The CEO of Phantom Secure was indicted on March 15, along with four associates, following allegations that the Canada-based company had sold “tens of millions of dollars” in altered BlackBerry phones to international drug cartels, reports indicate.
Last week, the Department of Justice apprehended Vincent Ramos in Seattle. He and his associates are charged with racketeering and conspiracy to facilitate drug distribution, crimes that have a penalty of prison for life, the BBC reported. This is the first time U.S. officials have targeted a company for knowingly encrypting technology for outlaws in order to evade law enforcement and obstruct justice, the Justice Department said.
“With one American dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes, our great nation is suffering the deadliest drug epidemic in our history,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Incredibly, some have sought to profit off of this crisis, including by specifically taking advantage of encryption technologies to further criminal activity, and to obstruct, impede, and evade law enforcement, as this case illustrates.”
Full Read – http://www.newsweek.com/canada-ceo-indicted-drug-cartels-blackberry-850326
The 52-year-old had things to do and people to see, so he just phoned in his plea
France announced plans to make 15 the legal age of consent for sex after high-profile cases including those of two men who escaped rape charges for having sex with 11-year-old girls caused national outrage.
Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa told the AFP news agency Monday that “the government has decided to set the age at 15” following public consultations and recommendations from a panel of experts.
The legislation, which will be presented to lawmakers for approval later this month, is part of a slew of government measures to tackle sexual violence, gender-based discrimination and harassment.
Adults can be charged with groping and sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison if they’re found guilty of abusing a child under 15. The more serious charge of aggravated sexual assault or rape of a child carries a sentence of up to 20 years — but coercion or violence must be proven.
Full Article – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/03/06/france-introduce-15-legal-age-consent-sex/399119002/
Crime experts are expecting Montreal’s gang wars to heat up this year.
Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito walked out of the Montreal courthouse on Monday, February 19 as free men. That this caused surprise among organized crime observers is understandable. That it caused extreme frustration among law enforcement is probable, given that this is yet another case against Quebec-based organized crime figures botched by the cops and the Crown.
The two alleged high profile Mafia leaders had their charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and gangsterism tossed out of court after Quebec Superior Court Judge Eric Downs ruled that key evidence was inadmissible. That evidence stemmed from wiretaps planted by police in 2015 in the office of lawyer Loris Cavaliere—wiretaps that the judge said violated the sanctity of solicitor-client privilege. The accused argued that investigators didn’t put in enough safeguards to guarantee the privacy of Cavaliere’s other client. The judge sided with them and threw the wiretap evidence out, leaving the Crown with little else to prove Rizzuto and Sollecito’s guilt.
Full Read – https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/evmq3p/a-mafia-acquittal-is-the-latest-l-for-quebec-law-enforcement
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s family members are refusing to cough up attorney’s fees unless they hear the kingpin himself order the payment, it was revealed in court Thursday.
Guzmán – in what would have been his first public words since his extradition in Jan. 2017– stood shakily, clutching a piece of paper in his hand, before prosecutor Andrea Goldbarg interjected and said she was worried he’d use the opportunity to pass secret messages.
“He desires to speak to the court directly,” defense attorney A. Eduardo Balarezo said in Brooklyn federal court Thursday, as his client was overheard telling his interpreter in Spanish, “I am sick for all the situation.”
“He wants his family to know they should pay his attorney,” Balarezo continued. “Obviously he wants me to take my fees, and sometimes people need to hear that directly from the horse’s mouth.”
Read Full Article – https://nypost.com/2018/02/15/family-wont-pay-el-chapos-lawyer-without-kingpins-sign-off/