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NightCAP Junior program bust 64 underage drinkers (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News August 31st, 2009 @ 11:29 am by Linda 

College days should be the best time for any student. This is the first time when young adults are responsible for their own actions. College parties are also part of the college experience. However, when returning to college or first time in attending college turns into underage drinking, then the police need to get involved.

According to the Winona Daily News, four agencies, the Winona Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Goodview Police Department and Winona County Sheriff’s Department, under the NightCAP Junior Program swept the Winona State University campus and downtown area over the weekend searching for suspects who appeared drunk and were younger than 21.

That weekend the police issued 64 tickets for underage drinking. The most the program netted was more than 100 citations at one house party. Past experience has shown that underage college drinking parties have lead to alcohol deaths. There are no parental controls and your college student doesn’t have the experience to understand that alcohol can kill them. Tell you college student to enjoy their experience and be responsible for their actions.

Meth ring broken up in Colorado (0)

Posted in Illegal Drugs August 25th, 2009 @ 11:34 am by Linda 

A $2 million per month meth importing and distribution drug ring was broken up in Colorado recently. Forty-one people were indicted in this case. Two hundred officers were involved in this one-day takedown.

The meth drug ring suspects face racketeering, conspiracy, possession and intent-to-distribute charges. The Castro brothers, Aaron and Alfonzo, are the alleged ringleaders. They moved the meth from Mexico into Arizona and then to Colorado where it was distributed immediately. They also were allegedly laundering the money through the purchase of expensive collector’s comic books. Undercover police confiscated 100 boxes of comics worth about $500,000 as part of their sting.

North Metro Drug Task Force sees this drug bust as reducing crimes in the area. When the supply is reduced, the users won’t be committing identity theft, robberies and burglaries to feed their habit.

Labor Day weekend enforcement of DWI in Minnesota (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News August 24th, 2009 @ 10:57 am by Linda 

Statewide and nationwide DWI enforcement
begins on August 21st through September 7th. Approximately 400 Minnesota agencies will participate in this effort included Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS). The aim of the enforcement is taking impaired drivers off the road and encouraging motorists to make safe decisions such as designating a driver or even taking a taxi home.

According to Minnesota statistics, around 100 people are arrested for DWI daily. A first time DWI offense means that your driver’s license will be revoked for a minimum of 90 days. The cost of a DWI can reach up to $20,000 when you consider legal, court and administrative fees.

DPS reports alcohol-related crashes still accounted for more than one-third of all deaths for each year. In the last three years, 2006–2008, 519 motorists were killed and another 1,159 motorists were seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes statewide.

The DWI enforcement effort also focuses on motorcyclists. Rider deaths continue to surge in 2009, out-pacing last year’s 24-year high in fatalities. In 2008, DPS cites drinking and riding as a major factor in rider deaths. Forty-seven percent of the riders killed in crashes tested positive for alcohol.

Enjoy the last holiday of the summer – Labor Day weekend – but remember to be responsible when driving. Don’t drive drunk or impaired.

Credit card fraud indictments and arrest in Colorado (0)

Posted in Misc Crime August 20th, 2009 @ 9:00 am by Linda 

Recently in a Denver Post article reported that three Russian women who were accused of bank and credit card fraud were indicted in Federal court. Natallia Vishnevskaya, 26, Nadezda Nikitina, 23 and 69-year-old Susan Ghardashyan are accused of being part of an organized crime effort to defraud banking institutions out of large sums of money, assets and property using a variety of schemes. Investigators say 700 people were involved in a Denver-based scheme run by Russian immigrants, with losses topping $80 million. Authorities have raided 15 locations and arrested five more people with another eleven people named in an indictment as co-defendants.

The scam used credit lines to obtain loans and products with no intention of repaying the money or paying for the merchandise. They spent $20,300 for a car at Maaliki Motors in Aurora, Colorado using a Target National Bank Card and another $10,000 on a Nordstrom card at the dealership. In late February, two attempts were made at charging another $21,000 to the Nordstrom card at Maaliki Motors, but the charges were declined.

Court documents say Nikitina formed a business, A&N Enterprises, and filed articles of organization with the Colorado Secretary of State. However, the Colorado Department of Labor reported that she did not have any employment income at the time she filled out applications for credit on which she said she earned $180,000 a year.

These women are charged with one count each of bank fraud, and false and fraudulent bank applications. Each count carries a penalty of 30 years in prison and a one million dollar fine. The women were able to post $10,000 bond and a $50,000 bond. Hopefully, they will be back in court to face these charges and not leave the country.

Women top the list for DUIs (0)

Posted in Misc Crime August 19th, 2009 @ 1:53 pm by Linda 

For the first time in ten years, statistics show that the number of women arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs increased 28.8 percent. Compared to the same period, the number of men arrested under the influence fell 7.5 percent.

Unfortunately, during this period drunk driving arrest remain high. In 2007, 626,371 men were arrested and 162,493 women were arrested. A spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), commented that she was unclear why there has been an increase in the number of women arrested for impaired driving. Perhaps the reason is that more women are the breadwinners because of the unemployment rate.

Maybe the reason for this increase is due to the fact of more aggressive law enforcement tactics. Law enforcement does not discriminate between men and women, especially if they are drunk drivers.

In addition, the number of impaired women drivers involved in a fatal crash increased in 10 states from 2007 to 2008 and about 2,000 alcohol-related deaths involve women every year. The states that showed an increase are Ohio, New Hampshire, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, West Virginia, Indiana, Washington State, Kansas and Tennessee.

Remember, if you are drunk or under the influence of alcohol or drugs and decide to drive, you will get a ticket and maybe jail time. DUI is a serious crime that not only affects you but also affects others when you are driving.

Alleged Identity Theft within the Postal Service? (0)

Posted in Misc Crime August 18th, 2009 @ 1:37 pm by Linda 

A couple was traveling across the U. S. for a three-month vacation. They asked their neighbor to collect their mail and send it to them via U.S. Postal Service. Because the couple didn’t know where they would be at any given time, they asked their neighbor to send their mail by first class priority to General Delivery at a post office in a city where they would be for at least a week.

The first mailing went well. The traveling couple received their mail at a local post office in a city where they stopped. The second mailing was sent about a three weeks later to another post office location at a different city, but within the same state. It never made it to the couple. The post office claimed that they didn’t accept general delivery packages but forwarded the package to a nearby post office that did. When the couple went to the nearby post office, they claimed it wasn’t there. The couple had to move on with their vacation plans and never received the second mailing.

As a result, the neighbor asked the post office to return it to them. After three weeks trying to locate the package, the package was finally returned to sender. During this time, the first class priority package was only in the postal system, it was never delivered.

However, when the neighbor received it back, they noticed that the package was opened on three sides and one side was taped shut. The contents of the package contained nothing but two local newspapers. All of the important mail, credit card bills, utilities bills, bank statements and other important information in the package, was gone.

Soon after the couple came home, they noticed that their identity was compromised. Charges on their credit card were being made illegally. It seems that someone in the postal system opened the first class priority package and took out all of their credit card bills, bank statements, etc. The couple has filed a report with the U.S. Postal service as well as with local authorities. Investigation of this mail tampering and fraud, which is a felony, is going on to find out where and who in the postal system may have stolen the couple’s mail and identity.

Health Care credit card fraud scheme is uncovered in Minnesota (0)

Posted in Misc Crime August 12th, 2009 @ 2:13 pm by Linda 

The Star Tribune reported that the state of Minnesota has filed a lawsuit against a suburban Twin Cities chiropractic clinic over its use of health care credit cards. The lawsuit says the clinic fraudulently issued credit cards to patients.

This is what the clinic did: they aggressively enrolled patients with a CareCredit Credit Card and then placed charges up to $5,040 on the patients’ accounts without their knowledge. In addition, the clinic charged $30,000 a month or more to the credit card company as well as a total of more than $560,000 to its patients’ accounts between the end of 2006 and April 2009.

CareCredit is a GE Money Company that provides credit cards to patients to “help” them with treatments and procedures if they cannot afford to pay upfront. According to their web site, CareCredit offers a variety of no-interest and low monthly payment plans. It works just like a credit card but gives you payments over time. If you pay off the entire balance within 3, 6, 8 or 12 months the site claims that there is no interest. But if you pay within 24, 35, 48 or 60 months 13.9% interest will be charged to you. However, the site doesn’t mention that the maximum interest is 29.9%.

According to CareCredit they have over 100,000 providers – dentists, chiropractors, veterinarians, eye doctors, etc. However, when the health care provides aggressively market these cards, beware of unethical practices.

Plea deal reached for two white-collar criminals in Minnesota (0)

Posted in Misc Crime August 11th, 2009 @ 10:18 am by Linda 

In a Pioneer Press article, reported that a father and son team accused of fraud and money laundering in a $1.3M Ramsey Town Center project has reached a plea deal agreement. Bill Sandison of Forest Lake and his son Ross William Sandison of Grant, plead not guilty to 29 count federal indictment in U.S. District Court. They now face one count of conspiracy relating to bank fraud.

This white-collar crime included a $35 million loan from 20 banks to develop the Town Center. Community National Bank administered the loan and the Sandisons were executives at the bank at the time. However, records show that the Sandisons used the loan for personal use and not for any project from the loan.

Records showed that they spent some of that money for personal use, including meals, entertainment and home landscaping. They may have personally benefited as much as $600,000, according to the indictment.

In 2005, the loan went into default and in the summer of 2007, the Pioneer Press investigated the transaction over financing and non-disclosures related to the development. Sadly, the Town Center land sits mostly vacant and undeveloped. However, the City of Ramsey has purchased nearly 150 acres of the land for $6.75 million and plans to go forward with much of the same mixed-use development that was originally planned.

Because of the plea deal, these criminals could face only six to eighteen months in federal prison compared to over 10 years if they were found guilty of the original charges. White-collar crimes are just as bad as any other crime. The victim in this case is the Ramsey Town Center where small businesses could have been developed and economic growth could have been realized in the area.

Drug cartels crime spree includes grenades (0)

Posted in Gangs August 5th, 2009 @ 1:48 pm by Linda 

The ATF recently reported that the drug cartel is now using grenades to intimidate and kill. According to an Associate Press article, a fragmentation grenade from Mexico’s drug war was tossed into a south Texas bar. Fortunately, the grenade thrower failed to pull a second safety clasp and didn’t explode.

In the past, Mexican drug violence across the border was in the form of kidnappings and killings, but now they are using grenades to kill larger numbers of people indiscriminately. In Mexico, there have been countless grenade attacks against police and rivals. Three alleged drug hit men threw several grenades into Independence Day crowds, killing eight people and wounding 106 others in an unprecedented attack on civilians.

Grenades are now becoming the weapons of preference by drug hit men. Grenades are cheap and easy to find. Many are left over from Central America’s civil wars, sold on the black market to drug cartels or smuggled in. Others come from the region’s militaries. In April, Guatemala seized 563 grenades after a shootout with Mexican drug cartel members. These grenades came from Guatemalan military bases. The Mexican government says 1,600 grenades were seized in Mexico last year, a 170 percent increase from 594 in 2007. This year, 950 grenades have been recovered this year and evidence shows that grenades are making their way north.

ATF cautions that grenade attacks north of the border would come from rogue cartel members or homegrown gang thugs who assist cartels in home invasions and other crimes. They would most likely target people tied to the criminal world, rather than civilians. Cartel bosses probably wouldn’t approve of grenade attacks on US law enforcement because of the ramifications from the US.

Finally, ATF officials said the United States keeps tight controls over its own grenade inventories. So far they know of no grenades recovered in Mexico that were taken directly from American military supplies.

Minnesota Domestic Violence report helps in designing intervention programs (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention August 4th, 2009 @ 1:04 pm by Linda 

Recently, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and Greater Twin Cities United Way released their Domestic Violence Report. This report exams the impact of domestic violence in the State of Minnesota. The report was based on approximately 5,500 responses from self-identified victims from across the state.

The report is important because it exams the prevalence of domestic violence in Minnesota as well as other types of domestic crime violence that victims may be experiencing such as stalking and property offenses.

This is a first time report that provides important data to law enforcement, counselors and others who work with domestic violence victims and family members. It examines how those who experienced domestic violence differ from those who have not. The report also shows the number of incidents of violence that victims experienced, why victims don’t report domestic violence to the police and the actions victims take in response to violence.

Some of the analysis shows that three-percent or 57,000 women surveyed and one-percent or 18,000 men reported experiencing domestic violence in 2007. Victims of domestic violence are employed part-time and earn less income. Three in 10 victims have an annual household income of $30,000 or less.

Domestic violence is a silent crime that many families don’t want to report. However, no one should live in fear if a family member has abused them. Domestic violence is a crime and needs to be reported to law enforcement.

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