Arizona Senate candidate under attack: Guilty of being one of ‘Them Mooooz-Lums’

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Pleads Guilty to Roles in Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy

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Former Utah Officer Pleads Guilty to Impaired Driving


ST. GEORGE — A former agent with the state Bureau of Investigation arrested for DUI while driving an unmarked police vehicle on his way to a training assignment in Lake Powell has pleaded guilty to impaired driving.

Jason James Whitehead, 35 of Ogden, was arrested April 24 by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and was charged two days later in Garfield County Justice Court on one count of DUI and two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, all class B misdemeanors. He was also charged with one class C misdemeanor for an open container in a vehicle.

Whitehead faced a single count of impaired driving, a class B misdemeanor after Garfield County Attorney Barry Huntington filed amended charges June 9.

According to court records Whitehead pleaded guilty Thursday to the impaired driving charge with a $1,500 fine imposed. Court documents yielded no further details on the terms of the plea.

Whitehead was pulled over on April 24 by a UHP trooper after several calls to 911 were received from motorists reporting a reckless driver on U.S. Highway 89.

Once the trooper determined the driver was a DPS employee, Garfield County authorities were called to take the case to avoid a conflict of interest.

Whitehead failed the field sobriety test and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol by deputies with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, court records state.

Whitehead, a member of the DPS Dive Team, was on his way to training in Lake Powell when he was arrested.

“Whitehead is no longer employed with the Department of Public Safety,” Sgt. Todd Royce, Utah DPS public information officer, said Friday.

This report is based on statements from court documents and may not contain the full scope of findings.


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Baltimore Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Sexting Teenage Boy


A Baltimore officer has pleaded guilty to sexting with a York County, Pennsylvania teen, the York Dispatch reports.

Timothy Rae George, 26, pleaded guilty Friday in the York County Court of Common Pleas as part of a deal with prosecutors. Defense attorney Chris Ferro told the paper that other charges will be dropped at his sentencing, where he’ll face six to 23 months in York County Prison and three years of probation.

“I think we’re a step closer to resolving this unfortunate situation,” Ferro told the paper. “My client is beyond remorseful for his actions and lack of good judgment. He’s still a young man, and I think this will be a tough, but productive, learning experience for him.”

George was charged with three felonies in November, and the police department immediately suspended him without pay. He’s now admitted to having contact with a 15-year-old boy in Jackson Township from late August to late September. The teen’s father found him having a phone conversation with George, one of many phone and text exchanges. Video surveillance saw George with the victim at a high school football game, and the victim told police he had sent George a video of himself masturbating.

George joined the department in 2014 and remains suspended without pay, a spokesman confirmed. However, Ferro told the Dispatch he plans to leave the department anyway.

A judge ordered George to undergo an evaluation to determine if he should be deemed a sexually violent predator under state law, but Ferro said he doesn’t expect that to happen. Sentencing is set for Oct. 3 to allow enough time for that evaluation to be completed.

George also faces Baltimore city and county assault charges. A trial in the Baltimore County case is set for Sept. 28. He has a July 20 appearance coming up in city district court on the charges there, according to online court records. He allegedly assaulted his husband, Brandon Smith. Smith later suggested to local media that he lied to police, but this week emailed a Dispatch reporter, saying that the assault may in fact have happened.

“I wanted to make things look better for him up there in York, PA and make the charges in Baltimore County go away,” he wrote. “I succeeded.”


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Police Officer Accused of Sex Abuse Changes Plea to Guilty


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A Salt River Police Department officer accused of sexually abusing a woman in his custody last year has changed his plea to guilty in the case.

Maricopa County Superior Court officials say 45-year-old Jay Hun Wu pleaded guilty Friday to attempt to commit unlawful sexual conduct.

Sentencing is scheduled for August. 1st.

Scottsdale police arrested Wu in May 2016 on suspicion of kidnapping, sexual abuse, assault, tampering with physical evidence and other charges.

Police say a 43-year-old woman reported that Wu sexually abused her in March 2016 after Wu gave her a courtesy ride home when she was the subject of an investigation.

Wu had pleaded not guilty to the charges a month after his arrest.

The Salt River Police Department serves the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

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Handcuffed Man Drowns, State Trooper Pleads Guilty to Boating Violation


A Missouri state trooper pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor boating violation three years after he handcuffed a college student and left him to drown in a lake.

Brandon Ellingson and his friends were celebrating the start of summer break with a boating trip in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks in May 2014. But as he and his friends were leaving the dock one afternoon, trooper Anthony Piercy stopped them and accused Ellingson, 20, of boating while intoxicated. Piercy handcuffed Ellingson, placed him in the back of his Water Patrol boat, and sped off. The boat was traveling 46 miles per hour when it hit a wave, flinging the handcuffed young man into the water. Piercy called his supervisor an hour after Ellingson drowned.

Piercy faces a maximum six months in prison and a $500 fine for Ellingson’s death. Ellingson’s family says it’s the closest they’ll get to justice.

“He’s an evil person,” Ellingson’s father Craig told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “The reason we decided to go to the plea deal was it was tainted down there,” in Morgan County, Missouri’s court system.

The family also reached a $9 million settlement with the state of Missouri in November 2016. “We weren’t going to go through that again,” Craig said of the two-year ordeal.

The family had to fight to learn even the basic facts of their son’s death. Four months after Ellingson drowned, a local coroner ruled his death an accident, despite testimony from Ellingson’s friends who described Piercy as negligent.

After Piercy cuffed Ellingson, he tried pulling a life vest over Ellingson’s cuffed arms, instead of choosing another available life vest that allowed a person to wear handcuffs.

“He tried to pull [it] over his shoulders… and was having a very hard time doing so,” Ellingson’s friend Myles Goertz told investigators, according to the Kansas City Star. “It clearly was not the proper way to wear a life jacket. It was not how the life jacket was designed to be worn.”

Forgetting to fasten a buckle between Ellingson’s legs, Piercy “shoved a life jacket over his head and took off like a bat out of hell,” Craig said.

The misapplied life vest fell off as Ellingson hit the water. Ellingson was an “all star” football player, his father said. But with his hands cuffed behind his back, Ellingson struggled to stay afloat. Piercy did not jump in to save him.

When a bachelorette party passed on a nearby boat, the passengers threw Ellingson a life ring “but they didn’t know my son was handcuffed,” Craig said. “Piercy didn’t say he was handcuffed.”

The women told investigators that they screamed at Piercy to extend a pole to Ellingson, which he did “but he knew he was handcuffed,” Craig said.

Piercy did not call a supervisor for help until an hour after Ellingson drowned. Footage from his boat shows Piercy having a chillingly casual conversation with his colleague, referring to Ellingson in profane terms.

“I’m banged up a little bit, but I’m alright. I don’t know if I’m sore from treading water with the bastard,” Piercy told a supervisor of the dead 20-year-old.

Many of the records on Ellingson’s death only emerged later, through his family’s persistent legal efforts against the department.

In September 2016, a circuit court judge ruled that the state had “knowingly” and “purposely” violated the state’s Sunshine Law to withhold documents about Ellingson’s death from his family. “These documents could all be considered highly damaging to the [Highway Patrol], and the wrongful nondisclosure of these documents is troubling to the Court,” a judge wrote.

Piercy’s criminal case presented the Ellingsons with a different challenge: small-town Missouri law.

Morgan County’s population hovers just above 20,000. During an inquest jury on the cause of Ellingson’s death, a juror told the Kansas City Star that the criminal trial should be held outside Morgan County because the local courts ran on a “good ole boy system.” And Piercy was reportedly well-known in the small community.

“That whole town’s been tainted,” Craig said. “His wife’s a teacher, he was on the school board, he was a cop.”

The Ellingsons wanted to move the case to Kansas City, or closer to their home near Des Moines, Iowa, but the case was locked into Piercy’s hometown venue, where they worried Piercy would walk free.

“It would have been a hung jury, or he would have gotten off,” Craig said. Special prosecutor William Camm Seay interviewed locals about their stance on the case and arrived at the same concerns.

“I had a great fear of a mistrial and just seating a jury,” Seay told the Star. Instead, Seay agreed to offer a drastically reduced plea deal. Instead of facing involuntary manslaughter charges, Piercy would plead guilty to a misdemeanor boating violation, a slap on the wrist that could result in a maximum six months behind bars.

Piercy’s lawyer asked that Piercy be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, should he be sentenced to more than probation. But after three years of fighting his son’s case, Craig said the closest thing to justice will be the opportunity to address Piercy during the sentencing.

“It was probably the best alternative, rather than have him walk free. This way we can sit in front of him and say what we want,” Craig said. “I’m a Christian. Ultimately, my belief is he’ll be judged by God.”

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Another dupe?: Ohio man charged and pleads guilty to joining and providing support for Al-Qaeda in Syria


A Somali-born resident of Columbus, Ohio, has admitted to training and fighting alongside the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. He also admitted to planning an attack in the US upon his return from Syria.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 25, is a Somali-born naturalized citizen of the US. In 2014, he traveled to Turkey where he crossed the border into Syria, court documents show.

While in Syria, Mohamud received training from the Al-Nusra Front, a terrorist organization affiliated with Al-Qaeda, prosecutors said.

“After returning to the US, Mohamud planned to obtain weapons in order to kill military officers or other government employees or people in uniform. Evidence seized by the FBI indicates that Mohamud researched places in the US to carry out such plans,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

He was arrested in the US in 2015.

Mohamud’s brother also fought with Al-Nusra, and he was killed in Syria, according to US prosecutors.

Two years ago, a federal grand jury charged Mohamud with one count of attempting to provide and providing material support to terrorists, one count of attempting to provide and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization – namely, the Al-Nusra Front – and one count of making false statements to the FBI involving international terrorism. He pleaded guilty to all charges brought against him.

His trial is scheduled for next month. Providing material support to terrorists as well as to a designated foreign terrorist organization could land Mohamud in prison for 30 years.

Making false statements involving international terrorism carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.

The Al-Nusra Front has changed its name several times, and is also known as Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham. It is widely recognized as an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. The group was active in eastern Aleppo before it was ousted from the city by Russian and Syrian forces earlier this year.

Last week, US prosecutors in New York charged a man from the Bronx, Saddam Mohamed Raishani, with attempting to join ISIS (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

“As alleged, Saddam Mohamed Raishani, a Bronx man, plotted to travel to Syria to join and train with the terrorist organization ISIS. Having already helped another man make that trip to ISIS’s heartland, Raishani allegedly acted on his own desire to wage violent jihad, planning to leave his family and life in New York City for the battlefields of the Middle East,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said.

Raishani didn’t make it to Syria, and instead was arrested at JFK Airport as he tried to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey.

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