A five-month undercover operation by Pittsburgh police resulted in the arrest of more than 60 residents of the Hill District, the chief of police and mayor said at a press conference on April 16. Among those arrested in the sting, called Operation Clean Sweep, were several middle-aged people that city officials claimed were longtime "high-level targets." Officials also plan to increase surveillance of the public in the area through street cameras.
Federal law enforcement agents recently arrested 28 men and women in Colorado and elsewhere on gun and drug charges. The government accuses the arrested people of being part of "outlaw motorcycle gangs" and dealing in drugs and illegal guns. Eight of the people were arrested in Colorado.
A Pittsburgh woman may be able to withdraw her recent guilty plea in a drug case because police accidently destroyed evidence crucial to her defense.
Pennsylvania authorities announced charges this week against 32 people for allegedly selling prescription drugs in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The charges - and two murders authorities believe may be linked to them - illustrate how aggressively law enforcement agencies are responding to a changed drug-dealing climate.
Pennsylvania state and federal laws make it a crime for a person who has previously been convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm. Felon in possession laws are often strictly enforced and this can result in prison time. However, in order for a person to be convicted of this crime, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant actually possessed the firearm. A recently reported gun arrest illustrates this principle.
Federal law enforcement authorities have made organized crime a priority over the years. One organization in particular, known as La Cosa Nostra or the mafia, has drawn the frequent and focused attention of the FBI. Amid much fanfare last week, Attorney General Holder announced that federal authorities had charged 127 individuals in 16 separate indictments who allegedly have connections with the mafia.
An early-morning FBI raid turned fatal on November 19, 2008. FBI agents were executing an arrest warrant at the home of Christina and Robert Korbe in Indiana Township, when Christina fired a single shot from the upstairs of the house, killing a 33-year-old FBI agent. Christina Korbe believed that someone was breaking into the house and fired the shot to protect herself and her family.
A criminal defendant faced seemingly daunting criminal charges for possession and intent to distribute three kilos of cocaine, charges that could result in 20 years in prison. Two police officers testified that they had seen the defendant place a bag containing the drugs on an apartment building fire escape. But the prosecutors dropped the charges after the judge found that the evidence against the man was not credible.
In 2009, the Butler County district attorney's office handled 2,525 criminal prosecutions. Of those prosecutions, 1,168 involved a defendant who had a drug or alcohol problem. According to a community health assessment undertaken by Butler Memorial Hospital, approximately 19 percent of Butler County residents report abusing drugs or alcohol.
Last week, we celebrated Veterans Day in honor of those who have served our country. Yet, veterans returning from war can have difficulty adjusting to life back home. In our present wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have nearly 1.6 million veterans. It is estimated that nearly 20 percent of returning veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).