Pill-popping, gun-loving Army vet and his junkie wife arrested in LI pharmacy murders www.privateofficer.com
Long Island NY June 23 2011 A pill-popping, gun-loving Army vet and his junkie wife were charged Wednesday night in the cold-blooded massacre of four innocent people at a Long Island pharmacy.
David Laffer and Melinda Brady were hauled out of his mother’s Medford, L.I., house in handcuffs after heavily armed Suffolk County cops stormed the home.
Laffer, 33, was later charged with first-degree murder. Brady, 29, was charged only with third-degree robbery, suggesting she may be cooperating with cops.
“He was doing it because he lost his job and I was sick,” Brady told reporters as she was walked out of the Suffolk County Police Department headquarters building on Wednesday night.
“I’m sorry that he did all this.”
Brady, described by cops and acquaintances as a pill addict who had been jonesing for a refill, reportedly drove her husband to and from Haven Drugs in Medford, where the massacre took place.
A handcuffed Laffer said only “No” to reporters when asked if he was high when he shot two workers at the family-owned drug store and two customers.
The unemployed shipping clerk and his secretary wife will be arraigned Thursday.
Detectives zeroed in on Laffer because he was a repeat painkiller customer, owned a .45-caliber pistol and looked just like the weaselly-faced suspect caught on tape leaving the bloody crime scene.
His arrest after a three-day manhunt did little to dampen the fury of the victims’ relatives.
“I wish they would have shot him from the ankle up …a slow death …and four bullets in his head,” Pat Moran, the grandmother of slain Jaime Taccetta, fumed.
“You’re the Devil!”
Taccetta’s brother Daniel drove to county police headquarters when he heard the news.
“I just want to take a good look at him,” he said of Laffer. “The lethal injection would be too quick for him. He should rot in solitary confinement.”
The crime, caught on video, was shocking in its ruthlessness.
The victims put up no resistance and were shot methodically at close range.
Then Laffer allegedly filled a knapsack with canisters of 10,000 hydrocodone pills, a component of the painkiller Vicodin, which has become a scourge of the streets.
Suffolk County cops were sifting through dozens of tips about the gunman’s identity when investigators in the office of New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor, Bridget Brennan, took a look at their files.
They were looking for painkiller buyers in the Medford area, and Laffer’s name came up, sources said.
They pulled his motor vehicles photo and saw he closely resembled the fake-bearded man in the pharmacy video, the sources said.
The Army vet – who claimed in Internet postings he served under 9/11 hero Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca in the Bronx – also had a permit for a .45-caliber handgun.
Allison Avilas, 14, said she also dropped a dime on Laffer after spotting a suspicious man sneaking through a fence at nearby dunes Monday night.
“He was wearing a black shirt and had the stubble on his face. It looked just like the picture on TV except there were no sunglasses,” she said.
A horrible recognition hit her.
“It looked like my neighbor David,” said Allison. “I was afraid to call. But I thought about all those poor families and thought it was the right thing to do.”
Cops began surveillance on Laffer’s house, and neighbor Peter Spano watched in astonishment as they stormed in.
“They used a battering ram on the door, and less than two minutes later they walked a young man out,” Spano said.
Laffer, who reportedly resisted arrest, “looked withdrawn, like a skull,” Spano said.
“He looked like death. He looked like there was nothing in him. He didn’t say a word.”
Laffer’s other neighbors were stunned by his arrest.
“I’ve known David since he was a child,” said a weeping Ziada Ayala, a family friend of 40 years. “He was just a nice, quiet boy.”
Ayala said she spoke about the massacre with Laffer’s mom, Pam.
“I said to Pam, ‘Do you believe what happened?’” she recalled. “She couldn’t believe it. She was shocked. She was devastated. Especially for the young girl who died.”
The arrests came not long after drug-store workers held a tearful vigil yesterday for the victims, clerk Jennifer Mejia, 17, and pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, 45, and customers Taccetta, 33, and Bryon Sheffield, 71.
The deaths marked the worst mass killing in Suffolk County since 1974, when Ronald DeFeo gunned down his parents and four siblings in Amityville.
Source:NY DAILY NEWS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. June 23 2011
Two state forest rangers trapped by shifting flames died while fighting a wildfire that also injured two others near Jasper in north Florida, officials said Tuesday.
The rangers were working Monday to stop a rekindled blaze called the Blue Ribbon Fire in Hamilton County on the Georgia line, one of more than 400 wildfires currently burning around Florida in one of the busiest fire seasons in years.
The rangers killed were 31-year-old Josh Burch of Lake City and 52-year-old Brett Fulton of White Springs, said Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Officials say the injured rangers, Robert Marvin and Stephen Carpenter, suffered smoke- and heat-related injuries while trying to help their fellow firefighters. They were treated and released from hospitals in Lake City and Gainesville.
The Blue Ribbon Fire started June 16 and had been declared contained before dry conditions allowed the fire to flare up again Monday
“Josh and Brett were cutting a fire line around the fire,” Ivey said. “The wind changed and they became trapped by the flames and couldn’t get out.”
Both men were married. Fulton had two grown children and Burch had young two sons, ages 4 and 5, Ivey said. Burch had been with the department’s Division of Forestry for ten years and Fulton for 11 years.
Gov. Rick Scott told CBS’s “The Early Show” on Tuesday that his “heart goes out to the families.”
“It’s tragic, but pray for rain,” Scott said. “It looks like we’re going to start getting more rain tomorrow.”
Scott said the rains are expected to begin in north Florida and then in the southern part of the state by the weekend.
“So that will damp this out and stop this,” Scott said.
Forestry officials, though, have warned that lightning accompanying the rains may briefly worsen the situation before trees and underbrush become damp enough to resist burning.
Firefighters have fought more than 1,500 wildfires since May 1 that have burned nearly 200,000 acres across the state. That’s made this one of the busiest wildfire seasons in recent Florida history. Florida firefighters have been facing an average of more than 31 new wildfires every day.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also expressed his sorrow “to the families and loved ones of the two courageous men who sacrificed their lives for the safety of others.”
“We can rebuild the structures and restore the land, but the lives of these two heroes can never be replaced,” Putnam said in a statement.
Police have charged a club security guard with a deadly shooting in Virginia Beach on May 21.
Lester Belmar Jr., 28, of Portsmouth, is believed to be responsible for the shooting outside the 7-Eleven in the 300 block of Lynnhaven Parkway. Police arrested him on June 21.
According to police spokesman Adam Bernstein, Belmar was a security guard at the Hangar 09 nightclub. Bernstein said several people from the club gathered at a nearby 7-Eleven parking lot. A fight broke out there, which resulted in the shooting. During that fight, multiple shots were fired by different people, police said.
Darrel Eugene Spencer, 20, of the 6600 block of Stoney Point South in Norfolk was killed. When officers arrived on scene at around 1:40 a.m., they found Spencer and two other gunshot victims. Medics treated the two other victims for non-life threatening wounds.
Police recovered a shotgun near Spencer’s vehicle. Investigators believe Spencer was armed with the shotgun when he was shot.
Warrants were obtained for Belmar for Murder, Felonious Assault, and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. He remains in custody at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.
ANDERSON COUNTY SC June 23 2011 — A 28-year-old man will likely be charged with attempted murder in a shooting outside a bar on Shockley Ferry Road early Monday, a sheriff’s spokesman said.
The man, whose name will not be released by authorities until he is formally arrested and charged, is being treated for a gunshot wound to the chest in the intensive care unit at AnMed Health Medical Center in Anderson, sheriff’s office spokesman Chad McBride said Tuesday.
A hospital spokesman said the man was in fair condition Tuesday afternoon.
The man was wounded in a shooting involving a security guard outside Sportsmans Bar at 327 E. Shockley Ferry Road shortly after 12:01 a.m. Monday, officials said.
After being told that he could not enter the bar, the man who now may be charged fired a shot at the security guard there, Anderson resident Thomas Craig Owens, 20, McBride said.
Owens, who received a minor neck wound, then returned fire, hitting the other man in the chest, McBride said.
Anderson County sheriff’s Lt. C.T. Vaughn found that man lying facedown in a nearby parking lot, according to a sheriff’s office report.
CONNERSVILLE, IN June 23 2011 – An Amish Indiana man has been arrested after police say he showed up at an undercover sting in a horse-drawn buggy. He has been charged with soliciting a 12-year-old girl for sex.
Willard Yoder, 21, is accused of sending 600 texts, nude pictures and videos to the girl, saying he wanted to have sex with her. The girl’s mother found the texts and went to police. Police set up a sting at a Connersville, Indiana restaurant.
Yoder arrived in his horse-drawn buggy to meet the girl and was arrested on four counts of soliciting a minor. Investigators say Yoder later confessed to sending the texts.
Yoder has been released on bond.
Yoder is set to appear in court in September.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC June 23 2011 – North Myrtle Beach police say they have arrested three people who performed liposuction in a condominium bedroom.
The woman told police she paid the three people $1,500 before the surgery and owed them $1,500 more.
Investigators say the teen was given several pills before the procedure was done in the condo’s bedroom and woke up as two people drove her home. The female said that she heard the suspects talking of leaving the country on Monday, but only after performing several more surgical procedures.
Police say 31-year-old Miguel Orozco, 53-year-old Nubia Trujillo and 41-year-old Adriana Neibles were charged with assault and battery and unlawful practice of a regulated profession or occupation without a license. It wasn’t clear if they had attorneys
The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in the area of MLK Boulevard and the beach block. Police say that’s where 40 year-old Zachary McFadden knocked down a 64 year-old man, stole his wallet then fled the scene. A security officer working at the Madison House Hotel caught the suspect on video surveillance and contacted police.
Atlantic City authorities increased their presence in the area, and arrested McFadden Tuesday morning in the area of MLK Boulevard and Pacific Avenue. McFadden now has multiple charges against him, as he was also wanted on a warrant out of Wildwood.
He’s being held in the Atlantic County Jail on $100,000 bail.
Meanwhile, officers returned the stolen wallet to the victim, but the money taken, said to be $300, was not recovered.
Ontario police arrested 19-year-old Chang Qui on Monday and she was booked for investigation of animal cruelty.
An Ontario Mills mall security guard noticed the woman’s black BMW with fogged up windows, unusual for a 90-degree summer day. The guard looked inside and saw the dog panting in the back seat.
Police Officer Dereck Anthony tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the dog was locked up for about three hours.
The dog was euthanized at an emergency pet clinic after it was found to have suffered brain damage, irregular heartbeat, abnormal pulse and a fluid in both lungs.
KENT COUNTY, Mich. June 23 2011 – In Kent County, a former school security guard is now a criminal, and he’s headed to prison after being sentenced Tuesday on sex charges.
The case started in 2010 in the Godwin Heights school district, where a school security guard was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student. On Tuesday, we learned that man’s punishment.
For years Ken Franks was the man who made sure students were safe from predators and other dangers in school, on Tuesday the judge called him a predator.
“Parents and students had the right to expect you would be protective of them and not be a predator to them,” said Judge Paul Sullivan, “while predator is a strong word, that’s what you did in this particular instance.”
Ken Franks, the former head of security, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He will now be heading to prison for three and a half to fifteen years.
Franks apologized in court, but had the judge read his statement.
“While I wish I could go back and change my actions,” read the judge, “God has allowed me to take this negative event and change my life for the better.”
As the judge read that statement, one of the victim’s loved ones muttered “liar.”
Court records indicate that the contact between Franks and the student happened on school grounds, at a time when Franks was supposed to be protecting students. Franks’ attorney didn’t have an explanation for his client’s actions as he walked away to prison.
“Like he said, he stepped up what he had to do, he didn’t duck and dodge, he stood up and plead guilty to what he did,” said defense attorney John Beason. “To me he’s a nice guy who had a lapse in judgment and he’s paying for it.”
Because Franks doesn’t have a criminal history, his sentence was lighter than it could have been, by at least three and a half years.
He was arrested by Miami police on the early hours of May 12, after Buena Vista Security and Protection Agency Security Officer Richard Celestine spotted him removing a cover and called it in.
The Buena Vista Security and Protection Agency is a private company that patrols the neighborhood. They are contracted by the Wynwood Art District Association, a group of business owners dedicated to promoting the arts.
Celestine said Chesnut told him he was stealing the manhole lids because “they were not filled with water, so he thought he could take them [and] he was just trying to feed his family.”
He was charged with two counts of third degree grand theft, which means he can serve a maximum of five years in jail and have to pay a $5,000 fine; his bond is set at $10,000.
According to the police report, the arrest was made at NW. Sixth Ave. and 23rd Street, where Celestine said Chesnut pleaded to be left alone so he could continue removing the lids.
“I was patrolling the area and from a far he looked like a professional working on the road, but when I got closer I realized what he was doing,” Celestine said.
Chestnut said he was selling the stolen metal covers for 25 cents a pound, according to the police report.
People started noticing manholes without their lids in February. From then on, two or three covers were disappearing every morning, according to Officer Felix Gonzales with the Buena Vista Security and Protection Agency.
On June 10, there were at least 12 manholes lacking their covers in Wynwood. Celestine said that Buena Visa has documented eight instances of people falling inside the manholes and three in which cars were damaged.
Cristina Fernandez, public information coordinator for the city of Miami, confirmed that approximately 30 manholes have been missing since February in Wynwood alone. Fernandez also said there has been about 120 missing lids in the entire city.
Security officer Rivera said the covers weight approximately 100 pounds, which means Chestnut was making about $25 per cover.
Chesnut is currently awaiting a trial hearing scheduled for Sep. 26 at a Miami-Dade correctional facility near Doral.
In the meantime, Public Works is in the process of replacing the stolen pieces, which will cost the city approximately $3,300, according to Fernandez. The city has already ordered the covers, which are expected to arrive toward the end of the month.
Jesup GA June 23 2011 A Georgia State Prison guard faces multiple charges after being shot in the buttocks during a standoff with state and local law enforcement officers at his Jesup home Monday afternoon.
Vincent Allen, 47, remains jailed on four counts of aggravated assault and single counts each of reckless conduct with a weapon, cruelty to children and felony obstruction of law enforcement officers, said Mike McDaniel, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation regional office in Kingsland.
Allen is charged with threatening his wife and their three children during the domestic dispute that evolved into a standoff at the family’s home in the 800 block of North Fourth Street.
He also is charged with firing a shot from a high-powered hunting rifle into the air while keeping police officers, Wayne County sheriff’s deputies and Georgia State Patrol troopers at bay.
Allen is a corrections officer at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, said Kristen Stancil, a Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman.
McDaniel said Jesup police went to the home about 1 p.m. in response to reports that Allen was threatening his family. The arriving officers found Allen armed with a .30-30 rifle. Allen refused to surrender, authorities said.
A state trooper fired a shot as Allen tried to flee, authorities said. It was unclear, however, whether the trooper’s bullet hit Allen or he had been injured earlier, McDaniel said.
When officers took Allen into custody, they discovered he had an apparent bullet wound to the buttocks. After Allen was treated and released from Wayne Memorial Hospital, he was booked into the Wayne County Jail, McDaniel said.
Because the investigation is ongoing, GBI and Georgia State Patrol officials declined to release the trooper’s name.
The trooper has been placed on administrative leave with pay, said Lt. Paul Cosper, a state patrol spokesman.
Wilmington NC June 23 2011 The woman accused of embezzling money belonging to the Lincoln Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization has been arrested, an official said Wednesday, ending a manhunt that began earlier this month.
Dana Leigh Brooks faces 12 counts of embezzlement in connection to accusations she siphoned off more than $5,000 while acting as the PTO’s treasurer.
Sgt. April Stanley, a spokeswoman for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, said in an email Wednesday that the Wilmington Police Department had apprehended the 38-year-old suspect.
Brooks, of 3430 Andrew Jackson Highway, came to the attention of authorities after the PTO group received multiple complaints from parents concerning a recent fundraiser where ordered items were never delivered, Stanley said. When the funds were examined, the group learned that the goods were never for and there was a discrepancy in the finances.
The money Brooks is accused of stealing was intended for projects in support of the students at the Leland-area elementary school. Though they operate independently of the school districts and rely on private funding, PTOs generally raise money to buy everything from school supplies to playground equipment.
Stanley said investigators believe Brooks started embezzling in February and continued for about five months.
Detective Ed Carter originally issued warrants for Brooks on June 10.
Source starnews online
BOULDER, Colo. June 23 2011– Boulder police are searching for a Peeping Tom who lurks under a portable toilet.
A woman told police she saw something moving in the tank under the toilet at the Hanuman Yoga Festival on Friday near Boulder High School. She told police she walked out of the toilet and asked a nearby man to look inside.
He told police he saw someone inside the tank, covered in a tarp A festival security supervisor was called. He told police he tried to detain a man who came out of the portable toilet a few minutes later who was covered in feces, but the man ran away.
The Peeping Tom is described as a white man, about 20 years old, who was very tall — approximately 6 foot 4 inches to 6 foot 8 inches tall, police said.
The man had short, dark hair. He was wearing leather bracelets on his wrists, dark gray sweatpants and no shirt or shoes, police said.
Witnesses told police the man had several cuts on his back and legs. One witness told police the man may be a transient who uses the name “Sky.”
If you recognize the Peeping Tom’s description or saw the incident, please call Detective Jeremy Frenzen at 303-441-1890.
CLIFTON, N.J. June 23 2011— A 15-year-old student was allegedly gang-raped by two young men while inside a school building at Clifton High School. The attack reportedly took place during a school day.
Jaime Urbina, 19, and a 17-year-old accomplice physically moved the female student to an area below a staircase and attacked her, Gather reports. Both of the young men are seniors at the high school.
Both of the attackers have been charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and criminal restraint.
The takeover is part of negotiations with the college on a consulting agreement that officials hope will evolve into a long-range payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program.
The chief and Sgt. Mark Savasta met with the Board of Selectmen and Anna Maria representative Cheryl St. Pierre-Sloboda, vice president for finance and administration, on Monday for an update on the negotiations. They expect to have an agreement in 45 days.
The chief said Monday that discussions have already cleared up some issues.
The agreement would call for the Paxton Police Department to hire additional academy-trained officers (to be paid for by Anna Maria) to work on campus, freeing Paxton officers for their regular duties.
It would also provide for immediate communication between the college and town in case of emergencies; the college is the town’s emergency center; it housed and fed workers and citizens during the ice storm.
At Monday’s meeting, selectmen called for volunteers to serve on a five-person PILOT committee. It would include a selectman, Town Administrator Carol Riches and three residents. Volunteers should call Town Hall.
HOUSTON TX June 23 2011 – A fugitive was behind bars Wednesday, four days after a Forest Service officer caught him having sex with a 15-year-old girl in the woods, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.
Charles Alan Donelly, 47, is charged with sexual assault of a child.
Investigators had been looking for him ever since June 18, when they say the forest service officer caught him with the teenager during a routine patrol in a wooded area near Willis.
Donelly was taken into custody, handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol car that day, but as the deputy was assisting with the investigation, Donelly broke a window and escaped.
He was on the run until Tuesday night, when a multi-agency task force tracked him down in Houston.
U.S. Marshals and Texas Rangers were given a tip around 11 p.m. that the suspect was hiding out at a home in the Remington Ranch subdivision.
But when they got to the home, located on Remington Bend at Siril, they said Donelly took off running.
He was at large for several hours until a Harris County K-9 unit found him hiding on the side of a house around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, investigators said.
He was arrested and taken to the Montgomery County Jail.
Los Angeles CA June 23 2011 A man being chased by a security guard fired at least one shot in the Westfield Century City mall after robbing the Fast Fix jewelry store around noon Wednesday, authorities said.
The incident began when a man posing as a customer robbed the store at gunpoint and took an undisclosed amount of jewelry, Los Angeles police said.
As a security guard gave chase, the robber fired at least one shot into the air. The man then jumped into a waiting car that sped off, police said.
No one was hurt, and LAPD detectives are investigating.
In January 2010, three armed men in ski masks stormed a Tiffany & Co. jewelry store at the same shopping center and made off with tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry.
Fort Worth TX June 2011 A teacher at a Fort Worth high school has been arrested after she was accused of “sexting” a student.
Heather Jackson, 37, was arrested Tuesday and charged with having an improper relationship with a 16-year-old student at Boswell High School after his parents filed a complaint this month, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
She’s accused of trying to solicit the boy online and sending him inappropriate text messages by phone and Facebook. Her attorney called the allegations unfounded.
The teen told police that he tried to end the relationship when the messages became more sexual in nature. He said Jackson then sent him a letter threatening to sue him if he didn’t erase the messages from his phone and Facebook.
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw school officials found a copy of the letter on her school computer, and she was placed on administrative leave.
The case is the latest in a string involving alleged relationships between teachers and students in North Texas
KNOTTS ISLAND, N.C. June 23 2011 – A 16-year-old girl is charged with stabbing her infant daughter to death.
On June 17, the Currituck County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Chesapeake Police stating 16-year-old Rebecca Blackmore had just admitted to leaving her dead baby in her bedroom closet.
According to the Currituck County Sheriff’s Office, Blackmore was in the emergency room at Chesapeake General Hospital when she told police that she had just given birth and that her baby was dead in her Knotts Island, N.C. home.
When Currituck deputies discovered the dead infant, the baby was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Greenville, N.C., where it was determined the baby was alive at birth, and the baby’s death was caused by multiple stab wounds.
Blackmore has been charged with first-degree murder and is scheduled for her first court appearance June 27.
North Carolina has a Safe Haven Law , which states that “you can leave your baby, up to 7 days old, with an employee on duty at any hospital, health care center, local or district health department or at a nonprofit community health center. Also with an on duty employee at social services agency, emergency medical services provider, law enforcement agency, fire station or any responsible adult in North Carolina.”
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. June 23 2011– A Kentucky man was arrested Monday on suspicion of shoplifting a box of cough medicine, but in his car they found a veritable rolling store of over-the-counter drugs — everything from laxatives to allergy medicine.
Boynton Beach report that at 5 p.m. Monday, store security from a CVS drug store at 301 N. Federal Highway caught Sami H. Elias, 53, shoplifting an entire stock of Oil of Olay beauty serum, Dulcolax, Zyrtec and Mucinex and putting the items in a metallic bag to deter shoplifting sensors. When police arrived and arrested Elias in the parking lot, they could only find a single box of Mucinex, but it was enough to arrest him and search his vehicle.
Inside Elias’ vehicle, police found several trash bags filled with unopened products that may have been stolen from other CVS and Walgreens locations. Officers also found Walgreens plastic bags that had not been used.
Elias remains in the Palm Beach County Jail on a charge of petty theft and using a shoplifting detection countermeasure device. Further charges could be pending
Livingston County MI June 23 2011
A 21-year-old Flint woman who was arrested Sunday on the suspicion of retail fraud told police she’s stolen more than $2,000 in merchandise from big box stores in Hartland, according to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department.
The woman said she stole from the Target and Walmart stores after police stopped her vehicle at about 4:15 p.m. in Tyrone Township on northbound U.S. 23 north of Center Road, a police report said. Police made the stop in response to a report of shoplifting at Target only minutes earlier, acting on a vehicle description, the report said.
Police found a Nintendo DS game unit and eight games worth about $250 that had been taken, the report said. The woman also told police she stole five other games at Target on Saturday. The report does not detail when the Walmart thefts occurred.
The woman was taken the Livingston County Jail and the case was forwarded to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
A 22-year-old man who was a passenger in the vehicle also was arrested for outstanding warrants from 67th District Court in Genesee County and transferred the custody of Fenton Police.