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Tag: Utah

FBI, NSA Monitored Emails, Texts in Salt Lake City Area During Winter Olympics in 2002

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI and NSA monitored all emails and text messages in the Salt Lake City area in 2002 when the city was hosting the Winter Olympics, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Unnamed officials said the two agencies worked with Qwest Communications to intercept communications for nearly six months.

Former Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, said he wasn’t aware of the surveillance but said it’s to be expected.

“If they were not intercepting text messages then they were not doing their jobs at the center of world attention,” Bennett said. “Sure they were. I just assumed that they were.”

The Olympics came just five months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Retired FBI Agent Jailed After Feds Accuse Him of Contacting Potential Witness

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A retired FBI agent accused of trying to derail an investigation into military fraud was jailed Tuesday pending trial after a federal judge in Utah said he violated terms of his release, the Salt Lake Tribune reports

U.S. District Court judge ordered Robert G. Lustyik Jr., 50, to jail after prosecutors provided “clear and convincing” evidence that the 50-year-old retired agent asked a third party to deliver cash to apotential witness in the case, the Tribune wrote.

“I don’t make the decision lightly, nor do I make it happily, but I think the evidence demands it,” U.S. District Court Judge Dustin Pead said, according to the Tribune.

Lustyik is accused to trying to thwart an investigation into Michael Taylor’s role in the alleged scheme, which the government says involves Taylor and two other men conspiring to land a $54 million contract for security and training services to Afghan special forces by using inside information, the Tribune reported.

FBI Probing Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Accused of Lying During Testimony in Drunken-Driving Case

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper appears to be under FBI investigation after a judge revealed she lied during testimony in a drunken-driving case, KUTV reports.

The question is whether Trooper Lisa Steed, who has been fired, violated the civil rights of the person accused in the DUI, KUTV reported.

At least one witness has been questioned by the FBI .

David J. Johnson Heads A Bit More to the West to Lead FBI’s San Francisco Division


David Johnson

By Allan Lengel
tickelthewire.com

David J. Johnson, who headed the FBI’s Salt Lake City division, is shifting gears a bit to the west and taking over the San Francisco office.

Johnson began his career with the FBI in 1991, and was first posted a Violent Crime Squad in the San Jose Resident Agency.

In 1994, he was assigned to the High Technology Squad, and worked on a case that became the first to be prosecuted under the economic espionage classification.

In 1997, Johnson was assigned to a Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Squad. Two years later, he became a supervisory special agent of the Asian Organized Crime Squad in the San Jose Resident Agency. He led two multi-agency task forces that targeted human trafficking and police corruption and racketeering cases, the FBI said.

As the chief of the Crimes against Children Unit, he developed the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which identifies and rescues minors involved in prostitution and investigates the pimps involved in these crimes.

He was promoted to the assistant special agent in charge of the San Francisco Division, and in 2008 he led the task force created by the attorney general to conduct a criminal investigation into the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the CIA.

In 2009, he became chief of the Violent Crimes Section in the Criminal Investigative Division, responsible for managing programs that involve federal violations such as bank robberies, kidnappings, extortions, crimes against children, Indian country matters, fugitives, major theft, transportation crimes, and special jurisdiction matters.

In 2011, he was reassigned to be the chief of the newly created Latin America/Southwest Border Threat Section.

Johnson has a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Loren Cannon has replaced Johnson as the acting head of the Utah FBI.

Editorial: Immigration Reform Heads in More Sensible Direction

Deseret News
Editorial

Utah is deporting fewer people, and that’s a good thing.

In 2012, requests for deportation were down by 25 percent from 2011, and current trends predict a similar downturn this year. Scarce resources in the judicial system account for some of this, but there are other factors at work that suggest a more pragmatic approach to immigration going forward.

It’s worth noting that one of the reasons fewer people are being deported is that there are fewer illegal immigrants to deport. The vast majority of people who enter the country illegally are doing so to improve their personal circumstances, and the wobbly recovery has dried up the economic incentives that enticed border crossers in years past. Our immigration system ought to include avenues to accommodate those who want to cross our borders simply to seek a better life. Harsh remedies like deportation ought to be reserved for those who enter the country illegally with more nefarious purposes in mind.

For more information click here.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Justice Department Sues Fundamentalist Mormon Sect

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has filed suit against a fundamentalist, polygamous Mormon sect, saying it discriminates against non-members, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The suit alleges that members of the sect control government services in the towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Those towns also share a police department that “routinely uses its enforcement authority to enforce the edicts and will of the FLDS; fails to protect non-FLDS individuals from victimization by FLDS individuals; refuses to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies’ investigations of FLDS individuals; selectively enforces laws against non-FLDS; and uses its authority to facilitate unlawful evictions of non-FLDS, among other unlawful conduct,” according to an FBI statement Thursday.

Utah Man Throws Molotov Cocktail at Bank, Ignites Bush

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

We’ve all been annoyed to find a hidden banking fee lurking in the shadows of our bank statements from time to time. But a Utah man took that frustration to another level, according to an Associated Press report out of West Jordan, Utah.

Joshua Raymond Townsend, 20, is facing a federal count of attempting to destroy a building used in interstate commerce after throwing Molotov cocktails at a Wells Fargo Branch. Townsend was arrested about 15 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Townsend began planning a bank bombing about two months, according to federal officials. He had ordered explosive chemicals but decided earlier this week to instead use Molotov cocktails instead. He called police immediately before throwing the first cocktail. That one failed to ignite and a second bounced off a window and set fire to a nearby bush.

To read more click here.

 

Op Ed: 2 State Atty. Generals — One a Former — Defend ATF and Atty. Gen. Holder

Mark Shurtleff , a Republican, is Utah attorney general; Terry Goddard, a Democrat,  is former Arizona attorney general.
  

Utah Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff

By Mark Shurtleff and Terry Goddard
Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed

Congress and the media have understandably focused on the missteps of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the “Fast and Furious” sting operation that allowed suspected “straw buyers” to purchase weapons and transport them to Mexico in order to build cases against drug cartels.

However, the covert operation was terminated abruptly after its possible connection to the tragic death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was revealed. Unfortunately, most of the recent criticism about the operation seems to be serving as a means to attack Attorney General Eric Holder and destroy the ATF, rather than to hold those behind Fast and Furious accountable.

The focus should be on the real public safety problem underlying this controversy: keeping arms from the Mexican drug cartels and protecting the security of the United States. However, many of the roadblocks faced by ATF and the Department of Justice are not being built by international criminals, but by Congress.

Ex-Az Atty. Gen. Terry Goddard

We are two Southwestern law enforcement officials, one a Republican and one a Democrat, and both gun owners who have faced border-related crimes on a daily basis over the past decade. We are very concerned about what is happening in Mexico, a critical U.S. ally which must be freed from the clutches of transnational criminal organizations.

We have worked closely with ATF and the Justice Department in our common fight against violent crime and appreciate that Holder has sought more resources for border law enforcement.

To read more click here.