The New York Daily News recently reported that a former lingerie model, Angie Valencia, is wanted for running an international drug ring that used other models as mules to bring cocaine from Buenos Aires to Britain. This international arrest warrant is for her masterminding an all-female operation.
Angie Valencia is known as the “Queen of Coffee” in her native Colombia country. The arrest warrant claims that in 2000, she hired only models that appeared “nice, but not flashy” to run her cocaine drug ring. The drug ring moved drugs from Argentina to Cancun, Mexico and then on to England. Everyday her cocaine carrying models boarded a flight from Buenos Aires as part of the operation.
In December, agents arrested one of her drug courier with 55 kilos of cocaine in her luggage and exposed the drug ring. The suspect quickly implicated three other people. Agents tried to arrest Angie Valencia at a posh Buenos Aires hotel; however, she was gone and is still at large.
Ten years ago, Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado saw tragedy hit their quiet suburban school. Two students were responsible for the shooting spree that killed their classmates. Then a couple of years ago, Platte Canyon High School nestled in the southwest foothills, saw a deranged man kill a high school student.
Once again, we have a tragedy in the school system. A deranged man shot at two innocent middle school students.
Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood age 32 is accused of shooting two students with a high-powered rifle. It was the end of the school day and the kids were leaving school and waiting to board school buses. A man with long hair, wearing a black hat and black jacket walked up to the front of the school and fired several shots. A brave teacher tackled the man and held him down until the Sheriff’s department arrived to arrest him.
The reason for the shooting is not clear. However, Eastwood, the shooter, has an arrest record dating back to 1996. He was involved in three incidents of threatening someone with a weapon. He was also arrested on five assault charges and a domestic violence charges. In fact, his father said that he was having financial problems and he was hearing voices.
Why was this man allowed to be walking around free? Why wasn’t this man in jail or at the very least in a group home where he could be watched over? Once again, our judicial system has failed to keep the bad guys behind bars. Now two innocent middle school students were injured. One student, a girl, was shot in the shoulder and the second one, a boy, is in serious condition with a gun shot to the chest.
You would expect that officers from Homeland Security, ICE and TSA would be more responsible for their guns than the average person is. Not so according to the latest article in Federal Times.
The article reports that Homeland Security officers lost nearly 200 guns and misplaced handguns, shotguns and military rifles that were never found. Some of the weapons ended up in the hands of gang members, criminals, drug users and teenagers according to the Inspector General. From 2006 through 2008, 289 missing firearms were lost because of negligence, or because of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and even some were stolen from safes!
This may be a small number of guns lost when compared to 190,000 firearms issued to these agencies, but even one lost gun shows an appearance of irresponsibility among employees of these agencies.
Several examples of “inappropriate practices” have these agencies beefing up their training for their employees. Take for example, a customs officer who left a firearm in an idling vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store. The vehicle was stolen while the officer was inside. A local law enforcement officer later recovered the firearm from a suspected gang member and drug smuggler.
Or an ICE officer who left an M-4 rifle and a shotgun unsecured in a closet at his home. Both weapons were stolen in a burglary and later recovered from a felon. Another officer left his firearm in the restroom of a fast-food restaurant, and it was gone when he returned.
Other officers left firearms in places such as a fast food restaurant parking lot, a bowling alley and a clothing store. The best example was the TSA officer who left a firearm in a lunch box on the front seat of an unlocked vehicle. When the officer returned to his car two days later he realized the firearm was stolen.
Some of these officers have been fired or suspended for their actions. Great care and due diligence need to be exercised when a gun is issued to law enforcement. Criminals can find guns anywhere and at anytime if they want a gun. Government law enforcement agencies should not oblige these criminals with an easy path to obtaining a gun.
When you are driving on the highway and see flashing lights from a State Patrol car, remember to Move Over and slow down. Unfortunately, this common sense driving idea has not been followed recently in Newport, Minnesota where two Minnesota State Troopers and a medic were nearly hit by a car.
The troopers and medic were helping a driver after a rollover crash but a passing driver hit a patch of ice, lost control and spun around stopping just inches from the trooper car and a few feet from emergency personnel. This time no one was hurt.
Minnesota’s Move Over Law requires drivers to move one lane over when they see flashing lights. The law was named after Corporal Ted Foss, who was killed during a traffic stop in 2000. Since the Foss incident, six troopers have been hit while responding to roadside emergencies. Sadly, from 2001 to 2005, passing vehicles have injured 126 troopers.
Troopers have ticketed more than 400 people in 2006 for disobeying the Move Over Law. People need to start responding to the law. Crashes can be avoided if everyone simply slows down around accident scenes.
Don’t forget, your State Troopers are out on the highway to help and assist you the motorist everyday. Their enforcement work is just as dangerous as any other police officer. Give them a break, move over, and slow down when you see an accident on the highway.
According to a latest news article, the state of Ohio has weak laws in regard to human trafficking. Because of its close proximity to the Canadian border, specifically Toronto, many international victims arrive in Toronto then transported to other cities. In the city of Toledo, Ohio which is about 55 miles southwest of Windsor, Ontario, ranks fourth in the U.S. in terms of arrests, investigations and rescue of domestic child-sex victims.
Nationwide, between 45,000 and 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States. The other cities involved in human trafficking include Miami, Portland, Ore., and Las Vegas.
The state of Ohio does not have a stand-alone human trafficking law. Instead, the state law allows prosecutors to attach a human trafficking specification only to related crimes that increase prison sentences, for example, penalties are more severe if a crime involves a firearm.
Ohio needs to follow stricter state laws that are found in 42 other states. The laws are tougher in Delaware, Montana, New Mexico and New York. Human traffickers may face up to 100 years in prison.
A residential section of Richmond, a city of 103,000 on the eastern Bay shoreline north of Oakland and Berkeley, seems to be a city where criminals run wild. The latest criminal activity happened in all places in a Church.
Sunday services were interrupted by a gunman with two companions in hooded sweatshirts walked into the church. They scanned the pews and fired about five shots hitting a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year old man. The congregation of about 100 people was stunned.
The 14-year-old was hit in the shoulder and the 19-year old was struck in the leg. Officials say that they will recover from their injuries. Police believe that the criminals were targeting someone in the church but it was unclear if the two who were shot were the ones they were targeting.
This city has already seen seven homicides in 2010. Last October the city gained national attention for the alleged gang rape by as many as 10 people of a 16-year-old girl outside an October homecoming dance at Richmond High School. During the rape, as many as 20 bystanders were allegedly just watching and didn’t help the girl.
It’s time that this city takes back their city. Find the criminals, prosecute them, put them away for along time in jail and ensure that their streets are once again safe.
Do you really know your neighbors?
According to a recent article several people living in suburbia of Denver, Colorado have been growing pot in their basements. Many of these people claim that their marijuana growing operations are for medical purposes. Unfortunately, it is illegal under Colorado state law as well as Federal law.
One such case was a homeowner living in a very nice part of town (a $637,000 home) who operates a large medical marijuana growing facility. He says that he started growing marijuana for his scoliosis problem. Scoliosis is a curving of the spine. The spine curves away from the middle or sideways. This can be very painful and this homeowner claims that his marijuana use helps him to get out of bed and move around each day.
As a result, he decided to start growing marijuana in his 2,000 sq. ft. basement. He obtained a medical marijuana license to sell his pot. He claims that this operation is worth $500,000 and he is looking forward to higher profits this year. Of course, he is also smoking some of his profits away as well.
When you step into his house, the powerful smell of marijuana fills every room. There is no smell on the outside because he has installed a maze of ducts to filter the odor before air is released back outside. His electric bill for two months was over $3,600. But this doesn’t seem to bother him. He believes that he is living the dream!
This is not an unusual case. Law enforcement found over twenty-one homes throughout the Denver metro area growing marijuana in and around their homes.
A former Minneapolis mail carrier was sentenced to eight months in prison for stealing mail from the Ronald McDonald House and other places in Minneapolis.
What a low-life to steal mail containing nearly 16,000 Best Buy reward certificates that was to be used to buy about $200,000 in merchandise. These certificates were supposed to go to the kids and their families at the Ronald McDonald House. Timothy Krolick was also ordered to pay $1,350 in restitution to the house.
But that isn’t all he stole. He also stole mail that had cash from at least 250 victims living around the University of Minnesota.
Eight months in prison seems too lenient for this type of crime. Another local postal employee also admitted stealing mail. Prosecutors are looking to seek a three to four year sentence for this low-life. Why not for Timothy Krolick?
Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota has been hard at work during his last term as governor. Throughout his term, he has taken steps to increase sentences for sex offenders and to improve Minnesota’s policies in this area.
Recently, Governor Tim Pawlenty announced a proposal to more than double prison time for sex offenders and a new comprehensive Internet education program to help protect children from online predators.
Under the Governor’s proposal, an offender convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct would receive a 25-year sentence, more than doubling the current presumptive sentence. Governor Pawlenty said that while he has led efforts to increase sentencing in the past, he feels that more can be done to protect citizens from dangerous sexual predators. With these changes in the law it will help to keep predators off our streets.
In 2005, Governor Pawlenty led efforts that significantly enhanced sentencing for criminal sexual conduct offenses. Under the law, someone who commits a particularly egregious first offense or is a repeat sex offender could be sentenced to life in prison or until they could prove they were worthy of release. Offenders would have had to commit their first offense with two other statutorily described “heinous elements” before they could be sentenced for life.
However, under current law offenders who are convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct without such “heinous elements” face a maximum sentence of 30 years. Minnesota courts typically impose a presumptive sentence of 12 years. The Governor’s proposals will more than double the 12-year presumptive sentence to 25 years.
Governor Pawlenty also introduced a NetSmartz Internet Safety Education Program that is a comprehensive Internet safety education program that will be made available to every school in the state at no charge. NetSmartz, developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), provides detailed information for students, teachers, parents and law enforcement about the dangers that children can face when they go online.
Children face sexual predators online everyday. This program will provide training and instructional materials that teachers can use to help educate students about the dangers that exist online. The U.S. Department of Education statistics show that more than 1 in 5 children use the Internet by the time they reach nursery school age. One in three children use the Internet by Kindergarten and four in five by high school.
This program will be a partnership between the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. NetSmartz kits are made available through a Department of Justice grant.
With medical marijuana dispensaries blooming in Denver, Colorado, once again there seems to be more break-ins at these dispensaries. The latest episode occurred where the thieves stole the cash registers but no marijuana.
Why – because the marijuana was removed from the medical dispensary that night. As a result, the thieves only stole two cash registers along with a few other items. This was the fourth time that thieves tried to break into this dispensary. The first three times they were unsuccessful.
These types of break-ins are part of a debate in how to protect dispensaries. Currently, there is no law requiring dispensary owners to remove their marijuana or locking it up overnight. There are only three security rules for marijuana dispensaries: a safe, a camera and an alarm system.
Some experts want medical marijuana dispensaries to follow pharmacies guidelines, rules and regulations. Pharmacies are required to secure all medications, lock up in a safe its highly addictive narcotics, and have cameras and security system. Currently the law does not require medical marijuana dispensaries to expand any type of security system. This is left to the owner/operator of the dispensary.
As long as the opportunity is there for thieves to break-into a medical marijuana dispensary crime will continue. Will it take state legislators to develop rules and regulations or will owners take the initiative in order to secure their dispensaries?