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July 2012 Archives

Pennsylvania police raid stores in synthetic marijuana campaign

The Pennsylvania State Police conducted an aggressive operation against nearly a dozen small stores in the Pittsburgh area on July 25 in a search for synthetic marijuana. Authorities claim that the raided businesses were selling the synthetic drugs, which the state Legislature made a controlled substance in August 2011. They refused to disclose the location of the suspected stores or who has been arrested and charged as a result of the raids, but officers with the State Police were observed carrying out numerous items from the stores and expected to fill up a moving truck by the end of the raids.

Attorney: Navy SEAL convicted in gun sales affected by PTSD

A former Navy SEAL who was sentenced to 17 ½ years in prison after being found guilty of illegal weapons sales on July 17 had his judgment affected by post-traumatic stress disorder developed while serving two tours of duty in the Iraq war, his attorney said. However, the judge did not accept the attorney's plea for leniency when imposing the long sentence, instead finding that the defendant led a conspiracy to sell guns, ammunition and accessories imported into the U.S.

Former PA Turnpike official dealing with child pornography charge

A former Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission engineer is facing a mandatory sentence for child pornography after being found guilty of "sexting" to teenage girls. His defense attorney claims that these are false charges for a man who is an upstanding member of society and is devoted to his family. He said that the defendant was simply playing a "cat and mouse" game and did not mean any harm.

Wrongful drug arrest lawsuit filed against Pittsburgh-area police

An Allegheny County police dispatcher who was wrongfully arrested for having a similar name to a suspect in a drug dealing investigation has filed a lawsuit against two local police department. The suit accuses Moon Township and Coraopolis police of ignoring the plaintiff's explanation that he was the victim of mistaken identity and damaging his professional reputation in the process.

Man accused of driving onto tarmac had 'irrational thoughts'

Our blog post back on March 7 discussed the arrest of an eastern Pennsylvania man on federal charges that he disrupted airplane traffic by driving onto a runway at Philadelphia International Airport. In a new development in the case, the man was expected to plead guilty in the case despite the fact that he was reportedly mentally unbalanced at the time of the incident.

Law making non-scam lying online a crime is out

Anyone in Pittsburgh who has spent any amount of time on the Internet knows that not everything you read online is true. Personal ads, online resumes, amateur political opinion pieces -- postings of this nature usually need to be taken with a grain of salt. While annoying, many untruths put on the Internet do not rise to the level of a crime -- except in one state, until recently.

Pennsylvania State Troopers accused of brutality in arrest

A shocking video of a March 2010 arrest has led to accusations of police brutality against members of the Pennsylvania State Police. The video appears to depict five troopers repeatedly beating a 31-year-old man after pulling him over on suspicion of hit and run. The man, who was later convicted, has been denied medical care in the more than two years since the arrest, his supporters say. He has filed a federal lawsuit against the state police and the troopers.

3 Pittsburgh residents charged with hacking law firm network

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's Office say that three Pittsburgh residents hacked into a law firm's computer network and stole "personal financial information" about firm employees in violation of federal law. Authorities also claim that one of the defendants, who were recently indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested, is a member of the hacking collective Anonymous. If convicted of these Internet charges, the three could face up to 26 years in prison.

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