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North Georgia FBI agent pleads guilty to disclosing confidential information

July 14th, 2017

An FBI agent who ran a "To Catch a Predator"-style task force in North Georgia pleaded guilty Thursday to disclosing confidential information.

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Special Agent Ken Hillman let Emerson Russell and his wife, Angela, observe agents chatting undercover with potential child predators. He also let them ride along for meet ups and arrests of the task force's targets.

In addition, Hillman let Angela Russell chat with suspects on an FBI laptop, as if she were an agent herself.

The Northwest Georgia Internet Crime and Child Exploitation Task Force, spearheaded by Hillman, also consisted of officers from multiple local agencies, including the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office. The investigators would post on websites like Craigslist or Backpage.com, pretending to be fathers and uncles willing to pawn off children for sex.

The task force disbanded after Hillman's relationship with Angela Russell became public in February 2013. According to an internal Ringgold police investigation, Officer Tom Evans stopped Hillman and Angela Russell in the parking lot of a local bar, after the staff called 911 to report a couple that might be driving away drunk.

According to the investigation, the officer drove them to an apartment in the Chattanooga area. The officer also said that Hillman told him he was having an affair with Angela Russell. Emerson Russell later said he watched his estranged wife chat with the task force's targets while they were still together.


Family of Temple professor joins lawsuit against FBI for false arrest

Jul 14, 2017,

The family of a Temple University professor who was falsely accused of being a Chinese spy is joining his civil rights lawsuit against the FBI.

Xiaoxing Xi was chair of the physics department at the North Philadelphia university in May of 2015 when the FBI arrested him during a raid at his Penn Valley home, accusing the renowned expert in superconductivity of selling U.S. defense technology to China.

Xiaoxing Xi is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Physics at Temple University.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia dropped the charges four months later after Xi, a naturalized citizen who was born in China, was able to prove to investigators he did not share or discuss restricted technology in emails with his contacts in China and was just collaborating with other academics.

In May of this year, the 57-year-old professor filed a civil rights lawsuit against an FBI agent who Xi claims fabricated evidence and pursued charges against him despite knowing he did not engage in illegal activity. It also alleges that the charges were motivated by Xi's Chinese ethnicity and is the latest in a string of discriminatory accusations against Asian-American scientists.

Xi's family's now joined the lawsuit, alleging the search of their home and seizure of property was illegal.

"We saw him get dragged away. After that, we were kind of at a loss of words," Xi's daughter Joyce Xi told Newsworks in 2015. "It was hard to sleep. It was hard to concentrate. It was hard to do any work." She also said agents pointed guns at the family as they walked down the stairs of their house.

Other Asian-American advocacy groups are backing Xi's suit, according to a recent announcement. They argue Xi's case is in line with at least three others in which Asian-American scientists were charged by the FBI but later saw those charges dropped.

"Professor Xi’s prosecution is indeed part of a disturbing string of recent cases in which Chinese Americans have been accused by the federal government of spying for China, only to have those charges later dropped with no explanation, no apology and no accountability," Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action Vincent Pan said in a statement.

FBI Octopus


Teens graduate from FBI "Future Agents In Training" Program

Future FBI agents in training

It's Graduation Day for Future Agents in Training for the FBI.

Michaela MacDonald, WHAS 6:21 PM. EDT July 14 2017
LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- School may be out for summer, but for this group of teens it has been a week full of learning in the FBI's Future Agents in Training Program.

"We had them visit our FBI office, we talked to them about our SWAT program, about our evidence response team, but we also talked to them about our investigations, our cyber investigations, all the things we do, counter terrorism, counter intelligence, white collar crime, violent crime, transnational organized crime," said Amy Hess, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville office.

These 18 students graduated from the program held at the Chestnut Street YMCA in front of their families Friday afternoon. A celebration to culminate a week of expanding their horizons from developing leadership skills to learning CPR to meeting a bomb technician.

"We got to see the bomb technician, which personally I think is really good because that is kind of what I want to do, technician stuff, so it was a great experience all around," said Dakota O'Bannon.

O'Bannon says this experience reaffirmed her interest in being an evidence technician.

"I was kind of hesitant because I want to go into law enforcement, but I didn't know which path to take and when we went to the FBI building they told us that there is a lot of support behind and agent, so I was hoping that I could fall into the support group and just, find my way there," said O'Bannon.


St. Louis-area lawyer nominated for US attorney post

LOUIS - A former FBI agent and federal prosecutor may be the next U.S. ... Jensen worked as a certified public accountant before joining the FBI in 1989.


Story image for fbi agent from WBHM (press release) (blog)
FBI's 'G-Man' Image: From Comic Books To 'The X-Files' And 'The ...
WBHM (press release)
That archetype of the clean-cut, indefatigable and incorruptible agent was largely the invention of J. Edgar Hoover, who led the FBI for 48 years, from May 1924 .


Hiring another swamp creature for the FBI
American Thinker
Christopher Wray, President Donald Trump's FBI director nominee, seems a ... the federal government's top law enforcement agent didn't know the law (or was ...


Hawaii soldier thought US government behind Sept. 11 attacks


Defense bill calls climate change a national security threat

Friday, July 14, 2017, 11:17 AM


State Department spent more than $15,000 for rooms at new Trump hotel in Vancouver

By Amy Brittain July 12
The State Department spent more than $15,000 to book 19 rooms at the new Trump hotel in Vancouver when members of President Trump’s family headlined the grand opening of the tower in late February.

The hotel bookings — which were released to The Washington Post under a Freedom of Information Act request — reflect the first evidence of State Department expenditures at a Trump-branded property since President Trump took office in January.


After 30 years, 'White Boy' Rick Wershe could be paroled Friday
Fox 2 Detroit
Wershe worked as an informant for Detroit police and the FBI while selling crack ... with the FBI going on now 46 years," said Gregg Schwarz, retired FBI agent.


FBI's dark web sting activity in SC prison mail bomb plot kept secret ...
The State-
Griffin asked FBI agent Matthew Desmond. The defense needs to know how much actual danger there was, and whether the whole matter was concocted by the FBI


FBI agents upgrade their ability to make explosive devices

FBI trains with Ellsworth EOD Airmen
DVIDS (press release)
Special Agents from the FBI trained with 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal Airmen and other law enforcement agencies during a ...


Betty Shelby, cop who fatally shot unarmed black Terence Crutcher, resigns from Tulsa police department
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, July 14, 2017, 1:12 PM


Inequality and Opportunity in America
Under siege by liberals: the town where everyone owns a gun
Nucla, Colorado, was founded by socialists before becoming a mining town. Now, as wealthy liberals with different values encroach, the town is fighting for its economic survival
by Lois Beckett in Nucla, Colorado


Judge tosses conviction of female protester who laughed during Jeff Sessions' Senate hearing
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Friday, July 14, 2017, 12:11 PM


JUL 12 2017, 11:42 PM ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Criticized for Speaking to ‘Hate Group’

Democrats and LGBT groups assailed Attorney General Jeff Sessions for an off-camera, closed-door speech Tuesday to an organization designated as a "hate group" by a prominent civil rights watchdog.

As announced on his public schedule, Sessions addressed a crowd at the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty in Orange County, California.

As the news of the scheduled speech traveled, nonprofit advocacy groups and Democrats issued statements asking why the head of the U.S. Justice Department was speaking at a summit put on by the ADF, designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016.

Image: Attorney General Jeff Sessions
File Photo: Attorney General Jeff Sessions answers questions during a press conference at the Department of Justice. Win McNamee / Getty Images
“You can judge a person by the company they keep and tonight — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is choosing to spend his time speaking in front of one of the country’s leading anti-LGBTQ hate groups,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Joel Kasnetz wrote in a statement emailed to NBC News. “Sessions’ appearance at this event, as the top law enforcement official in the country, brings into question whether the attorney general intends to protect all Americans.”

"The nation’s top lawyer rallying with an anti-LGBTQ hate group? Outrageous," the Human Rights Campaign said in a blog post Wednesday.

NBC News asked the Justice Department for comment on the public outcry but did not receive a response. An additional request for comment sent to Alliance Defending Freedom did not receive a reply.

ADF is essentially a powerhouse Christian law firm, defending clients like Masterpiece Cakeshop, the bakery taking its refusal to make a same-sex wedding cake all the way to the Supreme Court. But with millions in its war chest, ADF does more than just litigate: The firm wrote model legislation called the Student Physical Privacy Act that built a foundation for dozens of proposals and policies around the country that are frequently referred to as “bathroom bills.” ADF’s model legislation, and the national trend that stems from it, is aimed at keeping transgender people out of restrooms and other private facilities that correspond to their gender identity and presentation.

Related: Gay Rights Group Launches $26M Campaign Ahead of Midterms

Founded in 1994, the Alliance Defending Freedom was a coalition effort between conservative Christian leaders aiming to preserve traditional social norms, restrict access to abortion and fight the “homosexual agenda.” Much of the firm’s early work came in the form of court briefs urging states to keep anti-gay sodomy laws on the books and in fighting attempts to legalize same-sex marriage. After Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2003, ADF issued an official statement deriding the “radical homosexual” state policy.

"Radical homosexual activists have made their intentions clear – ‘couples’ will now converge on Massachusetts, ‘marry,’ and return to their respective states and file lawsuits to challenge Defense of Marriage Acts (DOMAs) and try to force the states to recognize their ‘marriages.’ We are disappointed but we’re going to continue the fight state by state,” longtime ADF president Alan Sears wrote at the time.

The list of anti-LGBTQ remarks by ADF co-founders is long; James C. Dobson wrote an entire book about the gay “culture war” in 2004’s “Marriage Under Fire.” But after a Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriage legal across America, ADF pivoted away from a now-futile fight and toward a new goal: keeping transgender people out of bathrooms.

Related: Lesbian's Workplace Discrimination Case May Be Headed to Supreme Court

In April, ADF attorney Kellie Fiedorek disputed the idea that the firm’s model legislation — and general motivation — is anti-LGBTQ or harmful to the rights of transgender people.

"The bills protecting privacy are simply ensuring that when it comes to intimate facilities, they are simply limiting them to biological sex. We all have a right to privacy," Fiedorek said. "Even if you believe you are a man, a woman shouldn’t have to undress in front of you."

In response to ADF being designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Fiedorek said the latter was “increasingly irrelevant” and “extreme,” saying ADF was the world’s “largest religious freedom legal advocacy organization.”

SPLC’s Heidi Beirich, though, told NBC News in April her organization doesn’t recklessly toss around the hate group label and had good reason to classify ADF as such a group.

"We don’t put a group on the hate list because they are against gay marriage," Beirich said. "Where the rubber hits the road is when ADF attorneys engage in model legislation and litigation that attacks the LGBT


Colombia producing more cocaine than ever before, UN figures show
About 866 tonnes of cocaine were produced in 2016, new report suggests
Farc rebels say they will work with government to find crop substitute


LAPD officer accused of having sex with underage cadet pleads not guilty to felony weapons charges


Women's March leads hundreds in gun control protest at NRA headquarters
Friday’s protest, organized by Women’s March on Washington, honored those who gather monthly to remember Sandy Hook and sought to expand agenda


Rinat Akhmetshin, lobbyist at Trump Jr. meeting, has been trying to repeal a major sanctions bill
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Friday, July 14, 2017, 1:00 PM

Our Guv here in Maine


Paul LePage hates the press. But he’s a pretty good golfer


KING: Bernie Sanders would make a great third-party candidate — under a reformed Electoral College system
Shaun King
Friday, July 14, 2017, 1:09 PM


Security mistakes prompt changes to Georgia election system

JULY 14, 2017 — 5:00P
ATLANTA — Georgia's top elections official announced Friday that his office plans to take over managing the state's elections technology after major security mistakes were discovered at the center that has done the work for 15 years.

The planned change by Secretary of State Brian Kemp follows media reports that cybersecurity experts discovered the state's 6.7 million voter records and other sensitive files had been left exposed for months on the public website of the Center for Election Systems. The researchers raised an alarm in March, prompting an FBI investigation and revealing still more problems.


He made large drug busts along a stretch of the 5 Freeway. Now an L.A. County deputy's credibility is questioned in court
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