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Gun Smuggler Allegedly Used Mom’s Unlimited Flying Pass

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Nadezhda1906/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Prosecutors revealed the details of an elaborate scheme to transport guns on Delta flights from Georgia to New York Tuesday, explaining how smugglers were able to evade screening at the nation’s busiest airport for months to carry guns and ammo on at least 20 flights.

The Brooklyn district attorney explained how one former Delta employee, who used the unlimited flying pass his mother earned after being a longtime employee of the airline herself, and his associate, who still worked as a baggage handler for the airline, were allegedly able to operate a gun-smuggling operation by simply strolling onto planes with the weapons in carry-on bags.

Mark Henry, the former employee, was described as the alleged point man in the operation who met with his friend Eugene Harvey, the current employee, at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport before he would take flights to New York and they would exploit the fact that Harvey could bypass security screenings to get the guns on board.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said that investigators were led to Henry and Harvey after focusing on the sales of guns in Brooklyn by a third man, who they have now determined to be Henry’s point person in New York.

“In this age of terrorism, it is simply unthinkable that anyone would breach the security of our nation’s airports to smuggle guns and ammunition, including assault weapons, on commercial airliners and jeopardize countless lives all to make money,” Thompson said. “To make matters worse, these guns were intended to hit the streets of Brooklyn, where they could have been used to shoot and kill our residents and police officers. The full weight of the law must now come down on these defendants.”

The Brooklyn-based man sold an undercover cop more than 150 firearms, many of which are believed to have come from Henry, prosecutors allege.

Henry’s arrest warrant details how police were able to pinpoint one specific instance when he allegedly smuggled 18 guns on a Dec. 10 flight.

According to the report, surveillance footage showed that Henry passed through security with an empty backpack, right around the time when Harvey swiped into the employees-only entry of the Hartsfield-Jackson airport. After getting into the airport via their respective entrances, the two men are seen going into the same bathroom near a gate. When Henry’s backpack was searched once he landed at JFK, there were 18 guns inside, authorities said.

Thompson did not go into detail about all of the flights that Henry is believed to have used to smuggle guns, but said he, “took about 20 flights with guns on him on commercial airliners.” The operation is believed to have been in place between May and December of this year. The guns allegedly brought on board included an AK-47, with ammo.

The trips were especially efficient for Henry because he was able to use the “buddy pass” that his mother earned during her years of service at Delta, the DA said.

The district attorney praised the airline for its help throughout the investigation, saying that before they had enough proof to officially charge Henry, the airlines would notify investigators whenever Henry would board a flight.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

Census: Florida Surpasses NY to Become Third Most Populous State

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

smontgom65/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Florida has surpassed New York to become the third most populous state in the United States, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday.

Between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, Florida gained an average of 803 new residents per day. In total, Florida added 293,000 new residents, reaching 19.9 million. By comparison, New York’s population increased by just 51,000 to 19.7 million.

California was once again the most populous state in the nation with 38.8 million residents. Texas remained second at 27 million, one spot ahead of Florida.

The fastest growing state, according to the census data, was North Dakota, where the population increased by 2.2 percent in the last year. The top 10 fastest growing states were all located in either the South or the West.

Only six of 50 states saw population decreases between 2013 and 2014 — Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, New Mexico, Alaska, and Vermont.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lawyers for Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Request Trial Delay

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

FBI(BOSTON) — Attorneys for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, are requesting a delay in the trial.

The legal team hopes to move the start date from January 5 into September. A judge will decide the fate of this motion, and can make that decision at any time.

In the filing, the government lists 590 law enforcement personnel and 142 civilians as potential witnesses. The filing also notes 1,238 potential exhibits of evidence.

Tsarnaev appeared in court last week for his final pretrial hearing before jury selection. Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan allegedly planted bombs near the finish line of the marathon, killing three people and injuring over 260 others.

They are also linked to the murder of 27-year-old Sean A. Collier of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Department, who they allegedly murdered in a vain effort to steal his firearm.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was apparently killed when his younger brother Dzhokhar ran him over with a stolen SUV while attempting to flee following a confrontation with police.  

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Loyal Listeners Club

USAID to Settle Suit with Alan Gross, Development Alternatives, Inc. for $3.2 Million

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson(WASHINGTON) — The United States Agency for International Development and Development Alternatives, Inc. (USAID) completed a settlement this week with Alan Gross, the American recently released from Cuba.

DAI filed a suit against USAID in April, seeking $7 million for reimbursement of their contract. Attorneys for DAI and USAID agreed to a $3.2 million settlement, which will be divided between Gross and DAI.

The settlement was agreed to in principle in November. The money will be paid in response to, “unanticipated claims under the cost-reimbursement contract.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

At Least Four Dead, Several Injured After Tornado Strikes Mississippi

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

David Schliepp/iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, Miss.) — There were several reported tornadoes in the south Tuesday, including one in Mississippi that killed at least two people and injured several others and damaged homes, officials said.

It is unclear how they died, Marion County Coroner Norma Williamson said.

Another two deaths were confirmed in Jones County, Sheriff Alex Hodge said, noting the victims’ mobile home was destroyed by the storm.

Five tornadoes were reported in Mississippi, while tornadoes also struck Georgia and Louisiana.

Damage is still being assessed, but the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi, said there are, “reports of extensive damage, including structural,” after the tornado struck near Columbia, and a mobile home park was damaged.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issued a state of emergency this evening for Marion and Jones counties, along with other parts of the state affected by severe weather.

“I have declared a state of emergency to assist local officials with any available state resources that are needed in areas affected by severe weather, specifically in Jones and Marion counties,” Bryant said in a statement. “The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service are continuing to monitor the situation in the region.”

Local power companies reported 6,300 customers without power as of 2:45 p.m. in Marion County, according to the governor’s office. In Jones County, 935 customers were without power as of 3:30 p.m.

Earlier, the service tweeted for residents to seek shelter as, “debris was falling out of the sky.”

There were also several injuries at a Walmart near there, authorities said.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Song of The Day

Pennsylvania Killing Spree Suspect Died of Poisoning, Autopsy Reveals

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Montgomery County District Atty(PENNSBURG, Pa.) — The death of Pennsylvania killing spree suspect Bradley William Stone has been deemed a suicide by poisoning, authorities said Tuesday.

The body of Stone, 33, who the district attorney said killed six of his relatives, was found in a wooded area outside of Pennsburg, near Philadelphia, on Dec. 16 after a manhunt. Police found two knives, a machete and a double-bladed axe near his body, which had multiple self-inflicted wounds, authorities said.

But after an autopsy, the coroner determined that the cause of death was due to a “combined drug intoxication” resulting from a cocktail of drugs — Trazodone, Risperidone and mCPP — and that the manner of death was suicide, authorities said.

The killing spree had prompted local and federal authorities to launch a manhunt in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

The motives for the murders remains uncertain, but legal documents indicate that Stone and his ex-wife, one of his alleged victims, had been having custody issues over the control of their 5- and 8-year-old daughters.

Stone and Nicole Hill divorced in March 2009, and Montgomery County court documents show that they reached a shared custody agreement in April 2010, but there were some disputes over the arrangement in the years since.

The details from the documents are not publicly available, but earlier this month, Stone filed an emergency motion seeking custody. There was a resolution in the case on Dec. 9, but the specifics of that agreement were not available.

The district attorney said that the court documents indicate that the couple had a “contentious, protracted” custody battle and the recent decision ruled in favor of his ex.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Missing Armored Truck Driver in Texas Charged, Father Arrested

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

aijohn784/iStock/Thinkstock(AMARILLO, Texas) — Police in Texas have issued a warrant for the missing driver of an armored truck and arrested his father.

Police were searching Monday night for the driver of an armored car that was found empty, with the engine running, in an alley in Amarillo.

A warrant Tuesday charged missing driver Trent Michael Cook, 24, of Amarillo, with first-degree felony theft of over $200,000. Officers arrested Cook’s father, Brian Keith Hodge, 43, on Monday evening for tampering with or fabricating evidence in connection with the case.

“Investigators have developed credible evidence Cook has access to a rifle and handguns, and could be considered dangerous due to this information,” Amarillo police said in a statement.

Police found the Rochester Armored Car Co. vehicle at around 7:50 a.m. on Monday, after receiving a call that it was standing unoccupied.

“There was no sign of a struggle or forced entry into the vehicle,” police said, adding that “investigators have information that the suspect had discussed how a theft like this would be committed.”

Cook, who was not an armed employee, is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 165 pounds, and has blond hair and hazel eyes, police said. He was last seen wearing a company uniform.

Investigators have not released details on the missing contents of the truck.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nugget of Knowldege

NYPD Commissioner’s Poignant Message Following Police Shooting

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Following this past Saturday’s shooting that left two New York police officers dead, New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton wrote a touching letter where he called the slain cops “loving fathers, husbands, and sons — points of great pride for their communities.”

Officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos were sitting in their vehicle in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday when a man approached the car on the passenger side and opened fire, killing them both.

The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself after having posted anti-cop messages on social media.

Bratton also wrote that the deaths “cast a dark cloud on the rest of our holiday season.”

This is Bratton’s complete letter, which was posted Tuesday on the department’s website:

Over the past weeks, many in this city and across the nation have been attempting to define the New York City Police Department in their own terms.

They are attempting to answer for themselves questions about who we are, what we do, and how we do it.

But the men and women of this Department know exactly who we are: we are Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. They were loving fathers, husbands, and sons — points of great pride for their communities. They were also part of our NYPD family, bonded by the experiences, triumphs, and challenges we face so that others won’t have to. They dedicated their lives to the defense of others, and understood what that commitment could ultimately mean. They were people of faith, of conviction, and of principle. They answered the call to service, and did so each and every day they wore the uniform. They were devoted to the protection of this city and the safety of its people.

They didn’t do this work to be thanked, congratulated, or admired. They did it because it must be done, because we all have the basic right to live free from fear. And with all of us, they stood tall to guard those who cannot guard themselves, to shield the frightened, the weak, and the vulnerable. We are their memory. We are their legacy. And we still stand.

These deaths cast a dark cloud on the rest of our holiday season and the flags will remain at half-staff past Christmas. But as we mourn their sacrifice, we also honor them through the work we do every day. May God grant Officer Wenjian Liu and Officer Rafael Ramos rest. And may God bless the New York City Police Department.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Watch USS Carl Vinson Crew’s Heartwarming Holiday Video

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

USS Carl Vinson(NEW YORK) — The crew of the USS Carl Vinson released a heartwarming holiday video promising friends and family that this time next year, they’ll be celebrating at home.

“I know it’s not eternity, just a little more time at sea, but next year I’ll be home for the holidays,” the crew sings in the video they made, posted on YouTube this week.

The ship operates in the Arabian Sea and is currently docked in Dubai, which is “a well-deserved break” for the sailors and a chance for them to call home and wish their families a Merry Christmas, according to USS Carl Vinson’s Facebook page.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pet of the Week

Date Set for Opening of Oldest Time Capsule Discovered in US

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — The oldest time capsule discovered in the country will be opened in two weeks, officials announced on Tuesday.

It was originally placed under a cornerstone of the Boston State House in 1795 by Paul Revere and then-Gov. Samuel Adams.

On Jan. 6, 2015, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and state officials will open the time capsule, revealing the contents for the first time since 1855. That’s when its contents were documented and cleaned, officials said. Additional materials were added then to the time capsule, which was then placed in brass and plastered into the underside of the granite cornerstone.

On Dec. 11, the time capsule was removed from the cornerstone, along with miscellaneous coins. The time capsule, which was X-rayed at the MFA on Dec. 14, weighs 10 pounds and measures 5.5 inches by 7.5 inches by 1.5 inches, officials said.

“X-rays revealed what is believed to be a collection of silver and copper coins (dating from 1652 and 1855); an engraved silver plate; a copper medal depicting George Washington; newspapers; the seal of the Commonwealth; cards; and a title page from the Massachusetts Colony Records,” the MFA said in a statement Tuesday. “These objects were described in the 1855 account of the reburying ceremony.”

The museum has scheduled a news conference at 6 p.m. on Jan. 6, authorizing only credentialed media due to “extremely limited space and object sensitivity,” the museum said in a statement.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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