Soldiers charged in arms trafficking case

Soldiers charged in arms trafficking case

WASHINGTON — Twelve people, including three U.S. soldiers, have been charged in a large-scale gun smuggling ring that prosecutors say supplied nearly 100 firearms to gang members in Chicago and led to at minus two murders, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.

The soldiers — Demarcus Adams, 21; Jarius Brunson, 22; and Brandon Miller, 22 – were stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, from where they would legally purchase weapons from dealers in Tennessee and Kentucky, prosecutors said. The soldiers are accused of selling them to members of the Gangster Disciples street gang in the south Chicago neighborhood of Pocket Town, according to the 21-count indictment.

The indictment charges the group with conspiring to violate federal gun laws, among other crimes. If found guilty, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison.

The case is part of the Department of Justice’s efforts to investigate and prosecute gun trafficking amid rising crime in the United States. Attorney General Merrick Garland has pledged to prioritize prosecutions of gun traffickers and so-called straw buyers, who legally buy guns to sell to people who legally cannot. own firearms, often in states with more restrictive laws.

“The Department of Justice will spare no resources in holding criminal arms dealers accountable,” Garland said Friday. “There is no hiding place for those who flood our communities with illegal weapons. It doesn’t matter where you are or how far away you are. If you are illegally trafficking weapons, we and our partners in charge of law enforcement nationwide will find you.”

Nebraska sets date to replace lawmaker

OMAHA, Neb. – Nebraska voters will elect a new congressman the same day a California judge is due to sentence the Republican who resigned from office.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said Friday a special election will be held on June 28 to replace former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned days after his conviction for lying to federal authorities about an illegal campaign donation.

It is the same day that a federal judge in Los Angeles is due to sentence Fortenberry, who was found guilty on March 24 of concealing information and two counts of making false statements to authorities. Each count carries a five-year prison sentence and fines.

The sentencing marked the first time in 20 years that a sitting member of Congress has been convicted of a crime. The charges stemmed from Fortenberry’s acceptance of an illegal $30,000 contribution from a foreign billionaire in 2016.

Fortenberry represented Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District, a Republican-leaning district in the eastern part of the state that includes Lincoln, home to the University of Nebraska.

A US agency reports the escape of a mobster

ROCHESTER, NY – A New York mobster who killed three people and attempted to kill two others escaped federal custody after being recently transferred to a halfway house, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Dominic Taddeo, a hitman for a Rochester-area crime family, escaped Monday, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.

Taddeo, 64, had been jailed in a medium-security prison in Florida before being moved to a residential halfway house, also in Florida, in February.

Taddeo pleaded guilty in 1992 to racketeering charges that included the murder of three men during mob wars in the 1980s.

A federal judge in New York denied Taddeo’s request for compassionate release last year, rejecting his claim that health issues including hypertension and obesity put him at risk for serious complications from the Covid-19. Prosecutors said medical records did not show Taddeo to be particularly unhealthy.

The circumstances of the escape are unknown.

The museum is holding an event in King’s memory

MEMPHIS — Guest speakers, musical performances and a moment of silence will commemorate the 54th anniversary of the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum has announced.

The museum said it will hold its annual event honoring the civil rights leader on Monday in a schedule that includes in-person and online events.

King was traveling to Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers when he was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. The hotel was turned into a National Civil Rights Museum, which opened in 1991.

A minute of silence will be held at 6:01 p.m., when King was shot.

Guest speakers will include Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy human rights organization and daughter of the former United States Attorney General, and Leslie Callahan of St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

The W. Crimm Singers, also known as the Wakanda Chorale, are scheduled to perform. They will collaborate with the Artist Fellows of the Iris Orchestra and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra-University of Memphis Fellows on “Precious Lord”, one of King’s favorite gospel anthems.

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