Crimes and Their Punishments – Through the Ages

Punishments for Crimes through the ages – from the bizarre to outrageous, from the sublime to the ridiculous. We don’t know how lucky we are!

Many of us are apt to complain about sentences handed out by our Courts for crimes these days – too harsh, too lenient. But a quick look at some punishments for crimes through the ages, including in some countries today, we should really consider how much we really have to complain about.

Not only have punishments been truly shocking (and in some instances still are), but even some of the crimes are truly unbelievable.

Many Sydney criminal lawyers would have had their work cut out for them if some of these historical crimes were still on the statute books! Lucky for us that our complaints about the justice systems these days are limited to whether an offender should be given a jail sentence or community service, or whether a 2 year sentence is sufficient or whether 5 would have been better, and so on.

Thank goodness we don’t have to contend with crimes for which the penalty is being tortured to death by some truly unimaginable means. Criminal lawyers in Australia, as in Europe, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and others, these days don’t have to plead for the type of mercy that offenders of times gone by had to. And of course, some of these barbaric practices do still exist today in other parts of the globe, as you can see below.

Some Crimes and Some Punishments You Won’t Believe

Take a look …

Crimes and Their Punishments

Mexican cartels are expanding their control over the US heroin market

Mexico heroin poppy

Opium and heroin production in Mexico has expanded significantly over the past several years, and according to data gathered by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, that increased supply has flooded the US market.

Heroin from each of the world’s source areas — Mexico, South America, Southwest Asia, and Southeast Asia — can be found in the US.

But, the DEA writes in its 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment, “analysis of DEA heroin indicator programs data, production and cultivation estimates, and seizure data indicates Mexico is the predominant source of heroin in the United States.”

South America, where heroin production in concentrated in Colombia, is the second-most-common source of heroin found in the US. Heroin produced in Southwest Asia can be found in some parts of the US, but it mainly supplies Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Southeast Asian heroin, produced mainly in the Golden Triangle area that includes parts of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, has not typically been found in the US, and while production in Myanmar has picked up, it remains below 2000 levels.

“Mexico and, to a lesser extent, Colombia dominate the U.S. heroin market because of their proximity, established transportation and distribution infrastructure, and ability to satisfy heroin demand in the United States,” the DEA reports.

Heroin drug threat DEA report

The DEA’s 2015 report found that Mexican organizations were supplying about 50% of heroin seized in the US in 2012. The 2016 version of the report finds that Mexican organizations had expanded their market share to nearly 80% in 2014, whittling away the shares of South American and Southwest Asian producers.

Opium and other synthetic drugs like methamphetamine are largely produced in western Mexico, in remote areas removed from state control. Guerrero state, on Mexico’s southwest coast, is the country’s major opium producer and its most violent state.

In Sinaloa state, farther up the west coast, opium is a major crop in the region’s Golden Triangle area, which spans Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua states.

More recently, the Sinaloa cartel, based in the state, has significantly expanded its synthetic-drug productionIn 2014, 47 synthetic-drug labs were discovered in Sinaloa, followed by 80 in 2015. Through mid-October 2015, authorities had found 55 such labs.

Heroin produced in Latin America also outstripped Southwest Asian heroin in purity at both the wholesale and retail levels, likely because the long distance Southwest Asian heroin travels means more people have the opportunity to distribute and dilute it.

The distance Southwest Asian heroin has to travel also means it hasn’t arrived in the US in quantities sufficient to challenge Latin American distribution, the DEA notes.

Heroin in the US DEA report

The DEA’s Heroin Signature Program has also seen a rising proportion of Mexican heroin since 2003, accounting for 79% of the total weight analyzed by the HSP in 2014. The heroin market’s supply routes have also undergone a shift with the rise of the Mexican version of the drug.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, most of the heroin seized came from commercial air routes, which were typically used by traffickers coming from South America.

In fiscal year 2008, 47% of Customs and Border Protection’s seized heroin had moved by air, and 49% had moved by land. By fiscal year 2015, that balance had shifted dramatically: 19% of CBP-seized heroin had moved by air, while 81% had been transported on land.

The Southwest Border region has seen the heaviest heroin-smuggling activity, recording a 352% increase between fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2015, from 559 kilograms to 2,524 kilograms. Heroin is usually carried in private vehicles, typically coming through California.

US southwest border heroin seizures DEA report

“In 2015, nearly half of all United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) heroin seizures at the Southwest Border (2,120 kilograms) were seized in the San Diego Corridor (1,048 kilograms),” the DEA reports. “Seizures in the San Diego Corridor more than quadrupled since 2010 (229 kilograms).”

Despite the rise of Mexican-produced heroin, the US market for the drug retains a geographical divide. East of the Mississippi River, where there is a large user base in the Northeast and Midwest, heroin produced in South America and heroin of indeterminate origins but produced with South American methods is most common.

DEA analysis found that 96.9% of samples that were of Mexican origin had been recovered in areas west of the Mississippi River.

Black tar heroin Mexico US drugs free base

This divide has also traditionally been reflected in the composition of the heroin itself.

Eastern US markets have typically been supplied with white-powder heroin, which is made by South American traffickers. In the western US, brown-powder or black-tar heroin produced in Mexico has been most common.

But as Mexican producers have tried to expand their control of the US market, brown-tar/black-tar heroin has begun appearing in eastern markets.

Producers in Mexico have also started churning out white-powder heroin, using either Mexican or Colombian poppies and manufactured with either Colombian methods or a combination of Colombian and Mexican methods. 

This white-powder heroin has begun appearing in the western US, likely in part because of the area’s growing status as a transit area for Mexican-produced heroin and because of Mexican producers’ efforts to grow their market share in the region, where users might be more amenable to white-powder heroin.

The DEA reports that Mexican traffickers may be pursuing people the western US who abuse controlled prescription drugs by making and distributing “counterfeit prescription opioid pills which contain heroin instead of opioid painkillers,” as white-powder heroin offers “a more natural transition” than black-tar heroin.

The most common iteration of this is counterfeit OxyContin pills. In addition to hooking new heroin customers, counterfeit prescription pills are a lucrative enterprise, the DEA notes, as the number of abusers of such medications is about 10 times larger than the number of heroin abusers, and such pills can be filled with cheap drugs but command premiums.

tennessee fentanyl percocet

How much and what kind of heroin these pills contain is often unknown, however, which can make them very dangerous, especially if that heroin contains fentanyl or other potent additives.

According to the DEA, “Mexican organizations are now the most prominent wholesale-level heroin traffickers in the DEA Chicago, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC [field division areas of responsibility], and have greatly expanded their presence in the New York City area.”

Philadelphia in particular has seen a considerable increase in heroin use and deaths related to the drug. Through the beginning of December this year, the city was on pace for 900 drug-related overdose deaths, 30% more than last year and more than triple the city’s homicide rate. 

Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel is suspected of pushing high-quality heroin into the Philadelphia market in order to expand its presence there.

Prescription-drug abusers have made up a large percentage of new heroin users in recent years.

The 2014 National Survey of Drug Use and Health found there was a 139% increase in heroin use by prescription opioid abusers between 2002-2004 and 2011-2013.

The 2014 NSDUH also found that the number of heroin users reporting current use — that is, use in the past month — increased 184% between 2007 and 2014, including a 51% increase in the last year.

The number of new heroin users also doubled between 2007 and 2014, from 106,000 to 212,000.

US heroin users DEA report

Nine of the DEA’s field divisions ranked heroin as the biggest drug threat in 2015, and nine other field divisions considered it the second-biggest threat. The 2016 National Drug Threat Survey recorded 45% of respondents saying heroin was the greatest drug threat, more than any other drug and a number that has grown from 8% in 2007. 

“Heroin use and availability are likely to continue to increase in the near term,” the report states.

Drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin have risen from about 2,000 in 1999 to more than 10,000 in 2014, seeing a 248% increase between 2010 and 2014. 

“Heroin overdose deaths will continue at high levels in the near term. The factors contributing to these deaths (ready availability of high-purity, low-cost heroin and a large influx of new users) continue to occur,” the report concludes, though it notes that the growing prevalence of naloxone, an overdose antidote, may help mitigate those deaths.

SEE ALSO: Opioid overdoses are nearing record levels in the city that’s become a ‘mecca’ for addicts

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NOW WATCH: This ‘heroin cave’ could help addicts kick the habit

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Criminal Minds Is Adding A New BAU Member This Week – Cinema Blend

By the time Thursday morning gets here, the main cast for Criminal Minds will look mighty different than it did just a year ago. Cast members have come and gone over the months, and the next episode will be the latest to introduce a new recruit to Team BAU, with actor Damon Gupton joining the hit drama as Stephen Walker. Everyone remember to be polite to the new guy, okay?

Damon Gupton will make his big Criminal Minds debut for Wednesday night’s “Scarecrow,” which already sounded like it was going to be a notable episode even without any few faces. As Stephen Walker, Gupton will be a Special Agent who joins the Behavioral Analytics Unit after years within the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program, where he served as a profiler. His expertise will no doubt come in handy as the team attempts to take down the chaotic Mr. Scratch for good. Not to mention the plethora of other cases they’re faced with.

It’s not made clear just how Agent Walker will show himself in, but the episode’s synopsis (and clips) has its central crime scene set at a creek bed in Yakima, Washington. The remains of a dozen bodies are found in said creek, which definitely catches the BAU’s collective attention. Perhaps everyone will meet up and get friendly in that grisly area’s surroundings, or maybe Walker will show up in Quantico while the main squad is out.

It should be obvious to all Criminal Minds fans that Damon Gupton joined the show as a replacement for former cast member Thomas Gibson, who was fired earlier this year after an on-set altercation with a writer. Gibson’s unplanned exit came relatively soon after longtime star Shemar Moore chose to leave the show, and viewers have only had seven episodes to get used to other new recruit Luke Alvez, played by Adam Rodriguez. Not that we have anything to worry about, since Gupton has proven himself a dependable co-star in series such as Prime Suspect, The Player and Bates Motel. He most recently crushed it for David E. Kelley’s Amazon legal drama Goliath, with Billy Bob Thornton.

Beyond the additions of Adam Rodriguez and Damon Gupton, Season 12 of Criminal Minds has also made waves for bringing back Paget Brewster’s Emily Prentiss on a regular basis, as well as the full-time promotion of Aisha Tyler’s Tara Lewis; the latter has already seen her backstory strengthened with last week’s episode. Here’s hoping Stephen Walker can stand as tall as the rest of the team for the rest of the season and beyond. And considering the ratings took a flashy dip after Thomas Gibson left, in part due to the #NoHotchNoWatch campaign, Gupton bringing new viewers to the show wouldn’t exactly hurt.

Criminal Minds airs Wednesday nights on CBS, but “Scarecrow” will be the drama’s midseason finale. That said, fans won’t be waiting too long for its return, as it will be back on Wednesday, January 4. To see when everything else will be joining it, head to our midseason premiere schedule.

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Legal Service: Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Austin – Headlines & Global News

Are you looking for an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Austin? Here we will help you find the experienced lawyer to deal with your case.

Best criminal defense lawyer in Austin

Are you looking for an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Austin

If you are suspected of a crime or charged with a violation of law, you may require the services of a criminal defense attorney to present your defense or negotiate a penalty.

As different rules and procedures exist for different offenses, you should seek a criminal defense attorney who has worked on your particular type of case to provide you with the best defense.

Here we will help you find the experienced lawyer in Austin to deal with your case

Meredith Shelly Troberman

Meredith Shelly Troberman has spent her entire legal career working in criminal law. While pursuing her law degree, she worked as an intern in the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office and even tried several felony prosecution cases before graduating. After graduating, Shelly accepted a position at a world-renowned criminal defense law firm, Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley, where she worked on a number of state and federal cases.

Kevin Bennett

Mr. Bennett defends individuals who are facing criminal charges stemming from DWI, assault, theft, drug possession and various other misdemeanors and felony crimes in Austin, Texas. Mr. Bennett takes the defense of his clients very seriously and will work tirelessly to tailor a defense to every case. Mr. Bennett strives to treat each case as though it were his own and to make each client feel like they are his only.

James R. Gill

James has a rare drive and ambition that has led him to success. James R. Gill is a well-respected criminal defense lawyer in Austin. James’ great networking skills and passion to help others keep him actively involved in his community.

Paul J. Dunham

Mr. Paul J. Dunham received his bachelor and Juris Doctor from Louisiana State University and moved to the Austin area shortly after to open his own law practice. Mr. Dunham started Dunham & Jones over 27 years ago and has since grown it into one of the most successful criminal defense practices in Texas.

Brian Tillman

He is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, as well as the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the NORML Legal Committee. Brian takes immense personal satisfaction in helping people through some of their most difficult situations.

© 2016 HNGN, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Spanish and Moroccan police seized 5,700 pounds of cocaine in the middle of a high-seas trafficking corridor

Drug seizure Spain Morocco

Spanish and Moroccan police seized 5,677 pounds of cocaine and arrested 24 suspects in what officials said was a blow against one of the main drug-trafficking organizations operating in Europe, Africa, and South America.

The seizure was part of an operation that started this summer and saw several failed attempts to interdict shipments sent by the multinational trafficking ring to Europe from South America.

This operation, undertaken by Spanish police and their Moroccan counterparts, took place about 100 miles off the coast of Dakhla, in Western Sahara, over which Morocco has de facto administrative control.

After spotting the boat believed to be carrying the drug shipment moving parallel to the coasts of Mauritania and Morocco, authorities moved in with a helicopter and two patrol boats.

With police closing in, 12 people on board, all of whom were arrested, reportedly began throwing bundles of cocaine overboard. Aboard, authorities also found documents, a satellite phone, and about $10,700.

In total, the operation led to the arrest of 18 people in Morocco and six people in Spain, among them two Colombians arrested in Madrid, one of whom was reportedly the leader of the group trying to travel to Colombia, and two Spaniards in Pontevedra, in the northern province of Galicia.

According to Spanish national police, the arrests targeted the “most active” group operating in Europe, Africa, and South America, which had a significant logistical and economic capacity allowing it to deploy a number of ships to move cocaine.

The group reportedly used three or four boats at a time to break up the size of the shipments and complicate police efforts to interdict them.

The police investigation began at the start of summer in Galicia, Spain’s northwestern-most province. The operation was stymied at first by the imprisonment (for another crime) of a Galician who was believed to be the contact person for drug shipments arriving in the province.

West Africa drug smuggling route

With that person in jail, responsibility for trafficking passed to a Colombian group that worked with a group in Galicia but was led out of Madrid and had links to Colombia, a major cocaine production center, and Venezuela, a major drug-transit area.

After some failed attempts to intercept shipments, agents from Spain and Morocco began monitoring a vessel departing South America with a new drug cargo. When that cargo reached the African coast near Western Sahara, authorities moved in.

The interdiction was the first joint Spanish-Moroccan anti-drug operation against international maritime cocaine trafficking.

Drug trafficking Europe South America Africa map

“This latest police action constitutes an important blow against one of the principal narco networks that operates on three continents,” said Juan Ignacio Zoido, Spain’s interior minister.

Europe’s drug gateway

Overall, cocaine seizures in Europe have declined from highs reached in the mid- to late-2000s, but Spain and Portugal remain important entryways for illegal drugs headed to those countries and to other places on the continent.

According to data from the Spanish Interior Ministry, national police, civil guard, and customs authority, the country is seventh in the world in terms of cocaine seizures.

In 2015, the amount of the drug seized there rose to 40% of the continent’s total, state security secretary Francisco Martinez said in November. (Martinez stepped down a few days later in a “mutual agreement” with Zoido.)

Northwestern Africa is also a major transit point for illegal drugs headed to Europe.

Overland routes carry drugs from West African countries to southern Europe, while Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, both off Africa’s west coast, have also seen drug traffic, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction’s 2016 report.

Drug shipments coming directly into Spain and Europe have increasingly come by container aboard cargo ships.

Spain cocaine bust in banana shipment

Traffickers in South America load drugs in with legitimate cargos, often with the help of ship or dockyard workers, in addition to Colombia, ports in Brazil and Argentina have also become major departure points for cocaine headed to Europe.

In September, police in southern Spain intercepted 2,000 pounds of cocaine concealed in a shipment of bananas from Colombia.

“The countries that seized the most cocaine over the period 2011–14 were Spain (accounting for about 50% of all seizures) and Belgium,” followed by France, Italy, the UK, and Portugal, the EMCDDA reported.

SEE ALSO: The strange ways smugglers use everyday foods to conceal illegal drugs

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NOW WATCH: Watch the US Coast Guard seize a narco sub laden with $73 million worth of cocaine

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Shemar Moore Addresses the Firing of His Former "Criminal Minds" Co-Star, Thomas Gibson – KTIC

(NEW YORK) — Shemar Moore holds his former Criminal Minds co-star Thomas Gibson in high regard, but says if the actor was fired for assault, then a lesson had to be learned.

Moore, who says he’s now focused on his upcoming film, The Bounce Back, which he raised money to finance, produced and stars in, says the reported incident in which Gibson allegedly kicked a co-worker during an on-set dispute was definitely unacceptable.

“As far as the circumstances that went down, there’s just certain lines you can’t cross,” Moore tells ABC Radio. “And there’s legal issues in a place of work. So all I can say to that is if he did what he did, then he has to learn a lesson. And the powers that be decided that was the lesson.”

Yet Moore, who announced in March he was leaving the hit series to pursue other opportunities, still praises Gibson’s work ethic and admits there were “good days and bad days” for everyone on the set.

“Thomas Gibson is a talented man, he’s a talented man,” Moore says. “He takes his work – he takes his life very seriously. And when you’re a family, you have good days and you have bad days. Sometimes you adore each other and sometimes you need a break from each other…”

As far as making a return as Special Agent Derek Morgan, Shemar says he’s open to it — but in a limited capacity.

“If asked under the right circumstances to just come back and play with my family… those folks at Criminal Minds are like a family,” Moore explains. “So would it be long term? Probably not… But would I go back and kick down doors and beat up some unsubs and flirt with my original baby girl? Um, yes, yes, yes and another, yes.” 

The Bounce Back hits theaters on December 9.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Feds fail to ban lawyer from Bandidos case –

Federal prosecutors recently failed to have high-profile Houston lawyer Kent Schaffer barred from representing the former head of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club in an ongoing criminal case. They had contended he reviewed court papers for all Bandidos members accused of crimes in order to sniff out informants.

Schaffer is the lawyer for Jeffrey Pike, former head of the Bandidos, who is charged federally in San Antonio with engaging in racketeering, including such crimes as murder and assault, on behalf of the Bandidos.

In a transcript released Tuesday, federal prosecutors said in a hearing last Tuesday that they believed Schaffer was on retainer for the Bandidos, and that it was standard procedure for him to review plea agreements in all cases involving members of the club to ensure they were not secretly cooperating with authorities.

They argued that as a result, there is a conflict of interest against Pike and other members of the group. A judge denied prosecutors’ request to stop Schaffer from representing Pike, saying they had not proved their contention, but he opened the door for the issue to be re-examined if they are later to present him with more evidence.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry J. Bemporad said that while the government succeeded in showing there was a potential conflict of interest in the case, the conflict was not so serious that Schaffer should be disqualified from the case.

Schaffer is not charged with any wrongdoing. Prosecutors said he could potentially be called as a witness in the case against Pike.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Fuchs told the judge that when Bandidos are charged with a crime, they are required to turn in their legal paperwork to a higher ranking member of the organization and that in several instances, that paperwork was handed up to Pike and then Schaffer.

“Cooperation is forbidden by the Bandidos organization with the government,” Fuchs said.

Schaffer told the judge he never reviewed any court papers on any Bandidos other than his clients and that if he’d been asked to do so, he would have said no. “I don’t know what one Bandido may have said to another about me, but I know I’ve had about three Bandidos cases, maybe four, in the last 12 years,” he said.

“Nobody has brought papers to me in 35 years, Bandidos no non-Bandidos, saying, ‘want you to look at these papers and see if this person is cooperating.'”

Schaffer has repeatedly been a challenge for prosecutors.

Pike was arrested by an FBI SWAT team using an armored vehicle and a loudspeaker to approach his Conroe area home before dawn.

Schaffer represented Pike at a hearing a few days later, and a federal magistrate judge ruled he should be released on a minimal bond.

Pike was the only one of four defendants who were able to secure such conditional freedom pending trial.

Pike later stepped down as leader of the Bandidos to face the charges — and remains a respected member of the group. The Bandidos are considered by law-enforcement to be a criminal gang.

The Texas Department of Public Safety places the Bandidos in the same category as the Bloods, Crips and Aryan Brotherhood of Texas in terms of strength and reach.

The Bandidos contend that they are not a criminal organization and that their reputation today is colored by the group’s origins, which go back to the mid-1960s when it was founded in the Houston area.

The Bandidos drew national attention in May 2015 during a clash with the Cossacks Motorcycle Club at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco that left nine people dead, about two dozen wounded and nearly 200 bikers charged with engaging in organized crime.

A trial date has not yet been set in that case, in which McClennan County authorities contend the bikers were gangsters that had come to town to rumble and defense lawyers say all but a very few of the men were acting in self defense once gunfire erupted there.

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There's a striking racial disparity among New York state inmates who are granted parole

sing sing correctional facility new york

Black inmates who go before the New York State Board of Parole have a dramatically lower chance for release than white inmates, a recent New York Times investigation found.

As part of a broader analysis into racial disparities in the New York state prison system, the Times reviewed three years’ worth of parole decisions for male inmates, and found that one in four white inmates are released at their first parole hearings, while fewer than one in six black or Latino inmates are released.

Between 2013 and 2016, the board released 30% of white inmates who were convicted of property crimes, but just 18% of their black peers. The disparity is even more obvious among young inmates — with 30% of white inmates under 25 being released, and just 14% of black and Latino inmates.

The Times also compared the parole outcomes of several pairs of inmates with similar criminal histories and convictions, but different racial backgrounds and parole outcomes.

In one such case, the Times compared two inmates interviewed by separate parole commissioners at different times, but both with histories of petty crime and diagnosed mental illnesses. They even made similar pleas to the parole board, explaining that they didn’t want to spend their lives in prison.

John Kelly, who was white, was homeless when he was arrested on charges of shoplifting from a Duane Reade. Darryl Dent, who was black, told the board he had been “confused” and hearing voices when he stole a wallet in a Manhattan church.

Kelly was granted parole. Dent was told his release would be “incompatible with the welfare of society.”

Transcripts of board hearings also demonstrated how rushed and disorganized the parole hearing process can be, with dozens of inmates being brought before the board and given just 10-minute interviews, often over a video conference rather than in person.

“We were a mess,” parole board commissioner Marc Coppola said in one videotaped board meeting in September. “We didn’t even know who was in the chair.”

The understaffed board is also composed of predominantly white commissioners, many of whom earn six-figure salaries and have no background in rehabilitation. Meanwhile, the inmates they interview are mostly black and Latino.

A spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that his administration is a “strong proponent of bringing more diversity” to the parole board.

The Times notes that it’s impossible to determine whether race factors into each individual parole decision, but a pattern of racial inequality is evident from the data.

Read the full New York Times report here »

SEE ALSO: Trump’s election is bringing a new urgency to the thousands of inmates who have petitioned Obama for clemency

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'Criminal Minds' Season 12 Spoilers: What Are The Cast Up To … – International Business Times

CBS TV series “Criminal Minds” has been going through a lot of cast changes recently. Not only did Shemar Moore exit last season, but Thomas Gibson got fired due to an on-set altercation with a writer and producer. Now, Damon Gupton has joined the crime show as a seasoned profiler named Stephen Walker.

Although things haven’t been smooth behind the scenes, one thing that didn’t change is the cast’s friendship. Paget Brewster, who plays Emily Prentiss, reunited with her fellow friends Kirsten Vangsness, who plays tech genius Penelope Garcia, and A.J. Cook, who plays Jennifer Jareau/J.J. on “Criminal Minds” this season. Brewster didn’t waste any time getting to know Aisha Tyler, who plays Dr. Tara Lewis.

The Season 12 cast also shares a close bond with “Criminal Minds” showrunner Erica Messer. Vangsness and Matthew Gray Gubler, who plays Dr. Spencer Reid, almost always co-write one or two episode of the show with Messer. Gubler also directs a few episode of the drama frequently. He recently directed the episode “Elliot’s Pond” which aired on Nov. 16.

Vangsness shared a photo of Garcia’s myriad rings on her Instagram account. The tech genius is often seen sporting colorful knick-knacks, kitschy hairbands and unique accessories along with distinctive makeup.

Interestingly, Gubler shared a throwback photo of the “Criminal Minds” cast when Mandy Patinkin was a part of the show. He played the Behavioral Analysis Unit’s (BAU) leader Jason Gideon. In the photo, which also shows former cast member Gibson and Moore, the four stars are looking at something in a book and smiling.

The Spencer Reid actor compared the three of them and him to popular “Sex And The City” characters. He captioned the photo, “Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha, and Carrie.” Who is who? Our guess: Gubler is Charlotte, Gibson is Miranda, Moore is Samantha and Patinkin is Carrie.

“Criminal Minds” Season 12 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

Criminal Minds“Criminal Minds” airs new Season 12 episodes on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on CBS. Photo: CBS

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Lawyer held for harbouring criminal's mother, wife – Times of India

PUNE: The Bharati Vidyapeeth police on Sunday afternoon arrested a woman lawyer from Pune for allegedly harbouring mother and wife of city-based criminal Bappu Nair, who was arrested earlier this year and booked for offences under the Mahrashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOC) Act.

Later in the evening, police also filed a case against the lawyer with Yerwada police stating that the lawyer had abused the policemen in an attempt to avert the arrest. Police booked her under section 353 (Use of criminal force to prevent public servant from performing his duty) of the Indian Penal Code.

A team headed by senior police inspector Vijaysinh Gaikwad arrested the woman lawyer, who is looking after the cases filed against Nair and his family members.

Nair and his family members have been booked under the stringent provisions of MCOC Act in 2015.

Nair was arrested from Noida in May this year, by the city crime branch. Police had also booked his wife and mother under the MCOC.

A senior police officer told TOI that the lawyer in question allegedly helped Nair’s mother and wife to flee and evade arrest by the police.

Police claimed that the lawyer also submitted a fake and fabricated affidavit in a city court which is hearing cases against Nair.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

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The strange ways smugglers use everyday foods to conceal illegal drugs

Border patrol agents drug smuggling meth tortillas food

Each year, billions of dollars in illegal narcotics circle the globe, feeding the demand of millions of users.

At every step, authorities try to intercept the drugs and apprehend their purveyors. In response, traffickers have developed a variety of inventive ways to obscure their illicit goods.

On the US-Mexico border, a preferred method among traffickers seems to be concealing drugs in shipments of food.

At the end of October, Customs and Border Protection agents found 3 pounds of meth hidden in a package of tortillas.

That was just a few weeks after CBP agents in San Diego intercepted 3,100 pounds of marijuana concealed in a shipment of cucumbers.

Those incidents came after similar seizures over the summer.

In August, border agents uncovered more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana hidden among limes. In two incidents in early July, border agents found well over 200 pounds of meth hidden in shipments of jalapeños and cucumbers.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of ways traffickers have used food to disguise their wares.

SEE ALSO: In the world’s 2nd-biggest cocaine producer, narco traffickers are expanding their influence

Stuffed chili peppers and fake carrots

Drug traffickers have often mixed legitimate business with their illicit activities, in part so that the former can conceal the latter. Vaunted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, now in prison in Mexico, was no exception.

“He opened a cannery in Guadalajara and began producing thousands of cans stamped ‘Comadre Jalapeños,’ stuffing them with cocaine,” Patrick Radden Keefe wrote in his New York Times Magazine profile of Guzmán, before “vacuum-sealing them and shipping them to Mexican-owned grocery stores in California.”

In one instance, according to a court in San Diego, 1,400 boxes of canned peppers, containing “hundreds of kilos of cocaine,” were intercepted at the border.

More recently, officials in Texas discovered a shipment of marijuana wrapped in orange tape and a concealed within a cargo of carrots. The bust uncovered more than a ton of weed worth a half-million dollars.

Drugs hidden within food shipments can make it deep into the US. In December 2015, police in Chicago were tipped off to the arrival of a tomato shipment with nearly 120 pounds of cocaine in it — drugs with a street value of almost $7 million.

Watermelons, pineapples, and other produce

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In February 2014, just a few days before Guzmán was captured for the second time, it was reported that authorities in Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa state, seized more than 4,000 cucumbers and plantains stuffed with cocaine.

In another case, a checkpoint in Arizona came across a shipment of marijuana that had been packaged in green plastic with yellow streaks — giving the bundles the appearance of watermelons.

Authorities on the US-Mexico border have also discovered crystal meth hidden in pineapples.


In August 2014, CBP officers at George Bush airport in Houston intercepted nine bags holding 7 ounces of cocaine hidden inside tamales, which were contained in a box of 200 tamales the traveler — a man from El Salvador — didn’t disclose to authorities.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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