Recently in Law Enforcement Category

Major drug bust involving Bellingham

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From The Bellingham Herald:

Feds indict 30 in alleged drug-trafficking conspiracy with Whatcom County ties
Thirteen people were arrested Thursday, Sept. 5, and a total of 30 charged in two federal grand jury indictments alleging a conspiracy to traffic hundreds of pounds of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine from Mexico through Southern California and to Canada in exchange for cash and MDMA or ecstasy.

At least some of the narcotics were moved through or exchanged in Whatcom County, according to the indictments.

Law enforcement also seized approximately 944.7 pounds of cocaine, 19.8 pounds of heroin, 102.7 pounds of methamphetamine and 106.1 pounds of MDMA or ecstasy, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California. Approximately $811,000 in Canadian currency also was seized.

Good news - get that shit off the street and make the perpetrators do hard time for their crimes.

Local crime in the news

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From NBC News:

Amazon drivers part of $10 million theft ring, FBI says
theft ring in Washington state sold millions of dollars' worth of stolen goods on Amazon.com in the past six years, and a pair of Amazon delivery drivers was involved, recently unsealed federal court documents show.

According to a search warrant affidavit unsealed in U.S. District Court in Seattle and reviewed by The Associated Press, two storefront businesses posing as pawnshops bought the goods from shoplifters, then had the items shipped to Amazon warehouses, where they were stored until sold online.

Entities associated with the alleged ringleader did at least $10 million in sales on Amazon since 2013, FBI agent Ariana Kroshinsky wrote in her affidavit.

No charges have yet been filed, though investigators have raided the pawnshops and the home of the man identified as the ringleader, Aleksandr Pavlovskiy, 44, of Auburn. A man who answered the door at one of the shops Wednesday identified himself as Alex and told The Associated Press his business was legitimate, that he kept good records and he should not be in any trouble.

A clever idea but definitely a criminal one - started out with the intent. A bit more - how they were caught:

The investigation began last summer when a police detective in Auburn, a south Seattle suburb, was perusing a record of pawnshop sales and noticed that one man had made 57 transactions. It turned out to be one of the drivers.

He had received nearly $30,000 selling items to the pawn shops between February and July last year, the affidavit said. Police initially arrested the driver, but released him from jail to avoid disrupting their larger investigation.

The other driver, identified as Abbas Zghair, was believed to be a roommate of the first. Amazon told investigators that Zghair stole about $100,000 worth of property, including gaming systems, sporting goods and computer products — items he sold to one of the pawnshops for less than $20,000, the agent wrote.

Not very bright - people like this do not realize that they are leaving a trail of breadcrumbs and that they will be discovered eventually. Better to go in, make some money and then move to a different city. The way they were operating had no exit strategy.

Heh - Baltimore

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Maybe this will wake him up and get him to start doing his fscking job. From the Baltimore, MD CBS affiliate:

Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore Home Burglarized, Police Say
Baltimore Police are investigating after the home of Rep. Elijah Cummings was broken into early Saturday morning.

The burglary occurred around 3:40 a.m. at his Baltimore home in the 2000 block of Madison Avenue.

No mention of suspect or race so it is probably not a white criminal. Always happens that way.

Well, they are criminals after all

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Good - let them thin the herd a little bit. From Yahoo / Agence France-Presse:

At least 57 dead in Brazil prison riot
At least 57 inmates were killed during a prison riot in northern Brazil on Monday as rival gang factions fought each other, an official said.

Sixteen of the dead were decapitated in the second major eruption of violence to rock the country's severely overpopulated and deadly prison system in as many months.

Not to forget that many of the illegal immigrants have gang ties and 20% of the US prison population are illegal immigrants. They are sending us their best and brightest.

Word to the wise

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Makes sense - from ABC News (caution: obnoxious loud self-loading video at the site):

'Domestic' terrorists could target July 4 holiday events, but no known plots: Feds
Federal authorities are warning that white supremacists and other political radicals could look to attack Independence Day revelers on July 4, noting in a bulletin to law enforcement around the country that domestic terrorists “have attacked perceived oppressors, opponents, or enemies engaged in outdoor First Amendment-protected rallies or protests during past summers.”

Practice good situational awareness, avoid large crowds, don't travel. Basic common sense.

Quite the drug bust - cocaine

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From gCaptain:

MSC Gayane Cocaine Bust: Affidavit Details High-Seas Rendezvous’ and Crew’s Effort to Conceal Drugs
New details are coming in about the massive cocaine bust in the Port of Philadelphia earlier this week, revealing an elaborate scheme involving members of the ship’s crew who used the ship’s crane to load the drugs during high-seas rendezvous’s with small boats.

This week’s cocaine bust on board the MSC Gayane Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia has blown up into one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history.

Authorities boarded the ship on Monday where they discovered some 16.5 tons of cocaine, worth an estimated street value of more than $1 billion, hidden inside shipping containers. While there, they arrested two of the ship’s crewmembers, Forofaavae Tiasaga, an able seaman, and Ivan Durasevic, the Second Mate, who admitted to their roles in the scheme in interviews with authorities. The details of the interviews were contained in a criminal complaint which included an affidavit by Homeland Security Special Agent Eric Mooney.

The affidavit revealed that Durasevic and Tiasaga, along with three other crew members, stood to be paid about $50,000 each for their respective roles in helping load and hide the drugs. It also showed that the ship was met by multiple small boats on at least two separate occasions during the ship’s previous voyage, and the drugs were loaded using the ship’s crane.

Only $50K? Amazed that these people would take this kind of risk for that amount.
Also, no mention of what tipped off the popo in Philadelphia.

As things develop - Arkancide

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From the Arkansas ABC affiliate KATV:

Arkansas judge seals police records in killing of former senator Linda Collins-Smith
A judge has sealed investigative files in the killing of former Arkansas senator Linda Collins-Smith.

The Randolph County prosecuting attorney's office announced Wednesday that Circuit Judge Harold Erwin had sealed documents and statements obtained by police.

The Randolph County sheriff's office said it will issue a "brief statement" on the case Wednesday.

Sealing the documents? A bit odd for an open murder investigation.

Great news - the wheels of justice etc... from the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Ex-school deputy Scot Peterson arrested on charges of neglect of duty in Parkland massacre
Scot Peterson, the school security officer branded a coward for his inaction during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has been arrested for neglect of duty, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony announced Tuesday.

Peterson, 56, had been nationally heckled and vilified for failing to confront the former student who gunned down and killed 17 students and staff at the Parkland school on Feb. 14, 2018.

From one of the parents: "He should rot, that’s how I feel"

Absolutely.

Nice guy - North Korea

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Another nation we need to bring in to the 21st century. From Radio Free Asia:

China Uncovers North Korean State-Sponsored Drug Ring After Arrests
Chinese authorities in early May made several arrests in connection with a North Korean drug smuggling ring in the Changbai Korean Autonomous county in Jilin province, just across the border from North Korea.

According to multiple sources, the Chinese government is paying special attention to this case because during police investigations, the ring was found to have connections with North Korean state security agents, adding a new wrinkle to recently tense relations between the two countries.

And a bit more - this is not a rogue cartel, this is state sponsored:

The source believes that the recent drug busts have uncovered the North Korean government’s recent involvement in drug manufacture and trafficking as a method of making foreign currency, which the country desperately needs as it transitions to a market economy while under sanctions put in place by the U.S. and the U.N.

“North Koreans smuggling large amounts of meth into China are not small-time private smugglers. They are part of a foreign-currency-generating organization that is protected by powerful North Korean authorities.”

“They tend to travel through cities on the North Korea-China border like Hyesan and Changbai, and they’ve been making lots of money bringing meth into China,” said the source.

More at the site - they have been doing this (drug smuggling) since the 1970's.

Good news - welfare reform

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President Trump is enforcing a law that is alreay on the books - from The Daily Caller:

TRUMP TO SIGN MEMO TO CURB WELFARE USE BY NON-CITIZENS
President Donald Trump is expected to sign a memorandum Thursday enforcing restrictions on welfare benefits for non-citizens, The Daily Caller has learned.

The memo directs government agencies to enforce legislation signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 that requires sponsors of immigrants to the U.S. to reimburse the government for any welfare benefits received by the person they are sponsoring.

Immigrant sponsors will be informed by agencies that they are required to pay back the money, and that they will be sent to collections if they fail to do so. Agencies will have 90 days to update their guidance and will report back to the president on their progress in 180 days.

Sponsor repayment of welfare benefits was enacted under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, but has remained largely unenforced. The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy and Patty Murray.

Good - zero problem with people immigrating but it has to be done legally and our new citizens have to assimilate into the American Culture and be productive.

Jussie Smollett was in the news for concocting a fake hate crime against his person. He was friends with the machine and the case was dropped. Now this from the Chicago Tribune:

Judge orders sealed court records in aborted Jussie Smollett prosecution to be made public
A Cook County judge Thursday ordered the case file in the aborted prosecution of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett unsealed, marking a victory for the Chicago Tribune and other news organizations and adding another twist to a case with seemingly no end to controversy.

Smollett’s attorney had succeeded in sealing the court records at the same unannounced hearing in March at which State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office abruptly dropped all charges that the actor had staged a hate crime attack on himself.

After news organizations sought to unseal the records, Smollett’s legal team opposed the request, citing the actor’s privacy rights.

But Circuit Judge Steven Watkins held that those privacy rights had been trumped by Smollett and his attorneys going before the cameras to declare his innocence.

Let the sun shine in - there needs to be equal justice for all.

Sending a message to Massachusetts - from The United States Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts:

Massachusetts District Court Judge and Court Officer Indicted for Obstruction of Justice
A Massachusetts District Court Judge and Trial Court Officer were indicted today in federal court in Boston on obstruction of justice charges for preventing an ICE Officer from taking custody of an alien defendant.

Good - they violated Federal Law by doing this. They need to pay for their crimes. More at the site - one paragraph:

“This case is about the rule of law,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “The allegations in today’s indictment involve obstruction by a sitting judge, that is intentional interference with the enforcement of federal law, and that is a crime. We cannot pick and choose the federal laws we follow, or use our personal views to justify violating the law. Everyone in the justice system – not just judges, but law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and defense counsel – should be held to a higher standard. The people of Massachusetts expect that, just like they expect judges to be fair, impartial and to follow the law themselves.”

No cherry picking - obey all the laws.

Good - Sherrif Scott Israel arived at the scene and then hid during the Marjory Stoneman High School shooting. He showed cowardice and failed to do his job. He got booted and took his claim to the Florida Supreme Court. He lost. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinal:

Florida Supreme Court blocks former Broward Sheriff Scott Israel from getting his job back
Suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel lost his fight Tuesday to have the Florida Supreme Court return him to duty.

Now, in all likelihood, it’s up to the voters of Broward County to return him to office — if they want him back.

The court ruled that Gov. Ron DeSantis had the constitutional authority to suspend Israel in January for his agency’s failure to adequately respond to mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland and the Fort Lauderdale airport.

The decision all but ends Israel’s attempt to get his job back before the 2020 election.

The airport shooting was in 2017, Parkland in 2018. From the article:

The failure of the sheriff’s office to implement policy changes after the airport incident was one of the factors that led to the casualty rate at the high school, according to an independent commission that analyzed the response to the Parkland massacre.

Sounds pretty damning to me. The parents have justifiably responded. From NPR - April 11th, 2019:

'There Were Failures': Parkland Victims' Families File 22 Lawsuits Alleging Negligence
Families of Parkland school shooting victims are filing at least 22 lawsuits against Broward County's school board, sheriff's office and more, alleging they failed to prevent the attack that left 17 people dead and another 17 injured.

Attorneys representing families of those who were killed or wounded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, argue several organizations and individuals were responsible for the massacre. In addition to the school district and sheriff's office, other targets in the lawsuits, announced Wednesday, are Henderson Behavioral Health, which provided mental health services to confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz; former Stoneman Douglas security guard Andrew Medina, who was the first to see Cruz on campus but did not call a "code red" lockdown; and former Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Scot Peterson, the school resource officer who hid during the shooting rather than entering the school building to confront the shooter.

Good riddance to a failed cop.

An art heist gone right

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From The Beeb:

Stolen Bruegel masterpiece was switched with fake in police sting
Police in Italy are unconcerned about the daring theft of a Flemish master's painting - because they had replaced it with a fake a month ago.

The painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, worth millions, apparently vanished from a church on Wednesday.

Thieves used a hammer to smash open its display case and made off in a car.

Hours later, Italian police revealed they had heard rumours of the planned heist - and installed cameras to catch the thieves in the act.

The painting of the crucifixion had also been replaced with a copy, and the original kept safe and sound, they said.

I love it - good job by the popo. My guess is that the thieves already had a buyer - wonder if the money changed hands already. Interesting to see what happens with that transaction...

Methamphetamine in the news

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From the Leesburg, VA Daily Commercial:

Cops: Woman hid drugs in her pants
A Sorrento woman who was arrested for driving with a suspended license got another set of charges Tuesday after the arresting deputy discovered a strange bulge in her pants.

Theresa Barker, 39, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia after the deputy searching her spotted a bulge near her crotch that would turn out to be a bag of drugs.

Barker was initially pulled over around 1:30 p.m. for an expired tag. The deputy discovered she also didn’t have a license, which was suspended for failing to pay off tickets and cancelled when she never renewed it.

What really got me was the mugshot:

20190315-meth.jpg

Seriously, she is 39? I would have put her at 59 at the youngest. She is a poster child for chronic methamphetamine abuse. Tip of the hat to Kenny Lane for the link.

From Legal Insurrection:

British PM Theresa May Holds Summit to Address UK Knife Crime Epidemic
British Prime Minister Theresa May has called an emergency knife-crime summit to deal with the stabbing epidemic raging across the country. The announcement comes after 21 people were stabbed to death in London since the beginning of the year.

“We will only defeat the scourge of violence if we understand and address its complex root causes,” she said.

The UK police chief Sara Thornton called rising knife crime a “national emergency.” There were nearly 40,000 crimes involving knives in England and Wales between January and September 2018, the UK’s Office for National Statistics disclosed. The stabbing incidents were at the highest in a decade, since UK authorities started collecting relevant data.

May’s government is taking drastic measures to get law and order under control. The police have been granted an initial sum of £10 million to fund a “surge” of extra officers to combat knife crime across the UK, according to the newspaper reports.

No surprises there - just criminals being criminals and the mentally ill acting out their fantasies. Also, no word on the ethnicities of the perps but England has a lot of immigrants from Muslim nations. It would be interesting to see the racial breakdown - it is not racist if it is actual hard data.

Yikes - Emergency 911 response times

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At last night's CPR class, the teacher (he is a fireman and first aider) told us that the response time on the island is about seven minutes and in Seattle, it is about five minutes. Really good. From Detroint, MI station WXYZ:

Duggan calls lengthy 911 delays 'outliers,' but vows to address problems revealed
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan defended the city’s response times for urgent calls to 911 in wake of a 7 Action News investigation, but vowed to address problems revealed by the report.

“We’re taking the reporting seriously, we’re looking at it very carefully,” Duggan said. “I thought Ross Jones’s stories were accurate, and they were. I thought they weren’t fair in the sense that the 13-minute response times are accurate, but there are outliers.”

In a months-long investigation, 7 Action News repeatedly reported that the average response times for the most urgent 911 calls in Detroit hovers between 12 and 13 minutes—a big improvement from years ago.

But that’s not the whole story. Some 3,000 priority 1 calls—including rapes, armed robberies and active shootings—took 30 minutes or more just to get a response last year. Hundreds took an hour or more.

Glad I do not live in that socialist shithole.

Great speech - he is the adult in the room for this story:

Quite the nice haul - methamphetamine

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From the U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Department of Homeland Security:

CBP Field Operations Officers Seize Over $12 Million in Methamphetamine at Pharr International Bridge
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge hit the drug-smuggling organizations hard this weekend with a substantial interception of hard narcotics, seizing $12,700,000 worth of methamphetamine.

“This was an outstanding interception our officers accomplished this weekend,” said Port Director David Gonzalez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Our officers’ astute sense of awareness and tenacity is unparalleled and truly commendable.”

On Feb. 16, CBP officers working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility encountered a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen with a commercial shipment of frozen strawberries arriving from Mexico. CBP referred the shipment for further inspection and with the use of all available tools and resources, officers discovered 350 packages of alleged methamphetamine concealed within the trailer. CBP OFO seized 906 pounds of methamphetamine (411 kg) along with the tractor/trailer.

Great work guys!

Illegal aliens - big meth bust

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It is not the brightest and best that are coming here - from Conservative Review:

‘Huge and sophisticated’ operation: Mexican cartel meth lab busted in Atlanta suburb
When you observe illegal aliens pouring over our border, guess who is coming among them? The biggest experts in trafficking, producing, and cooking the deadliest drugs for the most dangerous Mexican cartels. That is the gist of the conversation I had with Robert Murphy, special agent in charge of Atlanta’s DEA office, after his successful bust of what he called a “huge and sophisticated” meth lab run by agents of the Cartel New Generation Jalisco (CNGJ) in an affluent suburb of the Atlanta metro area.

About 72,000 people died in America in 2017 from drugs, mainly illicit drugs brought in by the Mexican cartels. But now, with meth growing in popularity among all the cartels, they are cooking it on our soil, using networks of illegal aliens brought in for that purpose. In this case, the DEA busted up a highly sophisticated meth lab run exclusively by Mexican nationals in six locations in and around the Atlanta metro area. All but one of those arrested were in the country illegally, according to Agent Murphy.

“This has been a long-term investigation,” said Murphy, who has spent 28 years in law enforcement and now runs all DEA operations in the southeast. “We knew they were in the process of making a major cook and it was going to hit the streets. We had no idea we were going to find the size and sophistication of what we found.

They are transporting the chemical precursors across the border - if captured, no proof of intent - then they cook it at some lab far away from the border. The author - Daniel Horowitz - offers this:

Thus, once again, we see that the drug problem is not an internal problem with health care and pain medication; it’s being driven by the open border and fueled by criminal alien networks working for the cartels because we don’t fully enforce our laws internally.

This is just the tip of the iceberg - remember that huge Fentanyl bust February 1st, 2019 - less than two weeks ago:

LARGEST FENTANYL DRUG BUST IN HISTORY MADE AS TRUCK TRIED CROSSING THE SOUTHERN BORDER
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized enough fentanyl to kill over 50 million people from a truck that was trying to cross the southern border into the United States.

If we stop this flow, our drug problem would dry up and blow away. Wonder if the cartels are paying off Shumer and Pelosi - their actions certainly point to that. Only thing that explains it.

Great news - the Mexican Cartels

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El Chapo is probably spending life in prison - from The New York Post:

El Chapo found guilty on all counts at trial
A Brooklyn jury on Tuesday found Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman guilty on all counts.

The panel spent more than five days mulling the drug lord’s fate before convicting him on charges of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, use of firearms and various charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

Guzman, who twice escaped prison in Mexico, now faces up to life behind bars.

The decision follows an 11-week trial with testimony from more than 50 prosecution witnesses — including 14 former associates of Guzman’s who took the stand against him — and a 30-minute, single-witness defense case.

How many lives this man has destroyed. Build the damn wall already.

From the Gulfport, Mississippi Sun Herald:

Government workers busted at PortMiami trying to get on cruise to sell drugs, cops say
Two government contractors from Washington, D.C., were intercepted by federal agents on Sunday as they tried to board a cruise ship with an array of drugs they planned on selling to passengers, police said.

Their downfall, according to police: intercepted emails in which the two discussed their plan on government-issued computers. Police said both men were government contractors, though their arrest reports don’t say which agency employed them.

The Homeland Security special agent who intercepted the emails said their strategy was “to smuggle the narcotics into the ship and distribute it once on board the ship,” according to their arrest reports.

Using government computers to discuss your plans? Talk about epic levels of stupidity.

Stupid criminal

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The smart is not with this kid - from the San Francisco Chronicle:

His first mistake was robbing a bank, police say - his second was allegedly fleeing on an electric scooter
Luca Mangiarano's first alleged mistake was robbing a bank.

His second: using an electric scooter as his getaway vehicle.

Aside from the fact that the Silicon Valley imports top out at about 15 mph, police have begun to realize that they're also something approaching a digital fingerprint on wheels.

Turning a rental scooter on, as regular users know, requires a rider to use an app that contains their phone number, email address and credit card information. You'll probably be unsurprised to learn that these are the kinds of personal details that make it easy for police to track down criminals.

Just over a month after his alleged crime, Mangiarano was arrested and charged with robbery by threat, police said.

DOH!

Great news from Brazil

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We already know that their new President is much like President Trump - dig out the rot in the deep state and restore law and order. He was elected by a landslide as the Brazilian citizens were tired of their nation turning into a third-world shit-hole. Brazil used to be a major economy and a gorgeous place until socialism reared its ugly head. Now, the nation is on the mend.

Great news from Bloomberg:

License-to-Kill Policing to Get a Trial Run in Rio de Janeiro
Teams of marksmen next year will patrol swaths of Rio de Janeiro with high-powered weapons and a license to kill, said a security adviser to Governor-elect Wilson Witzel.

As many as 120 sharpshooters will accompany police incursions into the slums of Brazil’s postcard city to exterminate gun-toting criminals, according to Flavio Pacca, a longtime associate of Witzel who the governor-elect’s press office said will join the administration. The shooters will work in pairs -- one to pull the trigger, one to monitor conditions and videotape deaths.

“The protocol will be to immediately neutralize, slaughter anyone who has a rifle,” Witzel, a federal judge and former Brazilian marine, told reporters in Brasilia on Dec. 12. “Whoever has a rifle isn’t worried about other people’s lives, they’re ready to eliminate anyone who crosses their path. This is a grave problem, not just in Rio de Janeiro, but also in other states.”

Rio has long exemplified Brazil’s charm and its chaos, and what happens there echoes at home and abroad. Like President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, Witzel cruised to victory in October promising a brutal crackdown on criminals who make daily life a harrowing ordeal. Rio will be a proving ground for Bolsonaro’s philosophy of maximum force -- and whether law enforcement devolves into a storm of extrajudicial killings.

And they certainly need to do something:

Rio’s homicides last year surged to an eight-year high of 5,346 and robberies and muggings have more than doubled since 2011.

Some numbers. Rio has a population of 6.32 Million, Chicago, Illinois has a population of 2.7 Million. Chicago (year to date) has had 578 homicides

Rio: 1 homicide per 1,182 citizens. Chicago: 1 homicide per 4,671 citizens so Rio is just under four times (3.95) more dangerous and Chicago.

Chicago is not the murder capital of the US - St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans edge out Chicago for that title but there is not much difference in the stats.

Just a little bit more - I love the quote in the last paragraph:

Bolsonaro has said cops who kill should be given medals and has promised they will be legally protected. Days after the election, video showed Rio police loading the limp, bleeding bodies of two young men accused of drug trafficking into the bed of a pick-up. Bystanders cheered, with one yelling Bolsonaro’s name.

The NGOs, human rights activists and United Nations will have a fit,” Alexandre Frota, a congressman-elect, said on Twitter while sharing the video. “But the cleansing must be done.’’

Emphasis mine - indeed and it will be fun to see them squirm in their seats. I bet that crime goes waaay down after a few of these goblins are taken out. Waaaaaaaay down.

Great news - good police work

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From The Bellingham Herald:

Drug pipeline ‘has been shut down.’ Statewide bust nets 29 arrests, guns, drugs
Nearly 30 people were arrested during a two-day drug bust across five Washington counties targeting a Mexican drug cartel.

Federal officials said the cartel was bringing heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine into the state using a California business to launder the money and send it to Mexico.

“The dangerous pills containing fentanyl flowing through this pipeline operated by this Western Washington distribution network has been shut down,” Keith Weis, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, said in a statement.

On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 400 law enforcement officers served 51 warrants on more than 50 buildings and 35 vehicles.

Twenty-nine people were arrested, as well as the owner of the California business allegedly laundering money.

The group was allegedly selling the drugs, including fentanyl-laced oxycodone pills, in Pierce, King, Kitsap, Skagit and Snohomish counties.

Good riddance - get these goblins off the streets.

Another great move by President Trump

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Not a peep in the mainstream media but this is great news - from The White House:

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the President’s Working Dinner with China
The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and President Xi Jinping of China, have just concluded what both have said was a “highly successful meeting” between themselves and their most senior representatives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.

Wonderful - here's why - from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Nearly half of opioid-related overdose deaths involve fentanyl
An analysis of opioid-related overdose deaths found that synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, have surpassed prescription opioids as the most common drug involved in overdose deaths in the U.S. A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded that nearly half of opioid-related deaths in 2016 involved fentanyl.

Good news - make the black marketers pay the price. The stuff is so toxic that overdoses are altogether too easy. Just ask Tom Petty and Prince.

A bit of corruption to our North

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From Canada's Global News:

Secret police study finds crime networks could have laundered over $1B through Vancouver homes in 2016
The stately $17-million mansion owned by a suspected fentanyl importer is at the end of a gated driveway on one of the priciest streets in Shaughnessy, Vancouver’s most exclusive neighbourhood.

A block away is a $22-million gabled manor that police have linked to a high-stakes gambler and property developer with suspected ties to the Chinese police services.

Both mansions appear on a list of more than $1-billion worth of Vancouver-area property transactions in 2016 that a confidential police intelligence study has linked to Chinese organized crime.

The study of more than 1,200 luxury real estate purchases in B.C.’s Lower Mainland in 2016 found that more than 10 per cent were tied to buyers with criminal records. And 95 per cent of those transactions were believed by police intelligence to be linked to Chinese crime networks.

Big drug problem out here around the farm - we are only four miles from the border as the crow flies. There is an area nearby that has the last of the really cheap housing in this county so it is a haven for tweakers and druggies.

President Trump - prison reform

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Good stuff - from FOX News:

Trump backs sentencing reform bill he says will give ex-inmates 'a second chance at life'
President Trump threw his support behind a bipartisan bill to reform federal sentencing guidelines Wednesday, which he said would "reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption."

"We’re all better off when former inmates can receive and re-enter society as law-abiding, productive citizens," Trump said in brief remarks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. "And thanks to our booming economy, they now have a chance at more opportunities than they’ve ever had before."

The so-called First Step Act, the first major rewrite of the nation's criminal justice sentencing laws in a generation, will boost rehabilitation efforts for federal prisoners and give judges more discretion when sentencing nonviolent offenders, particularly for drug offenses. In particular, the bill lowers the mandatory minimum sentence for non-violent repeat drug offenders from 25 to 20 years, reduces mandatory minimums for other crimes from 20 to 15 years, and makes no distinction between powder cocaine and crack cocaine.

Good - the draconian sentences do nothing to deter criminal activity. The conditions that promote criminal activity need to be addressed first. Also, an interesting bit of history:

The Senate package overhauls some of the mandatory sentencing guidelines that have been in place since 1994 legislation approved by Congress and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. Trump made a point of mentioning that fact in his remarks Wednesday, adding that the Clinton-era guidelines "disproportionately hurt the African-American community." He also noted that several law enforcement organizations supported the effort, saying: "In many respects, we’re getting very much tougher on the truly bad criminals, which, unfortunately, there are many. But we’re treating people differently for different crimes."

There is not a one-size-fits-all way to deal with criminality. President Clinton's law tried to do this and failed.

Good catch - from Zero Hedge:

Mexico Seizes Record 50 Tons Of Meth From Superlab
After locating a massive drug laboratory near the town of Alcoyonqui, in Culiacán, Sinaloa, personnel of the Secretariat of the Navy seized 50 tons of methamphetamine, allegedly from the Sinaloa Cartel, in the most significant drug bust of this kind in the history of Mexico.

According to Sin Embargo News, the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) said the synthetic drug was discovered in a rustic laboratory and two separate underground bunkers. The military operation, which began on Thursday evening, involved roughly 50 troops. It was only until Friday morning was the size of the cache realized.

A military source said the camp, of about 500 square meters, was operated by the Sinaloa Cartel. The laboratories were divided into four sections for the preparation of chemical precursor or base, rest, reactors, and cooling. Within the rural compound, there was a building for at least 30 people, but military personnel did not find anyone during the operation.

Emphasis mine - someone in the military leaked news of the raid. SImple as that. A bit more:

The meth superlab in Mexico is very disturbing because ultimately it will end up in America’s inner cities and rural towns. The Centers for Disease Control estimates drug overdose deaths based on a current flow of mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System has just reached a record of 71,568 Americans in 2017.

That is a 6.6 percent jump in overdose deaths over 2016 and represents a rapid deterioration of America’s inner core: The middle class.

Not just opioids. We need a wall now. This lab is gone but the chemists and suppliers are still out there and they are building a newer and bigger and better lab right now.

A curious omission - ICE

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From the San Mateo Daily Journal:

Authorities say they've busted large Mexico-to-US drug ring
Nearly two dozen people were arrested Wednesday and charged with using small aircraft to smuggle heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine over the U.S. border at the behest of one of Mexico's most notorious drug cartels, authorities said.

The arrests of 22 suspects come on the heels of a nearly three-year investigation into three drug trafficking organizations that authorities say were working on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel. The groups, which received the drugs from the cartel in northern Mexico, would then stash them in soup cans, inside hidden compartments in cars and used small aircraft — though authorities wouldn't say whether they were manned or drones — to transport the drugs over the border, officials said.

"More than seizing the drugs and the money, this investigation was able to identify the top level Mexico-based traffickers who directed the transactions and who thought they were using secure communications to commit the crimes," said Tracy Wilkison, the first assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.

Authorities seized 850 pounds (385 kilograms) of methamphetamine, nearly a ton (907 kilograms) of cocaine, 93 pounds (42 kilograms) of heroin, almost 50 pounds (23 kilograms) of marijuana and $1.42 million.

That is a major bust - congratulations to the arresting officers. Curious omission though - no mention of the agencies involved in this operation. Fortunately, other news sources do mention who - from Los Angeles station KTLA:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, IRS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security as well as several local law enforcement agencies were involved in the raids Wednesday.

Emphasis mine - what with all the public pressure to disband ICE, it is not politic to point out that ICE does a lot more than just deporting people who are in our country illegally. A lot more. They are a force for good - for law and for order.
Tip of the hat to Don Surber for the two links.

Great news - drug bust

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Getting some goblins off the street. From The Seattle Times:

Dozens arrested in five-county drug bust in Puget Sound area
More than 35 members of what authorities called a major drug-trafficking ring were arrested Wednesday in a series of raids in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit and Thurston counties, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The ring allegedly trafficked in cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, illegal marijuana and fentanyl, according to a news release. During the Wednesday operation detectives seized 12 pounds of heroin, more than two kilos of cocaine, a pound of methamphetamine, 124 pounds of marijuana, 41 firearms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, the news release said.

During the investigation, authorities used wiretaps and heard conspirators talk about shootings, including the Sept. 4 shooting outside a Renton hookah lounge that wounded at least two people.

It was the fourth bust in the past four months in which local and federal law enforcement targeted drug-trafficking in the Seattle area.

Emphasis mine - good! Roll the gangs up - make it not profitible to operate in this area. No mention of nation of origin for these mokes but I am betting they were not born in Seattle...

From CBS:

Secret Service arrests White House contractor with outstanding attempted murder warrant
The Secret Service arrested a contractor outside the White House on Tuesday for an outstanding warrant that includes an attempted murder charge, CBS News Washington correspondent Paula Reid reports.

A spokesperson for the sheriff's department of Prince George's Country, Maryland, told CBS News that the department had an outstanding warrant for a person by the name of Martese M. Edwards, on an attempted first-degree murder charge, dated May 17.

The Secret Service issued the following statement to CBS News:

"On June 4, 2018, the U.S. Secret Service was notified by the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) that Martese Edwards was the subject of a warrant issued out of Prince Georges County, MD. On June 5, 2018, Edwards was promptly arrested by Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers at a checkpoint outside of the White House complex when he was reporting to work as a contractor. Edwards was transported to MPD Second District for processing."

The Associated Press said the Secret Service didn't provide Edwards' exact job or where he worked at the White House. It wasn't immediately clear if he has a lawyer.

Close call.

Those cowards should be fired. From the Miami Herald:

Paramedics wanted to enter Parkland school where kids were dying. BSO said no.
During the chaos of the Parkland school shooting, paramedics from Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department were desperate to go inside the building where students were wounded and dying.

Michael McNally, deputy chief for Coral Springs fire-rescue, asked six times for permission to send in specialized teams of police officers and paramedics, according to an incident report he filed after the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 people dead.

But every time McNally asked to deploy the two Rescue Task Force teams — each made up of three paramedics and three to four law enforcement officers — the Broward Sheriff's Office captain in charge of the scene, Jan Jordan, said no.

"The [BSO] incident commander advised me, 'She would have to check,' " McNally wrote in the report released Thursday by Coral Springs. "After several minutes, I requested once again the need to deploy RTF elements into the scene to ... initiate treatment as soon as possible. Once again, the incident commander expressed that she 'would have to check before approving this request.' "

Even after the shooter had been arrested, the answer remained the same.

A bit more:

In his report, McNally, who had been ordered to act as a liaison between Coral Springs fire command and BSO, also claimed BSO's command post was severely dysfunctional. Communication was difficult, McNally said, because he often could not locate Jordan, BSO's district commander for Parkland.

"The command post was inundated with too many people and made it impossible to establish and function," McNally wrote, echoing criticisms of the disorganization and lack of a unified command structure that plagued BSO's response to a deadly shooting at the Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last year.

Christ on a Corn Dog - this is what you train for. I am a very low-level responder with CERT and our local WECG and ARES but I have been through ICS training. Everyone learns what their job is and they do it. ICS was developed (PDF)  to provide a clear understandable chain of command throughout the duration of an incident.

For the Broward Sherrif's Office to have not trained their staff is unconcionable.

A fun evening

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Just got back from a meeting with these people: Camano Preparedness Group

A fun and well run meeting; they are a 501(c)3 organization so have revenue from grants and donations to buy radio equipment and supplies. These people are ready for the big one.

Great news - drug dealers

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Make the price a lot higher - from CNBC:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlines when to use death penalty on drug traffickers
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday issued new guidance to federal prosecutors on how to apply the death penalty to numerous drug-related crimes.

Sessions advised federal prosecutors to utilize laws permitting capital punishment as a viable sentence, both in violent and non-violent cases.

In the memo sent to U.S. attorneys Wednesday morning, Sessions said that some of the "appropriate cases" to seek the death penalty include murder related to racketeering crimes, gun deaths occurring during drug trafficking crimes and murder related to criminal enterprise.

The memo also encouraged prosecutors to pursue capital punishment in cases involving "dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs."

The laws are already on the books: The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (PDF) — that Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed in 1994. 60,000 drug related deaths in 2016 as compared to 36,252 firearm related deaths in 2015 (no listing of suicide v/s murder). In 2015, there were 57,567 deaths from poisoning.

Blaming the NRA

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Pot meet kettle - all that is wrong with the Broward Florida Police Department summed up in one infographic:

20180320-NRA.jpg

A criminal behind bars

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 Fun story about some good investigative work. From the Ontario Canada station CTV:

'America's most-wanted deadbeat dad' caught in failed Alberta cherry pit scam
A man dubbed “America’s most-wanted deadbeat dad” has been arrested thanks to the sharp wits of a small-town Alberta restaurateur, who managed to identify the man after he suspected he was being scammed.

Joseph Stroup, 64, appeared in a Chicago courtroom last week to face charges related to more than US$560,000 in unpaid child support. The divorced father of four sold his internet business for $2 million, but hasn’t paid child support since 1996, according to the U.S. Office of the Inspector General. He eventually climbed to the top of the Inspector General’s list of most-wanted deadbeat dads, but didn’t turn up again until last November in Bearspaw, Alta., where he was caught living under the name “Joop Cousteau.”

And the story?

Restaurant owner Scott Winograd fingered the wanted man through a carefully-laid trap that he set once he realized he was being duped by a wanted man, who seemed to have been laying low in the small Alberta community.

Winograd says Stroup loved to drop in to the Bear’s Den restaurant and brag about himself, claiming to be a former doctor and Oxford University graduate who “got bored” and became a vice-president at Google.

“He was an odd duck, there was no question about that,” Winograd told CTV News.

What happened:

“Ten minutes after he called Joe the server over, and said: ‘I bit down on a Maraschino cherry pit and I broke some dental work,” Winograd said. “He was very adamant that he had $65,000 worth of dental work in his mouth, and he passed what looked like a cherry pit off to the server.”

Maraschino cherries are often used for cocktails and are typically sold with the pits removed, Winograd pointed out.

Winograd says the man came back the next day with a handwritten form outlining a hefty bill for his “damaged” dental work. Winograd took note of the name on the form and looked up “Joop Cousteau” on Google.

Winograd found a Facebook page set up by U.S. law enforcement under the name Joop Cousteau, with a mugshot of the wanted man. “Joop Cousteau is the alias used by Joseph W. Stroup,” said a post on the page from May 6, 2015. The post included a link to Stroup’s entry on the Status of Deadbeats list.

Heh - gotta love the internet.  The restaurateur offered Stroup a free meal but sat him at the counter in full view of the surveillance cameras. Grabbed a screen cap and sent it off to the Canadian and US law enforcement - this was the response:

“Within an hour the FBI, the U.S. Marshals and the Inspector General all called,” he said.

You can try to run but something will always trip you up. The perfect getaway only happens in storybooks.

Dumb criminal(s) - Canada

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Not quite bright - from the CBC:

Fleeing bank robbery suspects caught after stopping at a Tim Hortons drive-thru
A man and woman allegedly fleeing a bank robbery were arrested in Bouctouche, N.B., on Monday after they stopped at a Tim Hortons drive-thru.

At least six police cars swooped in on the suspects before they had a chance to place an order.

Several thousand dollars have been recovered, the RCMP said.

A 24-year-old man and 26-year-old woman, both from Moncton, face charges.

They had a description of the vehicle, there is only one road between the two cities and an alert officer spotted the vehicle and turned and started following them. DOH!

Now this will be fun to follow

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From The Daily Caller:

‘Assassination Style’: Widow Of Man Slain In The Bundys’ Oregon Standoff Is Suing The Feds
The widow of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum is suing the Oregon State Police, the FBI and others over her husband’s death during the 2016 armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Jeanette Finicum filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday, the second anniversary of her husband’s death. The lawsuit is for $5 million each for herself, her 12 children and her deceased husband’s estate, a total of $70 million plus court costs, The Oregonian reports.

LaVoy was “fatally shot three times in the back, assassination style, by one or more militarized officers of the Oregon State Police and/or FBI,” the lawsuit states. “He was deliberately executed by a pre-planned government ambush, after he had exited his vehicle with his hands up.”

Good - they were breaking the law as it was written so they should have been prosecuted but shooting an unarmed person in the back goes well beyond what is justice...

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.

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