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Tag: Washington

CBP Denies Detaining Iranian Americans at Border Crossings in Washington State

Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) denied reports that its agents were detaining Iranian Americans at a border crossing in Blaine, Wash.

“Social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans and refusing their entry into the U.S. because of their country of origin are false,” CBP spokesman Mike Friel said in a statement.

He added, “Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false.”

The allegations were first leveled Sunday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which said it was assisting more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans who had been detained for 11-plus hours and questioned Saturday night at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington.

At least two Congresswomen retweeted the press release from CAIR.

Border Patrol Agent Injured, K-9 Killed After Service Car slips on Icy Patch in Washington

Border Patrol K-9, Jackie, was killed.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent was sent to the hospital and her K-9 was killed after their patrol vehicle lost control on an icy patch in Colville, Wash.

The vehicle rolled down a steep embankment on Highway 395 at about 2 a.m. Sunday, and the agent was pinned in the car until rescuers used the Jaws of Life to extricate her, the agency said in a news release.

The dog, Jackie, was pronounced dead at the scene. Jackie had been with the agency since 2015.

The agent, who was not identified, was taken to a hospital in an unknown condition, but the injuries were not-life threatening, the agency said.

“Thank you to all the rescuers and medical staff involved and please remember K-9 Jackie and the agent in your thoughts and prayers,” David BeMiller, acting chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol’s Spokane sector, said in a statement. “We understand the risks that we take as well as our K-9 partners; it is never easy when we lose a partner.”

Armed Man Fatally Shot After Throwing ‘Incendiary Device’ at ICE Detention Center

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An armed 69-year-old man was fatally shot by police after he allegedly threw “incendiary devices” at an ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington early Saturday.

Tacoma police shot William Van Spronsen following a confrontation with officers outside Tacoma’s North West Detention Center, ABC News reports.

Police were notified about the man armed with a rifle outside of the facility.

“It was reported the male was throwing incendiary devices at the Detention Center and then at vehicles in the parking lot,” a Tacoma Police Department statement said. “A vehicle was set on fire. The male attempted to ignite a large propane tank and set out buildings on fire. The male continued throwing lit objects at the buildings and cars.”

No police were injured.

It wasn’t immediately clear what motivated Van Spronsen.

FBI, ICE Scan Driver’s License Databases to Conduct Facial-Recognition Searches

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been given access to driver’s license photos to conduct facial-recognition scans without motorists’ consent.

ICE officials were authorized by three states to use the repositories of license photos to scan through facial-recognition technology in search of undocumented immigrants, according to documents obtained by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology and first reported by The Washington Post.

The searches involved databases from Utah and Vermont, which complied with ICE’s request to access the photos. In Washington, agents also were given permission to scan license photos, but it wasn’t immediately clear if those searches were carried out.

The discovery comes as Congress considers a moratorium on facial-recognition technology because of serious concerns over privacy rights and the inaccuracy of the systems. Researchers said the technology is racially biased and prone to errors, which could lead to false arrests.

“Law enforcement’s access of state databases,” particularly driver’s license databases, is “often done in the shadows with no consent,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md. said in a statement to The Post.

San Francisco became the first city to ban the technology. In Detroit and Chicago, police departments have software that enables them to conduct facial-recognition searches in real-time.

Joe Rannazzisi, the Former DEA Official and Whistleblower Who Fought the Abusive Drug Firms

Joe Rannazzisi  on "60 Minutes"

Joe Rannazzisi on “60 Minutes”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joe Rannazzisi isn’t a household name, but he’s certainly getting well known, particularly after his appearance on Sunday on CBS’ s “60 Minutes,” where he was referred to as a whistleblower who tried cracking down on drug companies.

Scott Highham and Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post write:

Joe Rannazzisi  is a man of strong passions who admits that he has a temper. For more than a decade, he was the frontman in the government’s war against opioid abuse. As head of the Office of Diversion Control for the Drug Enforcement Administration, he was responsible for cracking down on doctors, pharmacies, drug manufacturers and distributors who did not follow the nation’s prescription drug laws.

He said he worked hard to uphold the law, until he was pushed out by members of Congress and an industry campaign that he says has resulted in a weakening of the nation’s drug laws at a time of unprecedented crisis.

The burly, tough-talking Long Islander is now a man in the news, appearing in The Washington Post and on “60 Minutes” this Sunday to give his views on how the DEA’s war on opioids got derailed by pressure from Congress and the drug industry.

To read the whole story click here. 

Man Triggers Security Scare at White House, Says He Had Nuclear Weapon

white-houseBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who triggered a security scare outside the White House warned authorities that he had a component of a nuclear weapon and indicated it was a “threat to the president.”

Washington 4 reports that the suspect had previous run-ins with FBI.

Records indicated that Jean-Paul Gamarra, 40, was a drifter and arrested in Lafayette Park.

“Gamarra was asked if he had a bomb with him and Gamarra said no, he had a component to launch a nuclear weapon,” according to the investigator. “Gamarra said he was not there to harm President Trump.”

FBI Investigates Threats Against Pizza Shop Following Fake News about Sex Slaves

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s investigation into Russian interference during the U.S. presidential election has widened to include reviewing continuing threats against a Washington D.C. pizza shop that has been targeted by right-wing conspiracy theorists.

Comet Ping Pong Pizza has been accused, with no evidence, of operating a child sex ring out of the nonexistent basement with the help of senior members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Tweets alleging that Comet Ping Pong Pizza ran a sex ring – called Pizzagate – were sent out by anonymous online bots. As a result, a 28-year-old North Carolina man entered the shop with a loaded automatic rifle and shot three rounds as he searched for a nonexistent basement sex chamber.

The suspect, Edgar Madison Welch, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Planning Officials Worried about Feds’ Plan for Parking at FBI’s New Headquarters

FBI's headquarters is called the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

FBI’s headquarters is called the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The search for a site for a new FBI headquarters may have hit yet another snag after the General Services Administration dramatically increased the number of parking spaces needed.

The Washington Post reports that planning officials are asking the GSA to reconsider its decision to require thousands more spaces than originally planned. 

The GSA has narrowed the location of the new headquarters to three sites – at Greenbelt, Springfield or Landover.

The GSA, after reviewing the three sites, dramatically increased the number of parking spaces and said it would not consider proximity to public transportation as a determining factor for choosing the location.

Planning officials said they’re worried about the ramifications of the new parking plan on traffic and the environment.

“I am writing to express concerns about GSA’s approach to parking for the new headquarters, which may have implications for local and regional transportation goals, environmental goals, and overall project costs,” National Capital Planning Commission Executive Director Marcel Acosta wrote to the GSA’s Mary Gibert.