3-month-old girl among 84 rescued in sex trafficking sting

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 4:01 AM

3-Month-Old Girl Among 84 Rescued in FBI-Led Sex Trafficking Sting

A 3-month-old girl and her 5-year-old sister were rescued in Denver by undercover agents during this month’s FBI-led sting operation against sex traffickers, CNN reported.

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In announcing details of Operation Cross Country XI, FBI officials said 82 other juveniles were rescued during a nationwide sweep last week. The FBI said 120 people were arrested.

In the case of the two sisters in Denver, the alleged trafficker was a friend of the children’s family who made a deal to sell them for sex for $600, the FBI said. The friend communicated with an undercover agent. 

"Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested -- and the number of children recovered -- reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

The average age of the victims recovered from this year's operation is 15, the FBI said. Traffickers would offer the victims to outsiders from hotels, truck stops or from online, the FBI said.

On Oct. 13, the second day of the operation, a minor was rescued by the FBI in El Paso, Texas, when a 16-year-old female victim was advertised online for "entertainment," CNN reported.

The girl was accompanied by a 21-year-old female who offered an undercover agent sexual intercourse with both her and the underage victim for $200, the FBI said.

At a news conference in Denver on Thursday, District Attorney George Brauchler reminded traffickers that undercover agents and task force officers are always lurking, whether behind cameras, on the Internet or in a casino, prepared to make another bust.

"To those out there who are watching this who might avail themselves at the opportunity to exploit children or to engage in even the adult sex trade, this is a bit of a warning. ... The people that you can't see behind those cameras, they are fins. They are fins in the water and they represent sharks who are there all the time,” Brauchler said.

"And my advice to you is to stay out of those waters where the kids are, to stay out of those waters where exploited adults are for sex, because they are out there and they will get you. And when they get you, my office will handle the rest."

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.

Poll: Americans wary about talking politics on Thanksgiving

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 7:33 AM

Some Thanksgiving dinners will be held outside.
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Some Thanksgiving dinners will be held outside.(Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

It’s OK to talk turkey during today’s Thanksgiving dinner, but a new poll reveals that more than a third of all Americans do not want to discuss politics.

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According to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, only two out of 10 people said they were eager to talk politics. Four out of 10 do not feel strongly either way. 

Democrats are slightly more likely than Republicans to say they’re uneasy about political discussions at the table, 39 percent to 33 percent. And women are more likely than men to say they dread the thought of talking politics, 41 percent to 31 percent.

With a cascade of sexual misconduct scandals now echoing similar allegations against Trump during the campaign, tempers on the subject of Trump may not have cooled.

Those who do think there’s at least some possibility of politics coming up are somewhat more likely to feel optimistic about it than Americans as a whole. Among this group, 30 percent say they’d be eager to talk politics and 34 percent would dread it.

In the past, the Emily Post Institute Inc. received Thanksgiving etiquette questions that were typically about how to handle difficult relatives, author Daniel Post Senning said.

“Now, I am hearing questions like, ‘I don’t want to go,’ or ’I can’t imagine sitting at a table with someone who has this perspective and staying through the meal,’” he says. “My impression is that it’s still out there. ... The shock of that election is a little further in the rearview mirror, but I think people still have strong feelings about it.”

The AP-NORC poll of 1,070 adults was conducted Nov. 15-19. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later interviewed online or by phone.

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  

Pit bull pup dies after being stabbed, stuffed in suitcase

Published: Saturday, October 14, 2017 @ 4:34 AM

Pit bull.
Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Pit bull.(Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Ollie, the pit bull that stole the hearts of Floridians after being found bleeding inside a suitcase Tuesday, died Thursday night at the facility where he was receiving medical care.

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The VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital that was treating Ollie posted on Facebook Friday morning saying that Ollie died due to the trauma of his injuries. 

“Our team of specialists, emergency doctors and staff worked for over an hour to keep Ollie with us,” the VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital said on Facebook. “His body simply could not overcome the inflammation and damage to his body caused by his horrific ordeal.”

All of the staff at VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital are sad to confirm that Ollie the pit-bull, passed away last night at...

Posted by VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital on Friday, October 13, 2017

On Tuesday morning, Ollie was found injured a suitcase behind an abandoned apartment complex. His paw was sticking out of the luggage.

The next day, the dog underwent surgery to close the wounds on his head and was said to be wagging his tail. 

The Grateful Paws Dog and Cat Rescue was also looking to find Ollie a home and created a GoFundMe account to pay for his medical bills. 

Donations for Ollie's recovery can be made to Grateful Paws Pet Rescue at gratefulpaws.org or through their GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/oliver-stabbed-left-for-dead

Posted by VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital on Tuesday, October 10, 2017
“The outpouring of love we have seen over the last few days in support of Ollie is an affirmation of the true goodness in people,” the animal hospital wrote. “Detectives are still investigating the crimes committed against Ollie in the hopes that the perpetrators of this grotesque brutality will come to justice.”