Prosecution – Criminal Justice Online http://criminaljustice-online.com/ Thu, 19 May 2022 02:11:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://criminaljustice-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon.png Prosecution – Criminal Justice Online http://criminaljustice-online.com/ 32 32 No charges filed against Tucson police officer in food stall incident https://criminaljustice-online.com/no-charges-filed-against-tucson-police-officer-in-food-stall-incident/ Thu, 19 May 2022 01:01:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/no-charges-filed-against-tucson-police-officer-in-food-stall-incident/ TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – The Tucson officer involved in a physical altercation in a Tucson restaurant parking lot last year will not be charged, Pima County prosecutors announced Wednesday, May 18. The incident began when off-duty officer Robert Szelewski got into an argument with sisters Brittney Aloisi-Wiles and Nicole Whitted and their mother, […]]]>

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – The Tucson officer involved in a physical altercation in a Tucson restaurant parking lot last year will not be charged, Pima County prosecutors announced Wednesday, May 18.

The incident began when off-duty officer Robert Szelewski got into an argument with sisters Brittney Aloisi-Wiles and Nicole Whitted and their mother, Michelle Aloisi, in the parking lot of Culinary Dropout on East Grant Road last November. Szelewski’s truck had pulled into the parking lot as the three women walked to their car.

The argument quickly turned physical, culminating in Szelewski physically restraining two of the women while the third used her phone to record a video of the incident.

Aloisi-Wiles was then cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Both parties told KOLD News 13 that the other was the abuser.

Szelewski is an 18-year-old force veteran, and his file shows two prior “use of force” incidents.

“Based on the discrepancies between what the witnesses observed, as well as the video evidence, there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Robert Szelewski,” the chief of the Pima County District Attorney’s Office wrote. , Dan South, in a letter to Tucson Police Chief Chad Kasmar.

The investigation included more than 100 files with surveillance video, body worn camera video, interviews, a written statement from one of the women involved and photos.

The three women involved, Szelewski, Szelewski’s family and several witnesses were interviewed.

Prosecutors say one of the women approached Szelewski in an “aggressive manner,” which led to the altercation.

“The facts do not support a substantial likelihood of conviction at trial,” South wrote. “A jury could easily find that (the woman who first approached the off-duty officer) first used a threat of force in rushing towards Szelewski to start the fight.”

Video of the incident can be seen below:

Off-duty Tucson police officer Robert Szelewski was involved in an incident with three women in a restaurant parking lot on Sunday, November 14.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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2 members of the Lev Tahor sect extradited from Guatemala to the United States for prosecution https://criminaljustice-online.com/2-members-of-the-lev-tahor-sect-extradited-from-guatemala-to-the-united-states-for-prosecution/ Mon, 16 May 2022 17:41:32 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/2-members-of-the-lev-tahor-sect-extradited-from-guatemala-to-the-united-states-for-prosecution/ NEW YORK – Two prominent members of the extremist Jewish sect Lev Tahor have been extradited from Guatemala to the United States to face prosecution in a child abduction case that has ensnared much of the group’s leadership. The Shmiel brothers and Yakev Weingarten were extradited last month and arraigned before a US federal judge […]]]>

NEW YORK – Two prominent members of the extremist Jewish sect Lev Tahor have been extradited from Guatemala to the United States to face prosecution in a child abduction case that has ensnared much of the group’s leadership.

The Shmiel brothers and Yakev Weingarten were extradited last month and arraigned before a US federal judge in New York on April 22.

The couple appeared before Judge Nelson S. Roman in U.S. District Court in White Plains, New York, last week. They are being held at the nearby Westchester County Jail.

They insisted on representing themselves at trial, instead of using a court-appointed lawyer, despite the judge’s repeated warnings that it was ‘unwise’ because neither of them has any legal training or experience. They asked for laptops in prison, in order to prepare their defense, recently released court documents show.

The Weingartens face a slew of charges of international kidnapping, conspiracy, unlawful identification and coercion of a minor.

They face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Another of their relatives, Yoil Weingarten, is still being held in Guatemala, awaiting extradition to the United States. The cult moved to Guatemala after fleeing authorities and government surveillance in Canada. Local reports this week, Guatemalan authorities approved his extradition.

Two other defendants in the case, the Matityau brothers and Mordechay Malka, had a hearing last week and is due in court on Wednesday. The Malkas were already incarcerated in the United States.

Last month, the court sentenced cult leader Nachman Helbrans to 12 years in prison on six convictions, including child sexual exploitation and kidnapping. Another defendant in the case, Mayer Rosner, received the same sentence.

Illustrative. Ultra-Orthodox girls wearing similar clothing to girls from the Lev Tahor cult, marching in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

The case stems from the kidnapping of two siblings from a New York home in 2018.

Around 2017, Helbrans had arranged for the girl, his niece, to be “married” to an adult in the group. The girl was married to the man when she was 13 and he was 19, although they were never legally married as such a union would have been illegal in Guatemala and the United States.

The couple “immediately commenced a sexual relationship for the purpose of procreation,” consistent with the group’s usual practice, the US Department of Justice said in a statement last year.

The girl’s mother escaped the group’s compound in Guatemala in 2018, fearing for the safety of her children, and fled to the United States. A Brooklyn court granted him sole custody of the children and barred their father, a Lev Tahor executive, from communicating with them.

Helbrans and Rosner then devised a plan to return the then 14-year-old girl to her then 20-year-old husband. In December 2018, they kidnapped her and her 12-year-old brother from their mother in the upstate New York village of Woodridge. They smuggled the children across the US border into Mexico to reunite the girl with her adult “husband”.

They used disguises, aliases, phone calls, fake travel documents and encrypted software to execute the plan, the statement said.

The children were recovered from Mexico and the kidnappers arrested, after a three-week search involving hundreds of law enforcement personnel, and returned to New York.

Three months later, Lev Tahor allegedly tried to kidnap the girl a second time. During that incident, Matityau Malka approached the girl in Brooklyn on several occasions and gave her cell phones to communicate with the kidnappers, according to court documents.

The girl reportedly used the phones to communicate with Yakev Weingarten, who led the community after Helbrans was incarcerated. The new documents claim that Matityau Malka was in contact with Helbrans while he was in prison at this time.

Yakev Weingarten also threatened the mother around the same time and Helbrans threatened her with jail in March 2019, according to a US attorney’s document filed with the Justice Department and dated Sunday.

The mother is Helbrans’ sister and has pleaded for leniency towards him, saying she has forgiven him and he needs counseling and treatment, not punishment.

Matityau Malka also visited Helbrans in prison on several occasions before the March 2019 kidnapping attempt, according to court documents.

In March 2021, another unnamed co-conspirator again approached the miners in New York in an attempt to evict them from their home again. The suspect had bus tickets to Georgia, cell phones, children’s clothes and fraudulent birth certificates, according to court documents. The suspect returned to Guatemala later that month.

The defendants claim that the mother wrongfully abducted the children from the Lev Tahor community, that they were trying to save them and that they face religious persecution.

Prosecutors said Lev Tahor had about 250 members.

An opposition group, Lev Tahor Survivors, put the number of cult members at between 300 and 350 people. The group is currently dispersed, with some members in Guatemala, and others in Macedonia and the United States.

A member of the opposition group told The Times of Israel he believes Lev Tahor is being led by around 15 to 20 “aggressors,” and the rest are being held mostly against their will.

Lev Tahor, an ultra-Orthodox extremist sect, was founded by Helbrans’ father, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, in Jerusalem in the 1980s. The group fled to Canada, then to Guatemala in 2014, after making the under scrutiny by Canadian authorities for allegations of child abuse and child marriage.

Young Helbrans took over the reins of the band in 2017, when his father drowned in Mexico under mysterious circumstances.

The group’s name means “pure heart” in Hebrew.

Lev Tahor’s movements, machinations and plans are all obscure. Several dozen members of the group have rebounded in the Balkans in recent months. Some members of the anti-Zionist group sought political asylum in Iran in 2018. Documents presented in US federal court in 2019 showed that the cult’s leaders had pledged allegiance to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The group has been described as a cult and as the “Jewish Taliban”, as women and girls over the age of 3 are required to dress in long black dresses covering their entire body, leaving only their faces exposed. Men spend most of their days praying and studying specific parts of the Torah. The group adheres to an extreme and idiosyncratic reading of kosher dietary laws.

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A trusted leader joins the effort to fight crime https://criminaljustice-online.com/a-trusted-leader-joins-the-effort-to-fight-crime/ Sat, 14 May 2022 23:00:39 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/a-trusted-leader-joins-the-effort-to-fight-crime/ Review Editor’s Note: Editorials represent the views of the Star Tribune Editorial Board, which operates independently of the newsroom. ••• Andy Luger is back as an American attorney from Minnesota, and it’s not too soon. Rarely has a calm and experienced prosecutor been more needed to help stem the tide of violent crime that has […]]]>

Review Editor’s Note: Editorials represent the views of the Star Tribune Editorial Board, which operates independently of the newsroom.

•••

Andy Luger is back as an American attorney from Minnesota, and it’s not too soon. Rarely has a calm and experienced prosecutor been more needed to help stem the tide of violent crime that has erupted in the Twin Cities metro area.

Luger, who led the office from 2014 to 2017, said during a visit to the Star Tribune editorial board that “the urgency of this issue is unlike anything I have ever seen”. Categories of crimes such as those committed with “ghost guns” and carjackings barely registered in Minnesota during Luger’s previous tenure and that of his immediate predecessor, Erica MacDonald, who left office in February 2021.

Today, Luger said, ghost guns, typically assembled from kits and available without background checks, are used in numerous crimes across the state. Carjackings, which numbered 177 in 2020, rose to 655 in Minneapolis alone. Additionally, Luger’s will also focus on shootings involving a weapon modification known as a “switch” that illegally turns handguns into automatic weapons.

In this context, Luger said that every prosecutor in his office, whether their specialty is violent crimes, white-collar fraud, drugs, crimes against children, mail theft or national security, will tackle crimes violence that violates federal law. It starts with itself. “I’ve already assigned myself a case of violent carjacking,” he told the editorial board.

“What I’m hearing from law enforcement, community leaders and others is that we weren’t able to handle all the important violent crime work that came our way. with just a violent crime section,” he said.

Few crimes have terrorized Minnesotans recently as much as the upsurge in violent carjackings in residential garages, mall parking lots, gas stations and elsewhere. Luger’s emphasis is the right one.

Luger said his office estimates about 1 in 5 carjackings are committed or organized by adults. These are not, he insisted, mere rides. “These are people who engage in violent, organized and premeditated behavior,” he said. In some cases, victims are beaten, held at gunpoint, coerced into opening apps and sending money or giving out PIN codes for ATMs.

Other cities have seen an increase in violent crime, he said, but Minneapolis, with its hobbled and understaffed police department, is more vulnerable than most.

There’s no denying that the past two years have wreaked havoc on the department. The pandemic, the unrest following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis officer, and the growing number of vacancies the city is struggling to fill have all taken their toll on what is arguably one of the most critical police services. in the state.

The US Department of Justice is still investigating wrongdoing at the MPD. Meanwhile, the state human rights department recently concluded a two-year investigation into the police department’s failings and racist culture. It’s entirely possible the city will soon act under not one but two consent decrees based on state and federal findings.

From a pre-pandemic peak of well over 800 officers, the MPD now has around 544 to police a city of more than 400,000 people. It is therefore not surprising that crime, especially violent crime, has increased and spread to the surrounding areas.

Lugar’s decision to marshal more resources into his office is part of a larger effort. Law enforcement officials announced earlier this month that state troopers would begin patrolling the streets three nights a week in parts of Minneapolis, while the Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Arrest State would participate in local investigations.

BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said at the time that “Minneapolis is seeing a significant increase in violent crime, while at the same time, its police department is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of officers and investigators. BCA brings resources and expertise to help these communities meet this urgent need.”

Luger’s effort fits well with this all-hands-on-deck strategy. He knows other leaders, knows community groups and is widely respected. It is not without its detractors. Some have criticized his efforts under the program known as Countering Violent Extremism, which aimed to root out potential foreign terrorists. The editorial board supported this effort.

Then as now, Luger said he remains open to other approaches. “But what is the alternative?” he said. Unlike the 80s and 90s, “it’s not about low-level drug dealers or non-violent crimes. It’s about targeted, intentional violent offenders, often repeat offenders. … When people are beaten, bloodied, dragged , that their life is changed, how do you say no to this case?

There is, he said, a legitimate avenue for criminal prosecution. “If you don’t think we should prosecute people who commit violent crimes, then say so. Defend it,” he said. Luger said others could and should tackle the root causes of crime — and his office supports several crime-fighting programs — but he noted his priority was prosecuting criminals.

“What we’re not going to do,” he said of our collaboration with other agencies and prosecutors, “is fight each other. There’s too much work to do.”

Members of the editorial board are David Banks, Jill Burcum, Scott Gillespie, Denise Johnson, Patricia Lopez, John Rash and DJ Tice. Star Tribune Opinion staff Maggie Kelly and Elena Neuzil also contribute, and Star Tribune editor and CEO Michael J. Klingensmith serves as an advisor to the board.

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Prosecutor: Driver in Midway District double fatality was unlicensed and driving drunk https://criminaljustice-online.com/prosecutor-driver-in-midway-district-double-fatality-was-unlicensed-and-driving-drunk/ Thu, 12 May 2022 02:05:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/prosecutor-driver-in-midway-district-double-fatality-was-unlicensed-and-driving-drunk/ SAN DIEGO- A man accused of driving drunk and without a license when his pickup truck crashed into a van at a Midway-area intersection, killing two people, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to manslaughter charges guilty with vehicle while intoxicated. Edgar Jesus Suarez, 33, is charged with the deaths of Ahmed Alrawi, 23, and his […]]]>

A man accused of driving drunk and without a license when his pickup truck crashed into a van at a Midway-area intersection, killing two people, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to manslaughter charges guilty with vehicle while intoxicated.

Edgar Jesus Suarez, 33, is charged with the deaths of Ahmed Alrawi, 23, and his grandmother, Suad Alsamarai, 81. Both resided in El Cajon.

Two other people in the victims’ vehicle, a 21-year-old driver and a 46-year-old passenger, were also seriously injured.

Assistant District Attorney Cally Bright said Suarez faces nearly 15 years in state prison if convicted of all charges by San Diego Superior Court.

Suarez was driving between 70 and 80 mph at the time of the accident and had a blood alcohol level of 0.16% three hours after the crash, Brightsaid said.

The prosecutor also said Suarez never had a driver’s license and had previous convictions for driving without a license.

According to San Diego Police Sgt. Victoria Houseman, Suarez was speeding down Sports Arena Boulevard around 9 p.m. Saturday when her truck hit a raised median at Rosecrans Street.

His truck then rammed the victims’ 2015 Toyota Sienna, which was stopped at a red light. Houseman said. Alrawi and Alsamarai died at the scene.

Suarez was hospitalized with serious injuries, but was released from the hospital on Monday and jailed in the county jail. He remains being held without bail.

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Kings County DA drops charges against drug addict who gave birth to stillborn baby https://criminaljustice-online.com/kings-county-da-drops-charges-against-drug-addict-who-gave-birth-to-stillborn-baby/ Tue, 10 May 2022 02:15:11 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/kings-county-da-drops-charges-against-drug-addict-who-gave-birth-to-stillborn-baby/ The Kings County district attorney on Monday dropped a longstanding case against a woman who spent four years in prison for giving birth to a stillborn child after using drugs. Adora Perez had pleaded no contest to manslaughter in 2018, to avoid a murder charge for her stillbirth in 2017 and was sentenced by a […]]]>

The Kings County district attorney on Monday dropped a longstanding case against a woman who spent four years in prison for giving birth to a stillborn child after using drugs.

Adora Perez had pleaded no contest to manslaughter in 2018, to avoid a murder charge for her stillbirth in 2017 and was sentenced by a judge to the maximum sentence of 11 years in prison. But another judge overturned her conviction – ruling that manslaughter only applies to the death of a human being, not a fetus – and released her on bail in March.

The judge allowed District Attorney Keith Fagundes — the only county prosecutor in California to charge women with stillbirth homicides involving drugs — to decide whether to charge Perez with murder. California law permits a murder charge for the intentional or reckless killing of a fetus, with some exceptions, including abortion.

On Monday, Fagundes filed documents denying the charge. He cited state bill, AB2223 by Assemblyman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, which would prohibit the prosecution of women who suffer a stillbirth or miscarriage or who have an abortion. . The bill would allow a woman to seek damages against a prosecutor who brought such charges.

Since his release from prison, Perez “has demonstrated success in a residential treatment program,” Fagundes said in his court filing. But he said he would reinstate his murder charges if AB2223 did not become law.

Mary McNamara, an attorney for Perez, said Fagundes actually dropped the case because he couldn’t find an expert witness who could prove the woman’s drug use caused the stillbirth. The case was “appalling overreach and a chilling exercise of prosecutorial power,” McNamara said.

“This case is just one example of how people’s behavior is inappropriately controlled simply because they are pregnant, a situation that will only get worse” if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, said another member of Perez’s legal team, National’s Samantha Lee. Defenders of pregnant women. A draft notice leaked by the Politico website last week showed a five-judge majority ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion.

The prosecution also faced opposition from the California Attorney General – Xavier Becerra and his successor, Rob Bonta – whose office usually supports county prosecutors and represents them in higher courts. They said the state law was intended to allow murder charges only against an assailant whose attack caused the death of the fetus and does not allow prosecution of the pregnant woman.

“With reproductive rights under attack across the country, the dismissal of the murder charge against Adora Perez is a victory for justice and the rule of law,” Bonta said in a statement.

Fagundes was unavailable for comment.

Fagundes has also charged another woman, Chelsea Becker, with murder after she suffered a stillbirth in September 2019, when she was 8½ months pregnant, and police say methamphetamine was found in the fetus. But a judge dismissed the charge last May, saying prosecutors had no evidence that Becker, when she used the drug, knew or consciously ignored the possibility that it would end her pregnancy.

Bob Egelko is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: begelko@sfchronicle.com

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Motorist’s mother puts ‘two and two together’, urges son to turn himself in after fatal Old Irving hit-and-run: prosecutors – Chicago Tribune https://criminaljustice-online.com/motorists-mother-puts-two-and-two-together-urges-son-to-turn-himself-in-after-fatal-old-irving-hit-and-run-prosecutors-chicago-tribune/ Sat, 07 May 2022 22:47:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/motorists-mother-puts-two-and-two-together-urges-son-to-turn-himself-in-after-fatal-old-irving-hit-and-run-prosecutors-chicago-tribune/ A late-night TV-watching mother saw reports that police were looking for a fatal fugitive driver in the Old Irving Park neighborhood woke her 57-year-old son to tell him to go to authorities, the authorities said on Saturday. prosecutors. Phil Pinkawa, of the 2900 block of North Troy Street, appeared in court on Saturday before Cook […]]]>

A late-night TV-watching mother saw reports that police were looking for a fatal fugitive driver in the Old Irving Park neighborhood woke her 57-year-old son to tell him to go to authorities, the authorities said on Saturday. prosecutors.

Phil Pinkawa, of the 2900 block of North Troy Street, appeared in court on Saturday before Cook County Judge Barbara Dawkins, who set bail at $50,000. Pinkawa must pay $5,000 to be released until his next court appearance on Friday.

Pinkawa has been charged with failing to report an accident involving the death of 22-year-old Nick Parlingayan, Chicago police said in a media notification.

Parlingayan, 22, who was at least the third cyclist to die in 2022, was cycling around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday in the 3800 block of North Milwaukee Avenue when he was hit by a Nissan Versa that failed to stop and fled the places, the police mentioned.

Parlingayan fell, causing head trauma, and was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m., officials said.

Shortly after the sinking, Pinkawa’s mother got up late to watch TV and saw a news report about the accident, prosecutors told Judge Dawkins.

Knowing that her son had a black Nissan Versa, which was described in the police alert, and that the accident happened along the road and at the same time he was delivering food for the restaurant where he works as a cook, she woke him up at 4 a.m. to urge him to surrender, prosecutors say.

Pinkawa admitted to hitting something that hit his windshield, damaging his vehicle which was parked in the garage, but prosecutors said he rammed Parlingayan and dragged him before fleeing the scene.

“Instead of stopping and giving help, he drove off,” Judge Dawkins said before setting bail. He did not surrender “until his mother put two and two together”.

Investigators matched parts of the Versa left at the scene to his car, prosecutors said, adding that Pinkawa turned himself in shortly after also speaking with colleagues at the restaurant.

Pinkawa, a permanent resident of Cook County, also works as a truck driver, according to an attorney for him.

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Prosecutor continues to play down marijuana lawsuits https://criminaljustice-online.com/prosecutor-continues-to-play-down-marijuana-lawsuits/ Fri, 06 May 2022 10:05:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/prosecutor-continues-to-play-down-marijuana-lawsuits/ LIHU’E – A Kaua’i Police Department “Green Harvest” cannabis suppression program is set to continue this year. The Kaua’i County Board on Wednesday unanimously approved a request from the KPD to receive and spend $35,000 in federal funds from the National Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program. “What we’re trying to do is keep Kaua’i honest. There is […]]]>

LIHU’E – A Kaua’i Police Department “Green Harvest” cannabis suppression program is set to continue this year.

The Kaua’i County Board on Wednesday unanimously approved a request from the KPD to receive and spend $35,000 in federal funds from the National Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program.

“What we’re trying to do is keep Kaua’i honest. There is a legal way with dispensaries that have gone through all the regulations to be able to provide medical marijuana to people who need it,” KPD Deputy Chief of Investigative Services Office Bryson Ponce said. “We conduct our operations by examining illegal crops throughout the island. Looking at public lands, state lands, from time to time we can see some in someone’s yard.

Funds will be used for overtime, vehicle and aircraft rentals, trainings and technology for a two-day operation that will cost a total of $50,000 – of which the remaining $15,000 comes from local funding .

The program began in 1979 in Hawai’i and California, expanding to 25 states in 1982. As of 2020, the program was active in 36 states and included 126 law enforcement agencies.

As a result of the program, 6,606 people were arrested, 10,375 weapons and $103.7 million in assets were seized in 2021, according to DEA statistics,

In Hawai’i, 5,762 plants and 4,589 pounds of processed marijuana were eradicated. Only one individual was arrested.

The program has led to the discovery and eradication of numerous marijuana grows in Kaua’i, including the Kalalau Valley, Koke’e, Koloa, Lihue, Kilauea, Kapa’a and Wailua.

Is marijuana still a priority?

Wailua resident Valerie Weiss voiced her opposition to the program in written testimony Wednesday.

“Haven’t we all heard enough helicopters flying low over our neighborhoods and trails in search of marijuana crops?” Weiss asked. “The $35,000 can and should be put to better use. Marijuana is not heroin, it is not fentanyl – just stop this useless program.

The KPD said in a statement that “although periodic marijuana eradication missions are conducted by the KPD, this does not impede our ability to handle other drug-related investigations.”

The department also reported that the diversion of water and the use of chemicals on marijuana cultivation in remote locations such as Koke’e and the Kalalau Valley can have adverse consequences for native plants and l surrounding ecosystem.

Marijuana-related crimes were deprioritized under former Kaua’i prosecutor Justin Kollar, who refused to prosecute most marijuana-related crimes.

His successor, Rebecca Like, who was elected to the post in February in a special election, largely continued this trend.

“We review each case on a case-by-case basis,” Like said in a statement. “While our Office will continue to minimize prosecutions for marijuana offenses, that doesn’t mean there aren’t cases involving marijuana that we will pursue.”

As said they would likely pursue a case where an individual was operating under the influence of THC or marijuana or in possession of a large amount of the drug.

Maui and Honolulu also use the “Green Harvest” program, although the island of Hawaii does not. In 2008, their council voted not to accept federal funds citing complaints from residents about low-flying helicopter missions.

A 2019 bill passed by the state legislature says people who possess three grams or less of marijuana are not risking incarceration, although they could face a $130 fine.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawai’i since 2000, and a bill on the table this session would have allowed people 65 and older to automatically qualify for medical use, thereby legalizing recreational cannabis for seniors.

The bill passed the Senate Health Committee but did not progress further.

Many states have completely removed restrictions on cannabis – eighteen states, as well as Guam and Washington DC have legalized recreational marijuana use.

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Ex-intelligence official for top prosecutor’s office charged in case linked to president-elect https://criminaljustice-online.com/ex-intelligence-official-for-top-prosecutors-office-charged-in-case-linked-to-president-elect/ Wed, 04 May 2022 05:20:01 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/ex-intelligence-official-for-top-prosecutors-office-charged-in-case-linked-to-president-elect/ IOC Deputy Director Yeo Woon-guk speaks at Wednesday’s press conference. (Yonhap) A prosecutor, who was also a former intelligence officer at the Supreme Prosecutors Office, was charged on Wednesday with colluding with an opposition MP to file criminal complaints against ruling party figures ahead of the 2020 parliamentary elections. Deputy Director of the Corruption Investigation […]]]>

IOC Deputy Director Yeo Woon-guk speaks at Wednesday’s press conference. (Yonhap)

A prosecutor, who was also a former intelligence officer at the Supreme Prosecutors Office, was charged on Wednesday with colluding with an opposition MP to file criminal complaints against ruling party figures ahead of the 2020 parliamentary elections.

Deputy Director of the Corruption Investigation Bureau for Senior Officials Yeo Woon-guk told a press briefing that prosecutor Son Jun-seong has been charged with violating election laws officials, the protection of personal information and the leakage of sensitive information. .

Yeo said Son allegedly helped file complaints against Democratic Party of Korea Representative Choe Kang-wook and others in an effort to damage their chances in the April 2020 election, and shared this information with Representative Kim. Woong, then a popular power. Candidate of the party in the legislative elections. Kim, a prosecutor-turned-legislator, is suspected of having passed this information to the party.

The IOC, which only handles cases involving senior officials, said it would hand over Kim’s case to the prosecution.

The IOC found no evidence that President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who led the prosecution as attorney general from July 2019 to March 2021, and Yoon-appointed prosecutor and justice minister Han Dong-hoon , were involved.

In October of the same year, the prosecution indicted Choe for issuing a false certificate as a lawyer for the son of Cho Kuk, who served as President Moon Jae-in’s justice minister, and then spread false information. about his involvement in the college admissions scandal. during the election campaign.

After a local news outlet in September last year exclusively reported the allegations about Son’s role in the case, Choe claimed the indictment against him was “a political maneuver by the charge”.

Wednesday’s indictment is the first of many Yoon-related cases being investigated by the IOC.

The IOC was established on January 21 last year as part of the Moon administration and the Democratic Party’s prosecution reform campaign.

By Kim Arin (arin@herldcorp.com)

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DOJ: Ragos retraction cannot ‘destroy the strength of evidence’ of lawsuits https://criminaljustice-online.com/doj-ragos-retraction-cannot-destroy-the-strength-of-evidence-of-lawsuits/ Mon, 02 May 2022 13:33:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/doj-ragos-retraction-cannot-destroy-the-strength-of-evidence-of-lawsuits/ Ministry of Justice building. PHOTO FILE APPLICANT MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Monday that star prosecution witness Rafael Ragos’ nullification of his testimony against Senator Leila de Lima cannot “destroy the strength of the evidence” from the government. . “The testimonies of witnesses presented by the prosecution are sufficient to pin […]]]>

Ministry of Justice building. PHOTO FILE APPLICANT

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Monday that star prosecution witness Rafael Ragos’ nullification of his testimony against Senator Leila de Lima cannot “destroy the strength of the evidence” from the government. .

“The testimonies of witnesses presented by the prosecution are sufficient to pin down and prove the charges against defendants Senator Leila de Lima and Ronnie Dayan,” the DOJ said in a statement released hours after reports surfaced that Ragos withdrew its charges against the detainee. senator, who fiercely criticizes President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ragos released an affidavit reiterating all of his allegations that de Lima was involved in illegal drug trafficking inside New Bilibid prison.

In his previous testimony before a Senate investigation and the Muntinlupa City Court, Ragos claimed that on November 24 and December 15, 2012, he received a total of 10 million pesos from high-level inmates involved in drug trafficking and allegedly handed over the money personally. to Dayan twice.

But in his notarized affidavit in Pasig City on April 30, 2022, Ragos claimed that all of his prior statements against the senator were not true and that he was “coerced” into making those prior affidavits.

READ: Another witness retracts charges against De Lima, says he was ‘coerced’

Ragos, a former deputy director of intelligence at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who also served as officer in charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) when de Lima was justice secretary, named former DOJ chief Vitaliano Aguirre II as the person who “questioned and coerced” him into “admitting something that didn’t happen” during their many encounters.

“I couldn’t do anything at the time,” Ragos said. “If the secretary of justice himself compels you, what can you do? He can do more, more than I can do.

INQUIRER.net contacted Aguirre regarding Ragos’ allegations. But this reporter has yet to receive his response as of press time.

But the DOJ expressed doubts about Ragos’ motive for withdrawing his testimony against de Lima, noting that it came more than five years after he testified in the Senate and in court for three days.

“In all of the above cases, there was no mention of coercion or intimidation. Thus, the blatant delay on the part of Ragos in recanting his previous statements is indeed questionable and casts doubt on its veracity. His motive is also highly suspicious,” the DOJ said.

“It is left to the discretion of the court to consider his recanting affidavit if he can completely destroy his prior affidavits and testimony,” he added.

Ragos was the fifth prosecution witness in the second case against de Lima in Section 204 of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court. He has already finished his testimony.

Ragos is not a witness against de Lima in the third case before Muntinlupa’s RTC branch 256.

Days before Ragos recanted, confessed drug trafficker Kerwin Espinosa also backtracked on his allegations against de Lima.

KGA

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In ‘shocking move’, Dominican prosecutors are appealing bail order for Canadians from cocaine-carrying plane https://criminaljustice-online.com/in-shocking-move-dominican-prosecutors-are-appealing-bail-order-for-canadians-from-cocaine-carrying-plane/ Sat, 30 Apr 2022 03:57:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/in-shocking-move-dominican-prosecutors-are-appealing-bail-order-for-canadians-from-cocaine-carrying-plane/ Breadcrumb Links World News National Canada Pivot Airlines said it was “deeply concerned” for the safety of its employees and that the federal government must do more Publication date : April 29, 2022 • 2 hours ago • 4 minute read • 28 comments The Pivot Airlines plane is at the airport in the Dominican […]]]>

Pivot Airlines said it was “deeply concerned” for the safety of its employees and that the federal government must do more

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Dominican Republic prosecutors are appealing the decision to bail the crew and passengers of a Canadian charter plane where a 210-kilogram stash of cocaine was found, a legal decision the plane’s owner calls it “shocking”.

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Pivot Airlines said in a statement Friday that it was “deeply concerned” for the safety of its employees and that the federal government must do more to try to ensure their safe return.

The five Pivot crew members and seven passengers were released from jail earlier this month on $23,000 bond and an order to remain in the country until the investigation into the discovery of drug is over.

The airline complained about the stipulation preventing Canadians from leaving the Dominican Republic, noting that it was crew members who discovered the contraband hidden in the plane’s “aviation hold” and the then reported to the authorities.

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The judge who ordered their release noted that prosecutors had presented no evidence linking the crew or passengers to cocaine.

They had already spent several days in jail by the time they secured bail, some of them in communal cells alongside accused drug traffickers. Even after being released, they faced credible death threats, the airline said.

“In a shocking move, the prosecutor recently appealed the court’s decision to grant our crew bail, despite there being no evidence linking them to any crime,” Pivot said in the statement.

It is now well known in the Dominican Republic that the crew thwarted the $25 million drug smuggling attempt on the streets in Canada, according to the company. If they are returned to prison with drug criminals, they will be in grave danger, without the private security protection they had on the outside, Pivot said.

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“It is completely unacceptable that Canadian citizens can be arbitrarily detained for knowingly reporting criminal activity,” he said. “Together with international unions representing crew, we are warning Canadian travelers and more than 70,000 airline employees to seriously consider the risks of traveling to the Dominican Republic.”

“If reporting a crime in the Dominican Republic could result in arbitrary detention, the government should seriously consider issuing a similar travel advisory.”

Pivot said he is grateful for the help the federal government has offered so far. It provides consular support and Maninder Sidhu, parliamentary secretary to Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, raised the issue during a pre-planned visit to the country last week, according to Joly’s press secretary.

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But “the simple fact is” Ottawa has not done enough to bring the Canadians back safely, the statement said.

“They miss their families. They fear for life, as well as for their mental and physical well-being. And they want to go home.

Meanwhile, the family of one of the passengers, Brittney Wojcik-Harrison, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her legal assistance, food and a possible return flight.

“Either she’s going to be trapped in a foreign country for a year or she’s going to be trapped in a prison in a foreign country for a year and it makes my stomach hurt,” said Brandon Harrison, Wojcik-Harrison’s cousin. the Calgary Herald on Friday.

The CRJ-100 regional jet landed in the Dominican Republic on March 31, carrying potential investors and their companions entertained by an Alberta company, Pivot says. They were due to depart on April 5, but just before departure, a mechanic traveling with the plane discovered a black bag inside the avionics bay, which contained electronic equipment.

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Pivot alerted authorities in Canada and the Dominican Republic. Police then discovered seven more bags, all stuffed with cocaine.

Prosecutors alleged at the bail hearing that the plane and its passengers were a “front” designed to hide the real purpose of the flight: smuggling drugs into Canada.

But they said they are not alleging that any member of the group placed the cocaine on the plane, only that another anonymous person accompanied the crew and boarded the plane. the day before his departure.

Judge Francis Yojary Reyes Dilone said the fact the crew reported the contraband and there was no evidence linking them or the passengers to the cocaine meant he should impose less severe restrictions on the group than demanded by the prosecution.

One of the passengers said at the bond hearing that she was the guest of another man, who was a potential investor in the public company.

“We were just invited to visit your beautiful country, to have fun,” she said, according to the ruling. “We’re totally horrified, we were here for the holidays, we have no idea what’s going on… We all have amazing jobs at home, we have families, I’m a real estate agent, I’m also teacher.”

(Passenger count corrected April 29 to Sept.)

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