Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

U.S. Court to Bob McDonnell: Go to Prison, Already

August 21, 2015

U.S. Court to Bob McDonnell: Go to Prison, Already

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has told disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell that if he wants to appeal his political corruption conviction to the Supreme Court, he can do it from the slammer.

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Death of a Young Black Journalist

August 2, 2015

Death of a Young Black Journalist

“The most basic instinct of a local reporter is to take the importance of her neighbors as a given. In a community like Anacostia—where more than ninety per cent of residents are African-American, one in two kids lives below the poverty line, and incarceration and unemployment rates are among the nation’s highest—this is another way of saying that black lives matter.”

— “Death of a Young Black Journalist,” Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

More:

“Charnice Milton Was Killed in Community She Loved,” Richard Prince, The Root

“Charnice Milton,” NotionsCapital

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Florida’s Growth Industry: Fraud

July 31, 2015

Florida's #1 Industry: Fraud

“Since the first settlers hacked their way into the mangrove tangles and drained much of the swampland, sunny South Florida has been virtually synonymous with shady deals and scams.

Over the past decade or so, the three most populous South Florida counties — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach — have become less renowned for old-school ‘Miami Vice’-style drug shootouts than for scammers stealing hundreds of millions from the government, banks and individuals by using laptops, stolen identities and fake medical procedures.”

— “By nearly any measure, sunny South Florida is tops in fraud,” Curt Anderson, Associated Press

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Bobby Jindal: ‘Not the Time’ to Consider Gun Law Reform

July 27, 2015

Bobby Jindal: 'Not the Time' to Consider Gun Law Reform
On Friday Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) said that it is too soon after the mass shooting in a Lafayette movie theater to discuss gun control reform. By that logic it will never be a good time to talk about gun safety laws in Louisiana, since the rate of gun deaths in the Pelican State is the highest in the country. Discussion of rational policies to reduce firearms violence will always be preempted as citizens mourn Louisiana’s newest gunshot victims.

Come to think of it, that kind of neglect is perfectly consistent with the rest of Governor Jindal’s public health policy.

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The Gekas Loophole

July 25, 2015

The Gekas Loophole
On April 16th, 21-year-old Dylann Roof was allowed to purchase a 45 caliber Glock handgun from retailer Shooter’s Choice of West Columbia SC, despite his arrest, indictment, and his pending trial for felony possession of a narcotic prescription drug. Why was this sale permitted? The FBI is taking the blame for an incomplete background check, but the purchase went through because of the gentleman pictured above, former Congressman George W. Gekas, who represented Pennsylvania’s 17th District for 20 years.

When the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was on the House floor in 1993, Rep. Gekas (R, PA-17) introduced Amendment 390, requiring a technologically impossible “instant background check” and, if the FBI couldn’t clear the purchaser within five days (later 3 days) then the sale could go through. This “Gekas Loophole” or “default proceed sale” provision was added, the bill passed, and President Clinton signed it into law.

Today, explains the New York Times‘ Michael S. Schmidt:

“Many major gun retailers, like Walmart, will not sell a weapon if they do not have an answer from the F.B.I., because of the fear of public criticism if the gun is used in a crime. The marginal sale of one gun means little to the bottom line of a large dealer, which is not the case for smaller stores like the one that sold Mr. Roof his gun.”

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Altar Boy, US Marine, FBI Agent, Lawyer, GOP Congressman, Felon.

July 20, 2015

Altar Boy, US Marine, FBI Agent, GOP Congressman, Falon.
Former altar boy Michael Grimm, US Marine veteran, ex-FBI Agent, lawyer, thug, restaurateur, and former Republican Congressman from Staten Island, has been sentenced to 8 months in federal prison for tax fraud. He will be missed by his Mom and Sebastian, his Yorkshire terrier.

More:

“The Appalling Career of Michael Grimm,” Evan Ratliff, The New Yorker

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Private Investor Improves Basic Infrastructure in Mexico

July 14, 2015

Private Investor Improves Basic Infrastructure in Mexico
Wealthy private investor Joaquin Guzmán has bankrolled a new tunnel in the Santa Juana neighborhood of Almoloya de Juárez, Mexico, 16 miles from Toluca. The tunnel, 5 1/2 feet in diameter, stretches about a mile from the Centro Federal de Readaptación Social No. 1 “Altiplano,” a government facility, to an unfinished house surrounded by cornfields, perhaps slated for future development. It is estimated that the sophisticated underground structure cost $5 million to complete.

More information:

“Mexico drug lord Guzman’s escape tunnel is a minor engineering masterpiece,” Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times

“How Mexico’s Most-Wanted Drug Lord Escaped From Prison (Again),” Larry Buchanan, Josh Keller, and Derek Watkins, New York Times

“Undermining Mexico: How ‘El Chapo’ built a criminal empire — and escaped prison — by digging deep.” Nick Miroff, Washington Post

“How a Mexican drug kingpin’s daring prison escape made him a hip-hop icon & an outlaw hero,” Matthew Pulver, Salon

Update:

“Underworld: How the Sinaloa drug cartel digs its tunnels,” Monte Reel, The New Yorker

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Bob McDonnell Corruption Conviction Upheld

July 11, 2015

Bob McDonnell Corruption Conviction Upheld

A three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the political corruption conviction of disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell so, pending further appeal to the full U.S. Fourth Circuit Court, he’s going to the slammer for 2 years. He’s lucky; based on Federal Sentencing Guidelines he could have gotten at least 10 years in prison.

During the initial trial ex-Gov. McDonnell, devoted husband and father of five, explained the $150,000 in loans, vacations, golf outings and luxury goods Virginia’s First Couple took from a snake-oil salesman for promoting his dubious nostrums by blaming it all on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell. That defense was not successful.

Understandably, Mr. McDonnell left his conjugal home and has been staying at the rectory of Richmond’s St. Patrick’s Church with a sympathetic priest who’s had legal problems of his own. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell, was convicted on 8 counts and sentenced to a year and a day in the hoosegow.

Due to these circumstances, Bob McDonnell is perhaps the only prominent Republican not running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Yet.

More:

“Official Acts,” Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-lFb

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Charnice Milton

June 13, 2015

Charnice Milton

Washington DC journalist Charnice Milton was fatally shot on May 27th while waiting for a bus. A graduate of Ball State University with a Masters Degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, she is missed by the members of her profession and the community she covered. Her killers, a group of illegal dirt bike riders who have roared through several DC neighborhoods over the past few years, have not been apprehended.

More:

“Charnice Milton Was Killed in Community She Loved,” Richard Prince, The Root

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-lrO

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Sepp Blatter to Leave the Game

June 3, 2015

Sepp Blatter to Leave the Game
Zurich’s Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, recently reelected President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), will be leaving that position in a few months, if he is not arrested first. Herr Blatter has ruled the international sports empire since 1998, and has helped FIFA bring the lucrative World Cup matches to places like Russia and the North Pole Qatar. The abrupt resignation followed news that Herr Blatter’s top assistant, Jérôme Valcke, was involved in a questionable $10 million money transfer.

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