Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category
A grandmother in Liverpool was sent to prison Friday…for helping her sons launder the proceeds from their heroin trafficking business.
Christine Fitzgibbon, 60, was given a two-year sentence at a hearing in Crown Court in Manchester, The Liverpool Echo reported. Her son, Jason, 40, got 16 years and his younger brother, Ian, 39, 14 years and six months.
The brothers were arrested in 2011 when police foiled a plan to import a large quantity of heroin from Turkey. Investigators said the drugs had a street value of 7 million pounds.
“The drug dealing involved huge quantities of both heroin and ecstasy,” Paul Mitchell, the prosecuting lawyer said. “It involved the importation of multi-kilogram quantities of the drugs into this country and then the onward supply of those drugs. The scope of the enterprise was truly breathtaking.”
Mitchell said investigators seized large amounts of cash, some of it found in Christine Fitzgibbon’s home, and described her as the family “banker.” The Department of Work and Pensions said she was collecting benefits while enjoying a large income from her sons’ business.
As the slogan so aptly states, “A family that preys together stays together”.
A San Diego-area teacher was fired because her stalker ex-husband was due to get out of jail soon and could show up at her school, district officials said.
Carie Charlesworth…was let go by the San Diego Roman Catholic diocese because of concerns her former spouse could pose a threat to staff and students at the Holy Trinity School in El Cajon once he was released from San Diego County jail.
Martin Charlesworth was sentenced to jail for domestic abuse and stalking after he went to Holy Trinity in January in violation of a restraining order. The unannounced visit caused a lockdown and brought police to the campus.
The education department of the diocese said in its termination letter that Mr. Charlesworth had a 20-year record of abuse and violence toward women and they did not want to risk a confrontation on school grounds.
Carie Charlesworth told the Los Angeles Times she was stunned at losing her job after 14 years with the diocese and was considering both a lawsuit and a career change. Her ex-husband’s attorney told the newspaper Martin Charlesworth had meant no harm by his January visit and had only wanted to discuss details of their child-custody arrangements.
Surely no one is surprised at what passes for care and concern for women and children by the Roman Catholic Church. Or for that matter – local law enforcement.
Time after time, we learn of wives beaten or murdered by the criminal thug they’ve gotten a restraining order against. The lack of concern, the inability of law enforcement to provide protection, say, comparable to a bank vice-president is common. My disgust with a religion that turns its gold-encrusted back on women’s real needs time and again – just moved up another notch.
Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation making Vermont the 17th state to approve decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
“This change just makes common sense. Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like heroin and meth rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana,” Shumlin said…
The law, which Shumlin signed Thursday, replaces criminal penalties with a civil fine for adults who possess an ounce or less of the drug.
The legislation also treats minors less than 21 years of age who possess an ounce or less the same as minors possessing alcohol.
They will be referred to a court diversion program for the first offense, and be subject to potential civil penalties or a license suspension for the second and criminal penalties for a third violation, the governor’s office said.
I get to say “overdue” for the seventy-eleventh time. If this keeps up, I may eventually search for a recipe for something like Alice B Toklas bran muffins. I don’t smoke anything.
Police may take DNA samples from people arrested in connection with serious crimes, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a 5-to-4 decision.
The federal government and 28 states authorize the practice, and law enforcement officials say it is a valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes. But the court said the testing was justified by a different reason: to identify the suspect in custody.
“When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and they bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, “taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”
Justice Antonin Scalia summarized his dissent from the bench…“Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason,” Justice Scalia said from the bench…
There’s a bit more blah, blah, blah from Scalia. He voices the paranoia already part of the DNA of jerkwater populists who can’t get their brains around the United States as a union, a whole nation, instead of a confederacy.
Monday’s ruling, Maryland v. King, No. 12-207, arose from the collection of DNA in 2009 from Alonzo Jay King Jr. after his arrest on assault charges in Wicomico County, Md. His DNA profile, obtained by swabbing his cheek, matched evidence from a 2003 rape case, and he was convicted of that crime…
Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that the “quick and painless” swabbing procedure was a search under the Fourth Amendment, meaning it had to be justified as reasonable under the circumstances. The search was reasonable, he said, given “the need for law enforcement officers in a safe and accurate way to process and identify the persons and possessions they must take into custody.”
Such identification, he said, “is no different than matching an arrestee’s face to a wanted poster of a previously unidentified suspect; or matching tattoos to known gang members to reveal a criminal affiliation; or matching the arrestee’s fingerprints to those recovered from a crime scene.”
An inevitable follow-on to this decision will be appeals and modifications to the law in the same vein as other nations ahead of the United States in considering and utilizing modern technology.
The UK high courts have ruled that DNA samples gathered as part of an arrest must be destroyed, the results expunged if the suspect is found not guilty of any offense at the time.
A granny in a suspicious wheelchair was pulled over in Kennedy Airport by Customs inspectors who blocked her lame attempt to smuggle heroin and cocaine in the country…
Fior Daliza Garcia rolled off JetBlue flight No. 838 from the Dominican Republic on Wednesday and immediately caught the attention of the federal officers.
Garcia, 58, appeared nervous to Customs and Border Protection inspectors who also noted that her wheelchair appeared to be “freshly painted,” according to a complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
She was escorted to a private room and transferred to another wheelchair. Her two suitcases appeared to be clean, so the inspectors focused on the wheelchair.
“During the subsequent search, CBP officers lifted (Garcia’s) wheelchair and noticed that it was unusually heavy and flimsy,” U.S. Homeland Security special agent Edward Romeo stated in the complaint.
Sure enough, the officers found a quantity of heroin and cocaine stashed in the “body” of the wheelchair.
Garcia, a grandmother from Boston, confessed that she was going to be paid $12,000 for smuggling the drugs here from the Dominican Republic…
She could buy a new wheelchair for every day of the week and then some – with that payoff. Now she’s stuck with prison-quality wheels.
The remains of dozens of Palestinians killed by Israelis in fighting during the war of 1948 which led to the creation of the state of Israel have been found in a mass grave in Tel Aviv’s Jaffa district.
An official at the Muslim cemetery there told AFP news agency that the grisly find occurred on Wednesday when ground subsided as workers carried out renovations, revealing six chambers full of skeletons.
Jaffa fisherman Atar Zeinab, 80, says that as a teenager during the final months of fighting in 1948, he helped to collect the Arab dead in the area south of Jaffa and bring them for hasty burial in the cemetery, the area’s main graveyard.
“I carried to the cemetery 60 bodies during a period of three or four months,” he told AFP. “We used to find the people in the street and most of the time we didn’t know who they were.”
He said that the danger of being hit by flying bullets or grenade fragments was such that bodies were dumped one on top of the other in existing family crypts in the cemetery, contrary to Muslim custom.
“We carried them early in the morning or in the night,” he added. “We put women, children and men in the same place…nobody prayed for these people.”
Jaffa was at the time a Palestinian town, but there was a forced exodus of most of its Arab population when it fell to the fledgling Israeli army and rightwing Jewish armed gangs.
In 1950 it was incorporated into the city of Tel Aviv which was renamed Tel Aviv-Jaffa…
Around 760,000 Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes in what they call the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” of 1948.
More of the history of America’s “democratic and compassionate” ally in the Middle East – exposed to the light of day.
The hospital room showdown over illicit wiretaps in 2004 – James Comey vs Alberto Gonzalez, George W Bush’s flunkey
Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey tells the tale of a remarkable attempt by the White House to bully John Ashcroft in his hospital bed. His testimony before Senator Chuck Schumer in May 2007.
Sen. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.): There have been media reports describing a dramatic visit by Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card to the hospital bed of John Ashcroft in March 2004, after you, as acting attorney general, decided not to authorize a classified program.
First, can you confirm that a night-time hospital visit took place?
FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL JAMES B. COMEY: Yes, I can.
SCHUMER: OK. Can you remember the date and the day?
COMEY: Yes, sir, very well. It was Wednesday, March the 10th, 2004.
SCHUMER: And how do you remember that date so well?
COMEY: This was a very memorable period in my life; probably the most difficult time in my entire professional life. And that night was probably the most difficult night of my professional life. So it’s not something I’d forget.
SCHUMER: Were you present when Alberto Gonzales visited Attorney General Ashcroft’s bedside?
SCHUMER: And am I correct that the conduct of Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card on that evening troubled you greatly?
Click here and read through the transcript. Fascinating, disgusting, despicable.
Now that Comey is being put forward by President Obama to replace Robert Mueller as head of the FBI – this whole episode will be recounted, revisited. Who knows? Maybe we’ll yet have a chance to throw Cheney and Bush into Federal Prison for treason?
Who’s the coward? The gun nut sending poison through the mail – or Mike Bloomberg who ain’t running away from a fight?
Deadly threats will not prevent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg from pursuing tighter gun laws, the outspoken gun control advocate said Thursday after anonymous letters addressed to him tested positive for ricin.
“The letter was obviously referring to our anti-gun efforts, but there’s 12,000 people who are going to get killed this year with guns,” Bloomberg said. “We’re not going to walk away from those efforts.”
U.S. Secret Service also confirmed on Thursday that the White House mail screening facility intercepted a separate letter addressed to the White House that was similar to the letters previously addressed to Bloomberg…
Tests conducted on Wednesday confirmed two anonymous threatening letters sent to Bloomberg and Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, contained the presence of ricin. The poison, which can be a white powder or orange liquid, is found naturally in castor beans. It can be fatal for up to 72 hours.
“What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I’ve got planned for you,” the anonymous person wrote in the letter sent to Bloomberg. “You’ll have to kill me and my family before you get my guns…blah, blah, blah!
Law enforcement sources said the letters were postmarked May 20 from Shreveport, La.
The letter to Bloomberg was opened on Sunday and the letter to Glaze was opened on Friday. Bloomberg’s letter was intercepted at a mail sorting facility in Manhattan, and Glaze’s letter was encountered at Washington, D.C., offices. Everyone who came into contact with the letters was unharmed.
“I’m not angry. There are people who I would argue do things that may be irrational, do things that are wrong,” Bloomberg said. “But it’s a very complex world out there, and we just have to deal with that.”
Bloomberg is way too forgiving. I don’t mind laying a bit of understanding on the woefully ignorant who populate, say, the Tea Party or line up at the American Legion bar on Friday night to tell war stories. But, the criminal arrogance of cowards who fear democracy so much they resort to attempted murder deserve no sympathy.
Lock ‘em up and throw away the key.
South Korea has suspended operations in two nuclear power reactors and extended a shutdown of a third to replace parts that were supplied using fake certificates.
The government warned on Tuesday there could be “unprecedented” electricity shortages and rolling blackouts this summer due to the nuclear shutdowns.
The latest closures, which are part of a widening investigation into the supply of cables provided with falsified safety certificates, mean that 10 of the country’s 23 nuclear reactors are currently offline…
Blackout alerts, triggered automatically when power reserves dip below a certain level, were highly likely and power shortages could be “very serious” in August, the statement said…
At proper capacity, South Korea’s nuclear reactors supply more than 35 percent of national electricity needs.
“We expect unprecedented supply shortage this summer as we have to meet power demand while three reactors are halted,” said Han Jin-hyun, vice minister for trade, industry and energy…
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said it had shut down the reactors, one at the Gori nuclear complex and another at the Wolseong plant, after learning that both had used parts supplied with forged warranties.
The scheduled resumption of another reactor under maintenance at Gori, and the start of a new reactor at Wolseong, were postponed for the same reason, the commission said.
Corruption almost always jeopardizes safety. A factor which doesn’t mean a damned thing to corporate creeps who see a chance to increase profits.
The civic body in Mumbai has passed a proposal to ban the display of bikini-clad mannequins in lingerie shops…The proposal, intended to reduce incidents of assault on women, is under active consideration by the body’s chief executive, Sitaram Kunte.
The proposal was unanimously passed by the assembly, which has 227 members from various political parties.
There have been a number of high-profile sexual assaults against women in India in recent months…Dozens of rape cases have been reported in Mumbai since the beginning of the year.
Ritu Tawade, a member of the civic body, first put forward the idea a couple of months ago, after a series of rape cases in the country.
She told the BBC that the public display of scantily clothed mannequins in shop windows “indirectly or directly leads to rape”.
Mrs Tawade believes that they are titillating for men. “It’s a Western thing, our society doesn’t allow them,” she said…
Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu supports the idea. He told a local newspaper that he believed scantily clad mannequins invited the unwanted attention of men, in a city that has seen a surge of sex crimes.
I’m less certain that there has been anything other than an increase in the reporting of sex crimes. Blaming the victims is pretty standard behavior for any ignoranus lacking respect for women. That doesn’t change according to the city you live in; but, rather, the culture controlling social mores.
If rapes aren’t prosecuted, if sexual assault on the street or public transit is acceptable male behavior, the context of advertising or clothing only defines this year’s excuse. It will continue unless the legal system enforces a code of behavior that doesn’t build-in excuses for sexual assault.