Extra Extra : Crime

Seafood workers held against their will may be catching the fish you eat

Following a year-long investigation, the AP has uncovered an intricate web of slave-caught seafood. Reporters spoke with more than 40 current and former slaves in Benjina, an island village in Indonesia, and, with the help of a sympathetic worker, the AP was able to capture footage of workers being held against their will, in cages, barely big enough to lay down in.

The slave-caught fish can wind up in the supply chains of some of America's major grocery stores, such as Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway; the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart; and the biggest food distributor, Sysco. It can ...

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Municipal courts are well-oiled money machine

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigated the municipal court system and found a money-driven system favoring connections and cash over justice.

The report reveals the system is set up to operate in secret and to direct business to lawyers. It expands on the Department of Justice’s findings that Ferguson’s police department acted as a collection agency for a "constitutionally deficient" court.

To read the full story, click here.

Oregon man commits no crime, but held in jail for 900 days

A material witness in a murder case has been held in jail pending trial for nearly 900 days, according to a report by The Oregonian. Benito Vasquez-Hernandez, 58, spends his days like any other inmate at Washington County Jail, despite the fact he’s not charged with any crime.

After report, prosecutors charge man in connection with real estate fraud scheme

Prosecutors have charged a man in connection with a widespread real estate fraud scheme detailed in reports by KSHB-Kansas City.

Willis L. Watson, 35, faces nine different counts of felony forgery and theft, according to KSHB’s latest report.

Reporter Ryan Kath found that someone had been stealing homes by forging signature of both the living and the dead. Often, he found, the homeowners had no idea.

Kath discussed the investigation as part of IRE’s "Behind the Story" and "Story Shorts" series. 

Sex crime suspects rarely sent to prison in Southern Illinois

The Belleville News-Democrat has revealed in a three-part series that from 2005 to 2013, 70 percent of sex crimes reported to police in Southern Illinois were never even brought to a courtroom. Overall, in a 32-county area, only 1 in ten felony sex crimes suspects were convicted and sent to prison.

Perhaps even more disturbing, cases involving sexually assaulted children often go nowhere.

Click here for parts two and three.

Oklahoma Parole Board grants few approvals

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended for parole just 30 of the 322 inmates that came before them in January, according to a report by The Oklahoman.

In recent months Gov. Mary Fallin appointed three board members – all with ties to the Oklahoma City Police Department or former Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy. There are five seats on the board, although one is currently vacant.

Some defense attorneys believe the board is now stacked against inmate seeking clemency.

In D.C. area dozens killed for cooperating with police

According to a Washington Post examination of hundreds of police and court records, at least 37 people in Washington, D.C. and Maryland have been killed since 2004 for cooperating with law enforcement or out of fear that they might. Eighteen of those occurred in the District. Comparable data in Virginia could not be obtained.

In jurisdictions where homicides can be tough to prosecute even when witnesses to crimes cooperate, the killing of those witnesses has made it more difficult to bring criminals to justice, often resulting in violent offenders remaining on the streets. The slayings of seven witnesses or ...

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Extra Extra Roundup: Stolen weapons, wage enforcement and prison inmates

Business tangles with wage enforcement system for decades | Rocky Mountain PBS I-NEWS

More than 30 years of public records and internal documents dealing with Bradley Petroleum, one of Colorado's oldest employers, show the company has repeatedly been investigated for violating federal and state labor law, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has found. In particular, for a pattern of suspending employees for shortages, reporting them to the police for alleged theft, and then permanently withholding the employee's final check despite a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing

 

No new conviction, but sent back to prison | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

More than ...

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Money stolen in the U.S. flowed to Cuba through criminal pipeline

U.S. policy created for humanitarian reasons 50 years ago has fueled a criminal pipeline from Cuba to Florida, enabling crooks from the island to rob American businesses and taxpayers of more than $2 billion over two decades.

A yearlong Sun Sentinel investigation found money stolen in the United States streaming back to Cuba, and a revolving door that allows thieves to come here, make a quick buck and return.

The Sun Sentinel traveled to Cuba, examined hundreds of court documents, and obtained federal data never before made public to provide the first comprehensive look at a criminal network facilitated ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Jailers without jails, deadly debris, and state medical examiners

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Only in Kentucky: Jailers Without Jails | Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Jeanette Miller Hughes is the personification of a wasteful, nepotism-laced but little-discussed system that costs Kentucky taxpayers approximately $2 million annually. She is one of 41 elected county jailers across the state who don’t have jails to run. And she is the highest paid of them all.

Only in Kentucky does this curious practice ...

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