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U.S. Women Heading to Federal Prison in Terror Plot

Colleen LaRose, better known as “Jihad Jane,” was sentenced to 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists and attempted identity theft. Her co-defendant, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, aka “Jihad Jamie,” also was sentenced in January 2014 to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to provide ma ...

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Familiar Face Returns to Take Helm at NYPD

William Bratton was sworn in as New York City’s 42nd police commissioner on Jan. 2, marking his return to the position he held in the 1990s during the tenure of then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. This time, Bratton was tapped to lead the NYPD by newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said he wants the veteran cop to help restore the relationship between the department and some of the city’s minority groups. ...

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Billionaire’s Son Busted in High-Stakes Betting Ring

A wealthy art gallery owner has pleaded guilty to spearheading a multimillion-dollar sports gambling ring that prosecutors claim was tied to the Russian mob. Hillel “Helly” Nahmad, the son of a billionaire art dealer, could face up to five years behind bars when he is sentenced in March 2014, according to federal law enforcement authorities. His November plea deal also calls for him to forfeit almost $6.5 m ...

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Eco-Terrorism Suspect Still on the Lam 10 Years After Bombings

Ten years after the bombing of two businesses in northern California, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is soliciting the public’s help in locating the fugitive sought in the suspected acts of eco-terrorism. A reward of up $250,000 is being offered for information leading to the capture and prosecution of Daniel Andreas San Diego, 35, who is considered to be armed and dangerous. The FBI describes hi ...

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Cyber Scam Nets Ukrainian Mastermind 18 Years Behind Bars

A Ukrainian national dubbed one of “the world’s most prolific cybercriminals” has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison in connection with a scheme to steal financial information through the Internet. Roman Vega, who co-founded the website CarderPlanet, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and money laundering, according to a December 2013 news release by the U.S. Dep ...

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California Targets Health Insurance Website Imposters

Law enforcement officials in California have ordered the shutdown of 10 websites that they say tried to mimic the state’s official insurance marketplace for Obamacare. The sites sought to “lure customers away from plans that provide the benefits of the Affordable Care Act,” California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said in a November 2013 statement. ...

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Report Highlights Federal Prison Overcrowding

Dangerous overcrowding in federal prisons has policymakers and prison officials looking for ways to stem the swelling tide of new inmates, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) houses more than 219,000 inmates, nearly 10 times the number it held in 1980. The Urban Institute study found that federal facilities generally are 35% to 40% overcapacity, which creat ...

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Court Tosses Murder Conviction in Sports Editor’s Slaying

A Missouri man who was serving a 40-year prison sentence for murder has been freed after a state appellate court overturned his conviction. Ryan Ferguson, 29, has always maintained he had nothing to do with the 2001 killing of Kent Heitholt, a 48-year-old sports editor at the Columbia Daily Tribune. According to media reports, the flimsy evidence the state had used to send Ferguson to prison in 2005 had vir ...

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Inmate Deaths Rise Slightly Nationwide, Report Finds

Deaths among inmates in the custody of local jails and state prisons increased by 2% nationwide from 2010 to 2011, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The overall increase equates to 88 additional deaths, all of which occurred in state prisons. Local jails reported 885 inmate deaths in 2011, a decrease of 33 from 2010. That’s the lowest number of annual jail inmate ...

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High Court to Hear Case of ‘Mentally Deficient’ Death Row Inmate

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a longtime Florida death row inmate whose lawyers contend shouldn’t be executed because he is mentally retarded. The high court banned executions of mentally retarded inmates in its 2002 ruling in Atkins v. Virginia. However, the court left it to the states to decide how best to implement rules for determining mental impairment. By accepting the Florida ...

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