National Roundup

Connecticut
Police: Naked man goes on rampage inside antiques store

PUTNAM, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man is facing charges after police say he went on a naked rampage inside an antiques store.

Police in Putnam responded to the Antiques Marketplace around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday after reports of suspicious activity.

When they arrived, they found glass on the sidewalk and damage to several windows.

Upon entering, officers saw a “completely naked” man knocking over display cases and smashing items.

Police arrested 50-year-old Sean Morisette on charges of third-degree burglary and first-degree criminal mischief.

He is being held on a $10,000 bond pending a court appearance Wednesday. It could not immediately be determined if he has a lawyer.

Rhode Island
Lawmaker with porn tabs: ‘I am not a pervert’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island lawmaker who shared with colleagues a screengrab showing web browser tabs that referenced pornographic content has taken to the House floor to insist: “I am not a pervert.”

The Providence Journal reports that Democratic Rep. Ramon Perez of Providence addressed colleagues on Tuesday to say he “made a big mistake of trusting too much in people.” Perez said he knows his colleagues don’t believe him, but he denied checking porn on his computer.

Perez apologized last week after distributing the screengrab to members of the House Finance Committee. The screenshot showed a page with information relevant to legislation being discussed, but above it had open browser tabs with titles referencing obscene material.

Perez said he got it from a friend he asked to research the information.

Florida
‘Cocaine cowboy’ drug dealer at end of sentence

MIAMI (AP) — One of Miami’s infamous “cocaine cowboy” drug dealers finishes a lengthy prison sentence this weekend but he won’t be a free man.

Federal immigration officials say they will detain Augusto “Willie” Falcon when he is released Saturday from a Kentucky prison after serving most of a 20-year sentence. The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that authorities want to deport Falcon, 61, to his native Cuba.

The move comes as Falcon’s younger brother, 55-year-old Gustavo “Taby” Falcon, was captured near Orlando in April after living as a fugitive under a fake name for 26 years. The younger Falcon faces life in prison if convicted of the 1991 indictment.

The Falcon brothers were part of a 1980s gang that smuggled an estimated 75 tons of cocaine valued at some $2 billion into the U.S. The top boss, Salvador “Sal” Magluta, is serving a 195-year sentence.

Augusto Falcon got a relatively light sentence after pleading guilty in 2003 rather than going to trial a second time. He and Magluta were acquitted after a first trial in 1996, but it turned out they had bought off jurors and witnesses. Magluta was convicted at his second trial.

One of Falcon’s attorneys, Rick Diaz, said although U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials want to deport him, they’ll still have to get the Cuban government to take him.

An ICE spokesman said the agency had an “immigration detainer” for Falcon that labels him a citizen of Cuba. Diaz said Falcon’s family plans to hire an immigration lawyer to fight deportation, which ultimately would be decided by an immigration judge.

“The government has no evidence that he’s a danger to the community. He was not convicted of a violent crime,” Diaz said. “He lived the majority of his life here. He has nobody there.”
The younger Falcon, meanwhile, pleaded not guilty last week to the drug trafficking charges and is being held without bail as he awaits trial.

Pennsylvania
Judge rejects inmate’s suit seeking cleric from Muslim sect

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge had dismissed a former inmate’s religious freedom lawsuit against a Pennsylvania jail, saying he had no right to a cleric from the specific Muslim sect he preferred.

Gregory Bush sued Lackawanna County in 2014, alleging his religious expression was hampered when he was an inmate in 2012.

The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reports that the judge agreed with an attorney for the jail who argued that the jail did offer Muslim services and religious items but that Bush didn’t participate because the cleric wasn’t affiliated with the Nation of Islam.

Courts have ruled inmates have a right to practice their religious, but that right isn’t unlimited and must be balanced against the jail’s ability to run safely and efficiently.

The ruling was issued last week.

Pennsylvania
Man to stand trial in ‘forcible kissing’ of woman in parking lot

LANSDALE, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been ordered to stand trial on charges he forcibly kissed a woman in a convenience store parking lot.

Fifty-five-year-old Mazen Salfiti is charged with indecent assault, harassment and disorderly conduct for the April 12 incident in a convenience store parking lot in Lansdale.

A district judge ruled Tuesday that there’s enough evidence for Salfiti to stand trial on allegations he grabbed a woman by the arm, pulled her close to his vehicle and kissed her, forcing his tongue into her mouth.

Salfiti is free on bond. His defense attorney did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

Utah
Ex-AG fights state’s efforts to dismiss $1.1 million claim

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff asked a judge to deny the state’s motion to dismiss his claim for attorneys’ fees in the abandoned criminal case against him.

The Deseret News reports Shurtleff’s lawyers argued in a court filing Monday Utah law does not require him to be a state employee at the time the charges were dropped. It only requires the charges to be filed in connection with the time in office for him to be eligible for reimbursement.

Shurtleff sued the state for $1.1 million in March, claiming Attorney General Sean Reyes derailed his attempt to recoup costs to defend himself.

The attorney general’s office contends Shurtleff isn’t entitled to protection because he was not a state employee when the felony charges were dropped last summer.
 

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