Civil asset forfeiture is big government at its worst.
Tonya Smith and her husband, Dimitrios Patlias, went to a casino in Maryland a few years ago and struck luck. They took their winnings and headed for dinner at another casino in West Virginia, but they never made it. On their ride over, they were stopped by police and forced to exit their car. Smith, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, was placed in handcuffs along with her husband as cops searched their car with dogs. Officers then questioned them about a slew of illegal activities: drugs, guns, smuggling untaxed cigarettes, gift-card fraud.
Ultimately, nothing illegal was found in the vehicle and they were allowed to leave with just a warning citation for crossing into another lane—but not before cops robbed them of the gift cards, an iPhone, and the $10,478 cash in their possession.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — From alleged drug trafficking and a murder cover-up to weapons transfers to Islamic militants, a convicted crime ringleader has been dishing the dirt on members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party through a series of tell-all videos that have captivated the nation and turned him into an unlikely social media phenomenon.
Sedat Peker, a 49-year-old fugitive crime boss, who once openly supported Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, has been releasing nearly 90-minute long videos from his stated base in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, making scandalous but yet-unproven drip-by-drip allegations, in an apparent bid to settle scores with political figures.
The weekly YouTube videos have been viewed more than 75 million times, causing an uproar, heightening concerns over Turkish state corruption and putting officials on the defensive. They have also exposed alleged rifts between rival factions within the ruling party and added to Erdogan’s troubles as he battles an economic downturn and the coronavirus pandemic.
They’ve used complex schemes to disguise millions in drug proceeds, making them seem to be legitimate transactions, according to law enforcement sources and court files.
A Chinese money-launderer was about to pick up Mexican drug-cartel cash in Chicago, federal authorities say, when his plans suddenly changed.
They say the suspected launderer got a call from a man he thought was a Mexican money courier who told him they needed to change their meeting place because he’d spotted a cop.
“You Asian, I’m Mexican — not a good look,” the courier said in the 2017 phone call, court records show.
Connecticut leaders announced late last month they’d reached a deal with members of the state’s tribal nations that would allow both online gambling and sports betting.
But one former member of the New York mob who’s said he had a hand in rigging sports betting on Wednesday suggested expanding the state’s gambling options might not be such a good idea
“Look, you know I’ve always been against legalized gambling, online especially,” said Michael Franzese, who was the keynote speaker for a virtual discussion hosted by the center for sports integrity at the University of New Haven.
The dead are more alive than ever. Thanks to social media and inherited ‘intellectual property rights,’ stars of the past enjoy digital immortality. Icons including Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and John Lennon remain active on blue-checkmarked social media accounts that are often controlled by for-profit corporations, which don’t require a family tie to the deceased.
Marilyn Monroe passed away more than 60 years ago but, with more than 1.7 million followers on Instagram, she’s also one of the top social media influencers today.
This is strange but dead celebrity influencers are not uncommon. They are prominently visible on social media, sporting blue checkmarks as if they never passed away.
In some cases, these accounts are controlled by direct family members who work hard to keep the spirit of their loved ones alive. However, others are controlled by corporations that have nothing to do with the person they represent.