NY Knicks Point Guard Arrested on Gun Charges

In the midst of his ninth NBA season, New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton is definitely in the spotlight.  However, the attention isn’t because he’s such a great athlete and basketball player, it’s because he has found himself in a heap of trouble with the law, and with his wife of less than two years.  Keep in mind that New York has some of the country’s most strict gun-control laws, and the point guard was found to be in possession of a highly illegal fire arm and ammunition: the high powered, semi automatic handgun FNH 5.7 28mm. Although Felton’s wife knew the weapon was in their home in Manhattan, she no longer felt safe with it being there after her husband held onto it during arguments. According to police, Felton was holding a firearm, but not pointing it, during four separate occasions in which he was having an argument with his wife. The couple is currently going through a divorce, with Felton’s wife alleging that Mr. Felton has been continuously unfaithful to her during their marriage.

This past Monday, Felton’s wife and her attorney took the handgun to the police station, telling authorities the illegal weapon belonged to the Knicks player.  On Tuesday, Felton was arrested on two felony weapons charges: third degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm The prosecutors for the case declined to file a second-degree felony weapons charge and opted for two lesser felonies against Felton because they lacked the evidence required to support the second-degree charge. The second-degree charge involves having intent to use the firearm against someone else and has a mandatory 3.5 year prison term for those convicted. The move by the prosecution is likely the reason Felton still has a job.  In fact, he was still practicing with the Knicks the day after his arrest and played against the Miami Heat on Thursday evening.

If we take a look back, New York’s gun laws are tough for everyone, even celebrities who seem to have large enough bank accounts to keep them out of jail.  In 2008, football star Plaxico Burress violated the strict firearm law when he brought an unregistered gun into a nightclub, then accidentally shot himself with it.  Burress ended up serving 20 months in jail.  Burress even offered up some advice for Felton, stating to ESPN that “you just need to be smarter, make better decisions and be knowledgeable about the laws in cities and different states if you do want to be a gun owner to prevent situations like this.”  Burress went further, stating that he “didn’t even know that [he] couldn’t carry the weapons in New York City at that time. If [he] would have known then, [the] situation would have never happened.”

For those charged in any type of criminal case, it will be very important to speak with and hire a criminal defense attorney who completely understands all the issues and complexities that go along with your charges. South Carolina criminal defense attorneys at The Mace Firm spend a significant amount of time in criminal courts throughout the United States. There are criminal defense attorneys all over the country, but few are like those at our firm who practice criminal defense in Charleston, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Surfside Beach, Columbia and several other areas.

If you or someone you know is facing federal criminal or state criminal charges, you will need to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach criminal defense attorney. A South Carolina criminal lawyer at The Mace Firm is ready to speak with you about your case. Call a criminal defense attorney to schedule your free consultation.

Hernandez’s Cousin Wont Reveal Key Information

As the prosecution continues to pursue the murder case against NFL football tight end Aaron Hernandez, questions remain unanswered by his cousin, Tanya Singleton.  Tanya is believed to have first-hand knowledge of exactly what happened on the night Odin Lloyd was shot and killed.  Hernandez has retained a criminal defense lawyer to represent him for this case.

Last month, Singleton was offered immunity by the prosecution if she would testify before the grand jury regarding information she is aware of related to the crime.  However, she opted not to speak and was placed in jail on August 1.  The grand jury ended up indicting her on a contempt charge and she remains in custody without bail.

According to court documents, two men who were allegedly present at the time of the shooting provided Singleton with information which will aid the prosecutions case against Hernandez.  One of the two men, Carlos Ortiz, has provided some information to authorities.

Ortiz said that he and the other accomplice, Ernest Wallace, were at the home of Tanya Singleton when they were called to Hernandez’s home 115 miles away.  The men made the trip and arrived at the Hernandez home later that evening, according to surveillance cameras at the home.  Ortiz stated that while he was in the home, he witnessed Hernandez, who seemed upset, carry a large handgun into the basement.  Hernandez also, according to Ortiz, stated that he was unable to trust anyone.

After 1:00 a.m., the three men left the residence and drove to Boston to pick up Lloyd, then stopped in a secluded industrial park to urinate.  Ortiz claims to have fallen asleep in the car and was not awake until they had stopped in the park.  This is when Lloyd, Wallace and Hernandez exited the vehicle; seconds later Ortiz heard the gunshots.  Hernandez and Wallace re-entered the vehicle and fled back to Hernandez’s home.  The following afternoon, Ortiz and Wallace drove back to Singleton’s home, where Ortiz allegedly revealed the crime to her.

This is a circumstantial case, and cooperation from witnesses is important.  In this case, cooperation from Singleton could help to corroborate Ortiz’s statements.  At this time, the prosecution is relying heavily on surveillance video footage and cell phone location records to corroborate the stories.

Hernandez’s criminal defense lawyers are likely just fine with Singleton’s silence.  Having the support of an experienced, skilled federal criminal defense lawyer is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly.  Call a South Carolina criminal defense lawyer to schedule your free consultation with a criminal attorney at The Mace Firm.

Trial Begins for Fort Hood Shooter

Criminal defense lawyer discusses Fort Hood shooter’s trial.  Nidal Hasan’s trial is set to begin today following his deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood in 2009.  Hasan, an army psychiatrist, was scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan on November 5, 2009.  That afternoon, Hasan allegedly ran into a medical processing center at Fort Hood and began shooting soldiers who were returning from overseas or about to be deployed.  Hasan is responsible for 13 deaths and 32 injuries related to this mass-shooting.  Military officials returned fire on Hasan and shot him four times; he is not paralyzed from the chest down and is confined to a wheelchair.  At his trial, Hasan is facing 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.

Hasan has offered to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty; however, Colonel Osborn, the military judge in this case, has rejected the offer because “guilty pleas are not permitted in capital cases in the military.”  To be sentenced to death, Hasan would have to receive a unanimous guilty verdict.  Even then, the court’s decision may be appealed.

Late last week, the judge in this case decided to grant the prosecution’s request to present evidence that Hasan searched for words such as “jihad” and “Taliban” in the days and hours before the massacre. Additionally, the prosecution requested to introduce academic papers that Hasan wrote during his master’s program at Walter Reed Medical Center.  The papers show that Hasan defended suicide bombings.

For those following this case, it has now come to our attention that Hasan will be acting as his own criminal defense lawyer during his trial.  This is an issue because Hasan will be allowed to personally cross-examine witnesses, including the shooting victims and Fort Hood officers.  Although it is safe to say that Hasan’s trial will likely get out of hand at times, it is his right to cross-examine the witnesses.  However, legal experts feel that Hasan will attempt to ask questions with a political edge and the judge will “presumably not permit that.”

Early last week, six days prior to his trial date, Hasan sent documents to Fox News.  In those documents, Hasan renounces his US citizenship, revokes his oath as an Army officer and reveals that he has ties to Anwar-al-Awlaki (the first American targeted for murder by the CIA).  He refers to Awlaki as his “teacher, mentor and friend.”

Although Hasan decided to defend himself during his trial, having the support of a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly, especially at the trial level.  Call a South Carolina criminal defense lawyer to schedule your free consultation.

Jury Begins Deliberations in Zimmerman Case

The jury for the murder trial of George Zimmerman will likely begin today.  The 6-woman panel of jurors will have three options to choose from: 1) convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder, 2) convicting Zimmerman of manslaughter, or 3) declaring Zimmerman not guilty.  On Thursday, the jury heard the closing arguments from the prosecution, who portrayed Zimmerman to be a lying, cop-wannabe.  They would like the jury to believe that Zimmerman profiled and tracked the victim, which ultimately lead to the fight and shooting death of the victim.  The prosecution will get an hour for rebuttal following the defense’s closing arguments.This morning, the jury is hearing the closing arguments of Zimmerman’s criminal defense lawyer.  Zimmerman’s criminal defense lawyer explained reasonable doubt to the jurors and clarified that the presumption of innocence “always exists.”  The defense attorney also clarified that Zimmerman should be found not guilty if a reasonable doubt is present.  During closing, the defense also presented an animated version of their theory of what happened. The video, which isn’t in evidence, shows Zimmerman and Martin in a confrontation, showing Martin on top.  Zimmerman was injured with a bloody nose and lacerations to the back of his head and Martin was shot.  The video was shown to the jury so that they could see how it was consistent with the evidence they had seen.

Lets examine some of the options a little further.  To find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder, the jury must conclude that his actions showed “a depraved mind without regard for human life.” If the jury finds that he did not commit second-degree murder, manslaughter would be the second route to explore.  To convict Zimmerman of manslaughter, the jury must conclude that he had “an intent to commit an act that was not merely negligent, justified, or excusable and which caused death.”  For the manslaughter charge, the jury would not have to conclude that Zimmerman’s intent was to cause death.

If Zimmerman is convicted of second-degree murder, he could face up to life in prison.  According to NBC news and Zimmerman’s federal criminal defense lawyer, he is very worried but very happy with the way his defense team has handled the trial and released the evidence.

29-year-old Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and maintains that he acted in self-defense. He did not testify during the trial, but prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda used his words, from calls to police, interrogations and a TV interview, during his closing argument to paint him as an overeager neighborhood watchman who “went over the line” the night of Feb. 26, 2012.

Having the support of a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly, especially at the trial level.  Call a South Carolina criminal defense lawyer to schedule your free consultation.

Aaron Hernandez, Evidence Continues to Surface

Federal criminal defense lawyer discusses the case against Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots.  It has been a rough couple of months for 23-year-old New England Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez.  Police in suburban Massachusetts, where the NFL player currently resides, have linked him to the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.  Lloyd’s body was discovered on June 17th, only one mile from Hernandez’s home.  Hernandez claims to be a nonviolent person; however, his past is coming back to make him eat his words.

Hernandez has been connected to several incidents in his short lifetime involving firearms.  None of those incidents had ever resulted in criminal charges.  One of Hernandez’s friends, or former friend, claims Hernandez shot him with a handgun, causing him to lose his right eye. But after someone found the Connecticut man bleeding in an alley behind a Palm Beach County store following the sound of a gunshot, he told police he didn’t know who shot him and gave only a vague description of possible assailants.  The case has been dismissed due to lack of cooperation from the victim, but no one knows whether Hernandez shot him intentionally or accidentally.

Another incident involves the death of two men in 2012.  The shooting happened in Boston’s South End on July 15, 2012. Witnesses reported seeing gunfire coming from a gray SUV with Rhode Island license plates. Authorities said 29-year-old Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and 28-year-old Safiro Teixeira Furtado were killed.  Boston authorities have yet to mention whether Hernandez will be looked at as a suspect in that case.

Now, back to the most recent issue facing Hernandez.  Authorities have now linked two properties to Hernandez, and those properties have revealed some pretty damning evidence.  They found a white sweatshirt, the same one allegedly worn by Hernandez when he murdered Lloyd.  They also found ammunition, including the same ammunition used in the shooting.  Police also recovered a cell phone and they are investigating all the contacts it contains.  All recovered items from the properties could be extremely important pieces of evidence in this murder case along with any other charges Hernandez may face.

Hernandez has already appeared before a judge with his federal criminal defense lawyer.  His request to be released on bail was denied.

Having the support of a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly.  Call a South Carolina criminal lawyer to schedule your free consultation.

Week 1 of the George Zimmerman Trial

This week during the trial of former neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, the prosecutions key witness testified that she was speaking to the victim, Trayvon Martin, just before he was shot.  The witness, 19 year old Rachel Jeantel, testified that she was talking on the phone with Martin when he told her a “creepy ass cracker” was following him. She went on to tell the defense lawyer that “cracker” is how she referred to white people in her community.

Jeantel provided even more to this unfolding trial when she testified that she heard Martin tell Zimmerman to “get off” of him.  Attorneys for the defense argued that Jeantel was coached to say this in an effort to sway the jury to the prosecutions side.  However, the criminal defense lawyer got Jeantel, under oath, to acknowledge that she did not know if Zimmerman or Martin started the fight.

One embarrassing moment came about when Jeantel informed the court that she could not completely read a letter handed to her by the defense.  Jeantel claimed that she had written the letter to Martin’s mother describing what she heard over the phone moments before Martin was shot.  When Jeantel said that she could not even read the writing on the paper, she admitted that she had not actually written it, but had dictated the letter to someone else who wrote it for her.

At another point in her testimony, Jeantel said that she had been interviewed by the prosecutor in April.  During that interview, Jeantel was seated next to Martin’s mother.  Jeantel stated that this had an impact on the story she told the prosecutor.  Jeantel could not be 100% honest about what happened before Martin’s death because she was worried about saying something to hurt Martin’s mother’s feelings.

Another witness testified this week regarding the altercation that lead to Martin’s death.  Johnathan Good, one of Zimmerman’s neighbors who probably had the best view of the incident, said that it appeared Martin was on top of Zimmerman.

On the other hand, Good testified that he did not see anyone’s head being slammed into the sidewalk as Zimmerman claims happened. First, Good testified that he saw “strikes being thrown, punches being thrown,” but during detailed questioning he said he saw only “downward arm movements being made.”

In favor of the defense, Good testified that he saw a person with black clothing on top of a person with red or white clothing, and that the person on the bottom had lighter skin. At the time of the incident, Martin, who is black, was wearing a dark hoodie. Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic and was wearing a red jacket.  Good also stated that he heard the person on the bottom yell for help.  When Good got to his phone inside his home to call police, he heard the gunshot.

Having the support of a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly.  Call a South Carolina criminal defense lawyer to schedule your free consultation.

OJ Simpson and New Trial

OJ Simpson is now seeking a new trial on his convictions for robbery and kidnapping in 2008.  He was sent to prison for 33 years based on these convictions.

As the story goes, in 2007, Simpson and several of his buddies raided a cheap hotel room demanding that his stolen sports memorabilia be returned.  Simpson’s criminal defense lawyers are making the argument that he was only trying to recover property that righfully belonged to him.

To make matters worse, Simpson’s buddies were armed during the raid.  Simpson states that he was unaware that they had guns when they went into the hotel room.  Despite this, Simpson ended up being convicted in the gunpoint robbery and kidnapping of the two sports memorabilia dealers.  Simpson blames “shoddy legal counsel” to his sentence from the first trial in this matter.  Simpson is also arguing that his first criminal attorney had conflicted interests and should not have been handling the case.

Among the witness called on Monday was Arnelle Simpson, one of O.J.’s daughters, who testified that she and her father had dinner with Galanter and his wife the night prior to the incident taking place.

Simpson testified this Wednesday morning. As most remember, he didn’t even take the stand during his infamous 1995 trial in Los Angeles in which he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Simpson said he trusted his previous attorney, Galanter, and that his attorney was aware of personal items that Simpson was attempting to recover from the memorabilia dealers.  Simpson mentioned that he had planned to give those personal items to his children someday.  “The overall advice that he gave me is that you have a right to get your stuff. He gave me an example that if you’re walking the street and you see your laptop in a car, you can use force to break the window of the car,” Simpson told the court.

Simpson also testified that Galanter “advised him that he could demand his property back from the dealers, and if they refused to return it, he could use some force, but could not trespass.”  However, Simpson failed to tell his attorney that he planned to have weapons involved.  In addition to all this, Simpson is also accusing Galanter of failing to provide an effective defense.

Unfortunately for Simpson, prosecutors in the case do not feel that his claims have merit.

This case reminds us that, should the need arise, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is a top priority.  A good attorney will help you in many ways, including discussing your legal options, determining aspects of your case which work in your favor, potential problems that can be foreseen and what to expect at the different stages of the process.

Having the support of skilled criminal defense lawyers is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly.  Call The Mace Firm’s federal criminal defense lawyersto schedule your free consultation.


Atlantic Beach Bikefest Shooting Case-SC Appeals Court

The South Carolina Court of Appeals has remanded the case of a North Carolina man back to circuit court.  Brian Spears, of NC, is serving 30 years in prison for a fatal shooting that occurred in 2007 during the Atlantic Beach Bikefest. Spears, 26, was convicted 2010 of murder and three counts of assault and battery with intent to kill.  He was sentenced to 30 years on the murder charge and 20 years each on the assault charges. The sentences are running concurrently.

Spears decided to appeal his conviction.  His federal appeal lawyer argued that the trial court judge failed to conduct a balancing test regarding testimony about a prior shooting incident that involved Spears and the victim, 22-year-old Aaron Hammonds.  The case has been remanded back so that it may be determined if the testimony regarding the prior shooting prejudices Spears.

The Spears Trial:

Hammond’s sister testified and prosecutors argued that Spears shot and killed Hammond on May 27, 2007, and wounded another man and two women due to a gang dispute. The men were from Lumberton; prosecutors believe they were members of rival gangs and carried that dispute to Atlantic Beach where the shooting occurred.  The jury deliberated for over eight hours before they found Spears guilty in the shooting.  Judge Larry Hyman sentenced Spears without the possibility of parole in the case.

Information, Appeals:

A person or federal appeal lawyer who files an appeal, known as an “appellant,” has to show that the trial court made a legal error that affected the decision in the case. The court of appeals makes its decision based on the record of the case established by the trial court. It does not receive additional evidence or hear witnesses. The court of appeals also may review the factual findings of the trial court, but typically may only overturn a decision on factual grounds if the findings were “clearly erroneous.”  The court of appeals decision is usually the final word in the case, unless it sends the case back to the trial court for additional proceedings.

Spears Appeal:

The SC Court of Appeals ruled that the circuit court failed to “conduct a Rule 403 test to determine if the probative value of the prior shooting testimony is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to Spears.  We remand with instructions for the trial court to conduct an on-the-record balancing test.”  In addition to that, the Court of Appeals also said, “if upon remand the trial court determines the probative value of the prior shooting testimony is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to Spears, the court should order a new trial. If the trial court determines the probative value of the prior shooting testimony is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to Spears, the conviction shall be affirmed subject to the right of appellate review.”

If you or someone you know would like to file an appeal, they should speak to an experienced federal appeal lawyer.  Please call a Myrtle Beach federal appeal lawyer at The Mace Firm for a consultation today.

Boston Bombers, One Suspect Still Out There

One suspect is dead and another is still on the loose after Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.  Early Friday morning, one suspect known as Tamerlan Tsarnaev who is 26 years old.  Tamerlan became a legal permanent resident of America in 2007. He was identified to the media as the suspect in the black hat in the FBI photos. Tamerlan studied at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and wanted to become an engineer, according to a profile that appeared in a Boston University magazine in 2010. He said that he hoped to become an American citizen and one day join the U.S. Olympic boxing team.  He also told the magazine that his family fled Chechnya in the 1990s because of the conflict there. Surprisingly, even though he had been in the United States for several years by that point, he said in the profile: “I don’t have a single American friend. I don’t understand them.”

His 19 year old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is the remaining suspect and officially became an American citizen on September 11, 2012.    Both men were believed to have entered the country with their family in 2002 or 2003, when the family sought asylum.  They are from Chechnya, which is a predominantly Muslim part of Russia with a turbulent history. Following the break up of the Soviet Union, they declared independence in 1991. Chechnya fought war with Russia for much of the 1990’s, and Chechens have been involved in terrorist attacks in Russia in the years since.

Around five hours after the FBI released the surveillance pictures showing the two suspects near the bombing site, an MIT police officer was shot and killed on the campus.  A short time later, police received reports of a carjacking by two men who kept their victim inside the car for about half an hour before releasing him.  The suspects then lead police on a chase, which ultimately ended when the first suspect was shot dead.  In all the chaos, the second suspect was able to get out of the area and he remains at large now.

Following the shoot-out and due to the remaining suspect’s violent threats, the entire city of Boston was put on lock down Friday morning by the Massachusetts governor as police searched for him.  Governor Deval Patrick said people should seek shelter as authorities engage in a “massive manhunt,” which is an extraordinary order that affected nearly one million people.  Police are searching the Watertown neighborhood door to door on foot and in patrol cars. Residents of the area were asked to call 911 if anyone other than police came to their doors in the neighborhood.  He will need a very good federal criminal lawyer to defend his case.

Some hope that law enforcement officials capture the suspect alive so that justice may be served.  It is likely that, should Dzhokhar be detained, he will be appointed a federal criminal lawyer to represent him.  It is unclear what charges he will face at this time; however, it is safe to speculate that he will face very serious charges and will require an experienced federal criminal lawyer to argue his case.

Bomb Threats in Schools

The two students who were found responsible for the bomb threats at Horry County high schools this week are headed to the Department of Juvenile Justice until after the holidays. Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said, “These kids they’re going to be in with a whole other group of family. They’re going to be told when to get up and when to go to bed, it’s just not going to be a great holiday season for these two.”

One student who is 15 years old was charged with leaving a threat in the boys’ bathroom at Myrtle Beach high school. The note insisted that there were bombs in every Myrtle Beach area school. Another 16 year old student in North Myrtle Beach was charged with conveying false information regarding the use of a destructive device. Richardson said all parents should take this time to remind their children that “15 minutes of fame is not worth what happens in the days following a bomb threat.” Both defendants are being represented by criminal defense lawyers.

According to the US Department of Justice, the feature that distinguishes a bomb threat from other kinds of assaults and threats is that it is primarily a furtive crime—or at least a crime that can be committed from a distance. Modern communications make it possible for offenders to communicate their threat without having to physically confront the targets at the time of the threat or even at the time of the assault. For the period January 1990 to February 28, 2002 the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recorded 1,055 incidents of bombs being placed in school premises. However, Of the 1,055 bomb incidents in schools reported by ATF, only 14 were accompanied by a warning to school or other authorities.

The occurrence of bomb incidents or threats can have a major impact on the targeted victimsdepending on how the school responds. The potential for serious injury and damage make seven an empty threat a very serious incident. Thus, even though some 90 percent of bomb threats in schools may turn out to be pranks, each threat must be taken seriously and acted upon immediately.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, you will need to speak  an experienced criminal defense lawyers. One of the criminal defense lawyers at The Mace Firm is ready to speak with you about your case. Call the Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyers at The Mace Firm to schedule your free consultation.

NYC Officers Smuggle Guns

Eight NYPD officers and one New Jersey corrections officer were arrested because they were running a gun-smuggling ring that trafficked more than $1 million in illegal weapons and stolen goods. The officers arrested include five active-duty officers assigned to Brooklyn and three retired NYPD officers. They were picked up by FBI agents and NYPD Internal Affairs investigators early Tuesday. The criminal complaint accuses several officers of smuggling M-16 rifles and weapons that had their serial numbers removed. Just last month, three of the officers smuggled the firearms from New Jersey to New York.

Of those arrested, several were accused of illegally transporting other stolen goods such as machine guns, cigarettes and slot machines. 12 people have been charged with federal conspiracy counts which will be formally announced later this week. The arrests on Tuesday were based on charges that include conspiracy to transport firearms across state lines, conspiracy to transport defaced firearms across state lines, conspiracy to sell firearms across state lines and conspiracy to transport and receive stolen property across state lines. The alleged NYPD corruption arrests come as other officers could also be charged this week in a separate ticket-fixing investigation headed by the Bronx District Attorney’s office. Officials have said more than a dozen NYPD officers could face charges, including some police union delegates.

In recent weeks, testimony at the trial of narcotics detective has featured accusations that he and his colleagues in Brooklyn and Queens planted drugs or lied under oath to meet arrest quotas and earn overtime, leading to the arrests of eight officers, the dismissal of hundreds of drug cases because of their destroyed credibility and the payout of more than $1 million in taxpayer funds to settle false arrest lawsuits. This gun-smuggling case did not begin as a sting, according to the four-count criminal complaint unsealed in the case, and indeed one of the officers, along with two co-defendants, sold a shotgun to an undercover F.B.I. agent. But as the investigation continued, it became a sting operation, with the undercover agent selling inoperable weapons, including the M-4 assault rifle, to the defendants. The defendants are expected to be arraigned today in United States District Court in Manhattan.

These people will need an experienced federal criminal lawyer to help them with their case. If you or someone you know is facing federal criminal charges, call one of our South Carolina federal criminal lawyers. Our criminal defense lawyers at The Mace Firm would like to speak with you about your case.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a federal crime please call one of our criminal defense lawyers. Our criminal defense lawyers are here to help you and your family in your time of need. Please call The Mace Firm to schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina federal criminal defense lawyer.

International Arms Dealer Brought to New York

The DEA brought Monzer al-Kassar to New York to face federal arms smuggling charges. Mr. al-Kassar is charged with helping several governments and revolutionary groups with weapons purchases over the past several decades. The Drug Enforcement Administration took the lead on this case even though this is normally under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacoo and Firearms (ATF). This would lead one to assume that the DEA was concerned with Mr. al-Kassar’s possible shipment of weapons to Columbia to supply the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). The United States Attorney has alleged that these illegal weapons sales would be used to kill American forces in Colombia. This is the growing example of the extreme power of the United States government. To arrest an individual who has never set foot on U.S. soil and who is not a U.S. Citizen and has not pledged to destroy the United States. The government has decided that any activity that could possibly be used against the United States or its law enforcement agencies is subject to a federal indictment and extradition from anywhere. Yet, a U.S. citizen arrested in a foreign country is at the mercy of that country and our government will tell the family that we must obey the laws of that country.

Criminal defense attorneys must be willing to fight for clients charged with firearms violations. Many times legitimate gun dealers are indicted because of procedural violations of the federal firearms laws. Improper stamping, improper documentation and simple clerical errors are interpreted as substantive law violations and prosecuted to the fullest extent. The Port of Charleston is one of the largest Ports on the East Coast. The increased security since 9-11 has increased the number of investigations and federal indictments related to the Port of Charleston. Miami is also a very large Port with which several cases related to weapons and drugs are brought. If you are being investigated for firearms violations you need a firearms attorney (i.e. an attorney who knows the law and about weapons). We represent individuals and companies charged with firearms violations, including exporting and importing of guns and weapons.

Our Miami federal criminal defense attorneys are experienced in defending federal firearms indictments. Our defense lawyers in Charleston are also experienced in defending federal indictments.