Walmart just shared its quarterly results with investors and with the world, and its sales and profits are up. Great news! Only a lot of the chain’s profits have come because of aggressive cost-cutting, and its cutbacks in security have meant increases in petty and violent crimes that can be a burden on local law enforcement. [More]
crime and punishment
At the time he won a $5 million lottery jackpot on a scratchoff ticket, a Syracuse, N.Y. man says that he was buying a lot of lottery tickets and also using crack. He claims that the store owner’s sons took the ticket and held on to it for six years. Now one of the sons has been convicted and sentenced to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison for criminal possession of stolen property. [More]
In the realm of armed robbery, it’s become a fashion “do” to don a Spider-Man mask while committing the deed. A rash of robberies in a few states have started to portray the comic book crime fighter in a poor light.
Law enforcement officers put themselves at great risk, perform a vital public service and give society the peace of mind to be able to function with confidence. Even so, it has been said that some cops have been known to do things that could be classified as annoying or abusive.
A former tax examiner for the Washington, D.C. government was efficient enough at collecting funds, but not so great at handing them over to her employer. That was the case for a woman who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, swiping $400,000 over four years in fraudulent refunds.
The United States gave away a record number of its poor, tired, hungry and huddled masses in the fiscal year that ended in September. According to the director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency deported nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants, adding that more than half of the deported had convictions of felonies or misdemeanors.
When a pre-release iPhone 4 prototype went missing at a beer garden last year and ended up being sold to Gizmodo, the stakes seemed high. Investigators seized an editor’s computers and charged two men with crimes connected to the alleged theft. But several months and an entire newer iPhone model release later, the drama turned out to be much ado about very little. Two men accused of selling the device were sentenced to a year of probation, 40 hours of community service and a not-so-whopping $250 restitution they must both pay to Apple. They pleaded no contest to charges of misdemeanor theft.
Giving headline writers an excellent opportunity to make puns about aerospace workers getting high, federal agents arrested 37 Boeing workers in a drug bust at a plant near Philadelphia. The undercover operation was a four-year sting meant to expose a ring of prescription drug abuse.
Deciding to take away a final creature comfort from death row inmates on the verge of execution, Texas has eliminated the traditional last meal ritual, in which the condemned got to choose a favorite dish before he departed.
In the movie Wedding Crashers, Owen Wilson’s character pours eye drops into an enemy’s drink to put him out of commission and is rewarded with audience laughter. In real life, a Wisconsin college student does the same to her roommate and is charged with a felony that stuck her with 90 days in prison and 30 months of probation.
Medicare has enough sustainability problems when used by the book, so the government-subsidized healthcare plan is in no position to absorb massive fraud. In an effort to rein in misuse of the program, federal agents led a 400-plus agency national sting operation that yielded 91 arrests of alleged fraudsters.
A New York judge got tough with a 15-year-old boy convicted of mugging a 73-year-old man, sentencing him for 2 to 6 years in juvenile detention. The judge said he would have given the boy the same 1 to 4 year state prison sentence as a youthful offender that he gave his accomplice if he had taken responsibility for the crime rather than taking back his initial confession. Because the boy with the 2 to 6 year sentence was not convicted as a youthful offender, his crime — unlike that of his accomplice — will stay on his record after he serves his time.
An Idaho woman suspected of swiping a single can of beer from a grocery store last week was charged with a felony punishable by as many as 10 years in prison.
When a pre-release iPhone 4 prototype wound up in the hands of Gizmodo last year, authorities began an investigation that led to the seizure of an editor’s computers. Authorities allege that an Apple engineer left the prototype at a bar. Gizmodo admitted paying someone to get the phone, stating it didn’t realize the prototype was stolen. Now Gizmodo editors can breathe easy, because the San Mateo County District Attorney has not brought charges against anyone from the site.
According to the Lake County, Fla. Sheriff’s Office, drug smugglers in Arizona sent 260 grams of meth to Florida via FedEx in a Meow Mix bag. The package was sent to a title company and was addressed to one of the business’s clients who resided in D.C. An employee thought the package looked suspicious, so he turned it over to authorities.