Crime in the News - FindLaw Blotter

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While you might have the right to remain silent, you certainly don't have a right to lie to the police. State laws can vary when it comes to false statements, but lying during federal investigation is a felony carrying a potential five year prison sentence.

And that's just your standard, run-of-the-mill federal obstruction of justice charge. What about misleading the FBI regarding your alleged contact with the Russian ambassador?

Under normal circumstances, referring to a doctor's hands and surgical instruments as "deadly weapons" would sound like over-the-top hyperbole. But Christopher Duntsch is no normal surgeon. Nicknamed "Dr. Death," and referred to by colleagues as a "sociopath," the "worst surgeon I've ever seen," and "a clear and present danger to the citizens of Texas," Duntsch is responsible for a slew of botched surgeries resulting in serious injury, paralysis, and even death.

So when it came to Mary Efurd's spinal fusion surgery, saying what Duntsch "intentionally, knowingly and recklessly" harmed patients doesn't seem like exaggeration at all. Prosecutors said that, and more, at Duntsch's criminal trial and the doctor was found guilty of injury to an elderly person, for which he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Yesterday, Jerry Sandusky's adopted son Jeffrey was arrested and charged on a multitude of child sex charges. Although there was no physical sexual contact involved, Pennsylvania police say the younger Sandusky solicited nude photos from a then-16-year-old girl last year and sought oral sex in 2013 from her then-15-year-old sister, all via text messages.

Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in 2012, and is currently serving a 30-year minimum sentence in prison. As of this morning, his son was charged with 14 felony and misdemeanor counts and remained in county jail on $200,000 bail.

Today, a child kidnapper and murderer was convicted of kidnapping and murdering a child back in 1979. Pedro Hernandez confessed to the crime in 2012, and after 5 years, two trials, and one hung jury, was finally convicted.

Hernandez's first trial resulted in a hung jury due to one lone holdout juror who just could not believe that Hernandez's confession was genuine. However, after the re-trial, the jury was able to unanimously convict on the kidnapping and murder charges. The verdict brought a much needed end for the young boy's parents who have waited nearly 40 years for justice to be done. However, Hernandez's counsel did mention a potential appeal.

When you tell police that you threw packed suitcases of your belongings out of your burning home, after breaking the glass out of your bedroom window with a walking stick, and also tell them you have an artificial heart, they may be a little skeptical. In fact, they might ask to see some of the data from that electronic heart monitor, you know, just to check on your heart rate before, during, and after that fire.

And when a cardiologist tells cops that it was "highly improbable" that you could pull off such a feat considering the pacemaker and its data, they might go ahead and arrest you for arson.

Last week, an attorney for the IRS, who also is a professor at Georgetown University, was arrested for his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to sell methamphetamine. According to reports, the attorney had allegedly been involved with individuals in Long Island and Arizona, and has been distributing large quantities of methamphetamine since 2012.

The attorney is alleged to have used FedEx to deliver the drugs, which was how he got discovered. After police discovered the drugs in the FedEx package, the intended recipient of the FedEx'ed drugs, likely in exchange for a deal, assisted the police in gathering more evidence of the conspiracy. As part of their role, the IRS attorney was filmed smoking meth while on a video call, and also was caught sending two more packages of meth via FedEx.

The results of a three-day human trafficking sting across the state of California resulted in the arrest of 474 individuals, as well as the rescue of 55 human trafficking victims, including 28 child victims. The sting, dubbed Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, has been done for three consecutive years, with this year marking the largest operation to date.

Arrests were made for solicitation of prostitution, as well as pimping, and included both sex workers, pimps, and potential customers. Children and adult victims that were discovered were referred to social services and removed from their situations. California had the highest number of reported human trafficking victims last year with 1,323 cases in 2016.

Cliven Bundy, cattle rancher and man who believes "the Federal Government does not have any ownership interest in the Bundy Ranch," (a.k.a. federal property upon which Bundy was illegally grazing his cattle) is currently in federal custody, charged with sixteen felony offenses stemming from an armed standoff with federal Bureau of Land Management officers near said ranch in 2014. Bundy appealed his indictment on the grounds that "the land is not owned by the United States."

A federal magistrate judge denied Bundy's motion to dismiss his charges, so he appealed to the federal United States District Court. Unsurprisingly, that federal judge also denied his appeal.

Laser pointers are amazing, particularly for the easily amused. The limits to their uses are generally only limited by a person's imagination, and of course, state and federal law.

By now, most everyone knows that there are laws against shining laser pointers at planes, or shining them in peoples' eyes. However, most people don't realize how illegal it is to shine a laser pointer at an aircraft. It is very illegal (no, "very illegal" is not a technical term). Just last week, a 23-year-old Missouri man was sentenced in federal court to 3 years in prison for the federal crime of pointing his laser pointer at a police helicopter, which is a felony.