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Tag: Washington

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.

Ex-Federal Prosecutor Publishes 5th Novel, This Time About a Rape on a Prestigious Michigan College Campus

Featured_20_35_56_915_allisonleotta_portrait

Allison Leotta

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For 12 years, Allison Leotta, a Detroit area native and Michigan State University grad, worked as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, dealing with sex crimes and domestic violence.

These days, she’s a novelist, who writes with authority on crime.

Once described in the Providence Journal as the female John Grisham, Leotta on May 3 will officially release her fifth novel, “The Last  Good Girl,” which deals with rape at a prestigious Michigan university named Tower University. Next week, she begins a book signing tour in Metro Detroit and northern Michigan

“There’s an epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses in America,” Leotta said Friday in a phone interview with Deadline Detroit. “One in five girls will be sexually assaulted before they graduate. What I try to do in this book is weave these shocking statistics into a compelling, fascinating thriller.”

A synopsis on her website describes the book:

Emily Shapiro has disappeared.

A freshman at a Michigan university, Emily  was last seen leaving a college bar near Beta Psi, a prestigious and secretive fraternity. The main suspect is Dylan Highsmith, the son of one of the most powerful politicians in the state. At first, the only clue is pieced-together surveillance footage of Emily leaving the bar that night . . . and Dylan running down the street after her.

When prosecutor Anna Curtis discovers a video diary Emily kept during her first few months at college, it exposes the history Emily had with Dylan: she accused him of rape before disappearing. Anna is horrified to discover that Dylan’s frat is known on campus as “the rape factory.”

“A lot of people have told me this is my strongest and best book yet,” she says.

Leotta said some people have gotten hold of the book online before the official release, including women who have been sexually assaulted.

“The response from readers has been more emotional and stronger than anything else I’ve written,” she said.

A Harvard Law School graduate, she lives in suburban D.C. with her husband and two sons.

 

Matt Gorham Named Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism at the Washington Field Office

fbi logo large

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com 

Matt Gorham, deputy assistant director for the Critical Incident Response Group for the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division at the bureau’s Washington Field Office.

Gorham joined the FBI in 1995 and was first assigned to the Pittsburgh Division, where he worked a variety of cases including violent crime, drugs and on counterterrorism matters.

In 2009,  he was assigned to the International Operations Division directing all FBI operations and deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since joining the bureau, he’s held leadership positions in the Criminal Investigative Division, the Pittsburgh Division, the Richmond Division and the Cyber Division, according to a press release.

He begins his job at WFO in May.