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Tag: Texas

FBI Tracks Suspected Michigan Murderer to Texas Using Facebook

Stephen Marcus Gilbert, 31

Stephen Marcus Gilbert, 31

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 31-year-old man accused of killing one person and injuring another in a shooting in downtown Flint, Mich., was tracked by the FBI using Facebook.

Authorities said they tracked Stephen Marcus Gilbert to Texas after a task force saw on his Facebook page that he had recently visited a woman in Arlington, MLive reports. 

The FBI, however, still had not located Gilbert as of Tuesday morning.

An apartment manager reported that he saw Gilbert walking toward the woman’s apartment.

Gilbert has bee charged with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and four counts of felony firearm, according to court records.

Federal Authorities Detain, Search Phone of NASA Scientist at Airport

nasaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sidd Bikkannavar, who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and is a natural-born U.S. citizen, was detained while trying to reenter the United States just as the President Trump’s controversial immigration ban took effect.

But it didn’t stop there. He said Border Patrol agents confiscated his NASA-issued phone, which could include sensitive information, Gizmodo reports. 

Bikkannavar posted about the incident on Facebook:

Sorry for the absence. On my way home to the US last weekend, I was detained by Homeland Security and held with others who were stranded under the Muslim ban. CBP officers seized my phone and wouldn’t release me until I gave my access PIN for them to copy the data. I initially refused, since it’s a JPL-issued phone (Jet Propulsion Lab property) and I must protect access. Just to be clear – I’m a US-born citizen and NASA engineer, traveling with a valid US passport. Once they took both my phone and the access PIN, they returned me to the holding area with the cots and other sleeping detainees until they finished copying my data.

I’m back home, and JPL has been running forensics on the phone to determine what CBP/Homeland Security might have taken, or whether they installed anything on the device. I’ve also been working with JPL legal counsel. I removed my Facebook page until I was sure this account wasn’t also compromised by the intrusion into my phone and connected apps. I hope no one was worried. JPL issued me a new phone and new phone number, which I’ll give out soon.

Bikkannavar had landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 30, when he was detained and told that the Border Patrol was going to search his phone.

Bikkannavar told authorities that he was no allowed to hand over his phone because he’s required to protect it.

Records: Undercover FBI Agent Drove By 2 Men Who Opened Fire Outside Muhammad Cartoon Contest

Elton Simpson opened fire in Garland, Texas.

Elton Simpson opened fire in Garland, Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just before two Arizona men opened fire outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in suburban Dallas in 2015, an undercover FBI drove past the shooters while investigating terrorism, according to new court records.

The records were obtained by the Associated Press in the criminal case against Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for providing support to ISIS.

Kareem is accused of providing guns used in the attack and helping Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi figure out how to use the weapons, while also watching violent jihadist videos with the men.

According to the court records, the unidentified agent also conversed with one of the shooters on social media just days before the attack, which left the shooters dead and a security guard wounded.

“We are convinced that there is much more to this story than the FBI has admitted ,” said Trenton Roberts, an attorney for security guard Bruce Joiner.

Austin Murder Suspect Arrested on Charges of 1983 Murder

Robert Francis Van Wisse

Robert Francis Van Wisse

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 20 years after he was charged with murdering University of Texas student Laurie Stout in 1983, Robert Francis Van Wisse surrendered to officials at the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday.

Wise was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list in December.

“If he committed a brutal murder like this in 1983, he is very, very able to commit a murder again,” FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs said when the agency put him on the list last month, with a $100,000 reward, UPI reports

Stout was a 22-year-old mother and late-night janitor who was sexually assaulted and then killed in a men’s restroom at an office building in Austin.

Van Wisse wasn’t charged until 1996 because of “outdated methods of DNA analysis and mismanaged records.”

Van Wisse is in custody at the Travis County Jail in Texas.

DEA Identifies Where Mexican Cartels Are Operating in the U.S.

Map of cartels identified by the DEA.

Map of cartels identified by the DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA identified Mexican cartels that operate within the United States and provided a map to show where the drug gangs are wielding influence.

In Texas, for example, the DEA has identified the following cartels operating within the state: the Sinaloa, Gulf, Juarez, the Knights Templar, Beltran-Levya, Jalisco and the Zetas.

But Texas is far from alone. Most states have links to cartels, which can be very violent and supply dangerous drugs.

The areas with the highest concentration of cartel involvement are California, Texas, New York and New England.

Other Stories of Interest

Man Charged with 1983 Murder at U. of Texas Added to FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Texas man who fled after being charged with the 1983 murder of a 22-year-old woman has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, with the offer of a $100,000 reward for information that leads to his capture.

Robert Francis Van Wisse was a 19-year-old college student when authorities say he sexually assaulted and strangled a janitor at the University of Texas at Austin.

The victim was married and had a 1-year-old daughter.

“No matter how much time has passed,” said Special Agent Justin Noble, a member of the FBI’s Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force in Austin who is investigating the case, “it’s important that we finally get justice for the victim and her family.”

Van Wisse was initially a suspect, but the case went cold “because DNA and other tests were not as sophisticated then as they are today,” Noble said.

In the early 1990s, the Austin Police Department submitted crime scene evidence for DNA tests, and “the results pointed directly to Van Wisse,”Noble said.

Van Wisse fled when he learned he was a suspect. He was charged with capital murder in 1996.

“He was a college student whose parents were both professionals,” Noble said. “He grew up going to the best schools and living in the nicest neighborhood. He had the future in front of him,” Noble added, “and yet it appears he murdered a young woman making minimum wage trying to support her family and young child.”

Border Patrol Arrests Two Men Previously Charged with Sex Crimes in U.S.

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents in Texas arrested two convicted sex offenders who had re-entered the U.S. after previously being removed, San Angelo Live reports. 

The incidents were unrelated.

On Dec. 4, Eagle Pass Border Patrol agents apprehended a 57-year-old undocumented immigrant who had been arrested and charged in June 1993 with indecency with a child. Oswaldo Bienvenido Galo-Garcia was sentenced to two years before being deported back to Honduras.

On Dec. 7, a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant from Honduras was arrested by Border Patrol agents for entering the U.S. illegally. Agents discovered that Oscar Omar Rivas-Izaguirre had been convicted of child fondling in October 2013 and was deported back to Honduras on Sept. 28, 2015.

“Two serious offenders were stopped short of possibly doing more harm to the people of this great nation,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “The commitment our Border Patrol agents have in keeping America secure is a continuous effort; and this is one more example.”

Central Americans Rush to Cross Border Because of Trump’s Threat to Build a Wall

Border Fence in the DesertBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall has triggered a surge of Central American families flowing into the U.S.  to escape poverty and warlike conditions.

Smugglers are telling migrants they better cross the border soon before the wall is erected, the Boston Globe reports. 

For Smugglers, fears of Trump building a wall have been a selling point.

To handle the influx, the U.S. sent 150 additional agents to Texas to shore up the border.

The Globe writes:

Here at the border, the obstacles to Trump’s plans appear daunting. To hold, quickly process, and deport the tens of thousands of arrivals each month, the Trump administration would have to add scores of immigration judges and dramatically expand detention facilities, which have faced legal challenges. A wall could cost billions.

Some here welcome a Trump crackdown. Many Border Patrol agents resent what they see as a ‘‘catch-and-release’’ approach to the flood of Central Americans. To them, Trump’s win has delivered the morale-boosting equivalent of a Red Bull.

‘‘We’re going to be able to do our jobs again,’’ said Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent and a spokesman for their union, which endorsed Trump for president.

‘‘We’ve turned into a detention agency,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re not out there enforcing. We’re doing jailer work and sometimes babysitting.’’

But analysts, lawyers and elected officials on both sides of the border say it is a place that has always defied easy fixes and expensive barriers.

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