Mexican police busted a drug-dealing ring using UberEats as cover, and it may be a positive development

UberEats drug marijuana Mexico City

Police in Mexico City disrupted a drug-trafficking operation in on May 28, capturing several suspects and uncovering a new, possibly positive development in the area’s drug trade.

After a shooting that left several people wounded at the southern edge of Tepito — a rough neighborhood known as a bastion of the Sante Muerte faith — 200 police officers were dispatched, shutting down streets and searching alleys and buildings in pursuit of suspects who fled the scene.

Raiding one nearby building, police apprehended 10 suspects — eight adults and two minors — and seized several black bags and UberEats backpacks, all full of marijuana, as well as several muffins that apparently had marijuana in them.

The alleged dealers reportedly operated in Tepito and used bicycles to distribute drugs in the upscale neighborhoods of Zona Rosa and Cuauhtemoc, including the popular Condesa district.

For its part, UberEats — which provides home delivery of food in Mexico City and is run by the ride-hailing company Uber — denied any involvement in the incident, telling Mexican news site Excelsior that delivery people using the service “are proprietors and solely responsible for the use of their backpacks.”

UberEats Mexico City drug dealers trafficking

The company said it “condemns any act that risks people’s health or safety” and that it was “ready to work with authorities in their investigation.”

Drug dealers and traffickers using legitimate business dealings to obscure their illicit trade is nothing new. In the 1990s, Sinaloa kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman opened a cannery where cocaine was packaged in with peppers — in cans labeled “Comadre Jalapeños” — and shipped to the US.

In this instance, however, drug dealers adopting delivery services may be a positive development for Mexico City, particularly the area of Tepito, where violence and crime are longstanding problems.

Delivering drugs right to the buyers would take the illicit transactions out of public space, meaning both buyer and seller would spend less time exposed, and thereby lessen the potential for violent incidents.

“All things being equal, more discreet and decentralized distribution equals less violence,” Alejandro Hope, a crime analyst and former intelligence official, told InSight Crime.

SEE ALSO: In Mexico’s biggest state, the country’s dominant party is trying to stave off the political abyss

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What Are 10 Things You Absolutely Must Know before You Retain an Orange County Criminal Lawyer? – Good Herald

If you’ve gotten some legal hot water and need to retain an Orange County criminal lawyer, there are several things you are going to need to do before you hire your attorney. Orange County is a particularly big county and boasts a population of over 3 million, so there are lots of different lawyers to choose from; many of those people are certainly going to be able to do the job right. That can leave you in a bit of a bind, because you still need to choose the best person for you, so as to minimize the stress and maximize your chances of success. You will need to hire an Orange County criminal lawyer who can do the best job for you.

Board certification is essential

One of the most important things you are going to have to know about your Orange County criminal lawyer is that he or she be Board certified, specifically in criminal trial law. Although lots of lawyers advertise that they focus on criminal defense cases, they may not actually focus on criminal trial law. Therefore, make sure you get a lawyer who specifically has certification in criminal trial law for your best defense.

Experience counts

The second factor that you should consider when choosing an Orange County criminal lawyer is the experience that the professional has. It is important to know and understand that experience may be positive or negative. You will want to request details pertaining to the professional’s past cases. You will want to review the cases that the lawyer has won, as well as the cases that the lawyer has lost. It is important to ensure that the professional has had more winnings than losses. The lawyer that you select should completely understand the basic criminal procedure, experience in jury instructions, have an in depth understanding of case law and they should have an expertise when it comes to objections presented in the court room.

Criminal Lawyer Guarantee

Any attorney that guarantees victory should be avoided. Not only is it unethical for attorneys to advertise guarantees it is also unwise. These individuals lack scruples and are to be avoided.

Cost is important — but not paramount

Cost is also an important consideration when you choose an Orange County criminal lawyer. However, it is NOT the most important consideration. That’s because oftentimes, experienced criminal trial lawyers will also charge a pretty penny for their work. Again, make sure your lawyer has the proper education, the proper certification in criminal trial law, and a good track record with wins versus losses as it pertains to the cases he or she has handled. In many cases, it’s going to be worth paying more for a very experienced lawyer then it will be to pay less for a less experienced lawyer. The choice, of course, is yours.

How well does he or she communicate?

Chances are, if your lawyer is a seasoned professional, he or she is also going to have very good communication skills as well. That is, he or she is going to be able to listen to evidence in the case, come up with opposing arguments as necessary, communicate succinctly, and just in general be as to the point and on task as possible. Some lawyers try to use flowery language to impress jurors or others, but this is most often very confusing and irritating, not impressive. Again, it’s a good bet that your lawyer will have good communication skills if he or she is already a successful lawyer, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

Does your (prospective) lawyer love what he or she does?

Again, an experienced and seasoned criminal trial lawyer is going to likely also have a passion for what he or she does; it’s unlikely that he or she would be successful if this were not the case. Nonetheless, even good lawyers can become “burned out,” such that they start going through the motions instead of truly loving what they do. Therefore, keep an eye out and avoid a lawyer who seems to “simply go through the motions,” and who does not have a focus and excitement for the work. You want a lawyer who’s going to represent you to be passionate about what he or she does, so that you know no stone will be left unturned, no tactic ignored, when it comes time for your case to happen.

What’s his or her reputation?

When choosing an Orange County criminal lawyer, it is important to consider the reputation of the lawyer when it comes to the legal community. You will want to choose a professional that is regarded as confident, has a vast understanding of criminal law, and is viewed as an expert among their peers. For example, many lawyers may write books, journals, and other publications that offer their insight to the legal world. Typically, these are the professionals that have a productive and positive reputation. You may also determine their reputation by asking individuals in your community, conducting an online search of the lawyer, and by asking for references.

Your lawyer should have a bar referral

Referrals issue directly from the California State Bar are called “bar referrals.” By asking for a bar referral, you are going to be able to tell whether or not the lawyer you are considering has had disciplinary action taken against him or her, and will be able to find out any relevant information as it pertains to pass cases, too. Don’t hire a lawyer who does not have a bar referral.

What’s your attorney’s acquittal rate?

If you are interested in obtaining an Orange County criminal lawyer, it is important to consider the acquittal rate of the professional. Lawyers that have a very high rate are lawyers that are the most productive when it comes to the court room. This indicates that they work diligently to gather the information necessary to properly represent you. They are also viewed with respect inside of the court room in Orange County, California. It also indicates that they have the capability to thoroughly convince the jury of the innocence of the client that they represent.

Do you trust your prospective lawyer?

This ranks among the most important factors you have to consider when you choose an Orange County criminal lawyer. “Trust” is very subjective and is most often determined by gut instinct. However, if you find yourself questioning some of your lawyer’s motives, or if you think you’re not being listened to, or perhaps that your lawyer is not being honest with you (even if the information he or she is sharing is unfavorable), look for someone else. You need to be able to trust your lawyer in order to make sure your best interests are looked after.

In sum

As you can see, there are many different factors that should be considered prior to choosing an Orange County criminal lawyer. It has been established that these types of lawyers are an integral component of the legal system as a whole. The role of this particular professional is to offer assistance in serious legal cases and to effectively educate the clients that they work with by expressing how criminal law works and the most appropriate course of action that should be taken in that client’s unique legal situation. Now that you know the 10 Things You Absolutely Must Know Before Retaining a Lawyer, you will be able to choose an Orange County criminal lawyer that is best suited for your legal case.

Don’t Hire the Wrong Orange County Dui Lawyer visit right now to find a highly qualified Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

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ACLU files lawsuit against a South Carolina county for allegedly imprisoning people who can't afford to pay minor fines

Marshinda Brown

When single mother Twanda Marshinda Brown fell behind paying a $100 installment of a traffic violation, she had to spend 57 days in a South Carolina jail. Because she could not come in for work at a food-packaging facility, Brown also lost the job that supported her seven kids.

Along with four other people who spent time in jail for not being able to pay fees for minor violations, Brown is a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Lexington County, South Carolina.

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union’s South Carolina branch, the five plaintiffs are challenging the county’s practice of arresting and jailing people who do not have the money to pay their fines.

“Arresting and jailing people who can’t pay makes people who are living on the margins even more marginalized,” Nusrat Choudhury, the attorney leading the case, told Business Insider. She added that even though the practice occurs throughout the country, close to 1,000 people have been incarcerated in Lexington in the past year.

One time, Choudhury came across a case in which a person was arrested for not being able to pay only a $232 bill.

“I got dressed and sent my 13-year-old to take the trash out,” Brown, who made five payments of a $2,400 sentence and then started missing them because her son needed surgery for his jaw, said in her account of the case. “I didn’t want him to see me in handcuffs and taken to jail.”

Over her 57 days in jail, Brown turned 40 and missed her cousin’s death, her son’s 17th birthday and the first birthday of her granddaughter. But most of all, she worried that her 13-year-old son would be taken away by Social Services while she behind bars.

“It made me feel sick to think that I could lose him while I was in jail because I could not afford to pay traffic fines,” Brown said.

When someone in Lexington County is unable to pay a city fine, they have to make monthly payments or risk going to jail — in Brown’s case, $100 a month. Even though such practices can continue the cycle of poverty, many counties continue to rely on low-level arrests in order to generate revenue through court fees, according to Choudhury.

“The revenue stream continues even though the percentage of people living in poverty is increasing,” Choudhury said, adding that people are strapped with court fees even after their fine is waived on account of time served. In the lawsuit, the ACLU states that Lexington County generated more than $1.4 million from traffic and criminal fines between 2015 and 2016.

In 1983, the Supreme Court found that it was illegal for courts to send people to jail because they are unable to pay their fees. That said, different interpretations of what it means to “willfully refuse” to pay a fine have allowed individual courts to bypass the ruling for more than 30 years.

As South Carolina’s ACLU squares off to challenge the practice in Lexington, courts in states such as Texas, Mississippi and Alabama have already determined that the practice was illegal.

“When they come out, they’re even more financially vulnerable than they were before they went in,” said Choudhury.


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Kathy Griffin Is Being Investigated by the Secret Service, Her Lawyers Say – New York Times

The Secret Service is investigating Kathy Griffin for the photo online of her holding what looks like the decapitated head of President Trump, her lawyers disclosed on Friday.

“We’re going to fully cooperate with the Secret Service in their investigation,” said Dmitry Gorin, a criminal lawyer hired by Ms. Griffin, based out of Los Angeles.

Mr. Gorin, speaking at a news conference with Ms. Griffin that had several raucous moments, argued that the investigation should not have been initiated.

“She basically exercised her First Amendment rights to tell a joke,” he said. “When you look at everything in the media, all the times entertainers make videos or express themselves in other ways, you’ve never seen an entertainer, let alone a comedian, be subject to a criminal investigation.”

Ms. Griffin swung from defiant to emotional as she spoke to reporters, and even cracked jokes in an attempt to portray herself as a victim of a sexist backlash spurred by Mr. Trump.

“I don’t think I will have a career after this,” Ms. Griffin said tearfully. “I’m going to be honest. He broke me.”

But she said that she would continue to mock Mr. Trump, even amid alleged death threats and the loss of work that have resulted as a backlash to the photo.

“I’m not afraid of Donald Trump,” Ms. Griffin said. “He’s a bully. I’ve dealt with older white guys trying to keep me down my whole life, my whole career.”

A Secret Service spokesman declined to comment on Friday.

The agency routinely investigates comments that might be deemed threatening to a president. In 2012, Ted Nugent had to meet with the Secret Service after saying at a meeting of the National Rifle Association, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November,” referring to the Obama administration.

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