Friday, June 30, 2023

Virginia Sheriff, Three Others Indicted on Federal Bribery Charges

Charlottesville, Virginia - Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Howard Jenkins and three other individuals have been indicted on federal charges of bribery, federal programs bribery, and honest services fraud. The indictment alleges a conspiracy in which Sheriff Jenkins accepted cash bribes and campaign contributions totaling at least $72,500 in exchange for law enforcement badges and credentials.

According to the unsealed indictment, Jenkins, along with Rick Tariq Rahim, Fredric Gumbinner, James Metcalf, and several others, including two undercover FBI agents, conspired to exchange bribes for appointments as auxiliary deputy sheriffs. In return for the bribes, Jenkins appointed each individual as an auxiliary deputy sheriff, providing them with Culpeper County Sheriff's Office badges and identification cards. Additionally, Jenkins falsely informed the bribe payors that the credentials authorized them to carry concealed firearms in all fifty states without obtaining a permit. The indictment further states that Jenkins aided Rahim in securing approval for a petition to restore his firearms rights by falsely stating Rahim's residence in Culpeper County.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh emphasized that Jenkins' actions not only violated federal law but also betrayed the trust placed in him by the citizens of Culpeper County. He stated, "Our elected officials are expected to uphold the rule of law, not abuse their power for their own personal, financial gain."

Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador of the FBI's Richmond Division echoed Kavanaugh's sentiments, highlighting the importance of law enforcement officers upholding the law and not abusing their entrusted powers. The FBI's Richmond Field Office, Charlottesville Resident Agency, is leading the investigation into the case.

Sheriff Jenkins faces charges of conspiracy, honest-services mail and wire fraud, and federal programs bribery. Rahim, Gumbinner, and Metcalf also face charges related to conspiracy, honest-services mail and wire fraud, and federal programs bribery.

If convicted, each defendant could face significant prison sentences. The maximum penalties include up to 5 years for conspiracy, up to 20 years for each count of honest-services mail and wire fraud, and up to 10 years for each count of federal programs bribery. The sentencing will be determined by a federal district court judge, considering various factors, including the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The defendants are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia for their initial court appearances.

The FBI's commitment to ensuring public trust and accountability in cases involving abuses of power was reiterated by the agency's Richmond Field Office. The trial will be prosecuted by Trial Attorney Celia Choy from the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, along with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Carlton and Melanie Smith from the Western District of Virginia.

It is important to note that an indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Justice Department Opens Application Period for Tribal Access Program, Enhancing Tribal Access to National Crime Information Databases

Great Falls, June 29, 2023 - The Justice Department has announced the commencement of the application period for federally recognized Tribes and intertribal consortia to participate in the Tribal Access Program (TAP) for National Crime Information. This program aims to improve public safety by granting Tribes the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for authorized criminal justice and non-criminal justice purposes.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland emphasized the importance of breaking down barriers to criminal justice information that Tribal communities have faced for years. By expanding their access to national crime databases through the Tribal Access Program, the Justice Department aims to enhance law enforcement efforts and coordination in Tribal communities.

The Tribal Access Program has already proven its effectiveness in strengthening Tribal criminal justice agencies. Participating Tribes have successfully shared critical information, such as missing persons reports, apprehended fugitives, registered sex offenders, and enforcement of protection orders. Moreover, the program has facilitated hundreds of entries into the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Indices database, preventing prohibited individuals from obtaining firearms illegally.

Through TAP, Tribes are provided with training, a web-based application, and biometric/biographic kiosk workstations for processing fingerprints, capturing mugshots, and submitting information to the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) systems. Currently, 123 federally recognized Tribes are participating in TAP, and the application period for new Tribes will run from July 3 to Sept. 1. The selection process will be completed in September, and successful Tribes will be notified accordingly.

Chief Chris Rutherford of the Poarch Creek Tribal Police expressed the value of the program, stating that it has provided their officers with cost-effective access to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system. This has significantly enhanced their operations, allowing them to access crucial information from patrol vehicles, desks, and the Emergency Tribal Dispatch Center.

For Tribes interested in applying, TAP staff will conduct informative webinars throughout July and August, explaining the program's capabilities and benefits. To access webinar dates, times, and further information about TAP, visit

The Justice Department offers TAP services through two methods: TAP-LIGHT, which provides full access to national crime information databases, and TAP-FULL, which includes a kiosk workstation for submitting and querying fingerprint-based transactions.

To be eligible for TAP, Tribes must have and agree to use the program for at least one of the following purposes: maintaining a Tribal sex offender registry, possessing a Tribal law enforcement agency with arrest powers, operating a Tribal court issuing orders of protection, or having a Tribal government agency responsible for screening foster care placements or investigating child abuse/neglect allegations.

Funding for TAP is provided by multiple offices within the Justice Department, including the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking; the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office on Violence Against Women. The program is co-managed by the Department's Office of the Chief Information Officer and Office of Tribal Justice, highlighting the commitment to supporting Tribal law enforcement and protecting Tribal communities.

10 Deadly Handgun Mistakes


  1. Never hold a handgun with your finger on the trigger unless you are ready to shoot.
  2. Avoid gripping the handgun with just your fingertips or loosely holding it, as it can lead to a loss of control.
  3. Do not place your hand in front of the muzzle or in line with the slide or cylinder when handling or inspecting the handgun.
  4. Avoid holding the handgun with your non-dominant hand too close to or in front of the muzzle, as it can be dangerous if the firearm discharges unexpectedly.
  5. Never use excessive force or a tight grip on the handgun, as it can affect your accuracy and may lead to jerking the trigger unintentionally.
  6. Avoid placing your finger inside the trigger guard unless you are ready to shoot, as this can result in an accidental discharge.
  7. Do not hold the handgun sideways or in any unconventional grip, as it compromises control and can lead to inaccurate shots.
  8. Avoid holding the handgun with your thumb resting on the slide or cylinder, as it can interfere with the proper functioning of the firearm.
  9. Do not hold the handgun with your supporting hand too high or too low on the grip, as it may affect your ability to control recoil and aim accurately.
  10. Avoid holding the handgun with your hand directly in front of the ejection port, as hot brass can be ejected and cause burns or distractions.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Situational Crime Prevention Theory: Enhancing Safety through Environmental Design

In the field of criminology, situational crime prevention theory has emerged as a powerful framework for understanding and preventing criminal behavior. Developed by Ronald V. Clarke and Marcus Felson, this theory focuses on altering the immediate environment to reduce opportunities for crime. By understanding the underlying principles of situational crime prevention, we can explore effective strategies for creating safer communities and deterring criminal activities.

Understanding Situational Crime Prevention Theory

Situational crime prevention theory challenges the traditional belief that crime is solely a result of individual motivations or societal factors. Instead, it emphasizes the role of immediate situational factors in creating opportunities for criminal behavior. The theory suggests that by altering the physical and social environment, the occurrence of crime can be minimized.

Key Principles of Situational Crime Prevention Theory

  1. Increasing Effort: Situational crime prevention aims to increase the effort required to commit a crime. By implementing measures that make criminal activities more difficult or time-consuming, potential offenders are deterred. Examples include installing security systems, reinforcing doors and windows, or placing obstacles that restrict access to valuable targets.

  2. Increasing Risks: The theory highlights the importance of increasing the perceived risks of being caught or identified. This can be achieved by implementing measures such as improved lighting, surveillance cameras, or employing security personnel. The presence of these measures signals to potential offenders that their actions are more likely to be observed and reported.

  3. Reducing Rewards: Situational crime prevention focuses on reducing the potential rewards or benefits of committing a crime. This can be accomplished by implementing strategies such as marking or tracking valuable items, securing valuable assets, or implementing effective inventory control measures. By diminishing the perceived value of targets, the incentive for criminals is reduced.

  4. Removing Provocations: The theory emphasizes the need to remove or reduce situational triggers that may provoke criminal behavior. This includes addressing factors such as disputes, conflicts, or high-risk situations that can escalate into criminal acts. Strategies may involve mediation, conflict resolution programs, or improving community relationships to defuse potential triggers.

  5. Removing Excuses: Situational crime prevention theory seeks to remove excuses that individuals may use to justify their criminal actions. This can be achieved by enhancing social controls, promoting a sense of collective responsibility, and establishing clear rules and expectations. By creating an environment that discourages or disapproves of criminal behavior, potential offenders are less likely to find excuses to engage in unlawful acts.

  6. Evaluating and Adapting Strategies: The theory encourages continuous evaluation and adaptation of situational crime prevention strategies. By monitoring the effectiveness of implemented measures and making necessary adjustments, communities can ensure the long-term success of their crime prevention efforts. This may involve analyzing crime patterns, gathering feedback from residents, and staying updated on emerging trends and techniques used by offenders.

Application of Situational Crime Prevention Theory

Situational crime prevention theory has been successfully applied in various settings, including residential areas, public spaces, and commercial establishments. Examples of its application range from the installation of surveillance cameras in parking lots to prevent vehicle theft to the implementation of environmental design principles in urban planning to create safer neighborhoods.

The theory's effectiveness lies in its focus on practical, tangible interventions that directly impact the situational context. By addressing specific factors that contribute to criminal opportunities, situational crime prevention offers a proactive and targeted approach to crime reduction.


Situational crime prevention theory offers valuable insights into the design and implementation of effective crime prevention strategies. By altering the situational context to increase effort, risks, and reduce rewards, communities can create environments that discourage criminal behavior and enhance safety.

However, it is important to acknowledge that situational crime prevention is just one piece of the larger crime prevention puzzle. Combining situational measures with social interventions, community engagement, and addressing underlying causes of crime is crucial for comprehensive and sustainable crime prevention efforts.

By adopting situational crime prevention strategies, communities can take proactive steps towards creating safer environments, fostering a sense of security, and empowering individuals to actively contribute to crime prevention.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Exploring Theories on Crime Deterrence: Understanding Strategies for a Safer Society

Crime deterrence has long been a subject of interest for scholars, policymakers, and law enforcement agencies. The quest for effective strategies to prevent crime and promote public safety has led to the development of various theories and approaches. In this article, we delve into some of the key theories on crime deterrence, examining their underlying principles and exploring their potential impact on reducing criminal behavior.

Rational Choice Theory

Rational choice theory posits that individuals engage in criminal behavior after weighing the potential benefits and costs of their actions. According to this theory, if the perceived benefits outweigh the potential risks or costs, individuals are more likely to commit a crime. To deter crime, this theory suggests that interventions should focus on increasing the perceived risks and costs associated with criminal behavior. Strategies such as increasing the likelihood of apprehension, implementing stricter punishments, and enhancing situational prevention measures align with rational choice theory.

Routine Activities Theory

Routine activities theory emphasizes the importance of the convergence of three elements for crime to occur: a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of capable guardianship. By addressing these elements, crime can be effectively deterred. This theory highlights the significance of creating environments where potential offenders face difficulties in finding suitable targets or encounter strong guardianship that prevents them from engaging in criminal activities. Community policing, neighborhood watch programs, and enhancing physical security measures align with routine activities theory.

Social Disorganization Theory

Social disorganization theory asserts that crime rates are influenced by social and environmental factors, such as poverty, residential instability, and community cohesion. According to this theory, crime thrives in neighborhoods with weak social ties and limited resources. Deterrence strategies based on social disorganization theory focus on improving community cohesion, promoting economic development, and enhancing access to social services and opportunities. Investments in education, community development programs, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives are key components of this approach.

General Deterrence Theory

General deterrence theory posits that the threat of punishment can deter individuals from engaging in criminal behavior. The belief is that when potential offenders witness the severe consequences faced by others for their criminal actions, they will be deterred from committing similar acts. General deterrence strategies involve publicizing successful law enforcement efforts, ensuring a swift and certain criminal justice system, and implementing visible and proportionate punishments. The goal is to create a perception of a high risk of getting caught and severe consequences for engaging in criminal behavior.

Specific Deterrence Theory

Specific deterrence theory focuses on deterring individuals who have already engaged in criminal behavior from reoffending. This theory assumes that the experience of punishment, such as imprisonment, can dissuade offenders from repeating criminal acts in the future. Specific deterrence strategies involve imposing appropriate sanctions, providing rehabilitation and reintegration programs, and offering support systems to prevent recidivism. The aim is to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior and provide individuals with opportunities for positive change.


While crime deterrence is a complex and multifaceted challenge, understanding the theories that underpin strategies can inform effective approaches to promote public safety. Rational choice theory, routine activities theory, social disorganization theory, general deterrence theory, and specific deterrence theory offer valuable insights into the factors that influence criminal behavior and the corresponding deterrence mechanisms.

Creating safer communities requires a comprehensive approach that combines elements of these theories, tailored to specific contexts and informed by empirical research. By implementing evidence-based strategies, fostering collaboration between law enforcement agencies, communities, and policymakers, and addressing the root causes of crime, society can work towards a future with reduced criminal behavior and enhanced public safety.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Vaping in the Weeds: The Merging of the E-cigarette and Cannabis Industries

Thursday, June 29, 2023 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern

Duration: 1 hour


The modern e-cigarette was developed for the vaping of nicotine. The nicotine e-cigarette device and associated e-liquids were federally unregulated until 2016. During that time, the device technology was co-opted by the cannabis industry to discreetly inhale THC. The legalization/decriminalization of cannabis state-by-state and the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill led to significant gaps in regulations and safety compliance which states are trying to close. The slow evolution of state regulations enabled the expansion of gray and black markets that have facilitated the rise of vaping products that are labeled improperly and inaccurately and promote the consumption of synthetic analogues like Delta-8 THC.  

This presentation will address the variety of vaping products sold without federal regulatory oversight that can contain potentially dangerous substances. Public health and public safety issues will be discussed in light of the challenges of analytical method development in the quickly evolving industry. Her presentation will also describe the nature of the merge of the e-cigarette and cannabis industries as well as cases of self-reported adverse events and the challenges of cannabis product analysis. 

Research presented within this webinar was funded by the National Institute of Justice (Award Numbers: 2014-R2-CX-K010, 2016-DN-BX-0150, 2018-75-CX-0036, and 2019-MU-MU-007). 

Detailed Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will be able to identify the different generations of e-cigarette devices and how they are used. 
  2. Attendees will be able to identify how unregulated cannabis vaping products contain chemicals that are unsafe to inhale. 
  3. Attendees will be able to identify how the unregulated cannabis industry has developed and promoted lab-created cannabinoids in vaping products. 


  • Michelle R. Peace, Ph.D. | Professor, Department of Forensic Science, Virginia Commonwealth University

Register for Webinar

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Illuminating the Connection: Masonic Symbols in Sherlock Holmes Stories and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Masonic Background

sherlock holmes and freemasonry

Sherlock Holmes, the brilliant detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, continues to captivate readers with his remarkable intellect and captivating mysteries. Delving deeper into the world of Sherlock Holmes reveals intriguing connections to Freemasonry, as both the stories themselves and Doyle's personal background intertwine with Masonic symbolism. In this article, we explore five examples of Masonic symbols found in select Sherlock Holmes stories, while also shedding light on Doyle's own involvement in Freemasonry, further enhancing our understanding of the detective's world.

  1. "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder": In this story, a Masonic Square and Compass symbol emerges as a pivotal clue in a murder investigation. Interestingly, Doyle himself was a Freemason, having been initiated into the fraternity in 1887. It is plausible to suggest that his own Masonic affiliation influenced the inclusion of Masonic symbols in his works, adding an air of authenticity and personal interest.

  2. "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League": Within this tale, the All-Seeing Eye, a powerful symbol associated with Freemasonry, is subtly referenced. Doyle's fascination with observation and acute attention to detail, mirrored in the character of Sherlock Holmes, aligns with the Masonic concept of the All-Seeing Eye as a metaphor for heightened perception and insight.

  3. "The Adventure of the Priory School": Pillars, embodying strength and wisdom, make an appearance in this story. Doyle's exploration of the Masonic pillars may reflect the principles of Freemasonry, emphasizing the importance of stability and knowledge in the face of adversity. This connection hints at Doyle's familiarity with Masonic symbolism and its integration into his storytelling.

  4. "The Adventure of the Mason's Apprentice": A lesser-known Holmes story, it revolves around a murder within the Freemasonry community. Doyle's own experiences as a Freemason likely informed the inclusion of the Masonic apron as a crucial clue in the narrative. The symbolism of purity and innocence associated with the apron aligns with the Masonic ideals that Doyle would have been familiar with.

  5. "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual": This iconic Holmes story features elements reminiscent of Masonic traditions, such as hidden passages and symbols etched into woodwork. Drawing upon the secretive nature of Freemasonry, Doyle weaves these symbols into the narrative, adding depth and intrigue. Given his personal connection to Freemasonry, Doyle's incorporation of these symbols reflects his appreciation for the mystique surrounding the fraternity.

Masonic symbols in select Sherlock Holmes stories, including "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder," "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League," "The Adventure of the Priory School," "The Adventure of the Mason's Apprentice," and "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual," offer readers a glimpse into the intricate connections between Freemasonry and the world of Sherlock Holmes. Furthermore, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's own Masonic background, having been a member of the fraternity, adds an additional layer of depth and authenticity to the inclusion of these symbols. By exploring the interplay between Masonic symbolism and Doyle's personal experiences, we gain a richer understanding of the mysteries and the detective who continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

The Code of Hammurabi: A Pillar of Ancient Justice and Its Enduring Impact

The Code of Hammurabi, one of the oldest known legal codes in human history, stands as a testament to the enduring quest for justice and order in society. Created by Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon, in the 18th century BCE, this ancient legal system laid the foundation for principles that continue to shape modern notions of justice and law. In this article, we explore the significance of the Code of Hammurabi and its impact on justice today.


Historical Context:

 Hammurabi ruled over ancient Mesopotamia, a region known for its rich cultural and societal developments. During his reign, Hammurabi sought to establish a comprehensive legal framework to govern his kingdom and ensure fairness in resolving disputes and maintaining social order. The resulting legal code, engraved on a massive stele, covered various aspects of life, including family law, property rights, commerce, and criminal offenses.

Key Principles: 

The Code of Hammurabi embodied several fundamental principles that were revolutionary for its time. One of its key tenets was the concept of lex talionis, or the law of retaliation, often expressed as "an eye for an eye." This principle aimed to establish proportionality in punishment, ensuring that the penalty for a crime corresponded to the severity of the offense committed.

Moreover, the Code of Hammurabi emphasized social hierarchy and the idea that justice should be applied based on an individual's status within society. It reflected a system in which punishments varied depending on whether the accused was a noble, a commoner, or a slave. While this hierarchical approach may seem outdated today, it laid the groundwork for the recognition of different degrees of culpability and the consideration of mitigating circumstances.

Enduring Legacy: 

Despite its ancient origins, the impact of the Code of Hammurabi on justice endures to this day. Its influence can be observed in various legal systems and principles worldwide. The emphasis on proportionality in punishment, for instance, remains a cornerstone of modern criminal justice systems, ensuring a balance between retribution and rehabilitation.

Additionally, the concept of codified laws, as exemplified by the Code of Hammurabi, has become a fundamental aspect of legal systems globally. The idea of written laws accessible to all fosters transparency, predictability, and consistency in the administration of justice, promoting societal trust and stability.

Furthermore, the Code of Hammurabi served as a precedent for the development of subsequent legal codes and influenced subsequent legal systems, including those of ancient Greece and Rome. Its impact can also be seen in the principles underlying modern legal principles such as due process, the presumption of innocence, and the rights of individuals.


he Code of Hammurabi, with its emphasis on proportionate punishment, codified laws, and the recognition of social hierarchies, holds a significant place in the history of justice. While some aspects of the code may seem archaic today, its enduring legacy can be seen in the principles that underpin modern legal systems. It serves as a testament to humanity's continuous pursuit of fairness, order, and the quest for justice across time and civilizations.

Friday, June 23, 2023

The Statue of Justice: Symbolizing Law, Order, and Equality

The Statue of Justice, with her blindfold, scales of justice, and sword, is an iconic representation of the principles upon which legal systems are built. Found in courtrooms, government buildings, and legal institutions around the world, this powerful symbol embodies the ideals of justice, fairness, and impartiality. In this article, we delve into the history of the Statue of Justice, exploring its origins, evolution, and enduring significance.


The origins of the Statue of Justice can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, where the concept of justice was revered. The Greeks personified justice as Themis, the goddess of divine law and order, while the Romans called her Justitia. These early depictions often portrayed her with a balance scale, symbolizing the weighing of evidence and the impartiality of judgment.

Evolution of the Symbol: 

During the Middle Ages, the image of Justice began to evolve, incorporating additional elements to convey the complexities of the legal system. The blindfold, symbolizing impartiality, suggests that justice should be blind to factors such as wealth, power, or social status. The sword, representing the power of the law to enforce decisions, was added to signify the authority to punish or protect.

One of the most famous renditions of the Statue of Justice is the one atop the Old Bailey in London. Designed by the sculptor Frederick William Pomeroy, it features a female figure holding a sword and scales, standing confidently and embodying the principles of justice.

Modern Depictions: 

In the modern era, the Statue of Justice has taken on various forms, adapting to different cultural and artistic expressions. The depictions often reflect the values and aspirations of the societies in which they are located.

The most well-known portrayal of Justice is the Lady Justice statue found in the United States. Often depicted wearing a toga or robes, she stands tall, her blindfold firmly in place, holding the scales of justice in one hand and a sword in the other. This image has become synonymous with the American legal system and is prominently displayed in courthouses and government buildings throughout the country.

Global Significance: 

Beyond its association with specific countries, the Statue of Justice holds universal significance. It transcends borders and cultures, representing a fundamental desire for fairness and equity in legal proceedings. It reminds us of the importance of due process, the rule of law, and the protection of individual rights.


The Statue of Justice stands as an enduring symbol of the principles upon which legal systems are built. From its ancient roots to modern interpretations, it encapsulates the ideals of fairness, impartiality, and the pursuit of truth. As a constant reminder of the need for justice in society, the statue serves as a powerful inspiration for those involved in the legal profession and a reminder of the core values that underpin our judicial systems worldwide.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Deadly Fentanyl: Agencies Sound the Alarm on Rising Threats

In Colorado, an alarming surge of potent and lethal substances is being seized at an unprecedented rate. Fentanyl, in various forms such as pills, powders, and even mixed with Xylazine, is causing a significant increase in drug poisonings and overdoses across the state.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Attorney's Office for Colorado, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Colorado State Patrol, and the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) are coming together to raise public awareness about these dangers. Their aim is to ensure that individuals understand the risks associated with these substances and can help spread the life-saving message: One Pill Can Kill.

Fentanyl remains the primary cause of drug-related deaths in Colorado, with a staggering 70% increase statewide in 2021. This highly addictive synthetic opioid is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, equivalent to the tip of a pencil, can be a potentially lethal dose. Disturbingly, the DEA has reported a significant rise in the circulation of potentially fatal pills within our communities.

Fentanyl not only masquerades as other medications like Oxycodone but can also be mistaken for heroin or cocaine in powder form. It has even been discovered in Colorado in the form of a nasal spray. There is growing concern over multi-colored fentanyl pills, often designed with popular logos like Tesla and TikTok, and the infamous Versace "designer pill" shaped like Medusa. These tactics are intended to attract a younger customer base, heightening the risk to vulnerable individuals.

Mexican cartels are primarily responsible for the influx of fentanyl in Colorado. To penetrate the market, these cartels adulterate other illicit substances such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine with fentanyl. However, a new concern arises as fentanyl is now being mixed with Xylazine. While Xylazine is a non-opiate sedative and muscle relaxant exclusively authorized for veterinary use in the United States, it has been linked to overdose deaths nationwide. In 2022, approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained Xylazine. As of 2023, an increasing number of fentanyl pills analyzed by the CBI contain this dangerous combination. Since Xylazine is not an opioid, Naloxone, a drug commonly used to reverse opioid overdoses, may not effectively counteract its effects. This development makes the already-deadly fentanyl even more lethal.

DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge David Olesky emphasized, "Fentanyl is the most urgent drug threat facing our communities, and the cartels pose one of our greatest security threats. The DEA Rocky Mountain Division has already removed nearly one million deadly doses of fentanyl pills from our communities this year, and we show no signs of slowing down. We are committed to holding the cartels accountable for the devastating impact they have had on our communities. We deeply appreciate the collaboration of our local, state, and federal partners in this crucial mission."

Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek of the FBI Denver stressed the need to combat fentanyl-related deaths, stating, "Fentanyl in all its forms and variations is killing our children, families, and neighbors. Disrupting drug trafficking organizations remains a top priority for FBI Denver. We will use every available tool to pursue those responsible and raise awareness to halt fentanyl-related deaths and the suffering it brings to communities."

U.S. Attorney for Colorado Cole Finegan warned, "Fentanyl is deadly, and we are witnessing new combinations of drugs mixed with fentanyl that make it even more dangerous. Unless a drug comes from a licensed pharmacist, don't take it—your life depends on it."

Keith Weis, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain HIDTA, expressed deep concern over the escalating supply of deadly fentanyl at historically low prices, fueling the illicit drug trade in Colorado communities. Weis stated, "Seizure amounts are rapidly approaching last year's figures. In fact, our Colorado State Troopers have recently witnessed a resurgence of fentanyl and other illicit narcotics on our roadways. These dangerous shipments are destined for our communities in Colorado. The cartels and drug traffickers haven't weakened their grip on those who are addicted or experimenting with narcotics. Likewise, we remain committed to intercepting every trafficker and preventing every load from reaching its destination."

The FBI is closely monitoring the emergence of N-Pyrrolidino Etonitazene, commonly known as Pyro, a synthetic opioid detected in the metro Denver area.

In light of these alarming developments, the DEA, FBI, USAO, CBI, CSP, and HIDTA strongly urge individuals to use only prescription medications prescribed by a doctor and obtained from legitimate pharmacies within the United States. It is crucial to recognize that legitimate pharmaceutical medications cannot be legally purchased through social media platforms.

While local, state, and federal agencies continue their efforts to combat illegal drug trafficking in Colorado, they acknowledge the ongoing concerns of mental health and addiction within our communities. Recovery and prevention partners, along with community leaders, friends, and caregivers, are encouraged to join forces in spreading public awareness. Valuable information and free resources can be found at the One Pill Can Kill Public Awareness Campaign website: Together, we can make a difference in the fight against this deadly threat. #StopFentanyl #DrugSafety #CommunityAwareness

Unveiling the Colorful Evolution: A Journey through the History of Slang Terms for Police Officers

Throughout history, law enforcement officers have been referred to by various slang terms that capture the essence of their role, authority, and sometimes even the public sentiment towards them. These colloquial expressions provide a fascinating insight into the ever-evolving relationship between police and society. From the early days of law enforcement to the present, let us take a captivating journey through the history of slang terms for police officers.

The origins of slang terms for police officers can be traced back to the early 19th century. During this time, the term "coppers" emerged in England, referencing the copper buttons typically found on the uniforms of the Metropolitan Police. This moniker quickly gained popularity and became synonymous with law enforcement officers. It is believed that "coppers" eventually evolved into "cops," a term still widely used today.

Moving across the Atlantic, the United States developed its own unique lexicon for describing police officers. In the mid-19th century, the term "bobbies" was often used in reference to British police officers.

However, as law enforcement agencies in the U.S. became more established, distinct American slang terms emerged. One notable example is "bull," which originated in the late 19th century and is thought to have derived from the bullwhip, symbolizing authority and control.

As the 20th century dawned, new slang terms continued to emerge, reflecting the cultural and social changes of the time. In the Prohibition era of the 1920s, when the illegal production and sale of alcohol thrived, police officers combating bootlegging and speakeasies were often referred to as "g-men" or "gumshoes." These terms conveyed a sense of secrecy and intrigue associated with the efforts to enforce the law during that period.

The 1960s and 1970s witnessed a period of significant social and political unrest, which gave rise to new slang terms for police officers. In response to public protests and clashes with law enforcement during the civil rights movement and anti-war demonstrations, terms like "pigs" and "fuzz" gained popularity among those critical of police actions. These derogatory terms reflected a growing mistrust and dissatisfaction with the authorities.

In recent decades, the slang terms for police officers have become more diverse and nuanced. Expressions like "the boys in blue," "the heat," and "the 5-0" have become commonplace, each conveying a distinct perspective on law enforcement. Some terms, such as "the fuzz," have even seen a shift in usage, from a derogatory term to one adopted with a sense of humor or nostalgia.

The evolution of slang terms for police officers not only reflects the changing dynamics between law enforcement and society but also provides a glimpse into the linguistic and cultural shifts of each era. These expressions can be seen as a form of social commentary, capturing the public's perception of authority and power.

Today, with the advent of social media and rapid communication, new slang terms for police officers can quickly emerge and spread. The internet has given rise to terms like "the po-po," "the rozzers," and "the 12," each representing a unique linguistic snapshot of the digital age.

As we navigate the complex relationship between law enforcement and society, it is important to recognize the power of language in shaping our perceptions. Slang terms for police officers offer a window into the ever-changing dialogue surrounding law enforcement, reminding us of the deep-rooted connection between language, culture, and social dynamics.

Whether embraced, criticized, or reappropriated, these colorful expressions continue to shape the narrative of law enforcement in our collective consciousness. From "coppers" to "cops," "bulls"to "the boys in blue," the rich tapestry of slang terms for police officers reflects the ongoing evolution of society and the complex relationship we have with those entrusted to uphold the law.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

FBI Honors "From Silenced to Saved" for Outstanding Contributions to Human Trafficking Victims

Denver, CO - The FBI Denver field office hosted a special ceremony to honor Jenelle Goodrich and her organization, From Silenced to Saved, as the recipient of the prestigious 2022 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award. This recognition celebrates Goodrich's exceptional work in supporting recovered victims of human trafficking in Colorado.

FBI Denver nominated Goodrich for the award based on From Silenced to Saved's remarkable contributions to the community. As a third-party case management organization, they play a vital role in assisting the FBI and other government agencies in domestic sex-trafficking investigations. Goodrich and her team are dedicated to providing essential services to help rehabilitate and empower recovered victims.

Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek expressed his admiration for Goodrich and her organization's commitment to assisting recovered victims. He highlighted their collaboration with community partners to bridge the gap between law enforcement and support services. "We are proud to partner with From Silenced to Saved and congratulate them on receiving this well-deserved recognition," said Special Agent Michalek.

In the Denver metropolitan area, the FBI's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force collaborates with federal, state, and local partners to investigate human trafficking cases and rescue victims. From Silenced to Saved is the only non-governmental organization that works closely with the task force members and victim specialists. They provide on-scene assistance during national operations, offering emergency services such as transportation, lodging, food, and clothing to those in need.

The efforts of From Silenced to Saved not only empower victims to seek justice but also exemplify the power of collaboration in combating human trafficking. Their work is instrumental in raising awareness, providing support, and ensuring the safety of vulnerable individuals.

Established in 1990, the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award (DCLA) recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to crime prevention and community safety. Each year, field offices select recipients on behalf of the FBI Director to honor their remarkable support.

FBI Director Christopher Wray commended the 2022 DCLA winners during a ceremony held at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He emphasized the significance of partnerships in safeguarding communities. Director Wray acknowledged that the recipients, like the dedicated employees of the FBI, carry out their work not for personal gain but out of kindness and compassion for others.

The FBI Denver field office extends its gratitude to Jenelle Goodrich and From Silenced to Saved for their invaluable contributions in Colorado. They are wished continued success in their mission to make a positive difference in the lives of human trafficking victims.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Former St. Albans Auxiliary Police Officer Convicted of Child Pornography Crimes

Charleston, W.Va. - In a significant legal development, a federal jury has found Billy J. Griffith, 57, of St. Albans, guilty of receipt of child pornography and possession of prepubescent child pornography. The verdict came after a two-day trial conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of West Virginia.

The trial presented evidence that on August 24, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Griffith's Baier Street residence. The warrant was obtained after tracing an Internet Protocol (IP) address that had been linked to the downloading of multiple digital media files containing child pornography. Notably, Griffith served as an auxiliary officer with the St. Albans Police Department and worked as an exterminator, while his wife operated a child daycare at the same location.

During the search, officers seized several electronic devices, including an external hard drive, a desktop computer, a laptop computer, and a cell phone, all belonging to Griffith. He acknowledged that he had sole access to these devices through password protections. Forensic analysis conducted on the seized devices revealed over 3,000 images and video files of child pornography.

Griffith is scheduled to be sentenced on September 7, 2023. He could face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, along with five years to a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Additionally, Griffith will be required to register as a sex offender.

The prosecution of this case is led by United States Attorney Will Thompson and Assistant United States Attorney Julie M. White.

Expressing appreciation for the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement partners, U.S. Attorney Thompson emphasized the significance of prioritizing cases involving child exploitation. He stated, "My involvement in this trial should show the high priority the office places on cases involving children."

The jury trial was presided over by United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

This prosecution is part of Project Safe Childhood, an initiative led by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse on a nationwide scale. The project utilizes federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals involved in the sexual exploitation of children and to rescue victims

Convicted Sexual Predator, Mexican National Arrested by ERO Chicago Following Escape from Local Custody

Multi-Day Manhunt Ends with Apprehension of Dangerous Offender

CHICAGO - After days of intensive searching, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago deportation officers have successfully apprehended a Mexican man who had escaped custody after being convicted of sexually assaulting a child in Illinois. The arrest took place on June 2, bringing an end to the manhunt that gripped the local community.

The individual in question is an unlawfully present Mexican national who was convicted in April 2019 by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. He had received a six-year sentence from the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC). However, in April, he was granted parole with the condition of completing his sentence under electronic monitoring.

Under the terms of his parole, the man was required to register as a sex offender in Illinois, reside in a halfway house, and be actively monitored by state parole officers. However, on May 30, he removed his electronic ankle monitor and went on the run. Following his failure to return to his mandated address, the Illinois DOC issued a warrant for his arrest.

The manhunt, which lasted several days, came to a successful conclusion on June 2 when ERO deportation officers, working in collaboration with the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and the Chicago ERO Fugitive Operations Team, apprehended the fugitive during a targeted enforcement operation.

"Partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies is a crucial aspect of protecting the children in this community," emphasized acting Field Office Director for ERO Chicago, Ladeon Francis. "We, and our law enforcement partners, work tirelessly each day to remove unlawfully present predators from our streets, but we need the public's help. It's important to note that with a proactive public who report their suspicions to law enforcement, together, we will increase public safety."

The custody of the fugitive was transferred to the United States Marshals Service, who subsequently returned him to the Illinois DOC. The convicted child predator will now continue serving his sentence under the jurisdiction of the Illinois DOC. ERO lodged an immigration detainer with the DOC on June 2.

As part of its mission to identify and arrest removable noncitizens, ERO places immigration detainers on individuals arrested for criminal activities and taken into custody by state or local law enforcement. An immigration detainer is a request from ICE to state or local law enforcement agencies, urging them to notify ICE before the release of a removable noncitizen. Detainers allow ERO to assume custody for removal purposes in accordance with federal law, with the request typically extending the noncitizen's custody for up to 48 hours beyond their scheduled release.

ERO Chicago, as one of ICE's operational directorates, serves as the principal federal law enforcement authority responsible for domestic immigration enforcement. Its mission is to safeguard the homeland by apprehending and removing individuals who pose a threat to U.S. communities and the integrity of immigration laws. The directorate focuses on interior enforcement operations, management of detained and non-detained populations, and the repatriation of noncitizens with final orders of removal. ERO's dedicated workforce comprises over 7,700 law enforcement and support personnel stationed across 25 domestic field offices, 208 locations nationwide, and 30 overseas postings, with additional temporary assignments along the border.

Individuals wishing to report suspicious or criminal activity can contact the ICE Tip Line by dialing 866-347-2423 from the United States and Canada.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Unveiling the Spectrum of Crimes Perpetrated by Organized Crime Syndicates

Organized crime has long been a menacing force that thrives on illegal activities, power structures, and financial gain. These criminal enterprises operate with a high level of sophistication and coordination, engaging in a wide range of illicit activities that pose a significant threat to society. This article aims to shed light on the types of crimes commonly committed by members of organized crime, revealing the depth and diversity of their illegal endeavors.

Drug Trafficking:

One of the primary revenue streams for organized crime is drug trafficking. These criminal networks play a major role in the production, transportation, and distribution of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and synthetic drugs. They exploit the global demand for narcotics, infiltrating legitimate businesses and employing complex networks to smuggle and distribute drugs across borders.

Money Laundering:

Organized crime syndicates generate enormous profits from their illicit activities, and they employ various methods to launder their ill-gotten gains. Money laundering involves disguising the illegal origins of funds through a series of transactions or activities, making it appear as legitimate income. This allows criminals to integrate their illicit funds into the legal economy, obscuring the money trail and facilitating further criminal activities.

Extortion and Protection Rackets:

Extortion is a common tactic employed by organized crime groups to generate income and maintain control. They target individuals, businesses, and even public officials, demanding protection payments in exchange for avoiding harm or securing business operations. These criminal syndicates use violence, intimidation, and the threat of harm to compel victims to comply with their demands, instilling fear and exerting control over specific territories.

Human Trafficking:

Organized crime is heavily involved in the lucrative and despicable crime of human trafficking. These criminal networks exploit vulnerable individuals, subjecting them to forced labor, sexual exploitation, or other forms of modern-day slavery. They profit from the trafficking of men, women, and children across international borders, often through deception, coercion, and violence.


As technology continues to advance, so does the involvement of organized crime in cybercrime. These criminal networks employ skilled hackers, programmers, and fraudsters to orchestrate various cyber-enabled crimes. These may include identity theft, financial fraud, ransomware attacks, hacking into corporate systems, and trafficking stolen personal and financial information on the dark web.

Counterfeiting and Intellectual Property Theft:

Organized crime syndicates engage in counterfeiting, producing counterfeit currency, luxury goods, and pharmaceuticals. They also play a significant role in intellectual property theft, pirating copyrighted material, such as movies, music, software, and designer products. This illicit trade undermines legitimate businesses, damages economies, and poses significant risks to consumer safety.

Arms Trafficking:

Organized crime groups are involved in arms trafficking, supplying weapons to various criminal networks, terrorists, and insurgent groups. They exploit global arms markets, utilizing smuggling routes to traffic firearms, explosives, and military-grade equipment. This illicit trade fuels violence, contributes to armed conflicts, and poses a threat to national security.


The spectrum of crimes committed by members of organized crime is vast and far-reaching. From drug trafficking and money laundering to human trafficking and cybercrime, these criminal syndicates exploit various avenues to amass wealth and power. Understanding the types of crimes perpetrated by organized crime is crucial for law enforcement agencies, policymakers, and society at large to effectively combat these criminal enterprises. By targeting their illicit activities, disrupting their financial networks, and promoting international cooperation, we can strive towards dismantling these criminal organizations and creating safer communities for all.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Understanding Crime Data: Exploring the UCR and NIBRS Systems

Crime data collection plays a crucial role in understanding and addressing criminal activities in society. Two significant systems that aid in this process are the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). While the UCR system has long been the standard, the emergence of NIBRS has brought about advancements in data granularity, accuracy, and coverage. This article aims to provide an overview of both systems and highlight their respective strengths in revolutionizing crime data collection and analysis.

UCR System:

The UCR system, established by the FBI in the 1920s, has been a foundational tool for law enforcement agencies and researchers to measure and track crime rates across the United States. It utilizes summary-based reporting, collecting data on the number of reported crimes, arrests, and other essential factors. The UCR system categorizes crimes into two main groups: Part I offenses (including violent crimes like homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault) and Part II offenses (such as fraud, drug offenses, and simple assault). It provides valuable insights into overall crime trends and facilitates comparisons at national, state, and local levels.

NIBRS System:

In response to the limitations of the UCR system, the NIBRS was introduced as an enhanced method of crime data collection. NIBRS takes a more detailed and comprehensive approach, capturing a wide range of information about each incident. It includes victim and offender demographics, incident location details, relationships between individuals involved, weapons used, drug types, and even the involvement of law enforcement officers. By providing greater granularity and contextual information, NIBRS enables law enforcement agencies and researchers to analyze crime data more effectively, identify patterns, and develop targeted strategies.

Advantages of NIBRS:

  1. Enhanced Data Granularity: NIBRS offers a more detailed account of criminal incidents, allowing for deeper analysis and understanding of crime characteristics, circumstances, and relationships.

  2. Improved Accuracy and Comparability: With standardized reporting formats, NIBRS ensures data consistency across participating agencies, resulting in more accurate and comparable crime statistics.

  3. Expanded Offense Coverage: NIBRS includes additional crime categories, such as human trafficking, identity theft, and animal cruelty, providing a comprehensive view of the evolving criminal landscape.

  4. Enhanced Data Quality: NIBRS incorporates data validation measures, reducing errors and improving the overall quality and reliability of reported information.

Transition Challenges and Long-Term Benefits:

The transition from the UCR system to NIBRS presents challenges for agencies, requiring investments in technology, training, and data management systems. However, the long-term benefits outweigh these challenges. As more agencies adopt NIBRS, the availability of standardized, detailed, and high-quality crime data will increase, enabling more robust analysis and a deeper understanding of crime patterns, prevention strategies, and the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts.


The UCR and NIBRS systems are instrumental in providing valuable insights into crime trends and patterns. While the UCR system has been a staple in crime data collection, the NIBRS system introduces advancements in data granularity, accuracy, and expanded offense coverage. By embracing both systems, law enforcement agencies, policymakers, and researchers can leverage the strengths of each to enhance their understanding of crime, develop effective strategies, and work towards building safer communities. Through continuous improvements in crime data collection and analysis, we can foster evidence-based decision-making, promote public safety, and combat criminal activities effectively.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Unraveling the World of Cyber Crime: Types, History, Scope, and Prevention

In the digital age, cyber crime has emerged as a significant threat, encompassing a wide range of criminal activities committed through cyberspace. This article aims to define and explore the various aspects of cyber crime, including its types, historical context, scope, and preventive measures. Understanding the nature of cyber crime is crucial for individuals, organizations, and governments to effectively combat this growing menace and safeguard digital environments.

Defining Cyber Crime:

Cyber crime refers to criminal activities conducted through digital technologies and the internet. It involves unauthorized access, manipulation, or destruction of data, networks, or computer systems, with the intention of causing harm, financial loss, or disruption. Cyber criminals employ various techniques, such as hacking, phishing, malware, identity theft, and online fraud, to exploit vulnerabilities and target individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure.

Exploring Types of Cyber Crime:

  1. Hacking and Unauthorized Access: The act of gaining unauthorized access to computer systems or networks to extract sensitive information, disrupt services, or carry out malicious activities.

  2. Phishing and Social Engineering: Deceptive techniques that trick individuals into revealing personal information or credentials through fraudulent emails, websites, or communications, allowing cyber criminals to exploit their identities or financial resources.

  3. Malware and Ransomware Attacks: The use of malicious software to infect systems, encrypt data, and demand ransom payments in exchange for restoring access or preventing the release of sensitive information.

  4. Identity Theft and Fraud: The illegal acquisition and use of another person's personal information, such as credit card details or social security numbers, for financial gain or fraudulent activities.

  5. Online Scams and Fraud: Various fraudulent schemes, including fake online marketplaces, pyramid schemes, advance-fee fraud, and investment scams, designed to deceive individuals and extract money or valuable assets.

  6. Cyberbullying and Harassment: The use of digital platforms to intimidate, threaten, or harass individuals through online communication channels, social media, or other means.

  7. Data Breaches and Privacy Violations: Unauthorized access or disclosure of sensitive information, often due to security vulnerabilities or inadequate data protection measures, leading to the compromise of personal or corporate data.

Historical Context and Scope:

Cyber crime has evolved alongside advancements in technology, with incidents dating back to the early days of computer networks. Over time, the scope and complexity of cyber crime have expanded exponentially, impacting individuals, businesses, governments, and critical infrastructure worldwide. The rapid growth of interconnected systems, the proliferation of digital devices, and the increasing reliance on online platforms have provided cyber criminals with greater opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities and carry out their illicit activities.

Prevention and Mitigation:

Preventing and mitigating cyber crime requires a multi-faceted approach involving individuals, organizations, and governments. Key preventive measures include:

  1. Awareness and Education: Promoting digital literacy, cybersecurity awareness, and best practices among individuals and organizations to enhance their ability to recognize and respond to cyber threats.

  2. Strong Cybersecurity Measures: Implementing robust security protocols, including firewalls, encryption, secure authentication, and regular software updates, to safeguard systems and networks against cyber attacks.

  3. Risk Assessment and Incident Response: Conducting regular risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities, developing incident response plans, and establishing effective mechanisms for detecting, containing, and mitigating cyber threats.

  4. Collaboration and Information Sharing: Facilitating collaboration among stakeholders, including public-private partnerships, sharing threat intelligence, and promoting information exchange to enhance collective cyber defense.

  5. Legal Framework and Law Enforcement: Strengthening legislation and law enforcement efforts to deter cyber criminals, prosecute offenders, and ensure international cooperation in investigating and prosecuting cyber crime.


Cyber crime continues to pose significant challenges in the digital landscape, affecting individuals, organizations, and societies at large. By understanding the various types of cyber crime, its historical context, and the scope of its impact, we can develop proactive strategies to prevent and combat these threats. Through collective efforts, including technological advancements, awareness campaigns, and robust cybersecurity measures, we can build a safer and more secure digital environment for all.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Reveals Civil Rights Violations by Minneapolis Police Department

Minneapolis, MN - In a press conference held on Friday, June 16, 2023, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, alongside other key officials, announced the findings of the Justice Department's investigation into civil rights violations committed by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and the City of Minneapolis. The investigation stemmed from the tragic death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and subsequent protests against police brutality.

Attorney General Garland expressed the profound impact of George Floyd's death, stating that it has had a lasting effect on the Minneapolis community, the nation, and the world. He emphasized that George Floyd should be alive today, underscoring the need for justice and reform within law enforcement agencies.

The Justice Department's investigation focused on determining whether the MPD and the City of Minneapolis engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional and unlawful policing. The investigation covered a comprehensive review of the MPD's policies, training, supervision, and use-of-force investigations.

The findings revealed a series of troubling patterns and practices within the MPD and the City of Minneapolis that violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution, as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Safe Streets Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The key findings of the investigation include:

  1. Excessive Use of Force: The MPD routinely uses excessive force, including deadly force and unjust use of tasers, even in situations where no force is necessary. Instances were documented where officers discharged firearms without assessing the level of threat presented.

  2. Discrimination: The MPD unlawfully discriminates against Black and Native American individuals in its enforcement activities, particularly in the use of force following stops. Data analysis revealed disproportionate rates of stops, searches, and use of force against these communities.

  3. Violation of Rights: The MPD violates the rights of individuals engaged in protected speech, including retaliatory actions against protesters and members of the press. Incidents were documented where journalists were targeted and physically assaulted by officers.

  4. Response to Behavioral Health Disabilities: The MPD and the city discriminate against individuals with behavioral health disabilities when responding to calls for assistance. Specific instances were identified where the response to individuals in crisis failed to respect their rights and needs.

Attorney General Garland acknowledged that while there were MPD officers who carried out their duties with professionalism, courage, and respect, the identified patterns and practices contributed to the circumstances that led to George Floyd's death.

The Justice Department recommended 28 remedial measures to address these systemic issues and improve public safety while rebuilding trust within the community. Notably, the City of Minneapolis and the MPD have agreed in principle to negotiate a consent decree with an independent monitor, indicating a shared commitment to addressing these deep-seated challenges.

Attorney General Garland expressed gratitude to the city and MPD leaders for their dedication to tackling these issues head-on. He also extended appreciation to the community members, religious leaders, advocates, and families who shared their experiences and contributed to the investigation.

The next steps involve working collaboratively with the city and MPD to achieve meaningful and enduring reform. This investigation marks the beginning of a journey towards a more just and equitable policing system in Minneapolis.

The press conference concluded with Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta taking the floor to further discuss the findings and the path forward.

As the nation continues to grapple with issues of police misconduct and the need for police reform, this investigation serves as a reminder of the ongoing work required to ensure equal justice under the law and protect the civil rights of all individuals.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

U.S. Marine and Second Man Arrested for Firebombing Planned Parenthood Clinic in Orange County

 Santa Ana, California - Two individuals from Orange County, Tibet Ergul and Chance Brannon, were arrested today by special agents from the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service on federal charges related to the firebombing of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Costa Mesa. Ergul, 21, hailing from Irvine, and Brannon, 23, an active-duty Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton from San Juan Capistrano, were taken into custody without incident.

The arrests follow a joint investigation by local and federal law enforcement agencies into the March 13, 2022 incident, during which Ergul and Brannon allegedly used a Molotov cocktail to attack the clinic. The criminal complaint charges both defendants with using an explosive or fire to damage real property affecting interstate commerce. They are scheduled to appear in the United States District Court in Santa Ana later today.

United States Attorney Martin Estrada emphasized the seriousness of the attack, stating, "My office takes very seriously this brazen attack that targeted a facility that provides critical health care services to thousands of people in Orange County." Estrada further highlighted the fortunate absence of physical harm and the prompt response of responders that prevented the destruction of the clinic, condemning the defendants' violent actions as entirely unacceptable.

Donald Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that the act of launching an improvised explosive device into a public facility endangered lives and will not be tolerated. Alway commended the joint efforts of local and federal law enforcement that led to today's arrests, underscoring the commitment to hold accountable those who deliberately endanger the community.

According to the complaint, Ergul and Brannon carried out the attack in the early morning hours, igniting and throwing a Molotov cocktail at the clinic entrance. As a result, the Planned Parenthood Costa Mesa healthcare clinic was compelled to close the following day, resulting in the cancellation of approximately 30 appointments.

Security footage detailed in the affidavit captured two individuals wearing hooded sweatshirts and face masks approaching the Planned Parenthood facility around 1 a.m. on the day of the attack. The video shows them igniting a device and hurling it at the front door of the building. The complaint describes how the device landed against a southern wall, next to the glass door, and erupted into a fire that spread up the wall and across the ceiling above the entrance.

Authorities from the Costa Mesa Police Department and Fire Department swiftly responded to the scene, extinguishing the fire. Analysis of evidence collected at the site revealed that the glass container and other materials contained gasoline.

While a criminal complaint contains allegations, it is important to note that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The charge of using an explosive or fire to damage real property affecting interstate commerce carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, with substantial assistance provided by the Costa Mesa Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Kathrynne Seiden of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section will handle the prosecution of this case.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco addresses the Southbound Firearms Trafficking Coordination Meeting, emphasizes collaboration in combating gun violence

 Washington, DC - In a gathering of law enforcement officials and government representatives, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco delivered a powerful speech at the Southbound Firearms Trafficking Coordination Meeting on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. The event, hosted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), focused on the shared mission of safeguarding the American people and disrupting illegal firearms trafficking networks.

Expressing her gratitude to the ATF and its dedicated workforce, Deputy Attorney General Monaco acknowledged the commitment of all attendees towards combatting the epidemic of gun violence that has deeply affected communities across the nation. Notable figures present at the meeting included Deputy Secretary John Tien, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Josh Geltzer, and Ambassador Ken Salazar.

Deputy Attorney General Monaco stressed the importance of a united and comprehensive approach to address the magnitude of gun and drug trafficking networks that pose a significant threat. She highlighted the ATF's efforts to prevent the trafficking of illegal firearms within the United States, particularly emphasizing the alarming rise of "ghost guns" that have exacerbated the problem.

Of particular concern is the trafficking of firearms from the United States into Mexico, which significantly contributes to violence and instability in the region. Deputy Attorney General Monaco underscored the devastating consequences of these weapons falling into the hands of drug cartels, leading to intimidation, challenges to state authority, and an expansion of the deadly drug trade back into the United States. She also paid tribute to the bravery of Mexican security forces in their pursuit of justice.

The Department of Justice has taken significant steps to combat this pressing challenge. Deputy Attorney General Monaco outlined four key initiatives aimed at tackling firearms trafficking. First, through Operation Southbound, a joint effort with Mexican law enforcement partners, the DOJ has increased operations to disrupt the trafficking of firearms from the U.S. to Mexico. This collaborative approach has yielded positive results, with a substantial increase in firearm seizures and ammunition recovery.

Secondly, in partnership with the Government of Mexico, the DOJ has expanded access to the ATF's eTrace system, enabling Mexican law enforcement to track crime guns swiftly and identify their origin and purchaser. The utilization of this system has proven effective, leading to successful traces on a significant number of firearms.

Additionally, the Department of Justice established a new cartel weapons trafficking group, led by U.S. Attorneys, along the Southwest border. This strategic initiative has taken decisive action against firearm-trafficking networks, contributing to the disruption of criminal operations.

Lastly, the DOJ has utilized new criminal authorities provided by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to hold firearms traffickers accountable. Over 100 defendants have already been charged with violations of these provisions, and the firearms-trafficking offense has seen substantial progress, particularly in border-state U.S. Attorneys' Offices.

Deputy Attorney General Monaco highlighted notable investigations and prosecutions resulting from these initiatives, exemplifying the fruitful collaboration between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement. Notable cases include the arrest of Michel Bacasegua-Barriga, the alleged leader of a transnational firearms trafficking group, and the prosecution of Roberto Lugardo Moreno Jr., who straw-purchased a firearm in Texas linked to a high-profile kidnapping and murder in Matamoros.

Deputy Attorney General Monaco urged attendees to redouble their efforts in combating firearms trafficking by emphasizing data-driven approaches, maintaining momentum during the summer months, and strengthening cooperation with Mexican partners. She also revealed plans to work closely with a newly established unit in Mexico focused on firearms trafficking, with the aim of enhancing information sharing and tracing seized firearms back to their source in the United States.

The upcoming U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue was highlighted as an opportunity for senior officials from both countries to prioritize shared security interests, including combating firearms trafficking.

In conclusion, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco expressed her gratitude to all attendees for their unwavering dedication to combating violent gun trafficking networks. She expressed confidence in their leadership and underscored the vital importance of their work in keeping communities safe.

The Southbound Firearms Trafficking Coordination Meeting served as a testament to the commitment and collaboration necessary to address the pressing issue of firearms trafficking and protect the safety and well-being of the American people.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

From Shire Reeve to Modern Sheriff: The Evolution of Law Enforcement

The role of the sheriff, known historically as the shire reeve, has undergone a remarkable transformation over the centuries. Originating in Anglo-Saxon England, the shire reeve was entrusted with maintaining law and order within a shire. Through historical and institutional changes, the position evolved to become the modern sheriff we recognize today. This article explores the development of the shire reeve and traces the path to the current role of the sheriff.

Anglo-Saxon Origins

The roots of the sheriff can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon period, when the shire reeve was appointed by the king to uphold law and order in a shire. Their responsibilities included tax collection, law enforcement, and ensuring the king's peace. As royal representatives, they played a vital role in governing local communities.

Norman Influence

Following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the concept of a centralized government emerged. The Normans appointed sheriffs as royal representatives, expanding their role beyond the shire level. Sheriffs became responsible for managing local affairs, dispensing justice, and collecting revenues for the crown. This shift reflected the evolving nature of governance under Norman rule.

Evolution of Local Government

Over time, the sheriff's role became more localized as local government structures developed. By the 12th century, the sheriff's authority focused within a county. They were responsible for law enforcement, maintaining peace, and overseeing jails. As the primary law enforcement figure in their jurisdiction, sheriffs played a crucial role in upholding justice and order.

Judicial Functions

During the medieval period, the responsibilities of the sheriff expanded to include judicial functions. Sheriffs presided over local courts, ensuring the fair administration of justice. They executed court judgments and carried out punishments, reinforcing their role as key figures in the legal system. The combination of law enforcement and judicial duties demonstrated the multifaceted nature of the sheriff's position.

Growth of Policing

The emergence of professional policing in the 18th and 19th centuries brought about significant changes to the role of the sheriff. Centralized police forces were established in urban areas, diminishing the sheriff's law enforcement responsibilities primarily to rural regions. The Industrial Revolution and urbanization further transformed the landscape of law enforcement, necessitating the specialization of policing functions.

Modern Sheriff

In many countries, including the United States, the position of the sheriff evolved into an elected office. The modern sheriff assumes a wide range of law enforcement duties within their respective counties. They are responsible for maintaining public order, serving legal documents, operating county jails, and providing security for courts. Sheriffs often collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to ensure effective crime prevention and response.

It is important to note that the specific roles and responsibilities of sheriffs may vary across different countries and jurisdictions. However, the common thread that binds the development of the shire reeve to the modern sheriff is the continuous adaptation to the changing needs of society. The evolution of the sheriff reflects the dynamic nature of law enforcement and local governance, serving as a symbol of authority, justice, and public safety.


The journey from the shire reeve to the modern sheriff exemplifies the remarkable evolution of law enforcement. Originating as royal appointees responsible for maintaining order within a shire, sheriffs gradually assumed localized authority, encompassing law enforcement and judicial functions. As the landscape of policing changed with the growth of professional forces, the role of the sheriff adapted to focus on specific jurisdictions. Today, the elected office of the sheriff represents a crucial pillar of law enforcement, ensuring the safety and security of communities within their respective counties.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Central Texas Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material

WACO, Texas – A Gatesville man was sentenced in a federal court in Waco on Wednesday to 240 months in prison for possession of visual depictions of sexual activities by minors.

According to court documents, Christopher Dallas Nelson, 43, possessed and uploaded images of prepubescent minors under the age of 12 engaging in sexually explicit conduct to various social media platforms.

“The defendant in this case was dealt a significant and warranted prison sentence for his heinous actions,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas.  “Let this serve as a reminder and a warning to others that our society will not tolerate such vile abuse of vulnerable, innocent children.  Sexual predators like Nelson will face the full force of the law and the consequences will be severe.”

"The FBI is committed to protecting children from abuse and exploitation,” said Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr. for the FBI San Antonio Division “Thanks to the hard work of the Southern Texas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the assistance our law enforcement partners, this individual is now off the streets."

The FBI and Temple Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Gloff prosecuted the case.

The Twelve Tables: The Foundation of Roman Law and Society

 The Twelve Tables hold a special place in the history of ancient Rome as the earliest known written legal code. Created in the mid-5th century BCE, these tables laid the foundation for Roman law and played a crucial role in shaping Roman society. This article explores the significance, content, and legacy of the Twelve Tables in Roman legal history.

Origins and Purpose: 

The Twelve Tables emerged during a period of political and social turmoil in Rome. Prior to their creation, laws were largely unwritten and subject to interpretation, often favoring the elite. The plebeian class, seeking legal protection and equality, demanded a codified law that could be known and applied to all citizens. In response, a committee of ten appointed men known as the Decemviri was tasked with drafting the Twelve Tables.

Content and Structure: 

The Twelve Tables consisted of twelve bronze tablets, inscribed with the laws and publicly displayed in the Roman Forum. The tables covered a wide range of legal matters, including civil, criminal, and procedural laws. They addressed issues such as property rights, marriage and family, contracts, debt, inheritance, and crimes. Each table focused on a specific area of law, allowing for easier understanding and enforcement.

Principles and Principles: 

The Twelve Tables reflected the legal principles and social values of Roman society. They emphasized the importance of legal equality, ensuring that all citizens, regardless of social status, were subject to the same laws. The tables established the concept of ius civile, the rights and obligations of Roman citizens, and ius gentium, the principles governing interactions between Romans and foreigners. They also codified certain traditional customs and practices, promoting stability and consistency in legal proceedings.

Impact and Legacy: 

The adoption of the Twelve Tables had a profound impact on Roman society. It provided a basis for resolving disputes, safeguarding individual rights, and promoting social order. The transparency and accessibility of the laws allowed citizens to understand their legal rights and obligations, contributing to a sense of fairness and justice. The Twelve Tables also served as a source of legal education, shaping the legal profession and providing a framework for legal scholarship.

Influence on Roman Law: 

The Twelve Tables served as the foundation of Roman law and continued to influence legal development throughout the Roman Empire. Subsequent laws and legal treatises built upon the principles established in the Twelve Tables. Roman jurists and legal scholars referenced the tables in their writings, considering them a source of authority. The Twelve Tables formed the basis for the development of the Roman legal system, which became renowned for its enduring influence on Western legal traditions.


The Twelve Tables represent a significant milestone in the evolution of Roman law and society. These ancient laws, inscribed on bronze tablets, established the principles of legal equality, protected individual rights, and provided a framework for resolving disputes. The Twelve Tables not only shaped Roman legal development but also influenced legal systems around the world. Their legacy continues to resonate in modern legal principles and the belief in the importance of written laws and equal justice for all.