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Cyberspace tool helps to track down criminals (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News May 27th, 2009 @ 9:28 am by Linda 

CopLink network is a new electronic database that helps street cops and investigators analyze information from other jurisdictions in order to help crack a case. This new system, currently being used in Colorado, takes bits of information such as nicknames, scars, tattoos or piercing and uses a search engine that provides names of suspects within about 10 minutes.

42 state law enforcement agencies throughout Colorado have joined the Colorado Information Sharing Consortium. This consortium gives them access to the database. In order for the database to work, all agencies must agree to share its criminal records online with other members.

The database, which initially cost $2 million for an enterprise license, is expensive. Some of the money came from federal grants. However, each participating agency must pay an annual maintenance fee to be part of the consortium database. One problem is that smaller counties throughout the state may find it difficult to pay for the annual fee.

Even though CopLink network is expensive, this database offers law enforcement agencies another tool in catching the bad guys.

Mexican drug cartels find a recession proof economy (0)

Posted in Illegal Drugs May 26th, 2009 @ 2:41 pm by Linda 

Despite the downturn in the US economy, Mexican drug cartels are still finding a large market for selling drugs. Consumers in the US provide a vast, recession proof and an unending market for Mexican gangs to sell their drugs that has locked them into a drug war that has killed more than 10,780 people since December 2006.

According to a recent Federal statistics report, 46 percent of Americans 12 and older or 114 million people have used illegal drugs at some point. Approximately, 8 percent of those or 20 million people are current users. They live in cities from coast to coast – herion addicts in big cities, “meth heads” in the Midwest and teens smoking marijuana throughout the country.

Marijuana is by far the number one drug used by 100 million Americans, including nearly half of high school seniors. More than 35 million Americans have used cocaine at some point and 34 million have taken LSD or other hallucinogens.

In 2007,14.2 million arrests were for drug abuse violations and accounted for 13 percent or more than 1.8 million arrests. Marijuana busts for mostly possession rather than sale, accounted for nearly half the drug arrests. In addition, drug offenders make up about 20 percent of the state prison population and more than half the federal prison population.

Rhode Island had the highest rate (11.2%) of people 12 and older who had used illegal drugs. North Dakota had the lowest rate, 5.7 percent. Vermont has the highest rate of marijuana usage; Utah the lowest. Five percent of 12th graders smoke marijuana daily. Nearly 51 percent of males 12 and older have tried illegal drugs at some point, compared with 42 percent of females.

These astonishing statistics come from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Usage and Health and the Monitoring The Future that was conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Fighting drug use in the U.S. seems to be an unending story that Mexican cartels hope never ends. As long as people continue to demand drugs, cartels will be willing to sell them illegal drugs. Some critics say that making drugs legal would put the cartels out of business. There is no proof to this claim. People need to be educated about how harmful drug use is on their body and life. Until then law enforcement will continue to arrest illegal drug users.

State Patrol Chief Twitters up Communications (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News May 25th, 2009 @ 1:35 pm by Linda 

The Colorado State Patrol Chief, Col. James Wolfinbarger, has joined the ranks of social media twittering to help troopers reach out to the public. His intention is to spread a message quickly and to help people understand the efforts of the Colorado State Patrol.

For example, just recently Col. Wolfinbarger twittered about a trooper chasing a speeding suspect down Interstate 25 in El Paso County. Unfortunately, the chase ended in a crash for the suspect. His twitter told people about the interstate being closed and the next twitter was the reopening of the interstate.

This young forty-something Chief, is a big proponent for communicating to the public. All of his Troopers have laptop computers in their cars. This helps him to post updates on Twitter to alert the public of accident scenes or even what the State Patrol may be doing on a specific day. He may even alert the public about speed traps in an area and warns everyone to slow down.

In this instant communications era this is a wonderful way to keep in touch with the public and the public to keep in touch with State Patrol You can visit his twitter site to sign up for alerts or just tweet with the Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

Dog the Bounty Hunter (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention May 20th, 2009 @ 8:38 am by Linda 

Did you know that Bounty Hunter, Duane “Dog” Chapman, lives part- time in Colorado Springs, Colorado? When he comes home, he gets to work in cleaning up the streets of Colorado Springs.

As many of you know, one of his most famous captures was that of the cosmetic heir Andrew Luster who jumped bond in his rape and drugging charges. Dog the Bounty Hunter hunted him down in Mexico where he arrested the fugitive. Unfortunately, Mexico didn’t take too kindly to his bounty hunting ways, was arrested, and incarcerated in a Mexican jail. Fortunately, Dog was able to beat the charges in Mexico.

Recently, several incidents once again have put Dog the Bounty Hunter in the news again.

Dog and a local bail bondsman, Bobby Brown were involved in a capture where they were shot at in Colorado Springs while trying to apprehend a man wanted for attempted second-degree murder. The man escaped but Dog caught him hours later.

While in Colorado Springs Dog has arrested at least 12 people. The latest capture was a 32-year-old woman who faces charges of forgery and theft. She was a vice president of a bank but unfortunately she got hooked on meth and that’s when her criminal ways began.

Bounty hunting is a dangerous job. Bounty hunters make their living in finding criminals and bringing them to justice. No matter what you may think of bounty hunters, they do fill a need for law enforcement as well as keeping the community safe from wanted criminals.

Stupid Criminals and bananas! (0)

Posted in Misc Crime May 19th, 2009 @ 10:42 am by Linda 

What do bananas have to do with a stupid criminal and his crime? Everything. Recently, the JouranlNow.com reported that a would be criminal tried to hold up a computer café with a banana.

Here’s what happened. The would be robber in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina area tried to hold up a computer café that sells sweepstakes tickets. The robber John Steven Szwalla age 17 saw that a previous customer was paid out $2,000 for his sweepstake ticket. Szwalla demanded money from the patron and allegedly said he had a gun. But, what he really had was a banana under his shirt.

The store manager and the patron grabbed Szwalla and called police. Meanwhile, the robber ate the banana and all that was left was the banana peel. When the police arrived, they arrested Szwalla on one count of attempted armed robbery and common-law robbery. The police took pictures of the banana peel and joked about the robber destroying evidence. His bond was set at $50,000.

This may be a slippery case of armed robbery but at least another stupid criminal is off the streets.

Buckle up for Safety (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention May 18th, 2009 @ 10:33 am by Linda 

With the Memorial Weekend coming up, law enforcement agencies throughout the country will be out in force to remind drivers and passengers to buckle up. The “Click it or Ticket” campaign kicks off for hundreds of agencies who will have larger numbers of officers patrolling for longer hours on the road to enforce many states’ mandatory safety belt law.

The money for this campaign for law enforcement comes as a result of a federal grant. Many states have seat belt laws that are “secondary enforcement,” which means an officer cannot stop a driver and give him a ticket for not buckling up. However, if you are pulled over for some other violation and the officer sees that you are not wearing a seat belt, you can be ticketed.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, an estimated 1,652 lives could be saved and 22,372 serious injuries avoided each year if seat belt use rates rose to 90 percent in every state. Based on 2007 data, the report also shows that an estimated 15,147 lives were saved because of drivers buckling up their seat belts when driving.

It is especially important to make sure that your teen driver buckles up when driving. Approximately over 2,500 16-20 year old passengers not wearing a seat belt in vehicles were killed in 2007.

It only takes a minute to “Click It.” Buckle up for safety and save your life.

Getting the bad guys off the streets (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention May 14th, 2009 @ 9:08 am by Linda 

It’s amazing to see what you can accomplish when you put your resources together. This was the case for the Richland County Fugitive Task Force located in Northern Ohio. Members of the task force included participating local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Marshals. The task force began in January and the results for the last three months were outstanding.

The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force made 210 arrests, confiscated 24 guns and 1,248 rounds of ammunition. The Force also recovered 7.25 pounds of marijuana, 2.2 ounces of cocaine, 131 Ecstasy pills, 78 doses of black tar heroin and $7,482. With more than 5,000 arrest warrants, the Task Force started with the worst of the worst fugitives, mostly felons, and with the help of tipsters, was able to account for their success.

The whole idea was to affect the criminal activity in Richland County. When fugitives see that the Task Force is aggressively doing their job, they won’t seek refuge here.

DEA seizes biggest Mexican meth lab in Georgia (0)

Posted in Illegal Drugs May 13th, 2009 @ 1:06 pm by Linda 

Federal drug enforcement agents seized about 351 pounds of meth from two houses in Duluth, GA over a two-day operation. In addition, agents arrested four Mexican nationals, three of whom were in the U.S. illegally.

This drug bust was one of the biggest ever recorded east of the Mississippi River and the result of a two-month investigation. In addition to the crystal meth, also known as “ice,” agents found one kilogram of cocaine, an undetermined amount of cash and chemicals and equipment for making meth. The wholesale value of the meth seized is about $6 million.

Meth, a highly addictive drug, was packaged for distribution along the East Coast and would likely be worth tens of millions of dollars on the street. The Atlanta area along with suburban Gwinnett County has been over the last several years a major drug distribution hub for Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Drugs are brought across the southwest border and along the interstates to Atlanta where they are processed into the final product and repackaged.

The two houses involved were “classic stash houses,” with virtually no furniture. In addition, no guns were found but many of the bags of drugs were in the walls of the houses. Agents believe that the drugs seized were part of a larger shipment.

Stupid criminal puts name in a raffle (0)

Posted in Misc Crime May 12th, 2009 @ 11:00 am by Linda 

Yes, once again, there is another stupid criminal story.

It seems that a 20 year-old man was shoplifting at a Washington County, Wisconsin liquor store. He stole a bottle of whiskey and put it in his pants. But before he left the store, he wanted to take a chance on a raffle at the liquor store.

He filled out a raffle ticket to win admission to the Slinger Speedway race and then promptly snatched two more whiskey bottles before he left the liquor store.

The owner of the store didn’t have to chase after the thief, because he had his name and address and phone number on the raffle ticket. The owner called police and the police arrested the man. The shoplifter is facing a misdemeanor retail theft, resisting an officer and disorderly conduct charges.

Minnesota’s civil gang injunction to help deter gang crimes (0)

Posted in Gangs May 11th, 2009 @ 2:25 pm by Linda 

Recently, the courts in Minnesota have implemented a civil gang injunction to help deter and control gang crimes. This injunction applies to criminal gangs, defined by law as associations of three or more people who engage in patterns of criminal activity. In addition, specific gang members can be named in such orders.

In this case, a governmental entity, such as law enforcement of a certain area, may apply to a district court judge to obtain a gang injunction. However, the judge has to find that the gang is a public nuisance and meet the civil law threshold of a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is lower than the threshold needed to obtain a criminal conviction.

According to a recent MNSun article a member of the Sureno 13 gang was charged with murder in the first degree and three counts of attempted murder in the first degree after a gang-related drive by shooting. Edgar Rene Barrientos-Quintana also known as “Smoky” of Richfield drove through a South Minneapolis neighborhood and fired at four individuals from the rear passenger window of a silver vehicle. His trial is to begin in Hennepin County District Court in mid-May.

With the new civil gang injunction, hopefully future gang crimes can be alleviated or at least give additional crime fighting tools to police to stop gang activity.

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