Blogs

Del Norte DA accused of corruption on trial
Oct 15, 2012, - 0 Comments

By PAUL ELIAS Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO—Attorney Jon Alexander overcame methamphetamine addiction, a stint in jail and a suspended law license to win election as Del Norte County's district attorney.

But soon after assuming office in January 2011 and receiving a slew of positive publicity, including a cover story in The California Lawyer magazine, new troubles for the recovering addict cropped up. He is now fighting for his professional life.

On Monday, the California agency responsible for licensing lawyers convened a two-week trial in San Francisco before a State Bar judge, who will consider seven allegations of corruption against Alexander. State Bar officials believe it's the first time disciplinary charges have been filed against an elected district attorney while in office.

Alexander faces disbarment. Alexander's attorneys declined to make an opening statement after state bar prosecutor Donald Steedman's brief opening remarks laid out the seven State Bar charges.

They stem from three separate incidents. Alexander is charged with making a $14,000 loan to a probation officer preparing probation reports for two of his clients when he was a public defender, receiving a $6,000 loan from a defense attorney then dismissing charges against the attorney's client, and improperly discussing a case with a drug defendant without her lawyer present. Read More

Sean Dugas, crime reporter, ID'ed as body found encased in cement
Oct 13, 2012, - 0 Comments

Sean Dugas, a former crime reporter for The Pensacola News Journal, was ID'ed as the body found buried in a Georgia backyard encased in concrete in a plastic container. 

Dugas, 30, had been missing since August 27, CNN reported. He was identified by a forensic pathologist using dental and facial bone CT scans and surgically implanted dental hardware serial numbers, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution

"It's a little hard to wrap your head around it," said Kris Wernowsky, who sat next to Dugas for about three years while working at the Pensacola News Journal, the Associated Press reported. "I've worked there for so many years and covered many things in Florida. You never would have thought you would go to a website and click on a story about someone you know. ... It's heartbreaking." Read More

MS-13 First Gang To Be Designated 'Transnational Crime Organization'
Oct 12, 2012, - 0 Comments
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10/12/2012 RTT News
Mara Salvatrucha, the Los Angeles-based street gang notorious for its subcultural moral code and violent acts of retribution, has become the first gang to be designated a "transnational crime organization" by the U.S. Treasury Department.

The gang, also known as MS-13, boasts around 8,000 members in the U.S. and over 30,000 worldwide, with the heaviest concentrations found in L.A., San Francisco and the Washington, DC/Maryland area.

The Treasury designation will allow the federal government to freeze assets of MS-13 members at will for the gang's involvement drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, sex trafficking, murder, assassinations, racketeering, blackmail, extortion, and immigration offenses. Read More

Honda is most stolen motorcycle in U.S.
Oct 8, 2012, - 0 Comments

Sacramento Bee

Motorcycle thefts were down last year in the U.S., despite increased sales, according to an insurance industry group.

A report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau released today said 2011 motorcycle thefts are down six percent from the year before. A total of 46,667 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2011, compared with 49,791 in 2010.

The decrease in thefts came as sales were slightly up. Sales increased to 440,899 motorbikes in 2011 from 439,678 in 2010, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. Read More

Crimes by ATF and DEA informants not tracked by feds
Oct 7, 2012, - 0 Comments

USA Today

whitey bulgerThe nation's top law enforcement agencies, facing new scrutiny after the Fast and Furious investigation, say they do not know how often their agents allow informants to commit crimes.

WASHINGTON — The nation's top drug and gun enforcement agencies do not track how often they give their informants permission to break the law on the government's behalf.

U.S. Justice Department rules put strict limits on when and how agents at the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can authorize their informants — often drawn from the ranks of the criminals they are investigating — to commit a crime. But both the ATF and DEA acknowledged, in response to open-records requests and in written statements, that they do not track how often such permission is given.

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