Pleasant Bay — Multi-agency search and rescue operation ends successfully

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

A multi-agency agency search and rescue operation, lead by the Cheticamp RCMP, after two hikers suffered injuries in a remote trail on May 21 ended successfully.

On May 21, at approximately 5:45 p.m., Cheticamp RCMP received a report of two injured hikers on the Pollet’s Cove trail near Pleasant Bay. RCMP officers, Pleasant Bay Volunteer Fire Department and EHS responded to the scene and began formulating a plan to enter the trail in an attempt to locate the hikers. Due to the difficult terrain, remote area and lack of cellular phone and radio coverage, an RCMP officer and EHS paramedic entered the trail together in attempt to locate the hikers. A command post was setup at the base of the trail head and members of the Cheticamp Ground Search and Rescue, Strait Regional Ground Search and Rescue and Cape Breton Ground Search and Rescue teams began mobilizing to the area.

At approximately 9 p.m., the RCMP officer and EHS paramedic located the injured hikers on the trail. They were treated at the scene and a CH-149 Cormorant belonging to the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (JRCC) landed in a field nearby. The hikers, RCMP officer and EHS paramedic were airlifted from the area and transported to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney. The RCMP officer and EHS paramedic were returned to their respective areas by an EHS supervisor upon their arrival at the hospital as they were uninjured.

The RCMP would like to thank the Pleasant Bay Volunteer Fire Department, EHS, Parks Canada, the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (JRCC), Cheticamp Ground Search and Rescue, Strait Regional Ground Search and Rescue and Cape Breton Ground Search and Rescue teams, for their assistance which lead to a successful conclusion to this search and rescue operation.

The RCMP would like to remind the public to plan ahead before heading out for a hike. Make a list of things that you may need, including: rain gear, extra warm clothing, food, water, first aid kit, pocket knife, matches in a waterproof container, sunscreen, whistle, flashlight and insect repellent are recommended.

· Find out about the trail you plan to hike and make sure that the trail is not beyond your abilities.

· Watch the weather. It can change frequently so it’s important to know what to expect and to dress accordingly.

· Don’t go alone. Consider going with a friend or a group of people.

· Tell people where you’re going and when you plan to be back. This can help first responders to locate you in the event of an emergency.

· Bring your fully charged cellphone. This will allow you to call someone if you become lost. Cellphones have become an important tool for first responders to help locate lost hikers.

· Find out if there is cellular service in the area you are planning to hike, especially if the hike is in a remote area. The area surrounding the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, including Pleasant Bay is known to have poor cellular service and hikers should bring a Satellite Communication Device.

· If you do get lost, stay calm and keep warm. If you have to stay overnight, build a campfire for warmth, light, and safety. This can also assist first responders as the smoke of a campfire can be spotted by an aircraft.

File #: 2022-665549

Don’t let summer bring out risky behavior

Source: United States Air Force

Summer starts soon, bringing warmer weather and longer days. Many families are beginning to plan outdoor activities like swimming, boating, camping and road trips. As such, Airmen and their families need to use risk management in all summer activities to help mitigate mishaps.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every year in the U.S. an estimated 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings occur, with children ages 1-4 having the highest drowning rates. In fiscal year 2021, the Department of the Air Force lost seven members to drowning.

Could these deaths have been avoided? Were risks assessed and life jackets considered? Asking the right question and assessing risks is key to staying safe.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2020, there were 5,265 recreational boating accidents resulting in 767 deaths and 3,191 injuries. Where the cause of death was known, 75 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those drowning victims, 86 percent were not wearing a life jacket.

Being in, on, or around the water can be dangerous. Know your limitations and have everyone on the water wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. To build skills, stay physically fit and considering signing up for swim lessons.

“Every Airmen and Guardian needs the proper training before participating in summer activities. It is important that we remain aware and assess the risks of each activity we participate in,” said William Walkowiak, chief of Occupational Safety for the Department of the Air Force, “Be responsible and weigh the risks to stay safe this summer.”

If plans include traveling by vehicle or motorcycle, inspect them before hitting the road. Check all fluids and ensure tires are in good condition. Keep a safety kit, extra water, snacks, or extra riding gear in case of an emergency.

The U. S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide in 2020. That number marks the highest number of fatalities since 2007. Reducing risk is as simple as planning before you head out and sharing that plan with family or friends, checking the weather, and mapping out your trip to avoid construction or storms.

The National Safety Council’s Injury Facts listed 5,579 motorcycle deaths in 2020. The factor that directly influenced motorcycle fatality trends is helmet use. Motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to operators and 41 percent for passengers.

The U.S. Air Force lost 18 motorcycle riders and 14 members in motor vehicle accidents in fiscal year 2021. Inexperience, alcohol, and speed were often the root causes. Motorcycle riders and drivers must never drink and drive. Motorcycle riders must commit to practicing riding skills every time they ride by wearing the proper protective gear and thinking beyond the ride. Vehicle drivers should never drive distracted, always wear a seat belt, and follow all traffic laws.

The Air Force Safety Center launched in spring the Preseason Kickoff of the DAFRider page and DAFRider motorcycle video series. It gives riders another way to learn about current standards and techniques, acquire skills, and helps build a rider mentality. The series will run throughout the year with new videos highlighting a multitude of motorcycle topics.

“Wearing a motorcycle airbag jacket or vest along with a Department of Transportation-approved helmet can potentially eliminate injuries or even death,” said Dave Brandt, the Department of the Air Force, Motorcycle Safety Program manager. “Having a rider’s mentality and practicing every time you ride can help build riding skills for when you need them – and you will definitely need them if you continue to ride.”

Kirtland Air Force Base will be the first base to receive motorcycle airbag vests to utilize during classes and demonstrate how they can help reduce or mitigate blunt force trauma. Just like airbags in a vehicle, motorcycle airbags have been proven to save lives and help keep motorcycle riders from serious injuries or death by using a variety of on-board airbags that detect a crash in real time or a tethered system that deploys after the rider has fallen off a moving motorcycle.

Camping can also be a great break during the summer months, but remember to always prepare for the unexpected by checking the weather, following all local laws on fire hazards and wildlife, and telling family or friends your plans, and never leave food or trash where animals can get it.

Regardless of activity, one can easily become dehydrated or sunburned while out enjoying the summer sun. Make sure to hydrate often and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF15.

“I’m asking each of you to use sound risk management this summer to help minimize risks” Walkowiak said. “Ask yourself, ‘Do I have the right skills, or do I need to take a refresher course? Do I have the right equipment for the activity to make sure I get back safely?’ Asking yourself these and other questions might just save your life or the life of someone you love.”

Don’t be a statistic. Use sound risk management in all your summer activities to stay safe.

For additional tips, visit AFSC’s Summer Safety page.

Former Bookkeeper Charged with Embezzling More Than $3 Million from Law Firm Former Employer

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) State Crime Alerts (c)

NEWARK, N.J. – A Florida woman was charged with wire fraud after she stole over $3 million from the law firm where she worked as a bookkeeper, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Janet Lee Blissitt, 66, of Margate, Florida, is charged by complaint with one count of wire fraud. Blissitt was arrested earlier this morning and made her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, federal court. She was released on $150,000 bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Blissitt worked as a bookkeeper and assistant at a law firm in Boca Raton, Florida. She had access to several of the firm’s business bank accounts, including the firm’s client trust accounts. Starting in October 2021 and continuing through March 2022, Blissitt transferred money from several of the law firm’s business accounts to her personal account and other business bank accounts in New Jersey and Ohio. Blissitt would sometimes falsely note that the purpose of the transfers was to pay fees. Blissitt embezzled an estimated $3 million from the law firm.         

The wire fraud charge has a maximum term of 20 years, and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim, whichever is greatest.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Messenger in Newark and Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith in Cleveland, Ohio, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the Boca Raton Police Services Department for their assistance. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie L. Hoxie of the Cybercrime Unit in Newark.

The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Three teenagers convicted in relation to fatal stabbing after luring man to address in south-west London

Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

Three teenagers have been convicted after fatally stabbing a rival drug dealer after luring him to a house in south-west London.

The group tricked 24-year-old Abdirizak Hassan, known as Abdi, into visiting an address in Roehampton in May 2021 where they attacked him and stabbed him in the chest.

[A] Elijah Roye, 18 (21.09.03), of Carey Gardens, Wandsworth, was found guilty of murder.

[B] Muhammed Danso, 18 (21.12.03), of Fieldfare Road, Bexley, and [C] a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were found not guilty of murder but convicted of manslaughter.

All three were convicted at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, 27 May and will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 29 July.

Police were called at 11:04hrs on 6 May 2021 after a body was found at a residential property in a block of flats in Dowdeswell Close, SW15.

Officers attended and Abdirizak was found with a stab injury. He had been attacked at the same location the previous afternoon.

Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command began an investigation. Witness accounts, forensic evidence, CCTV footage and phone data led to all three suspects being identified.

Through collecting this evidence, officers established the group had arrived at the property on the afternoon of 5 May 2021. The property was owned by a vulnerable person.

The group used the woman’s phone to lure Abdi to the property forcing her to claim she wanted to buy drugs from him. When he arrived at 17:20hrs they ambushed him in an attack that lasted several minutes.

The defendants then left the property and were seen on CCTV heading away from the area, before splitting up and going their separate ways.

In a statement, the victim’s family said: “Abdi was well loved son, brother and friend. He was a funny, clever, compassionate and big-hearted person. We miss him dearly and will cherish our memories of him forever.”

Detective Inspector Adam Guttridge, the senior investigating officer, said: “This case is yet another tragic example of the devastating consequences drugs can have on young lives.

“Our painstaking investigation involved reviewing a large amount of CCTV and phone data to link the suspects to one another and to the scene. I am pleased our work means three dangerous individuals will now spend a considerable time in prison.

“We also spoke to several witnesses and I would like to praise the bravery of those who spoke to us. The Met committed to reducing violence crime across London but we can’t do this without your help.

“While today’s verdict will not bring Abdirizak back, I do hope it gives his family and friends some closure to know his killers have brought to justice.

Two further charges in Barnet murder investigation

Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

Detectives investigating the fatal stabbing of 30-year-old Olsi Kuka in Barnet have charged two more people with murder.

[C] aged 17, of Northants, and [D] Santana Thompson, 19 (04.02.03), of Aldriche Way, Waltham Forest, are due to appear at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, 28 May.

Police were called by paramedics shortly before 03:00hrs on Wednesday, 11 May after receiving reports of an injured man in a flat off High Road, N20.

Officers attended with paramedics and found Olsi with stab wounds. Despite the best efforts of the emergency services Olsi was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Officers remain in contact with his family and are providing them with support.

[A] Bulent Bakir, 25 (05.01.97) of Old Road, Enfield and [B] Daige Ramsey, 23 (30.11.98) of Winchester Road, E4 were charged on Monday, 16 May with the murder of 30-year-old Olsi Kuka.

They appeared in custody at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 17 May and will next appear at the Central Criminal Court on 4 August.

Appeal on first anniversary of fatal shooting in Haringey

Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

Detectives have issued CCTV footage of a group of males they are working to trace in connection with the fatal shooting of a man in Haringey one year ago.

Mohamed Ahmed was just 23 years old when he was gunned down in Hornsey. To date, no one has been charged with his murder.

Police were called at about 01:10hrs on Friday, 28 May 2021 to reports of a firearm discharge in the vicinity of Turnpike Lane and Willoughby Road, N8.

Officers, the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance all attended the scene.

Mohamed was found seriously injured. Despite the best efforts of the emergency services he was pronounced dead at the scene at 01:55hrs.

A post-mortem examination gave cause of death as gunshot injury.

Detectives from Specialist Crime, led by Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rawlinson, are urging anyone who can help them to make contact.

DCI Rawlinson, said: “Though a year has passed, the determination of my team to find and bring to justice those responsible for this senseless killing remains undiminished.

“We suspect it to have been connected to an earlier firearms discharge on Park Lane, N17 that left a man injured. We believe friends of that man took him to hospital, and then travelled on to Turnpike Lane in a Honda Civic, happening upon Mohamed in Ducketts Common, before firing shots from the car and fleeing.

“We’ve released CCTV footage showing people we’re interested in speaking to. One clip shows three people – two on bikes and one on foot – this is before the murder took place. One of them has a very distinctive pattern on the back of his jacket. The other clip shows the person with the distinctive jacket dropping the aforementioned injured party off at hospital.

“I have seen time and again that members of the public want to work with us to remove violent criminals from their streets and I have no doubt there will be people who can help us here.

“You can be assured that we will speak to you in the strictest of confidence. My team are ready and waiting to act on that fragment of information that could potentially help bring a grieving family justice. Please don’t delay, and tell us what you know immediately.”

A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder in June 2021. He was later released under investigation.

In a statement, Mohamed’s family, said: “Our hearts are broken, and we are still grieving the loss of Mohamed Ahmed, our beloved son and brother. It’s been such a difficult year for us as a family because of the utter shock and disbelief that he isn’t here with us anymore.

“We still can’t believe it’s been a year since he passed. He will always be in our memories and will forever live in our hearts.”

Anyone with information that could assist detectives is asked to contact the investigation team on 020 8358 0200 quoting Operation Tottori, or call police on 101/ tweet @MetCC, quoting CAD 356/28May21.

You can also remain 100% anonymous by providing information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

North London man jailed for membership of extreme right wing group

Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

An investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command uncovered the man’s real-world identity via an extreme right wing forum.

David Musins was arrested at his home on 10 November 2021 and after enquiries were carried out by counter terrorism detectives, he was charged with membership of a proscribed organisation.

Commander Richard Smith, of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This was a detailed investigation which led to an admission of guilt and the team should be highly commended.

“Outwardly, Musins was unremarkable but secretly he willingly joined and took part in activities run by an extreme right wing group of individuals, united by confused and hate filled ideologies.

“I would ask anyone who is concerned about friends or loved ones to contact police and report what they know. Friends and family are well placed to spot worrying changes in behaviours and attitudes in people they care about; if you suspect someone close to you is at risk of becoming radicalised, the most important call you can make is to police. You won’t harm anyone, but you may well save lives.”

Officers worked to put together Musins’ history with the extremist group, and found evidence which pointed strongly to active membership of both National Action and its later guise as NS131.

On 22 February 2016, Musins had written a message on the Iron March introductory message board. He gave details about himself and that he had studied history before becoming interested in National Socialism.

On 6 March 2016, there was a meeting between the group members in a pub in Paddington, which Musins attended, and later on that month, he also attended a two-day camp called ‘Legion’ in Derbyshire. He also attended a National Action march in Darlington in November of that year.

He continued his membership of the group, now called NS131, after National Action was proscribed by the Home Secretary in December 2016. His involvement in the group’s activities continued for much of 2017, and he attended events including an outdoor camping and knife survival event, believed to be in Essex, in May of that year.

On 29 November 2017, NS131 was formally recognised as one of NA’s aliases and Musins’ involvement had by then come to an end.

During the search of his house in November 2021, officers found black clothing, black face coverings decorated with skulls, black sunglasses, spray paint cans, boxing gloves and a groin guard. These were all linked to his activity as part of the proscribed group.

A USB stick was also found; on it Musins had kept an exercise diary, which made reference to the Legion training camp in March 2016.

On Monday, 14 March, Musins, 36 (04.03.86) of north London, pleaded guilty to membership of a proscribed organisation (National Action).

He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with an extended period on licence of 12 months, at the Old Bailey on Friday, 27 May.

Two Grand Junction Men Indicted for Fentanyl Deaths

Source: United States Attorneys General 3

Grand Junction – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces Mark Harold and Junior Anthony Highline have been indicted in separate cases on charges of distributing fentanyl resulting in death.

Both men were arrested and made their initial appearance in federal court in Grand Junction on Monday, May 25, 2022, where they were advised by a Federal Magistrate Judge of the charges pending against them.

Distribution of fentanyl resulting in death carries a potential penalty of no less than 20 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and at least three years of supervised release.

The charges in the indictments are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

These cases were investigated by the DEA, Western Colorado Drug Task Force, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Grand Junction Police Department. Assistant U. S. Attorney Jeremy Chaffin is handling the prosecution for both cases.

Case Numbers: 22-cr-00165 Mark Harold  and 22-cr-00164 Junior Anthony Highline.

San Luis Obispo Man Sentenced to Nearly 2 Years in Federal Prison for Bribing County Supervisor and Filing False Income Tax Returns

Source: United States Attorneys General 2

          LOS ANGELES – A San Luis Obispo man was sentenced today to 22 months in federal prison for paying a county supervisor approximately $32,000 in bribes – most of them in cash – in exchange for the supervisor’s votes and influence on other votes affecting his cannabis business interests.

          Helios Raphael Dayspring, a.k.a. “Bobby Dayspring,” 36, was sentenced by United States District Judge André Birotte Jr. Dayspring has paid the restitution order of $3,438,793 to the IRS in this case.

          In October 2021, Dayspring pleaded guilty to one count of bribery and one count of subscribing to a false income tax return.

          Dayspring owned, operated, and had a controlling interest in multiple farms that grew cannabis in San Luis Obispo County. He also had ownership interests in businesses that sold marijuana to the public, including in Grover Beach. To further his interests in the farms that grew cannabis in San Luis Obispo County, Dayspring began paying bribes to a San Luis Obispo County supervisor in the fall of 2016 and continued doing so through November 2019.

          In total, Dayspring paid the late Third District supervisor multiple bribes in cash and money orders totaling $32,000. In exchange, the supervisor voted on matters affecting Dayspring’s farms, including voting multiple times in favor of legislation that permitted Dayspring’s farms to operate before it had obtained final permitting approvals.

          In addition to bribing the San Luis Obispo County supervisor, Dayspring attempted to bribe the then-mayor of Grover Beach in exchange for two dispensary licenses in that city. The attempted $100,000 bribe took place during a dinner meeting in September 2017. The mayor did not respond to the offer, and Dayspring did not end up paying the bribe.

          Dayspring also substantially underreported his personal income on his federal tax returns for the years 2014 through 2018, which resulted in the IRS losing more than $3.4 million in tax revenue. For example, for the tax year 2018, Dayspring falsely reported his taxable income as $1,262,894, when in fact his income was greater than $6.5 million.

          Dayspring “had one goal: build a cannabis empire,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “To accomplish that goal, he would not let anything get in his way, including the law.”

          The FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation investigated this matter.

          Assistant United States Attorney Thomas F. Rybarczyk of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section prosecuted this case.

Washington State Man Indicted After Escape From Federal Prison Camp

Source: United States Department of Justice

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal indictment was unsealed today charging an Edmonds, Washington man for escaping from a satellite prison camp at the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon.

Andrew Cain Kristovich, 38, has been charged with one count of escaping from custody.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of April 25, 2022, correctional officers at FCI Sheridan, a federal prison located in Yamhill County, Oregon, discovered that Kristovich was missing from his assigned bunk. Kristovich was serving a 60-month sentence after being convicted in the Western District of Washington for conspiring to distribute controlled substances and unlawfully using a controlled substance in possession of a firearm.

Later, on April 25, 2022, law enforcement officers were dispatched to a residence in Vancouver, Washington for a welfare check. The officers met a female who reported that Kristovich had told her he was getting released from prison and asked her to pick him up. After the woman picked him up, Kristovich sexually and physically assaulted her and then fled with her vehicle. On April 27, 2022, the woman’s vehicle was found locked and abandoned in a retail parking lot in Edmonds, Washington.

On May 14, 2022, a U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested Kristovich in Carson City, Nevada. Kristovich was found in possession of a semi-automatic rifle.

Kristovich made his initial appearance in federal court in the District of Oregon today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

If convicted, Kristovich faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, three years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

Kristovich also faces Washington State felony charges in Clark County Superior Court for second degree rape, second degree assault, second degree robbery, and theft of a motor vehicle.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case is being investigated by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Ashley R. Cadotte, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Domestic violence is a serious crime that includes both physical and emotional abuse. It is frequently hidden from public view. Many survivors suffer in silence, afraid to seek help or not knowing where to turn. The traumatic effects of domestic violence also extend beyond the abused person, impacting family members and communities.

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911.

If you need assistance or know someone who needs help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Many communities throughout the country have developed support networks to assist survivors in the process of recovery.