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Mueller investigation: Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty

Published: Monday, October 30, 2017 @ 2:09 PM

George Papadopoulos, Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser, Pleads Guilty

George Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser for then-candidate Donald Trump before Trump won November’s presidential election, pleaded guilty earlier this month to making false statements to the FBI, according to court records released Monday.

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Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to lying to federal authorities investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to Trump campaign officials. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named special counsel to head the investigation in May.

Mueller's office released unsealed court records on Monday showing Papadopoulos admitted to misleading FBI agents during interviews on Jan. 27 and Feb. 17 about his contact with people thought to be connected to high-ranking Russian officials.

The case marks the first known guilty plea connected to the Mueller investigation.

>> Related: Mueller investigation: Paul Manafort, 2 other former Trump campaign staffers indicted

Papadopoulos told investigators that he understood that one of the Trump campaign's main foreign policy goals was to improve relations between Washington and Moscow. To that end, he tried several times to set up meetings between Trump campaign and Russian government officials.

He failed to disclose his attempts to authorities, despite inquiries from the FBI.

George Papadopoulos counts by National Content Desk on Scribd

He admitted that he lied about when he met a London-based professor who claimed that the Russians had "thousands of emails" that amounted to "dirt" on Trump rival Hillary Clinton. He told that he met the professor before joining the presidential campaign in March 2016 and attempted to downplay their communications, telling agents that he believed the professor "was 'BS'ing, to be completely honest."

However, officials determined that the meeting took place in London days after Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign and that Papadopoulos kept contact with the professor for months. He believed the professor was well-connected in Russian government circles and communicated with him about foreign policy issues in an effort to arrange a “history making” meeting between Trump campaign and Russian government officials, court records show.

George Papadopoulos Plea Agreement by National Content Desk on Scribd

He also lied about his contact with an unnamed Russia woman, who he identified in an email as “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s niece,” and contact with a person who said he had connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, court records show.

Authorities said Papadopoulos believed the unidentified Russian woman could help him to arrange a possible foreign policy trip to Russia. 

>> Related: Reports: Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, told to surrender to federal authorities 

Officials indicated that Papadopoulos made moves to bury his ties to the professor and the person connected to the Russian Foreign Ministry when, one day after his second interview with FBI officials, he deactivated a longtime Facebook account that he kept "which contained information about communications he had with the Professor and the Russian MFA Connection," authorities said. He created a new Facebook page a short time later, which did not have the information on it. 

George Papadopoulos Statement of the Offense by National Content Desk on Scribd

Papadopoulos also switched to a new phone number that same month.

Authorities arrested Papadopoulos at Washington Dulles International Airport on July 27 and has since agreed to cooperate with investigators, according to court records.

Mueller’s investigation continues.

>> Related: What are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates charged with?

Two other Trump campaign advisers, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, were indicted on a slew of charges Friday, including accusations that they conspired against the United States. Both men turned themselves in to authorities Monday.

Paul Manafort And Rick Gates Indicted

Texas officer arrested, accused of stealing $830 in groceries from Walmart

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:41 PM

SECAUCUS, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Shoppers enter the Wal-Mart store November 20, 2007 in Secaucus, New Jersey. 
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
SECAUCUS, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: Shoppers enter the Wal-Mart store November 20, 2007 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

A police officer in Texas has been arrested, accused of stealing over $800 in groceries from a Walmart, law enforcement officials said.

Christopher Hankins, 30, is a Dallas Police Department officer, WFAA reported. He was arrested at a Denton County Walmart Wednesday, accused of leaving the store with $830 in groceries and not paying for them.

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The store's manager told police that Hankins was wearing his police department jacket, and spent almost three hours in the store, acting suspiciously. Arresting officers reported smelling alcohol on Hankins' breath.

Hankins has been with the Dallas Police Department since 2014, WFAA reported. He has been placed on administrative leave pending and investigation.

Police: Self-professed ‘voodoo priest’ arrested in death of Ollie the pit bull

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 1:11 PM

Brendan Evans, 31, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
Palm Beach Post
Brendan Evans, 31, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty.(Palm Beach Post)

A man, who Florida detectives believe fatally stabbed and left a pit bull named Ollie in a suitcase is behind bars.

Brendan Evans, 31, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty Wednesday, the Palm Beach Post reported. 

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>> Ollie the pit bull, found beaten, stuffed in suitcase, dies

Hollywood police said that DNA evidence left on the suitcase is what linked Evans to the Oct. 11 crime, where Ollie was found behind an abandoned building with 30 stab wounds and died days later. 

During the investigation, Evans allegedly told police that he was “a voodoo priest” and it was “his right to kill” animals if he wanted, according to WPLG

>> Stabbed, beaten dog found inside suitcase in Florida

Detectives reportedly found rats with their scalps removed, cat paws and blood in Evans’ refrigerator, the Palm Beach Post reported. There was also a CrimeStoppers poster of Ollie ripped in two, WPLG reported.  

“We will not tolerate any form of animal cruelty or violence in our city. Each reported case of animal cruelty, be it physical abuse or neglect, is disturbing, and this case is particularly heartbreaking,” said Acting Police Chief Chris O'Brien. “We were all pulling for Ollie to survive, but unfortunately he didn't make it. However, due to our investigation, we are now able to provide justice for Ollie.” 

>> See who was recently booked into the Palm Beach County Jail  

Man cited after fight with older man over handicap parking space

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 10:17 AM

A Massachusetts man was cited after a dispute over a handicap parking space.
Boston25News.com
A Massachusetts man was cited after a dispute over a handicap parking space.(Boston25News.com)

An altercation over a handicap parking space in front of a Boston Market was caught on camera Wednesday afternoon.

The 11-second video, which was shared across Facebook and with Boston 25 News, shows a younger man push an older man, knocking him to the ground.

The altercation started because the younger man, who isn’t being identified because he isn’t facing criminal charges, was sitting in his truck in a handicap parking spot.

When the older man approached him with his handicap placard in hand and asked for the space, things turned physical.

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“All he said was ‘my car is running and I’m allowed to sit here,’” Marcie, the woman who recorded the video, told Boston 25 News. “The word entitled is exactly what came to my mind at the beginning.”

In the video, Marcie can be heard telling the men she recorded what happened and was going to call 911, but that apparently didn’t stop it from continuing.

“After the older gentleman was on the ground, he got back up and they started to fight again, actually worse. I wish I got that (on) film,” she said.

The Swampscott Police Department tell Boston 25 News officers responded to the altercation. Officers say the man who was knocked to the ground declined to press charges, but the younger man was issued a citation for illegally parking in a handicap spot.

Woman pulled over by man impersonating law enforcement officer

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 4:47 PM



Chalabala/Getty Images/iStockphoto
(Chalabala/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A man impersonating a law enforcement officer pulled over a woman in Arkansas, according to the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened Saturday on Highway 38 near Hughes.

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Investigators said a man impersonating a game and fish officer stopped a woman and asked to check her vehicle for guns. He had a blue light on his dash and was in a dark-colored pickup truck.

The man did not show the woman a badge or a weapon. The incident happened during the daytime hours and appears to have been an isolated occurrence.

Investigators said they believe they know who the man is, but no arrests were immediately made.

Officials said the impersonator is not the same one who stopped people earlier this year.