into a group of anti-racists, killing one person and injuring many more.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent said the Ohio man who plowed into protesters in Charlottesville, Va., will not face domestic terrorism charges because federal law does not outline penalties.

Special Agent Thomas F. O’Connor made the statement in an op-ed piece published Thursday by the Hill, saying Congress should change the statute to give it some teeth.

“Congress should amend the U.S. Code to make domestic terrorism a crime subject to specific penalties that apply irrespective of the weapon or target involved in the crime,” O’Connor wrote. “Specifically, this legislation should make it a crime for a person to commit, attempt, or conspire to commit an act of violence intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence government policy or conduct.” 

O’Connor was not speaking on behalf of the investigation of James Alex Fields Jr., who faces life in prison on a state charge of second-degree murder. Police said he intentionally plowed into protesters during an anti-racism rally on Aug. 12, killing 32-year-old Heather D. Heyer.

Special Agent in Charge of Chicago’s FBI Office to Retire in September

Michael J. Anderson, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office.

Michael J. Anderson, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael J. Anderson, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office, announced Monday that he’s retiring at the end of September and will join the private sector.

After joining the FBI in Miami in July 1995, Anderson lead a successful career by combating public corruption and overseeing the investigations of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, the Chicago Sun-Times reports

Anderson was in charge of the Chicago office since October 2015.

Anderson was among a number of special agents who were interviewed to serve as interim FBI director after President Trump fired James Comey.

Anderson will join the private sector in corporate security with Arizona Public Service in Phoenix.

“It was truly an honor and a privilege to lead the tirelessly dedicated and professional men and women of the Chicago Division, a flagship office of the FBI in both national security and criminal law enforcement,” Anderson said in a statement.

FBI Special Agent Injured After Concussion Grenade Detonates

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A special agent for the FBI was checking a concussion grenade in the back of a car at the bureau’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon when the device accidentally detonated.

The agent sustained injuries to his hand when the device, which often is used by law enforcement during raids to disorient people, went off, the New York Times reports

The explosion, which occurred in an underground parking garage at 26 Federal Plaza, initially prompted fears of an act of terrorism.

It’s unclear what caused the device to detonate.

The extent of the agent’s injuries weren’t immediately clear, but the Office of Emergency Management suggested his hand may have been severed.

“Today, an F.B.I. special agent sustained non-life threatening injuries following the accidental discharge of a diversion device in the 26 Federal Plaza garage,” the FBI said in a statement. “We have no further information to provide regarding the agent’s condition, and there is no threat to public safety at this time.”

FBI Agent Files Suit Over Bureau for Allegedly Violating His Free Speech Rights

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who was suspended after he alerted a judge to alleged prosecutorial misconduct by the New Orleans U.S. attorney’s office, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the bureau and several superiors.

Special Agent Mike Zummer claims in the federal lawsuit that he was disciplined after sending a letter to U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt over the agent investigation of a former Louisiana district attorney accused of trading sex for leniency in more than a dozen cases, WWL-TV reports

Zummer was suspended Sept. 30, 2016, without pay after he said he spoke out about the DOJ’s failure to full prosecute former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel.

Zummer expressed disgust when the judge was only sentenced to three years in prison last year as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors on charges of obstructing a federal investigation.

In a ruling last year, the judge said Zummer raised “legitimate concerns” about the Justice Department’s leniency within its ranks.

Estranged Wife Charged with Murdering Husband, a Retired FBI Agent

Anne Reed Allen

Anne Reed Allen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The estranged wife of an FBI agent has been charged with murdering her husband after his body was found in the front yard of his home in Maryland.

Anne Reed Allen, 62, faces up to life in prison if convicted in connection with the death of her estranged husband, Scott Alan Horn, a 62-year-old retired special agent, the New York Daily News reports

She has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and the use of a handgun in a crime of violence.

The husband was found with major trauma to his upper body outside of his Laurel home on March 16.

Allen’s attorney, Andrew Jezic, says his client is innocent and was working on her marriage when her husband was killed.

“They had filed for divorce and then got back together, and they withdrew their divorce filing,” he told WTOP. “Then they both refiled for divorce and then they got back together. So this was a marriage that had troubles but was a marriage that underway in trying to be repaired.”