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Tag: Texas

Luis M. Quesada Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s El Paso Field Office

Luis M. Quesada

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Luis M. Quesada, who began his career in law enforcement as a Miami police officer, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office in Texas.

Quesada, who most recently he served in the Training Division in Quantico, joined the FBI as a special agent in 1995 and began working in the Miami Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes with a focus on bank robberies, extortion, and kidnappings. In 1998, Quesada voluntarily transferred to the San Juan Field Office in Puerto Rico before returning to Miami in 2001 to investigates drugs. In both offices, Quesada served on the SWAT teams.

Quesada was promoted in 2003 to supervisory special agent and began working in the Counterterrorism Division of the Terrorist Screening Center, which manages and operates the nation’s terrorist watch list.

In 2005, he transferred to the FBI Academy in Quantico as a defensive tactics instructor. Quesada returned to Miami two years later as the supervisor of the violent gang and high-intensity drug trafficking area task force. He later became the acting assistant special agent in charge of Miami’s Criminal Branch.

In 2010, Quesada became the assistant legal attaché in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he promoted FBI interests in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In 2012, Quesada was promoted to a unit chief position in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, focusing on counter-narcotics efforts in Latin America and the U.S. Southwest border.

In 2014, Quesada became legal attaché of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing on counterterrorism threats throughout the Balkans and the U.S.

A year later, Quesada became the assistant special agent in charge of the Criminal Branch in the Jackson Field Office in Mississippi. In 2017, he was appointed to assistant section chief in the Training Division, and a year later was promoted to section chief of the division’s Training Services Section.

Quesada earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Florida International University.

FBI Offers $15,000 Reward After Fire Bombings of El Paso Catholic Churches That Served Hispanics

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for helping tracking down the arsonists responsible for setting fire to three Catholic Churches in El Paso that primarily serve Hispanics and migrants.

The first fire broke out May 7, when someone tossed an “incendiary device” at St. Matthew Catholic Church.

On May, another “incendiary device” was thrown at St. Patrick Cathedral. And on June 15, “an incendiary device” was into the San Judas Tadeo Catholic Church.

Authorities have yet to make any arrests.

No one was injured in the fires.

“We are counting on assistance from members of the community to keep our city safe,” the FBI said in a press release. “We are asking everyone to please remain vigilant for suspicious or unusual activity to include events and persons around you. To date, we have received numerous tips regarding this investigation and multiple law enforcement agencies are involved. Every lead will be thoroughly investigated. Regardless of how insignificant you think your information might be, we strongly encourage you to come forward and welcome your information and assistance. You do have the option to remain anonymous when providing assistance to this investigation.”

Border Patrol Agent Shot in Texas During Routine Traffic Stop

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent was shot during a routine traffic stop Friday night near the U.S.-Mexico Border in Texas.

The agent’s partner returned fire, killing the suspect at the scene, ABC News reports.

The two agents and a deputy with the Kinney County Sheriff’s Department had pulled over a car near Brackettville, Texas, when a passenger opened fire.

The agent was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

CBP did not identify the agents or the suspects by name, but said the gunman was a 25-year-old man. The driver was a 32-year-old woman. Both are U.S. citizens.

“The agents and sheriff’s deputy requested medical assistance and rendered first aid, however the passenger of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene,” CBP said in a statement Saturday. “The injured agent was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening gunshot wound, and later transported by AirFlight to a San Antonio hospital.”

FBI: Mass Shooter in West Texas Called FBI Before Deadly Rampage

Seth Ator

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The 36-year-old gunman who killed seven people in West Texas on Saturday called the FBI before his rampage began.

Seth Ator called the FBI national tip line after he was fired from him job and made “rambling statements about some of the atrocities that he felt that he had gone through,” FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs said at a news conference.

About 15 minutes later, Arto was driving his car and failed to use a turn signal, prompted a Texas state trooper, who was unaware of the FBI call, to try to pull over Ator. Ator responded by firing an AR-style rifle at the trooper, which triggered a police chase in which the gunman fired his weapon at passing cars and shopping plazas.

Ator hijacked a mail truck and killed a U.S. Postal Service employee.

Combs said the firing was not what the cause of Ator’s rage.

“He was on a long spiral of going down,” Combs said. “He didn’t wake up Saturday morning and walk into his company and then it happened. He went to that company in trouble.”

FBI Investigates Shots Fired at 2 ICE Offices in San Antonio

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Homeland Security are investigating after shots were fired at two ICE offices housed at a building in San Antonio early Tuesday morning.

Bullets pierced a window of an ICE office and Removal Operations Field Office inside the Jefferson Bank building about 3 a.m., KENS-5, a CBS affiliate, reports.

No injuries were reported.

The FBI was at the building Tuesday morning to process the scene and review surveillance footage.

“These shootings were cowardly, brazen, violent acts, absolutely without justification and a threat to our entire community,” said Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.

FBI officials said at a press conference they were “concerned there could be additional attacks” on federal offices in San Antonio.

FBI Agents Reluctant to Investigate White Supremacy Because of Trump, Said Counterterrorism Expert

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents are reluctant to aggressively investigate white nationalist extremists because they are part of President Trump’s base, according to a former FBI counterterrorism agent.

“I believe Christopher A. Wray is an honorable man, but I think in many ways the FBI is hamstrung in trying to investigate the white supremacist movement like the old FBI would,” the former agent, David Gomez, told The Washington Post. “There’s some reluctance among agents to bring forth an investigation that targets what the president perceives as his base. It’s a no-win situation for the FBI agent or supervisor.”

Some of that hesitation, Gomez said, stems from Trump’s repeated criticism of the FBI during the special counsel investigation.

The comments follow a massacre carried out Saturday by a gunman at an El Paso Walmart, where at least 20 people were killed. Investigators said the gunman posted an anti-immigration manifesto shortly before the shooting.

Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric is fueling hatred and making the country more dangerous, Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro told MSNBC.

“This was the deadliest attack on the Latino community in United States history,” Castro said. “The president blamed the media, the internet, video games. He did not look in the mirror and blame himself.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases are motivated by white supremacist ideologies.

How FBI Is Handling Mass Shooting Threats After Bloody Weekend

FBI Director Christopher Wray, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About a week ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the Senate that white supremacy is responsible for most domestic terrorism cases so far in 2019.

Then came Saturday, when a gunman who pledged to attack “as many Mexicans as possible” opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others. Early Sunday morning, another gunman killed 9 people and injured 26 others in just 30 seconds in Dayton, Ohio. The motive of that shooting remains unclear.

The bureau is worried the attacks will inspire more acts of violence.

“The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence,” the bureau said in a news release. “The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online.”

So what’s the FBI doing about the threat of domestic terrorism? According to CNN, Wray has ordered a new threat assessment at the bureau’s offices nationwide in an attempt to stave off future attacks.

A command group at the FBI’s Washington headquarters will lead an effort to get field offices to identify threats of mass shootings.

The bureau also is assisting in the investigations of the shootings in Texas and Ohio.

“On behalf of the FBI, I offer sincere condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by this weekend’s violence, and we stand by them during this difficult time. We will bring the full resources of the FBI to bear in the pursuit of justice for the victims of these crimes.” Wray said in a statement. “I am proud of our state and local law enforcement partners and the immediate response of FBI agents, analysts, and professional staff, working in close coordination to assist them. I have been in contact with the president and the attorney general, and they both have expressed their support for the FBI’s work in the wake of these tragedies.”

Advocates Discover Premature Baby in a Crowded Border Patrol Facility

A detention center, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys visiting a crowded Border Patrol facility in Texas made a startling discovery – a teenage girl in a wheelchair holding a tiny, prematurely born baby.

The lawyers said the baby, wrapped in a dirty towel and looking listless, was barely a month old, The Associated Press reports. The mother was in severe pain because of complications from an emergency cesarean section in Mexico.

“You look at this baby and there is no question that this baby should be in a tube with a heart monitor,” said Hope Frye, a volunteer with an immigrant advocacy group.

Since being in Border Patrol custody, the baby received no medical attention, the lawyers said.

The case sheds more light on the inhumane conditions that have been reported under the Trump administration by advocates and the Inspector General.

Since late last year, five children have died after being detained by the Border Patrol.