Crime in the News - FindLaw Blotter

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Last week, a juvenile carjacker in New Jersey made headlines for being arrested twice within 48 hours for two separate carjacking incidents. Police released the minor into the custody of a relative after his arrest on a Friday for carjacking, and on Sunday, the teen was rearrested for another carjacking.

The juvenile carjacker, surprisingly, is only 13 years old. Fortunately, there were no injuries as a result of his actions, however, police have linked an additional two to three car thefts from surrounding communities to the young suspect.

George Zimmerman, the garbage human infamously acquitted in the homicide of Trayvon Martin, became the victim of a shooting himself last year, in an apparent road rage incident. The man who shot at Zimmerman, Matthew Apperson, was convicted of attempted second-degree murder last month, and last week was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The irony is that Zimmerman himself was charged with second-degree murder in Martin's death, and was perhaps fortunate his victim wasn't around to testify at his trial.

Two unlucky burglars got way more than they bargained for when they broke into the Gas bike shop in Orange County, Florida last week. The pair of burglars found the shop's owner lying in wait, gun in hand, and it only got crazier from there.

The bike shop owner had a few prior break-ins and was justifiably paranoid that it would happen again. As a preventative measure, he began sleeping in his store, with a gun. When the burglars broke in, he allegedly held the two men at gun point, forced them to strip down to their underwear, then marched them into the bathroom where he beat them, while still holding them at gun point. The shopkeeper did not call the police until some time had elapsed and his brother and brother's girlfriend arrived at the store.

Last week, a 41-year-old Huntington Beach man was arrested with $100K worth of meth and heroin. While he may not quite have reached Walter White status, he's facing enhanced charges as he had 25 lbs of methamphetamine and 289 grams of heroin. Currently, he is in custody after pleading not guilty to multiple charges, awaiting his next hearing on October 28, 2016, where bail may be reconsidered.

Officers arrested the suspected drug dealer after pulling him over for a traffic stop. A K9 unit arrived on the scene, and with the help of a doggy's keen nose, officers discovered the giant stash. The drugs were packaged in multiple containers, which is a generally a sign to officers that the drugs were intended for sale.

Since the recent Wall Street bailout of 2008, the public's trust still has not fully recovered in the banking establishment. The recent Wells Fargo scandal has lawmakers and the public demanding justice. However, justice in this case is not just restitution of the ill-gotten bank fees paid by victimized customers; the justice being demanded includes criminal charges against the bank's CEO.

Lawmakers have been pressing for a criminal investigation and for criminal charges against CEO John Stumpf. To date, no charges have been filed, but many people, lawmakers included, want the CEO to be held criminally liable for the actions of his company.

Four states had legalized recreational marijuana use in 2015, another 25 have comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs, and quite a few cities decided not to prosecute possession of small amounts of pot. So you might expect that with this rise in legalization and decriminalization there would be a corresponding drop in marijuana arrests. Instead, as Human Rights Watch reports, marijuana arrests outpaced those for violent crime in 2015.

So why are pot arrests up, even though it's more legal than ever? And what effects are these arrests having on defendants and the criminal justice system?

You'd think certain places would be out-of-bounds, even to criminals. At least, that's what Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey thought, after the arrest of two thieves accused of breaking into 15 churches across 5 North Carolina counties. "It takes a special kind of criminal to target a church as a place to steal," Cathey told the Charlotte Observer. "A church should be off limits."

But pastors and parishioners can rest easy now that Justin Ray Patterson and Amanda Nicole Hickey are behind bars, and their weeks-long crime spree has come to an end.

Amid the recent allegations from the White House that the Russian government was involved in the DNC cyber attack, questions have been arising about the legality of international hackers interfering with elections. There are several laws on the books in the United States -- and in most countries -- that make it illegal to interference with an election, whether through cyber attack or otherwise. However, it's not so simple to determine how these laws can be enforced against a person in a different country.

The White House's recent position on the DNC hack has grave implications due to the strained relationship between the US and Russia. While there are numerous international agreements in place that address international espionage and cyber-crime, getting concrete proof that the attack came from Russian officials may not be possible. Additionally, to enforce US laws that address these issues would require extradition of the responsible party to US soil, so they could be tried in a US court.

After decades in decline, overall violent crime rose by almost 4 percent last year and much of the increase was spurred by a rise in gun violence and murder rates in large cities. One of the cities struggling with gun violence is Washington, D.C., which saw homicides in one ward triple in the first half of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015.

The District has a history of having some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. So what are D.C.'s current guns laws, and how might they change as law enforcement tries to stem the rising tide of gun violence in Washington, D.C.?

Blocking traffic is not legal and is not a new practice for protesters. When protesters block traffic, they are engaging in civil disobedience, a term coined by one of America's earliest freethinkers and intellectuals, Henry David Thoreau.

While nearly everyone caught in a traffic jam caused by protesters becomes upset due to the delay, it is important to recognize that reporting on traffic conditions is a mainstay of local news stations across the country, while protests often get ignored. Blocking traffic means at very least making the local traffic report.

Although organized protests or marches can obtain permits to close streets, frequently protesters move from the permitted areas. When protesters block highways or streets that they are not permitted to be on, they do risk arrest. However, police are loathe to arrest peaceful protesters, even when they block traffic. The recent protest in Washington D.C. blocked a busy intersection for 7 minutes, and there were no arrests reported.