Two Jaffrey New Hampshire Police Officers Get “Nasal Mucus” With Their Dunkin Donuts Coffee

July 30, 2011

JAFFREY, NEW HAMPSHIRE – A former Dunkin’ Donuts employee has been accused of adding “nasal mucus” to the coffees of two Jaffrey police officers.

According to police, on June 19 two police officers went to the Dunkin’ Donuts on Peterborough Street and ordered two cups of coffee from 20-year-old Christopher Hildreth.

Authorities said Hildreth grabbed two coffee cups, then went to the back room to make the coffee. The officers said in the affidavit that they found the behavior odd since they had ordered coffee from Hildreth before and had never seen him go out back to make coffee.

The officers were able to watch Hildreth from a store-front video monitor that shows a view of the back room, police said. The officers said they watched Hildreth put nasal mucus into the cups.

The officers did not say anything to Hildreth but later returned the coffees and contacted the manager to review the surveillance tapes.

The store manager reviewed the tape and terminated Hildreth shortly after viewing them.

Hildreth has been charged with two counts of attempted simple assault.

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Former College Park Police Officer Donnell Shelby Eppinger Flashed Fake Badge, Was Speeding, And Had Drugs And Gun

July 28, 2011

GWINNETT COUNTY, GEORGIA – A former College Park police officer faces multiple charges in Gwinnett County after he allegedly tried to pass himself off as still employed by the department during a traffic stop, Channel 2 Action News reports.

Donnell Shelby Eppinger, 36, of Atlanta is charged with impersonating a police officer, possession of a narcotic and possession of a firearm while committing a felony, police said.

He was arrested July 17 after a Lawrenceville police officer stopped Eppinger’s 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle for going an estimated 65 mph in a 45 mph zone on Hurricane Shoals Road near Collins Hill Road, according to a police report.

The suspect’s driver’s license showed the man wearing a uniform, and when questioned, he allegedly said he was a College Park police officer. He showed a College Park police badge and turned over a Glock Model 30 pistol he was carrying in a saddle bag, the police report said.

The arresting officer said in his report that he became suspicious when Eppinger could not produce a police identification card. A call to the College Park Police Department confirmed Eppinger had left the force three months ago. The suspect was placed under arrest.

Police said they recovered more than $1,500 from Eppinger’s pants pocket and trench coat as well as ammunition for the Glock, and a police dog brought to the scene picked up a suspicious scent. Officers found two yellow pills, and one tested positive for the drug ecstasy, according to the police report.

Eppinger was taken to Gwinnett County Jail.

College Park Assistant Police Chief Tom Kuzniacki told Channel 2 that the department had investigated Eppinger for being a member of a criminal motorcycle club.

“Once we were able to sustain some of the information, he was brought in and he was terminated,” Kuzniacki said.

College Park police now are investigating why Eppinger still had one of their badges, the assistant chief said.

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Counting Federal Criminal Laws Impossible – Even For US Justice Department

July 11, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC —For decades, the task of counting the total number of federal criminal laws has bedeviled lawyers, academics and government officials.

“You will have died and resurrected three times,” and still be trying to figure out the answer, said Ronald Gainer, a retired Justice Department official.
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As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Americans Are Ensnared

In 1982, while at the Justice Department, Mr. Gainer oversaw what still stands as the most comprehensive attempt to tote up a number. The effort came as part of a long and ultimately failed campaign to persuade Congress to revise the criminal code, which by the 1980s was scattered among 50 titles and 23,000 pages of federal law.

Justice Department lawyers undertook “the laborious counting” of the scattered statutes “for the express purpose of exposing the idiocy” of the system, said Mr. Gainer, now 76 years old.

It can often be very difficult to make a call whether or not something counts as a single crime or many. That task fell to one lawyer, Mr. Gainer says, who read the statutes and ultimately used her judgment to decide: If a particular act fell under multiple crime categories—such as forms of fraud that could also be counted as theft—she had to determine whether it could be prosecuted under each. If an offense could be counted in either of two sections, she counted them separately, Mr. Gainer said.

The project stretched two years. In the end, it produced only an educated estimate: about 3,000 criminal offenses. Since then, no one has tried anything nearly as extensive.

The Drug Abuse Prevention and Control section of the code—Title 21—provides a window into the difficulties of counting. More than 130 pages in length, it essentially pivots around two basic crimes, trafficking and possession. But it also delves into the specifics of hundreds of drugs and chemicals.

Scholars debate whether the section comprises two offenses or hundreds. Reading it requires toggling between the historical footnotes, judicial opinions and other sections in the same title. It has also been amended 17 times.

In 1998, the American Bar Association performed a computer search of the federal codes looking for the words “fine” and “imprison,” as well as variations. The ABA study concluded the number of crimes was by then likely much higher than 3,000, but didn’t give a specific estimate.

“We concluded that the hunt to say, ‘Here is an exact number of federal crimes,’ is likely to prove futile and inaccurate,” says James Strazzella, who drafted the ABA report. The ABA felt “it was enough to picture the vast increase in federal crimes and identify certain important areas of overlap with state crimes,” he said.

None of these studies broached the separate—and equally complex—question of crimes that stem from federal regulations, such as, for example, the rules written by a federal agency to enforce a given act of Congress. These rules can carry the force of federal criminal law. Estimates of the number of regulations range from 10,000 to 300,000. None of the legal groups who have studied the code have a firm number.

“There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime,” said John Baker, a retired Louisiana State University law professor who has also tried counting the number of new federal crimes created in recent years. “That is not an exaggeration.”

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Former Section Alabama Police Officer Ryan Keith Evans Arrested On Sex Abuse Charges

July 8, 2011

SCOTTSBORO, Alabama — A former Section police officer faces various sex abuse charges after being arrested in south Alabama.

Officials say Ryan Keith Evans was brought back to Jackson County from Houston County on Thursday. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Jackson County on charges following charges of sodomy, enticing a child and possession of pornographic material.

Evans’ bond was set at $130,000. Jail officials say he has posted the bond and has been released.

Evans was employed as a Section police officer prior to 2009.

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Auburn Washington Police Arrest And Jail Innocent Man For Trying To Cash Valid Check

July 8, 2011

AUBURN, WASHINGTON – When the US government mailed Ikenna Njoki an $8,000 check for being a first-time home owner, he knew right away what it was going to go towards.

“I was really excited. For the first time, I actually got to buy a lawn mower, mow my lawn and everything,” the 28-year-old Washington State native tells Seattle’s King5 News.

Trying to get that lawnmower, however, costs Njoki his car, his job and his freedom. He spent a weekend in jail trying to cash that check.

Clerks at the Auburn, Washington Chase bank branch that Njoki went into thought the check was a forgery. After going over the document for half an hour, Njoki had to run but said he’d be back later. When he returned the next day to the bank, the cops were there waiting for him.

“He had two forms of valid ID, a check issued by Chase, he walked in there during normal business hours. I don’t see any valid basis for suspicion in the first place,” Njoku’s attorney tells King5 News.

Njoku said he was embarrassed by the misunderstanding but it only got worse when he was arrested.

He sat in a cell over the weekend and couldn’t call in to his job. When he was let out of jail, he was also let off of work. And when Njoku went to go get his car that he parked days earlier at the bank, he learned it wasn’t there. It was towed and ended up sold at auction while Njoku was still unable to cash the cashier’s check, a check that was issued itself by Chase.

“It shouldn’t take them a day and a half to research a check,” he said.

And it shouldn’t take a weekend behind bars for Njoku to get his lawnmower either. A year later with no apology, Njoku’s lawyer is considering filing claims against Chase that they discriminated against his client. Njoku was born in Washington State but his mom and dad emigrated from Nigeria. Now he borrows his mother’s car when he can pick up part-time construction gigs.

Felix Luna is representing Njoku and thinks that Chase may have broken federal law by discriminating in banking transactions on the basis of race or presumed national origin. A letter was recently issued by his legal team asking for “full and fair financial compensation” for the “unlawful conversion” of Njoku’s property and the resulting damages. They offer the bank ten days to respond. A week later a Chase rep say’s they’re reviewing the situation.

If it takes them as long as they did to apologize, Njoku might be waiting awhile. It took over a year for someone from Chase to say they’re sorry. Writing to King5, a bank rep says, “We are working quickly to understand all the details so we can reach a fair resolution.”

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Florida TSA Agent Caught Stealing Traveler’s iPad – Stole Apx. $50,000 in Computer, GPS, And Video Cameras Over 6 Months And Sold Them Online

July 7, 2011

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Transportation Security Administration worker is accused of stealing from the luggage of travelers at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport Monday.

Broward Sheriff’s Deputies said a Continental Airlines worker saw Nelson Santiago, 30, slip an iPad out of a suitcase and into his pants.

That worker reported the theft to his supervisor and Santiago was arrested.

Deputies said Santiago is responsible for a string of thefts over the past six months. They said he told detectives that he stole computers, GPS devices and video cameras from luggage he was screening.

He then allegedly took pictures of the stolen goods with his cell phone, and posted them for sale online.

BSO said the items would often sell by the time Santiago’s shift ended.

Detectives estimate Santiago stole about $50,000 worth of electronics. So far, he was charged with two counts of grand theft and has been released on bond.

Detectives are trying to locate possible victims, though most will never recover their property.

Santiago had worked as a TSA officer since January 2009, but no longer works with the agency.

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Las Vegas Nevada Police Put Innocent Man In Prison For 4 Years After DNA Mistake – Faced Life In Prison

July 7, 2011

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The Las Vegas Police Department is saying “oops” after Sin City coppers put a man in prison for four years for a crime he didn’t commit.

Authorities say a DNA error put Dwayne Jackson on the scene of a kidnapping and robbery case, though now they know that that wasn’t the truth. He was arrested in 2001 and served four years. Now he stands to receive payment for their screw-up.

“We acknowledged that we made a mistake,” Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.

That mistake was caught back in November when officials at a national DNA database noticed that the DNA linking Jackson to the scene actually belonged to his cousin, Howard Grissom.

Terry Cook, a veteran forensics scientists, is taking the blame for costing Jackson four years of his freedom. The man stood to receive life in prison on a kidnapping conviction but ended up serving only four after he was convinced to announce his guilt in a plea deal. He was released back in 2006.

Grissom, in the meantime, is already serving 41 years for manslaughter, so prosecutors don’t have plans to charge him for the 10-year-old case. They might prosecute some others though, as authorities are reviewing hundreds of cases that Cook also handled while working at the Combined DNA Index System lab.

While Jackson was slaving behind bars for years, Cook is now sitting pretty with paid leave while investigators look into this and other incidents.

Jackson doesn’t seem too concerned, however. According to his attorneys, at least. Lawyer David Chesnoff tells The Associates Press that “He’s thankful now that people can believe him when he kept telling people he was innocent. “

“Hopefully, the clearing of his name will help him find work.”

Recently an Ohio man was released after 30 years behind bar for a rape he didn’t commit once DNA testing proved he wasn’t guilty. For their error, the state wrote him a check for $2.59 million.

A Michigan man served 18 months in prison under a murder charge before he was released after a wrongful conviction. He was looking at $2 million as well.

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