Crime & Justice


The AJC is reporting that Alvin Lorenzo Murdock of Norcross, GA was indicted on bigamy charges. As I detailed back in October, Murdock was one of three people arrested in Gwinnett County for multiple marriages to illegal immigrants, including multiple marriages at the same County Courthouse. The cases did prompt Gwinnett County to at least search its own database for matches when someone applies for a marriage license, although fraud is still possible because there is no system today that coordinates between counties in Georgia, let alone with those in other states.

Murdock, 38, married five other women after marrying his first wife. All the alleged illegal marriages occurred in a 5 month span in late 2005 and early 2006, according to the indictments.

In a separate indictment, Murdock was also charged in connection with the stabbing of his daughter.

In that case Murdock is accused of stabbing his daughter and another male while two young children watched. He was arrested on that case in July.

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Via the Associated Press, the report:

Immigrants arrested for being in the United States illegally may have been charged up to six more times, for more serious crimes, after they were released by local authorities, new Justice Department data indicate.

Additionally, a separate report also issued Monday concludes that the number of illegal immigrants deported after being declared a felon is on the rise.

The Justice findings by department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine examined the criminal histories of 100 illegal immigrants arrested and then released by local and state authorities in 2004, the latest complete data available. Of the sample group of 100, according to the audit, 73 immigrants were later arrested a collective 429 times on charges ranging from traffic tickets to weapons and drug charges.

The data suggest “the rate at which released criminal aliens are re-arrested is extremely high,'’ the audit noted. The report, parts of which were redacted, was required by Congress in 2005 and looked at how local and state authorities that receive Justice Department funding are working with the Homeland Security Department.

For years, the government was forced to release thousands of illegal immigrants who were caught in the United States because of not enough jail space and other resources. But last fall, with immigration as a key election-year priority, Homeland Security declared it would detain 99 percent of non-Mexican illegal immigrants until they could be returned to their home nations. The policy generally does not apply to Mexicans, who are almost immediately returned to Mexico after being stopped by Border Patrol agents.

The Justice audit, however, only looked at immigrants who were arrested and released by local and state authorities before they could be turned over to Homeland Security to be detained or deported. In all, 752 cities, counties and states participating in the program received $287 million in 2005, the audit noted.

Five states California, New York, Texas, Florida and Arizona received the bulk of the money, together pulling in more than $184 million.

Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield, who oversees the Office of Justice Programs that controlled the funding, declined comment on the audit, noting that it does not contain any recommendations.

A separate report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University showed that the number of immigrants who were deported as “aggravated felons'’ doubled over the last 15 years, from 10,303 in 1992 to an estimated 23,065 in 2006.

But TRAC, which obtained the data from the Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review, noted concerns that some of those immigrants never committed felonies.

“An individual can be declared an aggravated felon on the basis of a conviction on misdemeanor charges such as shoplifting,'’ the TRAC report concluded.

The entire (redacted) report is available here. It’s actually a very interesting read. A good portion of the material deals with looking at whether communities who received money as part of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) program actually cooperated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Very interesting how some entities interpret cooperation - seems to vary greatly between areas.

Much like the experience reported earlier for Roswell, GA, many indicated that they do report suspected illegal immigrants to ICE when they are arrested for other reasons, but don’t get much response.

“Our experience has shown that ICE is not going to respond anyway.” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]
• “On every occasion we attempt to inform ICE but ICE does not always respond.” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]
• “Past history has shown that they will rarely pick the subjects up for transport.” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]
• “Depends on nature of crime.” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]
• “ICE agents come into our facility on a regular basis and review our records of undocumented aliens.” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]
• “Sheriff’s deputies do not inform ICE. Detention staff will notify ICE if information obtained from a criminal history rap sheet or information obtained from our local database alerts [our] Department of previous contacts with ICE (releases to ICE or previously deported criminal alien).” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]
• “This is a sheriff’s department function.” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]
• “Law enforcement officers may contact ICE but jail staff do not. We have an ICE employee [who] regularly reviews inmate rosters.” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]
• “Most patrol officers do not have the time or know the number in order to inform ICE.” [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REDACTED]

The study showing criminal recidivism is a very limited sample owing to the fact that it was difficult to mine the data, so the results, while quite shocking, are difficult to generalize across the population. More from the report:

After querying NCIC, the FBI provided us with nearly 433,000 text files that could not be searched by automated means. The volume of files was too great to search manually and quantify the results. Consequently, we judgmentally selected a sample of 100 criminal histories, which we reviewed for evidence of arrests of criminal aliens subsequent to June 30, 2003. The criminal histories for 73 of the 100 individuals documented at least one arrest after that date. Those 73 individuals accounted for a total of 429 arrests, with 878 charges and 241 convictions. These figures represent an average of nearly six arrests per individual.
The charges for the 73 individuals ranged from traffic violations and trespassing to more serious crimes, such as burglary or assault. Some of those charges included:
• 166 drug-related;
• 37 immigration-related;
• 213 burglary, robbery, or theft;
• 40 assault;
• 10 property damage;
• 3 terrorist threat; and
• 13 weapons charges.
Based on this limited sample, we cannot statistically extrapolate the number of offenses committed by undocumented criminal aliens who were released from local custody without a referral to ICE. Based on the information available to us in the criminal histories, we could not determine the number of the criminal aliens in our sample that were deported, if any, and later arrested after reentering the United States. We also could not determine if ICE was notified before the criminal aliens in our sample were released from custody. But if this data is indicative of the full population of 262,105 criminal histories, the rate at which released criminal aliens are rearrested is extremely high.

Not sure if the FBI was really anxious to help or not, but it would seem that it should have been possible to get better data in order to examine a sample size larger than 100. At any rate, it’s very interesting in what it does show.

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Back in September, I wrote about the case of Nohe Gomez Hernandez (aka Nohe Gomes Hernandez), an illegal immigrant from Mexico who stole the identity of a US citizen, Jason Smith, for use when filling out his I-9 employement verification. Not only did Mr. Hernandez submit the false name and social security number, he even had the guts to have the name “Jason” on his work uniform. The real Mr. Smith found out his identity had been purloined when the IRS indicated that he had additional unreported income (that earned by Mr. Hernandez at the Harrison Poultry plant) which he had not claimed on his tax return.

After the plot unraveled, Mr. Hernandez was charged with identity theft. His lawyers argued that this was not the case, because he did not use the information in a very narrow way to make fradulent purchases using Mr. Smith’s credit.

However, the Georgia Supreme Court disagreed, saying in a unanimous decision that it is indeed proper to charge him with identity theft, and leaving the two-year prison sentance in tact.

In a unanimous decision released Monday, the justices said Georgia’s identity theft law is not unconstitutionally vague, nor is it pre-empted by federal law.

The high court found that Nohe Gomes Hernandez “misappropriated the Social Security number of Jason Smith,” and that he “then used this misappropriated number to obtain a Social Security card and a California driver’s license in Smith’s name” so he could get a job at a northeast Georgia poultry plant.

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Please explain to me again, why “Guilty, But Insane” doesn’t make sense, but “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity” does…

Via CNN: Mom threw boys in bay, wrote to God:

A woman who claimed God ordered her to make a human sacrifice chose to kill her three children instead of herself, making her guilty of murder, a prosecutor said Wednesday during closing arguments at the woman’s trial.

Prosecutor Linda Allen asked jurors to use their heads, not hearts, to determine Lashuan Harris’ fate.

The mentally ill Oakland woman threw her children into San Francisco Bay last year but has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder by reason of insanity.

Defense attorney Teresa Caffese said Harris believed completely that she was sending her children — 6-year-old Trayshun Harris, 2-year-old Taronta Greeley, Jr., and 16-month-old Joshoa Greeley — to heaven when she threw them over a railing and into the bay’s cold waters.

If Harris believed her delusions were real, Caffese argued, she is innocent of murder.

She said her client was, by many accounts, a good mother and gentle person whose lifelong struggle with mental illness finally overwhelmed her.

The jury begins deliberations on Thursday.

Sane or insane, there is no question that she killed her children.

While Harris believes she heard God’s voice, it took a series of rational decisions to take her children from Oakland to the pier, undress the boys — one of whom struggled with her — hoist them over the railing and drop them into the water, [Prosecutor Linda] Allen said.

Before breaking out all of the legal logic about not being able to premeditate a crime if you are not able to understand your actions… just remember that the children have been sent to their death because of this woman. And it was no accident. Treat her in a mental hospital if that’s appropriate, but do not let her out into society just because she’s insane! If she becomes well enough to be discharged from mental health care, then return her for the balance of any sentance to prison. Period.

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Indictments have been handed down for four illegal immigrants involved in large scale methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking. The arrests in November netted a $9 million haul of drugs.

Arnulfo Nunez-Villanueva, 26, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, 20, Rafael Garcia-Nunez, 33, and Mauricio Medina-Mojica, 26, all undocumented aliens believed to be from Mexico, were indicted by a federal grand jury late Wednesday.

Search warrants yielded over 145 pounds of Ice, over 135 pounds Of Cocaine and a AR-15 Style Rifle.

“We are coming after those responsible for the scourge of methamphetamine and other dangerous drugs that undermine the well being of our community and our country,” said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. “We will also seek additional charges and longer sentences for anyone possessing or using a firearm in conjunction with their drug trafficking activities.”

The indictment charges the defendants in relation to 5 separate search warrants that were executed in Gwinnett and Barrow Counties on November 21. A search of 4 residences in those counties yielded a total of 145 pounds of crystal methamphetamine (“ice”), 135 pounds of cocaine, and a .223 caliber AR-15 style rifle.

The indictment charges all four defendants with engaging in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine. In addition, Miguel Angel Gonzalez is charged with the actual possession of cocaine and methamphetamine and the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

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I have refrained on commenting on last week’s shooting death of Kathryn Johnston in Atlanta, because there just didn’t seem to be enough information released to the public in order to make an informed opinion. Yes, it was clear that the police were not targeting a 92 year old woman in their drug sting. And it certainly it made sense that after she opened fire on the officers after they burst through her front door, that they would return fire.

Did they have the wrong house? Was she just an innocent victim, but caught in the middle of events?

The whole story is still not clear… and I wonder if it will ever be sorted out completely, since it appears to take both GBI and FBI to now step in and try to unwind the mess. The Atlanta police appear to have been telling lies when the truth would serve them better.

If mistakes were made - even tragic mistakes - it would be better to admit to them and work through them. If it was not clear what the truth was… it would be better to say nothing than tell a story.

The day after the raid, the Atlanta police sent out Assistant Atlanta Police Chief Alan James Dreher to give a press conference. He confirmed that the correct house was entered. He stated that undercover officers bought illegal drugs earlier in the day from a man at house, and then returned that evening after securing a warrant to search the residence. He was also quick to point out that narcotics were found in the home after the shooting.

We subsequently heard about the mysterious man named “Sam”, the suspect in his early-to-mid-30s, and is described as a large man — 6 feet tall, and 250-to-260 pounds. A warrant was issued for his arrest. It was his drug sales, after all, that sparked the raid in the first place.

Atlanta’s Police Chief, Richard Pennington, was out of town for Thanksgiving, and could not return.

Then over the weekend, the public story started to change. Suddenly it was an “informant” who told the police about buying drugs at the house, not undercover officers themselves. Why hold a press conference earlier and say something that was obviously wrong?

Next, it was confirmed that a small amount of marijuana that was recovered - not a stash of drugs to be distributed.

Today the bombshell: the “informant”, now in protective custody, says that he didn’t buy drugs at the house and was told by police that he needed to affirm the whole “Sam” story in order to cover for them.

Now I have no idea who’s telling the truth. But it’s clear that when the police rushed out with their initial story, even they really did not have the facts. And in so doing, they have destroyed any credibility that they might have had.

Many questions remain, and hopefully the GBI and FBI will be more successful in collecting the answers. Why was this house targeted at all? Were the facts presented to get the warrant twisted as well?

But a terrible mistake is made even worse if they attempted to cover it up.

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Now that didn’t take long. Yet another metro-Atlanta drug bust involving illegal immigrants is reported today by the AJC. $9 million in cocaine and crystal meth was seized.

According to their report:

Agents arrested four men in the raid, all illegal aliens, said Sherri Strange, Atlanta DEA Special Agent in Charge. One woman who was a drug courier was arrested by Gwinnett police , Stange said.

The men arrested were identified as Miguel Angel Gonzalez, 30; Rafael Garcia-Nunez,33; Arnulfo Nunez-Villanueva, 26 and Mauricio Medina-Mojica, 26. The woman was identified as Susana Maribel Cordoba-Galino, 23.

Federal agents allege that the suspects were part of a “highly sophisicated” multi-state drug dealing organization that stretched from Gwinnett County to Kentucky, Illionois and Indiana.

The suspects brought in the drugs to stash houses in Gwinnett County and the drugs were to be distrubuted to other places, Strange said.

The investigation into the drug dealing was dubbed by agents Operation Kentucky Thunder.

After a three month investigation an survelliance agents arrested supsect at homes Park Forest Drive in Lilburn, Cruse Road in Lawrenceville and Johns Way in Lilburn on Nov. 21, authorities said.

At the homes agents found 63 kilograms of cocaine, 58 pounds of crystal meth and $85,000 in cash. Agents confiscated eight cars , some of the vehicles with elaborate hidden compartments used to hide drugs. Agents also confiscated three guns including a fully automatic AR-15 assault rifles., Strange said.

Previously:

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It might not be a half-million dollar haul like last week, but yet another illegal immigrant has been arrested in North Georgia for trafficking cocaine.

According to the Associated Press:

According to Lt. Scott Ware of MANS, Gozalo [Carillo] along with two other suspects, abandoned the vehicle they were traveling in following a short pursuit and fled on foot into a wooded area off Pine Circle. Gonzalo was arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, and obstruction of an officer.

The street value of the cocaine which was seized was place at about $29,600. The investigation continues into the two remaining suspects who are not believed to have been armed.

Ware adds that Carillo is believed to be in the United States illegally.

Just doing the jobs that Americans don’t want to do.

Previously:

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On the heals of several major drug busts in metro Atlanta, AccessNorthGeorgia.com is reporting a major cocaine bust including half a million dollars in drugs. While the other recent drug busts have involved illegal immigrants, it sounds like the immigration status of those involved in this bust are still being checked.

Local and federal officers from the Gainesville/Hall County Gang Task Force, Hall County MANS Unit, FBI, ATF and ICE arrested three men Monday night in a parking lot off Industrial Boulevard for trafficking 15 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $497 thousand.

Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper said the trafficking operation was apparently not gang related, but the bust was organized with information gathered by the Gang Task Force.

“This was a planned investigation. This investigation has been ongoing for about a week,” he said. “We were arranging a buy from these individuals for this cocaine.”

One of the men, 32-year-old Victorino Zepeda-Martinez of Gainesville, was also arrested for possession of a firearm. Also arrested were 25-year-old Juan Macedonio-Salgado of Calhoun and 27-year-old Fidel Arevalo-Villa of La Verge, Tennessee.

Hooper said some of the cocaine could have been destined for our area, but he speculated most of it would have continued moving.

“It appears that Gainesville and Hall County has become kind of a stop-off point or distribution point for a large amount of drugs that continue up the east coast,” he said. “The message we want to send is: folks need to find somewhere else to do that.”

Along with the drugs, officers seized two automobiles and the gun. Despite the presence of the weapon, Hooper said the bust went smoothly.

Police are investigating the immigration status of the suspects. All three men are currently in the Hall County Detention Center.

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Via the New York Daily News: Brooklyn Stones fan seeks 51M of satisfaction. It seems that one Rosalie Druyan is suing the Rolling Stones for the miniscule sum of $51 million dollars because they cancelled one of their shows in Atlantic City due to Mick Jaggar’s sore throat.

In a class-action suit to be filed today in Manhattan Supreme Court, Druyan contends the late cancelation cost her and other fans big bucks on nonrefundable hotel reservations, forcing them to spend the night together in cold and rainy Atlantic City.

I’ll admit that being forced to spend the night in New Jersey may not be the fun they had hoped for… but that’s quite a chunk of change.

“People came from all over to see the Stones,” she said. “When you talk about travel expenses, hotel and baby-sitting expenses, that’s not a cheap day.”

When you see yet another of these frivolous and time-wasting suits, it makes you wonder what lawyer would participate in such a silly publicity stunt. (That is, unless she really does have to hire a babysitter for $50 million when she goes out, in which case I am available). But that’s not really a question in this case because the shyster lawyer is her husband, Martin Druyan. Earlier this year he represented Toquir Choudhri, a New York City Department of Education worker who was to be fired for surfing the net during work hours despite supervisor’s warnings.

Maybe he’s looking for some advertising for his law firm. Maybe they really are just that dilusional. But either way, there should be some ramifications for wasting the court’s time filing a lawsuit like this.

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