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Tag: Virginia

Congressional Bills Calls for $390M to Jumpstart FBI’s New Headquarters

Current FBI Headquarters

Current FBI Headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Congressional leaders proposed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that includes $390 million to build a new FBI headquarters, the Baltimore Sun reports.

“I’m fully behind the FBI and fully behind Prince George’s County as home to the new headquarters,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, the top Democrat on theSenate Appropriations Committee. “With more than 40 percent of FBI employees already living in Maryland, Prince George’s is the right place and has the right stuff.”

The bill, which is aimed at preventing a government shutdown, also includes modest pay raises for federal employees.

The FBI plans to leave its aging headquarters in downtown Washington D.C. and move to a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia.

“The Hoover building is dated and dysfunctional,” Mikulski said. “It’s sinking, leaking and flooding and doesn’t even meet the FBI’s own security requirements. It’s too small for the FBI’s needs, so workers are scattered across 14 leased offices impeding efficiency and effectiveness.”

The $390 million would pay for design and pre-construction expenses. The total cost is expected to exceed $2 billion.

FBI Foils Alleged Plans by White Supremacists to Shoot Up, Bomb Church And Synagogues

fbi-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI said it has disrupted two men’s plans to shoot up or bomb churches and synagogues.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that FBI agents were posing as illegal arms dealers who received orders for guns and explosives from two men who were part of a white supremacy group.

The men, Robert C. Doyle, 34, of Chester, and Ronald Beasley Chaney III, 33, were charged  Monday in U.S. District Court in Richmond with attempting to buy the weapons from FBI agents.

“Doyle and Chaney and others known and unknown to the FBI, ascribe to a white supremacy extremist version of the Asatru faith (a pagan religion),” alleges a five-page affidavit from FBI Special Agent James R. Rudisill.

The agent said the plan was for Doyle and others to meet at Doyle’s house “to discuss acting out in furtherance of their extremist beliefs by shooting or bombing the occupants of black churches and Jewish synagogues, conducting acts of violence against persons of the Jewish faith, and doing harm to a gun store owner.”

ATF: Man Who Killed 2 Virginia Journalists Legally Purchased Gun in July

 Vester Lee Flanagan II

Vester Lee Flanagan II

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The gun used to killed two TV reporters in Virginia were purchased legally by the man who pulled the trigger, The Roanoke Times reports. 

Vester Lee Flanagan II bought the Glock 9 mm pistol in July from a federally licensed gun dealer in Virginia, an ATF official said.

ATF spokesman Tom Faison said a proper background check was conducted.

“I have no indication that anything was done illegally or improperly, or any shortcuts were made,” Faison said.

Iowa Couple Accused of Torturing, Forcing Woman into Prostitution, Are Charged

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Iowa couple accused of torturing a 20-year-old woman and forcing her into prostitution was charged this week with sex trafficking and torture, Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Charges in U.S. District Court allege Aldair Hodza, 36, and Laura E. Sorensen, 31, abducted the woman before subjecting her to sexual abuse, starvation and burning.

“She was forced to engage in prostitution in order to earn money for Sorensen and Hodza to use for food and gas on the trip,” according to federal documents.

The couple is accused of forcing the woman on a cross-country trip aboard a 37-foot Sun Voyager recreational vehicle.

The nightmare ended in New Kent County in Virginia on Jan. 6, when a truck alerted police to the woman inside the recreational vehicle.

Stories of Other Interest


Former FBI Agent Who Shot, Killed Wife Gets Emotional During Trial

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A former FBI agent who shot his estranged wife in the chest four times at their home testified that he had no choice but to pull the trigger, Fredericksburg.com reports.

An emotional Arthur Gonzalez insisted Wednesday that he was forced to protect himself when his estranged wife attacked him with a knife.

“Everything was such a blur. I was in disbelief, shock,” Gonzales testified. “Even though we were apart, I still loved her as the boys’ mother.”

Gonzalez, who is charged with second-degree murder, spoke of his turbulent marriage, which led to him filing for divorce in 2012. He said his relationship with his wife was cordial during the separation because of their two sons.

The jury is expected to deliberate today.

Ex-Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell Sentenced to 2 Years

Gov. Bob McDonnell

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Richmond to two years in prison for soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts and other items from Star Scientific, a Virginia-based corporation, and Jonnie R. Williams Sr., Star Scientific’s then chief executive officer.

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right. McDonnell was also convicted of three counts of honest-services wire fraud and six counts of obtaining property under color of official right.

Maureen McDonnell was also convicted of two counts of honest services wire fraud counts and four counts of obtaining property under color of official right. She is set to be sentenced Feb. 20.

“Robert McDonnell corrupted the most powerful office in Virginia and fractured the public’s trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell in a statement. “Taking bribes in exchange for official actions is not politics as usual – it is an insidious crime that strikes at the heart of public service and will not be tolerated.”

Forget Edward Snowden; FBI Investigating Second Leaker Accused of Providing Security Info to Media

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Edward Snowden has become a household name after leaking eye-opening information to the media.

Now the FBI is investigating a second suspected leaker who also was government contractor, Yahoo News reports.

Agents have searched the Northern Virginia home of Michael Isikoff, who is accused of disclosing details of the government’s terrorist watch list.

The leak went to the Intercept, which reported in August that about half of the 680,000 people on the terrorist database kept by the U.S. “are not connected to any known terrorist group.”

The source was “in the intelligence community,” Intercept reported.

“Without commenting on any purported sources: Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux’s reporting for The Intercept on the federal watchlisting program brought crucial information about this preposterously overbroad and inefficient system to light, and has been repeatedly cited by civil liberties groups and civil rights attorneys who are seeking the intervention of federal courts to reign in its excesses,” Intercept editor-in-chief John Cook said in a statement.

Breaking: Ex-Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and Wife Maureen Convicted of Public Corruption

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, who had been mentioned as a vice presidential candidate at one time, was convicted Thursday in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., along with his wife Maureen, of public corruption and selling the office to a free spending Richmond businessman for golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in sweetheart loans, the Washington Post reported.

Matt Zapotosky and Rosalind S. Helderman of the Post reported that a federal jury deliberated three days before serving up the verdict. Robert McDonnell was convicted of 11 counts and his wife,  nine.

The jury also acquitted the couple of several charges. 

The Post wrote:

 The verdict means that Robert McDonnell, who was already the first governor in Virginia history to be charged with a crime, now he holds an even more unwanted distinction: the first ever to be convicted of one. He and his wife face decades in federal prison, though their actual sentence will probably fall well short of that.

 

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