#HSI; #Investigation; #ChildExploitation; #ProtectSafeChildhood; #Kentucky; #Frankfurt; #ICE; #DHS
Frankfurt (Kentucky)/Canadian-Media: The acting U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Kentucky announced Thursday that Bradley Scott Helton, 33 from Kentucky was sentenced to serve 214 months in federal prison for victimizing a 7-year-old to produce child exploitation material.
ICE. Image credit: Twitter handle
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. attorneys' offices and the criminal division's child exploitation and obscenity section, PSC marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as identify and rescue victims.
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Kentucky State Police.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move.
“Our agents make it a top priority to protect children from online sexual predators such as this,” said Jerry C. Templet, Jr, special agent in charge, HSI Nashville. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that these predators are apprehended and pay the price for their heinous crimes.”
Bradley Scott Helton, 33, previously pleaded guilty to communicating with the victim via an app called “Kiss Kiss: Spin the Bottle.” He admitted to chatting with the victim, sending sexual videos and pictures, and requesting the victim send sexual videos in return. Helton further acknowledged that he persuaded and used the 7-year-old to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction. The images traveled in interstate commerce when the victim, who was in Texas, sent them via the app to Helton in Kentucky.
HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
#NewYork; #ChildExploitation; #40YearsFederalPrison
New York/Canadian-Media: According to the announcement made on Apr 7 by the acting U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee, 30-year old Anthony Brett Banks, formerly of Kannapolis, North Carolina was found guilty of committing child exploitation offenses involving a nine-month-old child sentenced to 40 years federal prison as a result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from Hamilton County (Tennessee) sheriff’s office and the North Carolina state bureau of investigation.
ICE. Image credit: Twitter handle
According to court documents, Banks sexually abused his nine-month-old biological daughter, created digital videos of the abuse, and traded several of the images with someone he met in an online room dedicated to sexually abusing animals.
Upon his release from prison, Banks is subject to 10 years of supervised release and is required to register with state sex offender registries and comply with special sex offender conditions.
"Today’s sentence sends a strong message to sexual predators and demonstrates our commitment to protecting the community’s most vulnerable victims,” said Francis M. Hamilton III, acting U.S. attorney.
As a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), HSI -- with a workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries -- is responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move.
HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
#US; #Wuhan; #China; #OriginOfCOVID19pandemic; #Transparency
United States/Canadian-Media: A transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s origin has been systematically prevented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by their deceit and disinformation, for more than a year, US Department of State reported.
Wuhan in China. Image credit: Facebook page
The cause of this pandemic and how to prevent it can be only learnt through transparency.
The U.S. government does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus—known as SARS-CoV-2—was transmitted initially to humans.
It has not determined whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Scientists in China have researched animal-derived coronaviruses under conditions that increased the risk for accidental and potentially unwitting exposure.
China's obsession with secrecy and control comes at the expense of public health in China and around the world.
Three elements about COVID-19’s origin deserve greater scrutiny:
Illnesses inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
Several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, which made US government to believe that before the first identified case of the outbreak and WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.
Independent journalists, investigators, and global health authorities have been prevented by CCP from interviewing researchers at the WIV, including those who were ill in the fall of 2019.
Research at the WIV:
Starting in at least 2016 – and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar).
The WIV has a published record of conducting “gain-of-function” research to engineer chimeric viruses. But the WIV has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus, including “RaTG13,” which it sampled from a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013 after several miners died of SARS-like illness.
Secret military activity at the WIV:
Secrecy and non-disclosure practice for Beijing. The United States and other donors who funded or collaborated on civilian research at the WIV have a right and obligation to determine whether any of our research funding was diverted to secret Chinese military projects at the WIV.
COVID-19’s origin in China is still hidden. Any credible investigation into the origin of COVID-19 demands complete, transparent access to the research labs in Wuhan, including their facilities, samples, personnel, and records.
#Canada; #PPEs; #Malaysia; #InternationalHumanRights; #ILO; #ForcedLabor; #PoorWorkingConditions; #MarketplaceInvestigation
Canada/Canadian-Media: CBC's 'Marketplace' investigation of the factories of Malaysia producing some of the life-saving equipment including Personal Protective Equipments (PPE)s provided to Canadian health-care workers are using revealed appalling, unhealthy, and inhuman conditions of workers, also confirmed by the hidden camera footage inside a Malaysian factory.
Image: PPE representational. Image credit: Unsplash
Stories of alleged exploitation including abusive workplaces and deplorable living conditions were also confirmed from 23 current and former migrant workers from across the disposable glove industry in Malaysia whom Marketplace interviewed.
'Marketplace' also investigated several Canadian companies who have procured tens of millions of dollars in PPE contracts with the federal government imported goods from the Malaysian manufacturers and found violations of Canada's commitment to international human rights and its ability to prevent unethically sourced goods from entering the country.
The entry of goods into Canada that are produced with forced labor is prohibited through import laws, which according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) can include debt bondage, restriction of movement, excessive overtime, and poor living conditions.
Records reviewed and through internal company documents, shipping records by Marketplace found companies imported at least 125 shipments, of about 255,000,000 gloves into Canada from these five Malaysian manufacturers in 2019 and 2020 in conditions of forced labor.
Some of the brands linked to these manufacturers in B.C., Manitoba, and Ontario hospitals and medical offices were identified by 'Marketplace.'
Anita Anand, Public Services and Procurement Minister said that the matter is being looked into by her department, and added,
"We are working with our suppliers to investigate these allegations to verify that their supply chains are indeed free from forced labor," she said.
Anand said in a statement to CBC Thursday evening that her objective as minister "is to ensure the timely delivery of goods to support Canada's COVID-19 response while ensuring ethical business practices throughout the supply chain."
Achieving that calls for adhering to applicable legislation, she said, "in particular, the amendment to the Customs Tariff Act and the related schedule. This legislation includes a prohibition on the importation of goods that are mined, manufactured, or produced wholly or in part by forced labor."
#Alberta; #CargillMeatPlant; #CriminalInvestigation; #RCMP; #CovidRelatedDeath
Alberta/Canadian-Media: A criminal investigation by RCMP in Alberta has been launched in a COVID-19 death due to a massive Alberta' Cargill meat plant outbreak, media reports said.
Cargill Meat plant. Image credit: Wikipedia
It is the first known instance in Canada of police investigating a workplace-related COVID-19 death when Ariana Quesada, 16, lodged a formal complaint on Jan 8 in High River, Alberta to police to probe potential criminal negligence in the death of her father, Benito Quesada.
In the largest workplace outbreak in Canada, nearly half of the workforce of 950 staff, including Benito Quesada at the Cargill plant tested positive for COVID-19 by early May.
Benito Quesada, a 51-year-old immigrant from Mexico supporting a wife and four children was hospitalized with COVID-19 in mid-April, where he died in May.
Slaughterhouses and meat-processing facilities were deemed essential by governments, as part of the national food supply chain.
Cargill continued operating until April 20, when it was shut down for two weeks because of the surging outbreak among its staff.
In an email statement on Saturday, Cargill spokesperson Daniel Sullivan said since the beginning of the pandemic, it has worked closely with provincial health and occupational health and safety officials.
"Maintaining a safe workplace has long been one of our core values, and we recognize that the well-being of our plant employees is integral to our business and to the continuity of the food supply chain throughout Canada," the statement read.
#Quebec, #Contraband; #DonnaconaInstitution; #CSC; #Security; #Safety
Quebec, Sep 28 (Canadian-Media): Contraband and unauthorized packages containing items including cannabis concentrate, marijuana, tobacco, cell phones, SIM cards, cellphone chargers, packages of rolling paper, wax, USB keys, and USB cables were seized Sept 20, 21, and 22, 2020 at Donnacona Institution, a federal maximum-security institution by vigilant staff members of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) with a total estimated institutional value of $211,100.
Correctional Services Canada. Image credit: Wikipedia
Using a number of tools including ion scanners and drug-detector dogs to search buildings, personal property, inmates, and visitors CSC, in partnership with the police prevents drugs from entering its institutions to ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone.
A complete smoking ban in all federal correctional institutions was introduced by CSC in 2008.
CSC's dedicated telephone tip line for all federal institutions helps to receive additional information about activities relating to drug use or trafficking that may threaten the safety and security of visitors, inmates, and staff members working at CSC institutions.
The toll-free number, 1‑866‑780‑3784, helps ensure that the information shared is protected and that callers remain anonymous.
#Manitoba; Contraband; #StonyMountainInstitution; #CorrectionalServicesCanada; #Investigation
Manitoba, Sep 1 (Canadian-Media): A package containing contraband, with total estimated institutional value of $420,368, was seized on August 31, 2020, at about 7:30 A.M on the perimeter of the minimum security unit at Stony Mountain Institution as a result of the vigilance of staff members, Correctional Services Canada(CSC) reports said.
Contraband. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Included in the contraband seized were cell phones and chargers, prepaid SIM cards, THC concentrate, shatter, steroids, tobacco, marijuana, hashish, and rolling papers.
The police have been notified investigating is being done by the institution.
CSC's heightening measures as well as its use of a number of tools used by the CSC with its to prevent drugs from entering its institution include ion scanners and search of buildings, personal property, inmates and visitors using drug-detector dogs in order to help ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone.
CSC also partners with the police to take action against the culprits trying to introduce contraband into correctional institutions.
A telephone tip line for all federal institutions has been set up by the CSC to receive additional information about activities relating to security at CSC institutions related to drug use or trafficking that threaten the safety and security of visitors, inmates and staff members working at CSC institutions.
The toll-free number, 1‑866‑780‑3784, helps ensure that the information shared is protected and that callers remain anonymous.
#Surrey; #BritishColumbia; #CBSA; #RCMP; #IllegalDrugs; #InvestigativeLaw
Surrey (British Columbia), August 28, Canadian-Media): A significant suspected drug seizure and arrest at the Pacific Highway, British Columbia port of entry was announced Aug 28 by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Image: CBSA, Image credit: Twitter handle
Prevention of illegal drug smuggling that endangers the safety of Canadian communities and generates profits for organized crime is being done by the CBSA and the RCMP by working together.
On August 12, 2020, a commercial driver was referred by CBSA officers at Pacific Highway for further inspection.
Due to anomalies revealed after X-ray imaging of the tractor and trailer, officers continued their examination and located seven boxes of suspected dried opium poppy plants (including the pods), weighing 29 kg total.
Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act regulates Opium poppy and its derivatives and only licensed dealers under the Narcotic Control Regulations are allowed to import or export opium, with a valid permit.
“Opium poppy is the source of all natural opioids, including doda, a highly-addictive street drug made from dried pods and husks. The CBSA conducts risk-based screening at the border and works with the RCMP to protect Canadians from all forms of drug smuggling,” said Daniela Evans, Director of Pacific Highway District, Canada Border Services Agency in the news release.
After arresting the driver, officers turned him along with the suspected opium poppy plants, over to the RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit.
The driver was released pending a further ongoing investigation.
The CBSA estimates the value of the suspected opium poppy plants at $58,000.
"Investigations such as this, highlight the important relationship between the Canada Border Services Agency and RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime in detecting and interdicting drugs in the first instance and bringing those allegedly responsible through the court process. Such partnerships are critical in supporting our ongoing commitment to combating transnational organized crime, " said Inspector Stephen Lee, RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime in a news release.
#Ottawa; #OttawaPolice; #HateCrimesUnit; #CatherineMcKenna
Ottawa, Aug 11 (Canadian-Media): Hate crime is being investigated by the the Ottawa police hate crimes unit after a man screamed obscenities outside Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna's constituency office last week, Ottawa Police Service confirmed Aug 10, media reports said.
Catherine McKenna. Image credit: Official site
A 90-second video, apparently recorded by a man, who rang the bell of the Ottawa Centre Catherine's Street office around 10:30 a.m. ET Thursday, was posted to social media over the weekend.
When the man said to the female employee who opened the door that he wants to speak to McKenna, she told him the office was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was then that the man began to utter verbal onslaughts, at one point calling McKenna a "c--t" before the woman shuts the door.
"This isn't an isolated incident. It's not just involving me, my staff members, my family. Too often there are incidents against politicians, often female politicians," McKenna said, relating the incident outside that same constituency office Aug 10 afternoon and suggested such incidents are more common than generally reported."
Earlier somebody had spray-painted the same word across an image of McKenna's face on the window of her campaign office, a few day after McKenna was re-elected last fall.
At that time, McKenna said such incidents would not prevent her from continuing in politics.
But on Aug 10 when a similar question was asked, she said if before she entered public office, she knew about the harassment and abuse politicians face, she might have thought twice about running.
She also added that she does not want good people to be discouraged from entering into politics.
"I do want good people to go into politics. I want the girls and women out there to think that they can go in and make a difference but not have to put up with this garbage."
#NovaScotia; #Apr18ShootingRampage; #ProvincialJudge; #RCMP; #UnsealSearchWarrants
Nova Scotia, Jul 20 (Canadian-Media): As part of CBC's application, in a closed hearing July 20, a Nova Scotia (NS) judge, Laurel Halfpenny MacQuarrie, and Crown prosecutors representing the RCMP are expected to question investigators involved in the NS shootings to unseal search warrants in the case, media reports said.
Nova Scotia Provincial Court. Image credit: Courts.ns.ca
A 51-year-old denturist, Gabriel Wortman's killing rampage lasting 13 hours and a span of more than 150 kilometres on April 18 and 19 in rural NS resulted in the deaths of twenty-two people, torching of homes, and shooting pets.
After a lengthy search, police were able to shoot and kill the man in Enfield, N.S.
Following an application launched by CBC, NS RCMP were able to obtain 23 judicial authorizations in the case and, Halfpenny MacQuarrie agreed to release parts of seven of them in May.
Much of the information included in the blacked out, was given by the shooter's common-law to police containing details in witness statements and the calibre of the firearms used in the attacks.
MacQuarrie is scheduled to consider whether the redacted sections of five search warrants and two production orders should be released to the public.
"The issue for this Court becomes how do I adhere to the principle of an open Court while balancing the need to protect confidential and/or privileged information," said Halfpenny MacQuarrie in a June 16 ruling.
These documents described what People had told investigators that the gunman had a history of abuse, was paranoid, and had recently stockpiled gasoline. One person described him as a psychopath.
During filing of the submissions with the court last month, provincial Crown attorneys Mark Heerema and Shauna MacDonald said that material sealed to protect the investigation, including the models of guns the killer used, should remain sealed for six months.
The Crowns also said that the details protecting the interests of innocent persons should remain sealed permanently.
Although Canadian courts have different procedure for handling unsealed applications, Halfpenny MacQuarrie said the proceedings for this case on July 20 and July 21, will be closed to the public and media as the judge will evaluate if the Crown can prove that redactions could protect privileged information, and that the release of information could harm investigations.
Federal prosecutors are representing the Canada Border Services Agency, as police believe three of the firearms the gunman used came into Canada illegally from the U.S.
However, in the absence of an affidavit filed by the agency, the agency says it will not oppose the release of redacted information in the first seven warrant documents.