STOP Act Regulations to Fight Opioid Smuggling to be Published

Source: US Department of Homeland Security

New Regulations to be Published in Federal Register

WASHINGTON — To combat a wide variety of tactics smugglers use to conceal fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas signed an Interim Final Rule (IFR) to promulgate regulations that will enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to implement provisions required in the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act.  These regulations will strengthen the collection and sharing of advance electronic data (AED) by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and CBP for international mail shipments. 

“The STOP Act is an important step in the battle against the deadly scourge of synthetic drugs that has caused so much loss and pain in our country,” said Secretary Mayorkas.  “The Department of Homeland Security is proud to implement the STOP Act through this regulation.  Since taking office last month, working closely with U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Gary Peters, I have prioritized the promulgation of today’s regulation.” 

“Two additional points are noteworthy.  First, our Department will continue to prioritize the battle against the importation of illegal drugs and their precursors, and we will dedicate our energy and resources accordingly.  This is a matter of homeland security.  Second, our Department is dedicated to the prompt, orderly, and effective promulgation of regulations that implement the laws Congress has passed and that advance the policy priorities of this Administration.” 

The IFR, entitled “Mandatory Advance Electronic Information for International Mail Shipments,” is expected to be published in the Federal Register soon.  The IFR amends CBP’s regulations pertaining to mail importation to establish a mandatory AED program for certain inbound mail shipments. 

“CBP is the frontline in the battle against dangerous and illicit drugs shipped to our country through the international mail system,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller. “Fentanyl and its many fentanyl-based analogues continue to plague the American people, and these regulations will be critical in our efforts to identify and disrupt the transnational criminal organizations who ship these deadly drugs through our international mail system.”     

These new AED regulations in the IFR will enhance the security of international mail shipments entering the United States by enabling CBP to conduct better targeting and risk assessments.  This will help disrupt the flow of illicit supply chains that exploit the postal environment and will reduce shipments of illicit fentanyl and other dangerous goods from entering the country. Screening made possible through AED will also be used to identify counterfeit goods, and illicit biological matter – or even to counter terrorism. 

Keywords: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Drug Interdiction, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Synthetic Drug
Topics: Border Security, Homeland Security Enterprise, Preventing Terrorism, Secretary of Homeland Security

Canton man sentenced to 22 and a half years for possession with intent to distribute 16 pounds of meth, marijuana, heroin, LSD and possession of a semi-automatic pistol

Elmer Curtis Jones, 31, of Canton, Ohio, was sentenced to 270 months imprisonment by U.S. District Court Judge John R. Adams after a jury found him guilty of four counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Canton man sentenced to 22 and a half years for possession with intent to distribute 16 pounds of meth, marijuana, heroin, LSD and possession of a semi-automatic pistol

Elmer Curtis Jones, 31, of Canton, Ohio, was sentenced to 270 months imprisonment by U.S. District Court Judge John R. Adams after a jury found him guilty of four counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Man jailed for attacking officer with a spade

Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

A man who attacked an officer with a spade during a residential burglary has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Jay Baptise, 32 (17.10.88) of Crystal Palace Park Road was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday, 2 March to nine years imprisonment for grievous bodily harm [GBH], three years for the burglary of a residential address and three years for the burglary of a non-residential address. All sentences to run concurrently.

Police were called to Sherwood Road, West Wickham, on Monday, 14 September 2020 by a member of the public who could see men breaking into a house.

Two officers, PC Alex Gray and PC Matt Lockie, accepted the call and arrived on scene around five minutes later.

As the suspects were still inside the address, PC Gray went to the back of the property while PC Lockie remained at the front to contain the address whilst awaiting back up.

At the rear of the property, PC Gray approached a window that had been smashed open and could see Jay Baptise inside.

PC Gray identified himself as a police officer and drawing his baton told the man to ‘get down’. Baptise, ignoring the officer’s request, stepped backwards into the room and a second man became visible behind him.

Despite being outnumbered, the officer continued to direct the suspects to stay where they were, at the same time activating a call for assistance via his radio.

The second suspect then picked up a shovel and used it to smash through the bottom of the wooden door that led into the rest of the house. He then dropped the shovel and crawled through the gap making his escape.

PC Gray managed to enter the property through the broken window and approached the remaining suspect, Baptise.

As PC Gray approached, Baptise reached behind him and picked up the discarded shovel, before swinging it at officer’s head multiple times causing serious lacerations to the officer’s head and face.

Baptise then tried to crawl through the gap in the door that his associate had used to make his escape.

Despite his serious head injuries, PC Gray managed to take hold of Baptise and with the assistance of PC Lockie, pulled him back into the room and detained him in handcuffs.

PC Gray was treated in hospital for head injuries that resulted in permanent scarring.

Baptise was charged on 15 September 2020 with residential burglary with intent to steal in relation to the break in at the house, non-residential burglary and GBH.

Due to the overwhelming evidence against him, Baptise pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court.

Detective Inspector Mel Lillywhite said: “This sentence represents the serious nature of the assault and the injuries sustained by the officer and will ensure that the public are protected from this violent individual for a considerable time to come.

“Assaults against officers will not be tolerated and we will continue to place those who commit violent acts before the courts.

“I would like to commend the officers involved in this case for continuing to do their duty to protect the public despite the horrific level of violence they were faced with, in particular the officer who sustained such awful injuries.

“Police officers are risking their lives on the frontline every day and deserve recognition for their commitment to keeping Londoners and their property safe.”

+ The second suspect remains outstanding.

Air Force discusses the future of energy efficiency

Source: United States Air Force

At this year’s Virtual Air Warfare Symposium, the Air Force Association held a panel Feb. 23 with Department of the Air Force senior leaders titled “No Fuel, No Fight: The Future of Warfighting Energy Requirements.” The purpose of the panel was to discuss the inherent vulnerabilities fuel and energy present to troops, and plans to mitigate associated risks, streamline operations, and decrease carbon release as part of the Secretary of Defense’s climate change policy.

Man sentenced for assault on a police officer – Reading

Source: United Kingdom Thames Valley Police

Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a man has been sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment following an assault on a police officer.

Ireneusz Wiater, age 35, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to a police officer by a unanimous jury following a trial at Reading Crown Court which concluded on Thursday (4/3).

Wiater also pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault on an emergency worker in relation to the same incident.

The sentencing is in connection with an incident at 2.24am on Sunday 20 September 2020 on King Street in Maidenhead in which Wiater assaulted a police officer by choking him in a headlock and attempted to gouge his left eye.

Wiater was charged and remanded the following day.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Chris Jamieson, based at Maidenhead police station, said: “This was a serious assault on a police officer acting lawfully in their duties.

“The actions of choking the officer and gouging his eye left him with many painful injuries, including temporary blindness in his left eye. His biggest concern however was not the blindness, but that he would be unable to continue working in the job that he loves.

“This incident could have resulted in far more horrific outcomes, and demonstrates the risks police officers face in their daily roles.

“I’m grateful for this significant sentence. It shows that attacks on our officers will not be tolerated, and that criminals will be brought to justice.”


NSA and CISA Release Cybersecurity Information on Protective DNS

Source: National Security Agency NSA

The National Security Agency and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a cybersecurity information sheet, “Selecting a Protective DNS Service” on Thursday. This publication details the benefits of using a Protective Domain Name System (PDNS), which criteria to consider when selecting a PDNS provider, and how to effectively implement PDNS.

Investment in Medical Imaging Scans Could Avert Millions of Cancer Deaths Globally, Report Co-Sponsored by the IAEA Shows

Source: International Atomic Energy Agency – IAEA

Scaling up access to nuclear medicine and medical imaging services would avert nearly 2.5 million cancer deaths worldwide by 2030 and yield global lifetime productivity gains of USD 1.41 trillion – a net return of over USD 200 per USD 1 invested, a new study co-authored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shows.

The Lancet Oncology Commission on Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine report, published today during the European Congress of Radiology, reviews data collected under the IAEA IMAGINE database in 211 countries, territories, and principalities, and reveals great disparities in imaging infrastructure between high- and low-income countries.

“Medical imaging is essential to cancer care, but unequal access to these life-saving technologies remains staggering,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a comment to the Commission report. “We know that health systems endowed with the correct tools deliver better results and that low- and middle-income countries lack these.”

Diagnostic imaging tools are essential to provide high-quality care for conditions ranging from non-communicable diseases to COVID-19, trauma, and pregnancy complications.

In high-income countries, they are vital in the management of cancer, and are used to evaluate the location and spread of the disease and to select, plan and monitor treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

Imaging equipment includes X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and mammography, as well as procedures using radiotracers, such as positron emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), along with non-ionizing radiation techniques like ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The report reveals significant disparities in access to imaging tools around the world: at least five countries in Africa do not have a single CT unit, and one CT scanner serves on average 25,000 people in high-income but 1.7 million people in low-income countries. The gap in access to more sophisticated procedures, such as PET scans, is even greater: in high-income countries, one PET scanner serves 300,000 people compared with 167 million in lower-income settings.

The Commission’s analysis also showed marked differences between countries in the number of trained medical imaging specialists but noted that technological advances in the field – such as artificial intelligence (AI), teleradiology, and mobile and ultraportable imaging devices – could offer unprecedented opportunities to improve training and services the world over.

“The Lancet Commission is the first-ever comprehensive effort to assess imaging and nuclear medicine needs worldwide,” said May Abdel-Wahab, joint lead author and Director of the IAEA’s Division of Human Health. “The report presents a compelling case to scale up access to improve patient care, with substantial health and economic benefits.”

All countries worldwide would realize productivity gains, net benefits and investment returns by ramping up imaging procedures, the Commission said, but low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) would benefit the most.

With the global cancer burden increasing at an alarming rate, the Commission proposes several actions to enhance access to imaging equipment and to develop a qualified workforce to tackle the disease globally. These include a call for increased funding, incorporating medical imaging services in universal health coverage, as well as investments in education, training and to advance research.

The Lancet Oncology Commission on Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine was established with IAEA support in 2018. “The aim was to provide data and guidance to catalyze sustainable improvement of medical imaging and nuclear medicine services for cancer management, particularly in LMICs,” said co-lead author Hedvig Hricak from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA.

The IAEA supports countries in the fight against cancer through the provision of equipment, training and technical expertise. The Agency works with several partners to expand diagnostic imaging capabilities and can spearhead global efforts to unlock resources and improve nuclear and radiation medicine services where this is most needed. “Collaboration is strength,” IAEA Director General Grossi said.

Four Charged in Scheme Employing Homeless to Cash Bogus Checks

PROVIDENCE – Four men from the Atlanta, GA, area have been charged in federal court in Providence, RI, for allegedly operating a long-running scheme in which homeless and transient individuals from the Providence area were recruited to cash counterfeit business checks in exchange for a cash payment.