Recently in Law Enforcement Category

Now this will be interesting to follow

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Talk about having repercussions - from Associated Press:

Sessions terminates US policy that let legal pot flourish
The Trump administration threw the burgeoning movement to legalize marijuana into uncertainty Thursday as it lifted an Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will now leave it up to federal prosecutors to decide what to do when state rules collide with federal drug law.

Sessions’ action, just three days after a legalization law went into effect in California, threatened the future of the young industry, created confusion in states where the drug is legal and outraged both marijuana advocates and some members of Congress, including Sessions’ fellow Republicans. Many conservatives are wary of what they see as federal intrusion in areas they believe must be left to the states.

Marijuana is regulated by the federal government - good test of the 10th Amendment v/s the Supremacy Clause. I live in Washington State where recreational use was made legal. No spike in crime or traffic accidents has been observed.

Portland - staying weird stupid

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Reading between the lines on this article from The Oregonian:

Portland police to halt, purge all gang designations
Portland police next month will end their more than 20-year-old practice of designating people as gang members or gang associates in response to strong community concerns about the labels that have disproportionately affected minorities.

So some activists in Portland are complaining that the majority of people involved in gang activities are people of color? They decry this so what does Portland do? Roll over, play the diversity card (All Hail Diversity!) and kill off one of the tools they have for policing illegal gang activity. The Oregonian also published the Police data:

People on gang list by race
Of the 359 people on the gang list, 18% are white, 81% are a racial or ethnic minority, and 64% are black. Unlike the U.S. Census, the list does not allow people to be multiple races, or to be both "white" and "Hispanic."

The police need to be able to do their jobs and protect the other 99% of Portland's citizens who want to live their lives in peace. The actions of a few a**holes are making it difficult for everyone.

Great news from the Houston, Texas ABC affiliate:

Houston police catch 14 armed robbers and looters amid flood emergency
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said he is not going to tolerate criminals taking advantage of people in the community during such a devastating time.

He said his officers arrested 14 alleged looters since Sunday.

Those arrested will face stiffer punishments under a Texas law providing heftier penalties during a crisis, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

"People displaced or harmed in this storm are not going to be easy prey," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.

Burglarizing a home would normally bring a penalty of two to 20 years in prison, but now brings five years to life. "This is the state of Texas. We are a welcoming city, but we are not going to tolerate people victimizing others," Acevedo said.

Emphasis mine - good! Crime is stupid and it should hurt. How much is that television really worth to you?

Way to go - New Jersey

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Major props to the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness - just declared Antifa to be a terrorist organization:

Anarchist Extremists: Antifa
Anti-fascist groups, or “Antifa,” are a subset of the anarchist movement and focus on issues involving racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as other perceived injustices.

    • Self-described Antifa groups have been established across the United States and in several major cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. A majority of New Jersey-based anarchist groups are affiliated with the Antifa movement and are opposed to “fascism,” racism, and law enforcement. Antifa groups coordinate regionally and have participated in protests in New York City and Philadelphia. There are three loosely organized chapters in New Jersey, known as the North Jersey Antifa, the South Jersey Antifa, and the HubCity Antifa New Brunswick (Middlesex County).
    • In December 2016, a group known as the Antifascist Action-Nebraska engaged in a doxing campaign against a prominent member of American Vanguard, a white supremacist organization. The group published his personal information on several social media platforms and posted fliers on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus, calling for his expulsion.
    • On March 28, a small fight occurred between Antifa members and supporters of the US President during a rally in Seaside Heights (Ocean County).  Because of advance publicity about the event on social media, local and state law enforcement officers were able to keep altercations to a minimum.

More at the site - Oregon and Washington need to do this. Getting out of hand here.

Illegal immigrants - one example

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The cream of the crop is crossing our borders to live here - from Texas' My San Antonio:

Seven life sentences for ex-Zetas boss who took part in slaughters
A former regional boss for the Zetas was sentenced Wednesday to seven life terms for his role in 18 gory deaths, and for participating with the cartel in drug-trafficking operations that included a rampage in which more than 300 people in northern Mexico were slaughtered.

Marciano "Chano" Millan Vasquez stood straight-faced as U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez pronounced life sentences for seven charges, and ordered them to run consecutively, then stacked another five years for a separate count. The prison terms for two other counts were ordered to run concurrent.

At least we are finally getting tough with them. The murders all happened in Mexico - a bit more:

All of the killings, including the 18 pegged specifically on Millan, took place in Mexico between 2009 and 2015.

Millan was arrested in 2015 while living under a fake name in San Antonio, where he had settled with some relatives. He was tried here last year and convicted on all 10 charges he faced, including killing in furtherance of drug-trafficking crimes. U.S. law allowed the federal government to prosecute him for killings in another country as long as those violent acts were part of a drug conspiracy with connections to the U.S.

More at the link - the murders are especially horrid. About the Zetas:

The trial also revealed that the Zetas controlled law enforcement and other local or regional officials by bribing them or threatening them. Explosive testimony also alleged that the Zetas paid millions of dollars in cash bribes to officials of the Mexican state of Coahuila, including a previous governor, Humberto Moreira, and his brother Rubén Moreira, the current governor. Both brothers have denied the allegations.

In exchange for the bribes, witnesses testified, the Zetas were protected as they took over the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas from just west of Laredo to the Big Bend region. Witnesses said state police helped gang leaders evade federal authorities, the gang was able to invest in construction and coal mining and the Zetas took control of state jails, where they had freedom to carry out an array of crimes.

Gee wiz - if there was some way to block the border so they could not cross - like a wall or something. Makes me really wonder why our legislators do not build the wall. Who is paying them off...

And then, we have stories like this one - also from My San Antonio:

San Antonio man freed by Obama pleads guilty to another drug charge
A San Antonio man who was freed from life in prison by President Barack Obama pleaded guilty Thursday to another drug charge he received after crashing his car while fleeing from officers.

Robert M. Gill, 68, whose life sentence for cocaine and heroin distribution conspiracy was commuted by Obama in 2015, was profiled last year in the San Antonio Express-News about his readjustment to life on the outside.

And what led up to the car crash:

In February, back in San Antonio, he picked up a backpack with a kilo of cocaine at a supermarket parking lot on the West Side from a confidential source working with Homeland Security Investigations. Gill sped away from Bexar County sheriff’s deputies who tried to pull him over, crashing into another car at Callaghan and Bandera roads, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bettina Richardson.

A kilo is not a personal stash - this is possession with intent to sell. Lock him away and throw away the key.

Heh - some fun in Albuquerque

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From the Albuquerque Journal:

TV news crew’s truck stolen while reporting on Downtown Albuquerque crime
Someone stole a news station’s SUV in Downtown Albuquerque while the crew was gathering footage for a story about crime in the area.

Michelle Donaldson, KOB News Director, said the crew watched as the vehicle was stolen near 1st and Central.

The crew was in the area reporting on recent concerns about crime and safety by the local business Lavu when they became part of the story.

“I have a rule, that you can never be the lead of your own newscast,” Donaldson said. “So this violates that rule.”

That crew is not going to live this down for a long long time. A bit more:

A bit of local fun

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From the Bellingham Herald:

Blaine border officers find more than 53 pounds of meth in SUV’s hidden compartment
Border agents found seven packages of methamphetamine weighing more than 53 pounds in a vehicle trying to cross into the U.S. on Saturday, U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a news release.

A 40-year-old man driving a Hyundai SUV was trying to enter from Canada and told U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers that he and a 33-year-old male passenger were visiting the country for pleasure.

An officer referred the vehicle for further inspection and found the meth in a hidden compartment through non-intrusive inspection technology, officials said.

Nasty stuff - I hope they spend at least ten years behind bars for this.

Good news - Winner loses

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From Bloomberg:

Accused Leaker of Top-Secret U.S. Report Loses Bail Request
A former U.S. Air Force linguist charged with passing a top-secret report about Russian hacking to a news organization was denied bail by a magistrate judge who said the woman had taken other classified information that could still be passed to enemies of the U.S.

Reality Leigh Winner, 25, a government contract worker with top-secret security clearance, pleaded not guilty Thursday to an espionage charge in federal court in Augusta, Georgia, and was ordered to remain in custody out of concern she poses a risk to national security.

A federal prosecutor said in court that authorities had uncovered a series of “new and downright frightening" other acts by Winner, including inserting a thumb drive into her Air Force computer and taking classified information while she was still in the military.

“When you take a thumb drive in a top-secret computer as she did, we don’t know what happened to it," U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Epps said at the hearing. “That falls into the landscape of danger to the community but it is also a danger to the nation."

I hope they throw the book at her - this was an unconscionable act of treason. 25 is old enough to know better.

It may be quasi legal in Washington State but it is not on the East Coast - from The Seattle Times:

Seattle police officer charged in large-scale pot-smuggling operation
A veteran Seattle police officer has been charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana along with three other people federal agents say were part of a large-scale drug-smuggling operation responsible for delivering at least 100 kilograms of marijuana to the East Coast.

According to a 15-page complaint unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court, Officer Alex Chapackdee — part of a five-member community policing team in the department’s South Precinct — is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana along with Tuan Van Le, Samath Khanhphontgphane and Phi Nguyen in what a federal task force is referring to as the “Tuan Van Le Drug Trafficking Network.”

The complaint alleges that Chapackdee and others were “regularly smuggling large amounts of marijuana from the Western District of Washington to locations on the East Coast, including but not limited to locations in the Baltimore, Maryland, area.”

And the investigation was ongoing:

Chapackdee has been under surveillance since at least 2016, when the local FBI opened a public-corruption case in addition to the drug investigation. The investigation included the placement of a camera hidden on a utility pole outside his Seattle apartment and warrants to monitor his phone calls and track his cellphone signal, allowing the task force to track his trips back east.

Talk about being given enough rope. I hope he goes away for a long long time - this is a blot on the Seattle Police Department's reputation.

Someone is lying very low with a huge bank account - from Reuters:

U.S. has not found "one dollar" of drug lord El Chapo's assets - official
U.S. authorities have not been able to find any trace of ill-gotten assets belonging to jailed drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's attorney general said on Wednesday.

Before he was captured last year and extradited to the United States in January to stand trial, Guzman was one of the world's most wanted drug traffickers and believed to have accumulated a fortune from reigning over his Sinaloa Cartel over many years.

"As of today, U.S. authorities have not found not even one dollar of El Chapo's assets," Mexican Attorney General Raul Cervantes said in an interview with top local broadcaster Televisa.

And of course, dealing with these mokes is like playing a game of Whack-A-Mole:

In the same interview, Cervantes said that the relative upstart Jalisco New Generation Cartel is now Mexico's largest criminal organization, eclipsing the country's more familiar criminal syndicates like Sinaloa or the Zetas.

On Tuesday, Mexican security forces arrested Damaso Lopez, who the United States once described as Guzman's "right hand man" but had been locked in a bloody struggle for control of the Sinaloa Cartel against the sons of El Chapo.

Knock one down, two more spring up in their place. This is a problem with the Mexican government and not with the cartels. They will never be serious as long as the crime is exported to the United States.

Life emulates fiction

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From the Las Cruces, Arizona Sun-News:

Ex-science teacher from Las Cruces breaks bad
A former science teacher in New Mexico manufactures methamphetamine. Sound familiar?

The 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that John W. Gose, who taught science at schools in Las Cruces and El Paso, pleaded guilty to charges that he manufactured and possessed methamphetamine.

Gose, 56, of San Miguel, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking methamphetamine by manufacturing and one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He entered the pleas before state District Judge Fernando R. Macias in 3rd Judicial District Court in Las Cruces.

He should have watched the entire series to see that nobody got out alive.

From the United States Department of Justice:

Pursuant to Executive Order on Public Safety, Department of Justice Releases Data on Incarcerated Aliens
President Trump’s Executive Order on Public Safety in the Interior of the United States requires the Department of Justice to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on data collection efforts. The data in this release shows a significant prison population of incarcerated aliens.

“Illegal aliens who commit additional crimes in the United States are a threat to public safety and a burden on our criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “This is why we must secure our borders through a wall and effective law enforcement, and we must strengthen cooperation between federal, state and local governments as we strive to fulfill our sacred duty of protecting and serving the American people.”

And some numbers:

There are 45,493 foreign-born inmates currently in BOP custody, of which 3,939 are U.S. citizens (either naturalized or derivative). Of the remaining 41,554 foreign-born inmates (aliens):

    • Approximately 22,541 (54.2 percent) are aliens for which final immigration orders have been issued for their removal;
    • Approximately 13,886 (33.4 percent) are aliens who are under ICE investigation for possible removal;
    • Approximately 5,101 (12.3 percent) are aliens still pending adjudication (in other words, ICE has charged these aliens as removal cases, but a final disposition has not yet been reached); and
    • Approximately 26 (0.1 percent) are aliens who have been granted relief on the basis of asylum claims.

Close the borders now. We have always had a legitimate path for people who want to legally come to this nation and become citizens. It is these free-loaders who are the problem.

Well - it is against Federal Law

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Happy 4-20 day everyone. This makes me wonder what they were thinking - from US News and World Report:

Federal Charges for 7 Pot Activists Who Offered 4/20 Joints to Congressional Staff
U.S. Capitol Police officers unexpectedly arrested seven marijuana activists on federal charges Thursday as they gave away free joints to Capitol Hill staffers in compliance with a local legalization law.

Activists affiliated with the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, or DCMJ, did not plan on getting arrested, and sought to stand on non-federal land – a sidewalk near Senate offices – to avoid intervention by the Capitol Police.

A ballot initiative approved by District of Columbia voters in 2014 allows adults 21 and older to possess 2 ounces of pot and to give it away. Although local law generally is respected, marijuana possession for almost any reason remains a federal crime.

A bit more - makes sense:

A police officer who was not authorized to speak on the record said activists were being targeted for distribution, and that, even though it also is federally illegal, mere possession of marijuana on the sidewalk would be tolerated – a point underscored by the fact that two large cannabis plants sat undisturbed near the site of the arrests.

And unclear on the concept:

Nikolas Schiller, the other co-founder of the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, took on emceeing duties following Eidinger's arrest, and announced the giveaway had to end early.

"It looks like the police stole most of our cannabis," Schiller said. "We're going to be suing the hell out of U.S. Capitol Police."

Good luck with that lawsuit buddy...

Our Attorney General - from Breitbart:

Jeff Sessions: MS-13 Could Be Designated a Terrorist Organization
Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued his campaign against the vicious MS-13 gang on Fox News’s Tucker Tuesday evening, telling host Tucker Carlson that the group may qualify as a terrorist organization.

“The government of El Salvador has designated MS-13 a terrorist organization. Would it be helpful for our government to do the same?” Carlson asked. “I think so, perhaps. It could qualify for that,” was Sessions’s response.

Designating MS-13 a “foreign terrorist organization” would make providing any material support for the group, here or abroad, a felony, and compel U.S. financial institutions to freeze any assets they reasonably believe belong to the group. The determination is made by the State Department and not AG Sessions’s Justice Department, but Sessions’s willingness to support such a designation speaks to how seriously he takes the threat from the gang.

“This is one of the most violent gangs in the history of our country,” Sessions said of MS-13. He cited the group’s use of machetes and willingness to kill and prostitute children, as they have done across the United States.

Good - now if they just add Antifa to the list things would be wonderful.

Great video about Search and Rescue

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From the King County Search and Rescue team - they are south of here - Seattle is in King County.

For the longest time, our county - Whatcom - had been listed as being a sanctuary county where no action would be taken after receiving a request from Department of Homeland Security. Our Sheriff just corrected this today and brought to my attention the origin of that listing. From his letter:

Sheriff Elfo’s Letter To Citizens Regarding Cooperation With DHS-ICE
Earlier this month I learned from the news media that Whatcom County, along with many other counties in Washington, is listed on a federal web-site as having “enacted policies which limit cooperation Immigration and Customs Enforcement” (ICE), a component agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It is in the interest of public safety that the Sheriff’s Office cooperates with ICE to ensure an orderly transfer of criminal aliens to federal custody after the resolution of state charges. The Sheriff’s Office has a long history of doing just this. Whatcom County’s designation as “non-cooperative” does not reflect the practices we have adopted to ensure cooperation with ICE or a decision of a federal court within our 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that set forth constitutional requirements and limitations.

And the reporting?

Last week, I requested the regional ICE “Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations” in Seattle to explain Whatcom County’s listing. After researching the matter, the acting director of the office advised me that his agents reported that the Sheriff’s Office has been fully cooperative and it appeared that the County should not have been listed as “non-cooperative.” He further explained that the decisions on county designations are made at the agency’s national headquarters in the District of Columbia on the basis of newspaper articles that followed the court decision. The acting director agreed to work to assist us in being removed from the “non-cooperating” list. However, he further indicated that many counties across the country were also voicing objections and that the issue may take some time to resolve.

So some unelected bureaucrat in the other Washington decided to list Whatcom County as a sanctuary county despite it not being so. Talk about a poor attempt at virtue signalling. Sheriff Elfo concludes his letter with the following:

I was not contacted by anyone from ICE prior to the Sheriff’s Office being included on the “non-cooperative” list. Whatcom County is not a sanctuary for criminal aliens and the Sheriff’ Office fully cooperates with ICE on the transfer of criminal aliens to the extent permitted by law. I can only conclude that the decision was made within the realm of a large bureaucracy that chose not to review the relationships, policies and practices that exist within our community to ensure public safety and cooperation or the Constitution as interpreted by a federal judge, which I took an oath to uphold.

Late on Tuesday (March 29th) I received notice from ICE that effective Sunday (April 2nd) their entire process for requesting the transfer of criminal aliens to federal custody is being revised as to scope and procedure. The new policy does not provide for the presentation of warrants but rather insists that Sheriffs accept revised detainer request forms. There was no prior discussion with Sheriffs on this process. There Prosecuting Attorney Dave McEachran is reviewing these federal changes and will provide me with advice that will help ensure adherence to the requirements of the Constitution. I will continue to work closely with ICE to effectuate public safety and the requirements of the law.

Great - we have some fantastic people working in the Sheriff's department - I have met many of them working for CERT and various radio groups and I am very glad that we have them on our side.

Again, someone coming in to improve themselves and their families are one thing - there are avenues of naturalization for them to follow. Unfortunately, about 10% of the immigrants are criminals and need to be dealt with promptly, fairly and returned to the nation of their birth, not cossetted and put on the public dole here until they commit another crime.

And the craziness begins - a three-fer

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Now that President Trump is cracking down on Sanctuary Cities, three cities are pushing back. Here are three links to stories:

It will be interesting to listen to their tune a year from now when that sweet Federal money has dried up for their pet projects - their bread and circuses.

90% of the people coming in are fine and just want to make a better life for them and their families. The other 10% comprise a significant security threat - they are criminals who repeatedly offend, are deported only to come back and re-offend. These mokes need to be treated differently.

This is a wonderful law

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Sure, there is great potential for abuse but I bet that the people being prosecuted will have multiple sets of evidence gathered against them because the police know this is controversial. From the Arizona Capital Times:

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent
Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

People's views pro and con:

Quezada said, though, that everything that constitutes rioting already is a crime, ranging from assault to criminal damage, and those responsible can be individually prosecuted. He said the purpose of this bill appears to be designed to chill the First Amendment rights of people to decide to demonstrate in the first place for fear something could wrong.

But Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said that chilling effect is aimed at a very specific group of protesters.

“You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder,’’ he said.

“A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists,’’ Kavanagh continued. “But this stuff is all planned.’’

There’s something else: By including rioting in racketeering laws, it actually permits police to arrest those who are planning events. And Kavanagh, a former police officer, said if there are organized groups, “I should certainly hope that our law enforcement people have some undercover people there.’’

“Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts?’’ Kavanagh asked colleagues during debate. “Do you really want to wait until people are injuring each other, throwing Molotov cocktails, picking up barricades and smashing them through businesses in downtown Phoenix?’’

Senator Kavanagh has it exactly correct. We have seen James O'Keefe's videos where he infiltrated and videoed the people planning the inaugural protests - the three ringleaders were subsequently arrested on this evidence. This is a wonderful law when applied carefully with sufficient evidence.

About those borders

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Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is one of the worst of the latin street gangs - from Washington DC station WUSA-9:

Gang recruiting seen as early as elementary school
It starts early. WUSA9 learned Thursday, gang leaders are recruiting new members in a disturbing place: Elementary Schools.

“Oh grade-school. They're recruiting in grade-school but generally 5th grade and on,” said Northern Virginia Regional Task Force Director Jay Lanham.

It may feel like they're babies, but 5th grade and on, the time kids are starting to find themselves, has become a prime target age for MS-13 gang recruiting especially, according to Lanham.

His team is aiding the investigation into the gang-related murder of 15-year-old Alexandra Reyes-Rivas, the Montgomery County teen found dead in Springfield, Va. this past weekend.

Secure the borders and stamp crap like this out.

The recent spate of ICE raids

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Are not just random targeting - from CNS News:

ICE Nabs Slew of Sexual Offenders in Nationwide Sweep
Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country. These operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.

ICE officers in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City areas of responsibility arrested more than 680 individuals who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.

Approximately 75 percent of those arrested are criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including a range of sexual offenses:

    • Homicide,
    • Aggravated sexual abuse,
    • Sexual assault of a minor,
    • Lewd and lascivious acts with a child,
    • Indecent liberties with a minor,
    • Drug trafficking,
    • Battery,
    • Assault,
    • DUI (Driving Under the Influence of a controlled substance), and
    • Weapons charges.

Monday, Dept. of Homeland Security Sec. John F. Kelly applauded all those who contributed to the enforcement sweep for their bravery and dedication.

Good - let the good intelligent ones come here, assimilate into the American way of life and become citizens. The career criminals need to be shown that America is not a safe haven for their activities. Congratulations to President Trump for continuing to honor his campaign promises.

President Trump's Executive Orders

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Great list over at The White House: Executive Orders

He signed this one yesterday which I like:

Presidential Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to:

(a) enforce all Federal laws in order to enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers, and thereby all Americans;

(b) develop strategies, in a process led by the Department of Justice (Department) and within the boundaries of the Constitution and existing Federal laws, to further enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers; and

(c) pursue appropriate legislation, consistent with the Constitution's regime of limited and enumerated Federal powers, that will define new Federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing Federal crimes, in order to prevent violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.

Basically, you mess with a cop, you are messing with the Federal Government. About time. Blue Lives Matter.

Interesting legal precedent

Clever lawyer, scum for a client. From The Register:

FBI let alleged pedo walk free rather than explain how they snared him
In a surprising and worrying move, the FBI has dropped its case against a man accused of downloading child sex abuse images, rather than reveal details about how they caught him.

Jay Michaud, a middle school teacher in Vancouver, Washington, was arrested in July last year after visiting the Playpen, a dark web meeting place tens of thousands of perverts used to swap mountains of vile underage porn.

Unbeknownst to him at the time, the FBI were, for about a fortnight, running the site after taking over its servers, and managed to install a network investigative technique (NIT) on his computer to get his real public IP address and MAC address. The Playpen was hidden in the Tor anonymizing network, and the spyware was needed to unmask suspects – about 1,300 public IP addresses were collected by agents during the operation.

According to the prosecution, a police raid on his home revealed a substantial hoard of pictures and video of child sex abuse on computer equipment. But now, guilty or not, he's now off the hook after the FBI filed a motion to dismiss its own case [PDF] late last month.

Why? Because Michaud's lawyer insisted that the FBI hand over a sample of the NIT code so it could be checked to ensure that it didn't breach the terms of the warrant the FBI obtained to install the malware, and to check that it wouldn't throw up any false positives.

US District Judge Robert Bryan agreed, saying that unless the prosecution turned over the code, he'd have to dismiss the charges. The FBI has since been arguing against that, but has now decided that it's better to drop the case than reveal its techniques.

Not much they can do - bet the local police force will be keeping a very close eye on Michaud for as long as he continues to live in Vancouver. It is one thing to watch porn. Children should be cause for castration or some other penalty - that just crosses the line with me.

A fun drug bust to our South

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Stupid criminal - from the Everett Herald:

Illegally parked car leads to major drug bust
The Volkswagen Passat was parked in a handicapped space.

There was no placard.

The violation caught the eye of a police officer with Lynnwood’s Special Operations Section.

So he parked his patrol car earlier this week and walked into the America’s Best Value Inn to investigate.

A clerk at the front desk directed him to the room where the owner of the car was staying.

The threat of a parking citation turned out to be the least of the Marysville man’s worries.

The officer would sift through a series of lies and misdirection, according to court papers. His search for truth led to the discovery of 2.5 pounds of heroin and 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine as well as marijuana and pills.

And it gets better:

The officer quickly determined that the man had handed him a bogus California driver’s license under the name “Justin Case.” Not only was it a forged document, but the height and weight of the suspect and the man identified on the license were different. He was much shorter and weighed much less.

The moke had several prior felony arrests, had four guns in his possession (another felony) and had a Seattle Police department badge and duty jacket  and belt.

Waiting for the big one - Canada

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It seems that Canada is not that well prepared - from Yahoo/Canada News:

Government crisis response centre outdated, inefficient and understaffed, audit warns
The federal government's crisis response centre is outdated, understaffed and "inadequate" for co-ordinating emergency situations such as national security threats or natural disasters, a new audit warns.

In 2015, the Government Operations Centre (GOC) was called on to triage more then 5,000 incidents. Of those, more than 500 were deemed to be of national interest, requiring a risk assessment, planning and co-ordinated response, making it a vital nerve centre.

But a Public Safety Canada audit found persistent problems — even after a 2010 review revealed "widespread confusion and uncertainty" about the operation centre's mandate and its ability to fulfil its role.

The latest audit assessed the policies, processes, controls and protocols the GOC uses to respond to and manage emergency events ranging from flooding and industrial accidents to acts of terrorism and cyber events. It was completed in October 2016 and recently published online.

Crap - when we get the Cascadian earthquake, one of the real dangers is the resulting tsunami. Bellingham (and Everett and Seattle) is fortunately situated in the shadow of the Olympic Peninsula so we will not have much of a problem. Vancouver is wide open and low-lying areas will be toast.

FEMA has a lot of really great information online on how to organize emergency operations centers - Canada would do very well by looking at these files. In the USA, it all started after the Loma-Preita earthquake of  1989. None of the responding agencies had any way to communicate with any of the other agencies; they each had their own organization and hierarchy. FEMA was tasked to look at the operating hierarchies, pick the best out of all of them (they borrowed heavily from the US Navy)  and develop a standard Incident Command system.

I have been trained in this and it works very well - it is also constantly being tested with drills, being fine tuned and refined.

Some nice local news

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Our area has a bit of a dark side in that there are a lot of low-income people living out here and there are very few jobs in the community. Drug use is high, mailbox theft is so endemic that everyone uses a post office box. One local moke just got busted - from the Bellingham Herald Jail Report:

Oleg Grigoryevich Fedchuk, booked by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and the Sumas Police Department for possession of a stolen vehicle, first-degree taking motor vehicle without permission, first-degree possession of stolen property, resisting arrest, first-degree trafficking, third-degree malicious mischief, and failure to appear on charges of fourth-degree assault and third-degree theft.

He had been busted about two years ago but got off with a minimal sentence because there was not much physical evidence connecting him to his crimes - he used other people to relocate stolen goods and he was only caught because he was using a stolen laptop with a lo/jack program installed.

Now it looks like he will be spending some quality time in Con College

Our new ROBOT overlords

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Interesting news from the Los Angeles Times:

Man vs. machine: L.A. sheriff's deputies use robot to snatch rifle from barricaded suspect, end standoff
An hours-long standoff in the darkness of the high desert came to a novel end when Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies used a robot to stealthily snatch a rifle from an attempted murder suspect, authorities said Thursday.

Officials said the use of the robot to disarm a violent suspect was unprecedented for the Sheriff’s Department, and comes as law enforcement agencies increasingly rely on military-grade technology to reduce the risk of injury during confrontations with civilians.

"The robot was a game changer here,” said Capt. Jack Ewell, a tactical expert with the Sheriff’s Department — the largest sheriff’s department in the nation. “We didn't have to risk a deputy's life to disarm a very violent man."

More at the site - a great use of technology.

DNA testing in the news

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Great story from the Chicago CBS affiliate:

Half-Eaten Burger Comes Back To Bite Chicago Man In Robbery Spree
A half-eaten hamburger led authorities to a Chicago man who acted as the getaway driver in a series of bank robberies in western Michigan over the last two years, federal prosecutors said.

Dominick T. Johnson, 34, was sentenced Wednesday to 72 years and eight months in prison for the heists he carried out with his 24-year-old half-brother Nathan Benson, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prosecutors say Johnson was the brain and the wheels behind the three successful bank robberies that happened between May 2014 and January 2015 in Kalamazoo County, about 150 miles northeast of Chicago.

And the burger:

While speeding away from one robbery in Oshtemo Township, Johnson apparently tossed “a partially eaten hamburger” from the vehicle, and investigators were able to pull his DNA from it, prosecutors said.

Best DNA story I ever heard was a suspected rapist who was riding a motorcycle. There was a police car following him but he was obeying all traffic laws and didn't have anything outstanding. At a traffic light, he leaned over and spat on the ground. Light turned green and the cop rolled up and took a sample of the spit and got a positive match.

Some numbers

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From hale_razor

US Deaths

Iraq War (2001-2008): 4,222
Sept 11 Attacks (2001): 2,624
Afghan War (2009-2016): 1,752
Chicago Gun Homicides (2009-2016): 3,191

2009 to 2016 covers Barry's administration. For a city with such draconian gun laws, this certainly shows that something else is in play here.

Got a biggie - cocaine bust

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From the wonderful gCaptain:

Tugboat Captain, First Officer Found Guilty of Drug Trafficking in UK’s Biggest Ever Cocaine Bust
The captain and first officer of an ocean going tug have been found guilty of drug trafficking in what authorities have described as the biggest seizure of class A drugs ever in the history of the United Kingdom.

The cocaine was found hidden on board the Tanzanian-flagged MV Hamal in April 2015.

The vessel was intercepted by Royal Navy and Border Control assets in the North Sea about 100 miles off the coast of Aberdeenshire following a tip from the UK’s National Crime Agency working with French customs investigators. The MV Hamal was later escorted to the Port of Aberdeen where an exhaustive search turned up 128 bales of uncut cocaine stashed inside a hidden compartment next to one of the tug’s ballast tanks.

The total weight of the cocaine taken off the MV Hamal turned out to be in excess of 3.2 tonnes, worth an estimated total street value of the drugs to be about £512 million.

Hamal’s nine crew members, all Turkish nationals, were detained and charged with drug related offenses.

Sentencing is due August 12th. The investigation involved teams from France, Turkey, Guyana and Tanzania.

The Dallas Chief of Police is a very smart man - from The Wall Street Journal:

Dallas Chief David Brown Urges Protesters to Join Police Force
Days after a gunman killed five officers during a protest over police brutality here, Police Chief David Brown urged protesters—young black men in particular—to join the police force to help improve relations with minority communities.

“Become part of the solution. Serve your community,” said Chief Brown, at a news conference Monday. “We’re hiring. Get off that protest line and get an application in. We’ll put you in your neighborhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.”

Chief Brown is not yielding to the demands of the protesters, he is telling them point blank: "If you want to resolve these problems, join the force and we will help you." If the protesters are actually concerned about the black-on-black violence and crime, they will jump at the opportunity. If they are just virtue-signaling and looking for their fifteen minutes of fame, they will keep protesting.

Good news - Dallas

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Showing some stones - from FOX News:

Top police group wants Justice to investigate Dallas police killings as hate crime
The Fraternal Order of Police, the country’s largest group of sworn law-enforcement officers, is asking the Justice Department to “immediately” investigate the killing of five Dallas police officers as a hate crime.

“The U.S. Department of Justice is always quick to insert itself into local investigations,” group President Chuck Canterbury said Friday. “Today we expect action just as swift. We want a federal investigation into those who were motivated by their hatred of police to commit mass murder in Dallas.”

Police say the shooter in Thursday’s attack, Micah Johnson, a 25-year-old black Army veteran, was angry about two recent incidents in which a police officer fatally shot a black male.

It seems to be a matter of definition:

And Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Johnson, killed by officers in a standoff, “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”

However, the Justice Department’s definition of a hate crime is limited to bigotry, violence or intimidation based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability, despite the police group trying to get attacks on police officers addded to the list.

Seems pretty clear-cut to me. Of course, Barry is of no help whatsoever:

On Saturday, President Obama declined to answer a reporter’s question about whether he thought the Dallas attack was hate crime.

“It’s very hard to interpret the motives of this shooter, as we have seen in a host of mass shootings,” he said.

I hope they make January 20th, 2017 a National holiday - 194 days to go - less than a year.

I have not commented on this shooting as we need to let 48 hours elapse. Let things settle down and look at the actual facts and not the stories being told.

And boy-howdy are the facts starting to appear - from The Last Refuge:

“Riding Dirty” The Curious Case of Philando Castile – Falcon Heights, MN Police Shooting…
By now everyone is aware of the officer involved shooting of Philando Castile that became a viral BLM activist case as a direct result of his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds (aka Lavish Reynolds) live-streaming the aftermath from their vehicle.

Just go and read the whole story - Philando Castile was a suspect in an armed robbery a few days prior, he did not have a carry permit, he was a member of the Crips, subsequent video shows that the vehicle had working tail-lights.

Just go and read the truth.

On June 8th, I had written about driving through Longview, WA and stumbling on to the old town and specifically, the Monticello Hotel. Gorgeous place but it seems that the owner, 51-year-old Phil Lovingfoss is a real piece of work. On my original post, I had written that they got Gordon Ramsay out to try to fix the dining room and the show started with this event:

The filming started out on a sour note for Lovingfoss when he was arrested on suspicion of DUI the night before in front of the hotel — mere steps away from the production crews that had already set up in the parking lot.

Flash forward to today - from Longview's The Daily News:

Lovingfoss found guilty of intimidating Judge Ed Putka
After deliberating about two hours, a jury Friday afternoon convicted Phil Lovingfoss of intimidating a judge, rejecting a defense attempt to portray him as too impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol to know what he was saying.

He will be sentenced July 12. He will remain free until then.

Attorneys finished their closing arguments by midafternoon Friday, wrapping up a trial that began Tuesday. Jurors returned a verdict at about 5 p.m.

Lovingfoss, the 51-year-old owner of Longview’s historic Monticello Hotel, was accused of making drunken threats against Cowlitz District Court Judge Ed Putka to police on July 11 last year. Putka was the judge in an earlier driving under the influence case against Lovingfoss.

Lovingfoss’ standard sentencing range is 12 months and a day to 14 months in prison.

Hope that someone is able to come in and save the hotel - it is a gorgeous building.

Fun times in Olympia

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First the shooting and half-pound of meth and now this - from The Olympian:

4 arrested for allegedly using sports gear shop as a drug front
Four Olympia men were arrested Friday after they allegedly used Score, a used sporting goods shop, as a front to sell and use drugs.

Evan Pederson, 35, Justin Burnam, 35, Arael Field-Borodin, 21, and Damon Wiffen, 23, were booked into the Thurston County jail and appeared Monday before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Erik Price, who found probable cause for drug charges.

The arrest:

About 3 a.m. Friday, two officers noticed a man smoking a cigarette outside of Score, on the 1400 block of State Avenue Northeast. Because of the early hour, the officers stopped by to check why lights were on inside the store.

Through the window, an officer saw three men inside who appeared to be using narcotics and more narcotics and paraphernalia on a desk near them. The officer watched one of the men place something in foil, place a lighter under it, and inhale the smoke through a pipe.

Two of the men left the store and were immediately detained. One of them leaned into the doorway and tried to warn the other men that there were police officers outside.

They displayed the usual level of intellegence:

The officer spotted the business’s owner, Pederson. Pederson purchased the business a few weeks ago.

Officers said Pederson told them that people regularly came by the store to purchase and consume narcotics. He also told them he used heroin daily, the officers reported.

The stupid - it burns! Was probably planning to run a money laundering operation for his drug profits.

A shooting in WA State

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Heard this morning that there was a shooting at a trailer park in Lacey, a small town near the State Capitol of Olympia. Three fatalities and one wounded. The story just got a bit more complex. From The Olympian:

3 dead, 1 injured in shooting near Lacey
Thurston County sheriff’s detectives are investigating an early morning shooting near Lacey that left three people dead and one injured.

Chief Deputy Dave Pearsall identified the victims as a 31-year-old Olympia woman, a 28-year-old Olympia man and a 36-year-old Elma man. He said it is unclear how they knew each other or what their relationship is.

“We don’t know the motive or have a suspect at this time,” Pearsall told reporters about 1 p.m. They also have not found the weapon used.

A 30-year-old man who was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital is a “possible suspect” — but detectives won’t know how the man was involved until he is interviewed, Pearsall said.

And the clincher:

Deputies found a half pound of methamphetamine and two rifles inside the camping trailer.

One hell of a party. From - weights and measures we find that one ounce of meth has a street price of $1,200 - half pound would check in at $9,600. That's enough for a shooting.

Dumb criminals - France

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From the UK Telegraph:

Armed robbers thwarted trying to hold up McDonald's where 11 special forces officers happened to be eating dinner
Armed robbers bit off more than they could chew when they held up a McDonalds in eastern France whose diners included a group of hungry officers from an elite military force.

Around 40 customers were chomping on their burgers on Sunday evening in the fast food outlet in a shopping centre in Besancon when two men burst in, fired in the air with a shotgun, threatened the guests and ordered staff to open the till, which contained €2,000 (£1,550) in cash.

However, unbeknownst to the robbers, among the terrified customers were 11 off-duty members of the French paramilitary special forces, Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, or GIGN - the Gallic equivalent of the SAS - who were not amused at having their meal of Big Macs and French fries disturbed by the low-level criminals.

Oopsie - talking about making a bad decision. Hat tip to Bayou Renaissance Man for the link.

From the Everett Herald:

Police, agents haul in 9 pounds of heroin potentially worth millions
At first it probably just looked like a couple of friends dropping by for a visit.

Two men pulled up in a silver Mercedes outside a Snohomish apartment Wednesday afternoon, and two others, who'd come out of the building on Fourth Street, walked up to the car and started chatting.

Moments later an army of police and federal agents converged on the Mercedes. All four men took off running but didn't get far.

Inside that Mercedes were four kilograms, or nearly nine pounds, of Mexican brown heroin, potentially worth millions of dollars on the street, according to court records released this week. The high-quality heroin likely came straight from Mexico, more specifically from the violent Sinaloa drug cartel.

“That variety, the Mexican brown heroin, showing up means there is a direct pipeline to the cartel out of Mexico right to Snohomish County,” Snohomish Police Chief John Flood said.

This is a prime example of what unsecured immigration can lead to - the border is so porous that anyone can come across either looking for a new life or looking to transport weapons or narcotics. Whatcom and Snohomish Counties are among the 16 sanctuary counties (and two sanctuary jails) in Washington State - something I really disagree with. They need to enforce the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers visa - that is the system in place to deal with the need for farm workers.

Rodrigo Duterte - an analysis

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Great writeup from two sites:

Here is the second article from Strategy Page:

Philippines: This Changes Everything
Rodrigo Duterte won the presidential election. Duarte is different, in more ways than one. He was not expected to win because he did not have the support of one of the wealthy parties or wealthy political donors. He was an outsider who promised change, had a convincing track record in local politics and ran a highly effective and inexpensive campaign. Duarte is not from one of the old, rich and corrupt families that have dominated Filipino politics for centuries. He is a lawyer, served as a prosecutor and then mayor and considered quite competent, but very unorthodox and not bothered with breaking laws to do what his constituents want. This was made clear during the 22 years he was mayor of Davao City (population 1.5 million) in the southeast. This part of the south is largely Christian, most of the Moslems are in the southwest. Until Duarte got elected in the 1990s Davao City was an economic mess and had one of the highest crime rates in the country. The local government was corrupt and Duarte said he would fix it. He did, but not by using methods anyone expected. His most alarming tactic was to approve the use of death squads to murder criminals caught in the act. In the past bribes and a well-connected lawyer could get the worst criminals set free. No more. The use of death squads by powerful men was not unusual in the Philippines, especially in the south. So Duarte was able to get away with it. Soon people realized that he maintained control of the death squads and the crime rate plunged after about a thousand accused criminals were murdered. Duarte also cracked down on corruption in general and hired competent economic and business advisors to create an economic boom. Duarte describes himself as a socialist but not anti-business.

Davao City is now the safest city in the country and one of the ten safest in the world. The economy continues to prosper and the rest of the country was envious. One thing led to another and Duarte ran for president and won big. This is expected to shake up the Philippines more than any new president has for decades. Most Filipinos want less crime and more prosperity, which, if Duarte is true to form, he will concentrate on first. He has promised major movement in these areas by the end of the year. Meanwhile the Moslems of the southwest are waiting to see what he will do with their stalled peace deal and autonomy agreement. Duarte kept Islamic terrorists out of Davao City and southerners are hoping he will put an end to Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic terrorists.

Here is the first article from al fin next level:

Murdering the Criminal Class: A Case Study

The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this.
-- Jeff Cooper

Case Study: Phillipines
Eradicating criminals may seem a radical approach to eradicating crime, but there is some logic to the idea. We have a real-life example of someone (Rodrigo Duarte, the new president of The Philippine Islands) who set about to do exactly that in Davao City, Philippines.

al fin then quotes from the above Strategy Page article (much more at both sites - excellent reads) and then launches into some exploration of vigilantism.

Be a trooper

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Our Washington State Patrol is recruiting. Here is the photo they are using for their campaign:


Dumb-ass in Sumas

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Some idiot tried to bring a toy grenade through the Canadian border crossing - shut everything down for a couple of hours. From Vancouver's CTV News:

Inert grenade forces brief closure of Sumas border crossing
Authorities were forced to shut down the Sumas border crossing Thursday after agents discovered a grenade in a vehicle that was headed into Canada.

The grenade was eventually determined to be inert, but not before causing an unnecessary kerfuffle that lasted several hours and required the efforts of an Explosives Disposal Team.

The Canadian Border Services Agency said agents found the dangerous-looking item in a vehicle that approached the Abbotsford, B.C. crossing at around 2:45 p.m.

A bit more:

Agents spent hours searching a U-Haul and another vehicle, pulling out several items you would expect to see from people moving homes, including a bike and a cat tree.

There were also a number of military-style bags labelled “zombies.”

Christ on a corn-dog - if I was planning to cross the border, I would put all of those items in a separate suitcase and bring them to the attention of the customs officer.

What a maroon!

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