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February 2014 Archives

Durham Cops Net 33 Pounds Of Synthetic Marijuana During Traffic Stop

33 pounds is a hefty amount of synthetic marijuana. Hefty enough, in fact, that the Durham Police Department said it was a record amount for the city, as the News Observer reports, meaning that a 36-year-old man now faces what the News Observer characterizes as the "highest-level trafficking charges possible" for synthetic marijuana.

North Carolina men accused of Ponzi scheme, financial fraud

Two men in North Carolina are facing federal charges after allegedly administering a Ponzi scheme in that state. A U.S. regulatory agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is pursuing a complaint against the two men, who are accused of white collar crimes involved in soliciting 11 other people to trade in specific marketplaces. The scheme allegedly solicited about $2.3 million through fraud. The CFTC is seeking a variety of civil penalties against the men in connection with the financial fraud.

DWI defendants miss out on speedy trial in North Carolina

North Carolina has a reputation as having some of the most stringent rules for drunk driving. Now, some residents are calling for even more regulation, considering the shocking number of individuals arrested for DWI every year in the state. Authorities report that nearly 50,000 people were arrested within the state's borders for drunk driving during 2013, and 388 fatal alcohol-related crashes occurred.

Man convicted of federal crimes for smuggling narwhal tusks

North Carolina has a significant amount of shoreline. For many, the beach provides a scenic vista and hours of recreation. For others, though, the ocean may be the source of something far more nefarious: federal crime allegations. News reports out of North Carolina show that one East Coast man is facing potentially serious consequences after being convicted of smuggling narwhal tusks into the country. The defendant was convicted on six counts of smuggling, conspiracy and money laundering, among other allegations. He could spend decades in prison because of the conviction.

Banks worry about drug crimes despite legalization of marijuana

Marijuana has been legalized in two American states, but banks throughout the nation say they are struggling to define their role in the new business model. The banks, some of which are also located in North Carolina, are facing potential business consequences if they open accounts for marijuana-based companies. Even though those marijuana businesses are not committing drug crimes according to state law, they are still violating federal rules.

State Crack Cocaine Drug Bust Ends In Federal Prison Time

A 33-year-old North Carolina man has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison on drug trafficking charges after undercover officers purchased more than 100 grams of crack cocaine from him. The man was targeted for investigation on suspicion of dealing drugs by county law enforcement. The U.S. Attorney's office also had an open investigation focused on the North Carolina man and adopted the case after the drug bust was made.

North Carolina sex crimes convicts face trouble upon release

Legal changes in North Carolina may be working to support offenders who are having difficulty reintegrating into society, but certain convicts are being left out. Those recently released from prison explain the difficulties that often accompany attempting to find a job or a place to live - those challenges are only exacerbated for individuals who are convicted of sex crimes. A 2012 law that allows convicts to clear their criminal records after 15 years conspicuously fails to include those who are convicted of some sex offenses. Others left out of the legal protection include those with narcotics drug arrests and convictions for ethnic discrimination, among others.

New rules protect drunk driving defendants at DWI checkpoints

Recently decided court cases in North Carolina have set new standards for DWI checkpoints in the Wake County area. Nearly every weekend, law enforcement agencies in the region implement sobriety checkpoints designed to nab intoxicated drivers. As those checkpoints have become increasingly common, advocates for drunk driving defendants are continuing to fight for drivers' civil rights. A landmark decision on Feb. 4 has led to new precedents that could lead to the dismissal of key evidence in scores of DWI cases.

AG Calls For Nationwide Restoration Of Voting Rights After Felony Conviction

Attorney General Eric Holder revealed another mission of the U.S. Department of Justice during a recent speech at Georgetown University: the restoration of voting rights to those convicted of felony crimes. Holder asserted that restrictions on voting rights - some that last for the entire life of the person convicted - are remnants of a racially biases criminal justice system of the past.

Defendants facing federal financial fraud charges

More than two dozen defendants have been named in an alleged fraud scheme in North Carolina. Investigators say the federal financial fraud occurred during a seven-year period, during which approximately $1 million was taken from area banks. The 27 defendants named in the case are each facing allegations of bank fraud conspiracy. Further, 26 of the defendants have also been charged with bank fraud. They could each face three decades in prison and fines reaching $1 million, according to official reports. Other charges include theft of firearms, aggravated identity theft and possession of stolen mail, among others.

Federal crimes defendants may be victimized by grand jury system

Attorneys from Raleigh are calling the current North Carolina grand jury system "a joke," alleging that the excessive use of this legal tool is diminishing the quality of legal proceedings in the state. Grand juries hand down indictments in a variety of North Carolina cases, including those in which the defendant is accused of federal crimes. Attorneys argue that the grand juries are handing out indictments indiscriminately, failing to correctly weigh evidence and information in critical cases.

Federal Prison Sentences In Cross-Country Prescription Drug Ring

A prescription-drug-selling network busted by federal agents is resulting in prison sentences for additional members of the unraveling conspiracy. According to reports of the oxycodone ring, the bicoastal operation involved the shipping of prescription drugs from the West coast for sale here on the East. The individuals involved are facing 20- and 40-year prison sentences.

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