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Two members of the Gangster Disciples street gang were sentenced last week to a combined total of more than 500 months in prison for charges related to a retaliatory shooting in Memphis, Tennessee.
According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Florence Anthony was given 135 months in prison, while Erik Reese was sentenced to 382 months in prison. Both had pleaded guilty to committing violent crimes to aid the gang’s racketeering activities.
Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing showed that on June 21, 2014, Anthony was involved in an altercation with a group of rival gang members at the Hillview Apartments in Memphis. Anthony told her Gangster Disciples chain of command about the altercation, who then issued orders to retaliate.
Later that night, Erik Reese and four other gang members shot up the apartment complex where the altercation had occurred. Four juveniles and one adult male were shot during the retaliatory attack. While all five victims survived, some sustained life-changing bodily injuries.
On March 8, a total of seven Gangster Disciples pleaded guilty to charges related to the shooting.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, police departments for Memphis, Bartlett and Germantown; sheriff’s offices for Tipton, Desoto and Shelby; and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab all worked together to investigate the case.
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Minnesota-based Federal Premium laid off 14 workers last week, bringing the total number of employees laid off this year to 186, according to the local Star Tribune.
The ammunition company has been coping with declining demand since the end of the presidential election cycle. Since March, the company has downsized from 1,430 workers in Anoka to 1,246.
“Inventory levels have remained high since the election and we are waiting for those inventories to clear. In the meantime, we are finding ways to manage our efficiencies,” Amanda Covington, spokeswoman for Federal’s parent firm Vista Outdoors, told the newspaper.
This month, Vista, which is comprised of mostly ammo and gear companies, reported quarterly sales declined 5 percent from last year and 11.5 percent from last quarter.
The newspaper reported the timing of the slowdown is particularly bad for Federal. Last year it announced a $33.9 million factory expansion and efficiency project in Anoka.
At the time, the company had promised to create 50 new jobs in exchange for a $1.15 million grant from the state, but has since rescinded its grant application after acknowledging it may not be able to deliver the promised jobs.
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Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement faced off with those in attendance at the Minneapolis Gay Pride Parade over the weekend, stopping the parade in its tracks and, in some cases, leading to heated exchanges.
The clash came after the Pride board made the decision to allow uniformed police officers to participate in the parade alongside others in the LGBT community. Among the marchers was Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, who is a lesbian.
Protesters carried signs and shut down the parade for a total of about 90 minutes, but officers – both on and off-duty – kept their distance.
“We understand black lives matter, we believe it wholeheartedly,” said parade-goer Laura Moore. “But to create a division between us as groups, that’s just not okay.”
Still, other marchers did not welcome the law enforcement community to the event, regardless of their sexual orientation.
St. Paul Officer Shannon Diedrich was one of the officers attending the parade.
“To be here and be part of the community, to show them that we’re here for them and to show us their support was great,” Diedrich said.
Other Pride parades across the country encountered similar experiences with BLM protesters.
[ Fox 9 ]
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A Jacksonville, Florida school board member is making waves by calling for charges against parents of students who bring guns to school.
The Florida Times-Union reported Duval County Public Schools board member Scott Shine is tired of students being the only ones punished in such cases, when often parents have not safely secured their firearms at home.
There reportedly have been at least 12 incidents in which students have brought guns to Duval County schools in the last year, the most recent involving a Neptune Beach first-grader. In at least three of those cases, students brought their parents’ guns from home.
“These are not kids who went out looking for a gun to do something,” Shine said. “These are kids who found a gun or it came to them. … People are all worked up about guns in schools but, quite frankly, parents are just leaving their guns laying around.”
“What if we can get parents to keep their guns locked up? Half the guns would be gone from schools. That’s an opportunity to me,” Shine added.
Shine, who is present at expulsion hearings and taught firearms safety classes for eight years, said parents rarely admit when leaving a gun unsecured in the home.
“I’m encouraging the district (police) to start charging the parents,” Shine said. “They can file a report and ask (the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office) to make the charge.”
Shine noted that under Florida law, it is illegal to leave a gun unsecured around children. If police take Shine’s suggestion, parents could face misdemeanor charges or worse.
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A Maryland man pleaded guilty Monday to making an illegal firearm, admitting he sawed off the barrel of a shotgun.
According to a Justice Department news release, 44-year-old Ian Nigel Page, of Crownsville Maryland, cut down the barrel of a Remington 12-gauge shotgun to less than 18 inches in Preston County, West Virginia in May 2015.
Page could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,ooo. However, the sentence handed down will be based on seriousness of offense and criminal history of the defendant.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Preston County Sheriff’s Office investigated.
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The AC-556 was based off the Mini-14. Ruger, Sturm& Co. introduced the Mini-14 in 1973, borrowing many of its design elements from both the M1 and the M14. Bill Ruger was interested in law enforcement and military sales, and to that end he released the GB (government bayonet) model. The GB offered a plethora of unique options.
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A Mexican national who’s been deported three times was arrested and charged in Albuquerque last week with federal firearms violations after a drug bust in a Home Depot parking lot went south.
Juan Carlos Quezada-Lara, 31, was charged with being a drug addict in possession of a firearm, and being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico.
Quezada-Lara met with an undercover agent on June 19 to buy some methamphetamine. According to a criminal complaint, agents tried to arrest him after the purchase, but he threw his car into reverse, slamming into a parked car. Then he drove forward, striking and injuring an FBI task force officer with the vehicle before speeding away.
Witnesses told KOB-TV in Albuquerque that federal agents opened fire on Quezada-Lara’s vehicle as he fled the scene. “He’s just probably emptying his whole clip,” said Josh Chavez, who was in a car with his wife and three kids, just feet from the fleeing vehicle as the agent opened fire.
“Either we woulda got hit by the car, or been in the line of fire,” he said, explaining how his wife stopped the car just in the nick of time. “Cuz I mean it was just, we were just off by seconds.”
Chavez said before he knew it, there were about ten agents on the scene. “And they all had their faces covered,” he said. “All you could see was their eyes.”
By then, Quezada-Lara was gone, having fled the scene, running red lights and speeding upwards of 100 miles an hour.
“(Quezada-Lara’s) girlfriend, Jessica (Artega), reported the vehicle stolen later that evening,” wrote FBI Special Agent Bryan Acee in the criminal complaint.
The next day, federal agents tracked down Artega, who told them Quezada-Lara was using methamphetamine. When agents went to his home, his grandfather let them search his bedroom. They found a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver and a Winchester Model 94 rifle. Both firearms were loaded and there was more ammo in a bedside drawer.
In a phone call with Acee that same day, Quezada-Lara said he wanted to turn himself in and expressed remorse for hitting the agent in the parking lot.
“Is the officer ok?” he asked Acee during the phone call. “I am sorry, I just got scared and didn’t know what to do. I panicked.”
Quezada-Lara agreed to stay where he was, and authorities went and arrested him without incident. In an interview with Acee, he said he was addicted to methamphetamine and had smoked some the morning of the drug bust in the parking lot. He said he had the guns in his bedroom to protect himself.
“(Quezada-Lara) said he had purchased the firearms on the street in Albuquerque,” wrote Acee in the complaint. “(He) acknowledged that he should not possess firearms because he was not an American citizen.”
Quezada-Lara was appointed a public defender and has been ordered held pending a trial. He faces a maximum of ten years for each charge. If convicted, he’ll be subject to removal from the United States upon completion of his prison term.
As for Chavez, he said he didn’t understand why the federal agent had to open fire in the parking lot when there were so many people around.
“How far does a bullet travel once it leaves that barrel?” Chavez asked. “There was no need to start shooting rounds off in a busy parking lot. Cuz that parking lot was packed.”
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Federal immigration authorities arrested a Mexican national last week for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than 7,000 rounds of ammo down to Mexico.
Eduvier Navidad-Vizcarra, 22, was arrested June 19 as he drove towards the port of entry into Mexico in Nogales, Arizona. Federal agents began investigating him a couple days earlier after they received a tip, according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“On June 17, 2017, at approximately 2:00 p.m., Homeland Security Investigations…agents received information that 7,000 rounds of Aguila .38 Super ammunition had been purchased in Phoenix by an individual who was driving a dark green Chevrolet Suburban,” wrote ATF Special Agent Robert Kilcoyne in a criminal complaint.
Within a couple hours, HSI agents, together with the ATF, located the vehicle and followed it back to Tucson. That’s where agents watched Navidad-Vizcarra take the boxes of ammo out of the Suburban and load them into a white Chevy pick-up truck.
“Navidad-Vizcarra took the cases from the Suburban, placed them in the cab of the truck, removed the small, individual boxes of ammunition from within the larger cases, and hid the small boxes somewhere behind the bench seat of the truck,” says the complaint.
When he started driving towards Nogales, agents tailed him, and eventually pulled him over. They searched the compartment and found the 7,000 rounds.
During an interview with agents, Navidad-Vizcarra at first said someone else had loaded the ammo, But when agents told him they’d watched him to do it, he confessed. He also said he’d smuggled ammo into Mexico the exact same way – hidden in a speaker box behind the bench seat – three times before. He said he’d been working for “unknown persons” in Mexico.
“One of HSI’s top enforcement priorities is preventing ammunition from falling into the hands of those who might seek to harm innocent people,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix.
If convicted, Navidad-Vizcarra faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
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An inmate who eluded authorities for more than three decades after escaping from prison is back in custody after he was captured Sunday at a home in Springdale, Arkansas.
According to the Arkansas Department of Correction, Steven Dishman, 60, escaped from the Benton Unit on May 28, 1985, some 220 miles from where he was found over the weekend.
Local authorities and the Arkansas State Police worked together to apprehend Dishman.
According to reports from local media, law enforcement found the fugitive thanks to a tip from Dishman’s acquaintance, who authorities say met him about five years after the escape and knew him by another name. No other information was released about the tipster.
Special agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are working to locate others who may have known Dishman while he was on the run, as well as where Dishman has lived for the past 30 years.
At the time of his escape, Dishman had served less than five months of a seven-year sentence that stemmed from burglary and theft of property charges out of Washington County. He was also serving a concurrent sentence for drug and gun charges. He would have been eligible for parole on Dec. 28, 1987, about three years into his sentence, according to reports.
Solomon Graves, the Arkansas Department of Correction Public Information Officer, said Dishman will now be required to serve the remainder of his sentence, and likely won’t be up for parole anytime soon. Dishman’s case will be forwarded to the Jefferson County prosecutor to determine whether additional charges are warranted.
Dishman is currently being held at the Varner Unit in Grady, about 70 miles southeast of Little Rock. Prior to his escape, he was held at the Cummins and Wrightsville units as well.
Currently, four prison escapees remain at large in the state of Arkansas.
The International Shooting Sport Federation held the first world championship summer biathlon event last weekend, combining running and rifle target shooting.
The event, held in Suhl, Germany, and referred to officially by the ISSF as Target Sprint, makes competitors run a 400m track, then take their rifle from a storage rack and shoot at five falling targets from a 10m standing position with a time penalty for each missed shot. The athlete then repeats the lap and shoots again, followed by another lap to the finish line.
ISSF Vice-President Gary Anderson, at the event’s opening ceremony last week, said the Target Sprint adds overall fitness to more traditional shooting events and encourages younger athletes into the discipline.
“Target Sprint represents an ISSF commitment to also include action and fitness in the shooting sport,” said Anderson. “Its healthy combination of air rifle shooting and running has brought an exciting dynamic and many new participants to our Olympic sport. After successful tests in several cities in Germany and other countries, the time has come to also give Target Sprint athletes their own World Championship.”
The event saw 78 athletes from 10 countries participate, with the largest contingents hailing from Germany, Hungary, and Italy. The U.S. did not have any entries.
Germany swept Target Sprint at the individual level with Michael Herr taking the men’s title, Anita Flack the women’s, Felix Elsner the men’s junior and Madlen Guggenmos the women’s junior.
In all, the Germans walked away with 17 of 21 medals awarded. Additional medals were won by competitors from the Egypt and the Czech Republic, with the Czechs notably winning the gold in the mixed team event.
The full results book can be found on the ISSF website.
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In their meeting in Miami this week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution opposing legislation to recognize concealed carry permits nationwide.
The group’s agenda going into the meeting included a pledge to develop a consensus around gun safety and gun violence initiatives and, in a move backed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, called on Congress to protect cities from “the threat” of concealed carry reciprocity legislation.
“Such legislation is dangerous as it would damage state and local governments’ ability to craft gun laws appropriate to their needs; and…the goals of this legislation are completely antithetical to all of the efforts to reduce and prevent gun violence,” says the adopted resolution.
The conference, formed of 1,049 mayors of towns and cities with a population larger than 30,000, oppose House H.R. 38 and Senate S.446, which would essentially allow anyone with a valid carry permit to use it in any city, and potentially allowing some to carry that in some circumstance do not meet local requirements.
The resolution mirrors a warning issued earlier this month by a separate municipal group, the National League of Cities that argues: “There are many other reasons why this legislation is bad for cities — and when preemption of this magnitude poses a direct threat to cities and their residents, local elected officials should make their voices heard.”
Gun control advocates associated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown organization welcomed the news from Miami, saying the legislation which now has 200 backers in the House would be a race to the bottom in terms of handgun carry licensing.
“Under ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity,’ Congress would gut local public safety laws and turn the weakest state’s laws effectively into nationwide laws, forcing states to allow domestic abusers, people with violent histories, and people who lack even the most basic gun safety training to carry concealed guns in public,” said Everytown President John Feinblatt in a statement.
The sponsor of the House measure, U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC, pointed out in a statement issued by his office that his bill doesn’t change the fact that firearm purchasers still must undergo a background check when buying a gun from a dealer, or dictate gun free zones.
“Contrary to this resolution, my bill to provide law-abiding citizens the right to carry concealed across state lines will not increase crime or violence,” Hudson said. “It is unfortunate that this group of mayors has decided to parrot the talking points of anti-Second Amendment crusader Michael Bloomberg who has vowed to spend millions to stop my bill instead of working to uphold the Constitutional right of all Americans. Simply put, this resolution is a bridge too far.”
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A white St. Louis police officer — saying he feared for his safety — shot and wounded an off-duty black colleague who was assisting during a pursuit last week. The incident refreshes the question of how race plays a role in when law enforcement decides to use deadly force.
“This happens to be the first time in the national discourse that we’re aware of a black professional, or a law enforcement officer himself, being shot or treated as an ordinary black guy on the street and we can see that this is a real problem,” said Rufus Tate, an attorney for the black officer’s union, to local media.
Tate said there’s no description in the police report that the 38-year-old off-duty officer with 11 years on the force acted in a threatening manner, but rather “there is this perception that a black man is automatically feared.”
According to June 22 statement by the St. Louis Police Department, the shooting occurred on June 21 after a high-speed police chase ended when three suspects crashed a stolen vehicle after hitting spike strips in the off-duty officer’s neighborhood in downtown St. Louis.
Leaving their vehicle, the suspects opened fire on responding officers, who backed off a bit before pursuing them on foot. Fearing for their safety, they returned fire, striking a 17-year-old suspect in the ankle. They arrested another suspect, also 17, but the third got away.
After hearing the commotion, the off-duty officer went to assist the responding officers. Armed with his service weapon, he approached his colleagues. At first, they didn’t recognize him and ordered him to the ground, but when the off-duty officer complied, they then realized who he was and he approached them.
Moments later, another officer arrived on the scene, observed the off-duty officer walking toward the responding officers and, fearing for his and their safety, fired at him, striking him in the arm. St. Louis police called it “friendly fire.”
That officer was described as a white male, 36 years old and an eight-year police veteran.
Per department policy, the officers involved in the incident — seven total — have been placed on administrative leave. The department’s Force Investigative Unit is reviewing the matter.
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Supreme Court refuses to hear right-to-carry-guns case, Justices Thomas and Gorsuch say there is such a right
“The armed assailant doesn’t plan on you fighting back,” he said. “He plans on having a gun, doing all the shooting, and you’re just the sitting duck. Well, the ducks need to shoot back.”
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Staff at the Medstar Washington Hospital Center transferred Rep. Steve Scalise out of intensive care last week — nine days after a 7.62mm round tore through his left hip, leaving the House majority whip in grave condition.
“Congressman Steve Scalise’s continued good progress allowed him to be transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit on Thursday (June 22),” the hospital said Friday. “He remains in fair condition as he continues an extended period of healing and rehabilitation.”
Scalise and four others were shot June 14 at a baseball field in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, about 10 miles outside of the capitol.
The congressman and about two dozen other Republican lawmakers and staffers had gathered that morning for one last practice ahead of the annual charity Congressional Baseball Game scheduled the following day when a deranged gunman opened fire on the field, striking Scalise, Special Agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, Republican aide Zach Barth and Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika.
The shooter, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, died later the same day at a D.C.-area hospital after a shootout with Griner, Bailey and the Alexandria Police Department.
The officers, Barth and Mike have all been released from the hospital since the shooting.
Scalise, who underwent three surgeries to stop internal bleeding and repair damage to organs and shattered bones, was upgraded to fair condition Thursday ahead of his transfer out of the ICU.
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