Two undercover narcotics officers have been charged with lying about a sting operation in Queens after one of the men they accused of selling drugs produced video evidence showing the officers had had no contact with him or three other men they arrested.
According to the indictment, Detective Anderson told his supervisor and said in police paperwork that he bought a Ziploc bag of cocaine for $40 from two men: Gabriel Lira and Julian Martinez. Instead, Detective Anderson had bought three bags of cocaine for $60 from the two men, the statement said.
Officer Tavarez said he bought two bags of cocaine for $100 from four men: Jose Colon, 24; his brother Maximo Colon, 27; Raul Duchimasa; and Luis Rodriguez. But the indictment says Officer Tavarez did not buy cocaine from them, and instead used the cocaine from Detective Anderson as evidence for his own case.
Detective Anderson also later told Officer Tavarez to claim that he had forgotten the details of the arrest of the four men, said the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown.
Five of the men were released without bail the day they were arrested; Maximo Colon was released three days later after posting $2,500 bail. Jose Colon went back to the club and made a copy of the security video showing that the officers did not have any contact with the Colons, Mr. Duchimasa and Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Brown’s statement said. The charges against the four were later dismissed.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
When it comes to combating drunk driving, Ohio leads the league in crackpot ideas.
One of our most recent legislative brainstorms — special license plates for convicted drivers — has been a total bust.
Since the law was changed in 2004, Ohio has issued 46,627 ''restricted plates.''
In Summit County alone, 2,949 individuals and/or families have been sentenced to drive around with the distinctive yellow-and-red plates, the modern equivalent of The Scarlet Letter.
If these plates were working — if the drinking populace is cowering at the notion of having to adorn its vehicles with these things — we would have experienced a significant drop in alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
If you compare the last year without special plates, 2003, to the most recent year for which statistics are available, 2007, you find that, while Ohio's overall crash rate has plummeted, the number of alcohol-related fatalities hasincreased.
• Total crashes of all types: down 16 percent.
• Fatal alcohol-related crashes: up 2 percent.
• Alcohol-related fatalities per 1,000 total crashes: up 21 percent.
Here's further evidence the plates are not having the intended impact: In some circles, especially among younger folks, restricted plates are referred to as ''party plates.'' So much for social ostracism.
Currently, only one other state, Minnesota, offers specialized DUI plates. Let's hope this failure prevents other states from implementing such antiquated forms of punishment.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
There have been studies that compare text messaging on cellphones and other hand-held devices to driving drunk. And several states have alreadybanned texting while driving. But according to Car and Driver, no one has done a real-world test — until now.
In an article that appears in the current issue of the magazine, the editors hooked up a Honda Pilot with a red light on the windshield. Car & Driver’s editor and chief, Eddie Alterman, 37, and the magazine’s intern, Jordan Brown, 22, both took turns behind the wheel on a test track. When the light came on, the drivers hit the brakes.
The results, though not surprising, were eye-opening. Intern Brown’s baseline reaction time at 35 mph of 0.45 second worsened to 0.57 while reading a text, improved to 0.52 while writing a text, and returned almost to the baseline while impaired by alcohol, at 0.46. At 70 mph, his baseline reaction was 0.39 second, while the reading (0.50), texting (0.48), and drinking (0.50) numbers were similar. But the averages don’t tell the whole story. Looking at Jordan’s slowest reaction time at 35 mph, he traveled an extra 21 feet (more than a car length) before hitting the brakes while reading and went 16 feet longer while texting. At 70 mph, a vehicle travels 103 feet every second, and Brown’s worst reaction time while reading at that speed put him about 30 feet (31 while typing) farther down the road versus 15 feet while drunk.
Car and Driver even have video of the tests.
This is not a suggestion that you drink before driving. ROFLMBO
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Bryan Simmons of nearby Atlanta was taken into custody Tuesday after a car wreck near New Boston.
On Friday, he told The Associated Press that he lost control of his car during a sneezing fit brought on by allergies and black pepper sprinkled on catfish he had just eaten. His car left the road and landed in a ditch with a flat tire.
Simmons says he was "not under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drugs." He said he was just really tired from having kept late hours preparing for the murder trial.
"I might have been too tired to be driving, but hindsight is 20-20," Simmons said.
He demanded a Breathalyzer test but the officer didn't administer it, he said. The results of a blood test he submitted to won't be known for several weeks.
Yikes! I can't imagine having the ability to concentrate on your livelihood, in this case the lives of others, while dealing with your own DUI. I do know other courts have said that you ought to be able to do just that without a problem.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
A woman arrested by city police on evidence of drunken driving with a child in the vehicle claimed she was fleeing an abusive man in Plains Township early Wednesday morning.
City police said they were alerted to an intoxicated woman driving a Jeep Liberty traveling from Plains Township to Kingston just before 1 a.m.
Fedo, 38, of Kingston, claimed she fled a home on Second Street, Plains Township, with the child after she was punched in the face by Lawrence Joseph Casey, 22, of Ashley, according to arrest records.
While Fedo was being questioned in the parking lot, police said an intoxicated Casey showed up in a vehicle.
Fedo was charged with endangering the welfare of children, resisting arrest, driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct and failing to secure a child in a safety seat. She was released on $5,000 bail.
Casey was charged by city police with driving under the influence, and by Plains Township police with simple assault and harassment. He was released on $5,000 bail.
Fedo was removed from the vehicle by force, police said.
She was taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital for a blood-alcohol test and for facial injuries she allegedly sustained when she was assaulted.
It looks like Ms. Fedo fled after she was already assaulted. I guess she didn't get very far away since her the alleged abuser shows up at the scene while the police were questioning her. I hope she gets the help she needs and I hope she prevails on her DUI charges.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Judge David Hall's DUI case will go to trial this fall.
Attorneys from the Illinois Attorney General's Chicago office are prosecuting the case.
Hall, the former chief judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit, was charged with DUI, resisting a police officer, improper lane usage and making an improper turn following a traffic stop April 26, 2008, on Route 60 near St. Mary's Road in Vernon Hills.
A breath test was not conducted at the scene, but blood was drawn while Hall was treated at a hospital for injuries apparently sustained during a struggle with police.
Hall's case has moved slowly due to the death of the arresting officer just weeks after the incident, and the logistics of having prosecutors, lawyers and a judge from different counties.
It will be a sad day for justice, and I'm certain that irony is not loss on the defendant in this case, if this matter proceeds to trial while gutting the sixth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
- The attorney who looks the oldest.
- The attorney your friend/family member hired, and yet they went to jail/prison with that attorney representing them.
- The attorney chosen by a family or friend under the false belief that they should choose the attorney because they are picking up the bill.
- The attorney is selected based on gender or race.
- The attorney who offered the "best", i.e. lowest, price (you should be asking why the most expensive attorney charges what he/she charges, and why the least expensive attorney charges what he/she charges).
- The attorney you initially hired got you an offer from the prosecutor that you don't like, and now you want a new attorney. (It is difficult for anyone coming in after an offer has been made to improve on the offer).
Monday, June 22, 2009
- When you represent yourself you are held to the same standards as if you are a lawyer.
- Neither the judge nor opposing counsel, the prosecutor, are permitted to help you out.
- That probably puts you at a distinct disadvantage to winning your case based on your lack of knowledge of the law and legal procedures.
- Judges tend to dislike it, even when lawyers represent themselves. The belief being that when you represent yourself you lack the ability to see the other side of the case.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
DrinkTracker Breathalyzer is a user-friendly app developed by slappmedot.com. When you enter what you have had to drink and at what time, DrinkTracker Breathalyzer calculates your blood alcohol content (BAC). Your BAC is based on your profile where you enter your gender, height and weight. The default measurements are in metrics, but you have the option to switch to U.S. or Imperial.
DrinkTracker Breathalyzer is easy to use and allows you to add multiple profiles, though from what I can tell you can only track drinks for one person at a time. DrinkTracker Breathalyzer gives you a list of generic drinks to choose from – wine, beer, and liquor – that includes the amount you drank and the percent of alcohol in each drink. You can also add and save your own drinks.
A few people who could have avoided a DUI include NFL players, parents* (with children in the car), educators*, Chicago Police Officers, even presidents*- if they'd had access to this little application. Why not let technology improve your decision making?
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The Pima County Sheriff's Department is backing away from a proposal to catch suspected drunken drivers through fast-food restaurant drive-through windows.Lt. Karl Woolridge, special operations commander, said a sergeant who told the Arizona Daily Star the department was about to launch an anti-drunken-driving program named Operation Would U Like Fries, or Operation WULF, was wrong."Quite frankly, the program never had the support," Woolridge said. "We had never drafted any policies or procedures for it. It was really in the concept stage, and it never went any further than that."Sunday's story, which was distributed across the country by The Associated Press, generated a heavy response from online Star readers, most of it critical.Reader criticism echoed that of local defense attorneys and at least two local restaurateurs quoted in the story."I have no love for drunk drivers, and I want them off the road, but this is too much like Big Brother," said Tom O'Connor, owner of Tucson's 21 Eegee's restaurants.Mike Herndon, who owns seven local Burger King outlets, also was opposed to the idea.Defense attorneys Joseph St. Louis, Michael Bloom and Brick Storts all questioned the allocation of resources in these economic times and the legality of such a program.Bloom said he wasn't sure undercover deputies would have enough time to develop the "probable cause" needed to pull over drivers.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were the first ones to come up with the drive-through concept, Hanna said. He learned about their program, Operation WULF, while attending a MADD conference in Dallas.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Stallworth will be sentenced to 30 days in the Dade County Jail to be followed by:
2 years of community control (house arrest)
8 years of reporting probation with the following special conditions:
1. drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment if recommended
2. random drug testing
3. lifetime driver’s license suspension and no driving (editor’s note: after five years, Stallworth could be approved for driving for reasons like employment.)
4. $2,500 donation to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
5. $2,500 donation to “Parents of Murdered Children”
6. 1,000 hours of community service and all community service projects will
be performed with the input and consent of the State Attorney’s Office.
These may include Public Service Announcements and speaking
engagements with children about the danger and risks associated with
drugs, alcohol, and driving, and how this case has affected him.
7. Cost Recovery to the Miami Beach Police Department in the amount of
8. Cost Recovery to Miami-Dade Police Department in the amount of $813.14
9. Court Costs of $583.00
Every case that we prosecute, especially those that involve the death of a human being, is closely scrutinized to ensure that a fair and just resolution is reached for all parties,” said prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “We have specifically looked at the unique facts involved with this charge, Mr. Stallworth’s excellent pre-incident history of community service, abundant references that attest to his good character, his lack of any traffic violations or criminal convictions, his full and complete post-incident cooperation with law enforcement, and his willingness to accept complete responsibility for his actions.
“For all of these reasons, a just resolution of this case has been reached,” Ms. Rundle added. “The terms of the plea have been agreed upon between the State Attorney’s office and the police, and has been extended with the full endorsement and consent of the Reyes family, who believe that this plea and its timing are in the best interest of their 15-year-old daughter, the sole remaining child of Mario Reyes. Although no sentence can ever restore Mr. Reyes to his family, the provisions of this plea will provide closure to them and appropriate punishment for Mr. Stallworth’s conduct and the effects of his actions that night.
Obviously, this is a very good result for the defendant and I think most folks realize that they are different from Mr. Stallworth and will do whatever they can to avoid a similar tragedy.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
In 2008, police in Aurora, Kane County's most populous city, made almost 200 more drunken driving arrests than the previous year.
However, in unincorporated Kane County, DUI stops were down by almost half.
Why the difference? Time and people.
In an era that has DUI laws getting tougher, police becoming more vigilant and public-awareness campaigns ramping up the message that drunken drivers are losers, the disparity between the number of arrests by Aurora police and the Kane County sheriff's office is more about staffing than the importance of keeping roads safe.
To account for the drop in DUI arrests for his department, Sheriff Pat Perez points to deputies spending more time than ever on foreclosures and evictions, as well as his two top DUI deputies moving off the midnight shift.
"It's not just DUIs, but all our tickets issued," he said.
The sheriff's office went from 129 DUI arrests in 2007 to 75 last year. Through April, deputies recorded 27 DUI arrests, which is almost half the amount for the same time period in 2008. Targeted patrols for drunken drivers aren't possible because there are fewer officers available, Perez added.
"You still have to have the manpower to operate it correctly," he said.
St. Charles also saw a decrease in DUI stops, despite running the same number of extra patrols, police spokesman Paul McCurtain said.
"It seemed like they were harder to come by," he added.
Aurora police reported 420 DUI arrests in 2008, up from 223 in the prior year. That 88 percent jump was attributed to an overall department goal of reducing accidents, not grant-funded special details.
As a benefit of a reduced crime rate citywide, the department has been able to use special units to focus on DUI.
"Our hope is to increase DUI arrests by 5 percent in 2009," Ziman said.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Drunken drivers with the late-night munchies soon could get more than just a burger and fries at the drive-through window.The Pima County Sheriff's Department's new anti-drunken driving campaign — called Operation Would U Like Fries, or Operation WULF — hopes to put undercover deputies inside 24-hour fast-food restaurants to spot impaired drivers placing their orders, said Sgt. Doug Hanna, DUI unit supervisor.If deputies notice someone with any of the classic symptoms of impairment — slurred speech, red or watery eyes, beer breath — they will radio a uniformed deputy stationed just outside, Hanna said.The second deputy will then pull over the driver and, if field tests confirm what the officer at the drive-through suspected, arrest him or her for driving under the influence."The idea is to get them before they get back on the road," Hanna said.Bankrolling the intermittent program will be a $128,000 grant the Sheriff's Department received from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety for fiscal year 2008-2009, Hanna said. The grant also funds sobriety checkpoints and other anti-drunken driving programs.