Saturday, December 31, 2011

Murry and Smith Charged In The Hernández Carjacking Homicide In Waukegan

Kerwin Murry and Fredrick T. Smith

Carlos Hernández

Photo: Family

Hernández died after being shot by a suspect during the carjacking.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 31, 2011

Waukegan, Illinois - On Friday, Kerwin Murry, 22, and Fredrick T. Smith, 23, both who recently moved to Waukegan were charged with first-degree murder in connection with early Thursday's carjacking and homicide of Carlos Hernández, 44, of Waukegan at the 400 block of Hickory St. The criminal complaint states, that both Murry and Smith spotted a Cadillac with its motor running in a driveway. They forced themselves into the vehicle while armed to steal the auto and took the driver, Hernández with them. Hernández managed to struggle with the suspects and was shot several times in the stomach. The suspects then fled to the Lakeside Tower apartments where one of them lived.
Police responded about 6:08 a.m. to a 911 call and found Hernández shot on the sidewalk about two blocks from his driveway. Hernández was able to give a discription of the suspects to police before he died on route to the hospital. Police tracked the suspects to the apartment building where after a seven hour standoff were able to arrest three suspects. Smith was arrested with another suspect in an apartment and Murry attempted to elude police through a ventilation duct where he got stuck and a firefighters rescue team was able to get him out. Police recovered the alleged murder weapon from a nearby dumpster.
A third suspect has not been charged pending the outcome of the investigation, according to Waukegan police.
State records show, Smith was free on bond for a felony weapons violation in Cook County and Murry was on a juvenile parole for a robbery conviction.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

U.S. Treasury Links Panama-based Money Laundering Network To Mexican And Colombian Drug Cartels

Jorge Fadlallah Cheaitelly

Mohamad Zouheir El Khansa

Photos: U.S. Treasury

U.S. citizens, businesses, and financial institutions prohibited from doing financial and commercial transactions with designated money laundering companies.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 30, 2011

Washington, D.C. - On Thursday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in a news release confirmed that it designated Lebanese-Colombian nationals Jorge Fadlallah Cheaitelly and Mohamad Zouheir El Khansa as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) due to their significant role in international money laundering activities involving drug trafficking proceeds. OFAC also designated nine other individuals and 28 entities in Colombia, Panama, Lebanon, and Hong Kong with ties to Jorge Cheaitelly and Mohamad El Khansa. OFAC's designated action was taken under pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities and individuals and freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Jorge Cheaitelly allegedly runs an extensive money laundering network based in Panama and Colombia with ties to Mexico, Lebanon, and Hong Kong. The OFAC designated act exposes these individuals money laundering network to the international financial system and undermines their ability to launder drug money through a global support network for the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, according to OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.
Jorge Cheaitelly leads a Panama-based drug trafficking and money laundering organization that stretches across the globe, spanning the Americas, the Middle East, and Hong Kong. OFAC action targets key Colombian members of the Cheaitelly/El Khansa criminal organization, including Cali-based money launderer Jaime Edery Crivosei, Barranquilla-based drug trafficker Benny Issa Fawaz and Maicao-based money launderer Ali Mohamad Saleh. Jorge Cheaitelly’s key financial associates are also targeted, including his siblings, Jaime Fadlallah Cheaitelly, Guiseppe Ali Cheaitelly Saheli, and Fatima Fadlallath Cheaitelly, and two Lebanon-based associates, Fawaz Mohamad Rahall and Ahmed El Khansa.
OFAC's action also targets 28 companies controlled by Jorge Cheaitelly and Mohamad El Khansa and their associates in Panama, Colombia and Hong Kong. Among OFAC's designations are several money exchange businesses in Panama - Eurocambio, S.A., Euro Exchange Y Financial Commerce, Inc. (a.k.a. Eurex) and General Commerce Overseas, Inc. ­– as well as Junior International S.A., Global Technology Import & Export, S.A. (GTI), and Fedco Import & Export, S.A., import export businesses located in Panama’s Colon Free Zone that are part of the Cheaitelly/El Khansa financial network. Junior International S.A. is affiliated with the significant Lebanese drug trafficker and money launderer, Ayman Joumaa, who was designated under the Kingpin Act in January 2011. Cheaitelly replaced Ayman company with Joumaa's brothers who are also designated as narcotics traffickers.
Several front companies located in Maicao, Colombia were also designated including electronics stores Bodega Electro Giorgio and Almacen Electro Sony Star, general merchandise businesses Family Fedco and Comercial Globanty, and luggage stores Almacen Batul and Comercial Estilo y Moda. Two businesses controlled by Cali-based money launderer Jaime Edery Crivosei, Agropecuaria La Perla Ltda and KPD S.A., were also designated. OFAC also designated Polyton (Asia) Limited, a company located in Hong Kong, for acting for or on behalf of Guiseppe Ali Cheaitelly Saheli.
The Treasury actions in Thursday was made in close coordination with investigations by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the New York City Police Department.
Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million.  Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

Criminal organization chart and photos (PDF) of affiliates of Cheaitelly and El Khansa at link: http://1.usa.gov/t5JOoj

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Alvarado Charged With Hit and Run That Injured Milwaukee Police Officer Vrtochnick

Juan C. Alvarado

Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office filed charges against Alvarado, the alleged driver that struck Milwaukee Police Officer Vrtochnick on Christmas Eve.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 29, 2011
(Updated)

Milwaukee- On Thursday, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office filed several felony charges against Juan C. Alvarado, 19, of Milwaukee in connection with the Christmas Eve hit-and-run that critically injured Milwaukee Police Officer Frank Vrtochnick, 37. Alvarado was arrested in Illinois on Wednesday by Chicago police. He waived extradition from Illinois and was transported back to Wisconsin. Alvarado arrived in Milwaukee around 4:00 p.m. on Friday to face several felony charges, which includes first-degree reckless injury and reckless endangering safety, according to the criminal complaint.
Vrtochnick while in a traffic routine stop was strucked by Alavardo after he went over a curb as he drove on the wrong side of the street. Vrtochnick was accompanied by his partner and was outside the squad on the passenger's side when he was struck. He remains in critical condition, with serious injuries, numerous scrapes and a broken leg.
Alvarado fled the scene and managed to hid his 1998 Chevy Malibu in a garage near S. 15th Street and W. Becher Street. He then went to Chicago to avoid being taken into custody.
On Tuesday, Milwaukee police working on a tip were led to the 2000 block of S. 15th St. where they found the Malibu sought in the hit-and-run. On Wednesday, police with a search warrant were able to tow the heavily damaged vehicle for evidence. A rear tail light and the right side of the front windshield were broken consistant with the hit-and-run investigation. Investigators recovered hair, skin, blood, DNA and fingerprints that were found in the Malibu.

For posted criminal complaint go to following link: http://bit.ly/rtAxlY

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tip Led Milwaukee Police To Vehicle Sought In Hit and Run That Struck Officer Vrtochnick

Frank Vrtochnick

Juan C. Alvarado

Vehicle found in the 2000 block of S. 15th St. and the alleged driver, Juan C. Alvarado was taken into custody on Wednesday in Chicago.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 28, 2011

Milwaukee - On Wednesday, Milwaukee police working on a tip were led around 11:00 a.m. to the 2000 block of S. 15th St. and W. Becher St. where they found a 1998 Chevy Malibu sought in the hit-and-run of Officer Frank Vrtochnick, 37, on Christmas Eve. Police were able to tow the heavily damaged vehicle for evidence. A rear tail light and the right side of the front windshield were broken consistant with the hit-and-run investigation. Investigators recovered hair, skin, blood, DNA and fingerprints that were found in the Malibu.
A resident on Tuesday went to the District 2 police station to complain about a vehicle parked in his rented parking space. The description of the vehicle matched the vehicle sought by police in the Christmas Eve hit-and-run of an officer. A warrant and an affidavit was issued by police to recover the Malibu.
They spoke with the owner of the garage where the vehicle was parked and stored. Police found that Juan C. Alvarado, 19, of Milwaukee was storing the Mailbu in the garage. He was later located in Chicago on Wednesday and Alvarado was taken into custody by Chicago police.
Alvarado is facing two felony charges of first-degree reckless injury and reckless endangering safety. He will be extradited from Illinois to Milwaukee for pending charges, according to Milwaukee police.
Officer Vrtochnick was struck while on a routine traffic stop on December 24th at the 1700 block of W. Windlake Ave. He remains in critical condition, with serious injuries, numerous scrapes and a broken leg.

For posted criminal complaint go to following link: http://bit.ly/rtAxlY

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Suburban Chicago Area Teen Along With Two Others Burned Alive On Christmas Eve In Michoacán By Suspects

Burned victims identified by the Mexican authorities in Michoacán.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 28, 2011

Chicago, Illinois - On Tuesday, more than 400 people, including relatives and friends attended a candle light vigil for Alexis Uriel Marrón, 18, at the Rolling Meadows High School in a suburb of Chicago. Marrón who lived in Rolling Meadows was reported killed over the weekend in Mexico.
Marrón's body was found along with the bodies of Raúl Tellez Vázquez, 21, and Juan Pedro Estrada Oseguera, 24, around 7:00 a.m. inside a trunk of a burned vehicle on Christmas Eve. The victims were discovered by residents of the Comupuato Ranch vecinity in the municipality of Ixtán de los Hervores who alerted authorities.
Mexican authorities say, Marrón, Vázquez and Oseguera, all from Quiringüicharo in the municipality of Ecuandureo from the state of Michoacán were burned alive. Vázquez lived in Los Angeles.
Relatives say, that the men were reported missing on Friday. Marrón was traveling to a city near Guadalajara to meet up with his recent girlfriend, Jazmin Reyes, 16, who he met through the Internet. The victims never made it to see Reyes.
A suspect or unknown suspects set fire to a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis while the victims were still alive in the trunk, according to the Michoacán Attorney General's Office. The vehicle was registered to Oseguera.
Marrón was visiting his grandmother since December 3rd in Mexico during the Holiday's.
No suspects have been arrested in the horrific triple homicide.
Marrón is the fourth U.S. citizen to be killed in Mexico during the Holiday's. On December 22, Veracruz gunmen killed three U.S. citizens with dual citizenship, María Sánchez Hernández, 39, of Fort Worth, Texas and two of her daughters, Karla, 19, and Christina, 13, during a bus armed robbery. They were visiting relatives in the area. One of their cousins was also killed, as well as several other passengers when the gunmen opened fire inside the bus, according to Mexican authorities.

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El Guero, Sinaloa Cartel Member Arrested By Mexican Federal Police

Luis Rodriguez Olivera

Photo: SSP

Suspect taken into custody at Mexico's City International Airport.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 28, 2011

Mexico City, Mexico - On Wednesday, Mexican Federal Police (SSP) announced the arrest of Luis Rodriguez Olivera, 39, aka, "El Güero or Lucho, Peli Rojo" also known as José Luis Sánchez Jiménez at Mexico's City International Airport. Olivera was taken into custody on Tuesday, while trying to use identification with the name of Sánchez Jiménez, but was recognized by federal police as Olivera.
He is originally from Tototián, Jalisco and had a $5 million dollar U.S. bounty for his capture. The U.S. has requested Olivera's extradition. Olivera is wanted for operating a criminal enterprise, money laundering, possession, conspiracy of importing and distributing cocaine into the U.S.
Olivera was indicted on August 20, 2009 by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York. The indictment was unsealed on May 22, 2010 and Olivera was accused of transporting more than 5 kilograms into the U.S. between January 1, 1996 to June 6, 2008. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison and a forfieture of more than $50,000,000, according to the federal indictment.
Olivera and his other three brothers, Esteban, Daniel and Miguel allegedly operated a criminal organization called Los Güeritos (blondies) associated with the Pacific Cartel also known as the Sinaloa Cartel, which was run by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, according to Federal Police.
Esteban was arrested in 2008 and extradited to the U.S. to face federal charges and Miguel was reported killed in the state of Yucatán on August 2011. Daniel remains at large, the Mexican Federal Police reported.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Melee Frenzy At Mall of America Sparked By Rumors That Rappers Lil' Wayne And Drake Were Inside

Photo of LEGO area inside the Mall of America by HNG.

Teens and unruly adults were arrested and cited after fights broke out at food vender area, other parts of the mall and outdoor bus routes.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 27, 2011

Bloomington, Minnesota - On Monday, Bloomington police reported the arrest of ten teenagers after disturbances and fights broke out in the food vender area at the Mall of America (MoA). Another four teenagers and an adult were also arrested and cited for disorderly conduct by Metro Transit police outside the mall and on bus routes.
The brawls began inside the MoA and drew crowds, while other holiday shoppers left the scene and some exited the mall. Some of the stores in the immediate area were forced to close temperarily. At least 30 police officers from Bloomington, Metro Transit police, MoA security and Richfield Police responded to the scene shortly after 4:20 p.m. to maintain control and quell the crowds, according to Commander Mark Stehlik, Spokesperson for the Bloomington Police Department.
Police issued disorderly conduct citations to more than 20 teens suspected of being involved in the melee. Unconfirmed reports indicated, teenagers managed to grab merchandise from kiosks and shoppers as they fled. But on Tuesday, no merchandise was reported stolen from stores, kiosks or shoppers during the melee, according to Stehlik. Police estimated that at least between 100 to 200 teenagers were gathered when the chaotic scene occurred. It took police about an hour to control the scene and allow shoppers back in the area.
Mall officials also twitted on their MoA's account that chairs were thrown around at the food court making it sound like gunfire, but no one was reported firing a weapon.
No serious injuries were reported by police or Mall of America security. The MoA's twitter account denied rumors that had spread in the twin cities of both rappers Drake and Lil' Wayne were shopping or had a special appearance at Monday's after Christmas Holiday sale events. "There is no scheduled appearance for either performer...Drake is not here...There have been a series of altercations and some stores have gone into lockdown on their own...There was no shooting, chairs were thrown in the food court resulting in the loud noise that you heard...There is no official lock down right now," the Mall officials twitted on Monday afternoon. The MoA remained opened throughout the day and was reopened on Tuesday.
The rumor about both rappers at the MoA apparently drew groups of teenagers to the mall.
As a result of Monday's melee inside the nations mega mall, security will be on alert and keeping an eye on teenagers to make sure Monday's melee doesn't happened again. The MoA has more than 400 stores, 50 restaurants, 7 nightclubs, 14 theaters, employs 12,000 people, gets between 35 million to 40 million visits per year and has an indoor entertainment center that includes mechanical rides for children and adults.

Video's shot at Mall of America during Monday's melee at links: http://tinyurl.com/Brawl1MallofAmerica or http://tinyurl.com/BrawlMallofAmerica

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Hit and Run Driver Sought That Struck Milwaukee Police Officer Vrtochnick On Christmas Day

Frank Vrtochnick

Photos: MPD

Soutside District 2 police officer listed in critical condition and in intensive care at Froedtert Hospital.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 26, 2011

Milwaukee - On Monday,  Milwaukee Police Officer Frank Vrtochnick, 37, remained in critical condition after being struck by an unidentified driver who fled the scene on Sunday. The hit-and-run suspect apparently was driving on the wrong side of the street around 5:17 p.m. at the 1700 block of W. Windlake Ave., jumped the curb and hit the Officer Vrtochnick while conducting a traffic stop.
Vrtochnick from the 2nd police district station was outside his assigned police squad when the incident occurred. He is a 5-year veteran with the department.
Officer Vrtochnick received numerous scrapes, serious injuries and a broken leg when he was thrown on impact. Multiple squads on Sunday escorted an ambulance transporting Vrtochnick to Froedtert hospital reaching speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
Police are looking for a dark mid-size sedan missing the passenger side mirror, with probable front end damage, according to Milwaukee police. People can contact the Milwaukee Police Department with any information leading to the arrest of the suspect at 414-935-7360.

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Mexican Feds And U.S. Special Agents Within Days Of Capturing Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera

Felipe Cabrera Sarabía

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera

The Mexican Secretary of Defense has confirmed that the head chief of security for El Chapo has been arrested.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 26, 2011

Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico - On Sunday, the Mexican Secretary of Defense announced the recent arrest of the head of security for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, known drug lord for the Sinaloa Cartel. The suspect was identified as Felipe Cabrera Sarabía, aka, "El Ingé" who operated in both states of Durango and Chihuahua. Sarabía was taken into custody on Friday, December 23 in Culiacán. He was wanted for multiple homicides, extortion, kidnappings and the disappearance of victims. The military also confiscated weapons, computers and documents, according to Ricardo Trevillo Trejo, Spokesperson for the Mexican Secretary of Defense (Sedena).
Mexican federal authorities and U.S. special agents working in the region are one step closer to taking fugitive El Chapo into custody ending a 10-year worldwide dragnet. El Chapo has a $5 million dollar U.S. Department of State bounty for information leading to his arrest, including a $2 million reward from the Mexican government.
On August 15, El Chapo's wife, Emma Coronel was in Lancaster, California to give birth to twin girls at the Antelope Valley Hospital. Coronel left the father's name blank of the birth registration, according to feds. Since then, federal authorities and a special unit composed of Mexican federal and special agents in various countries, including the U.S. have been tracking the whereabouts of El Chapo and his family.
With the recent arrest of his head of security (bodyguards) could very well provide the needed intelligence to locate where El Chapo was celebrating his Christmas holidays, according to speculation.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

De Jesus Charged With Negligent Vehicular Homicide For The Hernández-Pérez Death In Milwaukee

Jesus de Jesus

De Jesus was driving with a suspended license, according to the criminal complaint.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 25, 2011

Milwaukee - On Saturday, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office filed charges against Jesus de Jesus, 53, for knowingly driving with a suspended license, including causing great bodily harm and homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle in connection with last Monday's crosswalk death of Clementina Hernández-Pérez, 65, and injurying her 4 year-old grandson. A $10,000 cash bail was set for De Jesus. If convicted, De Jesus is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine.
Hernández-Pérez and her grandson in a stroller were crossing S. 6th Street at W. Grant Street when De Jesus going northbound on S. 6th struck them both with his vehicle and then hit a nearby van.
De Jesus remained at the scene and was arrested for failure to yield to a pedestrian and driving with a suspended license causing great bodily harm.
Hernández-Pérez died of her injuries at Froedtert Hospital and the 4-year-old child was released from the Children's hospital on Wednesday.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Karina Reunited With Father In Wisconsin After A Three Year Custody Battle With Mother Living In Japan

Karina posed with her father Moises Garcia in a January 2008 photo during a Florida visit before being abducted by mother.

Photo: Karina-Garcia dot com

Mother, a Japan national was arrested in Hawaii for abduction of a child, makes plea agreement and agreed to return child to father in Wisconsin.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 24, 2011

Milwaukee - On Saturday, Moises Garcia, 39, of Fox Point and a native of Nicaragua, who is a medical surgeon for St. Luke's Hospital finally held a news conference in a Milwaukee hotel to express his good fortune to be reunited with his daughter in the state. His wife, Emiko Inoue, 43, a Japan national had taken his 6-year-old daughter Karina Garcia to Takarazuka, Japan on February 2008 without his consent, shortly after Garcia filed for divorce. Inoue failed to show up in court for a divorce hearing.
Garcia had spent more than $350,000 in legal challenges in both Japan and the U.S. in the last three years for legal custody. In 2009, a court in Japan gave Garcia parential rights to visit Karina. Since he began the legal battle, Garcia had about three visits with Karina, including one that lasted just two hours in a hotel restaurant and another visit for ten minutes in an school open house in Japan. His wife, Inoue appealed that decision and the case continued until the recent outcome.
The break in the legal custody battle came in April, when Inoue travelled to Hawaii and she was taken into custody for child abduction charges.
Inoue was returned to Wisconsin to face charges and was held for three months until a plea agreement was reached. She pleaded no contest to a misdeamenor and agreed to return Karina to Wisconsin. In return, she would get probation avoiding a long prison sentence, with the condition she would remain in the state for the next three years. Inoue who is a U.S. legal resident has been released from custody. Pleading to a misdeamenor violation and getting less than a year prison sentence, would exempt her from getting her U.S. residency revoked and than deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Garcia says, he had to learn to speak Japanese because Karina was graduately losing her ability to speak English. He went to Chicago to meet up with Karina, now 9, who arrived in the U.S. on Friday morning at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport escorted by her grandmother and Inoue's attorney, just days before Christmas. Chicago Japanese Consulate officials, law enforcement officers, and representatives from the U.S. Department of State were also at Garcia's reuniting encounter with his daughter.
He confirmed, that if his wife wouldn't have been arrested in Hawaii, he most likely would have never been granted custody of Karina. Inoue is expected to file for parential rights as well in Wisconsin, according to her attorney who filed confirmation with authorities that Karina was reunited with Garcia on Friday.
The Garcia's case is the first time that a child abducted by a parent and taken to Japan has been legally returned to the U.S.
The U.S. Department of State says, that at least 300 cases remained open in Japan dealing with child abductions by one parent.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Shoplifter Gets Immigration Stay And Won't Face Removal From The U.S.

Gustavo Romero-Alvarez

Man caught in Macy's shoplifting case will get opportunity to graduate from high school and won't get deported to Mexico as expected.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 23, 2011

Portland, Oregon - Last Friday, Gustavo Romero-Alvarez, 19, facing removal from the U.S. received word that he won't face deportation proceedings for now. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decided to grant Romero-Alvarez a temperary stay and his case will continue to be reviewed by immigration officials, according to family members.
Romero-Alvarez plans to graduate this year from Centennial High School and will try to become a firefighter in the area. He was arrested in June 2010 after being caught shoplifting a shirt at a local Macy's store. He spent several months in the Clackamas County jail on an immigration hold, when he was discovered to be undocumented during booking. An immigration judge later ordered Romero-Alvarez to voluntarily leave the country by December 16 or face removal by ICE.
He was brought to the U.S. when he was seven and doesn't know anyone in Mexico, according to Romero Alvarez' interview with KATU news.
Romero-Alvarez will someday face an immigration judge again and cases like his, that challenge deportation proceedings could be ongoing for years.

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Key Parts Of South Carolina's Immigration Enforcement Law Blocked By Federal Judge

Federal government has exclusive constitutional authority to regulate and enforce immigration laws, a federal judge ruled.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 23, 2011

Charleston, South Carolina - On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted the U.S. Department of Justice's injunction request to block key provisions of South Carolina's immigration enforcement bill. Judge Gergel decided to block three key parts of the state's law, law enforcement officers are barred from asking the legal status of any person stopped during minor traffic infraction or any other type of violations, which they suspect is in the country illegally. Also, his decision prevents South Carolina from making it a felony for harboring or transporting undocumented immigrants and barred enforcement for illegal immigrants to carry documents or registration of their status in the country.
Judge Gergel ruled, that the federal government has the sole authority to regulate and enforce federal immigration laws. South Carolina is the sixth state to have their immigration enforcement law temperarily blocked in federal court. The five other states who were also blocked from enforcing their immigration enforcement laws are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana and Utah.
Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law, which lost several federal court appeals to unblock key provisions of enforcement will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision whether state's can implement their own immigration enforcement laws will be decided in six or more months.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

El Piolin, Zeta Mexican Leader Involved In ICE Agent Zapata's Homicide Charged In Federal Court

Jaime J. Zapata
ICE Special Agent

Julian Zapata Espinoza, aka, "El Piolin" held without bail in connection with ICE Agent Jaime Zapata's homicide.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 22, 2011

Washington, D.C. - On Wednesday, Julian Zapata Espinoza, aka, "El Piolin" appeared before U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the District of Columbia in federal court to face a four count felony indictment in connection with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent Jaime Zapata's, 32, homicide and the attempted murder of Special Agent Victor Avila. The federal indictment was unsealed on Wednesday. Judge Lamberth ordered Espinoza held without bail and scheduled a court hearing date for January 25.
Espinoza was extradited to the U.S. from Mexico on Wednesday to face federal homicide and attempted murder charges. He admitted to participating in Zapata's murder and Avila's attempted murder on February 15, 2011.
Espinoza's defense argument case will most likely challenge the U.S. Department of Justice attempt to prosecute him for murdering an American employed by the federal government on Mexican soil. The outcome of the Espinoza case would set precedent or Constitutional challenges to determine, if murder suspects abroad could be tried in the U.S. for killing Americans in foreign soil.
Espinoza confessed to Mexican authorities that he is the known leader of the Zeta group, which operated in the San Luis Potosí area and that ICE Agents Zapata and Avila were mistaken as rival drug cartel gang members by driving an armored black SUV.
Along with Espinoza, the Mexican military police arrested, Armando Álvarez Saldaña; Mario Domínguez Realeo, aka, Domingo Díaz Rosas; Jesús Iván Quezada Peña, aka, "El Loco;" Martin Bárcenas Tapia; Rubén Darío Venegas, aka, "El Catracho;"  originally from Honudras; Diana Margarita Guerreo Morales; Roxana Mireya Ríos Velázquez and Magali Chaín Castillo López, the presumed wife of Espinoza. A minor was arrested too according to the Mexican Secretary of Defense (Sedena).
On April 19, a federal grand jury returned a four count felony indictment. Espinoza was charged with one count of murder of an officer or employee of the United States, for the murder of ICE HSI Special Agent Zapata; one count of attempted murder of an officer or employee of the United States and one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person, both for the attempted murder of ICE HSI Special Agent Avila; and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.

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Winston, Asst. Chief of Police Authority Suspended As Result of Internal Department Probe In Milwaukee

Darryl Winston

Police department tight lip about the suspended authority of Assistant Chief of Police.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 22, 2011

Milwaukee - On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Police Department confirmed that Darryl Winston, 51, Assistant Chief of Police in charge of the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) had his authority suspended as a result of an internal investigation concerning an incident on December 20. Winston has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
A police officer stopped to investigate a suspicious vehicle parked in an alley at the 3100 block of W. Silver Spring Ave. He found that Winston and a man who Winston said was his nephew inside the vehicle. During a field investigation, the officer later discovered that Winston was an assistant chief of police and the young man with him might not be his nephew.
A police supervisor was dispatched to the scene and the department has been quiet about the incident. The department is not releasing any information to what led for Police Chief Edward Flynn to suspend Winston's police authority.
John M. Hagen, Assistant Chief of Police from the Administration Bureau has taken over Winston's PSB temperarily until the outcome of the investigation.
Winston is a 28 year veteran in the department. He hasn't been able to comment on the incident or if he has retained an attorney.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Driver Suspected Of DWI Arrested In The Death Of 65-year-old Southside Woman In Crosswalk

Jesus de Jesus

4-year-old child survived being struck with grandmother on S. 6th Street.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 21, 2011

Milwaukee - On Wednesday, Jesus de Jesus, 53, is facing charges for driving while under the influence, failing to yield to a pedestrian and driving with a suspended license in connection with Monday's crosswalk death of Clementina Hernández-Pérez, 65, and injurying her 4-year-old grandson, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department booking record. Hernández-Pérez and her grandson in a stroller were crossing S. 6th Street at W. Grant Street when De Jesus struck them both with his vehicle and then hit a nearby van.
De Jesus remained at the scene and was later arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence, failure to yield to a pedestrian and driving with a suspended license, according to the preliminary police investigation report.
Hernández-Pérez died of her injuries at Froedtert Hospital and the 4-year-old child was released from the Children's hospital on Wednesday.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office is reviewing De Jesus' case and will most likely be charged later this week.

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Barrett and Abele Jointly Announced Their Bid For Re-election In Milwaukee

(L-R) Tom Barrett and Chris Abele

City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive have officially announced their quest to keep their jobs.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 21, 2011

Milwaukee - On Wednesday, both Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, 58, and Chris Abele, 44, Milwaukee County Executive officially announced their joint bid for re-election and quest to keep their current jobs. The start of their re-election campaigns was initiated at Southshore Park.
Abele, a newcomer to county politics is finishing up 8 months of former Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's term who left the position to become the Governor of Wisconsin. Governor Walker, a Republican is currently facing a recall election. Abele spent about $1 million of his own money to get elected to a short term.
Abele while campaigning promised not to raise a tax levy for the 2012 budget and did veto a Milwaukee Count Board proposed 6 percent tax levy increase. The board overrode his veto. Currently, he is facing no challengers.
Mayor Barrett ran for Governor in the Democratic ticket against Walker, but was unsuccessful. Barrett has been serving more than seven years as mayor and is seeking his third term as mayor. Barrett is a former congressman, a state legislator and has ran twice unsuccessfully as a Democrat for governor of Wisconsin. He is facing two challengers for the Spring primary election.
Barrett's challengers include, Ieshuh Griffin, who tried to run several times unsuccessfully with the slogan on the ballot "Not the whiteman's bitch." Another mayoral candidate is Bill Wenz, according to the Milwaukee Election Commisssion.
Candidates need to get at least 1,500 nomination signatures by January 3, to get on the ballot. If more than two candidates run in an elected position, a primary will be held on February 21, to eliminate all, but the two remaining highest vote getters.
The final general election will be held for April 3.

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Juarez Municipal Police Officer Kidnapped, Tortured And Then Burned Alive As Witnesses Looked On

Kidnappers cold-bloodedly set on fire a Juarez municipal police officer.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 21, 2011

Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico - On Tuesday, residents at the Paseo del Alba neighborhood called police around 8:30 a.m. after they witnessed a vehicle that pulled up and several men took out a bound man from the vehicle and set him on fire alive. The man was later identified by the Chihuahua State Attorney's Office (PGR) as José Everardo Sánchez Valenzuela, 35. a Juarez Municipal Police Officer who was reported missing on Monday night.
Sánchez-Valenzuela was tortured before the gunmen doused him with gasoline and then set him on fire while his hands and legs were bound near the intersection of Miguel de la Madrid and Paseo Streets, according to the PGR. Firefighters responded to the scene and managed to put out the flames. Sánchez-Valenzuela's body was still wearing his police uniform and was facing downwards. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was assigned to the Benito Juarez Police District station on August 29, 2009 when he was hired.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Egyptian Military Soldiers Beat And Stomped On Female Pro-democracy Demonstrator Draws Major Protests

Photo: Reuters

Egyptian female pro-democracy demonstrator who was beaten by military police was an activist, according to friends.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 20, 2011

Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt - On Tuesday, tens of thousands of women marched in Cairo in protest and to denounce the military council's leadership after a woman activist was savagely beaten and stripped on the street by multiple soldiers. The incident was captured in video and spread through the social networks and main stream media.
Several unidentified women were trying to escape from military police during a confrontation with demonstrators. Both women were overran by military police and they began to beat the women when they fell. Military soldiers immediately converged on one of them and began to kick, stomp, beat her with batons, while tearing her clothes off as she was on the ground. They began to drag her away, as her blue bra and midsection of her body was exposed. Nearby demonstrators then threw stones at the military involved and the woman managed to get away, according to reports.
A statement during a press conference on Tuesday by General Adel Emara said, an investigation was luanched and those soldiers involved will be held accountable. "The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expresses its strong regret to the great women of Egypt over transgressions that occurred during recent incidents in the protests outside parliament and the cabinet."
Since Friday, at least 14 protesters have died and 900 were reported injured. The Egyptian ministry is claiming that 10 have died and 505 were injured. The military says, that 164 were detained.
Dozens of women (pro-democracy demonstrators) were included in the arrests and many have alleged they have been also beaten by soldiers and some have claimed that they were molested as well.
On Monday during a speech at the Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State said, that "Women are being beaten and humiliated in the same streets where they risked their lives for the revolution only a few short months ago...This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonours the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform and is not worthy of a great people." The U.S. provides more than $3 billion per year to Egypt in military aid.

Military police beat several women and stripped one of them, video link at: http://goo.gl/vMfks

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Monday, December 19, 2011

USDOJ Probe Found The East Haven, Connecticut, Police Department Discriminated Against Hispanics

East Haven police officers engaged and practice discrimination against Hispanics during traffic stops and targeted Latino drivers.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 19, 2011

Washington D.C. - On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJCRD) confirmed that an investigation found the East Haven Police Department (EHPD) in Connecticut engaged and practice discrimination against Latinos in violation of the Constitution and federal laws. The DOJCRD announced in a news release, that a civil rights investigation which began on September 2009 determined the EHPD intentionally targeted Latinos for traffic enforcement and treated Latino drivers more harshly after traffic stops in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.
The investigation further found that EHPD has willfully enabled discrimination by failing to put in place basic law enforcement practices and procedures used by law enforcement agencies across the country to prevent discrimination. The department also found a number of serious deficiencies in EHPD’s management, oversight and accountability systems that have enabled discriminatory policing by EHPD officers.
In addition, although not making formal findings, the department noted two areas of serious concern regarding allegations of use of excessive force and unconstitutional searches and seizures. The department also expressed concern with EPHD leadership creating and condoning a hostile and intimidating environment for anyone seeking to provide relevant information in this investigation, according to the DOJCRD.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shoplifter Facing Deportation To Mexico

Gustavo Romero-Alvarez

19-year-old man expected to be deported after shoplifting incident.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 18, 2011

Portland, Oregon - Gustavo Romero-Alvarez, 19, a senior at Centennial High School was arrested on June 2010 for a retail theft. He spent several months in an immigration hold after the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office found he was undocumented when he was booked at the local jail. Since shoplifting a shirt from the local Macy's retail store, Romero-Alvarez has admitted to stealing the shirt and regrets ever doing so. He is currently challenging his deportation.
He was brought to the U.S. when he was seven and doesn't know anyone in Mexico, according to Romero-Alvarez' interview with KATU news.
In August, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigration judge ruled that Romero-Alvarez had no basis to remain in the U.S. The judge granted him to leave voluntarily by December 16, if he failed to do so, a final removal order will be issued, according to ICE.
A vigil for Romero-Alvarez was held on Wednesday at the Portland City Hall. A campaign to keep Romero-Alvarez from being deported has been publicized by organizers, but information relating to the retail theft has been left out. Which prompt questions about why he was being deported in the first place.
Immigration activists claim, Romero-Alvarez qualifies under the guidelines of the DREAM Act to remain in the U.S. and the current ICE policy not to deport non-felony violators from the country. The DREAM Act has not been approved by Congress.
Recently, ICE deported more than 42,000 undocumented drivers who were convicted of driving under the influence, which in many states is a misdeamenor.

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Man Doused Elderly Woman With Flammable Liquid And Then Set Her On Fire In Brooklyn Elevator

The suspect on the video images was identified as Jerome Isaac.

Photos: NYPD

Jerome Isaac

Photo: AP

The suspect used to live with the mentally challenge elderly woman before he killed her.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 18, 2011

New York City, New York - On Saturday, New York Police released surveillance images of a man, who was later identified as Jerome Isaac, 47, suspected of dousing Dolores Gillespie, 73, with flammable liquid and setting her on fire. The deadly incident was caught by several surveillance cameras at a Brooklyn apartment, 203 Underhill Ave. where Gillespie had lived since the 1980's, according to police.
Gillespie was mentally challenged and who also has a son that is exceptional was heading to the fifth-floor where she lived. She got into the elevator after grocery shopping when Isaac dressed in blue with white gloves carrying a canister in his back like an exterminator began to spray Gillespie with a liquid and then cold-bloodedly set her on fire. He also threw a lid molotov cocktail inside the elevator.
Before dying, the video showed Gillespie crouched down in a corner of the elevator trying to protect herself with her hands. Police say, Isaac who used to live with Gillespie seemed to have been waiting for her. He also glued her apartment locks. After the brutal homicide, he fled through the stairs. Isaac lived nearby and also set fired to his apartment.
Neighbors later smelled smoke and reported a fire by the elevator. One person was also reported injured and investigators say, Gillespie was burned alive and died at the scene.
Police were able to release images of Isaac to the media.
On early Sunday, Isaac, smelling like gasoline walked into a police station near where Gillespie was killed and implicated himself in the homicide. Isaac admitted to police investigators that he set Gillespie on fire because she owed him a debt of $2,000 for prior work, which he did for Gillespie. Police took Isaac into custody and is facing charges for homicide and arson in Gillespie's death.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Milwaukee County Board Approved Colón's Appointment As Director of Health and Human Services

Photo: Facebook

Hector Colón becomes the first Hispanic to head the Department of Health and Human Services in Milwaukee County.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 16, 2011

Milwaukee - On Thursday, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors on a vote of 16-3 approved the appointment of Hector Colón, as Director for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Milwaukee County. Supervisors Nikiya Harris, Michael Mayo Sr. and Lee Holloway rejected Colón's approval. Colón became the first Hispanic to head the department.
He was appointed to the DHHS position by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele on October 18th and had to be approved by the full county board.
Colón was the former executive director for the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee; was the state director of Economic Development Authority; executive assistant in the state's Department of Workforce Development and a former executive assistant in the Department of Regulation and Licensing at the United Community Center.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

District 2 Police Station Held Their Block Watch Captain's 2011 Awards Dinner

Captain Rebecca L. Pixley

Photos: HNG

Captain Rebecca L. Pixley and District 2 officers gathered with residents.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 15, 2011

Milwaukee - On Thursday, Rebecca L. Pixley, Captain of the Second Milwaukee Police District in the Southside along with her ranking staff and officers held their 2011 Captain Block Watch Awards Dinner. Mayor Tom Barrett was also present at the  awards dinner at Longfellow elementary gym and recognized Community Liasion Officer Jesus Gloria for organizing block watches throughout the second district.
Captain Pixley said, currently the second district has about 250 block watch captains, including 62 block captains in just this year.
Alderman Bob Donovan, from 8th District and Alderman James Witkowiak, from the 12th District were also at the event. Donovan recognized the officers success in making the neighborhood safer. Witkowiak said, block watch captains and the program is a great crime fighting tool that creates social networks in the area to keep police inform about where trouble is happening or about to occur. State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, from the 8th Assembly District was also present.
Music was provided by the new Tinta band and pizza was provided by Ben's pizza.
More than 250 people attended the event.

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Maricopa Sheriff's Department Engaged in Racial Profiling Of Latinos And Unlawful Stops, USDOJ Found

Maricopa Sheriff Joseph "Joe" Arpaio and his department practice and engaged in violatiing Constitutional laws in three areas, the U. S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division reported.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 15, 2011

Phoenix, Arizona - On Thursday, Thomas E. Perez, Assistant U.S. Attorney General speaking for the U. S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJCRD) in a press conference in front of the Maricopa County jail announced that Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph "Joe" Arpaio and his sheriff's department practice and engaged in violating Constitutional laws. Staff from the Maricopa County jail including Sheriff Arpaio engaged "in a pattern or practice of violating the Constitution and laws of the United States in 3 areas," Perez stated.
Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department (MCSD) practiced racial profiling of Latinos, including illegal stops, detained and arrested Latinos. Secondly, the MCSD retaliated against people who criticize and exposed its policies and practices. Finally, the DOJCRD found reasonable cause to believe that the MCSD operated its jails in a manner that discriminated against Latino inmates that are limited English proficient. They also found that MCSD routinely punished Latino inmates that are limited English proficient when they fail to understand commands given in English, and denied critical services that are provided to other inmates. These actions violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In the area of discriminatory policing, the investigation found that MCSD deputies engaged in unlawful racial profiling of Latino drivers. One of the nation’s leading experts on racial profiling hired by the DOJCRD, conducted a thorough statistical analysis of MCSD's traffic stops and found that Latino drivers were four to nine times more likely to be stopped than similarly situated non-Latino drivers. The expert concluded that this case involved the most egregious racial profiling in the United States that he had ever personally observed in the course of his work, observed in litigation, or reviewed in professional literature, Perez said.
Perez also says, the civil rights investigation began in 2008 and Sheriff Apraio had resisted in complying to release documents and information relating to the investigation. A lawsuit filed by the DOJCRD forced Arpaio to comply.
The DOJCRD also found three other areas of concern regarding the MCSD. The DOJCRD investigation also discoverd numerous incidents of excessive force used by deputies and staff. The MCSD failed to provide adequate policing services in Latino communities and finally, its failure to adequately investigate allegations of sexual assaults at the Maricopa County jail, Perez, Assistant U.S. Attorney General reported during the press conference concerning the results of the DOJCRD civil rights violations investigation of MCSD.
With the latest DOJCRD investigative results and report, the U.S. Department Homeland Security (DHS) revoked MCSD's 287(g) program, which allowed deputy sheriff's to enforce federal immigration laws. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also restricted MCSD, the use of Secure Communities Program.
Sheriff Arpaio has previously confirmed, that the State of Arizona enacted an employment work verification law by which he can continue to use to check the immigration and legal work status of workers in Maricopa County.

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Recall Scott Walker Volunteers Have Gathered 507,533 Signatures In Just 28 Days In Wisconsin

Photo: HNG

Volunteers are just days away from collecting the 540,208 of minimum signatures required to force a recall election against Republican Governor Scott Walker.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 15, 2011

Milwaukee - On Thursday, Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and United Wisconsin have confirmed that statewide volunteers have collected 507,533 recall Scott Walker petition signatures. Tate said, the signatures were collected in just 28-days throughout 72 counties in the state. 
Volunteers and organizers are about 32,675 signatures away from collecting the minimum of the required 540,208 signatures to force a recall election against Republican Governor Scott Walker before the January 17 dateline, according to Tate. They're expecting to collect 720,277 recall petition signatures to be collected by the dateline.
In Wisconsin, they collected 300,000 signatures in just 12 days throughout 72 counties, which 1,000 signatures were gathered per hour, according to United Wisconsin.
The Recall Scott Walker campaign has also raised more than $150,000 in just six days to keep the field offices in 42 counties operating. The field offices will remain open through January.
United Wisconsin reported, that Wisconsin voters signed the recall Walker petition at a rate of over 18,000 per day reaching a total of 507,533, so far.

Specific signature totals from selected counties include the following:

  • 8,007 signatures or 128% of Walker’s 2010 vote total in Douglas County
  • 22,365 signatures or 124% of Walker’s 2010 vote total in Eau Claire County
  • 21,558 signatures or 91% of Walker’s 2010 vote total in Rock County
  • 7,375 signatures or 84% of Walker’s 2010 vote total in Oneida County
  • 6,972 signatures or 81% of Walker’s 2010 vote total in Grant County

The newly released signature collection goal of 720,277 is equal to 33% of the 2010 General Election turnout. Only 540,208 signatures or 25% of the 2010 General Election turnout is required to trigger a recall election, according to United Wisconsin.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tip Led West Allis Police To Arrest Four Suspects In connection With Garnier's Homicide

Jeffrey P. Garnier

Qwajavious Pittman

A $10,000 reward led to the arrest of four suspects in Jeffrey Garnier's homicide, according to West Allis Police.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 14, 2011

West Allis, Wisconsin - On Wednesday, Qwajavious Pittman, 18, was charged with one felony count of theft by removing property from a person or corpse in connection with the November 20th brutal assault of Jeffrey P. Garnier, 57. Garnier died five days later of complications with blunt force trauma to the head at St. Luke's Hospital. Pittman is being held on a $50,000 cash bond.
Three other suspects, Lina Pezanoski, 38, Javasi D. Pezanoski-Young, 17, and Danny Thompson, 47, were also arrested in connection with Garnier's homicide. Pezanoski-Young and Thompson were both charged with one count of felony murder. Pezanoski-Young cash bond was set at $100,000.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney decided not to charge Lina, who cooperated with police and actually stood by and watched when Garnier was assaulted by both her boyfriend, Thompson and son Pezanoski-Young.
The criminal complaints states, that Pittman told police, after they chased Garnier accross the 9100 block of W. Lincoln Ave., Thompson knocked Garnier out with a punch and Garnier dropped to the ground, then Pezanoski-Young hit Garnier again. While Lina looked on.
Pittman then admitted, that before leaving the scene, he went back and took Garnier's wallet.
Pittman also is alleging that Garnier with a mask on had earlier confronted and scared a 15-year-old girl. When they later spotted Garnier at a nearby bus stop, they confronted Garnier and he began to run. The suspects chased Garnier, assaulted him and left him in the pavement.
Garnier's family members say he suffered from a mild case of autism and had no history of trouble with police. They offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the homicide. A tip led to the suspects arrest. The reward will be paid to the tipster by the end of this week, according to police.
A nearby business video surveillance camera caught Garnier's assault by the suspects in the middle of W. Lincoln Ave.

Javasi D. Pezanoski-Young

Danny Thompson

Lina Pezanoski

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ACLU Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging Wisconsin's Photo Voter ID Law In Behalf Of 17 Plaintiffs

Ruthelle Frank, 84, has been voting since 1948, but Wisconsin's new photo ID voter law could prevent her from voting at the next 2012 election. Photo: ACLU

Wisconsin's voter photo ID viewed as a poll tax and unconstitutional, the ACLU claims. Second joint lawsuit challenging the photo ID voter law is expected to be filed on Friday by Voces de la Frontera and Milwaukee Branch of NAACP.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 14, 2011

Milwaukee - On Tuesday, the national Americal Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), its Wisconsin ACLU affiliate and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty announced through a news release that they have filed a federal lawsuit in behalf of 17 eligible voters (plaintiffs) charging that Wisconsin’s photo ID voter law is unconstitutional and will deprive citizens of their basic right to vote. The defendants includes, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R), the Government Accountability Board, Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles and its regional divisions as well. Governor Walker is confident that the photo ID voter law will withstand the ACLU challenge.
The 54-page lawsuit is the only active federal challenge against a photo ID voter law (2011 Wisconsin Act 23 enacted on May 25), the most common type of legislation that is part of a nationwide attack on the right to vote. The lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin claiming the voter photo ID is a kind of poll tax and is unconstitutional, which is part of a restrictive requirement in a nationwide effort to suppress the fundamental right to vote.
The complaint says that allowing only certain types of photo ID imposes a severe burden on the right to vote in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. It also states that the Wisconsin law violates the 24th and 14th amendments because it effectively imposes an unconstitutional poll tax.
"The state of Wisconsin has created a voter ID system that is making it very hard or impossible for residents to exercise their cherished right to vote," said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. "Countless Wisconsin residents, including veterans, minority voters and seniors who have been voting for decades, will be turned away from the polls under this law’s restrictive photo ID requirements. Our lawsuit aims to block this unconstitutional law, so that Wisconsin can continue its proud tradition of high participation in elections."
The law will also have a severe impact on homeless voters, many of whom do not have photo identification, according to the ACLU lawsuit complaint.
One of the plaintiffs that would be barred from voting is Ruthelle Frank, 84, of Brokaw, who does not have a birth certificate. When she was born at home in 1927, her mother recorded her birth in the family Bible. Under Wisconsin’s law, she is unable to obtain an ID needed to vote. She herself is an elected official, having served on her village board since 1996.
Another plaintiff is Carl Ellis, 52, a U.S. Army veteran living in a homeless shelter in Milwaukee. His only photo ID is a veteran ID card, which is no accepted under the Wisconsin's voter photo ID law.
A third plaintiff, Anthony Sharp, 19, an African-American Milwaukee resident who does not have any of the accepted forms of photo ID under the law. Sharp, who lives with his family, does not have income needed to purchase a $20 certified copy of his birth certificate in order to vote, according to the ACLU reported.
A second joint lawsuit is expected to also be filed on Friday by both Voces de la Frontera and the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP challenging the photo ID voter requirement. Jame Hall, President of the NAACP Milwaukee Branch said in a news release, that half of Arfican-Americans in Milwaukee don't have a Wisconsin driver's license and the photo ID law will deny these eligible voters their right to vote. In Wisconsin, there have been no prosecution of anyone misrepresenting their identity while voting and the ID law is just a "vote suppression for minority voters," according to Hall.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera said, "The photo ID voter requirement law is a suppressive law aimed at deterring Latino voters from coming to the polls. The Wisconsin Constitution guarantees all citizens and Wisconsin residents the right to vote and we intend to ardently protect that right." 

ACLU 54-page photo ID complaint at link: http://bit.ly/u41R0j

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hernández-Lechuga, Zeta Co-founder "El Lucky or Z-16" Who Operated In 10 States Arrested By Mexican Marines

Raúl Lucio Hernández Lechuga, aka, "El Lucky or Z-16"

Photo: PGR

Mexican marines captured a most wanted man known as El Lucky in Veracruz.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 13, 2011

Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico - On Tuesday, the Mexican Secretary of Marines (Semar) and the Mexican Federal Attorney's Office (PGR) announced the arrested of Raúl Lucio Hernández Lechuga, aka, "El Lucky, Z-16 or El Apa," a known Zeta co-founder who was in charge of operations in ten states. Lechuga was taken into custody by Mexican marines on Monday in Córdoba after an armed confrontation along the Veracruz-Mexico highway. One Zeta member was reported dead and one marine was injured.
Four other suspects were also taken into custody along with Lechuga. They were identified as Germain Hernández Flores, aka, "El Chino"; Nicolás García Colorado, aka, "El Flaco"; Rafael Méndez Espinoza, aka, "El Raflas" and Cristóbal Saninas Vallejo, aka, "El Don Gato." Flores was in charge of coordinating the stealing of trailers and trucks in the region. Both Espinoza and Vallejo were in charge of providing vehicles and communication equipment to be used by Zeta's.
Lechuga was in charge of operations in the following Mexican states, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Querétaro, San Luis Potosi, Quintana Roo and the state of Mexico.
The Mexican government had offered $15 million pesos ($1,153,846 U.S.) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had offered $1 million for Lechuga's arrest.
Marines confiscated 132 high power rifles, 36 handguns, a rocket launcher, 5 granade launchers, 2,641 amo magazines, 28,000 bullets of different calibers and 29 granades. They also confiscated a trailer, truck, a van, an auto, communications equipment, military uniforms made in the U.S. with Siedo and AFI labels on them and bullet proof vests, the PGR reported.

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Democrats Have Raised $140,937 In Just 6 Days To Keep Recall Scott Walker Field Offices Operating

Recall Scott Walker volunteers collected signatures last Friday near W. Cleveland Ave. and S. 43rd Street in Milwaukee. Photo: HNG

Funds raised will keep 42 recall Walker field offices open through January.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 13, 2011

Milwaukee - On Tuesday, Mike Take, Chair for the Wisconsin Democratic Party announced that the Recall Scott Walker campaign has raised more than $140,937 in just six days to keep the field offices in 42 counties operating. The field offices will remain open through January.
Tate in a previous e-mail confirmed, that recall volunteers and organizers are about 1/3 away (180,000 signatures) from collecting the minimum of the required 540,000 signatures to force a recall election against Republican Governor Scott Walker before the January 17 dateline. They're expecting between 650.000 to 750,000 recall petition signatures to be collected by the dateline.
In Wisconsin, they collected 300,000 signatures in just 12 days throughout 42 counties, which 1,000 signatures were gathered per hour, according to United Wisconsin.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

UWM Student Association Former President, Including SORC Vice Chair Implicated In Alleged Post Newspaper Theft

Alex Kostal

David Sidhu

Photos: Facebook

The UWM Post reported that 800 newspapers were stolen on Oct. 31, from racks by students connected with the Student Association.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 12, 2011

Milwaukee - On Monday, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Post student newspaper reported that 800 newspapers had disappeared on Oct. 31, a previous audit by Distribution Manager Patrick Quast revealed. The newspaper disappearance was reported to UWM police.
Post staff members were able to get their hands on a camera video surveillance tape from the Student Union area and spotted several students who allegedly took the papers from a Post rack. 
One of the students was later identified by the Post as Student Association (SA) Office Manager Andrew Hapka. Hapka later told the Post that another friend not associated with SA helped him remove the newspapers from a rack. He also implicated former SA President Alex Kostal and former student Senate Oversight and Rules Committee (SORC) Vice Chair David Sidhu in the newspaper theft. Hapka admitted to the Post, that he was told by Kostal to remove the newspapers, which had an editorial which criticised former SA Vice-President Brent Johnson's sponsored event on campus. Johnson was not involved in the theft, although Sidhu helped to disposed of the newspapers after they were removed from a storage area in an office next to Kostal's SA office when the Post began to ask questions, according to Hapka.
Both Kostal and Sidhu apparently resigned their SA positions on Sunday at the SA Student Senate meeting and have denied their roommate, Hapka's allegation that they were involved in the theft. Hapka will most likely be removed from his SA position as well, pending the outcome of a university investigation.
As of Monday night, both names of Kostal and Hapka remained in the SA website.
On December 7, Johnson resigned his position as SA Vice-President after he was put on administrative leave over a sexual assault allegation from a woman pending an investigation by university officials. Johnson is facing expulsion from UWM, if found responsible for the sexual assault act. He has denied the allegation and claims that he is innocent. SA Senate members had also threaten to impeach Johnson.
University officials and the SA Student Senate have luanched their own investigations into the UWM Post newspaper theft.
UWM Post editor Zach Erman plans to filed a civil lawsuit this week against the former SA members and those involved for violating their First Amendment rights, including a civil rights violation.

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Bauer's Trial Postponed Until January In "Mule Smuggling" Heroin Case In The Dominican Republic

Jimmy Bauer's attorney failed to show up in court on Monday and the tribunal hearing was postponed and rescheduled for January 30, according to court records.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 12, 2011

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - On Monday, the Second Tribunal Court judges in Santo Domingo decided to postpone a trial hearing for Jaime Vargas, aka, "Jimmy Bauer," a local known bachata singer from New York City. Bauer's attorney failed to show up for the hearing and it was rescheduled for January 30. He is being held on charges for trafficking and trying to smuggle heroin into the U.S.
A hearing for Bauer on November 14, was rescheduled for Dec. 12, after prison (jail) authorities in Najayo failed to present him at court for the hearing. Court records indicate, Bauer is trying to make a plea agreement in the case and have a trial and sentencing hearing separately.
He has gone through a psychiatric evaluation for minor mental disorder behavior. Officials dispute his claim that he suffering from any mental stress or mild disorder after Bauer recently granted an interview with Nuria, who has a Televised program and answered questions without any difficulty.
Bauer has been held in jail since, November 1, 2010 after being arrested for trying to smuggle one kilo of heroin in his stomach, known as "Mule Smuggling." He collapsed at the Santo Domingo International Las Americas Airport when detained for suspicous behavior and minutes after a small pellet full of heroin ruptured inside his stomach. The rupture caused an overdose that almost killed Bauer.
After an x-ray, doctors at a military hospital later removed 88 pellets (small balloons) of 1.04 kilogram totalling 2.2 pounds of pure heroin that Bauer had injested. Bauer later admitted that he tried to smuggle the heroin, becaue he was broke, having financial problems and wanted some quick cash to make a bachata music video, according to authorities.
If Bauer would have made the flight to the U.S., most likely he wouldn't have survived the flight, according to authorities.

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VDLF Action Endorsement For Pérez In The 12th Aldermanic District Draws Allegations Of Racism

Robert Miranda

Pérez in early December claimed in Facebook that Voces de la Frontera Action, a political branch of Voces de la Frontera had endorsed him for alderman.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 12, 2011
(Updated)

Milwaukee - Since last week, José Pérez, a declared candidate for the 12th Aldermanic District has drawn criticism about an early December endorsement by Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) Action. VDLF Action, a political branch of Voces de la Frontera, a non-profit workers and immigrant rights organization has been labeled and accused as a racist organization for not supporting the current Alderman James N. Witkowiak. The allegations of racism were raised by outspoken Robert Miranda, the current Executive Director of Esperanza Unida, Inc., who has a column by line in the Spanish Journal "Taking Sides," an editor as well and who also airs a Sunday talk show on WJTI 1460 AM radio.
Miranda claimed that the Latino leadership had started to abandon Alderman Witkowiak. He didn't mention any names of who were the supposed called leaders of the Latino community. Some of them had sent a bad "bigoted kind of message," especially VDLF Action who endorsed Pérez, according to Miranda. Pérez on December 1st, posted on his Facebook that VDLF Action had endorsed him and thanked them.
Miranda became outraged that Voces endorsed Pérez who hasn't yet been placed on the ballot, but had declared his candidacy and is circulating nomination papers to get on the ballot.
Miranda asked, How is it that a group so dedicated to fighting racism seems to be practicing racism themselves? "But for the fact that Witkowiak is the White candidate in this election, racism is the only logical conclusion," Miranda wrote.
Miranda believes, that Witkowiak has done an honorable service for the community and hasn't done anything against the community or immigrants. Witkowiak has stood and supported Voces on workers and immigrant rights issues and now is being thrown under a bus by Voces and some unnamed Latino leaders, according to Miranda.
On the other hand people are asking, what has Pérez actually done for the community?, to get an endorsement by VDLF Action. Who knows?, but the community will have to wait and see how the election proceeds and turns out in the 12th Aldermanic District.
The Pérez campaign has been accused of posting up Pérez posters at several dozen places in the southside before December 1st. Susan Edman, the Executive Director for the City of Milwaukee Election Commission confirmed, that it was an election violation to post campaign signs before December. Edman failed to mention, if any penalties exist for candidates who violate posting rules.
Neither Pérez or Witkowiak could be reached for comment regarding Miranda's claim of racism.
Miranda in a second article published on Dec. 14, got too personal and called Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera "a hypocrite." VDLF Action "had no real intention of holding an honest endorsement of candidates," Miranda wrote. Witkowiak never received any notice about the VDLF Action endorsement process, thus disrespecting Witkowiak after he has actually stood by and helped Voces for the last four years as an proven alderman and has also shown his allegiance to the Latino community. Which Pérez has yet to achieve as an elected official. Which is "shameful" and Voces has practiced racism against Witkowiak, who is White, according to Miranda.
Joe Shansky, Communications Coordinator for Voces de la Frontera released the following statement concerning recent allegations that VDLF Action was racist. In behalf of VDLF Action, the Spanish Journal's claim that our decision to endorse José Peréz in Milwaukee's 12th Aldermanic District reflects racism is patently ridiculous. On the contrary, Spanish Journal editor Robert Miranda is racist to assume there are not qualified Latinos to run for elected office in the 12th aldermanic district, a majority Latino district.
Both Alderman James Witkowiak and José Pérez are allies of VDLF Action (c4 arm of Voces de la Frontera), and both are qualified candidates who would represent Voces' positions well.
VDLF Action has made the decision to endorse Pérez in this race because he is a long-time Voces member, has strong leadership qualities, and is qualified to move the city forward based on his many years of work with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, as a small business owner, community and labor organizer.
In addition, we believe that representation matters, and electing a Latino candidate is important to ensure that Milwaukee’s Common Council reflects our city’s diversity. VDLF Action is not interested in tokens or Latinos that do not support the civil rights of immigrants or the needs of working class families of all races and ethnicities.
Ultimately, we judge candidates based on their qualifications and whether they support Voces' in fighting for immigrant and worker rights. Pérez fits these criteria. He is a viable candidate, which is part of our criteria we use when we make an endorsement. Voces has endorsed Pérez because we believe he can best represent our community on the Common Council.
Finally, it is tiring to read Miranda's continuing, unprincipled and obsessive attacks on Voces in the Spanish Journal. Before publishing his most recent article, Mr. Miranda did not speak to Voces, which is odd since Voces is the focus of the article.  And he continues to refuse to provide Voces with access to the paper he runs to respond to the many allegations in his publication. Is Miranda’s attack really about Voces’ position on the 12th aldermanic race?  Or is it in response to Voces recently supporting and winning a settlement agreement for Esperanza Unida workers, who have long-standing grievances against Mr. Miranda? Miranda is the Executive Director of Esperanza Unida. Esperanza Unida failed to pay some its employees on a timely basis, and fired them for seeking assistance from Voces on wage and hour violations. The mistreatment of Esperanza’s workers has been a chronic problem under Mr. Miranda's stewardship of Esperanza Unida.  
Our doors are always open and we encourage anyone who wants to learn more about our endorsements to speak directly to us. VDLF Action will continue to focus on uniting, not dividing the community, in our fight for jobs and justice.

Miranda's Taking Sides article at link: http://bit.ly/s1bea7

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