Law Enforcement

Video: Slain NYPD Officer's Children Given Home by New Yorkers

Police Magazine - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 08:16

VIDEO: Slain NYPD Officer's Children Given Home by New Yorkers

It's been a tough year for three children of an NYPD detective who was murdered in the line of the duty in the Bronx in July.

Now, they are preparing for their first holiday without mom Det. Miosotis Familia, who was ambushed by a mentally ill gunman as she sat in a Mobile Command Unit.

Twenty-year-old Genesis Villella walks around her new apartment with joy and gratitude, now that she and her 12-year-old twin siblings live in a beautiful three-bedroom co-op in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. It is possible thanks to more than $800,000 in donations from the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the New York Daily News and Skyview Apartments, ABC7 reports.

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Video: “Something Had to be Done,” Says Homeless Man who Helped SC Officer Under Attack

Police Magazine - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 08:16

VIDEO: “Something Had to be Done,” Says Homeless Man who Helped SC Officer Under Attack

A homeless man who Columbia, SC, police are praising for jumping into action to assist an officer in an arrest this week said last week things were “going to get ugly” so something “had to be done.”

Cray Turmon was captured on video this week tackling a man who was wrestling with a police officer outside a gas station in Columbia.

"She's a woman slammed to the ground and she's an officer...I saw her belongings hit the ground,” Turmon told WACH. “She'd done everything she could...It was going to get ugly, ya know? Something had to be done.”

Columbia Police said the suspect who was arrested, Donald Songster Brown, is accused of punching a woman inside the gas station and threatening to harm her and another person with a knife. The 39-year-old is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder, armed robbery and kidnapping.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook honored Turmon last week with a certificate for his "extraordinary actions to preserve life and aid public safety.”

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Toronto Officers Say Staffing Shortage Puts Them at Risk

Police Magazine - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 08:06

Several Toronto police officers say they do not feel safe on the job, according to internal emails and exit interviews given to the city's police union by officers leaving the force. 

"I officially (for the first time in my career) do no feel safe as a police officer, and am tired with the politics of the service and upper management," the email said.

The officer wrote that he was the only car on patrol on a Tuesday afternoon earlier this month, with one road sergeant available for backup. During the shift he had five pending calls, including a sexual assault, an arrest involving three people, and a domestic assault.

The union told CBC Toronto the email isn't unusual; critical staffing levels are leaving many officers feeling unsafe. 

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Lincoln Woods Barracks

State - RI Police - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 06:45
At 4:06 PM, Troopers arrested Edwin Torres, age 27, of 110 Burns Street Apartment #1B, Providence, Rhode Island on a Sixth District Court Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear for Pre-Trial Conference on the original charge of Operating with a Suspended License out of the Rhode Island State Police-...
Categories: Law Enforcement

Police: Naked Ohio postal worker kills 2 bosses

Police One - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 06:00

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A disgruntled mail carrier facing dismissal has been charged with aggravated murder for fatally shooting his supervisor at a suburban Ohio post office and with murder for killing a postmaster outside of her apartment complex.

Twenty-four-year-old DeShaune Stewart, of Columbus, was naked during both slayings Saturday morning inside the Dublin post office and at an apartment complex in nearby Columbus, police said.

Stewart is charged with killing 52-year-old Lance Dempsey at the post office just before 4:30 a.m. Stewart had been scheduled to walk his mail route on Saturday, Columbus homicide Sgt. David Sicilian said.

Columbus police dispatchers received a 911 call around 7:15 a.m. about a man with a gun chasing a woman outside the apartment complex, about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the post office. Patrol officers arrested Stewart and recovered a handgun after he tried to run away.

The body of the postmaster, Ginger Ballard, 53, was found lying between two vehicles. A police affidavit filed with the murder charge in Franklin County Municipal Court said Ballard died instantly of blunt-force trauma to the head after being thrown to the ground, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Police earlier described Ballard as a postal inspector. The Dispatch has reported that documents found online refer to her as the Dublin postmaster.

Sicilian described the slaying to reporters earlier Saturday as "workplace violence" involving a suspect who retaliated against two people involved in his pending dismissal from the U.S. Postal Service.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Off-duty Border Patrol agent killed in Calif. motorcycle crash

Police One - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 06:00

By Lauren Williams The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A motorcyclist killed in a crash on Ortega Highway has been identified as an off-duty border patrol agent who lived in Lake Elsinore.

Alex Franco, 35, was killed when a motorcycle he was riding and a pickup truck collided at about 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, according to the Orange County coroner’s office. Franco died at the scene.

Franco was an eight-year veteran of the border patrol, which he joined in February of 2009.

“On behalf of the San Diego Sector and the entire Border Patrol family, our sincerest condolences and prayers are with the family and friends of Agent Franco during this very difficult time,” said Ralph DeSio, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Franco was driving eastbound on Ortega Highway on a 2018 Triumph when his motorcycle drifted into the westbound lane, colliding with a 2010 Nissan pickup truck, according to a California Highway Patrol report from CHP Officer Rafael Reynoso.

It was unclear whether speed was a factor in the crash.

The 52-year-old driver of the truck was not arrested at the scene.

©2017 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Chief who lost part of arm in fireworks accident continues long road back to work

Police One - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 06:00

By Chuck Biedka The Valley News-Dispatch, Tarentum, Pa.

LEECHBBURG, Pa. — Surviving a near-fatal fireworks explosion in June was only the first challenge.

As he sat in a hospital bed in Pittsburgh's Uptown section, Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold said he thought he was at the end of his life. He was burned and suffering from the traumatic amputation of his left arm below the elbow.

He was in shock.

"When I first got hurt, I thought it was all over," said Diebold, who was injured when a firework misfired during a Leechburg fire company carnival on June 24. "I was like, 'What am I going to do?' It was a dark time. I was mad, angry, frightened, you name it; and, yes, I cried.

"'What about Danielle?' " he asked himself, referring to his then-fiancee, Danielle Reinke. "'How am I going to help with the kids, Kyle and Gracie?' Then the hospital brought some people in. They'd been through this type of thing, and they all told me life is only what you make it. And that sunk in."

After six months of recovery, Diebold, 40, intends to go back to work. All that stands in the way is passing a medical evaluation as part of an agreement he drummed up with the borough. Until that happens, he will be on paid leave.

Adapting to a new arm

Within three months of the accident, Diebold began to make regular visits to Union Orthotics & Prosthetics in Lawrenceville.

He got a lasting jolt on Sept. 6.

Diebold was being fitted for a fiberglass and carbon arm that uses a cable and pulley system.

He was supposed to control the arm with the muscles of his right shoulder, but he'd spent little time learning to do so.

When one of the prosthetic specialists accidentally dropped a marker pen, Diebold knew what to do. He bent over and used the claw-like "hand" to pick up the marker.

"I can do this. I finally know I can do this, really do it," he realized at the time. "I know I can learn how to use this arm and go back to work."

He'd also figured out how to change his son's diapers one-handed.

Encouragement also came from Lance Johnston of Eighty Four, Washington County, who had an arm and a leg amputated four years ago after a motorcycle wreck along Route 136. Johnston answered questions as only a fellow amputee can about prosthetics and pain.

"This is a hard thing for anybody," Johnston told Diebold at a prosthetics fitting. "But I know there are so many people worse off than me."

The men compared notes about phantom pain seeming to come from the amputated limb and how to get on with life. Diebold said Johnson's help fortified his confidence.

Danielle, whom Diebold married in July in a ceremony on the banks of the Kiski River, said she started to see a different side to him.

"It was almost like a warrior came out in him. 'I am determined. I'm going to make it,' " Danielle Diebold said.

Mike Diebold spent hours on a computer each day, researching prosthetic technology and reading about service members who suffered traumatic amputations and returned to active duty.

"He read the success stories," Danielle Diebold said. "He's our role model, the strongest man we know. He is our hero. When he talks about us being a support, he truly doesn't know what he means to us."

Work at the firing range

Three months after receiving a permanent prosthetic arm, Diebold passed annual firearms and other recertification tests for the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission (MPOETC).

On a crisp and clear morning at Vandergrift Sportsman Club, Diebold put on his pistol belt and holster, put the pistol in the holster and easily used the claw to load ammunition for pistol magazines. He followed commands from a range master to take the MPOETC test.

Diebold surprised himself by shooting better than he had the year before — even with a shotgun that he had not fired since the accident.

It took him a few minutes to pump the action open and closed using the claw. But aligning the sights was the same as before.

"It really feels good," Diebold said.

"He is recertified," state police Cpl. Adam Reed confirmed a few days later.

About that time, Diebold's doctor cleared him to go back to work, with no restrictions.

Dr. Maria F. Twichell wrote in a Dec. 5 letter, "It is no longer medically necessary for him to be excused from work or restricted to light duty at this time. He is medically cleared to return to full duty work beginning 12-11-17."

But before that could happen, the borough and Diebold would need to iron out the details of his return. They reached an agreement announced Dec. 19 that includes the administration of a medical test that has not yet been scheduled.

The Leechburg police chief's job isn't just administrative. The chief responds to police calls, as well as preparing the schedule and budget and overseeing the department's three full-time and several part-time officers. He is also a detective for the county drug task force.

Details under the Dec. 19 agreement about who will perform the medical exam, and when it will be performed, hadn't been determined by Christmas Eve.

The agreement calls for Diebold to be examined by a doctor acceptable to both Diebold and the borough, who would ensure that the chief is able to do the job.

Officer offers hope

Since his accident, Diebold has talked with police officers who have had amputations and returned to duty.

Pocatello, Idaho, Patrolman Carlos Lugo, who has a prosthetic left arm, telephoned Diebold soon after he read about his injuries.

Lugo's arm was blown off during his second Army tour in Afghanistan. He recovered, completed instruction at a police academy and is a regular night shift patrolman.

Lugo, 30, told Diebold that working as a cop is still possible.

"I told him not to give up. You can do it," Lugo said.

Diebold listened to his advise and added a magnet to his work arm. It holds a flashlight.

Community supportive

The community's encouragement, from the start of his ordeal, has amazed him, Diebold said.

Soon after the accident, neighbors and friends held a vigil. And on the day he went home from UPMC Mercy, the first of several fundraisers took place.

Tickets to spaghetti dinners sold out in minutes, and hundreds of T-shirts were sold with all the money going to a campaign to help pay medical expenses. An account was established at the Leechburg branch of First Commonwealth Bank.

"The last information I have is that it's close to $50,000," Diebold said. He said the money would be used to pay for medical bills and a prosthetic arm. Bank officials declined to comment about the account.

Diebold said repeated demonstrations of concern, even by people he'd arrested over his 21 years as a police officer, were touching.

When he returns to work, Diebold plans to visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to talk to young ones without limbs.

"Anytime I go out, young people come around and ask about the arm," Diebold said.

He doesn't mind talking about the experience.

"Life is different. You know what is important, who is important, and you want to get back to life regardless of what you do," he said. "Understand, if I were a carpenter, I'd want to do that again. But I'm a cop, and I love serving the public," he said.

People almost always ask him what happened, and Diebold said he is ready to talk. The accident was horrible, but maybe the experience can improve things for others, he added.

"Over the years, there has been a picture painted about bad cops but not good cops. Well, the arm is an icebreaker. People want to talk about being a cop and the arm. It's an opportunity to share."

©2017 The Valley News-Dispatch (Tarentum, Pa.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Authorities: Box of horse manure found near US treasury secretary's home

Police One - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 06:00

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Authorities say a gift-wrapped box of horse manure addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was found near his home in Los Angeles.

The package was found Saturday night in the tony Bel Air neighborhood after it was dropped off at a neighbor's house.

The Los Angeles Police Department's bomb squad was called to the home and officers opened the box, finding a pile of horse manure inside. Police said the package had been gift-wrapped and was marked as being from "the American people."

Police said the Secret Service was taking over the investigation. A Secret Service spokesman said the agency was aware of the incident but declined to comment further.

A spokesman for the Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Police: Disgruntled Ohio postal worker kills 2 bosses while naked

Police One - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 06:00

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A disgruntled mail carrier facing dismissal has been charged with aggravated murder for fatally shooting his supervisor at a suburban Ohio post office and with murder for killing a postmaster outside of her apartment complex.

Twenty-four-year-old DeShaune Stewart, of Columbus, was naked during both slayings Saturday morning inside the Dublin post office and at an apartment complex in nearby Columbus, police said.

Stewart is charged with killing 52-year-old Lance Dempsey at the post office just before 4:30 a.m. Stewart had been scheduled to walk his mail route on Saturday, Columbus homicide Sgt. David Sicilian said.

Columbus police dispatchers received a 911 call around 7:15 a.m. about a man with a gun chasing a woman outside the apartment complex, about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the post office. Patrol officers arrested Stewart and recovered a handgun after he tried to run away.

The body of the postmaster, Ginger Ballard, 53, was found lying between two vehicles. A police affidavit filed with the murder charge in Franklin County Municipal Court said Ballard died instantly of blunt-force trauma to the head after being thrown to the ground, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Police earlier described Ballard as a postal inspector. The Dispatch has reported that documents found online refer to her as the Dublin postmaster.

Sicilian described the slaying to reporters earlier Saturday as "workplace violence" involving a suspect who retaliated against two people involved in his pending dismissal from the U.S. Postal Service.


Categories: Law Enforcement

2 Va. deputies shot while responding to domestic dispute

Police One - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 06:00

Associated Press

STERLING, Va. — Two Virginia sheriff's deputies were shot and wounded Sunday while responding to a domestic dispute in northern Virginia, authorities said.

The injuries were serious but not expected to be life-threatening. The dispute involved a man and his 19-year-old daughter, The Washington Post reported.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office tweeted that the shooting occurred in Sterling, which is about 30 miles northwest of Washington. WRC-TV in Washington reported that the shooting occurred shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday.

LCSO responded to a domestic incident on Hollow Mountain Place in Sterling. During the incident two deputies were shot. Their injuries are described as serious but not life-threatening. A suspect is in custody. Further details will be released as they become available. pic.twitter.com/DbRFJwmF3o

— Loudoun Co. Sheriff (@LoudounSheriff) December 24, 2017

The sheriff told The Post that a male and a female deputy were at the house and tried to de-escalate the dispute. When the man went upstairs, deputies followed. The deputies confronted him near a closet and as the man was being taken into custody, it appeared based on preliminary information, he reached for a gun, the sheriff told the newspaper.

The deputies used a stun gun on the man but he managed to get several shots off, the sheriff said. The female deputy was hit in the leg and the male was struck in an arm and both legs.

Both were at the hospital doing "pretty good," Chapman said.

No charges had been filed by Sunday night.

The man was in custody.

No other information was immediately available.

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Yield sign run over results in DWI arrest

State - NY Police - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 00:16

Aggravated DWI Arrest

Categories: Law Enforcement

Police solve mystery behind man's 1944 love letter found within home's walls

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 12:04

By Scott J. Croteau MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

GREENFIELD, Mass. — Police in one Massachusetts town issued an all-points bulletin for a Miss Betty Miller, but it was not because she is a suspect in any case.

Greenfield police were searching for the woman or any of her family to return a 1944 love letter found inside a home recently. The search paid off.

In a sweet Facebook post, the department said it was issuing a challenge to followers this holiday.

"A friend of ours is doing a home remodel and found a love note in the walls! It was written on April 19, 1944 by 'Walter' for 'Miss Betty Miller' who lived on 360 Chapman St.," the Facebook post reads. "We would love to be able to get this letter back to Betty or her family. Please let us know if you know how to find her."

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

UPDATE: Betty’s family has been found, unfortunately she has passed away, so we can’t talk to her directly, but her...

Posted by Greenfield, Mass Police Department on Saturday, December 23, 2017

The search for Betty began in a post by Francesca Passiglia, based on her Facebook post. Her family owns the Chapman Street home in town. Passiglia has a friend at the police department who asked to share the message.

"Lost and found love letter alert! We found a letter from 1944 in our kitchen wall yesterday while doing some electrical work," she wrote.

Passiglia asked if any knew Betty Miller or the Walter who said in the letter, "I will not go to any dance or movie unless you go with me?"

Over the weekend, Passiglia posted she found Betty's youngest sister, an Irene Fournier and gave her the letter. Fournier said Betty was 14 in 1944, according to Passiglia's post. Fournier lives two blocks away from the Passiglia family. Passiglia believed Fournier was in her 90s, but didn't know her exact age.

"Irene told us Betty dated two Walters in high school. They were both good dancers so she can't tell which one wrote the letter," Passiglia posted on Facebook. "Betty went on to marry someone else and lived a long and happy life. She passed away several years ago from cancer."

Fournier grew up in the Chapman Street home with five siblings and the letter to her sister made her smile, Passiglia wrote. Fournier shared stories about growing up in the Chapman Street home.

"We've made plans to have Mrs. Fournier over next week to visit her childhood home and are so happy to have made a new friend," she wrote. "Hurray for Christmas mysteries!"

©2017 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.


Categories: Law Enforcement

W. Va. troopers hand out cash instead of tickets

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:51

By Samantha Perry Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W. Va.

PRINCETON, W. Va. — Elizabeth Bittle showed obvious concern when she saw the West Virginia State Police trooper and his blue lights behind her in a traffic stop in a parking lot off Route 460 in Glenwood.

Bittle, a Bluefield resident, was slightly speeding when Senior Trooper D.B. Whited pulled in behind her. Her 7-year-old daughter, Olivia, was in the back seat along with German shepherd Max.

Five minutes later, Bittle’s worry turned to tears of joy when she was given a warning and handed a crisp $100 bill.

In what has become an annual tradition at the State Police Princeton detachment, “Santa stops” were conducted Friday by troopers who handed out cash instead of tickets.

Bittle called the unexpected gift “a blessing.”

“It’s amazing,” said Bittle, a single mother to four children. “I was getting ready to take my paycheck and spend it on Christmas — but it’s not enough. This will provide Christmas dinner or stocking stuffers.”

Bittle said she had no idea the Santa Stops were underway. “I was speeding … trying to get everything done for Christmas.”

Throughout the interview with Bittle, Senior Trooper Whited smiled in the background.

Santa Stops have been conducted by troopers at the Princeton detachment since 2014 when an anonymous donor brought in ten $100 bills and asked that they be given out to random drivers. The tradition has continued since then.

Initially, troopers were able to pull over any motorist they felt could use a little extra cash. But a 2016 Supreme Court ruling put the brakes on that practice. In a memo to law enforcement agencies at that time, then-Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash pointed out that these stops are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, even though officers are simply committing “random acts of kindness.”

The high court case did not involve a “Santa stop,” but an incident in Monongalia County in which an officer stopped a motorist to ask him if he had seen a suspect in a domestic violence incident who was on foot. The motorist was then cited for driving on a revoked license and driving under the influence.

Ash said in 2016 that if a local trooper or officer pulled someone over to give them cash or a gift card and then smelled alcohol on the driver’s breath, any DUI charge would likely be thrown out of court.

“Building community relations, particularly during the holidays, is a terrific idea,” Ash stated in the earlier memo. “I hope you can continue this custom in a creative way that does not invoke the Fourth Amendment.”

State troopers have done just that.

On Friday, Whited was looking for expired stickers and tags. He found just that on Glenwood Park Road.

Todd Bailey was en route to pick up his son, Jordan, at Glenwood School when the blue lights came on behind him. His expression showed shock and amazement when he was handed cash instead of a ticket.

“I had a dead tag and got a $100 bill,” Bailey said.

His wife, Juleigh Bailey, said it was a “nice surprise” at Christmas.

Juleigh then hesitated, and noted, “We’re OK. Could another family use it more?”

After a conversation with Whited, the Baileys said they would be donating the money to the Salvation Army.

Whited said he enjoys doing the Santa Stops because it allows him to interact with residents in a favorable situation. Normally, State Troopers are called in when negative events occur.

“For me, it’s different to get to interact with people in a positive way,” Whited said. “It’s a way to give back to the community. I love doing it. That’s why I volunteer every year.”

Whited’s final stop of the day was Caren East, who was also slightly speeding on Route 460.

East, of Orlando, Fla., was born and raised in Spanishburg and “home for Christmas.”

The passenger in the car was her sister, Stacey East.

Both East women were enthusiastic and smiling after the $100 gift, and said it would come in handy after a day of shopping for their parents.

“We’re here for Christmas,” Caren East said. “But we’re doing a surprise 50th anniversary party for our parents tomorrow. We were out shopping, and just dropped $200 at the store.”

Whited finished his Santa Stops Friday afternoon. Pulling back into the Princeton detachment parking lot, he was still smiling. “It’s great to get to be positive with people.”

Sgt. M.S. Haynes, Cpl. P.H. Shrewsbury and Trooper First Class J.R. Tupper also participated in the Santa Stops.

©2017 the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W.Va.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Border Patrol 'duped' into providing security for cartel wedding

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:38

By Kristina Davis The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — When Brian Houston wed his Mexican fiancee in a surprise ceremony during a rare opening of the steel gate on the U.S.-Mexico border fence last month, he said it was because he could not cross into Tijuana.

Now we know why.

Houston, a U.S. citizen, is awaiting sentencing in San Diego federal court on a drug smuggling conviction — a fact that the Border Patrol says it did not know when it ran a background check on him clearing him to participate in the cross-border event at Border Field State Park.

Houston was arrested in February as he crossed through the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Found hidden in his Volkswagen Jetta were 43 pounds of heroin, 47 pounds of methamphetamine and 43 pounds of cocaine, according to the complaint.

“The agents are upset, feel like they were taken advantage of, feel like they were duped,” said Joshua Wilson, vice president and spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613. “Turns out we provided armed security for a cartel wedding.”

The incident could put future “Door of Hope” events in jeopardy. The event is closely monitored and choreographed, with a handful of vetted families on the U.S. side allowed to embrace and greet family members on the Mexican side in three-minute reunions under the watchful eye of Border Patrol agents. The encounters are held on a small strip of land owned by the Department of Homeland Security known as Friendship Park.

The enormous border gate has opened with fanfare like this six times since 2013.

The event is organized by the Border Angels nonprofit group, run by executive director Enrique Morones. He gives questionnaires to interested families who cannot cross the border legally for whatever reason, and the forms are then provided to the Border Patrol for approval.

“Border Angels has never done any background checks, as the Border Patrol advised us they will do all background checks and advise us which families have been cleared,” Morones said in a statement Wednesday.

Twelve families were approved for the Nov. 18 opening — including Houston — although one family did not show, Morones said.

Border Patrol spokesperson Takae Michael said Houston was “screened through an internal vetting process based on biographical information provided to us” by Morones. “A review of the provided information, through our DHS systems, did not indicate criminal activity,” Michael said.

The wedding between Houston and Evelia Reyes was a surprise to agents. The couple — in only a few minutes — signed documents from the Tijuana municipal authorities, posed for pictures and hugged. The nuptials were widely covered by news outlets on both sides of the border, including The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“It’s a statement that love has no borders,” Houston told reporters at the time. “Even though we are divided by a giant fence here, we can still love each other on both sides of the fence.”

He said his wife was working with an immigration attorney to get a green card to live in the United States.

Wilson, the Border Patrol union rep, said Morones should have alerted the agents to the wedding.

“They showed up dressed for a wedding,” Wilson said. “The agents there were powerless to stop it. We were certainly put on the spot.”

The Border Patrol said that after the wedding, “a subsequent review of Houston’s information was completed and confirmed a match for a previous arrest for drug smuggling.”

Morones said he plans to meet soon with San Diego’s new Border Patrol chief, Rodney Scott, to discuss the incident and future events.

“We were shocked to learn this past week of Brian Houston’s very serious criminal situation. That goes against everything Border Angels stands for,” Morones said. Border Angels is a humanitarian group serving immigrants that started decades ago by leaving water and other supplies in the desert for border crossers.

Houston, who had a SENTRI pass, which allows expedited clearance on arriving in the United States for preapproved travelers, approached the port of entry at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 28 and said he had nothing to declare, according to the complaint. But the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer smelled a strong chemical odor while inspecting the trunk and noticed scrapes that suggested the lining of the compartment had been tampered with, the complaint states.

Under the lining, several plastic-wrapped packages could be seen, the complaint says. The car was driven through an X-ray machine and several more packages were detected in all four doors, rear quarter panels and the spare tire. There were 67 packages in all.

After his arrest, Houston was granted release on $20,000 bond secured by the signatures of his parents and a 15 percent cash deposit, according to court records. He was also not allowed to enter Mexico and had to surrender his U.S. passport.

He pleaded guilty in May to importing the drugs. Sentencing is set for Feb. 23.

©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune


Categories: Law Enforcement

Elderly couple arrested with 60 pounds of pot, says the drugs were Christmas gifts

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:14

By Julie Johnson The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

YORK, Neb. — An 80-year-old Lake County man and his wife road tripping to the East Coast, were arrested in Nebraska on suspicion of hauling about 60 pounds of cannabis in the vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials.

The odor of marijuana tipped deputies off to the stash during a Dec. 19 traffic stop in York County in eastern Nebraska, authorities said. York County sheriff’s officials said deputies pulled the 2016 Toyota Tacoma over after the driver failed to signal a turn and drove left of the center line.

When asked about the smell, Patrick Jiron, 80, and his wife Barbara Jiron, 70, both of Clearlake Oaks, told Nebraska deputies the bags of marijuana were Christmas gifts for friends and family in Boston and Vermont, York County sheriff’s officials said in a news statement.

The marijuana — with an estimated street value of about $300,000 — as well as “multiple containers of concentrated THC” were found in the “truck topper,” officials said.

The Jirons were cited on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and a drug tax charge, a state program intended to tax people selling illegal drugs for a certain value of the contraband, which for marijuana is $100 per ounce. Nebraska has no medical marijuana program.

York County authorities released a booking photograph of Patrick Jiron. A local news outlet, the York News Times, reported that only he was booked into jail before being released on bail, and his wife was given a citation to appear in court “due to some medical issues.” The sheriff’s office initially reported incorrect ages for the couple, the York News Times said.

The Jirons couldn’t immediately be reached Saturday for comment.

©2017 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Elderly couple arrested with 60 pounds of pot, says the drugs were a Christmas gift

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:14

By Julie Johnson The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

YORK, Neb. — An 80-year-old Lake County man and his wife road tripping to the East Coast, were arrested in Nebraska on suspicion of hauling about 60 pounds of cannabis in the vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials.

The odor of marijuana tipped deputies off to the stash during a Dec. 19 traffic stop in York County in eastern Nebraska, authorities said. York County sheriff’s officials said deputies pulled the 2016 Toyota Tacoma over after the driver failed to signal a turn and drove left of the center line.

When asked about the smell, Patrick Jiron, 80, and his wife Barbara Jiron, 70, both of Clearlake Oaks, told Nebraska deputies the bags of marijuana were Christmas gifts for friends and family in Boston and Vermont, York County sheriff’s officials said in a news statement.

The marijuana — with an estimated street value of about $300,000 — as well as “multiple containers of concentrated THC” were found in the “truck topper,” officials said.

The Jirons were cited on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and a drug tax charge, a state program intended to tax people selling illegal drugs for a certain value of the contraband, which for marijuana is $100 per ounce. Nebraska has no medical marijuana program.

York County authorities released a booking photograph of Patrick Jiron. A local news outlet, the York News Times, reported that only he was booked into jail before being released on bail, and his wife was given a citation to appear in court “due to some medical issues.” The sheriff’s office initially reported incorrect ages for the couple, the York News Times said.

The Jirons couldn’t immediately be reached Saturday for comment.

©2017 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)


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