Articles Posted in Crime News

PillFentanyl, a very addictive and dangerous narcotic, continues to rise in popularity among the United States.  On October 05, 2017, two people were arrested and charged with a 24-page federal indictment, along with seven others, of distributing the imitation opioid fentanyl through the United States, especially through states such as Florida where drug abuse has always been an issue.  According to the Sun Sentinel, Anthony Santos Gomes and Lisa Gomes, told the judge they were trying to hire attorneys to represent them but most likely both will be transferred to North Dakota to face the charges against them in that state.

According to the officials of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Homeland Security the Gomes are being charged with five different counts in the indictment.  The indictment explains that Anthony Santos Gomes and Lisa Gomes were running a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute…controlled substances and controlled substance analogues resulting in seriously bodily injury and death. The indictment also explains that they did all this knowingly and intentionally with the purpose of distributing the drug.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse, describes fentanyl as a powerful synthetic opioid that is very similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent. If prescribed, it is given to patients with severe pain or to manage severe pain after surgery.  The way drug abusers use this new dangerous imitation of fentanyl is swallowing it in solid form, snorting it in powder form, or by burning it and then injecting it or having it absorbed by the mucous membrane. Similar to heroin and morphine, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotion.  Then they drive up dopamine levels in the brain’s reward areas, producing a state of euphoria and relaxation.  On the streets this drug is combined with cocaine or morphine, making it more addicting and requiring higher dosages which usually lead to overdoses and killing those who consume it.

American FlagHate crimes in Florida continue to increase every year and in significant amounts after the 2016 Presidential Election.  This is something of great concerns because Florida has always been the destination of choice for many immigrants and their families due to its cultural diversity. According to the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Florida, a hate crime is an act committed or attempted by one person or group against another, or that person’s property, in a way that constitutes an expression of hatred toward the victim based on her or her personal characteristics.  They explain that it is a crime when the perpetrator intentionally selects the victim based on one of the following characteristics: race, color, religion, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, homeless status, advanced age, or mental/physical disability.

The groups with the highest numbers of hate crimes both in Florida and the United States are: anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-Muslim, anit-LGBT, anti-woman, and anti-Semitism groups.The people associated with these hate crimes call themselves “white nationalist” have no care or respect for other people besides those who fit their description of what an “American” should be.  According to the FSRN, the FBI reported that the country had a 67% increase in hate crimes last year and in Florida the increase of hate crimes was at 500% therefore, providing data that illustrates why this issue is so concerning.  They believe those number are much higher already and we are only half way through this year.

Hate crimes can be both verbal and physical because these crimes do not only involve people but the attacks can also be against churches and temples, schools, different public centers, jobs, different forms of transportation, on the internet, and even in people’s homes.   In the state of Florida, the top five types of hate crimes are: (5) larceny or theft, (4) murder, (3) simple assault, (2) intimidation, (1) destruction/ damage/ vandalism of property. According to the reports from 2015 by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Florida, the cities with the highest numbers of hate crimes were Miami-Dade, Volusia, and Orange County.

Source: cnn.com

Source: cnn.com

On Wednesday, December 30, 2015, the Montgomery County District Attorney in Pennsylvania, filed the sexual assault charges against Bill Cosby, famous TV and movie personality, just short of twelve years after the incident allegedly occurred.   Filed just months before tolling under the statute of limitations set by Pennsylvania law, the charges will, arguably, survive that defense.

Vowing to fight the “unjustified” charges Bill Cosby through his attorney announced that he will mount a vigorous defense to the charge that he sexually assaulted a woman he was mentoring in 2004.

Prosecutors have charged “Suge” Knight with one count of Murder and one count of attempted Murder. Reportedly he drove his vehicle at and killed a business associate and nearly killed another man. All this took place in a parking lot in Compton, California.

Authorities at first considered the act as a hit-and-run: it was and is re-filed as murder and attempted murder. The charges were filed against Knight, the owner of Death Row Records, a prominent rap artist promoter and producer. Marion “Suge” Knight was out on bail at that time on felony robbery charges in Los Angeles. Many of you know Suge Knight from his professional football career of twenty-five years ago. Since leaving professional football Mr. Knight (age 49) has been in and out of prison, shot six times last summer and has pending robbery charges.

Marion "Suge" KnightHis lawyers have provided authorities with copies of a video recording of the events, which took place in a “burger” restaurant parking lot. Knight’s lawyers said the video showed that Knight was trying to escape an attack. Authorities, after reviewing the tape, indicated that the video shows him deliberately driving his car over the two men, killing one of the two. Knight faces a prison term of 50 years to life in California under the State’s three-strikes-and-you’re-out Statute. Details of the event indicate that Suge Knight was on a movie set for the movie “STRAIGHT OUTTTA COMPTON” when the events occurred.   Knight’s lawyer, Mr. James Blatt said that Knight “accidentally” ran over the two men, killing one of them, as he (Knight) was trying to escape a “vicious attack.”

The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida opened a Grand Jury indictment on October 10, 2014 and made a new arrest in the Rothstein scam. A now “former” regional vice president of TD Bank, Mr. Frank Spinosa, age 53, was charged in Federal Court with wire fraud and conspiracy. Released on $250,000 bond with an electronic monitor, his attorney Samuel Rabin, negotiated terms of release for his client at the initial appearance hearing held before the US Federal Magistrate in Fort Lauderdale.

rothsteinArraignment has been set for October 24, 2014. The investigation was known to Mr. Spinosa for several years, his attorney stated. The Grand Jury Indictment was unsealed on Friday morning, October 10, 2014, and comes within days of the deadline set by law for arrests in this ongoing case. The indictment of Mr. Spinosa contains charges that can result in a maximum penalty of well over twenty years in federal prison and fines of over $250,000.00. Because each of the five counts can resolve with a twenty year sentence, Mr. Spinosa is facing a possible one hundred years in prison. Scott Rothstein was sentenced to fifty years and is currently serving his sentence at an unknown federal detention facility.

The charges against Mr. Spinosa allege that Spinosa committed fraud by giving a “false sense of security” to potential and actual investors. The indictment goes on to state that as a result of the alleged inducements, hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in Rothstein’s investment scam. Spinosa was fired by TD Bank in October 2009 when the Rothstein scam first came to the attention of the public.

Korean Air Lines Shoot Down

Source: www.newsweek.com

Unfortunately, the firing of a missile at Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 is not the first, but one many of such incidents. Here is a list:

  • Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114, a Boeing 727, was shot down on February 21, 1973 when it strayed over Israeli territory, refused to land, and was shot down.

bitcoin-logo-3d.jpgTired of waiting for MasterCard to deposit your money into your bank account? How about sending money to your child at school, or buying something online? BITCOIN is the solution: instant, at the speed of a computer stroke, transactions…and it gets better…

Like Gold, which goes up and down, BITCOINs go up and down. Most of us don’t trade Euros and Dollars but we can trade BITCOINS. Here how it works: My employer pays me my monthly salary by sending me a part of a BITCOIN to my computer: I in turn use a small part of the BITCOIN to make my car payment and my rent. The holder of my car loan got “paid” in a millisecond, so did my Landlord and now…. its off to the races because he, me, you, all of us are now BITCOIN owners and can negotiate the prices of everything we buy in BITCOIN pieces. I look on my computer and see that BITCOIN has gone “UP” so I can now keep more of my BITCOIN piece when I make my rent, car, food, and etc. payments. See the beauty? Feel the magic? We can now all increase our purchasing power by paying in BITCOIN.

WHOA!!! What happens when BITCOIN goes down? Here is the beauty of this whole thing, we can wait, hold our BITCOIN and pay our bills with dollars, which don’t go up and down.

Florida State and Federal courts have rules to stop prosecutors from making conclusions and accusations in their questions, opening statements and closings. Smart lawyers watch out for this prosecutor’s trick. If you have an active criminal case, felony or misdemeanor, speak to your criminal defense lawyer about how to defeat this prosecutor’s trick…

I have several “PAIN CLINIC” cases in my office, some in Florida Federal court and some in Florida State courts. Each time the prosecutor uses the words “pill mill” I’m on my feet. My doctor clients are physicians at a pain clinic, not a “pill mill”. Watch for words that make you look bad, like “the accused” (you are a defendant), and object. I do!

Think out of the box and look for ‘dirty words’ and tell your criminal defense lawyer to object. In Florida State criminal courts here in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, attorney Ralph Behr (me) is famous for sending prosecutors to the woodshed for bashing my clients with “dirty words” like “evildoer” and “bad man” and “criminal”. A fair trial means the prosecutor, whether in Palm Beach criminal courts or a court near you.. cannot accuse and abuse a defendant by using words that contain conclusions: that’s for the jury to determine.

After an innocent 17 year old boy was shot by accident by a neighborhood watch volunteer, his mother, Sybrina Fulton and Democratic lawmakers are asking for the repeal of the Stand your Ground law.

The stand your ground law gives a person the right to justifiably use deadly force as long as there is a reasonable belief of an unlawful threat. In Beard v. U.S. (158 U.S. 550 (1895)), the Supreme Court ruled that a man who was on his property when he came under attack, did not provoke the assault, and had reasonable grounds to believe, that the other individual intended to take his life, or do him great bodily harm, did not have a duty to leave and was entitled to stand his ground.

This basically means that if someone enters your home in the middle of the night and you have reasonable belief that this person has a gun and may take your life, you don’t have an obligation to leave your home, but you have the right to self defense and to use deadly force to protect yourself.

Sometimes a person can be charged with a crime and still be “on the loose”. This doesn’t mean, of course, that the charge was dismissed or that the person was set completely free of culpability and doesn’t have any further responsibility about what happened at that time. So what happens if you’re not taken into custody then?

What happens is that in the counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, not always will an officer arrest you. In some cases in South Florida, mostly in traffic offenses and misdemeanor cases, an officer will issue the person a citation. Even though it is not an arrest, a citation also needs to be taken seriously. A citation is a commitment that says you will show up in court at a certain date and time. When you sign a citation you are making a promise that you will appear in court. In exchange of that, you are allowed to remain in liberty.

If you were issued a citation in South Florida, you need to contact an experienced criminal attorney who will guide you through the process. Call our offices to make an appointment for a free consultation.