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News stories tagged with "crime"

Captain Phillip Esposito, who was murdered in Iraq, with daughter Madeline and wife Siobhan (Photo provided)
Captain Phillip Esposito, who was murdered in Iraq, with daughter Madeline and wife Siobhan (Photo provided)

A double homicide in Iraq slows the rise of New York top general to national post

The top soldier in New York state is facing new questions and new scrutiny following his nomination by President Obama to head the Army National Guard. Major General Joseph Taluto, who lives in Fort Ann in Washington County, had been expected to win easy confirmation by the U.S. Senate. But now the widow of one of his officers killed in Iraq says General Taluto mishandled discipline and morale during a deployment in 2005. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks: tobacco smuggling answers lie in cooperation

Last week, the Center for Public Integrity released an exhaustive investigation on the confluence of illegal tobacco, drugs, and organized crime on the Mohawk reservations on the St. Lawrence River. Yesterday we spoke with the report's author.

Today, the Mohawks' side of things. Chiefs of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe near Massena say Canada and the United States are raising cigarette taxes without considering historic tribal rights to trade tobacco. Chief Jim Ransom says the author of the Center for Public Integrity report didn't even request an interview with tribal chiefs. The Mohawks have endured a reputation as smugglers even before tobacco companies worked with some natives to traffic untaxed cigarettes into Canada in the 1990s. This year's surprise hit film, Frozen River, has brought Akwesasne's reputation to the big screen and the nation. Chief Ransom told David Sommerstein he condemns the drug trafficking and crime that happens in Akwesasne. But he says the characterization ignores the history of oppression and environmental degradation brought on the Mohawks.  Go to full article

Report ties organized crime, drugs to Akwesasne tobacco trafficking

A new report details the billion dollar trafficking of untaxed cigarettes into Canada from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena. The investigation by the Center for Public Integrity documented 5 to 10 unlicensed tobacco factories in Akwesasne and on the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal.

Smugglers carry cigarettes across the Canadian border and sell them in Ontario and Quebec for $20 a carton. A legally taxed carton costs $80 to $90. The Canadian government estimates it is losing $1.6 billion a year in taxes while health care costs associated with smoking are rising. William Marsden of the Montreal Gazette reported the story. He told David Sommerstein the tobacco smuggling has attracted more organized crime and drugs to an already porous region of the U.S.-Canada border.  Go to full article

Binghamton bears up after shooting tragedy

Funerals for those killed in Friday's mass shooting have already begun in Binghamton. At an area mosque, an imam chanted over the bodies of two women killed in Friday's massacre. Mustafa al-Salihi is the son of one of the women. He says his family moved to the U-S from Iraq to escape violence. He adds that he'll especially miss his mother later this spring, when he graduates. People from eight countries have been identified as the victims of the deadly rampage at the city's immigrant community center. It remains unclear exactly why a Vietnamese immigrant strapped on a bulletproof vest, barged in on a citizenship class and killed the victims and himself. Brian Mann has been on assignment for NPR in Binghamton since the shooting Friday. Martha Foley spoke with him this morning.  Go to full article

Senate passes drug law changes

The State Senate approved sweeping changes to the Rockfeller drug laws last night as a part of the state budget. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

NYC gangs migrating North

Gang activity, including illegal drug trade, is up sharply in Glens Falls. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article
Former Rep. John Sweeney campaigns in 2006
Former Rep. John Sweeney campaigns in 2006

Breaking: FBI subpoenas ORDA over Rep. Sweeney trips to Lake Placid

The FBI has subpoenaed information from Lake Placid's Olympic Regional Development Authority as part of an investigation that apparently targets former Congressman John Sweeney. The Albany Times-Union is reporting that Federal agents are probing Sweeney's taxpayer-funded trips that ended in 2006 when he lost a bid for re-election. Martha Foley has details.  Go to full article

North Country gun thefts spike sharply in 2008

State police say the number of guns stolen across the North Country grew dramatically last year. 116 firearms were stolen, with most of the thefts coming in Clinton and Franklin Counties. That was up from just seventy-five in 2007. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Michael Odumosu. Photo: Frank Pastizzo.
Michael Odumosu. Photo: Frank Pastizzo.

DA says rape investigation will include other NCCC students

Yesterday, we reported on a North Country Community College student jailed in Essex County after being charged with rape. Michael Odumosu has been held without bail because he's a foreign student and his visa has been suspended. Franklin County District Attorney Dereck Champagne now says a grand jury will likely hear the charges against Odumosu "within the next two or three weeks." He also says more student-athletes at the school are being investigated. Meanwhile, college officials say they're handling of the case was appropriate. Brian Mann has this update.  Go to full article
Michael Odumosu. Photo:  Frank Pastizzo
Michael Odumosu. Photo: Frank Pastizzo

Foreign college student jailed for weeks in Adirondacks, raising questions

A former student from North Country Community College in Saranac Lake remains behind bars this week, following his arrest in mid-December. Michael Odumosu traveled to the North Country from London, England, to play for the school's basketball team. He is accused of raping a young woman in a student apartment just off campus. The charges have also triggered an inquiry by Federal Immigration officials. As Brian Mann reports, Odumosu's supporters are raising questions about the way his case was handled, both by the school and by police.

Correction: North Country Community College officials did make an effort to reach NCPR before this story aired. Tomorrow during regional news, we'll hear from Ed Trathen, Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services.  Go to full article

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