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Prison guards arranged inmate fights for food, Pennsylvania State Police say
Oct 7, 2013, - 0 Comments

Oct. 6, 2013 CNN

Three correctional officers in Pennsylvania have been accused of organizing inmate fights and rewarding the victors with food and coffee, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

York County Prison correctional officers David Whitcomb, 28, Mark Haynes, 26 and Daniel Graff, 37, were charged with official oppression and harassment on Friday after a state police investigation, Pennsylvania State Trooper Robert Hicks told CNN.

The investigation into the alleged incidents began after video surveillance showing Haynes and Whitcomb grabbing an inmate by his back and neck was discovered during an unrelated investigation. A captain then asked the inmate involved to provide a written statement about the event, the state police report said.

"Even though it was consensual, correctional officers were still using the power of their position. They controlled the distribution of the food and the coffee, and they were using them to entice the inmates to engage in these activities," Trooper Hicks said.

The inmate, David Wright, 27, wrote that officers Whitcomb, Haynes and Graff had arranged for him to fight another inmate, James Hicks, 27. Wright won the fight and was rewarded with extra lounge food and coffee, according to a state police report.

The state police report also said that officers also told Wright that they would give him lounge food if he permitted them to punch him in the leg and arm. Graff reportedly also sprayed pepper-foam in Wright's face in exchange for coffee, though Wright reported that he never received more lounge food or coffee, according to the report.

Like Wright, James Hicks also was given food in exchange for letting the officers punch and choke him, police said. Additionally, James Hicks told investigators that the three officers challenged him to perform tasks such as drinking a gallon of milk in an hour, eating a spoonful of cinnamon, snorting a line of spicy vegetable Ramen noodle powder and drinking water with pepper foam in it. James Hicks wrote that the correctional officers called their challenges the "Retard Olympics." He said that the acts were consensual and that he was rewarded with food, the report said. Read More

Russia charges all 30 Greenpeace activists with piracy
Oct 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

Oct. 3, 2013 AFP

Moscow  - Russian investigators said Thursday they had charged all 30 crew members of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship with piracy over a protest against Arctic oil exploration, an offence that carries the risk of a lengthy prison term.

A court in the northern city of Murmansk last week detained the crew members including freelance journalists for two months pending an investigation into their protest on an oil platform owned by energy giant Gazprom.

"All 30 participants in the criminal case have been charged over the attack on the Prirazlomnaya platform," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

"They are all charged with... piracy committed by an organised group."

Piracy by an organised group carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years in Russia.

Investigators accused the activists of trying to seize property with threats of violence.

The first 14 activists were charged on Wednesday and the rest indicted Thursday.

Greenpeace denies the crew members -- who come from 18 different countries including Britain, Russia, New Zealand, Canada and France -- committed any crime.

"Our activists have been charged with a crime that did not happen," Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said in a statement. Read More

End of Silk Road for drug users as FBI shuts down illicit website
Oct 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

Oct. 3, 2013 LA Times

For two years, the FBI tracked the elusive founder of Silk Road, an Internet site that peddled heroin, ecstasy and every known type of prescription medication.

The manhunt ended with the arrest of an unlikely suspect: Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old former physics student from San Francisco.

Prosecutors on Wednesday described Ulbricht as a criminal mastermind who built an illegal drug empire that they estimated had $1.2 billion in sales over the last three years, earning him $80 million. Silk Road was the drug world's equivalent of EBay, acting as a matchmaker between dealers and buyers worldwide.

Authorities allege that the wrongdoing went far beyond narcotics. The site was also a marketplace for firearms, ammunition and computer hacking services. And Ulbricht was accused in separate complaints of paying for the attempted murders of two business associates who he believed had crossed him.

The arrest underscores the extensive use of the Internet by criminals who frequently mimic the legitimate business models of Internet retailers. Thousands of drug dealers advertised on Silk Road, and dispatched their products via U.S. mail. The site took a slice of each sale using the Bitcoin online currency. Read More

NYC Motorcycle Attack: Biker's Wife Says He Won't Walk Again
Oct 2, 2013, - 0 Comments

Oct. 2, 2013 ABC News

The wife of a motorcyclist who was hit by an SUV during a melee involving 20 to 30 bikers said her husband is paralyzed from the waist down and may never walk again.

Dayana Mejia told ABC News today that her husband was struck by a Range Rover, setting off a confrontation between the driver and motorcyclists taking part in a group ride in New York City on Sunday.

The SUV driver fled the scene of an initial fender bender after feeling intimidated, police said. The group of motorcyclists chased him and then bashed in the windows of the Range Rover, dragged him out into the street, and beat him up while his wife and 2-year-old child watched from the SUV, police said.

Two of the motorcyclists involved in the confrontation are in custody, one of whom has been charged, according to New York police officials. Read More

Austin Sigg pleads guilty in kidnapping, murder of Jessica Ridgeway
Oct 1, 2013, - 0 Comments

Oct. 1, 2013 Denver Post

GOLDEN — Nearly one year after 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school, Austin Sigg pleaded guilty on Tuesday in her kidnapping, murder and dismemberment.

A judge accepted the plea, which was entered against the advice of Sigg's attorneys. The plea on just the first-degree murder charge will send him to prison for life with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

A two-day sentencing hearing has been scheduled to start on Nov. 18. Prosecutors said they would argue for consecutive sentences for some charges.

Sigg, 18, pleaded guilty to 15 counts less than 72 hours before opening statements were scheduled to begin in his murder trial.

Sigg stood in dress clothes, with his left thumb in his pocket. Several members of Jessica's family, as well as members of Sigg's family, wore purple — Jessica's favorite color. Read More

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