Federal prosecutors say he leader of a large-scale drug trafficking organization that imported millions of doses of cocaine and fentanyl to several U.S. states has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The U.S. attorney's office in Rhode Island says 47-year-old Juni Rafael Jimenez-Martinez attempted to insulate himself from the drug trafficking operation by using people he trusted to carry out much of the organization’s day-to-day business. But he oversaw and directed the importation, transportation, storage, and distribution of multiple kilograms of drugs to New York City, that were later moved elsewhere for distribution. He had previously been convicted of drug charges and deported.
A 17-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an Israeli man who was visiting Baltimore for a wedding last year. The Baltimore Sun reports that Rasheed Morris is the second person to enter a guilty plea in the May 2021 shooting death of 31-year-old Efraim Gordon. Eighteen-year-old Omarion Anderson pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder. Nineteen-year-old William Clinton III was also charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and attempted carjacking offenses. Gordon, who was in town to attend his cousin’s wedding, was shot during a robbery while walking to his aunt’s and uncle’s house in northeast Baltimore. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Prosecutors say British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell should spend at least 30 years in prison for her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls over a 10-year period by her onetime boyfriend, financier Jeffrey Epstein. Prosecutors made their recommendations late Wednesday in a submission to the judge who will preside over a sentencing hearing next Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. The 60-year-old Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and other crimes after a month-long trial that featured testimony from four women who said they were abused in their teens. Defense lawyers say she should spend no more than five years in prison.
An associate of Rudy Giuliani who was convicted of campaign finance crimes at trial and later pleaded guilty to a separate fraud charge is asking to be spared from prison at his sentencing next week. Lawyers for Lev Parnas made the request to a Manhattan federal court judge in papers that were filed publicly Wednesday. Prosecutors filed their own sentencing submission, asking a judge to order a prison sentence of at least 6 1/2 years. They said Parnas had for years lied and swindled for his own benefit. Parnas was convicted last year at a Manhattan trial.
A white Detroit-area man who said he feared for his life when he fatally shot a young Black woman on his porch in 2013 has been sentenced to the same 17-year prison term he initially received. Ted Wafer was back in court Wednesday after the Michigan Supreme Court threw out his involuntary manslaughter conviction. Wafer was also convicted of murder in the death of Renisha McBride. The court said he couldn't be punished twice for one homicide. Judge Dana Hathaway says the prison sentence won’t change: 15 years for second-degree murder, plus two years for using a gun during a crime. The judge says the sentence still is within the scoring guidelines. Wafer says he remains “terribly sorry” for killing McBride.
The first of three men who admitted setting fire to a Las Vegas police vehicle during a May 2020 racial injustice protest has been sentenced to two years in federal prison. Devarian Haynes apologized Wednesday before he was also sentenced to three years of post-release supervision, community service and restitution for his March guilty plea to a reduced charge of civil disorder. Co-defendants Tyree Walker and Ricardo Densmore are due for sentencing in coming weeks after also taking plea deals that avoided trial on conspiracy and arson charges. Each is expected to receive a sentence similar. The police vehicle fire came amid protests following George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police.
The final phase of jury selection in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz is underway. It began Wednesday with prosecutors and defense attorneys asking candidates about their job histories, opinions on law enforcement and racial minorities, whether they own guns and if they could handle viewing gruesome crime scene photos. The final 83 candidates who remain from the 1,800 who began the process on April 4 are being brought back to Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer’s courtroom in four groups over two days. The 12 eventually selected will decide whether the 23-year-old Cruz is sentenced to die or to life in prison for murdering 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High four years ago.
A prominent Mexican scientist who led a double life with two families on separate continents and was co-opted by Russian agents into surveilling a U.S. government informant residing in Miami has been sentenced to four years and one day in federal prison. Hector Cabrera Fuentes was arrested in 2020 at Miami International Airport as he and his Mexican wife were looking to return to their home in Mexico City. His other wife is Russian. A day before the arrest, the couple were seen snapping a photo of the U.S. informant's car at an apartment complex in Miami. Cabrera pleaded guilty in February to acting on behalf of a foreign government without notifying U.S. officials.
A former West Virginia lawmaker who livestreamed himself on Facebook storming the U.S. Capitol and cheering on what he described as a “revolution” has been sentenced to three months in prison. Derrick Evans, 37, who pleaded guilty to a felony civil disorder charge, told the judge on Wednesday that he takes full responsibility for his actions and “was caught up in a moment.” The Republican from Prichard, West Virginia, was sworn in as a member of the state’s House of Delegates just weeks before the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that halted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
A Houston dredging company has been ordered to pay a $1 million fine for an oil spill that occurred when a subcontractor cut through a pipeline during Louisiana barrier island restoration work in 2016. A news release says Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company was sentenced last week for violating the Clean Water Act. The company pleaded guilty in June 2021. As part of the plea, it said it violated state and federal laws by failing to alert pipeline companies about continuing work near their pipelines. Subcontractor employee James Tassin pleaded guilty in a separate criminal case in March 2021. His sentencing is scheduled Aug. 16.
A federal judge has sentenced a man who threw Molotov cocktails at police in Portland, Oregon, during mass protests to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors say Malik Fard Muhammad traveled from Indiana to Oregon and in September 2020 threw Molotov cocktails at police, broke windows in buildings, and ran from police with a loaded handgun. Assistant Federal Public Defender Fidel Cassino-DuCloux said Muhammad has been diagnosed with bipolar and post traumatic stress disorders and has been on medication since his federal arrest. Muhammad’s federal sentence will run concurrently with a 10-year sentence in state court for riot, attempted murder and other charges stemming from his actions at the racial injustice demonstrations.
A suburban Minneapolis city has agreed to pay $3.2 million to the family of Daunte Wright, a Black man who was fatally shot by a police officer who said she confused her gun for her Taser. Attorneys for Wright's family said Tuesday the tentative settlement also includes changes in police policies and training involving traffic stops like the one that resulted in Wright’s death. Brooklyn Center Officer Kimberly Potter, who is white, shot Wright after the 20-year-old was stopped for expired registration tags in April 2021. The former officer was subsequently convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in prison. The Associated Press left a message Wednesday seeking comment from the mayor’s office.
A judge in Ohio is allowing a man who previously admitted to killing five members of a single family to testify against his brother in a death penalty trial. Jake Wagner gave a detailed statement to authorities about the 2016 killings in southern Ohio and agreed to testify against the other members of his family. A total of eight members of the Rhoden family were killed near Piketon in a custody dispute. John Parker is an attorney for Wagner's brother, George Wagner IV. Parker argued unsuccessfully at a Tuesday court hearing that the deal Jake Wagner struck with prosecutors limits his ability to conduct a thorough cross examination.
A former Illinois state senator has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Teamsters union for a no-show job. Thomas Cullerton, a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Villa Park, was sentenced Tuesday on a federal embezzlement charge for fraudulently receiving salary and benefits from the union, according to the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. The 52-year-old Cullerton pleaded guilty in March, two weeks after he abruptly resigned from the Legislature. He admitted that he improperly took more than $240,000 from the Teamsters. He has agreed to pay $248,828 in restitution.
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A Georgia prisoner convicted of killing two guards during an escape from a prison transport bus five years ago has been sentenced to die. A jury on Thursday agreed unanimously on a death sentence for Ricky Dubose in the June 2017 shooting deaths of Sgt. Christopher Monica and Sgt. Curtis Billue, news outlets reported. The jury on Monday had found him guilty of charges including murder. A second prisoner charged in the killings, Donnie Rowe, was convicted of murder in September. A judge sentenced him to serve life in prison without parole after jurors couldn’t agree whether he should be sentenced to death.
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The Virginia General Assembly has elected two new justices to serve on the state Supreme Court. The legislature also elevated a lower court judge to the state Court of Appeals and elected two other judges on Friday. Leaders of the Democrat-controlled Senate put forward Republican-controlled House each put forward one of the Supreme Court judges. The vacancies on the court were created by two recent departures. The new justices are: Thomas Mann, who has served as a Circuit Court judge in Fairfax County since 2016; and Wesley G. Russell Jr., who has served on the Court of Appeals since 2015.
A judge has handed down a mandatory life sentence to a man who stormed a medical clinic in Minnesota, fatally shot one person and wounded four others, saying the act was unfathomable. Gregory Ulrich opened fire Feb. 9, 2021, at the Allina Crossroads Clinic in Buffalo, a city of about 16,400 people, 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis. He was sentenced Friday. A jury earlier this month found Ulrich guilty of the 11 charges against him, including premeditated first-degree murder for killing Lindsay Overbay, a 37-year-old medical assistant. Four other clinic staffers survived but suffered serious injuries. Wright County District Judge Catherine McPherson said during sentencing that the attack was “simply unthinkable.”
The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected a final appeal from sports doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to decades in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts, including Olympic medalists. The court declined to take the case Friday. Nassar says he was treated unfairly in 2018 and deserved a new hearing, based on provocative comments by a judge who called him a “monster.” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Nassar would “wither” in prison like the wicked witch in “The Wizard of Oz.” She told Nassar that she had signed his death warrant with a 40-year sentence. Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting gymnasts, dancers and other athletes with his hands under the guise of medical treatments for hip and leg injuries.
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A California man accused of breaking into thousands of Apple iCloud accounts and stealing private photos and videos of nude young women has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison. Court records show that 41-year-old Hao Kuo Chi was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Florida. He pleaded guilty last October to conspiracy and computer fraud. According to court documents, Chi operated for years on a now-defunct website called Anon-IB, where users commonly posted images characterized as “revenge porn.” Officials say Chi hacked into the Apple iCloud accounts of victims across the U.S. to steal private images and videos and then shared and traded these images.
Three former fraternity members have been sentenced to county jail terms for their roles in the hazing death of a Bowling Green State University student. Two others were ordered Thursday to serve house arrest. The charges stemmed from the March 2021 death of Stone Foltz. He was a 20-year-old sophomore from Delaware, Ohio. Authorities say Foltz died of alcohol poisoning after a fraternity initiation event in which he was hazed into finishing an entire bottle of alcohol. He was found unconscious by a roommate after members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity dropped him off at his apartment. Foltz died three days after he was put on life support.
A California doctor who is a leading figure in the anti-vaccine movement has been sentenced to 60 days in prison for storming the U.S. Capitol. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington, D.C., also on Thursday sentenced Dr. Simone Gold to 12 months supervised release and ordered her to pay a fine of $9,500. Gold said she deeply regrets entering the Capitol during the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, She pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. Gold, a former emergency room physician, said she didn’t intend to get involved in an event that was “so destructive to our nation.”