Recently in Law Enforcement Category

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!

UPDATE: It seems that We The People are speaking up - more below:

From DNA info/My Chicago:

Chicago Police Hid Mics, Destroyed Dashcams To Block Audio, Records Show
Why are so many police dashcam videos silent?

Chicago Police Department officers stashed microphones in their squad car glove boxes. They pulled out batteries. Microphone antennas got busted or went missing. And sometimes, dashcam systems didn’t have any microphones at all, DNAinfo Chicago has learned.

Police officials last month blamed the absence of audio in 80 percent of dashcam videos on officer error and “intentional destruction.”

A DNAinfo Chicago review of more than 1,800 police maintenance logs sheds light on the no-sound syndrome plaguing Police Department videos — including its most notorious dashcam case.

Maintenance records of the squad car used by Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed Laquan McDonald, and his partner, Joseph Walsh, show monthslong delays for two dashcam repairs, including a long wait to fix “intentional damage.”

To Protect and Serve. This is disgusting and it needs a thorough housecleaning starting with the chief.


On June 17, 2014, police technicians reported fixing a dashcam wiring issue in police vehicle No. 6412, the squad shared by Van Dyke and Walsh, about three months after it was reported broken, records show.

A day later, the same vehicle's dashcam system was reported busted again. It took until Oct. 8, 2014, to complete repairs of what technicians deemed “intentional damage,” according to reports.

Just 12 days later, on Oct. 20, 2014, dashcam video recorded from squad car No. 6412 on the night Van Dyke shot and killed McDonald did not record audio. The video that went viral showing Van Dyke killing Laquan was taken from a different squad car, but it, too, had no audio.

And on Nov. 21, 2014, a review of 10 videos downloaded from Van Dyke's squad car dashcam determined it was “apparent … that personnel have failed to sync the MICs [sic],” police records show.

Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in Laquan's shooting. And Walsh, who filed reports backing up Van Dyke’s version of events that didn’t jibe with the video of the shooting, has been placed on desk duty as criminal and disciplinary investigations continue.

With all the Mike Brown bullshit, the cops need a clean record of all of their actions and not just a pick and choose when it suits them. They may not have an elected position but they are servants of the public and need to act that way.

UPDATE - from BuzzFeed:

Embattled Chicago Prosecutor Loses Tough Primary Focused On Police Accountability
Embattled Chicago prosecutor Anita Alvarez, who came under intense public scrutiny after city officials waited 400 days to release video of a police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, was defeated in a tough primary election Tuesday.

With more than 85% of Chicago’s precincts reporting Tuesday night, challenger Kim Foxx was leading Alvarez by 18 points, and the Associated Press called the race.

In an election that centered on police accountability in Chicago, Alvarez, the two-time incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney, faced challenges for the city’s top prosecutor job from Foxx and Donna More, both female prosecutors.

I love that people are starting to wake up...

Now this makes perfect sense

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Punnishment fits the crime - from the London Daily Mail:

Drug dealers will be executed by force-feeding them their own supply under new rules being considered in Indonesia
Drug dealers in Indonesia will be made to eat their own supply until they die if new rules are pushed through.

The country's National Narcotics Agency has suggested the punishment in a desperate bid to tackle growing drugs problems.

The proposal would strengthen already tough laws, which include death by firing squad if citizens are caught drugs trafficking.

Draconian but effective...

The investigation took place from 2010 through 2015 and the story broke in June of 2015 but I am just hearing about it now. The Miami Herald did an excellent job of reporting.

This is a five-part series with a sixth page for videos and a final post on December of 2015

Here is the home page for the main reporting: License to Launder - Cash, Cops and the Cartel

It began in a trailer in the shadows of one of Florida's most elegant malls, a brazen plan by two small police agencies to take on the hemisphere's most dangerous drug cartels. Forming their own task force, members of the Bal Harbour police and Glades County Sheriff's Office struck deals with criminal organizations across the country in what grew into the largest state undercover money-laundering investigation in years.

Posing as launderers, the task force took in $55.6 million from the criminal groups, keeping thousands each week for themselves for laundering the money. They spent lavishly on first-class flights and five-star hotel stays. They bought Mac computers and submachine guns.

In the end, they made no arrests of their own, and ended up returning all the money they laundered to the criminal groups. They also withdrew $1 million in cash with no records to show where the money went – and struck millions in additional money-laundering deals that were never disclosed.

Here is the December piece with a January 2016 update.

What did they think their exit strategy would be? These things never end gracefully. Bad cop - no donut...

People unclear on the subject

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From the Associated Press:

Man accused of trying to sell drugs in traffic court
Authorities say a Pennsylvania man tried to sell drugs in a Pittsburgh traffic court.

Officials say 35-year-old Christopher Durkin spoke to a man in court after he appeared Monday to face charges of driving under suspension. A deputy told Durkin to leave.

The other man told deputies Durkin attempted to sell him Suboxone pills.

Deputies searched Durkin and he was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver.

He is awaiting arraignment and it's not known if he has a lawyer.

The mind boggles...

Not again?

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From ABC News:

Drug Kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Escapes Mexican Prison Once Again
Mexico City, Mexico — Early this morning, drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, escaped from the Altiplano maximum security prison once again.

It is unclear at this point what exactly happened, but these are the details ABC News has received from Mexican officials so far:

2:35 AM: Guzmán was taken in restraints by two prison guards on a routine cell transfer.
3:05 AM: Prison staff could not locate Guzmán or the two prison guards’s whereabouts. The prison was put on lockdown as personnel went looking for them.
4:15 AM: A prison van was found abandoned only a mile away from the prison. Mexican officials believe the two guards, who began working at the prison just months ago, were actually members of the Sinaloa Cartel working for Guzmán.

This is getting downright ridiculous. The new guards should have never been assigned to Guzman - they should have worked in a lower security facility for five years and then been promoted.

I hope they look into the history of the person who hired these two mokes.

Good idea for a traffic law

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From Seattle station KING:

Left lane hogs bill gets hearing in Legislature Monday
A state senator is re-introducing a bill aimed getting slow left lane drivers out of the way by making it more expensive for them to stay there. 

Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, initially introduced his “aggravated left lane driving” bill last April, but it was referred to the transportation committee and never voted on. The bill calls for special penalties on drivers who drive slower than the speed limit in the left lane.

Great idea - when driving through a city where there are lots of on-ramps close to each other, I will stay in the left lane but when I am on the freeway, I keep to the right unless there are a lot of 18-wheelers engaged in pissing matches to see who can pass the slowest.

Text of the Bill can be found here (PDF): SENATE BILL 6105

Talk about right place, right time

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From Seattle station KCPQ:

Pasco man gets Amber Alert on his phone just as he’s parking next to car in question
A Pasco man was pulling into a Wendy’s parking lot Monday night when he got an Amber Alert on his phone.

The car he was parking next to at that very moment was the Honda Civic police were looking for.

Police said the man found the 2002 Honda Civic that had been stolen an hour-and-a-half earlier with two little girls inside.

The suspect was gone.

The car was running.

And the children were inside in the car seats – safe and sound.

Just wow! Talk about great luck and perfect operation of the system.

Memo to self

When pulled over for a traffic stop, do not try to snort a line of cocaine in front of the officer or the dash-cam.


Hat tip to Seattle station KOMO for the link. The perp was 73 years old - should have known better...

Police wearing body cams - a good thing

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Keeps everyone honest - from Knoxville, TN station WBIR:

Body camera helps discredit accusation against Knox deputy
A Knox County deputy's body camera helped prove his innocence after he was accused of fondling a woman during a traffic stop.

On Nov. 8, a KCSO deputy pulled over Margaret Ellen McElhinny under suspicion of driving under the influence.

Three other deputies came to the scene. During the stop, they began to question her.

McElhinny later accused one deputy of fondling her once she left her car for a sobriety check. Three of the four deputies wore body cameras, including the one she accused.

Investigators reviewed the recordings from the body cameras and found the deputy in question did nothing wrong.

A bit more about the perp:

McElhinny was arrested and faces multiple charges, including DUI, criminal impersonation and false reports. During the traffic stop, she also lied about her name. Reports show she used the name Catherine McElhinny.


She has a criminal history that stretches to 2007 in Knox County, records show. It includes multiple public intoxication convictions. McElhinny also has multiple DUI offenses in the state of Texas.

Even with her record, without the body cameras, she could have destroyed that officers life and family. Good use of technology.

Getting closer - El Chapo

Mexican drug lord El Chapo broke out of jail and was very close to being captured. From NBC News:

'El Chapo' on the Run: Mexican Drug Lord Has Leg, Face Injuries: Sources
Fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is believed to be suffering from injuries to his leg and face as he continues to evade Mexican authorities, NBC News has learned.

Mexican Marines zeroed in last week on the Sinaloa cartel kingpin after U.S. drug agents intercepted cell phone signals suggesting "El Chapo" was hiding at a ranch near Cosala in the rugged Sierra Madre mountains in western Mexico, according to three sources with knowledge of the operation.

Marines raided the ranch in helicopters, but were forced to turn back after taking fire from suspected Guzman security forces. The Marines later entered the camp on foot and discovered cell phones, medication and two-way radios, but Guzman and his accomplices are believed to have fled on ATVs.

I bet he is captured or killed in a couple months - too many people want a piece of him.

Stupid criminal of the day

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From the San Diego, CA Union-Tribune:

Accidental 911 call leads deputies to pot
An Alpine man who didn’t realize he’d called 911 on his cellphone let a sheriff’s dispatcher in on his conversation about a drug lab and plans to lure a deputy into a fight or a pursuit, authorities said Tuesday.

Deputies traced the call to a home on Lobelia Road and found 93 marijuana plants inside and outdoors, sheriff’s Sgt. Kirk Thomson said. Three men there were arrested.

“They vehemently denied calling 911 until we called his phone back, and showed him on his phone where he had called us,” Thomson said. “Then the expletives flew.”

What happened:

The trio were driving through Alpine about 11:30 p.m. Monday when they spotted a deputy in his marked patrol car parked on Victoria Drive. The deputy was eating yogurt, but his presence made the three nervous, Thomson said.

“When people are on meth there is a lot of paranoia,” Thomson said.

Coincidentally, one of the men pushed a programmed button on his cellphone that called 911 without him knowing it. A dispatcher overheard men talking about narcotics and items used to make “honey oil,” slang for hash oil extracted from marijuana. They also talked about returning to the deputy to get him into a fight or a 100 mph chase, Thomson said.

They drove to the home on Lobelia, nearly a half-mile away from where the deputy was, and seconds later the phone was shut off, Thomson said. Deputies traced the phone through a nearby cellphone tower right to the trio’s door. About 75 young marijuana plants were found indoors and nearly 20 more were on a patio and in a greenhouse.

Heh - not just paranoia, it's rampant stupidity in play here.

Tip of the hat to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for the link.

Seattle's Finest

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Not so surprising news from the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Leaked memo: SPD ignoring most N. Seattle burglaries
A confidential memo leaked to KOMO/4 News contains a bombshell admission by the city's police department. The document says North Precinct detectives are too short-staffed to investigate most burglaries.

A police source said that unless burglary detectives have a suspect's name, evidence photos or surveillance footage, and complete witness interviews, it's unlikely a case will even get worked, let alone solved.

Pete Rogerson works with Seattle police through the North Precinct Advisory Council, where he offers citizen input on police operations. Rogerson said in all his years in that role, he's never seen anything like this memo.

"I think this memo is very troubling," he said.

The memo is marked confidential and not for public display, but what it says about burglary investigations could trouble anyone.

"It's very surprising," Rogerson said. "I cannot believe this is the case."

The memo says at one point, 14 detectives worked burglary, theft and juvenile cases for the North Precinct. Today it's down to two detectives and an on-loan patrol officer, even though the memo says cases have climbed to 1,500 a month. The memo concludes, "misdemeanor and even many felony crimes can no longer be investigated except on a very rare, case by case basis."

This is nothing new to me...

Back in 2008, my parents were living in Seattle in the Windermere area (very tony - houses in the million+ range). I was visiting for a blacksmithing conference and was planning to pick up two pieces of artwork they had in their garden.  They were there when I drove down but when I went to pick it up at the end of the conference, they (and a number of other pieces) were gone. The garden was in the back of their house and not visible from the street. My guess is that it was one of the work people they hired - at their age, they were not careful about checking credentials of people who knocked at their door.

I called 911 and explained the loss to the officer and they did not even offer to send anyone out or ask for a description of the pieces. One of them was over 100 years old (bronze sculpture) and was valued around $10K. I got zero response from them.

My impression of the Seattle police was not good then and it is not good now. All P.R. and show - a careful management of appearances instead of the appearance of careful management...

Career limiting move - sooo busted

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Body shop employees spotted racing in Roseville police squad cars
At least the two employees waited until after morning traffic eased up before getting behind the wheels of the Dodge Chargers and roaring along County Road C at “excessive speeds” for more than a mile.

Police in Roseville say two of their marked squad cars were pitted in an unauthorized street race by body shop employees along a busy street in town. The Police Department responded by taking its business elsewhere.

At least the two joy riding employees waited until after morning traffic eased up last Thursday before getting behind the wheels of the Dodge Chargers — yes, they had a hemi — and roaring along County Road C at “excessive speeds” for more than a mile from Victoria Street east to Western Avenue, said Police Lt. Lorne Rosand.

“I heard from one citizen who said it appeared they were racing” around 10:15 a.m. along the four-lane thoroughfare, where the speed limit is 40 miles per hour, Rosand said Tuesday.

A department official addressed the incident with the owner of the body shop, and police decided to sever business with Suburban Auto Body, to the east of Roseville in Little Canada.

Body shop president Dennis O’Connell Jr. countered in an e-mailed statement that “there was no speeding or dangerous driving,” explaining there was “quick acceleration from a stop sign, and no citations were given.”

One employee was fired. I can see taking a vehicle for a short road test if they were working on anything suspension or brake related but this sounds a bit excessive. They could have used the corner of a mall parking lot for this kind of test.

Talk about betraying a trust -- from the Miami Herald:

Staff at a Miami-Dade prison tormented, abused mentally ill inmates, former worker says
Mentally ill inmates at Dade Correctional Institution have been tormented and abused for years, according to three former employees at the psychiatric unit, one of whom filed a complaint last month with the U.S. Department of Justice.

In his complaint, George Mallinckrodt, a psychotherapist assigned to the unit from 2008 to 2011, related a series of episodes, including the death of inmate Darren Rainey. The 50-year-old was placed in a small, enclosed, scalding-hot shower by guards and left unattended for more than an hour. He collapsed and died amid the searing heat, suffering severe burns when he fell, face up, atop the drain.

A bit more:

Mallinckrodt said he filed a variety of complaints with the prison and the Department of Corrections’ inspector general about the abusive treatment, but never received a response. He said he also took his concerns directly to Warden Jerry Cummings.

Mallinckrodt contacted the Herald after reading its Sunday report on Rainey’s death. That article was based largely on the account of inmate Harold Hempstead, bolstered by heavily censored documents from the state’s investigation of the incident. A burglar serving a decades-long sentence, Hempstead repeatedly wrote to the inspector general about Rainey’s death, but said he was never interviewed by the department.

A bit more:

The three past employees said they were continually warned to keep quiet about the abuse in the unit or they would be deprived of the protection of guards when dealing either one on one or in a group setting with inmates. They said they were also told they would be fired.

That’s what happened to Mallinckrodt, who was employed by Corizon Health Inc., the outside company contracted to provide mental health services at the prison.

Two months after reporting the beating incident, he was discharged. He said the company told him he was being let go because he took long lunches and too many breaks.

I get it - prison is not supposed to be fun. The inmate is there to be punished. What happened here though is beyond the limits of human decency. These guards need to spend at least ten years behind these bars for their sins...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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From the Los Angeles Times:
LAPD officers tampered with in-car recording equipment, records show
Los Angeles police officers tampered with voice recording equipment in dozens of patrol cars in an effort to avoid being monitored while on duty, according to records and interviews.

An inspection by Los Angeles Police Department investigators found about half of the estimated 80 cars in one South L.A. patrol division were missing antennas, which help capture what officers say in the field. The antennas in at least 10 more cars in nearby divisions had also been removed.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other top officials learned of the problem last summer but chose not to investigate which officers were responsible. Rather, the officials issued warnings against continued meddling and put checks in place to account for antennas at the start and end of each patrol shift.

Members of the Police Commission, which oversees the department, were not briefed about the problem until months later. In interviews with The Times, some commissioners said they were alarmed by the officers' attempts to conceal what occurred in the field, as well as the failure of department officials to come forward when the problem first came to light.
This is a serious breach of public trust. These people work for us, they are not an autonomous entity. Post title? Here.

More news from Everett, WA

Not just that one store -- from the Everett Daily Herald:
Second smoke shop raided in probe of food-stamp fraud
Another day, another raid on a north Everett smoke shop.

A steady stream of customers to the Tobacco Hut at 1917 Broadway was turned away Wednesday afternoon while Everett police and state social services investigators searched the store for evidence of possible food-stamp fraud.

Store owner Nadeem Ahmed Pasha, 39, was arrested. Police say they found a state food-benefits card belonging to someone else in his wallet.

�We found evidence of more fraud,� Everett police Lt. Jim Duffy said, standing outside the business while investigators inside pored over business receipts, examined inventory and confiscated suspected illegal drugs.
And some great news:
Among other things, investigators from the state Department of Social and Health Services will be contacting people whose cards were seized Wednesday. They could lose their benefits and face criminal charges.
No mention of the nation of origin for Nadeem Ahmed Pasha and one of the commenters had this wonderful idea:
Suggestion to the Police Departments. When they raid shops like these, just haul off he owner and then put your own "clerks" in the shop for the rest of the day. Arrest those that come in to sell their EBT cards. If the store has a back door, just arrest them and hustle them out the back into a waiting "jail bus", My guess is that there'll be a steady stream of those selling the EBT cards or stolen merchandise. Don't just go for the owner, go for the rest of the offenders as well.

Do this enough and those who are selling these cards or shoplifted merchandise won't know if they're going into a store where they'll be arrested or not. Put a little fear into that crowd for a change.
Doing this a couple times would cut fraud down to a minimum. People get greedy if they see that there is no cost involved. Implement a cost and watch the fraud decline...

Food stamp fraud in Everett, WA

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A big town about 60 miles due South of Bellingham, WA - from the Everett Daily Herald:
Everett store raided in food-stamp investigation
A police raid on a downtown mini-mart Tuesday morning was the culmination of a 17-month investigation into food-stamp fraud.

Fraz A. �Tony� Mushtaq, 34, the owner of the A One Smoke & Grocery store at Everett and Colby avenues, is suspected of paying people cents on the dollar for access to their state food-benefits cards.

He also is under investigation for allegedly buying and selling merchandise shoplifted from area stores, money laundering and selling an illegal form of synthetic marijuana known as �spice,� police say.

Everett police believe a significant amount of the store�s inventory has been ill-gotten, said Lt. Jim Duffy, who leads the special investigations unit.

The police department has received complaints about the store for several years, he said.
A bit more:
The investigation started gaining momentum in fall 2012 when police established a relationship with an informant who reportedly was delivering stolen goods to the store.

�That opened the door for us,� Duffy said.

Police believe the amount of stolen merchandise moved through the store, including pop, energy drinks and cigarettes, could total in the millions of dollars. Careful financial investigation has documented hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable transactions, Duffy said.
And they pulled out the stops:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture�s Office of Inspector General assisted with the investigation. So did the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney�s Office.

Local grocery stores, including Safeway and QFC, donated merchandise for undercover detectives to sell to Mushtaq as part of the sting. The USDA also supplied �undercover� food-stamp cards.
A bit more:
During the investigation, Mushtaq was seen on multiple occasions carrying stacks of the food cards, each wrapped with a piece of paper with the PIN numbers and details about the balance, according to police. One stack of cards was described as a half-inch thick.

Records showed his store computer equipment was used to check balances on cards more than 500 times. That involved more than 300 cards over about 18 months, police say. It�s unusual for a cardholder to check the balance at a location and then not make a purchase, according to investigators. After checking the balance at his store, Mushtaq then allegedly would make a large purchase at a bigger store.
Follow the money:
Mushtaq is from Pakistan and became a U.S. citizen a couple of years ago, Duffy said. Investigators believe he was sending money from his store back home to Pakistan.

They found no evidence the money was being used there for any improper activities, Duffy said.
Emphasis mine -- yeah riiiight... I bet the Feds would have a different story if they weren't being led by such incompetent swivel-headed loons. I hope the two of them spend a long time behind bars and then get deported. This is not a matter of a mistake or poor education, this is abject fraud.

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