From the daily archives: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blythe, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents recovered the body of a missing man 50 miles southwest of Blythe, Calif. on Friday.

On Friday, family members contacted the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office and reported that Peter Lenehan, 60, was missing. Family members said that Lenehan left home nearly a week ago to pan for gold in the mountains southwest of Blythe, near Bradshaw Trail and East Augustine Pass.

On Friday morning, Riverside deputies contacted the Blythe Border Patrol Station for assistance in searching for Lenehan. An intensive search was initiated, including Blythe Station Border Patrol agents, Yuma Sector BORSTAR agents, and CBP pilots.

At about 1 p.m., pilots located Lenehan’s vehicle, a red Toyota pickup truck. Agents on the ground then tracked Lenehan’s foot sign away from the vehicle and located his body approximately ¼ mile from his vehicle. The cause of death has not been determined.

Border Patrol agents turned the scene over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

 

CBP officers discovered machine guns and ammunition hidden in a vehicle attempting to enter Mexico.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers performing outbound inspections Saturday at the San Ysidro, Calif. port of entry stopped a U.S. citizen attempting to enter Mexico with a cache of weapons and ammunition hidden in the speaker box of his car.

At about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, CBP officers conducting inspections along the I-5 freeway heading into Mexico stopped a 19-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a silver Nissan 350ZX and pulled him aside for further inspection.

When officers looked inside a speaker box in the rear of the vehicle, they discovered a weapons cache with guns, ammunition, magazines and tactical gear.

The cache contained: five automatic weapons (three P90 standard machine guns, one M-4 machine gun, and one AK 47 machine gun); two handguns (one 5.7 semi automatic handgun and one 10 mm Colt semi-automatic handgun); 30 rounds of 6.8 ammunition; 44 rounds of 5.7X28 caliber ammunition; five rounds of 10mm ammunition; 23 magazines of ammunition (11 6.8 caliber ammunition magazines; one AK-47 magazine; two 10mm magazines; three 5.7 caliber magazines; and six 6.8 caliber magazines); ten rifle slings; and various tactical web gear.

CBP officers seized the weapons, ammunition, and other items as well as the vehicle, and turned custody of the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The suspect is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correction Center while he waits to face federal criminal charges.

“Our shared border with Mexico is a shared responsibility,” said Chris Maston, port director for the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa passenger facilities. “Performing these outbound inspections keeps guns and money that fuel violence in the border region out of the hands of drug trafficking organizations.”

This interception comes one week after an interception July 10 at the Andrade port of entry, when CBP officers stopped two machine guns and numerous rounds of ammunition from entering Mexico. The driver, a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen, was arrested.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

 

Yuma, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a juvenile male caught smuggling bundles of marijuana into the country near the Colorado River on Sunday.

At about 7 p.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to the Yuma Station detected the illegal entry of an individual riding a bicycle near County 7th Street and the Colorado River. Agents tracked the bicycle’s tire sign to the brush along the Colorado River and located a 17-year-old Mexican citizen, the bicycle and a make-shift backpack full of marijuana.

Agents arrested the juvenile and seized the marijuana weighing 30 pounds with an estimated street value of $24,000. Border Patrol agents ran records checks on the juvenile and discovered that he was arrested near the same area last week.

On July 14, the juvenile was arrested by Yuma Station Border Patrol agents after illegally entering the country. That time, he was arrested after illegally entering the country carrying 27 pounds of marijuana. He was riding a bicycle at the time of arrest.

Border Patrol agents turned the juvenile and marijuana over to the Yuma County Narcotics Task Force.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

 

The flight plan for Apollo 11 was a minute-by-minute time line of activities for the mission crew–Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin–and Mission Control in Houston. The flight was launched July 16, 1969. Touchdown on the moon took place, as scheduled, on July 20, 102 hours, 47 minutes, and 11 seconds after launch from Cape Kennedy. The astronauts spent 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon, and returned to Earth on July 24.

President Nixon and the Apollo 11 CrewThe flight plan describes tasks to be done 102 to 103 hours into the flight. Immediately after landing, Armstrong and Aldrin reviewed their lunar contact checklist and reached a decision on “stay/no stay.” Armstrong then reported to Houston: “The Eagle has landed.”

Image Credit: NASA

NASA and Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) officials joined with flight controllers to celebrate the successful conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in the Mission Control Center. From left foreground Dr. Maxime A. Faget, MSC Director of Engineering and Development; George S. Trimble, MSC Deputy Director; Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr., MSC Director fo Flight Operations; Julian Scheer (in back), Assistant Adminstrator, Office of Public Affairs, NASA HQ.; George M. Low, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program, MSC; Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director; and Charles W. Mathews, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA HQ.

 
By Constance Gustke • Bankrate.com
ATM  machine

Highlights
  • “The technology of the bad guy is getting better and better every year.”
  • Hidden cameras are disguised so they can pick up your password.
  • You must report fraud within 60 days to limit your liability.

ATMs are under siege more than ever from skimming. Skimming, where ATM thieves steal your PIN and account number using remote devices, is increasing dramatically. Often done by sophisticated crime rings from the Eastern bloc countries, ATM skimming is becoming a high-tech art that’s hard to detect.

That’s bad news for consumers. Experts say that losses from skimming are approaching $1 billion. Nearly one in five fraud victims reported having their credit card PIN or debit card ATM PIN information stolen in 2009, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. And Robert Vamosi, an analyst handling risk, fraud and security at Javelin, sees ATM skimming continuing to rise this year and next.

“Consumers aren’t aware of ATM tampering,” he says. “ATMs have 40 years of trust.”

Skimming isn’t new. It’s been around for at least 10 years. What has changed is that the “technology of the bad guy is getting better and better every year,” says Robert Siciliano, a security expert based in Boston. “It’s up to consumers to watch their own backs.”

Typically, ATM thieves use two devices to capture your PIN and card data. One device sits near where you swipe your card and reads the magnetic stripe on your card with your account number. Even more confusing, the device mimics the card slot. “The technology has evolved to a point where the molded plastic fits like it belongs there,” says Siciliano. Devices are even readily available over the Internet for as little as $300.

A camera, hidden from view, captures the PIN. “You can get the data in real time,” says Siciliano. “You can be in your car with a laptop remotely accessing the device.”

Thieves then burn the data onto a blank card to access your money.

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Max Milien wants consumers to be warned. “The public is notified after an event,” he says. And don’t take bank security for granted. Fraud can occur at any bank in any part of the country. Thieves are even sending out false text alerts to get consumer data.

Banks, they say, are slow to adopt anti-skimming measures. When Javelin surveyed 25 banks, four stood out, though, for their anti-theft measures. They are Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo.

Experts add that debit card users are most at risk. Typically, consumers must report fraudulent charges within two days, limiting your liability to $50. If you report ATM skimming fraud within 60 days, you’re liable for the first $500 of any transaction. Siciliano adds that thieves carefully orchestrate ATM withdrawals, maxing out cash withdrawals one day and waiting until after midnight for the next stash, which quickly adds up.

Here are four tips to help you protect your account.

1. Cover your password with your hand

Hidden cameras are disguised so they can pick up your password. By protecting it, ATM thieves can’t access your account.

2. Use familiar ATMs and limit your visits

ATMs in dimly lighted spots or used late at night could be more susceptible to fraud, while ATMs under video surveillance can be safer. Stay away from ATMs at retail stores or restaurants, adds Siciliano. Recently, skimming devices were found on ATMs in a popular grocery store in central Florida. Airports, convenience stores or kiosks are equally vulnerable to ATM thieves. Still, even highly trafficked ATMs outside a bank branch have been targeted by thieves.

Also, try to limit your visits to the ATM. “With frequency, there’s risk,” says Siciliano.

3. Check bank balances frequently

Given the two-day window for reporting fraud, it pays to check your account frequently. If you don’t report fraud within 60 days, you have unlimited liability. “Sign up for alerts and notice unusual withdrawals,” says Vamosi.

With credit cards there are more protections in place, and you can dispute charges.”You have at least a billing cycle,” says Siciliano.

4. Observe the ATM

Vamosi cautions consumers to look at an ATM to make sure a card slot is “legitimate and not tacked on.” Look for things that strike you, he says. “Some people have felt that when they inserted their card, something went awry,” he says. In that case, try another ATM.

When protecting your account against ATM thieves, “it’s all about awareness, paying attention and understanding risks,” says Sicilano. “There are 400,000 ATMs and every one of them is susceptible to fraud. The speed and convenience of technology has replaced the security of technology.”

 
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