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There’s been quite a bit of recent discussion among writers about which agencies investigate crimes that occur on tribal lands. Therefore, I thought you might be interested in seeing a few of the May, 2021 indictments handed down by a federal grand jury.

This is one list, from one district, in one U.S. state—the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The list names the defendants and offers a brief description of the crime(s) for which they’re charged. In addition, contained within the descriptions are the investigating agencies. You’ll see that in most of the Indian Country cases, the investigations are conducted by multiple agencies, such as the FBI, ATF, DEA, local police and sheriff’s offices.

*To learn more about the relationships between agencies and how they interact, please read the brief section below the list of indictments.


Federal Grand Jury B Indictments Announced by Acting United States Attorney Clint Johnson

The following individuals have been charged with violations of United States law in indictments returned by the Grand Jury. The return of an indictment is a method of informing a defendant of alleged violations of federal law, which must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome a defendant’s presumption of innocence.

Bryce Martin Agnew. Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country. (21-CR-224)Agnew, 77, of Bartlesville, is charged with knowingly engaging in a sexual act with a minor under the age of 12, on July 9, 2009. The FBI and Bartlesville Police Department are the investigative agencies.

David Abel Alvarado. Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country. (21-CR-232)  Alvarado, 19, of Tulsa, is charged with assaulting a victim on April 26, 2021, by stabbing the victim in the chest. The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Lucas Wayne Armentor. Assault of an Intimate/Dating Partner by Strangling and Suffocating in Indian Country (Count 1); Assault by Striking, Beating, and Wounding (Misdemeanor) (Counts 2 and 4); and Kidnapping in Indian Country (Count 3). (21-CR-218) Armentor, 37, of Skiatook, is charged with strangling and suffocating an intimate partner on March 27, 2021. He is further charged with striking, beating and wounding the female victim on March 27, 2021, and April 30, 2021. Finally, he is charged with kidnapping the victim on April 30, 2021. The FBI and Skiatook Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Denim Lee Blount; Hunter Lee Hobbs. Conspiracy to Carry, Use, Brandish, and Discharge a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence;Attempted Carjacking; Carrying, Using Brandishing, and Discharging a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence. (21-CR-233) On May 8, 2021, at 10:29 pm, two men later identified as Hobbs and Blount approached a man who was attempting to hook up his vehicle and trailer. The victim stated that one of the defendants pointed a shotgun at him and the other pointed a rifle at him. According to court documents, the two ordered the victim to get out of his vehicle, and when the victim refused, both men allegedly shot him. The two then fled west in a dark colored SUV, leaving the victim and his vehicle behind. The victim was transported to St. Francis Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The FBI, Tulsa Police Department, and U.S. Marshals Service are the investigative agencies.

Eric Tyrone Bradford. First Degree Murder in Indian Country; Causing Death by Using and Discharging a Firearm During and in Relation to Crimes of Violence. (21-CR-234) Bradford, 44, is charged with shooting and killing Daniel Watashe on April 30, 2016. He is further charged with using and  discharging a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence- First Degree Murder and Second Degree Murder in Indian country. The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Travas Ramon Estrada. Assault of an Intimate/Dating Partner by Strangling and Suffocating in Indian Country; Assault Resulting in Substantial Bodily Injury to an Intimate/Dating Partner in Indian Country; Kidnapping in Indian Country. (21-CR-219) Estrada, 44, of Tulsa, is charged with strangling and suffocating his intimate partner on April 24, 2020. He is also charged with assaulting the woman repeatedly by striking her in the head and throwing her against the wall, which resulted in substantial bodily injury. Finally, the defendant is charged with kidnapping the victim between April 24, 2020, and April 29, 2020. The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Jock O’Dell Gray. Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country. (21-CR-235) Gray, 41, of Jay, is charged with assaulting a female victim with a machete on April 21, 2021. The FBI and Delaware County Sheriff’s Office are the investigative agencies.

Lee Owen Hallford. Assault With a Dangerous Weapon, with Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country; Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. (superseding, 21-CR-23)Hallford, 39, of Tulsa, is charged with assaulting a male with a knife on Jan. 27, 2021. He is further charged with failing to register as a sex offender. The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Weston James Hill; Rayna Shianne Parkerson. Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute; Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute. (21-CR-236) Hill, 29, of Broken Arrow, and Parkerson, 23, of Coweta, are charged with knowingly possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a methamphetamine. The two are further charged with knowingly possessing with intent to distribute heroin. The Drug Enforcement Administration and Broken Arrow Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Arnold Dean Howell Jr.; Katherine Elaine Freeman. First Degree Murder in Indian Country. (superseding) (21-CR-121) Howell, 30, and Freeman, 33, are charged with aiding and abetting one another when killing Michael Mondier by stabbing him to death during the perpetration of a robbery on April 13, 2015. The FBI, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Creek County Sheriff’s Office, and Sapulpa Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Jeffrey Arch Jones.Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child in Indian Country (counts 1 and 3); Abusive Sexual Contact of a Child in Indian Country (count 2). (superseding) (21-CR-23)Jones, 31, allegedly engaged in sex acts with a minor under 12 years of age from Sept. 29, 2015 to Sept 28, 2016. He is also charged with abusive sexual contact of a second child under the age of 12 from Oct. 9, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2016. Finally, he is charged with engaging in sex acts with the second child from Oct. 9, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2016. The Broken Arrow Police Department and FBI are the investigative agencies.

Thomas Anthony Pearce. Coercion or Enticement of a Minor; Production of Child Pornography in Indian Country; Possession of Child Pornography in Indian Country; Distribution of Marijuana. (21-CR-237) According to court documents, Pearce, 53, of Glenpool, coerced a minor to engage in sexual activity from Feb. 3-Feb 8, 2021. During the same time, Pearce also coerced the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing images. Pearce is also charged with possessing and knowingly accessing child pornography. Finally, Pearce is charged with distributing marijuana to the minor. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Jenks Police Department conducted the investigation.

Robert Ray Sheets. Accessory After the Fact to First Degree Murder in Indian Country. (21-CR-240) Sheets, 42, of Owasso, is charged with assisting Tommy Alexander Jones and Wesley Johnston in order to hinder and prevent the offenders’ apprehension after they allegedly committed first degree murder. The crime occurred in October 2018. The FBI, Tulsa Police Department and Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office are the investigative agencies.

Gerald Smith. First Degree Burglary in Indian Country (count 1); Kidnapping in Indian Country (counts 2 and 3); Assault Resulting in Substantial Bodily Injury to an Intimate/Dating Partner in Indian Country (count 4); Robbery in Indian Country (count 5). (21-CR-225) On May 4, 2021, Smith, 27, of Tulsa, is alleged to have forcibly opened a locked sliding door at a former girlfriend’s apartment and entered without permission. He then threatened the victim and told her she needed to get him a hotel room. Due to previous violent acts, the victim went with the defendant, taking her young child with her. Once at the hotel, the woman attempted to escape with her child but was unable.  Smith then beat the woman, striking her in the head repeatedly which resulted in substantial bodily injury. Then the defendant allegedly drove off in the victim’s vehicle. The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Louden Dewayne Swaim. Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition. (21-CR-238) Swaim, 35, of Bluejacket, is charged with being a felon in possession of a GForce Arms 12-gauge shotgun; Smith & Wesson .223 rifle; and 116 rounds of ammunition. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Craig County Sheriff’s Office are the investigative agencies.

Aleta Necole Thomas. False Statement to a Financial Institution (counts 1-5). (21-CR-239) Thomas, 42, of Tulsa, is charged with lying to five different banks for the purpose of securing multiple loans as part of the Paycheck Protection Program, which is administered by the Small Business Administration. Some of the false businesses Thomas allegedly used to apply for the loans were Lead Us Kids Home Daycare, Coming Correction Community Ministries, Coming Correct Community Ministries II, and Lead Us Kids Daycare II. The Office of Inspector General Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; U.S. Department of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General; are the investigative agencies.

Clinton Kyle Veley. Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition; Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country. (21-CR-220)Veley, 39, of Nowata, is charged with being a felon in possession of a Rock Island Armory M5 12-gauge pump action shotgun and ammunition. He is further charged with assaulting a man on Oct. 14, 2020, by using the shotgun to strike the victim in the face, causing severe lacerations. The FBI, Nowata Police Department and Cherokee Nation Marshal Service conducted the investigation.

Kevin White. First Degree Murder in Indian Country. (21-CR-222)White,62, is charged with the first degree murder of Donald Iwanski by repeatedly beating him with a metal pipe on Feb. 4, 1995. The FBI is the investigative agency.

Edgar Gene Willhite. Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in Indian Country. (21-CR-226) Willhite, 57, of Tulsa, is charged with assaulting a man by punching him, causing the victim to fall. The assault resulted in substantial bodily injury. The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Steven Dale Worcester. Conveying False and Misleading Information Concerning an Explosive Device. (21-CR-221) Worcesteris charged with conveying false and misleading information about an explosive when he made statements to a city of Tulsa bus driver that “you better get off now and call somebody because I have a bomb.” The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies.


 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is comprised of nine districts.

  • District I is located in Aberdeen, SD and covers ND, SD and NE;
  • District II is located in Muskogee, OK and covers KS, OK, and TX;
  • District III is located Phoenix, AZ and covers AZ, NV, and UT;
  • District IV is located in Albuquerque, NM and covers CO and NM;
  • District V is located in Billings, MT and covers MT and WY;
  • District VI is located in Nashville, TN and covers the entire Eastern Region;
  • District VII is located in Bloomington, MN and covers MN, IA, IL, MI, and WI;
  • District VIII is located in Vancouver, WA and covers ID, OR, WA, and AK; and
  • District IX is located in Sacramento, CA and covers the state of California.

Now that Oklahoma, in District II,  now has over five dozen Indian Casinos situated within Indian Country, there’s been a significant rise in serious crimes, such as embezzlement, money laundering and illegal drug distribution. To assist District II tribal law enforcement Special Agents with investigations, they’ve implemented over one hundred Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s) for cross-deputations involving county, municipal and tribal law enforcement jurisdictions.

District II does not have detention facilities or staff; therefore, they’ve contracted with county jails to house their prisoners.

*Source and images – BIA, USDOI, Department of Justice 


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Did you know …

The FBI maintains an Anonymous Letter File. The file is searchable and contains images of anonymous and threatening letters. Letters may be examined and compared to those from other cases. Original documents are preserved in the manner in which they were received. They may not be folded, stamped, written on, handled excessively, or altered in any way. Avoiding these problematic issues preserves unseen evidence, such as indented writing.

Bank Robbery Notes – Like the Anonymous Letter File, the FBI also maintains a searchable file containing images of notes used in bank robberies (“Gimmie all your money,” signed I.M. Wearingamask). Notes may be compared to others used in other robberies. Original notes are preserved in the condition in which they are received. They, too, are checked for unseen evidence.

Bullet Examinations

The FBI’s Forensic Services is available to examine fired bullets. Measurements collected are—bullet weight, specific design, caliber, direction and characteristics of the grooves (rifling) carved into the bullet by the lands and grooves formed into the barrels of rifles and handguns.

Lands are the raised portions between the grooves inside the barrel. They’re formed after the spiral grooves are cut to produce the rifling.

Bullets collected as evidence must be packaged separately to prevent contacting other bullets and/or other objects. Bullets are generally soft and easily marred by contact.

Spy Stuff!


Coded messages are sometimes used by criminals such as terrorists, gang members, and even prison inmates. They devise the secret codes to relay messages they want to conceal from authorities and rivals/enemies.

Cryptanalysis

Knowing the content of these hush-hush communications is key to solving crimes and sometimes protecting life. Therefore, the FBI employs a team of Code Breakers whose job is to decipher the encrypted notes. They often find directives of murder, prison escape, confessions to crimes, drug activity, and more.

Collecting DNA Evidence – Bone, Tissue, Teeth

The FBI is quite specific about the evidence samples needed to complete proper testing/examination. The requirements for bone, teeth, and tissue are as follows:

  • Submit whole bones, if possible. Cutting increases the risk of contamination
  • Pick up bone and teeth using a clean gloved hand or some type of forceps
  • Teeth are to be collected in order of preference for testing
  1. molar (no dental work)
  2. premolar (no dental work)
  3. canine (no dental work)
  4. front tooth (no dental work)
  5. molar (restored)
  6. premolar (restored)
  7. canine (restored)
  8. front tooth (restored)

Tissue

Handle/pick up tissue with clean gloved hand or forceps. The ideal sample would be 1-2 cubic inches of red skeletal muscle, placed into a clean, airtight container. NO Formalin! Samples may be frozen, placed in Styrofoam containers along with dry ice and shipped overnight to the FBI lab.

This One’s For the Birds!

FBI experts are on hand to examine bird feathers. No, you didn’t imagine this. It’s very real. FBI scientists can determine species from feathers or bits of feather found on clothing, shoes, vehicles, etc. Then they compare those finds with feathers discovered at a crime scene. A positive match could place a suspect at the scene of a crime.

Feathers (evidence) are packaged in either paper or resealable plastic bags.


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Many local and state law enforcement have the luxury of maintaining laboratories for forensic testing. Within those labs scientists of various expertise carry out the examinations of a wide assortment of evidence recovered during criminal investigations.

Sometimes, though, even the best equipped labs fall short of having the ability to test certain materials. Therefore, scientists in those labs call on experts in other locations whose labs have the proper devices (and scientific know how) to carry out the needed tests.

Many times the go-to facility is the Forensics Services of the FBI Laboratory Division in Quantico, Va., one of the largest and most extensive crime labs in the world.

The Forensics Services of the FBI Laboratory Division is responsible for:

  • Biometric analysis services—Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), DNA examinations and profiles, and latent print examinations and training.
  • Crime scene documentation; evidence and hazardous evidence response; investigative/forensic photography and imaging support; scientific, technical, and forensic support for investigations involving chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials; and expertise in health and safety matters.
  • Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), the single interagency organization to receive, fully analyze, and exploit all terrorist improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, of interest to the United States.
  • Chemical and metallurgical analyses and training, expertise in cryptanalysis and firearms/toolmarks, and examinations of trace evidence and questioned documents.

Forensics Services of the FBI Laboratory Division are available to:

  • FBI field offices and attachés.
  • Federal agencies, U.S. attorneys, and military tribunals (for civil and criminal purposes).
  • State, county, and local law enforcement (criminal matters).

*Forensic services and testimony of expert witnesses are provided to the above free of charge.

Cases Not Accepted or Conducted by the Forensics Services of the FBI Laboratory Division:

  • When local and state, or other non FBI laboratories have the capabilities to conduct the requested testing/examination.
  • No expert testimony will be provided when another expert is scheduled to testify for the prosecution on the same subject.
  • Forensic services and testimony of expert witnesses is not available to private agencies or individuals, nor are requests accepted from non-law enforcement agencies in civil matters/cases.
  • Arson and explosive cases involving unoccupied buildings and property are not accepted by FBI Forensic Services (unless terrorism is suspected).
  • Vandalism and malicious mischief toward personal and commercial property.
  • Headlight examinations in cases of nonfatal traffic crashes, unless the vehicle involved is that of law enforcement or government officials.
  • Nonfatal hit and run auto accidents.
  • Vehicle theft, unless the case involves a theft ring or carjacking.
  • All breaking and entering cases.
  • Theft and fraud cases under $100,000

What the FBI investigates:

  • Public corruption
  • Civil rights
  • Organized crime
  • White collar crime
  • Violent crime such as mass killings, sniper murders, serial killings, gangs, crimes against children, Indian Country crimes, jewelry and gem theft, assisting state and local agencies in investigating bank robberies
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Details are Important

It’s important for writers hoping to offer a bit of realism in their stories to at least know the basics of criminal investigations, including “who does what?” For example, absent in the list cases investigated by the FBI is MURDER. No, typically the FBI does NOT investigate local murder cases, nor do they ride into town on white horses to take over bank robbery or abduction cases. Instead, they’re available to assist local and state agencies. However, if a local department is not equipped to handle a bank robbery, for example, the FBI will indeed take the lead upon request.

In a case of child abductions there does not have to be a ransom demand nor does the child have to cross state lines or be missing for 24 hours before the FBI will become involved. When the FBI is alerted that a child has been abducted they’ll immediately spring into action and open an investigation. They will do so in partnership with state and local authorities.

Sure, I and officers/investigators across the country have investigated numerous abduction cases where the FBI was not involved. But there are times when it’s best to call on every available resource, and there’s no one better equipped or trained than the FBI. After all, the priority is the safe return of the child.

So there you have it, writers—details to help add an extra level of zing to your next twisted tale.

*Resource – FBI and, of course, my personal knowledge and experience.

 

Here are answers to a few of the most often asked questions I receive regarding police and the work they do.

1. How do I become a local FBI homicide investigator?

Easy answer to this one. You can’t. The FBI doesn’t work local homicide cases; therefore, this three-letter federal agency does not employ homicide investigators for the cases in your hometowns. That’s the job of city, county, and state police.

2. How long does it take to become a detective?

Hmm … As “long as it takes” is a good response to this particular question. There is no set standard. It’s all about who’s the best person for the job. One person may be ready with as little as two years experience, while another may not be ready for a plainclothes assignment in, well, they may never be ready. The job of detective isn’t for everyone. Some officers prefer to work in patrol, or traffic, in the schools, or in the division that inspects taxi cabs and buses to be sure they’re in compliance with local law and standards.

3. Why didn’t you read that guy his rights before you handcuffed him? Aren’t you required to do so by law? Don’t you have to let him go now that someone knows you broke the law by not reading him his rights?

Miranda, first of all, is only required when (a) someone is in custody, and (b) prior to questioning. Therefore, if I don’t plan to ask any questions, and that’s often the case, I don’t have to spout off the “You have the right to remain silent” speech. So, no, not advising someone of Miranda is not a get out of jail free card.

4. Why do cops wear sunglasses?

Umm … because they’re constantly exposed to bright sunshine and the glasses help reduce glare and eyestrain.

5. I got a ticket for not wearing my seat belt, yet the USPS letter carrier in my neighborhood doesn’t wear his. How can they get away with breaking the law?

Most areas have laws that specifically address delivery drivers and similar professions—letter carriers, delivery services, police officers, firefighters, etc., whose jobs require them to be in and out of their vehicles throughout the business day. And, those laws typically excuses the driver(s) from mandatory seat belt laws while performing their jobs. However, many of these businesses and agencies require their drivers to wear safety belts when operating a vehicle.

6. Why are there so many sheriffs in my county?

I’ll start by saying there is only one sheriff per county. The rest of the folks you see wearing the uniform and star are deputies. A sheriff, the boss of the entire department, is elected by the people. He/she then appoints deputies to assist with the duties of the office—running the jail, courtroom security, serving papers, patrol, and criminal investigations, etc.

7. No, it’s not racial profiling to stop a purple man wearing a blue shirt and orange pants in a location near a bank that was just robbed by a purple man wearing a blue shirt and orange pants. That’s called good police work.

8. No, you do not have the right to see the radar unit, my gun, or what I’m writing in my notebook.

9. No, turning on your hazard lights does not give you the right to park in the fire lane in front of the grocery store.

10. Yes, I am concerned about your ability to fight well. Please understand, though, that this is what I do for a living, and they didn’t teach me to lose. Besides, I have a lot of loyal coworkers who’re on the way, right now, to see to it that the good guys win. So, Junior, Jr., you’re coming with me, one way or another.

11. You keep saying you know your rights … but you really don’t. Can you hear what you’re telling me?

12. Yes, no matter how much you hate me, my badge, and my uniform, I’ll still come running when/if you call, even if you punched me in the face the last time I saved your butt from the trouble you were in.


Today’s Mystery Shopper’s Corner

Since the holiday season is nearly here, I’ve decided to feature a few fun items for your mystery shopping needs and wants. I’ll post these regularly throughout the remaining weeks of 2018.

So, for day three of MSC, especially for those of you who’re shopping for writer friends who enjoy a bit of research and/or relaxation, here are my picks.

First up, 400 Things Cops Know
 


Show your support for the men and women in blue.


Dazzle your friends with gun cylinder pen and pencil holder/paper weight.


Finally, I thought I’d wrap up with a couple of books by Michael Connelly. Highly recommended reading material because he really does his cop homework. The story and characters ring true, and Bosch is a detective with whom I strongly relate.

Those of you who met Michael at the Writers’ Police Academy already know what nice and humble guy he is and those traits shine through in his style of writing. Bosch … not so humble, though.

Right to left – Michael Connelly, Denene, and me ~ Writers’ Police Academy.

 
Michael’s latest …

 
Finally, one of my favorites …
 

School shootings are rarely sudden and spontaneous acts. While the time between the attack and the onset of the plan may be short, there is usually a period of planning that could afford law enforcement time to act and prevent the incident. However, it is important to note that officials must often rely on tips and information from the public and it is those tips that must be pursued.

Prior to most incidents of violence, including school shootings, other people knew about the attacker’s plan. Typically, though, this information is known to other school kids or even siblings. But rarely are adults notified.

The targets/victims of these attacks are seldom given warning or notice. Instead, other indicators are often present that should alert school officials to potential trouble brewing (bragging about owning guns, etc.). When officials are made aware of potential threats they should investigate immediately. To the troubled student, a failure to act may seem like an open invitation to carry out an attack.

The use of profiling is, well, practically useless when it comes to identifying school shooters. This is so because most kids who “fit” the profile would never engage in such activity. Therefore, instead of profiling as agencies often do in the case of serial killers, etc., officials should focus on the individual’s behavior and their communications via social media and through spoken word.

Prior to an attack, most school shooters engaged in behavior that caused others concern or presented signs that the student was in dire need of some type of help. An intervention is required; however, it is important that officials not disgrace or embarrass the student/suspect.

Severe personal loss (death of a loved one, for example) or personal failure are often factors in the motives of school shooters. Some have even attempted suicide.

Many shooters felt bullied prior to the assault … their motive for pulling the trigger.

Most school shooters had easy access to weapons prior to the incident and many practiced shooting, regularly. Parents absolutely must monitor the storage and use of ALL firearms in the home. This is in addition to monitoring a child’s online activity and activities with friends in and outside of school.

Other students are sometimes involved in some capacity. For example, they’ve heard their classmate talking about their goal(s).

Despite the best intentions and absolute quickest response time of patrol officers, most school shootings are stopped by someone other than law enforcement. In fact, most shootings were so brief they were over before police arrived.

Obviously, reactive policing (investigating after the fact) is not the answer to this problem. A proactive approach is needed and that could include a bit of old fashioned information gathering (student behavior and communications).

Law enforcement has no means of knowing which students/kids have the propensity to carry out such a horrific act. Therefore, it is up to school officials to make the initial assessment(s).

In addition, that information should be shared with law enforcement, and together the police and school officials could evaluate the facts and zero-in on students who’re planning to attack.

To make this work, laws preventing the sharing of information with law enforcement may need modifying (in some states). And, school officials MUST be willing to work with law enforcement. Sadly, some school officials refuse to do so.

I know the knee-kjerk reaction is to confiscate all guns, but it’s not going to happen. Besides, that alone will not stop some from carrying out their murderous intentions.

By the way, the information above is from the paper:

THE FINAL REPORT AND FINDINGS OF THE SAFE SCHOOL INITIATIVE:

IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PREVENTION OF SCHOOL ATTACKS IN THE UNITED STATES

UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The paper was written, published, and made available to officials in 2004. Yes, 14 years ago, our government knew this problem existed and had plans and ideas in place to stop school shootings. The ball was dropped by many, many people who could’ve had a hand in  preventing shootings by picking up on the warning signals exhibited by potential killers.

Who knows, had officials (school and law enforcement) taken a moment to read the paper written by the Secret Service, parents in Florida this week might not be attending the funerals of their children.

So, what are your thoughts as to how to make schools safer? Armed officers in the hallways and patrolling the perimeter? Security fencing? An indoor Sally Port where anyone who enters the school must be buzzed into the waiting area where an officer could check to be sure all is okay before allowing them entry through the second door into the school. Armed teachers and cafeteria workers?

And, do you believe the FBI dropped the ball on the Florida school shooter? Had they investigated the leads would/could they have prevented the tragedy?

 

 

 

 

 

 


*Please, no cop-bashing, politics, politician-bashing, etc. Just simple, thoughtful responses.

So you’re well into your latest book and you have the coolest protagonist ever, an FBI agent who rides into town on a white horse to save the day by solving the latest murder. His first order of business … to take charge of, well, everything. First, he gives the local homicide detectives the boot. Next he tells the chief to stay out of his way because this is a job for the feds. Then he scouts the area for just the right person to fall in love with him before the case is solved. Now, it’s time to get down to business.

Of course, you’ve gone to great pains to get your details right by watching Matlock and Andy Griffith. You’ve tossed in a great crime scene, some fingerprinting, DNA evidence, bloodstain patterns, a car chase followed by a huge explosion, the agent saves the girl, he defies orders from his boss to wait for backup … and, here it comes, the big payoff … he shoots the gun out of one thug’s hand and karate-chops another on the back of the neck to render him unconscious, AND THEN the agent catches the best and baddest villain ever concocted by a writer.

Sound familiar?

Okay, this is the point where you should click on the video below. It is the soundtrack for the following text. So hit the play button and hang on!
 

 
Well, those super cool FBI details are all fine and Jim Dandy, with the exception of one minor detail … as a rule, FBI AGENTS DON’T WORK MURDER CASES!! And, they don’t come into town and take over any local cases. And they don’t have to be called in on kidnapping cases. The fact that they can work a case involving children doesn’t mean they work ALL of them. Each state has its own kidnapping/abduction laws. Local detectives work kidnapping cases all the time.

Besides, someone would have to call the FBI before they’d even have a clue that a child has been abducted. Every single town in the good old USA doesn’t have an FBI field office situated next to the corner Piggly Wiggly. Sometimes agents are hours away from a town. In fact, they’ve probably never set foot in many of your towns. Nope, they probably don’t know that Dinglebopadoodle, Rhode Island even exists.

FBI Agents Don’t Ride White Horses

Okay, I know this one will be difficult to grasp, but here goes … FBI agents do not have a crystal ball that sounds off every time a child is abducted or a murder is committed. I know, what a shock. So take a moment to settle down and catch your breath before reading more of this crazy new information.

What? You want to know what cases the FBI does work?

Hmm … I’m not sure if you’ll be able to handle the truth. After all, you see all of the above in so many books.

I know, it’s hard to take in all at once.

Yes, I’m sure you’re frightened, but you’ll be fine.

What’s that you say? Your literary agent said that IS what FBI agents do.

Wait a minute. Let me fini—

Wait—

Please don’t cry.

I know she told you about the white horse—

Yes, and the explosio—

Ah, so that’s where you guys are getting the cordite information ….

Well, I’m sure your literary agent and/or editor has a long history in law enforcement (big eye roll here).

Anyway, see for yourself. These are the cases the FBI works. No, I didn’t make this up. It’s straight from their website. For more details about the overall crimes be sure to click the titles of each section below.
 

Cases Worked By The FBI

 

Terrorism

Protecting the United States from terrorist attacks is the FBI’s number one priority. The Bureau employs a variety of…

Public Corruption

Public corruption, the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority, poses a fundamental threat to our national security and…

Civil Rights

Since its earliest days, the FBI has helped protect the civil rights of the American people. A dozen…

Organized Crime

The FBI is dedicated to eliminating transnational organized crime groups that pose the greatest threat to the national…

White-Collar Crime

The FBI’s white-collar crime work integrates the analysis of intelligence with its investigations of criminal activities such…

Violent Crime

Even with its post-9/11 national security responsibilities, the FBI continues to play a key role in combating…

WMD

The FBI created the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate in 2006 to support a cohesive and coordinated approach to…

 

Jerome, a professional thief and drug addict who was no stranger to judges, cops, and attorneys, sat on a well-worn wooden bench outside a courtroom door. His attire for the day … an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs and ankle chains and white rubber shower shoes. The tile beneath his feet was scratched and dented and dull.

If those walls could talk

The wall behind Jerome was painted a mint green color and had a row of individual greasy head-shaped stains above each of the benches lining the hallway, stains left behind by the men and women who’d committed crimes ranging from petty theft to killing and butchering other humans.

Jerome was nervous and scared. He was also once a dear friend of mine.

Our bond began when we were teammates on our school football squad. We were the meanest and nastiest linebackers around and together we were practically unbeatable. In fact, it wasn’t unusual at all for an opposing team to go scoreless against us, and part of that success was due to Jerome’s and my (mostly Jerome) hard hits at the middle of the line, along with our regular sackings of quarterbacks.

Back in the day, Jerome was big and muscular and could run as fast as a frightened deer. He also carried a high GPA. The guy was smart, witty, and popular. He didn’t smoke, nor did he drink alcohol, and he was quite outspoken when it came to condemning drug use. He had hopes of getting out of the projects and attending the University of North Carolina, and possibly a career in the NFL. Drugs and alcohol were not a part of that picture.

In those days, our football days, my friend was a bit vain, though. He spent a lot of time grooming in front of mirrors, storefront windows, or any other reflective surface capable of returning his image.

He carried an Afro pick in his back pocket and frequently pulled it out to work on his hair, and he was forever mopping and rubbing and slopping gobs of lotion on his arms and face until his molasses-colored skin shone like new money. His perfectly-aligned teeth gleamed like the white keys on a showroom Steinway. And, for a big, beefy and manly guy, he smelled a bit like lavender garnished with a hint of coconut.

There in the courthouse, though, Jerome appeared weak and sickly. He was rail thin and his complexion was muddy. The whites of his once bright eyes were the color of rotting lemons; their rims, and the edges of his nostrils, were damp, just on the edge of leaking trails of tears and mucus.

His hands shook, and his teeth, the remaining ones, were spattered with black pits of rot and decay. His breath smelled like a week-old animal carcass. His fingernails were bitten to the quick and his hair was dry, uncombed, had bits of lint and jail-blanket fuzz scattered throughout, and it was flat on one side like he’d been asleep for days without changing positions. He smelled like the combination of old sweat and the bottom of a dirty, wet ashtray.

THE HIGH

  • A private joy.
  • A warmth that filled my body like no other.
  • Sheer pleasure.

With a few minutes to kill before my first case was called, I took a seat beside Jerome, with my gun side away from him, of course. I asked him why he continued to use a drug that was ruining his life and could eventually kill him. His lips split into a faint grin and then he said, “Imagine the most intense orgasm you’ve ever had, then multiply it a thousand times. That’s how it feels just as the stuff starts winding it’s way through your system. Then it really starts to get good. So yeah, that’s why I do it.”

Heroin (r) south east asian (L) south west asian

He clasped his hands over his belly, stretched his gangly legs out in front of him, and he started talking, telling me about the first time he got high and about the last time he used, and he spoke about everything between. He told me about about the things he stole to support his habit and he told me about breaking into his own grandmother’s house to take a few of her most prized possessions, things he traded to his dealer in exchange for drugs.

Prostitution for Drugs

Jerome told me he performed oral sex on men out at the rest area beside the highway. They, the many, many nameless truckers and travelers, had given him ten dollars each time he entered one of the stalls to do the deed. He described the urine smell and how disgusted he was with himself when he felt the knees of his pants grow wet from contacting whatever was on the tile floor at the time. But whatever it took to get the next high was what he’d do.

Once, a man asked him for anal sex. He was desperate, so he agreed. Jerome said he was to earn twenty-dollars for enduring that painful and humiliating experience, all the while knowing the people in nearby stalls could hear what was going on. He said he’d read the graffiti on the wall above the toilet as a means to take his mind off the obese man behind him. When it was over the man pulled up his pants and left Jerome in the stall, crying. The man didn’t pay.

Jerome told me that he wasn’t gay—despised having sex with men is what he said, but he did it for the high, even though he often vomited afterward when recalling what he’d done. But the drug was more important. It was THE most important thing in his life.

Heroin Fentanyl pills

$1,000 per day habit

My high-school buddy’s habit cost him a thousand-dollars each day, seven days a week, unless he wasn’t able to produce the funds. Then he’d grow sick with the sickest feeling on earth. The hurt was deep, way down to his very core. Even his bones hurt. He’d sweat and he’d vomit … and vomit and vomit and vomit until the pain in his gut felt like someone inside was using a hundred power drills and another hundred jackhammers to assault his brain and lungs and emotions. His heart would slam against his chest wall like a sledgehammer pounding railroad stakes into hard-packed Georgia clay.

Then he’d drop to his knees in another restroom, or steal another something that would help make it all go away until the next time. And he’d do it over and over and over again.

Hydrocodone

Jerome was lucky. He was caught by a deputy sheriff who was passing by a house and saw Jerome climbing out—feet first—from a bedroom window.

He was awaiting arraignment the day I saw him sitting on the bench outside the courtroom door. A dozen or so other jail inmates occupied the nearby seats.

Jerome asked if I would call his grandmother to tell her he said he was sorry for all he’d done, and that he was starting to feel better and was ready to seek help as soon as he was back on the outside. I told him I’d tell her. Actually, I went one step further and stopped by her house to tell her in person.

Now, I said Jerome was lucky, and I say this because going to jail prevented him from using the drug he grown to so desperately depend upon. His body ached for it, yes, but he beat the sickness and lived.

Unfortunately, many have died because of that same ache.


Federal Sentencing Table

How much prison time (for various crimes) could someone receive in federal court? Here’s the breakdown.

Click here.


Drugs Are the Root of All Evil

Police Procedure and Investigation

Drugs, Not Money, Are the Root of All Evil – Chapter 11 of Police Procedure and Investigation


Oregon to reduce felony drug crimes to misdemeanors

The state of Oregon recently passed a bill to reduce some drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors—possession of small, usable (typically not enough to sell) quantities of methadone, oxycodone, heroin, MDMA, cocaine, and methamphetamine. An offender is allowed two arrests before prosecutors may up the ante and charge the suspect with a felony. Officials say the law will help addicts, and that it will help reduce the number of minorities incarcerated in jails and prisons. They say the current laws unfairly target people of color.

The bold move is also a means, officials say, to help prevent offenders/users/addicts from falling into the lifelong situation of being unable to secure decent housing, good jobs, vote (in some areas), and even an education (student loans are denied because of some drug convictions).

For those people, there is absolutely no light at the end of a lifelong tunnel. No second chances, no matter what. Many grow weary of always living at the bottom rung of the ladder without a support system of any type, working menial jobs, if they can get a job, that is, and living in crappy apartments because a background check prevented them from renting in a nicer, drug-dealer-free neighborhood. So they re-offend and back to prison they go.

Keep in mind, state law does not supersede federal law, which still squarely places the above list of illegal drugs in the felony category. Therefore, arrested for small quantities of drugs by local Oregon police = misdemeanor. Arrested by the feds, in the same location, for possession of the same quantity (any amount) = felony. However, it’s highly unlikely the FBI, ATF, or DEA are planning to kick in Daryl Dope’s front door over $12 worth of cocaine. But they could.


Drug Schedules

Schedule I

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:

heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:

Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin

Schedule III

Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are:

Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone

Schedule IV

Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are:

Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol

Schedule V

Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are: cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin.


Felony arrest warrant served/executed by me after a stop and frisk led to guns, drugs, and cash.

 

The FBI, our nation’s premiere law enforcement agency that, in addition to criminal investigations, has major focus on national security.

The FBI conducts thousands upon thousands of investigations concerning domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime/drugs, white-collar crime, violent crimes and major offenders.

There are 56 FBI field offices in major cities, and in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Hundreds of smaller field offices are also positioned throughout the country.

The FBI employs over 35,000 people who serve in a variety of positions.

That’s 35 THOUSAND individual employees.

Let this figure sink in a moment. Having this many people is comparable to employing every single man, woman, and child who reside in Sedona, Arizona, St. Augustine, Florida, and Brattleboro, Vermont , combined!

The director of the FBI is a person who oversees the daily operation of the bureau. The position is administrative. The director does not go out in the streets to conduct investigations. He/she is not someone who is totally hands-on in any investigation. Agents in various positions with various duties are the people who conduct those investigations.

Agents involved in investigations report to their superiors. They, in turn, when necessary, report findings to their superiors. Eventually, when appropriate, supervisory agents report their finding to their bosses. Eventually, if the case is of high-profile status, the case information winds up in front of the FBI director and/or deputy directors.

So what happens if we remove the person at the head of the agency? Do those 35,000 dedicated and highly-skilled employees cease to function? Are they suddenly unable to walk and speak, breathe and blink, or no longer possess the ability to swallow food or drink? Will criminals all over the world suddenly have free reign to do as they please?

Will all investigations come to a screeching halt?

Okay …

FBI Director Comey

Well, did the earth suddenly spin out of control?

No FBI Director Comey

Of course there’s no change. Removing the head of any agency, including the FBI, is no more than discharging a CEO from a corporation. The next in charge, always an extremely qualified person, steps in and the operation continues. Those further down the chain will see absolutely no change in their daily operation. None. Well, unless the interim or new director implements new policy, etc. But a disruption of everyday duty … no way!

To say or imply otherwise is a huge insult to the men and women at the FBI. They’re extremely good at what they do.

So, as much as I playfully bash the FBI from time to time, I’m 100% behind them during this change of department head. Sure, he was the boss, but I know first hand what it’s like to have the boss of a law enforcement agency suddenly removed. I was part of an investigation where a chief of police was terminated and charged with a criminal offense.

Take a guess as to what happened after he was escorted from his office and the police department.

Okay, I’ve waited long enough. Your answers were coming far too slowly.

NOTHING HAPPENED. The next in command was placed in charge and everyone went about their daily routines of investigating cases (serious and not so serious), writing traffic tickets, working car crashes, testifying in court, collecting evidence and surveillance, etc.

Absolutely nothing changed except an instant uptick in morale.

So no, “one monkey don’t stop no show,” especially when the person in question is incompetent and unable or unwilling to carry out the basic functions of the job description in a manner that’s within the law, guidelines, policy, and other rules and regulations.

The decision to remove this director was sound and should’ve been done a long, long time ago.

just a monkey

By the way, the FBI is not a national police force. They do not conduct local police-type investigations. It is not the FBI who shows up to investigate your hometown murder. That’s not what they do.

** Please, no political comments **

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