Posted On: March 31, 2009

Federal Human Trafficker Pleads Guilty

Dereck Hounakey, 32, a West African immigrant from Togo, plead guilty to charges of human trafficking in a sex worker operation out of New Jersey. Hounakey has been in custody since he was arrested in 2007 along with his mother, Akouavi Kpade Afolabi, and Lassissi Afolabi, who authorities say may be her husband. A fourth person, Geoffry Kouevi, was charged later.

Hounakey admitted to having sex with some of the girls, ranging in age from 10 to 17. Hounakey faces up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Jose Linares scheduled sentencing for June 22.

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Posted On: March 30, 2009

Detroit Businessman Caught on Federal Tax Evasion Charges

Marc Bruce, president and owner of the former MDB1 Inc. in Lincoln Park, is heading to court with four counts of tax evasion and one of corrupt or forcible interference with internal revenue laws. The IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit say Marc Bruce failed to pay $244,000 on a cumulative income of $890,000 from 2001 to 2004. Federal officials contend Bruce willfully avoided tax payments and tried to conceal his income, and that he impeded the IRS by not paying taxes that were due when he transferred business operations to another company. Included with all these charges, he is being accused of using a business-cash concealment scheme by transferring assets to other parties.

Tax evasion is a serious matter and one that will catch with you in the long run. Do not fall behind on your tax payments or try to get some change through the cracks of your business or corporation.

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Posted On: March 27, 2009

Hackers Might Get Stiffer US Sentencing Penalties

With the ever-growing realm of internet crimes, federal prosecutors are upgrading into the times with thoughts of new sentencing guidelines. Michael Dubose at the Justice Department's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property has warned "cyber-criminals are increasingly using sophisticated technological tools like 'proxies' to evade detection and prosecution." These proxies might be considered as "sophisticated means" in the near future, upping the sentencing on criminals who use them, directly or indirectly.

If you're not aware of it right now, you might be using a "sophisticated mean" to just view this blog! Many corporations and universities across the country use special network routers and server or proxy protocols to transfer their pipeline internet connections to users in their networks. Someone who downloads an illegal mp3 might get tagged with an extra "sophisticated mean" to their sentence just because it was on a proxied-up internet connection.

Internet crime is on the rise in detection and prosecution, so be careful what and where you download or do on your computer. The eye in the sky, or rather the internet, could be watching you.

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Posted On: March 27, 2009

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Posted On: March 26, 2009

University of Florida Player Free of Rape Charge

Carl Johnson, an offensive lineman at UF, will only face a temporary injunction placed on him by an ex-girlfriend. Johnson will not be charged with rape and will not be charged for violating the injunction last month, Johnson’s lawyer said Monday. “There will be no charges filed against him, period, by the state of Florida,” said his attorney. “There will be no charges pressed against him for any sort of date rape. There will be no charges pressed against him for violating the restraining order.”

Johnson, who started eight games on Florida’s offensive line in 2008, including the BCS Championship game, had an injunction for protection against sexual violence placed on him on February 9th.

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Posted On: March 25, 2009

Rapper 'Coolio' Gets Cocaine Charges in an Airport

Artis Leon Ivey, 45, also known by his rapper name Coolio, has been charged with cocaine possession in Los Angeles, CA. He was also charged in the same incident with battery. Authorities say he grabbed a screener’s arm to prevent a luggage search that turned up the drugs. Ivey was charged with one felony count of possession and one misdemeanor count each of battery and possession of paraphernalia. He was released on $10,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment April 3.

Coolio is soon to be living in his very own Gangster's Paradise in the pen. Cocaine charges are not a joke and I'm sure he won't be Smilin' any time in the near future. It's interesting when celebrities get caught and noticing how authorities and prosecution deal with them, usually leniently. We'll see how he 'Slide, slide, slippity slides' out of this Fantastic Voyage.

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Posted On: March 24, 2009

I Get 'Caught' With a Little Help..From My Friends (Miami-Dade)

Alphonso Tyrone Pitts, 24, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with a Florida City shooting that left one person dead and another wounded. Pitts allegedly targeted Tyrone Louis, 31, and Charlie Brown, 32, in the 1200 block of Northwest Eighth Court. Louis died immediately and Brown was airlifted to the local trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition as of last Wednesday. Pitts was riding in a car with a friend and his girlfriend when he saw the two men walking along the street. Police said he told his girlfriend, who was driving, to circle around them as he pulled out a rifle and shot them.

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Posted On: March 23, 2009

College Football Potential with Florida Violation of Probation Trouble

Jamar Hornsby, Ole Miss football signee, is already in trouble in Mississippi, after being arrested and charged with aggravated assault in Starkville on March 2nd for allegedly using brass knuckles on a man resulting in his severe injury. Hornsby was arrested in May 2008 while a member of the Florida football team and eventually convicted of four misdemeanor counts of credit card fraud in Alachua County, FL. He used a friend's credit card following her death in 2007, buying almost $3,000 worth of gas. After his arrest, Hornsby was kicked off the Florida team. As part of his punishment, he was sentenced to a year of probation in December.

Theft and violation of probation (VOP) are criminal matters dealt with by local authorities and prosecutors with zeal and veracity. Do not let them throw the book at you; you need to fight back with an experience and ready lawyer.

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Posted On: March 20, 2009

Gun Fire Sends a Florida High School into Lockdown

Gunfire erupted between two high schoolers at a Jacksonville high school recently. Police say no injuries occurred when gun shots rang out between two school buildings in the morning of a normal school day last Tuesday. Six students have been detained for further questioning in result of the discharge of weapons in relation to a fight between two groups of students. FCAT testing was going on the day of the incident and has been postponed. One student was found to be in possession of one of the guns; the other firearm was located in a trash can.

Despite Florida Law, and many laws across all the states, the school's designation of being a "Gun-Free Zone" had no bearing on the criminals. Potential lives could have been lost in the crossfire and police could only arrive on the scene after the fact. Florida Statute 790.115 states:

A person shall not possess any firearm, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon as defined in s. 790.001(13), including a razor blade or box cutter, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, at a school-sponsored event or on the property of any school, school bus, or school bus stop
This means people can not possess firearms, regardless of licensing, on any school property. In this incident, obviously the age of the minors in question makes it an automatic offense ANYWHERE for possession of a handgun.

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Posted On: March 19, 2009

Mrs. Madoff Gets To Keep Her Crib

Ruth Madoff is under heat in regards to whether she can continue to stay at her living quarters or if she has to let the government seize them. Lawyers of Bernie Madoff are claiming that millions in assets of Bernie are in the escrow of Mrs. Madoff and thus untouchable or not relevant in a court of law.

The article, from the New York Times, goes on to say that to argue that the assets in Ms. Madoff’s name are in fact separate, it will be necessary for her to show they were acquired by untainted money. That may be difficult to prove because the records from Mr. Madoff’s investment advisory business do not appear to be very clear. If the government is able to show the brokerage operation was supported by the Ponzi scheme, then money taken from that business may not be immune to forfeiture.

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Posted On: March 18, 2009

DUI Checkpoints Hit Hard in South Florida City

BocaNews.com

“Operation No Excuses” was carried out by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, with a new additional investigative tool at the ready; blood analysis. “This saturation patrol included the additional investigative tool of applying for search warrants seeking a court order to obtain a sample of blood,” said a statement from PBSO. “The purpose of the warrant is to establish the person’s blood alcohol level through a blood sample.” At the end of the evening, no blood was drawn. 38 DUIs were made and 717 citations, so police considered it a good evening.

In addition to PBSO and the state attorney’s office, police from a number of area communities – Boca Raton and Delray Beach among them – were involved. So were the Florida Highway Patrol and the Department of Environmental Management.

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Posted On: March 17, 2009

Miami Abortion Doctor Throws Away Live Baby

Belkis Gonzalez, 43, has been charged with felonies on both practicing medicine without a license and tampering with evidence. The charges stem from an event in 2006 where she performed a botched procedure in Hialeah and then disposed of a live infant in the trash. Her charges face at least a year in prison and can escalate up to 15 years behind bars.

Horrific news likes this seems to be commonplace today, yet the crime is no less valid than it would have been years ago. I can not even begin to imagine how someone could throw away a nearly fully developed baby that's alive and not feel a tinge of regret or remorse. Gonzalez's history in medicine will be noted duly in court and most likely used against her.

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Posted On: March 16, 2009

UPDATE: Turnpike Killers Get Convicted

In the case of Daniel Troya and Ricardo Sanchez Jr, both were found guilty of murder resulting from an armed carjacking, drug conspiracy and weapons charges; both are facing life in prison. The incident revolving around this case that we have been following for quite some time was the tragic Turnpike murder incident of an entire family, thought to be drug related. A federal jury deliberated for almost 24 hours before finally reaching a verdict. A few others have been convicted of the charges against them; Danny Varela, 28, and Liana Lopez, 20.

Recapping the events that happened with this crime, a family of four along a dark stretch of the Turnpike was gunned down in a drug debt related incident in 2006. The bodies of Jose Luis Escobedo, 28; his wife, Yessica Guerrero Escobedo, 25; and their sons, Luis Julian, 4, and Luis Damian, 3; were found alongside the road. The bodies laid in a twisted mound in the grass, shot at close range.

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Posted On: March 13, 2009

Florida Man Gets DUI Manslaughter as a Repeat Offender

William Edward Ham, 31, was arrested a week ago on charges of felony DUI manslaughter. He is being held without bail at Orient Road Jail in Tampa, FL. Not only was he arrested under a new charge of driving under the influence, but he violated his probation as well. Ham was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle by a police officer who stopped behind him at a traffic light. Ham failed to continue through at the green light and thus the alerted officer got out of her vehicle and woke Ham up from his drunken stupor. He then reported tried to give the officer $20s in his severely drunken state.

According to his probation, Ham was not allowed to be in possession or under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.

DUI, violation of probation, and DUI manslaughter are ridiculous crimes that people commit every day with no reprehensibility in their minds. Ham was obviously drunk, a repeat offender, and a potentially violent criminal.

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Posted On: March 12, 2009

Florida State Player Finally Turns In Self in Florida

Preston Parker, 21, formerly of the Florida State University football team has turned himself in to authories in Palm Beach Gardens on charges of violation of probation. Police arrested the young man in April 2008 for weapons and drug charges, which is where the probation violation stems from. He technically violated his probation when he was last arrested in Tallahassee on a charge of driving under the influence.

A person is guilty of Driving Under the Influence if all the following can be proven by the state:

1. The defendant was in actual physical control of a vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, boat, motorbike).

2. The person was under the influence of alcohol, a chemical substance, a controlled substance; to the extent that one’s normal faculties are impaired.

3. If the person has a blood alcohol level over the legal maximum (.08% in most states, 0.1 in a minority of states), you can be found guilty of DUBAL (driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level) or the law creates a rebuttable presumption of impairment.

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Posted On: March 11, 2009

Florida Man Gets 190 Arrest Milestone

Henry Farrell, 46, has been charged recently with carjacking. Farrell attempted to carjack a man in the parking lot of a coffee shop in Boca Raton last January. Police say the incident is the man's 190th arrest, an arrest rap record loaded with many charges from numerous marijuana and cocaine possessions. Family of the man say he suffers from bipolar disorder.

It's sad to see when recidivism is clearly evident from our court and rehabilitation systems even when millions of dollars are spent each year to have these types of incidents not occur. The man involved is clearly of unsound mind and needs to have some life changes in order to correct himself.

Florida Statute 812.133 defines "carjacking" as:

the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.

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Posted On: March 10, 2009

Florida Rape Incident Leads to Criminals Turning Selves In

ORLANDO, FL

Two rapists have turned themselves in to authorities after perpetrating their recent crime on an 11 year old. Authorities say the two confessed to the crime conducted on the Florida girl as she was on her way to school. She was held at knifepoint then pulled into a car being driven by the two individuals. Then she was taken several blocks away to a vacant house where she was raped. Police received a tip on the phone lines later that day confirming DNA that was found on the victim. Orange County Sheriff's Office are giving Richard Morales-Marin, 23, and Juan Hernandez Monzalvo, 24, charges of kidnapping and rape.

Sex crimes damage the community at large, not just individuals. People get hurt in the process and there is little offer of forgiveness to the criminals who commit such crimes. This incident is just one of many that continue to happen when sexual offenders are in the vicinity of schools and playgrounds that hold their potential prey. Be watchful of your children and make sure they don't walk alone to school or talk to strangers without adults they know around.

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Posted On: March 9, 2009

ACORN Foreclosure Squad Arrest Made

Louis Beverly, an ACORN activist, faces charges of fourth-degree burglary, a first in the realm of the foreclosure market. The activist, a part of ACORN (the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now) is facing these criminal charges in response to the breaking and entering of a home in southeast Baltimore a few weeks ago. "This is our house now," ACORN member Louis Beverly reportedly said after cutting a lock with bolt cutters at the home. A spokesperson at the Pittsburgh Police said charges would be filed in response to any person found living in a foreclosed home even if that person has lived at the residence previously or not.

ACORN launched its "Home Savers" campaign in New York earlier this month and plans to expand the program to at least 22 other cities and three counties nationwide in the coming weeks. Participants like Beverly say they will refuse to move out of foreclosed homes or reclaim properties altogether until a comprehensive federal housing plan takes affect. At least 500 volunteers have reportedly agreed to work as "home defenders" to employ non-violent tactics to block authorities from evicting homeowners. Orlando, Florida, is one of the other cities being targeted by "Home Savers" participants.

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Posted On: March 6, 2009

Columbian Cocaine Running Is In "Coffins"

Packed with cocaine and grimly christened "coffins," sleek jungle-built submarines are steaming their way north from Colombia through Pacific waters to deliver tons of illegal drugs headed for the U.S. market. These vessels travel just below the water surface leaving a small glass cockpit or tubes visible to the world. They are the latest in shipment methods used by drug cartels in transporting large amounts of their products into the US with no detection by authorities. Sometimes three or four crewmen plus a pilot cram into the dingy, humid hulls, suffocated by the noise of a diesel engine rumbling right next to their heads. Key West has been a new target point for unloaders of these vessels and local authorities are worried.

"They call it either the coffin or the tomb," said Rear Admiral Joseph Nimmich, the officer who commands the U.S. Coast Guard's Joint Interagency Task Force South. "The intent is to be as low-profile, and to make it as difficult for us to find, as possible."

Drug trafficking carries stiff charges if prosecuted in a court of law in the US. Drug trafficking can include a fine up to $500,000 and life in prison. This is incredible severe and life-altering in punishment level. You need a lawyer who can minimize the impact this charge could have on your life.

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Posted On: March 5, 2009

Domestic Violence on Cupid Day in Florida

Christina Garcia of Polk County, Florida, has been charged with two counts of domestic violence in the abuse of her daughter Mercades Nichols. Nichols claimed the two had a verbal argument that progressed rapidly into a physical altercation. Police statement report Nichols saying she was "grabbed by her hair, kicked ... several times in the pelvic area and spit [on] her face." Another fight between the two broke out an hour later after the subsiding of the first confrontation. Nichols is no innocent in this incident. In 2008, she was charged in the videotaping of a beating of another teen in Polk County.

Domestic violence is a destructive crime that separates families, homes, and lives. In this incident, a mother and daughter were amidst the fog of conflict and struck blows to each other. Whenever assault and then battery are evident in some encounter, the results can never be good unless it was in self-defense.

Florida Statute defines "domestic violence" as:

any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

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Posted On: March 4, 2009

Florida Drug Charges Result from Traffic Stop

WCTV-TALLAHASSEE

On Tuesday investigators with the Jackson County Drug Task Force arrested Marcus D. Bell. The arrest came as a result of a traffic stop on Salem Church Rd. Bell was found to be in possession of approximately six grams of the illegal substance, Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Bell was also found to be on Pretrial Intervention on charges of Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon. Bell was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine, with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and also charged with Violation of Pretrial Intervention.

Also arrested was Julie Marie Dalton. Dalton was charged with Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement after failing to stop the vehicle she was driving.

On Wednesday February 18 after further investigation of the contents of the vehicle, more evidence was located and seized. In the passenger floorboard of the vehicle, where Bell was seated, a black bag was found that contained a bottle of a bi-layered liquid that is suspected to contain meth oil. Also found in the bag were coffee filters, a funnel, suspected red phosphorus, tin foil containing suspected lithium metal shavings, and several unknown substances. Another bag was located in the passenger floorboard containing measuring spoons, syringes, unknown liquids, suspected MSM, and more suspected Methamphetamine. The contents of these bags are consistent with the use and manufacture of Methamphetamine, Bell was additionally charged with Attempted Manufacture of a controlled substance, Methamphetamine.

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Posted On: March 3, 2009

Police in Bradenton Charge Father With Letting Son Drive

Mark Belanger, 34, was arrested last Sunday on charges of child abuse and permitting an unlicensed driver to drive. Allegations have it that the man allowed his 8 year old son to get behind the wheel after he supposedly ingested some Xanax. Belanger states that he felt "woozy" and did not want to man the vehicle, but allowed his son to drive instead. He figured it would be some good one-on-one father-son time. Police later talked to the boy who said his father actually took some "liquid medicine" while he pointed out an empty bottle of whiskey found in the vehicle. Bond was set an also odd amount of $10,120.

This is just one of those incidents where you can't help but wonder what do people really think when they're doing something they know that is wrong. Drinking and then letting your child operate your vehicle is a BAD idea always, no matter if you thought it was going to be a bonding experience or if you really needed to get home bad. An untrained and underage driver added to a drunk parent in the passenger seat can only lead to bad consequences. This odd story just proves that.

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Posted On: March 2, 2009

Dangerous DUI Fatality in Largo, South Florida

James E. Laier, 57, is being charged with DUI manslaughter and DUI with serious bodily injury almost seven months after an incident in Largo that resulted in the death of John Prado, 21, and the serious injury of Heather Lynn Cook, 20. Prado was riding a motorcycle with Cook when at 2 a.m., a drunken Laier ran a stop sign and struck Prado. Prado was killed instantly while Cook was ejected from the crash, suffering a leg amputation. Laier's BAC was found in excess of 0.195, extremely over the legal limit. As officers pulled him out of the car, Icehouse beer cans were tumbling out. He fled Florida after a 2 night stay in the hospital, and was found in Illinois where he has currently been extradited from back to Pinellas County Jail. Bond was at $55,000.

This incident is just one of the many tragic ones that occur involving alcohol and motor vehicles. Innocent lives were lost and the driver who committed the crime will be prosecuted because a fatality and injuries occurred. DUI of any level is eagerly prosecuted by court systems across the country, and Florida is no different.

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