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2 Dead in Amtrak on-board shooting in Tucson

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2 Dead in Amtrak on-board shooting in Tucson
Posted by Convicted One on Monday, October 4, 2021 7:39 PM

https://abcnews.go.com/US/dea-agent-killed-officers-hurt-shooting-aboard-amtrak/story?id=80397780

 

Is this customary for police to screen "in transit" Amtrak trains for illegal weapons, money, and drugs? First I've ever heard of it.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, October 4, 2021 8:31 PM

Convicted One
https://abcnews.go.com/US/dea-agent-killed-officers-hurt-shooting-aboard-amtrak/story?id=80397780

Is this customary for police to screen "in transit" Amtrak trains for illegal weapons, money, and drugs? First I've ever heard of it.

I don't know.  That being said, I would expect the authorities had 'actionable intellegence' in making their move.  The element of surprise is generally an advantage in such confrontations.  Beyond that I know squat.

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Posted by Convicted One on Monday, October 4, 2021 9:03 PM

BaltACD
, I would expect the authorities had 'actionable intellegence'

 

I have similar suspicions. It's just the generic way the story mentions illegal money, weapons, or drugs....made me wonder if something more "routine" might have been at work.

Could be that a fellow passenger might have spotted the weapon, and reported it?

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Posted by alphas on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 12:30 AM

Don't know about Amtrak but DEA and/or PA State Drug task force have often checked the Greyhound buses when they are taking rest breaks along the interstates.   They used dogs to sniff the luggage.    They had a lot of success with it in my county for quite awhile at the rest stop that all the NYC buses then used both heading east & west on I-80.    Then about 10 years ago the rest stop was switched to 60 miles west and I don't know what is currently happening.    

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 1:13 AM

 

 

 


 

A federal agent died and two other law enforcement officers were injured in a shooting on an Amtrak train at a station Monday morning in Tucson, Arizona.

Members of a regional narcotics "alliance" of local and federal authorities were conducting a routine check on a stationary train when a man opened fire, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said Monday. Authorities were detaining another man on the train's upper deck when the shooter pulled out a handgun, he said. "The suspect, after exchanging rounds with the officers, barricaded himself in the bathroom, which is on the lower level. ... Ultimately it was determined that the suspect in the bathroom was, in fact, deceased," Magnus said.

The man who was detained remains in custody, Magnus said. Authorities identified no suspects.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent was killed in the exchange, said Cheri Oz, special agent in charge of the DEA's Phoenix division. Another agent was in critical condition. A Tucson police officer who rushedto help after hearing shots was stable, Magnus said.

The "shooting incident" on the train from Los Angeles occurred at about 7:40 a.m. local time, Amtrak said in a statement. None of the 137 passengers and 11 crew members, who all evacuated into the station, were reported to have been injured.

"We at the DEA are heartbroken by today’s events and ask that you keep the families of the agents and task force officer in your thoughts and prayers," DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland also said he was deeply saddened by the deadly shooting, as well as the death of Deputy U.S. Marshal Jared Keyworth, who died Friday from injuries from a vehicle accident in a law enforcement operation in Mississippi three days earlier.

"We are grateful for the courage and selfless sacrifice of these heroes, and I join the entire Justice Department in conveying our support and deepest sympathies to their families," Garland said.

 

 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 1:29 AM

Convicted One
Is this customary for police to screen "in transit" Amtrak trains for illegal weapons, money, and drugs?

Yes, it is customary. Particulary along the southwest border

Police and DEA Searches Aboard Amtrak Trains - The Atlantic

Don't bring weed on Amtrak : Amtrak (reddit.com)

I'm afraid we're going to need TSA airport style screening on our trains. As I've been pointing out for years, to any fundamentalist with a knowledge of the fundamentals, our trains' vulnerabilities are glaringly obvious. Hey, how do you patrol over 100,000 route miles? (Drones might help) Worse than dynamiting a passenger train, imagine the sabotage of a freight carrying toxic chemicals in an urban area. All you need is a pound of C4, a detonator and a pressure switch or radio frequency remote

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 1:56 AM

BEAUSABRE

 

 
Convicted One
Is this customary for police to screen "in transit" Amtrak trains for illegal weapons, money, and drugs?

 

Yes, it is customary. Particulary along the southwest border

Police and DEA Searches Aboard Amtrak Trains - The Atlantic

Don't bring weed on Amtrak : Amtrak (reddit.com)

I'm afraid we're going to need TSA airport style screening on our trains. As I've been pointing out for years, to any fundamentalist with a knowledge of the fundamentals, our trains' vulnerabilities are glaringly obvious. Hey, how do you patrol over 100,000 route miles? (Drones might help) Worse than dynamiting a passenger train, imagine the sabotage of a freight carrying toxic chemicals in an urban area. All you need is a pound of C4, a detonator and a pressure switch or radio frequency remote

 

 

BEAUSABRE

 

 
Convicted One
Is this customary for police to screen "in transit" Amtrak trains for illegal weapons, money, and drugs?

 

Yes, it is customary. Particulary along the southwest border

Police and DEA Searches Aboard Amtrak Trains - The Atlantic

Don't bring weed on Amtrak : Amtrak (reddit.com)

I'm afraid we're going to need TSA airport style screening on our trains. As I've been pointing out for years, to any fundamentalist with a knowledge of the fundamentals, our trains' vulnerabilities are glaringly obvious. Hey, how do you patrol over 100,000 route miles? (Drones might help) Worse than dynamiting a passenger train, imagine the sabotage of a freight carrying toxic chemicals in an urban area. All you need is a pound of C4, a detonator and a pressure switch or radio frequency remote

 

 

Regular thing on Amtrak in Colorado - Has been for decades. Surprised this hasn't happened more often.(sad comment)

Sadly, this jerk was dumber than most and put many at risk. Hope this particular ring gets torn down with a vengance.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by Dmac844 on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 3:52 PM

I agree that there will be a push to add TSA-style screening for passenger trains in the short-term. However, the logistics are a nightmare and I am not sure they are actually solvable. The volume of people at rush hour (pre-COVID at least) at Grand Central or Penn Stations in NYC would probably ground the city to a halt if there was TSA screening to get into those stations. Then there is the challenge of covering 500 Amtrak stations, with the great majority just platforms in small towns all over the country, with only a daily set of trains for most of them. 

But I could be wrong, the Feds might still try to go forward with a screening program for all passenger service.

 

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Posted by Enzoamps on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 5:35 PM

In all the years I travelled Amtrak Toledo, Ohio to Washington DC, admittedly only once or twice a year, I saw TSA presence only once.  In the Toledo waiting room maybe an hour before the train, a TSA agent in full camo fatigues, weapon on hip, strolled in, walked up to the ticket counter and chatted a moment with the Amtrak folks, turned and looked around, and walked out.

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Posted by NKP guy on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 6:27 PM

   You saw them only once probably because the Capitol Limited doesn't get as close to the Canadian Border as the Lake Shore Limited does.

   For a number of years the station at Depew, NY (Buffalo) resembled a place under seige.  Groups of men in uniform, sometimes camo, carrying large and menacing automatic weapons would not only patrol the station precincts but board the train and ride, usually east to Rochester.  They never bothered me or the others in our roomettes or bedrooms, but coach passengers had to endure being awakened after 11 PM by the car lights being turned on and people being asked "Where were you born?" and so on.  I never saw anyone taken off the train nor read of it.  

   On my last round trip in May I not only saw no TSA or uniformed men at Depew, they were completely absent from the Moynihan Train Hall in New York.  One may draw one's own conclusions as to why.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 3:42 AM

External video of the train during the shootout with very good sound - I think I counted ten rounds, maybe more

Video: Routine search ends in dramatic shootout at Amtrak station (msn.com)

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 7:17 AM

DEA agents had found bulk marijuana on Amtrak train before the deadly shooting in Arizona, court documents say





The deadly shooting on an Amtrak train in Arizona on Monday erupted after US Drug Enforcement Administration agents recovered large amounts of marijuana on board, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

DEA Special Agent Group Supervisor Michael G. Garbo was killed in the shooting while another special agent was in critical condition, and a Tucson police officer working on the DEA task force was in stable condition, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said Monday. Devonte Okeith Mathis was accused of possessing with the intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing marijuana, according to the court filing. A search of bags associated with Mathis uncovered 2.39 kilograms of raw marijuana, 50 packages of marijuana edibles and "other marijuana and cannabis products," according to the court documents.

Mathis along with another alleged associate --who was identified in the document as D.T. -- were on a list the DEA agents were given "that contained names

of several individuals on an Amtrak train that was arriving in Tucson" as part of their routine investigative activities, according to the complaint. D.T. and Mathis were sitting across the aisle from each other when one of the agents saw Mathis "retrieve a blue colored backpack, a black drawstring bag, and a white plastic bag" and then move the bags a few rows away before returning to his seat, the document says.

Mathis allegedly denied the bags belonged to him when a DEA agent questioned him. The agent took the bags off the train to search them and found "what he believed to be two packages of bulk marijuana," according to the document filed in the US District Court of Arizona on Tuesday.

Other DEA agents spoke with D.T. and "conducted a consensual K-9 sniff of several bags on the platform of the Amtrak Station" before D.T. got back on the train, the filing says.

When the agent who found marijuana in the bags associated with Mathis informed the other agents, those agents attempted to talk to D.T. again, the documents say, and that's when the shooting occurred.

Mathis was later arrested, and D.T. was fatally shot after firing at other officers, the court filing says.

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 8:30 AM

Given the fact that cannabis substances are legal in many states (sold in licensed stores for ordinary use) the continued DEA campaign to intercept and arrest seems absurd. 

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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 9:05 AM

charlie hebdo
continued DEA campaign to intercept and arrest seems absurd. 

 

Ahh?  Recreational alcohol is legal in most places, but if you manufacture and distribute without greasing the right palms, the enforcers come a knocking. So I doubt MJ will be any different.

My guess it will be several more years before the federal ban is eliminated,  Once AB-InBev, Seagrams, etc. are ready to dominate that industry, then the tide of lobbying will turn the opposite direction and the remaining prohibitions will evaporate. 

 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 9:58 AM

Amtrak train is Federal property, so state laws do NOT apply. See my earlier posting for someone's experience with the DEA after getting busted with a small amount of weed.

Second, it's not DEA's choice, the law is the law and their job is to enforce it. And

1) Intent to distribute is a different kettle of fish from a reefer or two

2) They're not just after marijuana but harder stuff like Heroin and Meth as well. This bust just happened to be the former not the later.

And yeah, I bet the tobacco and alcohol companies have the ad campaigns ready to roll out when given the word

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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 10:22 AM

That is the noteworthy thing here, The quantity involved was not inconsequential, and the facts they were carrying guns as well, suggests that these guys were more than just refugees from Woodstock.

Surprised we haven't heard the usual bellyaching about police excess, and how possessing a little weed is not a capital offense? Whistling

 

I'm glad that the threat in this story was neutralized without harm to bystanders. It is a little un-nerving to contemplate as an innocent law abiding citizen the potential for being exposed to "police state" type scrutiny  just for wanting to use mass transit.  "Olt mann, vhere are your papers"? etc

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Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 12:52 PM

I doubt that the people some posters saw carrying guns and wearing camo were TSA.  TSA isn't law enforcement.  You probably saw DEA or CBP agents.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 6:42 PM

BEAUSABRE

Amtrak train is Federal property, so state laws do NOT apply. See my earlier posting for someone's experience with the DEA after getting busted with a small amount of weed.

Second, it's not DEA's choice, the law is the law and their job is to enforce it. And

1) Intent to distribute is a different kettle of fish from a reefer or two

2) They're not just after marijuana but harder stuff like Heroin and Meth as well. This bust just happened to be the former not the later.

And yeah, I bet the tobacco and alcohol companies have the ad campaigns ready to roll out when given the word

 

Choices are made about what laws to seek to enforce in organizized campaigns.  The synthetic opioids,  pushed by Big Pharma killed thousands, far more than cannabis. . That should be a target for convictions,  but it won't. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, October 7, 2021 4:05 AM

charlie hebdo
The synthetic opioids,  pushed by Big Pharma killed thousands, far more than cannabis . That should be a target for convictions,  but it won't.

Give it time.  This is likely to go the same way as the tobacco litigation: many false starts before the boom is brought down, much slush paid to the Burton, Marstellers... but in the end, justice and consent-decree controls.

On the other hand, watch the opioid problem collapse if any of the research programs into non-opioid analgesia produce salable non-generics... Whistling

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, October 7, 2021 6:46 AM

The Sackler family of Purdue Pharma seems to have gotten off relatively scot free.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, October 7, 2021 7:55 AM

Backshop
The Sackler family of Purdue Pharma seems to have gotten off relatively scot free.

The thing that bothers me about that is that I don't remember the tobacco settlement attempting to recapture large money damages from families associated with 'tobacco money' -- just from corporations involved in the business.  Perhaps there was a similar quid pro quo there over personal criminal or civil liability.

I have what may be a peculiar take on Big Pharma and opioids -- a major 'evil' leading to problems like the 'crisis' being in what was thought tolerable to promote use (and implicitly overuse) of the products, more than their being inherently dangerous.

Harvard was mulling over 'canceling' Arthur Sackler by removing his name from their art museum.  It would be little better than vicious guilt-by-association to do this because of OxyContin or the developed opioid crisis; he was dead before either came along.  The system of direct sales, and in all probability at least some of the claims of innocuity for products being peddled... those are squarely at his door.

I have the impression that the consent decree was more intended to prioritize stopping the 'crisis' and addressing alternatives than to punish supposedly evil money-grubbing people named Sackler for ill-gotten 'blood gains' gotten in large part through excessive hype in the name of building not only market share but whole markets.

Ah, well, that's probably enough for a post which only involves the word 'railroaded' in a semantic sense...

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, October 7, 2021 10:15 AM

I'm torn by the whole opioid crisis.  On the one hand, some companies were pushing their use when it wasn't needed.  On the other hand, it was mainly people who were already addicts who would've just gotten something else.  I've had 3 major shoulder operations (2 reverse total replacements) and never took anything stronger than a couple of Advil after the first two days.  I've seen 20-somethings in drug stores with photocopy prescriptions trying to get opioids.  They aren't old enough to have had enough pain to need painkillers that strong in the first place.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, October 7, 2021 10:55 AM

Something that complicates the situation is that there is a range of near-essential 'opioid' use: pain that involves certain extensions of the CNS.  Several papers I've read (although I don't have the cites ready at hand) indicate that some of that tissue shares the brain's response to stimulation by proliferating tissue... resulting in the patient's essentially 'learning' more and richer pain perception.  Arbitrarily treating such patients as 'medication seekers' or forbidding treatment over 'addiction' concerns is a terrible response.

The thing that should never have gotten started was the wholesale prescription of drugs like hydroxycodone for 'severe pain' like wisdom-tooth extraction or elective surgery.  Not that I have either the pharmacological knowledge nor the experience to suggest alternatives.

What I'm hoping is that the whole detail system of drug sales gets reformed -- not that I think we'll see sense in the right places.  And that we don't see profiteering in the upcoming replacements for tolerance-inducing addictive materials.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Thursday, October 7, 2021 3:33 PM

Turns out, the amount of marijuana these two was carring was 110 pounds - as I said before, a far cry from a couple of reefers

Second, we have a name on the dead (hooray) killer, " Officials on Thursday identified the armed passenger who died in a gunfight after fatally shooting a federal agent inside an Amtrak train in Arizona as Darrion (rhymes with Carrion) Taylor."

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, October 7, 2021 5:20 PM

BEAUSABRE
Turns out, the amount of marijuana these two was carring was 110 pounds - as I said before, a far cry from a couple of reefers

Scary plants. 

   The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, October 7, 2021 6:13 PM

Killer weed!!!  Maybe if the Feds quit classifying it at the same level as heroin, we wouldn't have things like this happen.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, October 7, 2021 8:19 PM

I saw an interview on network news where a California sheriff said that legal pot seemed like new sales, and that it has not put a dent in illegal pot.  Growers said that regulations and taxes made legal pot expensive.

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, October 8, 2021 9:16 AM

If I was riding Amtrak, the last thing I'd want to wake up to in the middle of the night is the drooly snout of an unfamiliar german shepard as the authorities screen the train I happen to be on. And the prospect of delays in transit while searches are conducted would be extremely inconvenient. 

One would think that competent authority could confine the interdiction process to terminals?

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, October 8, 2021 9:21 AM

But, I guess the cops need something to do for amusement when they are not running facial recognition software scans  on the crowds in attendance of mass sporting events.  That thing where they pulled that face out of a crowd at Dodger stadium is downright big-brotherish.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, October 8, 2021 3:06 PM

BEAUSABRE

Turns out, the amount of marijuana these two was carring was 110 pounds - as I said before, a far cry from a couple of reefers

Second, we have a name on the dead (hooray) killer, " Officials on Thursday identified the armed passenger who died in a gunfight after fatally shooting a federal agent inside an Amtrak train in Arizona as Darrion (rhymes with Carrion) Taylor."

 

Why should it matter whether it's two grams or 20 kg?  Or commercial with taxes or homegrown? 

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