Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2019
S M T W T F S
« May    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Virginia

Theft of Thousands of Guns, Parts from ATF Facility Reveals Serious Problems at Agency

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF officials are being evasive about the theft of thousands of guns and firearm parts that were supposed to be destroyed.

Many of the guns had been seized by law enforcement, and others were retired service weapons from the ATF, FBI, DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies.

The weapons disappeared after being sent to the ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch in Martinsburg, W.Va., where they were supposed to be destroyed.

The case has exposed the ATF’s failure to keep track of guns sent to the facility and detect when weapons are stolen. The agency has declined to publicly reveal the extent of the thefts, and ATF officials have been evasive when questioned by Congress.

One of the suspects in the thefts, Christopher Yates, a guard at the ATF facility, has admitted stealing thousands of firearms, gun parts and ammunition before selling them. The 52-year-old, a contract employee for the ATF for 16 years, pleaded guilty in federal court in April to stealing government property. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in August.

Yates managed to steal the guns and parts for years without the ATF knowing.

The ATF has failed to provide detailed information on the thefts to Congress, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In a March 28 letter to senators, then-Acting ATF Director Tom Brandon cited Yates’ open case as a reason for failing to provide more information.

“We cannot at this time characterize the scope of the thefts from the Martinsburg facility,” wrote Brandon, who retired in April.

Senators are pledging to get to the bottom of the case.

“The ATF is tasked with protecting our communities and the theft of a substantial amount of weapons, parts and ammunition from ATF facilities raises significant concerns,” Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., wrote in a statement to the Journal Sentinel. “Our committee is seeking a full accounting of this situation, and we hope the ATF will be as transparent as possible while we continue to pursue answers.”

Without a proper accounting of stolen guns, agents at each of the ATF’s 25 field offices have been assigned to search for stolen weapons. That search is taking resources away from fighting crime.

Public Invited to Interact with DEA Special Agents During Lecture Series

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a special agent for the DEA?

The DEA Museum in Arlington, Va., is offering the public an opportunity to hear from several special agents as part of a lecture series Tuesday. They will discuss who they are and what they do.

The event is free. Register at EventBrite.com. Can’t make it? The event will be live-streamed.

Speaking during the lecture series are Steve Fraga, who works with law enforcement counterparts in South America and Central America; Michelle Spahn, who serves as supervisory special agent and DEA 360 strategy coordinator; and Amador Martinez, who works on a number of assignments at DEA headquarters.

According to the event page:

Special Agents are on the front line for drug law enforcement in America and around the world. DEA’s goal is to eliminate illegal drug distribution, prosecute traffickers and destroy the financial infrastructure of these organizations. As the federal government’s premier drug law enforcement agency, our mission has never been so important. Agents are prepared for innumerable tasks including facilitating informant contacts, making drug arrests, community outreach, and international diplomacy.

Special Agents must maintain many skills to perform in less than ideal and often high pressure situations. While in the field, agents may investigate and help prosecute major violators of controlled substance laws, and partner with federal, state, local, and foreign officials in managing drug intelligence programs. Agents are often identified as the people who arrest and search subjects and seize assets connected to illicit drug trafficking, but they are also responsible for collecting and preparing evidence and performing other judicial functions. DEA Special Agents have a long-standing history in combating the critical problems of drug trafficking.

The event is from 11 a.m. to noon in the auditorium of DEA headquarters at 700 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, Va.

For more information, call the DEA Museum at (202) 307-3463.

FBI Revives Investigation into Murder of Virginia State Trooper in 1984

Trooper Johnny Rush Bowman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI is breathing new life into a long-dormant investigation of a Virginia State trooper who was stabbed 45 times at his house 1984.

The 34-year-old case has left investigators frustrated because they’ve been unable to identify the killer, who left behind a wig, sunglasses and a construction hard hat, ABC News reports

The attacker rang the doorbell at Trooper Johnny Rush Bowman’s home in Manassas, Va., and stabbed him to death while his family was inside the house.

The FBI hopes to receive tips in the cold case by announcing a $50,000 reward to find the killer.

“There are several milestones in August and September [including] the anniversary date of the murder and what would have been Trooper Bowman’s birthday and as a result, the FBI is offering a significant reward of $50,000 to bring attention to this unsolved murder,” FBI spokesperson Kadia Koroma told ABC News via email Wednesday.

“No one has forgotten Trooper Bowman — not his family, his friends, and certainly not law enforcement,” Matthew DeSarno, special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, said in a statement released by the FBI on Monday.

FBI Makes Gruesome Discovery at Alleged Dogfighting Ring in D.C. Area

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI seized more than a dozen dogs during a raid in the Washington D.C. area over an alleged dogfighting ring.

Authorities are asking the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District in Virginia to allow feds to keep the dogs. Found during the raid at homes in Temple Hills, Md., and Washington D.C. were items related to dog breeding, fighting and training, WTOP reports

The FBI arrested 12 people on Aug. 24, charging them with identity theft and credit card and bank fraud.

Agents found a dog treadmill, a blood-splattered fighting ring and vests weighted with sand bags.

Homeland Security Warned Law Enforcement of Violence 3 Days Before Charlottesville Rally

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

Three days before clashes broke out during the deadly Charlottesville rally on Aug. 12, Homeland Security issued a warning to law enforcement about the high probability that the event would be “among the most violent to date” between white supremacists and anti-racists.

Politico reports that it obtained a copy of the Aug. 9 “law enforcement sensitive” assessment. 

The warning by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis raises questions about law enforcement’s preparation for the violence that would erupt.

The report reminded authorities that similar protests involving white supremacists and anti-racist extremists turned violent.

“Anarchist extremists and white supremacist extremists online are calling on supporters to be prepared for or to instigate violence at the 12 August rally,” the assessment warned.

The report also indicated that a “probable” white supremacist had posted a “call to arms” online, saying “antifa must be destroyed.

“They predicted it,” one senior law enforcement analyst from another state said of the assessment. Each side was saying, “’All right everybody, go get your weapons, and we’re gonna go kick their asses.’ And that’s exactly what happened in Charlottesville.”

Other Stories of Interest

AG Sessions: Car Attack in Charlottesville ‘Does Meet the Definition of Domestic Terrorism’

Suspect James Alex Fields

Suspect James Alex Fields

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this morning that an Ohio driver who plunged into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., “does meet the definition of domestic terrorism.”

The driver, 20-year-old James Fields, killed one person and injured 19 others.

“It does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute,” Sessions said on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” today. “We are pursuing it in the (Justice Department) in every way that we can make a case.”

Sessions said the driver could be charged with more serious, federal charges.

“You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought because this is unequivocally an unacceptable evil attack,” he said. “Terrorism investigators from the FBI are working on the case as well as civil rights division FBI agents.”

The car slammed into a group of people protesting white supremacists who turned up in droves to protest the planned removal of a statue of a Confederate general.

House Committee Strips Funding for Long-Delayed New FBI Headquarters

The FBI's current headquarters in Washington D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The long-delated project to build a new FBI headquarters just hit another major snag.

A House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday approved rescinding $200 million for a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia, the Baltimore Sun reports. The current headquarters has become cramped and obsolete.

By stripping the money, 11,000 new jobs also are at stake.

“It is reprehensible that House Republicans are playing politics with our national security by rescinding $200 million in funding for the new, fully consolidated FBI headquarters,” Democratic Reps. Steny Hoyer of Southern Maryland and Anthony G. Brown of Prince George’s County said in a joint statement. “House Republicans must stop delaying this project.”

Democrats are hoping to restore the funding.

FBI Paints Troubling Portrait of Man Who Opened Fire at Republicans on Baseball Field

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Before firing 60 rounds from a rifle and handgun at an unwitting group of Republican lawmakers and staffers who were practice baseball in Alexandria, Va., James T. Hodgkinson had been living in his van in the parking lot of the YMCA on the outskirts of Washington D.C.

Struggling with his marriage, anger management problems and a beef against Republicans, the unemployed home inspector from Illinois approached the baseball players and asked, “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?”

Soon after the encounter, the 66-year-old retrieved a 7.62-caliber SKS rifle and 9mm handgun from his van before returning and calmly and deliberately opening fire at the lawmakers and their staff.

U.S. Capitol Police special agents and officers from Alexandria returned fire, killing the gunman.

Five people were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who is in fair condition at the hospital after multiple emergency surgeries.

On Wednesday, the FBI revealed details of a troubled Hodgkinson who had long-simmering hatred for Republicans.

“While the shooter was known to have a history of diagnosed mental illness, he is known, or it was known, to have an anger management problem,” Timothy R. Slater, FBI special agent in charge, said at a press conference Wednesday. “He was struggling in all kinds of different ways.” 

The FBI still doesn’t know why Hodgkinson was in the area, and agents believe he acted alone and that the shooting was spontaneous.