MOUNT PLEASANT, SC Sept 30 2011 – An 18-year-old man facing murder charges told police that he stabbed a man multiple times outside a Walmart in Mount Pleasant.
The Mount Pleasant Police Department charged Darius Green with the murder of 20-year-old David Moultrie on Wednesday.
Court documents indicate that Green provided police with a written statement saying that he had a physical altercation with Moultrie, which led to the stabbing Wednesday afternoon outside a Walmart in the Oakland Market shopping center on US 17 North.
Witnesses described how what started off as a normal trip to the store quickly turned into a terrifying experience.
“Employees were seen running away from cash registers,” said witness Dan Wilkins. “Gates were being slid shut by small business owners. Managers were starting to rush people out of the store.”
According to Mt Pleasant police, the chaos began when Moultrie, a Walmart employee, and Green got into a fight outside of the store. Police say that is when Green stabbed Moultrie, who then staggered back into Walmart’s lobby where he collapsed and later died.
Shortly after the stabbing, Wilkins and his daughter, Kelsie were inside the store shopping when they heard a loud noise, which they say sounded like a gunshot. The sound sent employees and customers scrambling for a place to hide.
“They were yelling ‘get out, get out!’ ” Wilkins recalled.
Police later said that the loud noise was caused by a falling shelf. Police say it is unusual to see a violent crime like this in Mt Pleasant and in the middle of the day in a crowded area.
“The possibility of becoming a victim of violent crime in Mt. Pleasant is very slim but it does happen,” said Capt. Stan Gragg of the Mt. Pleasant Police Department.
In the last six months there’s been more crime in Mt. Pleasant than there has been in the last five years.
“This is a pretty safe community in Mt. Pleasant, so this is a real surprise,” Wilkins said.
Earlier this month, in the same shopping plaza, two men forced their way into the back of a McDonald’s restaurant, shooting one of the store managers and making off with cash. Those suspects have since been arrested.
In Wednesday’s stabbing, Mt. Pleasant police say they detained Green in Awendaw shortly after the fight.
Police closed the Walmart for several hours while they were investigating, but it reopened later Wednesday night.
Loretta Quayle, 54, was at the New York airport when TSA officials noticed a loaded .380-caliber semi automatic handgun inside her hard-sided leather purse, according to Fox News 23.She is charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
Quayle claims that she had gotten through security at the Gallatin Field Airport. Gallatin Field Airport Director Brian Sprenger said in a Thursday morning interview that he was aware of the woman’s claim and referred questions to TSA.
Millburn NJ Sept 30 2011 City police responded to a call Sept. 24 from store security officers at Neiman Marcus at The Mall at Short Hills. The security officers reported someone had entered the store and was observed stealing Louis Vuitton Belts valued at more than $3,600. The store officials told police the suspect entered a Chevy Monte Carlo.
Police saw a vehicle matching that description exiting the mall and stopped it. According to police, a suspect in the shoplifting was taken into custody. A further investigation by the Millburn Police Department resulted in two adults and one juvenile being arrested.
Philippe Benson, 20, of Irvington, his brother Jonathan Benson, 19, also of Irvington, and a 17-year-old Maplewood juvenile were all arrested and charged with several crimes including shoplifting. The juvenile was released to his parents and the two adults were processed and released pending their court hearings.
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. Sept 30 2011– Gwinnett County police call it a bizarre and elaborate scheme. They said two men purchased and stole thousands of name-brand ink cartridges, swapped them with knock-offs, and then returned them for cash.
Investigators said the man may have earned more than $1 million.
Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh dug up the warrants for the two suspects, Christian Dunca and Vladut Larion.
Police said they were stealing the cartridges for at least two years.
They said once they got their hands on the name brand ink cartridge they would sell them off on eBay.
Investigators showed Kavanaugh photos of hundreds of ink now in evidence. Police said they seized more than 3,000 of them after searching the suspects’ homes.
Police said first the men would purchase large amounts of Epson ink cartridges from Best Buy and Target stores.
“They would bring them out and then refill the box with an empty cartridge or an off-brand cartridge, something cheaper,” said Cpl. Jake Smith with the Gwinnett County Police Department
Then, investigators said they had tools to reseal packaging and boxes so they looked as good as new.
“All kinds of box cutters, shrink wrap guns, glues for repackaging and all these boxes to make it look professional,” Smith told Kavanaugh.
They believe the pair made the purchases here in Georgia and then returned them to stores in Florida and New York for a full cash refund.
Police said the theft is bizarre, elaborate and time consuming, but apparently very lucrative.
“It’s been estimated about a million dollars and the loss to these retail outlets is about a half a million dollars,” Smith said.
To pad their pockets even more, police said they would then sell the Epson cartridges on eBay.
Target was the first to notice the large cash refunds it was doling out for the cartridges and contacted authorities.
Police arrested Dunca outside a Best Buy in New York. They said he is scheduled to be deported.
Police said the alleged accomplice, Larion, is still in Gwinnett County and are asking him to turn himself in.
PHILADELPHIA PA Sept 30 2011 - Federal agents raided a Boeing plant that makes military helicopters in suburban Philadelphia on Thursday and charged more than three dozen people with distributing or trying to get prescription drugs, among them powerful painkillers.
The arrests were made by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration at the 5,400-employee plant in Ridley Park, where workers build aircraft including the H-47 Chinook helicopter and the V-22 Osprey. The plant, part of Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security unit, is also the headquarters for its Rotorcraft division.
It did not appear to be an organized drug ring, but rather a “nebulous” series of independent actors, authorities said.
“These sales placed the individual abusers, as well as society at large, at risk,” said DEA agent Vito S. Guarino.
All but one of the 37 people charged were current or former Boeing employees, U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger said at a news conference. He did not know what kind of jobs they had and said he wasn’t aware of any accidents or problems involving aircraft made by the suspects.
Indictments were unsealed charging 23 people with illegal distribution of a prescription drug, federal prosecutors said. In addition, 14 others were charged with attempted possession of the various drugs — including the painkillers fentanyl, oxycodone and others — allegedly being sold by their co-workers. Prosecutors said all but one of those charged had been arrested, but they declined to comment on the status of the 37th.
The investigation began about four years ago after Boeing officials contacted authorities, Memeger said.
“They came forward with information that they had suspicions that drug activity was occurring on their property,” he said.
An official with Boeing’s Military Aircraft division at the plant declined to comment, as did someone who answered the telephone at the union for workers at the plant. A message left for a defense unit spokesman was not immediately returned.
Prosecutors said they don’t think there was any connection between the drug arrests and a 2008 error at the plant.
In November that year, Boeing temporarily shut down two production lines that make the Chinook and Osprey after a plastic cap was found in the fuel line of an in-production Osprey. Boeing later submitted a corrective action plan and restarted production.
In May that year, the factory was shut down when a disgruntled employee used his work-issued wire cutters to sever about 70 electrical wires in a nearly finished Chinook. That employee, Matthew Montgomery, of Trevose, pleaded guilty to destroying property under contract to the government. Authorities said he was upset about a job transfer.
LAS VEGAS NV Sept 30 2011 — A federal grand jury has indicted a Las Vegas doctor, a doctor’s assistant and a pharmacist for alleged prescription drug crimes.
The doctor named in the indictment is 87-year-old Dr. Henri Wetselaar who works out of the New Amsterdam Medical Group office at Harmon Avenue and Sandhill Road. He is facing charges of distribution of oxycodone, money laundering and structuring money transactions. He appeared in federal court Thursday afternoon.
Also named in the indictment are 52-year-old David Litwin, the doctor’s assistant and 43-year-old Jason Smith, a pharmacist, who now lives in Michigan. They are both facing a charge of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Litwin is also facing eight counts of distribution of oxycodone and three counts of making a false states to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
“Follow the money. In this case, we have an asset forfeiture provision in that indictment seeking $3.6 million dollars from the defendants in forfeiture. This is a lucrative business. It’s unfortunate that someone with a physicians medical license and someone that’s skilled as a pharmacist would delve into this kind of conduct,” U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said.
Nevada’s High Intensity Drug Traffic Agency reports that prescription drug abuse kills more people in Clark County than methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin combined.
“A large part of our effort to combat unlawful prescription drug trafficking in Nevada has included the targeting and investigation of local physicians and pharmacists who are writing and selling prescriptions that are not being issued for a legitimate medical purpose or in the usual course of professional practice,” said Bogden.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
WHITTIER CA Sept 30 2011 – A teenager and a man were arrested Thursday after trying to stab a 17-year-old Whittier boy in a hospital lobby then trying to stab a security guard who intervened.
A third suspect remains at large.
Police said no one was wounded, as was initially believed.
The incident was reported just before 2 p.m. at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, 12401 Washington Blvd.
Police spokesman Officer Bradley White said the Whittier teen was walking on the sidewalk in front of the hospital when he was accosted by the suspects. They said something to the teen.
“The victim turned around, walked away and went into the lobby of the hospital,” White said.
According to Sgt. Bret Anderson, the suspects followed the teen into the lobby, and one of the suspects attempted to stab him.
When a security guard intervened, the knife-wielding suspect then lunged at him.
The suspects ran and were captured by police a block away from the hospital about an hour later, Anderson said.
A 17-year-old boy from Lynwood and Eddie Lopez, 18, of Whittier were arrested on suspicion of attempted assault with a deadly weapon.
The third suspect was described as a Latino, 17 to 20, with spiky hair. He wore a gray shirt and black shorts.
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev.Sept 30 2011 – The North Las Vegas Police Department has arrested a city employee for allegedly stealing money from customers’ utility bills.
Police say 40-year-old Angela Bozarth would steal money received in utility bill payments after applying the payments to customer accounts. Police say the accounts were not affected by the alleged theft.
Authorities arrested Bozarth after a two-week investigation. She has been placed on administrative leave. She faces one felony count of theft.
But, then again, most people don’t do it on the scale Luis Colon is accused of. Colon is a police officer in Puerto Rico. He’s charged with 36 counts of falsifying and altering medical certifications. There’s a warrant for his arrest.
Colon is accused of apparently far more than faking a doctor’s name on a note. Prosecutors say he stole the identities of two physicians and included false health information.
STARKE, Fla. Sept 30 2011A Florida man convicted of killing a Coral Gables police officer during a traffic stop 33 years ago has been executed at the Florida State Prison.
Manuel Valle, 61, was given a lethal injection and pronounced dead at 7:14 p.m. Wednesday, the governor’s office reported.
The process began at 6:56 p.m. when a curtain opened, allowing family members of slain officer Louis Pena and others in a witness room to see Valle with a white sheet placed over him. His arms and face were exposed. He appeared calm and relaxed.
When the first drug was administered, Valle raised his feet, turned his head toward the team warden and said something that could not be heard in the witness room. He then yawned, placed his head back down, closed his eyes and made movements with his mouth as if he was snoring.
At 7:04 p.m. the team warden, Timothy Cannon, lightly tapped Valle. A doctor walked into a room at 7:13 p.m. and examined Valle. By 7:14 p.m., the team warden was informed that Valle was dead.
Jeneane Skeen, who was 13 when her father was killed, sat in the front row, occasionally blinking rapidly and tightened her lips as she watched Valle. Once Valle was pronounced dead, Skeen held back tears as she smiled and hugged her sister, Lisa Pena. Other relatives consoled each other.
Afterward, Skeen read a statement criticizing the process that allowed Valle to remain alive 33 years after the killing, saying Valle’s rights were put before her father’s.
“This is not justice, for 33 years people have asked us if the death penalty will really bring us closure, at this point it’s beyond closure and it’s beyond justice. We finally got revenge on the lowlife piece of human waste that murdered our father. Officer Louis Pena finally got his rights.”
Valle was the first Florida inmate to be executed using the state’s newly revised mix of lethal drugs, a concoction that faced legal challenges which twice delayed carrying out the death sentence.
Valle fatally shot Pena on April 2, 1978, after Pena stopped Valle for a traffic violation while driving a stolen car, according to court records. He also shot fellow officer Gary Spell, who survived and then testified against Valle in court.
Spell testified that when he arrived the day of the shooting, Valle was seated in Pena’s patrol car. As Pena was checking the license plate of the car Valle had been driving, Valle walked back to the car, reached inside and then walked back and fired a single shot at Pena, the records indicate. He then fired two shots at Spell, who was saved by his bulletproof vest, the records show. Valle fled and was arrested two days later.
A 4 p.m. EDT execution was initially planned, but Gov. Rick Scott’s office said it was delayed by an unsuccessful late bid before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Southern prisons had seen a series of executions in recent days.
On Sept. 21, Georgia executed Troy Davis for the 1989 shooting death of a policeman, despite an international outcry and claims he was innocent. The same day, Texas executed white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer for the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr., a black man. A day later, Alabama executed Derrick O. Mason for the shooting death of a store clerk in a 1994 robbery.
Pena’s son, also named Louis Pena, stood outside the Florida prison hours before the execution and spoke of his reaction to the unfolding events. “It means finally, my dad’s soul is put to rest after 33 years,” said Pena, who was 19 when his father died and is now 53.
“He killed a cop in cold blood … He killed a cop and lived 33 years. This man lived another lifetime after taking a life,” Pena added.
Inside Skeen and Lisa Pena were wearing buttons with their father’s face and name on them.
“We wanted him to look out and see him,” Skeen said of Valle. “We really hope he saw us.”
Valle was initially sentenced to die in 1981, but the state Supreme Court ordered a new trial that year. He was again convicted and sentenced to die, but the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that death sentence in 1986. Another jury recommended the death sentence anew in 1988.
Since Scott signed Valle’s death warrant, the original Aug. 2 execution date has been delayed twice — once by the Florida Supreme Court and then by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Both courts later rejected arguments by Valle’s lawyers that the new drug mix would cause him pain and constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
The state previously used sodium thiopental to render condemned prisoners unconscious before the second and third drugs, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, were injected. But sodium thiopental is no longer made in the US and now Florida and other states are substituting it with pentobarbital, marketed as Nembutal.
Eighteen people have been executed nationwide using pentobarbital as a replacement anesthetic since Oklahoma became the first last year.
Valle’s warrant was the first Scott signed as governor. It comes in a year when there have been an unusually high number of police officers killed in Florida. Six officers have been fatally shot in 2011, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website that tracks officer deaths nationally. That’s already more than each of the last three years and one shy of the seven officers killed by gunfire in 2007.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Sept 30 2011
Medics respond to about 1,000 emergency calls a year at Charlotte Douglas Airport. This has raised awareness to the call and response times of the medics, and suggestions of making the emergency response more effective have arisen.
Approximately 600 out of 1,000 airport medical calls end with a trip to the hospital. Paramedics say that faster response times could save lives.
Passengers at the airport have indicated that they are somewhat anxious when boarding flights. They have expressed that medics being available during an emergency within seconds rather than minutes would make a big difference.
Phillip and Elizabeth Walthall, a couple who met while Phillip was a captain and Elizabeth was a flight attendant, have their share of stories to tell when it comes to emergencies at airports and on flights.
“Strokes, heart attacks, diabetic situations, and seizures”, are a few emergencies Elizabeth has witnessed as a flight attendant. She also explained that the health problems were mainly brought onto the aircraft and not caused by aviation.
“The anxiety of being on a plane can cause heart problems and she suffers from that so I worry about that,” explained Denise Tigani. She worries about flying with her elderly mother, who is in a wheelchair.
The Charlotte City Council is making sure that help will be available at Charlotte Douglas Airport if someone falls ill. They will be spending $500,000 annually to station medics inside the airport terminal every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The passengers that use Charlotte Douglas are very happy at the attention safety is getting at the airport.
“I think it’s a fabulous idea and it shows the compassion of the people in Charlotte,” said Elizabeth.
Charlotte Douglas police will keep their EMT certifications and will remain at the scene but will serve now on as backup.
GEORGETOWN, Del.Sept 30 2011- Delaware State Police have arrested a 22-year-old Sussex Technical High School substitute teacher accused of showing a 15-year-old male student cellphone pictures of herself undressed.
Authorities said Wednesday that Meagan R. Gordon of Bridgeville is charged with one count of providing obscene material to a person under the age of 18.
Police say the investigation began in May after the principal of Sussex Tech in Georgetown received a complaint from the mother of the male student. The student’s mother told troopers that her son had been communicating through text messages to a person she believed to be a teacher at the school. The mother further stated to troopers that from the contents of the text messages, she believed her son had viewed several inappropriate pictures of the teacher.
Detectives said their investigation into the complaint revealed that the male student had obtained Gordon’s cellphone while at lunch at the school on Friday, May 13, and had brought the phone with him to a restroom. Police said that while in the restroom, the student went through Gordon’s photographs that were on the phone and had observed several pictures showing her undressed. The student then returned the phone to Gordon.
Police said that after lunch the 15-year-old returned to his class that Gordon was teaching and she again allowed him to view the photographs. Gordon also exchanged phone numbers with the student, according to investigators.
Following her Sept. 21 arrest on the aforementioned charge, Gordon was released on $1,500 unsecured bail.
According to witnesses, Garrett entered the dealership at 834 N. Rush St. at about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday and started to cause a disturbance.
People nearby proceeded to flag down two female Loyola security officers after the man in question had “highly agitated” several employees, according to Loyola Campus Safety Director Robert Fine.
The man attacked the officers, punching one in the face before others ran outside to restrain the attacker, Fine said.
The Chicago Police Department was called for assistance, Fine said, and officers were able to subdue the assailant with a Taser before arresting him.
One female Loyola security officer suffered a broken nose, while the other female officer had an earring pulled from her ear, Chicago police said.
OKLAHOMA CITY OK Sept 30 2011 – A retired police officer working security accidentally fired his gun outside a metro club and restaurant.
It happened around 1:00 Thursday morning, when the guard for Olive Garden saw a man breaking into a vehicle near Baker Street Pub and Grill.
The guard approached the suspect and that’s when the gun went off.
“The subject had made a movement like he was going for a weapon and that’s when the security guard, who had his weapon drawn, took a step back,” said Captain Nate Tarver with the Oklahoma City Police Department. “I think he stumbled a little bit and accidentally discharged a round.”
No one was hit. Police said 44-year-old Chade Martin was arrested, though, for destruction of property and public drunkenness.
Fond du lac Wis Sept 30 2011 A former Ripon College security guard is accused of letting people into buildings on campus so they could steal electronics.
Tyler B. Briese, 22, of Ripon, was charged Tuesday with possession of THC, theft, and party to the crimes of theft and burglary.
He is free on a $1,000 signature bond.
On April 1, 2010, a student reported to police that a laptop valued at $1,000 with an attached flash drive was stolen from Smith Hall, according to the criminal complaint.
A Ripon College employee on April 26, 2010, reported a 55-inch high-definition television valued at $3,500 was stolen from the Kemper Building
On May 10, Ric Damm, director of publications and institutional image at Ripon College, said a camera valued at $900 was taken from his file cabinet in Smith Hall.
The men Briese allegedly allowed into the buildings told investigators the 22-year-old was the mastermind behind the scheme, according to the criminal complaint.
An arrest warrant was issued Sept. 21 for Curtis A. Johnson, 28, of Ripon, in connection to the thefts.
Another man has yet to be charged for his alleged involvement.
Johnson told police Briese wanted him to look for money inside of a building and a key that would open a safe in a basement, according to the criminal complaint.
Briese allegedly admitted to giving a television to a man — who has yet to be charged — in exchange for heroin.
Briese also took a lockbox containing $200, according to the complaint.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 21.
Peralta waived a preliminary hearing Thursday morning, and his case was ordered to trial.
That will likely take place next year, unless a guilty plea is made.
Peralta is charged with attempted homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, and related charges for the Nov. 21, 2010 incident at the Bridgeport supermarket.
Peralta, 38, allegedly shot Brian Fantom, the store’s security officer, while fleeing the store with stolen items.
On Thursday, constables escorted Peralta into a holding cell inside District Judge Denise Commins’ office, shackled and handcuffed.
After a 30-minute chat in the cell with his attorney Merrill Spahn, Peralta agreed to waive all charges to Lancaster County court.
By waiving, Peralta isn’t admitting to a crime. Rather, he waived the right to challenge that there is a sufficient basis for the charges.
He was then taken back to Lancaster County Prison on $1 million bail.
Fantom, a married father of two young children, chased down and tackled Peralta in the parking lot of Weis Markets on Lincoln Highway East when shots were fired, police reported.
Fantom also was pistol-whipped, police said.
He was then shot in the stomach; the bullet narrowly missed his spine.
Peralta was on the run for months after the incident. He was picked up on May 27 in New York City, officials said.
Richmond VA Sept 30 2011 A man has been charged with two counts of sexual battery and indecent exposure in connection with four incidents Tuesday and Wednesday near Virginia Commonwealth University’s Monroe Park campus, VCU police said today.
Marcello Toliver, 21, of the 1500 block of West Cary Street was arrested Wednesday, arraigned today and being held wihtout bond, VCU said in a news release.
Police arrested Tolliver after a woman told police about 11 p.m. Wednesday that a man had exposed himself near Floyd Avenue and Morris Street. A man matching his description had also been sought in connection with an assault on the 1200 block of Cumberland Street near the West Cary Street Parking deck in which a female student was assaulted and forcible sexually fondled about 9:36 a.m., VCU said.
On Tuesday, VCU said, there were two similar incidents, but with less force. One attack was in the 1700 block of West Cary Street and the other was near the intersection of Plum and Main.
VCU Police Chief John Venuti said officers were aided by open communication with the campus community as well as the cooperation of the Richmond Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Source:Richmond Times Dispatch
Lodi (LOH’-deye) Police Chief Vincent Caruso ordered an officer to ticket his wife after she double parked while dropping off their 5-year-old son at school.
Caruso told The Record newspaper he didn’t want her to get any special treatment because of who she is.
The chief paid the $54 ticket.
It’s not the first time for Paula Caruso. The chief ordered another officer to ticket her two years ago after she forgot to move their vehicle for street cleaning.
The chief told the newspaper he loves his wife and she’s very busy driving their four sons around.
His wife couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. The Carusos’ phone number is unlisted.
One of the panels returned its verdict today against Chong Vue, 32. A separate jury convicted his brother Gary Vue, 30, on Friday.
Their older brother, Chu Vue, 46, a former Sacramento sheriff’s deputy, was convicted in a separate trial last Sept. 29.
Chu Vue was accused of setting up the murder because the 39-year-old Lo was having an affair with the former deputy’s wife.
Gary and Chong Vue are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 14 by Judge Steve White. With their juries confirming the special-circumstance allegation that they were lying in wait when they killed Lo, they are likely to receive life terms with no chance of parole, the same as their older brother.
Gary Vue’s jury affirmed that he fired the gun that killed Lo in the garage of his south Sacramento home on Oct. 15, 2008. Chong Vue’s jury, while convicting him of participating in the murder conspiracy, did not find the allegation that he personally discharged a firearm to be true.
Members of Teamsters Local 264 turned down a pact that would have covered seven years that the jail guards have worked without a contract and five future years.
County Executive Chris Collins called it “a fair contract negotiated in good faith” that took into account “the strangling cost of free health care.” Collins stressed that he had worked out an agreement with the leadership of the union.
The Teamsters represent about 500 Erie County corrections officers at the Alden jail and the Erie County Holding Center. Union officials were unavailable to comment Tuesday night. No final tally on the vote was available.
Collins said he was “disappointed that the rank-and-file Teamsters employees have decided to vote down a fair contract negotiated in good faith that recognizes the economic reality we are living with today.”
County officials said the rejected pact called for the elimination of 12 paid holidays, eliminated summer hours and ended retiree health care for new hires. It also required a 25 percent contribution toward health insurance for new hires and a 25 percent contribution toward health insurance cost increases for current employees. And it would eliminate one personal day a year, leaving them with three, and would eliminate the uniform allowance beginning in 2016.
In exchange, the contract called for salary increases over the next five years — 3 percent for 2012-14 and 2 percent in 2015 and 2016. Union members also would receive a lump sum payment for the seven years of the expired contract based on 10 percent of their wages in 2011—which would amount to $7,000 for the average employee — and $1,500 annually in holiday pay
In a brief hearing, William Orr Smith, 71, appeared in Henrico Circuit Court and pleaded guilty; Smith’s lawyer has said for months that Smith would not contest the charges and that he has cooperated with authorities.
Smith also cooperated with State Bar investigators in a separate investigation and surrendered his law license in June.
Special Prosecutor Tracy Thorne-Begland said Wednesday that Smith’s law practice and his Montbrook Title LLC grew rapidly five years ago during the housing boom, at one point swelling to as many as a dozen employees.
That growth found Smith with shortages of cash as the business grew and Smith began using money from different accounts to make payments on immediate obligations. The scheme lasted about five years and began to collapse as the housing market collapsed.
Thorne-Begland said there is no evidence Smith plowed embezzled funds into his private holdings or to embellish his lifestyle, but he said he will ask for a sentence above sentencing guidelines which could come in under less than a year.
Smith, of the 11700 block of Triple Notch Terrace in western Henrico, had practiced law for 44 years.
Also charged in the case is Donna M. Allen, 37, of Dinwiddie, a secretary to Smith, who allegedly extorted about $20,000 from him by threatening to tell authorities about his scheme.
Pittsburgh PA Sept 30 2011 The day after a corrections officer at the State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh was charged with physically and sexually abusing more than 20 inmates, the Allegheny County District Attorney said he has enough evidence to file criminal charges against 11 additional employees.
Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said the majority of those who could be charged are corrections officers, though there are staff members as well.
Harry Nicoletti, a corrections officer at the Pittsburgh low-to-medium security prison, was arrested and charged Tuesday with 92 counts, including institutional sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, criminal solicitation, terroristic threats, official oppression and simple assault.
According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Nicoletti, 59, of Coraopolis specifically targeted inmates who were homosexual or transgendered, as well as those who were convicted sex offenders.
“We don’t like what these inmates did,” Mr. Zappala said. “We don’t want them in our community, but you can’t do this.”
Mr. Nicoletti, along with seven other corrections officers, has been suspended for several months.
It is unclear which other employees are under scrutiny by the DA’s office, but Mr. Zappala made clear that they are not the leadership team that was removed from SCI Pittsburgh in May.
Among the charges under consideration are conspiracy, official oppression and assault, Mr. Zappala said.
“It is a crime under Pennsylvania law for a corrections officer to see assaults or be aware of assaults and not stop them or report them,” he said. “You, obviously, can’t have these things going on in your institution. Besides being illegal, they destabilize the facility.”
Stephen Colafella, the attorney representing Mr. Nicoletti, said his client’s family posted his $75,000 bond, but he will not be released until he has an evaluation with the jail’s behavior clinic.
“He vehemently denies what he’s been accused of,” Mr. Colafella said. “Because he’s been suspended, he’s really not been in the loop. He’s really not had the opportunity to rebut these charges.”
Mr. Nicoletti has previously said the inmates’ allegations against him were false.
But Mr. Zappala said he does not believe this is simply a case of inmates conspiring against an officer they don’t like.
“It’s not just an inmate case. There’s a lot more evidence. There’s staff, records, videotapes.”
Sue Bensinger, a spokeswoman with the Department of Corrections, said she could not comment on the ongoing investigation.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. Sept 30 2011 — A Memphis police sergeant has been arrested more than three weeks after he was shot and told investigators a false story about events that left him in critical condition, authorities said Wednesday.
Police Sgt. Norman Benjamin, 47, was arrested Wednesday and charged with false reporting, solicitation to commit first-degree murder and unlawful sale, loan or gift of a firearm, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
Benjamin was shot in the abdomen Sept. 3 and was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said. He told investigators he was shot in his car by a Hispanic man and police began looking for a suspect, according to police.
Police Director Toney Armstrong later said investigators believed Benjamin misled them and that he actually had been shot during a domestic argument by a woman with whom he had been romantically involved. One woman was initially charged with attempted second-degree murder and a weapons violation in the case, but those charges were later dropped after it was determined that the woman did not shoot Benjamin, authorities said.
It still remains unclear who actually shot Benjamin, TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm told The Associated Press via email.
The TBI also said Wednesday that, during their investigation, agents found that Benjamin tried to hire a hit man this past summer to kill someone for $800. Evidence also revealed that Benjamin purchased a handgun in August for an underage female, the TBI said.
Benjamin was arrested at his home. Once the TBI completeds its investigation, the case will be turned over to the District Attorney’s office and it could pursue additional charges, authorities said.
Court records do not show that Benjamin has been booked or if he has a lawyer. There is no published telephone listing for a Norman Benjamin in the Memphis area.
During a news conference Sept. 8, District Attorney Amy Weirich said every possibility in the strange case was being investigated.
Armstrong said Benjamin is to blame for the confusion.
“He could have pretty much quelled this entire investigation (by saying) ‘Hey, I’m involved in a relationship with a young lady and it went this way or that way or whatever,’ and the facts would have laid right there,” Armstrong said at the time.
Latino Memphis, a group representing area Hispanics, has expressed disappointment with Benjamin’s initial statement to investigators state that a Hispanic man shot him.
Wichita KS Sept 29 2011
Arkansas City police say former teacher wanted for allegedly committing sex crimes against children has been arrested in Wichita. Noble “Rick” Pendland, 46, was arrested without incident Wednesday and was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on a $200,000 bond.
Officials have been searching for Pendland since July when he went missing after Arkansas City police uncovered information linking him to several child molestation cases. Police say Wednesday’s arrest was a joint effort between the Exploited and Missing Childrens Unit, Cowley County Sheriffs Department, Winfield Police Department and Arkansas City Police Department.
Pendland was a teacher in Wichita before moving to Arkansas City in 2008 where he taught middle school until 2010.
Corey Joel Eichers, 21, has been charged with two counts of first-degree controlled substance crimes. He is in jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.
He was arrested Monday after he accepted the delivery of a package containing drugs, Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner said. The package contained a half-pound of cocaine and an ounce of meth, Sanner said.
The packaged was identified by the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police as suspicious and a search warrant revealed that it contained drugs.
Investigators with the Central Minnesota Drug and Gang Task Force arranged for it to be delivered. A search warrant was then executed at 3229 Terry Road in St. Wendel Township.
Seven firearms were removed from a safe in a bedroom that Eichers shared with a sibling, Sanner said. Investigators determined that Eichers knew the combination of the safe and had access to the weapons. Eichers is a convicted drug felon.
The drugs seized had a value of $9,000. If they had been diluted and distributed they could have brought in more than $50,000, Sanner said.
The investigation was assisted by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and St. Joseph Police Department
Nashville TN Sept 29 2011 Police and prosecutors shut down bars and motels when police are called repeatedly for fights, thefts, drugs or drunkenness.
They declare the site a public nuisance, padlock it and then use the courts to keep it closed or clean it up.
Now police have suspected drug houses in their sights.
Neighbors had complained for years that a house in Nashville at the end of Merry Street was a drug distribution point. The people coming and going there made it unsafe to go outside at times, said Councilwoman Edith Langster, who represents that area, in District 21.
In April, police moved in as community pressure increased. They boarded up the house and arrested the man they say was selling drugs there.
It was the first time Metro had used the nuisance laws to target a private home. Langster said it was a rousing success for the neighborhood.
“They’re very, very happy. If you ride down that street, people can walk their dogs now, they can sit on their porch, they can have flower gardens,” she said. “It’s like any other worthwhile neighborhood.”
The woman who owned the home, 86-year-old Lucille Carter, hasn’t lived there for years, said her attorney, FikishaSwader. She agreed to let Metro demolish the house, and she will keep the land.
“Because there was such narcotic activity, she was willing to make everyone happy,” Swader said. “She didn’t have the money to absorb litigation costs, so she agreed to let them destroy the property.”
The neighborhood is still waiting for the home to be demolished. “I hope that I’m there the day the bulldozers come to destroy the house,” Langster said. “That will be a time of rejoicing.”
Though the nuisance suits have been around since 1997, Metro has found them increasingly useful over the last year.
“Nuisance actions against businesses are not taken lightly and are a last resort when repeated warnings and other enforcement actions fail to get the message across,” said Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson in an email.
Recently, police shuttered Luau Louie’s Hula Hut at 217 Second Ave. S. in downtown Nashville, saying that the bar was a haven for underage drinking, drunk and disorderly patrons and fights. The owners will appear in court today.
The owners’ attorney, Adam Dread, said he respects the use of such nuisance suits to shutter problem businesses. But he said that it was unfair to use it on Luau Louie’s.
“You don’t use a tire iron to fix a window,” Dread said. “I believe that it could be used and still can be used as a tool in actual nuisance situations where the public is in danger, but I don’t think Luau Louie’s is one of those.”
Luau Louie’s is at least the fifth property targeted by Metro’s nuisance lawsuits since July 2010, when the Harding Inn was closed after complaints of prostitution, fights, shootings, stabbings and drugs. The owners sold that property. Only 15 businesses had been shuttered in 9 years prior to the Harding Inn case.
In addition to Luau Louie’s, two other bars have been hit with nuisance suits, both in the 1200 block of Murfreesboro Pike. The nuisance suits forced the businesses to restrict their hours and prohibit special events that could cause problems.
Swader expects more private homes to be boarded up.
“I’m sure of it,” she said. “This is the first one that they’ve really thrown, but they’re not going to stop.”
Montgomery County MD Sept 29 2011 A 15-year-old accused of raping a woman on an Olney playground told the victim that she would “end up on the bottom of the Potomac River” if she didn’t comply, according to arrest records, as new details emerged Tuesday about the attack last month.
Alvick Omenga, a high school freshman, appeared at a Montgomery County District Court hearing via video feed from the county jail. His dark-green prison jumpsuit engulfed his shoulders, and he looked with wide eyes into the camera. Judge J. Michael Conroy told him that if convicted he faced possible life in prison and ordered him held on $5 million bond.
Montgomery police arrested Omenga on Monday and charged him as an adult with first-degree rape and attempted robbery. His family members could not be reached for comment. Prosecutors said he had run away from home more than two months before the attack. School officials said he had enrolled this year as a freshman at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring but was not an active student.
His writings on Facebook appear to be those of a typical teenager. A student with an e-mail address tied to Omenga’s name ran for class president under the name “Alvick the Champ,” according to a Facebook page devoted to the campaign.
Police allege that the teenager raped a 22-year-old woman Aug. 5 in Olney, about 10 miles north of the Capital Beltway.
At 12:40 a.m., the woman parked her car in the 18000 block of Wagonwheel Court, police said. After she got out, Omenga “blitzed” her from behind, according to arrest papers filed in court and signed by Detective Stephen Matthews.
“Don’t make a noise and you won’t get hurt,” he said, according to Matthews. “Shut up and stop talking . . . give me cash.”
The woman said she could get money from her house.
“You will give it to me first,” the suspect responded, according to Matthews.
Police allege that the suspect then grabbed the woman by the neck and forced her to a nearby playground.
As he raped her, he told her to stop crying, according to charging papers. Then he ran away, and the victim called police.
Detectives later spoke to an individual with a startling tale: Earlier in the summer — about about a week before the rape — Omenga had approached the individual, Montgomery prosecutor Peter Feeney said in court Tuesday.
“Hey, do you want to rape those two girls? It’s okay, people rape girls all the time and never get caught,” Omenga said, according to Feeney.
The person rejected the offer, but detectives got a sample of Omenga’s DNA on Sept. 9. Two weeks later, test results matched it to the Aug. 5 attack, authorities said.
Broward County Fla Sept 29 2011 As Broward’s sheriff, Nick Navarro was half-lawman, half-celebrity — allowing Cops TV crews to trail his deputies while launching a highly publicized obscenity crackdown against local rappers 2 Live Crew.
Out of office for almost two decades, Navarro’s controversial, colorful reputation is still one of the most famous chapters in Broward County history.
Navarro, 81, died Wednesday at home, his wife Sharron by his side. He had been suffering from colon cancer.
After being kicked out of office by Broward voters in ’92, Navarro ran a private security firm bearing his name.
But it was his eight-year tenure as Broward’s unorthodox sheriff that Navarro is most known for, thanks in part to his key role in permitting the television show Cops to film BSO deputies during its first season.
Other eyebrow-raising endeavors included Navarro ordering the arrest of rap group 2 Live Crew on obscenity charges, Navarro’s deputies cooking up their own crack cocaine to use in furtherance of drug stings, and Navarro coping with jail overcrowding by placing prisoners in a tent.
“He was on TV so much, he was on 60 Minutes,” said Nova Southeastern University law professor Bob Jarvis, who co-authored a book on the BSO’s history. “For the average person, if they could name only one Broward Sheriff, they would most likely be naming Nick Navarro.”
Even before his somewhat eccentric antics, Navarro was an unlikely sheriff due solely to his party affiliation: A Republican in a staunchly Democratic county.
The Cuban-born Navarro was sworn in as Broward’s top cop on Jan. 8, 1985, and promptly told the assembled reporters “you guys in the press are going to get a lot of ink out of me.”
Navarro kept that promise — and then some. He singlehandedly turned the Broward Sheriff’s Office into a celebrity law enforcement agency by allowing Cops to film his officers making arrests. As such, it’s fair to call Navarro one of the founders of the now-widespread genre known as reality TV.
In 1988, when television producer John Langley had the idea for a show where camera crews would tag along with policemen on their daily calls, the only law-enforcement official in America willing to cooperate was Navarro. These days police departments clamor for attention from Cops — now in its 24th season on Fox.
But during that first season, the show’s production crews followed only Broward sheriff’s deputies.
“Cops is the first reality-TV series, and Nick Navarro was instrumental in launching it,” Langley said Wednesday from his office in Hollywood, Calif. “When I called to ask him about it, he just said, ‘Come on down, let the chips fall where they may.’ He had guts, he had gumption, he was intrepid.”
Langley credits Navarro with ushering in a new era of transparency in law enforcement. Navarro’s critics, however, called him a relentless self-promoter who, somewhat ironically, routinely thumbed his nose at the rule of law. Rappers 2 Live Crew were ultimately acquitted of violating obscenity charges; Navarro’s practice of cooking up crack cocaine in police labs sparked outrage; the sheriff’s tent prisons had judges furious.
“Be a good Nick,” one judge famously told Navarro. “Not a god, Nick.”
The courts also scolded Navarro for implementing unconstitutional random searches of passengers at county bus and railroad stations.
“This is not Hitler’s Berlin nor Stalin’s Moscow,’’ Circuit Judge Robert Andrews chided the sheriff.
Under Navarro’s leadership, BSO not only grew in fame, but also in outright size, as the agency doubled its personnel to 3,000 and saw its budget increase from $75 million to $200 million. BSO took over law enforcement for three Broward cities: Dania Beach, Tamarac and Deerfield Beach.
But voters had tired of Navarro’s outlandish behavior by 1992, when the sheriff was defeated in a Republican primary despite being heavily favored. Navarro at first tried to have the election results thrown out, claiming voters couldn’t get to the polls because they were still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Andrew.
Former Broward Sheriff’s Office Capt. Ron Cacciatore, a friend of Navarro who left the agency when his boss did, said Navarro was ultimately undone by the controversy surrounding the 2 Live Crew arrests and BSO’s crack-manufacturing lab. Cacciatore said the public never fully grasped that the drug lab was being used in the furtherance of arrests — people became convinced BSO was putting more drugs on the streets.
Overlooked, Cacciatore said, was the fact that BSO’s crack cocaine was deliberately made to be weaker, and its non-narcotic ingredients were “safer” than what was commonly used — just in case an addict actually took the drug before an arrest was made.
“By cooking it ourselves, we could basically quantify what was in it,” Cacciatore said.
Cacciatore remembers Navarro as a lighthearted boss who was known to invite any employee he ran into — including entry-level staff — out to lunch on a whim. Navarro had a fondness for the Swap Shop flea market, Cacciatore said, as well as Yorkshire Terrier dogs. When one of Navarro’s Yorkies died, Cacciatore received a phone call. The sheriff was in tears.
“He said it was old, and it fell in the pool,” Cacciatore said.
Current Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti expressed his admiration for the man who promoted Lamberti to chief of the Deerfield Beach Sheriff’s Office in 1989.
“It’s a sad day,’’ Lamberti said Wednesday. “All of us who had the pleasure of working for Sheriff Navarro know he was a cop’s cop. He was always on the front line.’’
Lamberti told of a time when Navarro, on his way home from a charity gala and dressed in a tuxedo, phoned in that he was in pursuit of a drunk driver, and then pulled over the offending vehicle and waited for uniformed deputies to arrive.
“He always had the people’s best interest at heart,’’ Lamberti said, echoing Navarro’s slogan, “He was the sheriff of all the people.’’
Lamberti said he visited Navarro last week at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, where the former sheriff was recovering from complications of colon cancer surgery performed the previous year.
Even in failing health, Navarro’s mind was on the agency he once led.
Lamberti said Navarro wanted him to arrange a dinner for the four most recent Broward Sheriffs, including Tom Walker, Bob Butterworth, Navarro and Lamberti, and their wives.
“He lived for the Broward Sheriff’s Office,’’ Lamberti said. “He was always the sheriff.’’
Services are pending.
Methuen MA Sept 29 2011 Prosecutors say an armored car robbery in Methuen on Wednesday afternoon was an inside job, cooked up by the two guards and a third man who played the role of the robber.
Justin Levesque, 43, of Cumberland, R.I., and Eliezer Martinez, 26, of Lawrence, allegedly agreed with Willie Salazar Vasquez, 22, of Lawrence that Vasquez would rob them. Vasquez’s performance included taping up the eyes and hands of Levesque.
After committing the make-believe robbery of the Garda armored car, Vasquez went to his home in Lawrence with the stolen money and a gun he had taken from one of the guards, prosecutors said.
Levesque and Vasquez pleaded not guilty today in Lawrence District Court. A judge set $150,000 cash bail. A pretrial hearing was slated for Oct. 14.
Martinez, who suffered chest pains after the robbery, was still in the hospital, but he was expected to be arraigned later this afternoon.
Officials said the men had stolen an estimated $400,000 in cash and checks, which the armored car had picked up on its daily rounds.
Methuen police said Monday that the armored car had been robbed after a man disarmed a guard at the Big Lots department store.
The robber commandeered the vehicle, then exited it near the intersection of Jackson and Prospect streets in Methuen. The guards then drove to the Methuen police station to report the robbery, police said at the time.
The armored car had traveled on its regular route to Methuen from Needham, according to Methuen Police Lieutenant Kevin J. Martin. Detectives and FBI agents spent Monday night dusting the vehicle for fingerprints and other evidence.
Garda did not have a comment this morning on the arrest of two of its employees.
Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department, North Dakota
End of Watch: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tour of Duty: 4 years
Badge Number: 4837
Incident DetailsCause of Death: Heart attack
Date of Incident: September 28, 2011
Weapon Used: Person
Suspect Info: In custody
Deputy Sheriff Bryan Sleeper suffered a fatal heart attack while assisting another deputy arrest a combative subject at about 12:45 am.
The other deputy had attempted to stop the man for speeding, but the suspect refused to stop and drove to his home. During the ensuing confrontation, the man was tased twice before Deputy Sleeper could handcuff him.
Deputy Sleeper collapsed moments later. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Agency Contact InfoSheriff Pat Heinert
Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department
PO Box 1416
Bismarck, ND 58502
Phone: (701) 222-6651