Saturday, July 30, 2022

Russian National Charged With Conspiring To Have U.S. Citizens Act As Illegal Agents Of The Russian Government

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

An indictment was unsealed today in Tampa, Florida, charging a Russian national, working on behalf of the Russian government and in conjunction with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), with allegedly orchestrating a years-long foreign malign influence campaign that used various U.S. political groups to sow discord, spread pro-Russian propaganda, and interfere in elections within the United States.

As alleged in the indictment, from at least December 2014 until March 2022, Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, a resident of Moscow, together with at least three Russian officials, engaged in a years-long foreign malign influence campaign targeting the United States. Ionov is the founder and president of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), an organization headquartered in Moscow and funded by the Russian government. Ionov utilized AGMR to carry out Russia’s influence campaign.

“Ionov allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning U.S. political groups and U.S. citizens into instruments of the Russian government,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The Department of Justice will not allow Russia to unlawfully sow division and spread misinformation inside the United States.”

According to the indictment, Ionov — working under the supervision of the FSB and with the Russian government’s support — recruited political groups within the United States, including U.S. Political Group 1 in Florida, U.S. Political Group 2 in Georgia, and U.S. Political Group 3 in California, and exercised direction or control over them on behalf of the FSB. Specifically, Ionov provided financial support to these groups, directed them to publish pro-Russian propaganda, coordinated and funded direct action by these groups within the United States intended to further Russian interests, and coordinated coverage of this activity in Russian media outlets. Ionov also relayed detailed information about this influence campaign to three FSB officials.

“Secret foreign government efforts to influence American elections and political groups threaten our democracy by spreading misinformation, distrust and mayhem,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The department is committed to ensuring U.S. laws protecting transparency in the electoral process and the political system are not undermined through foreign malign influence.”

According to the indictment, Ionov allegedly targeted U.S. Political Group 1 based in St. Petersburg, Florida. In May 2015, Ionov funded an all-expense paid trip to Russia for the leader of U.S. Political Group 1 (Unindicted Co-Conspirator-1, UIC-1) in order to “communicate on future cooperation” between U.S. Political Group 1 and AGMR. Following that trip, and for at least the next seven years, Ionov exercised direction and control over senior members of U.S. Political Group 1.

“The prosecution of this criminal conduct is essential to protecting the American public when foreign governments seek to inject themselves into the American political process,” said U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. “We will continue to work with our partners at the FBI to investigate these events, and we will continue to follow the evidence to ensure justice is done.”

Early in the conspiracy, senior members of U.S. Political Group 1, UIC-1, UIC-2, and UIC-3 exchanged emails about the fact that Ionov was working on behalf of the Russian government. For example, in September 2015, Ionov paid for UIC-1 to attend an AGMR-sponsored “Dialogue of Nations” conference in Moscow. Upon his return to Florida, UIC-1 reported to the leadership of U.S. Political Group 1 that AGMR is “a solid institution of Russian politic,” and that it was “clear” that AGMR was “an instrument of [the] Russian government,” which, UIC-1 wrote, did not “disturb us.” The following week, in an email discussion, U.S. Political Group 1 leaders observed that it was “more than likely” that the Russian government was using AGMR “to utilize forces inside of the U.S. to sew [sic] division inside the United States.”

“The impact of Russian malign foreign influence cannot be overstated,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI will aggressively pursue any foreign government that attempts to divide American citizens and poison our democratic process.”

Ionov used his control over U.S. Political Group 1 leaders to foster discord within the United States, to spread pro-Russian propaganda under the guise of a domestic political organization, and to interfere in local elections. For example, in January 2016, Ionov guaranteed financing for — and ultimately funded — a four-city protest tour undertaken by U.S. Political Group 1 in support of a “Petition on Crime of Genocide against African People in the United States,” which it had previously submitted to the United Nations at Ionov’s direction. Later, in 2017 and 2019, Ionov monitored and supported the St. Petersburg, Florida, political campaigns of UIC-3 and UIC-4. In 2019, before the primary election, Ionov wrote to a Russian official that he had been “consulting every week” on the campaign. After UIC-4 advanced to the general election, FSB Officer 1 wrote to Ionov that “our election campaign is kind of unique,” and asked, “are we the first in history?” Ionov later sent FSB Officer 1 additional details about the election, referring to UIC-4 as the candidate “whom we supervise.”

According to the indictment, Ionov’s relationship with U.S. Political Group 1 continued until at least March 2022. Specifically, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Political Group 1 repeatedly hosted Ionov via video conference to discuss the war, during which Ionov falsely stated that anyone who supported Ukraine also supported Nazism and white supremacy. In a report to the FSB, Ionov explained that he had enlisted U.S. Political Group 1 to support Russia in the “information war unleashed” by the West.

Alongside his malign foreign influence efforts with U.S. Political Group 1, Ionov also exercised direction and control over U.S. Political Group 3, an organization based in California whose primary goal was to promote California’s secession from the United States. In January and February of 2018, Ionov supported U.S. Political Group 3’s efforts — led by the organization’s founder (UIC-6)—to orchestrate a protest demonstration at the California Capitol building in Sacramento. Ionov partially funded the efforts and attempted to direct UIC-6 to physically enter the governor’s office. Later, Ionov sent various media reports covering the demonstration and U.S. Political Group 3’s broader efforts to FSB Officer 1, writing that FSB Officer 1 had asked for “turmoil” and stating, “there you go.” 

According to the indictment, Ionov also directed the efforts of U.S. Political Group 2, based in Atlanta. For example, as recently as March 2022, Ionov paid for members of U.S. Political Group 2 — including its founder (UIC-5) — to travel from Atlanta to San Francisco to protest at the headquarters of a social media company that had placed content restrictions on posts supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ionov sent UIC-5 designs for signs used at the protest and funded cross-country travel for UIC-5 and other members of U.S. Political Group 2. After the protest, Ionov sent UIC-5 a picture of a Russian news website’s social media page, which displayed a Russian-language news story about the protest.   

Ionov is charged with conspiring to have U.S. citizens act as illegal agents of the Russian government. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel J. Marcet and Risha Asokan, Trial Attorney Menno Goedman of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, and Trial Attorney Demetrius Sumner of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.

The FBI Tampa Field Office is investigating the case.


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Two Additional Defendants Plead Guilty In Nationwide Racketeering Conspiracy Targeting The Elderly

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of California released the below information: 

SAN DIEGO – Two more members of a nationwide “grandparent scam” network have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act known as RICO.

Lyda Harris of Laveen, Arizona, pleaded guilty in federal court today; Tracy Glinton of Orlando, Florida, pleaded guilty on June 9, 2022. They are the fifth and sixth of eight defendants to plead guilty; two remain fugitives.

According to court documents, the defendants were members and associates of a criminal enterprise that engaged in extortion and fraud to swindle more than $2 million from 70-plus elderly victims across the nation.  At least 10 elderly victims who resided in San Diego County lost over $300,000 to the fraud.  From approximately November 1, 2019, until October 14, 2020, the members of the criminal enterprise targeted elderly Americans, contacting them by phone and feeding them phony stories that their grandchildren were in legal trouble and needed money to pay for bail, pay medical expenses for car accident victims, or prevent additional charges from being filed. Members and associates obtained money from victims through in-person cash pick-ups, by mail or commercial carriers, or via wire transfers. Conspirators laundered the proceeds by transferring the funds or converting from fiat currency to cryptocurrency.

Defendant Lyda Harris was arrested in the Republic of Albania in August 2021 and extradited to the United States.  According to Harris’s plea agreement, she received and funneled victim proceeds for a coconspirator to convert from fiat currency to cryptocurrency.  As part of the guilty plea, Harris agreed to forfeit $6,243 in proceeds she personally received from the offense.  Harris will also be subject to an order of restitution to the victims of the offense in the amount of at least $1,208,291.93.

According to defendant Tracy Glinton’s plea agreement, Glinton’s primary role was helping codefendant Tracy Knowles receive proceeds from coconspirators who obtained victim money.  Glinton knew that the money she received for Knowles constituted proceeds of grandparent scams.  In their phone messages, Glinton and Knowles discussed the “grandma scam.”  As part of her guilty plea, Glinton agreed to forfeit $9,950 in proceeds she personally received from the offense and pay at least $471,600 to the victims in restitution.

“The defendants participated in a sophisticated conspiracy that exploited our nation’s most vulnerable citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “The elderly victims were financially and emotionally shattered by these heartless crimes. Fortunately, the coordinated efforts of our prosecution team and law enforcement partners held the defendants accountable and obtained justice for their victims.”  Grossman commended the Assistant U.S. Attorney and law enforcement agents who diligently pursued this matter.  

“Scammers continue to target our elderly population at an ever-increasing rate across the country. These defendants intentionally preyed upon and systematically stole from their victims without a second thought,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy. “Today’s guilty pleas send a clear message that the FBI is committed to identifying, investigating, and bringing to justice those who are committing financial crimes. The FBI will continue to work with our partners on the San Diego’s Elder Justice Task Force to protect our elders.”

This case was investigated by the San Diego Elder Justice Task Force, which is a collaboration between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the District Attorney’s Office and all San Diego County law enforcement agencies. The Elder Justice Task Force, established in February 2021, is believed to be the first comprehensive law enforcement effort for this purpose anywhere in the country. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch.

DEFENDANTS                                             Case Number 21cr2216-CAB                                       

Tracy Adrine Knowles                                   30        Orlando, Florida

Fugitive                                                      

Adonis Alexis Butler Wong                           30        Northbay Village, Florida

Fugitive

Timothy Ingram, AKA Bleezy                       29        North Hollywood, California

In custody.  Sentencing set for July 29, 2022.                                                                                              

Anajah Gifford                                                23        North Hollywood, California

In custody.  Sentencing set for August 26, 2022.

Lyda Harris                                                     74        Laveen, Arizona

Released on bond. Sentencing set for September 30, 2022.

Joaquin Lopez                                                 46        Hollywood, Florida

Released on bond. Sentencing set for August 19, 2022

Jack Owuor                                                     25        Paramount, California                                           

Released on bond.  Sentencing set for August 17, 2022. 

Tracy Glinton                                                 35        Orlando, Florida

Released on bond. Sentencing set for September 2, 2022.

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1962(d) – Conspiracy to Conduct or Participate in an Enterprise

Through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and a fine of not more than the greater of twice the amount of gain or loss associated with the offense or $250,000

AGENCIES

Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch

San Diego Elder Justice Task Force, which includes:

San Diego FBI

San Diego County District Attorney’s Office

San Diego Police Department

San Diego Sheriff’s Department

Carlsbad Police Department

Oceanside Police Department

Escondido Police Department

Chula Vista Police Department

El Cajon Police Department

La Mesa Police Department

National City Police Department

Coronado Police Department

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

David Keene: Good Guys With Guns: Concealed Carry Saves Lives

David Keene, the editor-at-large at the Washington Times, where my On Crime column regularly appears, offers a piece on good guys with guns. 

On May 24, trained police stood by for an hour while a crazed gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in a Uvalde, Texas, school.

 

Weeks later, a 22-year-old Hoosier saw another young man gunning down shoppers at an Indiana mall. Within seconds, he got others to safety while drawing his own gun and expertly shooting the terrorist. Not surprisingly, it is little wonder that a recent opinion poll revealed that far more Americans have faith in an armed civilian to stop a mass shooting than in either local or federal law enforcement officers.

 

The Trafalgar Group poll was actually taken days before young hero Eli Dicken carried his newly legal Glock into the mall. Indiana had just adopted what is called a “constitutional carry law,” enabling law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm without a special license or permit, thanks to the Supreme Court decisions that make these laws more likely. The poll results might well have been even starker now.

 

The national poll showed that 41.8% of respondents have more faith in a nearby armed civilian, while only 25.1% would trust the police under such circumstances, and 10.3% of those surveyed who would have more faith in a federal agent. Another 22.8% rather fatalistically seemed to believe that none of these “good guys” with a gun would be able to do much to stop a “bad guy” with a gun.

 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Good guys with guns: Concealed carry saves lives - Washington Times 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Called Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon to Discuss the Extradition of Rafael Caro-Quintero


 On Friday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland spoke by phone with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon. The two leaders previously met in Mexico City during the first U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue (HLSD). During today’s call, Attorney General Garland expressed his gratitude to Secretary Ebrard and the Government of Mexico for successfully arresting Rafael Caro-Quintero. The Attorney General also offered his condolences to the families and loved ones of the Mexican servicemembers who gave their lives in service to their country last week. The two leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to working expeditiously on the extradition of Caro-Quintero, who is wanted in the United States on a number of criminal charges, including his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Bristol PA Fire Chief Receives Award From American Legion Department Of Pennsylvania

I was pleased to read that Herb Slack received the "Firefighter of the Year" award from the American Legion.

I knew and worked with Herb Slack back when he was the Naval Support Activity’s safety officer, and later the security officer, at the naval base in Northeast Philadelphia.

I was at the time the administrative officer of a Defense Department tenant command on the naval base, and as I oversaw security and safety programs for the command, I often worked with Herb Slack on base safety and security issues. I also served with him on several inter-agency committees.          

Levittownnow.com offers a report on the award:

The American Legion Department of Pennsylvania presented Bristol Borough Fire Chief Herb Slack with an award Saturday at their annual statewide convention in Harrisburg.

Slack, who has spent his life in the fire service, was awarded the 2022 Firefighter of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania chapter of the organization.

Slack was nominated by the Levittown Memorial American Legion Post 960 in Middletown Township’s Levittown section for the award and was selected from all nominations across the state. 

Slack joined the fire service at 16 and worked his way through Bristol Borough’s service with roles as a captain, assistant chief and was first elected chief in 1975.

Slack has served as Bristol Borough’s fire marshal and was appointed borough-wide chief in 2005. He has command over all fire operations within the borough.

“Chief Slack also served his community as a social studies teacher, a local coach and retired after 33 years from a civil service position with the U.S. Department of the Navy having worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and the Naval Support Activity Philadelphia,” a statement said.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Bristol Fire Chief Receives Award From American Legion Department Of Pennsylvania - LevittownNow.com  

Monday, July 18, 2022

Celebrating 40 Years At The Washington Times: An important, Contrarian Voice In The Media Landscape

Like Michael McKenna, I too am proud to be a contributor to the Washington Times. 

I’ve been a contributor to the Washington Times since 2012, offering op-eds, book reviews and a regular On Crime column. 

Unlike most daily newspapers, the Washington Times offers fair news coverage and four full pages of conservative commentary. The Washington Times is a national newspaper, which is read across the country online or in subscription digital form.   

In his column, Michael McKenna looks back at the newspaper’s’40 years. 

On May 16, 1982, the media world was dominated by the editors and other gatekeepers at just a handful of major media organizations. 

The New York Times routinely set the national agenda, the television networks built their news broadcasts around those stories, and other participants in the legacy media followed their lead. These gatekeepers, monochromatic in tone, temperament, beliefs, experience and education, were a pretty well-run conspiracy against the American public and a bulwark against any threat of a truly operational first amendment. 

The next day, May 17, 1982, The Washington Times published its first edition and helped change all of that. 

To those who came of age after the ubiquity of the internet and the absolute immediacy of communication, it is difficult to imagine how revolutionary, how transformative, how important The Washington Times was and is. For those of us who came of age in the 1970s and 1980s, however, it is easy to remember the thunderbolt that was the creation of The Washington Times. 

For the first time in a generation, the information monopoly — dominated by New York print and television outlets — was challenged. 

You can read the rest of the column via the below link:

Celebrating 40 years at The Washington Times - Washington Times  

You can also read my On Crime columns via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: My Washington Times 'On Crime' Columns 

And you can read my many op-eds and book reviews via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: My Washington Times Op-Eds And Book Reviews   

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Statement From Attorney General Merrick B. Garland On Capture Of Rafael Caro-Quintero

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today released the following statement on the capture of Rafael Caro-Quintero, one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. Caro-Quintero was wanted for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985.  

“There is no hiding place for anyone who kidnaps, tortures, and murders American law enforcement. We are deeply grateful to Mexican authorities for their capture and arrest of Rafael Caro-Quintero. Today’s arrest is the culmination of tireless work by DEA and their Mexican partners to bring Caro-Quintero to justice for his alleged crimes, including the torture and execution of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. We will be seeking his immediate extradition to the United States so he can be tried for these crimes in the very justice system Special Agent Camarena died defending.

“We join in mourning the 14 Mexican servicemembers who gave their lives in service to their country and extend our condolences to the loved ones they left behind.”

Rafael Caro Quintero, Fugitive Drug Lord Wanted In 1985 Murder Of DEA Agent, Captured By Mexico

The New York Post offers a piece on the capture of the Mexican drug lord believed to be responsible for the murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. 

A fugitive Mexican drug lord was busted Friday to face extradition in the notorious 1985 torture and murder of an undercover US Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Rafael Caro Quintero, a founder of the once-powerful Guadalajara Cartel, was nabbed by Mexican authorities in the northern state of Chihuahua, law enforcement sources confirmed with The Post.

Caro Quintero, who’s believed to be between 59 and 69, served 28 years of a 40-year sentence in Mexico for the grisly killing of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena before being freed in 2013 on a technicality involving the jurisdiction of the court in which he was convicted.

The US — which has called Caro-Quintero the “mastermind” behind Camarena’s slaying — requested his extradition days after he was sprung from the “Puente Grande” prison in Guadalajara and put a bounty on his head that eventually reached $20 million. 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Mexico captures fugitive drug lord wanted in 1985 DEA agent murder (nypost.com) 

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Statement Of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams On The Espionage Conviction Of Ex-CIA Programmer Joshua Adam Schulte

 The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York released the below statement from U.S. Attorney Damian Williams on the espionage conviction of former CIA engineer Joshua Schulte:   

Joshua Adam Schulte was a CIA programmer with access to some of the country’s most valuable intelligence-gathering cyber tools used to battle terrorist organizations and other malign influences around the globe.  When Schulte began to harbor resentment toward the CIA, he covertly collected those tools and provided them to WikiLeaks, making some of our most critical intelligence tools known to the public – and therefore, our adversaries.  Moreover, Schulte was aware that the collateral damage of his retribution could pose an extraordinary threat to this nation if made public, rendering them essentially useless, having a devastating effect on our intelligence community by providing critical intelligence to those who wish to do us harm.  Today, Schulte has been convicted for one of the most brazen and damaging acts of espionage in American history.

Ex-CIA Engineer Convicted In Massive Theft Of Secret Info

The Associated Press offers a report on the conviction of a former CIA engineer for the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history .

NEW YORK (AP) — A former CIA software engineer was convicted Wednesday of federal charges accusing him of the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history.

Joshua Schulte, who chose to defend himself at a New York City retrial, had told jurors in closing arguments that the CIA and FBI made him a scapegoat for an embarrassing public release of a trove of CIA secrets by WikiLeaks in 2017.

Schulte watched without visibly reacting as U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman announced the guilty verdict on nine counts, which was reached in mid-afternoon by a jury that had deliberated since Friday.

The so-called Vault 7 leak revealed how the CIA hacked Apple and Android smartphones in overseas spying operations, and efforts to turn internet-connected televisions into listening devices. Prior to his arrest, Schulte had helped create the hacking tools as a coder at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

A sentencing date was not immediately set because Schulte still awaits trial on charges of possessing and transporting child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty.

You can read the rest of the report via the below link:  

Ex-CIA engineer convicted in massive theft of secret info | AP News 

A Little Humor: Missing Philadelphia

A man who moved from Philadelphia to Florida saw a bumper sticker on a parked car that read, "I miss Philadelphia."

So the man broke the car's window, stole the radio, and left a note that read, "I hope this helps." 

Note: I recall an old advertisement that read, "Philadelphia is not as bad as Philadelphians say it is." 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

One True Sentence: A Look Back At Hemingway's First Novel, 'The Sun Also Rises'

The Sun Also Rises was the first Ernest Hemingway novel I read when I was a teenager.

I was much taken with the story, the characters, the language, and the atmosphere of the novel, which was set in post-WWI France and Pamplona, Spain, the location of the famous running of the bulls. 

I became a Hemingway aficionado, and I went on to read all of Hemingway’s novels. I also read his great short stories, which in my view, are even better than his novels. The Killers, 50 Grand, and The Battler are three classic Hemingway stories that remain my favorites. 

I’ve also read nearly everything written about Hemingway and I’ve reviewed books about Hemingway for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Times. 

So as a Hemingway aficionado, I was pleased to listen to John J. Miller’s The Great Books podcast at National Review, which featured a conversation about The Sun Also Rises with Mark Cirino, the author of One True Sentence: Writers & Readers On Hemingway’s Art.

You can listen to the interesting conversation via the below link:

The Great Books -- Episode 236: 'The Sun Also Rises' by Ernest Hemingway | National Review

You can also read some of my reviews of books on Hemingway via the below links: 

 Paul Davis On Crime: My Washington Times Review Of ‘Hemingway at War: Ernest Hemingway’s Adventures as a World War II Correspondent’       

Paul Davis On Crime: My Washington Times Review Of 'The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, The Hemingway Library Edition'

Paul Davis On Crime: Hemingway At Eighteen: The Pivotal Year That Launched An American Legend


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

2 killed In South Philadelphia shootout; 3 Being Questioned

WPVI Channel 6 News reports on the shooting in South Philly.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Two men are dead and three persons of interest are in custody after an apparent shootout in South Philadelphia early Tuesday morning, according to police.

"We believe it's definitely some sort of shootout because we found 35 spent shell casings from semi-automatic weapons," Philadelphia Poice Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Investigators said the shooting happened shortly after 3:15 a.m. near the area where South 8th Street intersects Wolf Street and West Moyamensing Avenue. 

You can read the rest of the piece and watch a video via the below link:

2 killed in South Philadelphia shootout on South 8th Street; 3 being questioned - 6abc Philadelphia 

Friday, July 8, 2022

FBI Director's Remarks To Business Leaders In London

The FBI Director addressed business leaders in London about the common threats the US and the UK face, such as the threat from Communist China.

It’s an honor to be here this week, talking about common threats our nations face, and the superb cooperation between our two agencies

The FBI has no closer partner than MI5. We work together on almost every mission our agencies confront—from countering terrorism to cybertheft and transnational repression to espionage.

Now, you’ll notice that there’s a common thread running through all the challenges we tackle together, which is that they’re all hard.

Our world is certainly filled with enduring, difficult challenges. Not least, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and their ruthless killing of civilians and destruction of homes and infrastructure.

As laser-focused as both our agencies are on the Russia threat, though, I want to talk today about another complex, enduring, and pervasive danger to the kinds of innovative businesses we have here in the audience.

We consistently see that it’s the Chinese government that poses the biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security, and by “our,” I mean both of our nations, along with our allies in Europe and elsewhere.

And I want to be clear that it’s the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party that pose the threat we’re focused on countering. Not the Chinese people, and certainly not Chinese immigrants in our countries—who are themselves frequently victims of the Chinese government’s lawless aggression.

You can read the rest of the speech via the below link:


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Hey, Philly Mayor Jim Kenney, The Feeling’s Mutual: The Crime-Riddled City Wants You Out

Tom Hogan, a former prosecutor, offers a piece in the New York Post on Philadelphia Mayor Jim Keeney’s comments following the shooting of two Police officers at the Fouth of July celebration on the Ben Franklin Parkway. 

On the Fourth of July, along the Ben Franklin Parkway in the middle of Philadelphia during the Welcome America festivities, some criminal used the cover of fireworks to shoot two police officers. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney had two responses. First, he blamed the United States Constitution for the shooting. Then he announced to the world he’s tired of being Philadelphia mayor and can’t wait to be out of office.

Philadelphians can sense when a public figure wilts under pressure, so expect the well-earned booing to start now and last until they “throw the bum out” next year.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Hey, Philly mayor Jim Kenney, the feeling's mutual: The city wants you out (nypost.com) 

Operation North Star: U.S. Marshals National Violence Reduction Operation Captures More Than 1,500 Fugitives:

 The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

The U.S. Marshals Service has concluded a high-impact fugitive apprehension initiative aimed at combating violent crime in 10 cities with a significant number of homicides and shootings.

This 30-day initiative, called Operation North Star (ONS), resulted in the arrest of 1,501 fugitives, violent criminals, sex offenders, and self-identified gang members in Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Operation North Star focused on fugitives wanted for the most serious, violent, and harmful offenses, including homicide, sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated assault. Operation North Star investigators prioritized their efforts to include individuals using firearms in their crimes, or who exhibited risk factors associated with violence.

“The Justice Department is committed to doing everything we can to protect our communities from violent crime and end the plague of gun violence,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Operation North Star reflects the approach we are taking across the Department to work in partnership with law enforcement agencies and communities to identify and hold accountable those responsible for the greatest violence. I am grateful to the U.S. Marshals Service and the many federal, state, and local task force partners who carried out this operation, and who continue to work to keep the American people safe each and every day.”

Throughout the month of June, the U.S. Marshals Service used its broad arrest authority and network of task forces to arrest individuals wanted on charges, including 230 for homicide; and 131 for sexual assault. In addition, investigators seized 166 firearms, more than $53,600 in currency, and more than 33 kilograms of illegal narcotics.

“The Marshals remain committed to assisting state and local law enforcement with reducing violent crime in our most vulnerable communities,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald Davis. “Operation North Star was focused on areas where local law enforcement has seen a large number of homicides and shootings. By partnering with our local and state partners, we are able to hone in on the most dangerous criminals who cause the most harm. I am very proud to lead an agency that is always willing and ready to do the work necessary to quell the violence affecting so many of our cities.”  

Notable arrests resulting from Operation North Star:

  • On June 4, Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force (GLRFTF) members arrested Jose Galiano-Meza, 28, who was wanted out of Douglas County, Kansas, for homicide. Galiano-Meza was the suspect in a hit-and-run that resulted in the death of a 10-year-old girl from Eudora, Kansas. A collateral lead was sent by the District of Kansas to the GLRFTF in Indianapolis where Galiano-Meza was located and arrested.
  • On June 6, members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Violent Crime Fugitive Task Force (EPVCFTF) arrested Rashaan Vereen, 34, for attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and firearms charges. Vereen was one of the suspects in a mass shooting incident on June 4 on South Street in Philadelphia in which three people were killed and 11 injured. Also arrested in connection with the shooting were Quran Garner, 18, and a 15-year-old suspect.
  • On June 8, members of the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force (NY/NJRFTF) arrested Dionte Mitchell, 22, on two counts of homicide and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Mitchell allegedly shot and killed two female victims after a dispute at a party.
  • On June 9, members of the NY/NJRFTF arrested Jaden Baskerville, 21. He was wanted in New York for attempted homicide in connection with a drive-by shooting that resulted in the injury of a seven-year-old girl. Task Force members located Baskerville at a residence in Brooklyn and arrested him without incident.
  • On June 14, GLRFTF members arrested Prince Cunningham, 49, for homicide. Cunningham was wanted by the Aurora (Illinois) Police Department on two counts of first-degree murder on a cold case homicide from May 9, 2003. After conducting countless hours of surveillance at multiple locations, investigators spotted Cunningham getting into the driver’s seat of a pickup truck. They broke surveillance, approached Cunningham and safely arrested him.
  • On June 16, Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force (CARFTF) members arrested Robert Bakersville, 28, for homicide. At the residence where Bakersville was arrested, a search warrant was conducted and ammunition and parts consistent with building a “ghost gun” were seized.

The concept behind interagency law enforcement operations such as Operation North Star evolved largely from regional and district task forces. Since the 1980s, the Marshals Service has combined their resources and expertise with local, state, and federal agencies to find and apprehend dangerous fugitives. Operation North Star continued this tradition.

For more information about Operation North Star visit www.usmarshals.gov.

 


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Philadelphia Cop Shot In Head Found Bullet Lodged In His Hat

Foxnews.com offers a report on the cops shot in Philly.

One of the police officers who was shot Monday night near a Fourth of July gathering in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania found the bullet still lodged in his hat.

 

Two law enforcement officers, a 36-year-old Philadelphia Police Highway Patrol officer and a 44-year-old member of the Montgomery County Bomb Unit, were injured in the shooting that happened shortly before 10 p.m. near the Parkway Welcome America Festival.

Photos of the hat worn by the highway patrol officer show a bloodied photo inside the cap with a bullet lodged in its side. The photo is a memorial card for a Philadelphia police chaplain who recently died.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Philadelphia cop shot in head found bullet lodged in his hat; both officers released from hospital | Fox News 

Monday, July 4, 2022

Revisiting The Wisdom Of President Ronald Reagan On The 4th Of July

In her Washington Times column, Jennifer Harper, wrote about a poll that noted a bipartisan national dissatisfaction. She suggested that it is time to revisit the wisdom of President Ronald Reagan.   

 “Here’s what the 40th president said in a speech delivered from the deck of an aircraft carrier in New York Harbor, on July 4, 1986: “The things that unite us — America’s past of which we’re so proud, our hopes and aspirations for the future of the world and this much-loved country — these things far outweigh what little divides us,” Reagan told the nation.

 “And so tonight we reaffirm that Jew and gentile, we are one nation under God; that Black and White, we are one nation indivisible; that Republican and Democrat, we are all Americans. Tonight, with heart and hand, through whatever trial and travail, we pledge ourselves to each other and to the cause of human freedom, the cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world,” the president said.

 “My fellow Americans, we’re known around the world as a confident and a happy people. Tonight there’s much to celebrate and many blessings to be grateful for. So while it’s good to talk about serious things, it’s just as important and just as American to have some fun. Now, let’s have some fun — let the celebration begin,” Reagan advised. 

The History Of The Fourth Of July

Military.com offers a primer on the history of July 4th.

On July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies claimed their independence from Great Britain, an event that eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, U.S. citizens celebrate this historic event.

Which country did we declare our independence from?

The colonies, the populations of which were considered subjects of the King of England, declared their independence "from Britain's Parliament as well as King George III himself," according to History.com.

What led the colonists to seek independence?

The colonists were a melting pot of not only English, Irish and Scottish but also people from elsewhere in Europe and beyond. In many colonial communities, people spoke their native languages, adhered to the customs of their countries of origin, and practiced their own faiths (although ​​Catholicism was frowned upon if not illegal in the colonies).

But the different groups had one thing in common: "They all had to swear loyalty to the King of England and submit to the law as a British subject," the American Revolution Podcast notes.

Over time, more and more of the colonists began to resent being under the thumb of Great Britain. This tension turned to outrage when the British Parliament imposed the Stamp Act in 1765, putting a tax directly onto the colonists for the first time. 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

The History of the Fourth of July | Military.com