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Monday, January 26, 2015

There's a war going on. . . .right here on the streets of America.

Over two thousand brave American soldiers have given their lives fighting in Afghanistan since 2001.

What many don't realize, is that a disturbingly similar number of law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty over the same period of time...right here on the streets of America.

There's a war going on, and it's happening right outside your front door.



www.heroesbehindthebadge.com


FBI nabs member of Russian spy ring in New York City

FBI nabs member of Russian spy ring in New York City - Washington Times



FBI officials said they arrested a member of a Russian spy ring Monday that had been operating in New York City since 2010.
Counterintelligence agents arrested Evgeny Buryakov, also known as “Zhenya,” on charges of spying and attempting to recruit spies on U.S. soil. Two other individuals were also charged, but not arrested as the Justice Department said they are no longer in the U.S.
“The attempt by foreign nations to illegally gather economic and other intelligence information in the United States through covert agents is a direct threat to the national security of the United States, and it exemplifies why counterespionage is a top priority,” said John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security.
Officials said that Mr. Buryakov posed as an employee of a Russian bank in New York while gathering intelligence for Moscow and attempting to recruit more New Yorkers to act as spies.
It’s the most recent incident of Russian spies being caught on U.S. soil. In 2010, the FBI caught and expelled several Russian agents, including Anna Chapman, who has become a minor celebrity in her home country and recently said she’d be willing to marry Edward Snowden.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

On the run since 1980, Mississippi fugitive now back behind bars

On the run since 1980, Mississippi fugitive now back behind bars



CARBON CITY, UT (MS NEWS NOW) -A fugitive from the Mississippi Department of Corrections who has been on the run for 34 years has been caught in Utah.

Sam Gene Harris, 62, escaped from Forrest County Community Work Center in MS in 1980. The work center houses what law enforcement consider to be non-violent offenders.

Harris was arrested Thursday at his home in Wellington City, UT. 
According to the Carbon County Sheriff's Office, he has been living under the name Wayne Edward Stevens for the last 20 years.

"He's been living there for 23 years right under everybody's noses, " Wood toldKSL News in Salt Lake City.

Harris was arrested in Jones County, MS in July 1980. He was serving a four-year sentence for his conviction on charges of shoplifting and possession of burglary tools when he escaped in November 1980, according to Mississippi Department of Corrections spokeswoman Tara Scott.

Records about the escape are so old that corrections staff would have to go through microfiche to provide additional details about the incident, Scott said.

According to information from KSL News, on Thursday detectives went to conduct surveillance on a house in Wellington where Harris was believed to be living. During the surveillance, Harris came outside and detectives arrested him without incident at about 10:45 a.m.

"Mr. Harris has built an extensive criminal history throughout the country and uses a number of aliases," according to a statement issued Friday by the sheriff's office. "Most of his previous crimes are theft related."

Authorities in UT tell KSL News that Harris had a UT driver's license issued under the Stevens alias and has even had law enforcement contact under that alias. State court records, however, don't show any criminal cases for an individual named Wayne Edward Stevens.

Harris is being held in the Carbon County Jail. Wellington police are leading a joint investigation into his history in UT.
Copyright 2015 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved. Additional information from KSL News.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Video of Officer Scott Patrick's murder played in court

Video of Officer Scott Patrick's murder played in court - KMSP-TV



ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KMSP) -

After several delays, the high stakes first-degree murder trial of Brian Fitch officially got underway Thursday morning in St. Cloud, Minn. Fitch is accused of killing Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick during a routine traffic stop on July 30, 2014.

Squad car video played in court
The two videos run about 12 minutes.
In one, we watch from inside Officer Patrick's vehicle as he initiates the traffic stop at 12:20 p.m. on July 30. There is no audio as he picks up his radio to presumably call in the information about the Pontiac Grand Am he is about to pull over.
The second camera is pointing at the suspect vehicle. In that video, the veteran officer is seen taking a few steps towards the pulled over car, when all of a sudden, three loud pops and flashes comes from the driver's window. Officer Patrick drops to the ground dead. The suspect car then speeds off.

NOTE:  The video attached to this story has been edited for sensitivity. It shows the traffic stop, approach to the suspect's vehicle and a portion of the radio traffic following the shooting.
The Patrick family was in court Thursday and had seen the graphic squad video before it was played for the jury. The judge ordered a 10-minute recess immediately afterward so everyone could collect themselves.
Prosecution: Fitch planned getaway to Wisconsin cabin
In opening statements, prosecutor Rick Dusterhoft laid out the state's case, arguing there is indisputable evidence that Fitch is the gunman, even though he isn't ever seen on the squad video.
Dusterhoft said there are acquaintances of Fitch who will testify they saw the defendant with a gun after the shooting, and that he told them if anyone asked to say he was on his way to Canada. In fact, Dusterhoft said Fitch was instead planning a getaway to a cabin in Wisconsin.
Witnesses can't 100 percent identify Fitch as shooter

Witness testimony on Thursday focused on several witnesses in and around the intersection of Dodd Road and Smith Avenue in West St. Paul, where Officer Patrick was shot three times and killed.
Prosecutors have said none of their eyewitnesses could 100 percent identify Brian Fitch as the shooter, and that was clear in court. One person testified that they thought the gunman behind the wheel was Mexican because of their dark skin. Another thought they saw a second person in the fleeing Pontiac Grand Am. Others testified that the suspect was in his teens or early 20s with sandy, blonde hair.
Fitch is 40, with a shaved bald head.
Defense attorney mentions 'Serial' podcast
Defense attorney Lauri Traub made a big deal out of that fact in her opening statement to the jury. Traub used her opening statement to attack the forensic gun evidence and the state's timeline of events on July 30. She argued that the timeline doesn't add up -- that the state decided from the very beginning that her client was the shooter, and then law enforcement worked backward to try and prove he did it.
Traub pointed to the wildly popular Serial podcast where an NPR reporter digs into an old Baltimore murder and wonders if in the end, the wrong person was convicted. She asked the jury to find Brian Fitch not guilty after listening closely and critically to all the evidence and testimony.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Key Largo man charged with trying to kill police, beating wife bloody with a shotgun

Key Largo man charged with trying to kill police, beating wife bloody with a shotgun | Crime | KeysNet



A 57-year-old Key Largo man is in jail today charged with four counts of attempted murder and other charges following a domestic dispute and police chase -- which included gunshots fired -- just before midnight Tuesday.
It stems from Robert Schminky, 57, beating his wife Honour bloody with the stock of a shotgun before he fled.
"The stock of the shotgun was broken during the beating," says Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. "She sustained severe injuries including a broken arm, a broken wrist, broken ribs, a head injury and other internal injuries. She later told detectives she believes he would have killed her if deputies had not arrived when they did."
In addition to being charged with attempting to kill his wife, Schminky is charged with three counts of attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated battery on a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer, discharging a firearm in public and fleeing and eluding police.
Deputies Angelina Lubin and Diosvel Fumero responded to 52 Buttonwood Drive around mile marker 100.5 after getting a call about a domestic dispute involving a gun. When they arrived, they heard Honour Schminky calling for help and found Robert Schminky in the front yard holding the shotgun.
They ordered him to drop it; he instead fired twice into the ground, then got into a white 2004 Lexus sport utility vehicle and drove away, heading north on U.S. 1 to State Road 905, which leads to Card Sound Road. Sgt. Sydney Whitehouse and other deputies pursued.
At some point, Schminky did a U-turn at Valois Boulevard and headed back south. So Whitehouse turned around, too, and continued the pursuit back to U.S. 1. Schminky pulled into the Circle K parking at mile marker 106 where U.S. 1 and 905 split.
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper C. Gracey was in her cruiser in the parking lot and Schminky rammed it with his Lexus, then fired "several gunshots" into her car, Herrin said, striking the windshield and emergency lights.
Whitehouse, also back at the Circle Key, got out of his car "to take a tactical position to engage the suspect," Herrin said. "He heard a gunshot and felt pain in his upper right leg. A bullet from the suspect had grazed his leg." Gracey sustained a minor arm injury from the collision.
Herrin said Schminky then left southbound. Deputy Nestor Argote followed him and he pulled into Saint Justin Martyr Catholic Church about a mile away.
Schminky "fired several shots" at Argote, Herrin said, then took off running. Argot and Detective Barney Sajdak caught him.
Investigation revealed a Smith and Wesson .44-caliber magnum revolver with six fired shell casings in Schminky's SUV. Six .40-caliber shell casings were also found in the car, as was the gun he had when he took off running, a 40-caliber Springfield semi-automatic handgun.

The Schminkys have been married for 16 years. Their argument started after Robert returned home from the Miami Veterans Administration Hospital and his wife asked about test results. Honour Schminky's brother apparently is the one who called police after she called him from the house to him what was going on.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Remember the Fallen of 2014

Please remember the Brave Men and Women who gave their lives protecting us every single day, the fallen of 2014