Catlin McGuire and Matthew Brokenshire, who died in a reported murder-suicide, graduated from Dallas High School in 2005 and both were 24 years old.
Brokenshire fired a round from a 9mm handgun that struck Caitlin McGuire, 24, in the head, instantly killing her, state police said.
McGuire was pronounced dead inside her residence.
Brokenshire died at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township.
“The investigation found the two were dating for about a year and had known each other for quite some time having graduated high school together,” said state police Lt. Richard Krawetz, supervisor of the criminal investigations unit. “It was an argument that unfortunately escalated to what happened. It was nothing that was premeditated.”
Krawetz said the homicide/suicide occurred during an argument between the couple.
McGuire and Brokenshire graduated from Dallas High School in 2005. She was a graduate student at Marywood University in Dunmore. Brokenshire graduated in July from Lackawanna College Police Academy.
Brokenshire was a part-time patrolman for the Pittston Township Police Department. Township officer in charge Len Trotta did not return messages for comment on Monday.
Autopsies are not being performed, according to the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office.
ATLANTA GA. Feb 8 2011 — Channel 2 Action News has learned that a local police department is under state investigation, accused of employing officers just to work off-duty jobs.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer found many of those officers have troubled pasts, or may not even be real officers at all.
The Morris Brown College campus only spans about three blocks and enrollment has dwindled to just 63 students. But according to Georgia’s Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council, the campus police department employs 27 certified police officers. Fleischer found several more working at the school’s police headquarters who are not on that list.
“That’s way out of line,” said POST Director Ken Vance. “For 60 something students, they ought to have one walking hand in hand with them from class to class.”
POST launched an investigation, and Vance said the agency hopes to seek a Cease and Desist Order against the school’s police department.
“It’s about money. It’s about money and using Morris Brown College to run a security agency that operates in metro Atlanta,” said Vance.
It isn’t unusual for officers to work off-duty jobs to supplement their police income. But in most departments, they spend more time working on-duty, protecting the public.
POST investigative documents show the school only requires an officer work 16 hours each month to remain on the police roster. That makes them eligible to work lucrative off-duty security jobs.
Channel 2 obtained internal e-mails from Cobb County police confirming an investigation into two Morris Brown police officers caught working an off-duty job in Smyrna.
Both were in uniform and their cars had blue lights. One had no identification, but told the officer he was Ali Bashir, date of birth 4/20/62. The only Morris Brown officer with that last name and birthday had his police certification revoked a decade ago.
Fleischer asked if he could face charges for impersonating an officer.
“Absolutely,” said Vance. “And you’re going to see some serious looks in that direction.”
POST investigators are also taking a serious look at three fake identification cards seized while questioning Morris Brown Police Chief Jabir Bashir. They were signed by the current assistant chief, Daymond Langford, before he was demoted from the chief’s job. The cards call his employees “duly sworn police officers” authorized to perform law enforcement duties. But they are not POST certified.
“I’m a PSO, public safety officer, not a police officer,” said Sgt. Maurice Campbell. One of the three seized cards has Campbell’s Social Security number on it.
Fleischer found many of the officers who are properly certified have troubling records also. Of the 27 on the roster, POST has publicly reprimanded, placed on probation, or otherwise investigated 17 of them.
“It looks like it’s someone that can’t get hired anywhere else,” said Vance.
On three separate days, Fleischer tried to track down Bashir for answers.
“He said, ‘You could leave a card and he would be available tomorrow,’” said a student and part-time public safety officer.
The next day, Fleischer returned.
“Yeah, he probably, he will be here today,” said Public Safety Officer Henry Johnson.
Johnson called Chief Bashir, who by phone told Fleischer he was out of town for training but would not disclose the nature of the training or the location. He said he would return Monday.
On Monday, Fleischer found the doors locked and Public Safety Officer Johnson refused to open them.
Investigators from Georgia’s Department of Public Safety also visited the Morris Brown Police Department to revoke the blue light permits from all of its unmarked vehicles.
“We opened the case on one afternoon, and retrieved the permits by the close of business the next. It’s a very serious matter,” said DPS spokesman Gordy Wright.
“Something is really, really wrong here,” said Vance. “I wouldn’t even classify it as a police agency right now.”
GREENWOOD, SC Feb 8 2011 — A husband and wife are accused of scamming family, friends and complete strangers into believing their young daughter had bone cancer in order to solicited donations.
38-year-old Alicia M. Kelly and 39-year-old Steven Scott Kelly have been charged with swindling.
Sheriff’s investigations began receiving information from individuals that the Kelly’s story about their daughter’s cancer and her treatment was suspicious.
During questioning Alicia Kelly admitted that her daughter never had cancer and had never been treated for cancer.
The Kelly’s reportedly scammed people through benefits and fundraisers claiming they did not have enough money to treat their daughter’s disease.
The Kelly’s also set up a website to share their daughter’s supposed daily struggle with cancer through an online journal and to solicit donations.
GOOCHLAND, VA Feb 8 2011 – Goochland’s County treasurer Brenda Grubbs, 53, appeared in court Monday morning after being charged with felony embezzlement last week.
The judge asked if she needed an attorney appointed but she has selected her own. The judge set next court date for March 14.
A search warrant revealed Grubbs admits she’s used about $135,000 in public funds since August — even wiring some cash overseas to the Middle East.
She’s currently out on bond and on paid leave.
LOS ANGELES CA Feb 8 2011 — Two brothers were arrested in a massive bust involving more than $10 million worth of stolen and counterfeit products, including iPhones and iPods, that came through the Port of Los Angeles.
45-year-old Bahram Zahab, of Los Angeles and his brother, 40-year-old Edward Zahab are accused of running the operation. Both face felony charges related to the counterfeit goods.
The pair was arrested after officials from multiple agencies, including the Port of L.A. Police and the Department of Homeland Security, discovered the lookalike Apple, Inc. products at several warehouses in downtown Los Angeles.
The fake iPhones and iPods have an estimated street value of $1.4 million. In addition, authorities confiscated $2.5 million in stolen electronics, toys and blankets, and, bank account receipts show the illegal operation generated more than $7 million in profits.
Investigators say the fakes were shipped from Asia and arrived as parts meant to be reassembled, before being sold at discounted prices.
According to police, the iPhones and iPods looked so authentic, that a buyer might not have realized anything was wrong with it until he or she got home and tried to hook the product up to iTunes.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and they make make additional arrests.
BILOXI, MS Feb 8 2011 – A Biloxi man who worked as a bar back at Hard Rock Casino is accused of embezzling money from his employer.
Nicholas Dustin McClure is charged with felony embezzlement for allegedly taking $1,062 from Hard Rock.
Biloxi Police said McClure was first stopped by casino security Saturday night. They said his supervisor found the money on him and called police.
McClure was being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.
Just after noon, officers descended on Malibu East Motor Cars, 511 S. Dixie Freeway, with arrest warrants for Willard Thomas Aller, 55 and Bonnie Gaffey Aller, 54, both of New Smyrna Beach. The pair are accused of fraudulent sales of securities and investments.
Sgt. Eugene Griffith said the almost three-year inquiry was conducted by agencies including the Florida Bureau of Financial Investigations, the State Attorney’s Office and local police. Evidence of a scheme was uncovered in which the Allers would borrow money from interested parties saying they were going to use it to purchase pre-owned vehicles for their “buy here, pay here” dealership, investigators said.
In exchange for the cash, investors were promised interests rates of 18 percent to 24 percent, invesigators said. The scheme came to light in July 2009, when one investor went to police claiming he had not received his promised money.
Five victims have been identified, but police believe there may be more. Investigators are asking that anyone who may have loaned the Allers money with promises of high interest rates contact the New Smyrna Beach Police Department at 386-424-2220.
MESA AZ Feb 8 2011 – Mesa Police have arrested two people suspected of being involved in a series of school break-ins and burglaries.
Mesa Public Schools security officers conducting nighttime surveillance throughout the district allegedly spotted 20-year-old Shawn Meeker and 19-year-old Phillip Fornaser inside.
A security officer noticed a vehicle backed up next to a school office and followed the suspects when they left.
Police picked up the trail by car and helicopter, and the suspects crashed their vehicle and fled on foot.
Inside the vehicle, police found items taken from the schools earlier in the week. The men are accused of stealing laptop computers, cash, and prescription medication from the health office.
RALEIGH NC Feb 8 2011 Little more than a year after buying 150 collector-grade handguns, officials at the N.C. Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement say the $1,055 pistols were so unreliable they had to get rid of them.
ALE director John Ledford said the Kimber pistols repeatedly suffered such problems as rounds jamming during training exercises, broken sights and the weapon’s safety button sometimes falling off. He made a deal with a local firearms dealer to swap the pricey pistols for less expensive handguns without spending any additional money.
“Failure of a weapon during training is problematic enough, but if any of these types of failures occurred during a life-and-death situation the result could be loss of life to a sworn member of the division or an innocent civilian,” Ledford wrote in a November memo to justify the new weapons. “During violent encounters with armed suspects, reliability and speed are paramount.”
Responsible for conducting background checks on ABC permit applicants and catching bootleggers, ALE is among the smallest of the state-run law enforcement agencies. Currently, there are just 112 full-time agents statewide. An additional 22 retired ALE personnel serve as “reserve agents.” They will also be issued new service pistols.
ALE agents rarely get into shootouts, but it has happened. An agent was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1994.
Crime Control Secretary Reuben Young, who supervises Ledford, agreed that the new pistols were needed.
“The Kimbers were unreliable as a whole and had numerous problems involving the malfunctioning of the weapon,” Young said last week in a written statement. “They needed to be replaced as their use had become a safety issue for the officers and a liability issue for the department.”
The Kimber .45-caliber 1911 pistols were bought under former director Bill Chandler, who abruptly retired in September 2009, days after a story in the Observer and The News & Observer detailed the purchase and revealed that two assault rifles issued to ALE agents were missing. Other issues included stolen pistols and an agent who accidently shot himself.
Special pistols ordered
An avid gun buff and collector, Chandler ordered Kimbers with special sights and the ALE seal carved into their handles, spending $158,250 provided to the agency through federal seizures involving alcohol, drugs and illegal gambling. The purchase was also approved by Chandler’s supervisor, Gerald Rudisill, the chief deputy secretary of Crime Control.
Similar pistols are used by elite Special Forces soldiers and the U.S. Olympic rapid-fire target shooting team, according to Kimber’s website.
The Kimbers replaced Sig Sauer handguns bought in 2003 and 2005 for about $685 each. The Sig pistols, which Chandler said were worn out, were declared “surplus” and sold to agents for $326.
A review of Internal ALE records going back three decades shows the agency has bought all new firearms every few years. The old guns are then typically sold to ALE staff, usually for less than half the price the state originally paid.
Records show that since 2000, the agency has sold at least 373 pistols and shotguns back to its own agents. Some agents have bought as many as six discounted weapons in the last decade, sometimes buying more than one of the same model.
Service weapons for $1
As with state troopers and SBI agents, a state law also allows retiring ALE personnel to buy their last service weapon at a price set at the discretion of the agency. Historically, that price has been $1.
Chandler, the former director, bought his ALE Kimber for $1 when he retired in 2009. Records show he also bought a Sig pistol for $250 in 2003, a Remington shotgun for $92 in 2006, and another Sig pistol for $320 in 2009.
Records show that Ledford, the current director, bought a Sig pistol from ALE for $250 in 2003, while he was sheriff of Madison County. Having been an ALE agent in the 1990s, Ledford was listed as a reserve agent while he was sheriff.
Since the Kimbers were issued to agents in the fall of 2009, Ledford said, his agents documented 289 malfunctions with the pistols during training exercises. Many agents chose to carry personal weapons instead, Ledford wrote in a memo Nov. 8 to Young.
In an effort to fix the problems, Ledford contacted Ralph Karanian, the chief operating officer of Kimber America of Elmsford, N.Y. Karanian promised to fix the problems and the company replaced a key spring on the pistols, according to the memo.
Agents also fired as many as 1,500 rounds with each pistol on the suggestion they needed to be “broken in.”
But with the manufacturer’s warranty expiring at the end of 2010, Chandler wrote Young that the best solution was to trade in the troublesome Kimbers for new Sig Sauer 220 pistols similar to what the agency had previously.
With Young’s approval, Ledford negotiated a deal to trade in the department’s Kimber pistols to a Raleigh firearms dealer in exchange for 150 new Sigs valued at $718 each.
Karanian declined to be interviewed about the specific malfunctions ALE experienced with its Kimbers.
“Kimber stands solidly behind every product with unwavering warranty service,” Karanian said, according to a written release by a company spokesman. “This is, in part, why Kimber is the world’s largest manufacturer of 1911 pistols, and why Kimber pistols are carried on duty by elite law enforcement and military groups.”
Faith in Kimber
Chandler, the former director, says he hasn’t had any problems with his Kimber service weapon.
“I have no qualms about carrying the weapon,” said Chandler, who is a reserve ALE agent.
State Sen. Ed Jones, a retired state trooper, said he was concerned about how often ALE was buying new weapons. In his 30-year career with the Highway Patrol, Jones said, he was issued three pistols.
“I want officer safety to be foremost, but a weapon ought to last more than a year and a half,” said Jones, a Democrat from Enfield. “Even the sorriest weapon ought to last that long.”
Assault rifles traded
In addition to the new pistols, ALE agents have been issued new assault rifles after leaders determined their $1,495 Swiss-made Sig Sauer rifles, bought in 2006, weren’t up to snuff, either.
Records show Ledford arranged a deal in July to trade in the agency’s 120 Sig Sauer 552 assault rifles, which were bought in 2006 at a cost of $179,400. Ledford said last week that the trade-in was necessary because the 2006 rifles had been discontinued and spare parts were not available.
In exchange, a Greensboro firearms dealer provided the agency 120 Bushmaster M4 assault rifles valued at $1,270 each. ALE also got special Eotech 512 “holographic” sights that make a red dot appear on a target, valued at $439 each.
Because guns were being traded for guns, Ledford said, he did not have to follow state rules on bidding.
Al Sutton of Lawmen’s Law Enforcement Supply, the dealer who traded for ALE’s old Kimbers, said he plans to offer the pistols for sale back to any ALE agent who wants to buy them. Those that are not bought by agents will be sent to a dealer out of state for sale on the open market.
Sutton said having the ALE seal carved into the weapons will probably increase their resale value.
“That sort of puts the weapon into a commemorative-type class,” he said. “It makes it more collectible.”
Classified as a “Class 3 machine gun” under federal firearms laws, the Sig 552 assault rifles traded by ALE can only be resold to the military, a law enforcement agency or a citizen with a special permit for automatic weapons.
Ledford, who has already been issued a Bushmaster assault rifle and a new Sig pistol, said he expects the current batch of guns to last for several years.
“These are really no-frills guns, no ALE emblems or seals on them or anything,” Ledford said. “We are hopeful these will be quality products, and we believe they are. The Sig handgun is the same model carried by the Secret Service.”
Gallatin County MT. Feb 8 2011 Law-enforcement officials remained tight-lipped Sunday about details surrounding the fatal shooting early Saturday of a man in a storage unit west of Belgrade.
A Gallatin County sheriff department do state that a private security guard called their office to report that a man had been possibly living in a storgae area and a deputy was dispatched to investigate.
A deputy arrived and there was a confrontation and the deputy was “involved” in a shooting, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Saturday, but officials have declined to clarify or offer additional details.
Gallatin County Sheriff Jim Cashell would only say Sunday that he had “no comment” on the shooting.
Park County Coroner Al Jenkins and the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation are looking into the case. Jenkins could not be reached for comment Sunday. A DCI spokesman said investigators were just reconstructing the incident scene for the county and referred all questions back to the sheriff’s office.
The name of the man who was killed has not been released.