Friday, June 27, 2008

The Second Amendment Lives Thanks to the Help of The Police Benevolent Association!

In a decision of historical proportions, on June 26, 2008, the United States Supreme Court reminded us that we do live in America. The Court decided in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects an INDIVIDUAL RIGHT to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense within the home. This was the first time that the Supreme Court had ruled on that issue as to individual rights. Judge Scalia made clear that this is not an unlimited right; for example, restrictions on felons possession firearms are valid.

The Southern States P.B.A. is proud to have been involved early on in the filing of an amicus curiae brief supporting Respondent Heller in this protection of our individual rights. This decision will affect all law enforcement officers after they leave law enforcement. Mr. Heller, the Respondent in this case and a special police officer authorized to carry a handgun while on duty at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington D.C., was denied a registration certificate for a handgun that he wished to keep at home.

When asked to comment on the judgment, Southern States PBA President and former police officer Jack Roberts said, “Would you like to beg permission to have a handgun in your home for self defense after you have spent your entire career upholding the law and putting bad guys behind bars? We at Southern States P.B.A. are proud to represent those who are on the front lines to help keep our citizens safe. We are likewise proud when we can help them in this endeavor by enabling law-abiding citizens to have the ability to protect themselves, which will include all law enforcement officers when they choose to leave the law enforcement profession.”

Southern States P.B.A. is a regional professional law enforcement association headquartered in McDonough, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. It is comprised of more that 21,000 officers and support personnel employed by numerous federal, state, county, and municipal government agencies all across the southeastern United States. The Southern States P.B.A represents its members by providing legal services and advocacy work to improve the quality of life for persons employed in law enforcement. Our office can be reached at 1-800-233-3506 or

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Major Mortgage Fraud Scam Busted

DOSSEY RICHARDS, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia; LOVIE HOBBS, a/k/a “Lovie Hobbs Hagwood,” 47, of Lithonia, Georgia; MONTRA McKENZIE, 29, of Atlanta, Georgia; CYRUS DAVIS, 42, of Atlanta, Georgia; MARCUS VICKERS, 35, of Ellenwood, Georgia; RAYSHUAN HARMON, 27, of East Point, Georgia; and MICHELLE DAVILA, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, have been arrested on a federal criminal complaint related to a mortgage fraud scheme.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “This is unfortunately another in a long series of major mortgage fraud cases in metro Atlanta. In this case, an entire condominium complex was gutted by fraud and greed. And as we have seen too many times before, one of the defendants charged is a closing attorney, someone the victim lenders retained and trusted to protect them against such fraud, but who instead became a participant in it. Mortgage fraud will remain a high priority for federal law enforcement in North Georgia.”

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, “Today's (June 18, 2008) arrests illustrate clearly that the crime of mortgage fraud involves people from all walks of life who unwisely choose to collectively use their various positions and skills to rip off banks or other lending institutions. Mortgage fraud is a complex and prevalent crime problem that the FBI is well suited to address and intends to do just that.”

According to Nahmias and the information presented in court: The complaint alleges one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud based on a mortgage fraud scheme.

Participants in the alleged fraud included DOSSEY RICHARDS, the owner of “Red Hair Investment Group, LLC;” MARCUS VICKERS, d/b/a “Title Depot of America,” a closing attorney in the Atlanta area; MONTRA McKENZIE and CYRUS DAVIS, both mortgage
brokers in the Atlanta area; MICHELLE DAVILA, an employee of Wachovia Bank; and
RASHUAN HARMON, who provided fraudulent appraisals as a part of the scheme. In
addition, LOVIE HOBBS, accused of being a “straw buyer,” is an employee with the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS)in Atlanta.

The properties that are the subject of the charges are units in the “Blue Sky” condominium complex located at 3106 Memorial Drive in Atlanta. It is alleged that the persons named in the criminal complaint conspired to defraud certain lenders by inflating the value of units at Blue Sky.

The fraudulent transactions outlined in the complaint occurred between March and May of 2008. The complaint alleges that the current (as of today) listings of 25 units in the complex range in price of between $2,000 and $28,750; however, the inflated sales prices used to fraudulently obtain inflated loans were between $135, 000 and $155,000. The participants charged include the property owner/seller DOSSEY RICHARDS as well as the straw buyer/borrower LOVIE HOBBS. As in most mortgage fraud cases, prior inflated loans obtained for units in Blue Sky have gone into foreclosure, causing losses to the victim lenders.

The defendants each face a possible maximum term of 30 years in federal prison. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing
Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A
defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to
prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Barbara Nelan is prosecuting the case.

FBI, DOJ, and NCMEC Mark Five-Year Anniversary of Innocence Lost

Today, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children joined together to mark the five-year anniversary of the “Innocence Lost” initiative and to announce recent enforcement actions taken against criminals engaged in the domestic trafficking of children for prostitution. To date, Innocence Lost investigations have led to the conviction of 308 individuals on a combination of state and federal charges. More importantly, our efforts have led to the recovery of 433 child victims.

Just this past week, the FBI joined our law enforcement partners in a five-day national enforcement action. This operation, known as “Operation Cross Country,” included takedown operations in 16 cities across the country and led to the recovery of 21 children.

“Our top priority in these cases has always been to identify child victims and move swiftly to remove them from these dangerous environments,” said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III. “ In the five years since the establishment of the Innocence Lost initiative, the FBI and state and local law enforcement have rescued more than 400 child victims. Unfortunately though, our workload will not slow down after today, as there will be more victims and more criminals who profit by selling our children. We must continue to pursue those who exploit our nation's children.”

In the spring of 2003, the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Child Exploitation-Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), formed the Innocence Lost National Initiative designed to address the growing problem of children forced into prostitution. This program brings state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and social service providers from around the country to NCMEC, where the groups are trained together. In addition, CEOS has reinforced the training by assigning prosecutors to help bring cases in those cities plagued by child prostitution. To date, the 24 Innocence Lost task forces and working groups have recovered 433 children. The investigations and subsequent convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including multiple 25-years to life sentences, and the seizure of over $3 million dollars in assets.

“Child trafficking for the purposes of prostitution is organized criminal activity using kids as commodities for sale or trade,” said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “These kids are victims. They lack the ability to walk away. This is 21st Century slavery. We are proud to have worked hand-in-hand with the FBI and Justice Department in a partnership that is unprecedented, historic, and working.”

The FBI would like to thank our partners who participated in Operation Cross Country and ongoing enforcement efforts, specifically the Toledo Police Department, Michigan State Police, Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Madison Heights Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Oakland Police Department, California Department of Justice, Los Angeles Police Department, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff's Office, The University of Nevada at Reno School Police, Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff's Office, Dallas Police Department, Phoenix Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Atlanta Police Department, Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., Alexandria Police Department, Fairfax County Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Department, Braintree Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office, Miami Beach Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, Hallandale Beach Police Department, Bal Harbour Police Department, Miramar Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Miami Police Department, and the Sacramento Police Department.

All of the charges announced today are merely accusations and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

FBI Seeks Information in Attempted Bank Robbery

On Tuesday, June 24, 2008 , at approximately 8:21 a.m. , two black males, one armed with a revolver handgun, the other armed with an SKS type assault rifle, entered the Atlanta Federal Credit Union, located at 3075 Sylvan Road , Atlanta , GA ( East Point ) and attempted an armed robbery.

The bank employees retreated further into the bank and the robbers departed without having obtained any money.

The robbers, described as black males in their early to late 20’s and with slender builds, were both wearing “do rag” style masks and were observed departing the bank in a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer. This vehicle was later recovered by law enforcement about a mile and a half away from the bank ( East Washington Ave./Blunt Street area). This vehicle was reported stolen from the Lithonia, Georgia area and is currently being processed by crime scene investigators.

Anyone with information is requested to contact the Atlanta office FBI at tel. (404) 679-9000.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Former State Representative Ron Sailor Jr Pleads Guilty to Additional Federal Charges

WALTER RONNIE ("RON") SAILOR, JR., 33, of Norcross, pleaded guilty June 17, 2008, in federal district court to a superseding information charging him with wire fraud in connection with a fraudulently obtained loan, as well as laundering and attempting to launder what he believed to be $375,000 in drug proceeds. After SAILOR's initial guilty plea to the drug money laundering charges on March 18, 2008, the government learned that SAILOR had secretly obtained a $250,000 loan utilizing as collateral property belonging to the church that he pastored. SAILOR served as the Representative of District 93 (parts of DeKalb and Rockdale Counties) in the Georgia General Assembly until he resigned after his initial guilty plea.

"Former Representative Sailor's actions are both disturbing and reprehensible," said
United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. "After his efforts to launder drug money were
thwarted by the FBI and he agreed to assist the government in an unrelated investigation,
Sailor made the decision to commit a serious new crime by concocting a scheme to defraud
the church where he pastored and a bank. As a result of his continued criminal conduct,
Sailor now faces a much longer prison sentence than originally anticipated."

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, "The decision of Mr. Sailor to
continue in engaging in criminal conduct and to victimize those that trusted him was an
unfortunate one to say the least. The FBI, along with the U.S. Attorney's Office, responded
to these new developments accordingly. The plea today of Mr. Sailor reaffirms our priority
to matters such as this that impact the public trust."

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court:
On March 18, 2008, SAILOR entered a guilty plea in federal court to one count of drug
money laundering. This guilty plea was the result of a series of meetings between SAILOR
and an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a drug dealer who was seeking to
launder proceeds generated from the sale and distribution of cocaine. Prior to the meetings,
SAILOR had indicated that he was looking for a drug dealer who had the ability to provide
him with $300,000 in drug proceeds to launder in return for a fee. As a result of his interest
in laundering money, the FBI arranged an introduction to an undercover law enforcement
officer posing as a drug dealer with drug proceeds that he was seeking to have laundered.

Between November 10, 2007 and December 19, 2007, SAILOR met three times with
"Jay," the undercover officer. On each occasion, Jay provided SAILOR with what was
represented to be drug proceeds. On November 10, 2007, and November 30, 2007, SAILOR
met with Jay and was provided with $25,000 and $50,000 in cash, respectively. Several days
after each of these transactions, SAILOR returned the purported drug proceeds to Jay, less
his fee for laundering the funds, in the form of either a cashier's check or checks drawn on
business accounts and signed by a third-party. These checks falsely purported to be payment
for contracting work done at a church or for business loans.

On December 19, 2007, Jay and SAILOR met again, and Jay provided SAILOR with
$300,000 cash in purported drug proceeds to be laundered. After receiving the $300,000,
SAILOR was detained by the FBI. SAILOR admitted to the agents that he had laundered the
$25,000 and the $50,000 in what he believed was drug proceeds, and that he had intended
to launder the $300,000 that was given to him by Jay.

SAILOR soon agreed to cooperate with the government in an unrelated investigation.
However, unbeknownst to the government, in January 2008, while cooperating with the
government, SAILOR devised a scheme to obtain a $250,000 loan for his personal use,
offering as collateral property belonging to the church he pastored, the Greater New Light
Missionary Baptist Church, on Campbellton Road in Southwest Atlanta. At that time, there
were no encumbrances on the property, and SAILOR did not have permission from the
church to use the property as collateral. Nevertheless, sometime in January or February 2008,
he began the process of obtaining a $250,000 loan from the Georgia Business Capital Bank,
using the church's property as collateral.

SAILOR took a number of steps to make it appear as if he were authorized to encumber the church's property and to obtain the loan. On February 1, 2008, SAILOR caused the Church's Corporation Annual Registration to be changed to reflect that he was the church's Chief Executive Officer. He then caused the Corporation Annual Registration to be registered with the Georgia Secretary of State. On February 6, 2008, SAILOR signed a document entitled "Resolution of the Board of Directors," which purported to be a duly enacted resolution by the church authorizing the church to borrow money against the property and authorizing SAILOR to bind the church to such a loan. In addition to signing his own name, SAILOR also forged the signature of the church's secretary on the document.

That same day, SAILOR caused false church bylaws to be created, forged the signature of the church's secretary on those false bylaws, and caused the bylaws to be embossed with a
fraudulent church seal. The next day, SAILOR caused the fraudulent bylaws and the
fraudulent resolution to be presented to Georgia Business Capital Bank in order to obtain the

On March 11, 2008, the bank lent SAILOR $250,000 using the church's property as
collateral. After closing costs of $32,415.52 were deducted, SAILOR received $217,584.48
in proceeds from the loan. That same day, he opened an account at the Capitol City Bank
& Trust, in the name of Greater New Light Baptist Church, in order to access the loan
proceeds and distribute them to pay personal expenses. After the account was opened,
$217,584.48 in loan proceeds were wired into the Capitol City account. Between March 12,
2008, and March 27, 2008, SAILOR used $141,386.72 from this account to pay various
personal expenses. The remaining funds, $76,197.76, went unspent and were ultimately
returned to the lender by SAILOR after his scheme was uncovered.

The government learned of the fraudulent loan shortly after SAILOR pleaded guilty
to the drug money laundering charge on March 18, 2008. He had not disclosed this conduct
to the government, despite his pre-plea proffer agreement to cooperate fully and truthfully.
SAILOR was charged today in a superseding Criminal Information with the original
charge--one felony count of knowingly conducting and attempting to conduct a financial
transaction involving $370,000 in United States Currency represented by a law enforcement
officer to be the proceeds of the sale and distribution of a controlled substance, with the
intent to conceal and disguise the source of those funds--and two new counts of wire fraud
based upon his knowingly and willfully devising a scheme to defraud the Greater New Light
Missionary Baptist Church and the Georgia Business Capital. SAILOR pleaded guilty to all
three charges on June 17, 2008.

SAILOR could receive a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison and a fine of up to
$2,250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States
Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for
most offenders. SAILOR has also agreed to forfeit all of the property involved and traceable
to his crimes, at least $181,802.24, and to make restitution to the victims of his crimes.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 16, 2008, at 2 p.m., before United States
District Judge Camp. This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Bill Thomas and Elizabeth M. Hathaway are
prosecuting the case.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wakefield Arrested in Riverdale

On Monday, June 23, 2008, Christopher Deangelo Wakefield was arrested by the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force. Wakefield had warrants out of the Fayetteville Police Department for the June 17, 2008 robbery of a vendor at the Village Market (765 North Glynn Street, Fayetteville, Georgia)

Wakefield was arrested without incident at a home in Riverdale, Georgia. The name and address of the residence is not being released at this time due to pending investigation.

The arrest warrants included Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, theft of a motor vehicle, and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Statement from Governor Perdue Regarding NBAF

Today (June 20, 2008) the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the sites competing for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). Governor Perdue issued the following statement:

“Georgia continues to enjoy great success within the Bioscience industry as evidenced by the announcement of more than 500 jobs for our state just this week at the 2008 BIO International Conference in San Diego.

“We believe that Athens as one of the five finalists, home to the University of Georgia and just down the road from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, is an optimal location for NBAF. UGA is already home to a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory and a nationally recognized veterinary school. Athens’ close proximity to the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson, will give the nation the advantage of rapidly responding to zoonotic disease threats anywhere in the world. We are also excited about the economic impact it would have on Northeast Georgia and the selection of Athens would further cement our state as the crossroads of global health.

“As we continue to participate in the selection process, we look forward to competing on a fair and equitable basis and to make the best presentation possible. We will coordinate these efforts with the help of Senators Chambliss and Isakson, the Congressional delegation, the University of Georgia and Athens as we earn NBAF on our own right.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Northwest Georgia Man Alleged to have Produced an Internationally-Known Series of Child Pornography Images Arrested on Federal Charges

JAMES BARTHOLOMEW "BART" HUSKEY, 38, of LaFayette, Georgia, has been arrested by federal, state and local law enforcement authorities on a federal criminal complaint charging him with manufacturing child pornography and uploading it to the Internet.

"This defendant allegedly produced a notorious series of images of child sexual abuse that have circulated around the world, with demand from the most hard-core and despicable child porn consumers," said David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. "The series of videos depict a girl being abused from the time she was approximately 5 years old to when she was 9 years old. Law enforcement around the country has taken extraordinary steps to find this alleged predator, and he has now allegedly been found, in Northwest Georgia."

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: In June 2006, authorities in Australia informed FBI Headquarters' Innocent Images Unit about an international investigation into the activities of a group of child pornography traders. These traders used sophisticated security measures to protect their trading of child porn from authorities. FBI agents began investigating this group and recovered particularly graphic and disturbing photos and videos depicting sexual abuse of a young girl being traded among the group. Over the last two years, the images of this child being violently sexually assaulted grew gradually worse. The Innocent Images Unit of the FBI, working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, (NCMEC), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Richmond Field Office of the FBI, Maine State Police, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Atlanta Field Office of the FBI, worked to identify the victim child, who had been given a specific name by the perpetrator of the abuse. Using details in some of the photos and videos, law enforcement was able to identify HUSKEY as the alleged perpetrator of the sexual abuse depicted in the series of images.

On June 16, 2008, HUSKEY was arrested at his residence in LaFayette, Georgia. According to the criminal complaint, HUSKEY admitted he had abused the child victim and had sent the images of the abuse out over the Internet. The victim was also identified and interviewed and she confirmed that HUSKEY had sexually assaulted her over a period of time and had videotaped the assaults.

HUSKEY's two children have been taken into protective custody by Georgia state authorities.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Richmond, Virginia, the Innocent Images Unit at FBI Headquarters and the Safe Child Task Force at FBI's Atlanta Division; with key investigative assistance from the Internet Crimes Against Children unit of the Maine State Police, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistance has also been provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Catoosa County Sheriff's Office, Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and the Walker County Sheriff's Office, along with input and assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Assistant United States Attorneys Francey Hakes and Corey Steinberg are prosecuting the case.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-me-us), United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Amber Alert issued for Two Florida Children

The State of Florida issued the Amber Alert Wednesday morning after the children were reportedly abducted by a male relative. THe suspect made threats against the children ans is considered armed and dangerous.

Angela Ragins a 12 year old Caucasian female with blond hair and blue eyes.

James Ragins a 14 year old Caucasian male with blond hair and blue eyes.

The suspect is James Ragins, 36, who is a white male, about 6 feet 2 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes.

The suspect vehicle is a 1990 white Chevrolet Blazer, with a champagne-colored stripe down the side and Florida tag 534-IKX.

Lake County Sheriff's Office at 352-343-2101 or 911.

More information may be available at

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fayetteville Police Capture One Suspect in Carjacking Attempt- Public Assistance Requested as Search Continues

On Monday, June 16, 2008 at 2:45 P.M. Officers from the Fayetteville Police Department responded to the report of an armed robbery. A vendor leaving the Village Market (765 North Glynn Street, Fayetteville, Georgia) was approached by two black males. The men pointed a gun at the vendor, took his keys and cell phone then ordered him into the trunk of their car (Silver Chevy Impala). The men then drove off in both their car and the victim’s car (Chevy Tahoe).

When the car stopped at a traffic light the victim pulled the emergency trunk release and jumped out of the car. He ran to a passerby’s and she let him in her car. They drove to the area of Pet Smart were the victim called 911 on the passerby’s cell phone.

After the victim got out of the car the two suspects fled the area. The driver of the Impala wrecked the car in on Pine Trail (Fayetteville, Georgia). A citizen witnessed the wreck and called 911. Officers responding to the wreck found both the Impala and the Tahoe. Both of the offenders fled the area on foot.

The Fayetteville Police Department and Fayette County Sheriffs Department with the assistance of the County Sheriffs Department K-9 Unit and Helicopter Unit began a search for the two men.

Travion Marquez Willis (17) was found and arrested in the area of Corinth Road (Fayetteville, Georgia). He has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Theft of a motor vehicle, and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Arrest warrants have been taken out for Christopher Deangelo Wakefield (22). He is being charged with Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, theft of a motor vehicle, and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The Fayetteville Police Department is asking that if you have any information about the robbery or location of Wakefield please contact us at 770-461-4441. Wakefield should be considered armed and dangerous.

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Wakefield, Christopher Deangelo

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fatal Bicycle Accident in Peachtree City

On June 10, 2008, at approximately 9:24 a.m., Peachtree City Police Officers responded to a reported bicycle accident in the 800 block of Southern Shore Drive, north of The Enclave Subdivision in Peachtree City, Georgia. A preliminary investigation revealed that Ms. Berta Mikulcik of Peachtree City (62 years of age) was riding her bicycle on a downhill grade of Southern Shore Drive when she suddenly fell over the bicycle’s handlebars landing in the roadway. At the time of the accident the victim was not wearing a bicycle helmet.

When the police officers arrived on the accident scene, Ms. Mikulcik was conscious and able to provide pertinent information concerning her identification and telephone number. At approximately 9:32 a.m., Peachtree City Medics arrived on the scene and treated the victim. Due to visible injuries to the victim’s face, head and shoulder areas, Ms. Mikulcik was transported by the Rescue Air helicopter to the Atlanta Medical Center.

On June 11, 2008, the Police Department was notified that Ms. Berta Mikulcik had died as a result of the injuries suffered in the accident.

A comprehensive accident investigation is being conducted by investigators from the Police Department’s Community Response Team.

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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Oxendine Announces Reward in Columbia County Arson Case

Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John W. Oxendine, Columbia County
Fire Chief Doug Cooper and Bud Ausborn of the Georgia Arson Control Board, Inc.,
today announced the presentation of a $4,000 reward check to a Columbia County citizen
who provided information that led to the conviction of two arsonists.

The check was presented to Melanie Sprouse, an Assistant Principal at Lakeside
High School, in a brief ceremony at the Fire Department’s Main Headquarters,
Commissioner Oxendine said.

The reward was given for information that Sprouse provided that led to the arrest
and conviction of two juveniles for a 2007 woodland fire in Columbia County. Both
juveniles pleaded guilty to the crime and were sentenced to eighteen months probation,
and ordered to serve a period of detention in a short-term treatment program.

Commissioner Oxendine and the Georgia Arson Control Board, Inc., sponsor the
Georgia Arson Control Reward Program and the Georgia Arson Hotline. Rewards of up
to $10,000 are given for information leading to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist.

Anyone with information about a suspicious fire is asked to call the hotline at 1-800-282-
5804. Calls are taken 24 hours a day; callers can choose to remain anonymous.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

County Officials Hit Capitol Hill for Support of Legislation to Restore the Federal Partnership for County Jails

National Association of Counties’ (NACo) rallied on Capitol Hill last week for support of legislation introduced in the House of Representatives which would save counties hundreds of millions of dollars in medical expenses for individuals who immediately lose their federal health insurance benefits while being detained in county jails.

“The Restoring the Partnership for County Health Care Costs Act of 2008” (H.R. 5698) was introduced recently by Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.), Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.) and Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas). All three members spoke at today’s rally pledging to work with NACo to secure additional Congressional support.

The bipartisan bill would prohibit the federal government from stripping individuals of their Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) benefits prior to actually being convicted. As a result, this would ensure that local governments, mostly counties, would not be required to cover the medical expenses of jailed individuals who have not yet been convicted of any wrongdoing.

NACo President Eric Coleman, commissioner, Oakland County, Mich., said that restoring the partnership “is more than the name of this particular piece of legislation. It’s a call to Congress and the administration – especially the new administration in January – to restore the partnership between the federal government and counties. I believe H.R. 5698 will go a long way to restore the partnership for the costs of health care in our county jails and reduce the unfair burden placed on our local property taxpayers.”

Rep. Hastings said for the federal government to “stick local governments with the tab for this contradictory policy is just plain wrong. We are excited to work with NACo to get this bill passed and are appreciative to have the support of the National Sheriff’s Association as well.”NACo’s Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC), which represents the collective interest of 100 of the nation’s largest counties, rallied today on Capitol Hill and visited members of Congress seeking cosponsors to the legislation.

“Reps. Hastings, Holt and Burgess are to be commended for their leadership on this issue and we look forward to securing more Congressional support for the bill,” said LUCC Chairman Burrell Ellis, commissioner, DeKalb County, Ga. Also speaking at the rally were Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman and Tarrant County, Texas Judge Glen Whitley.

Fraudulent Refund Notification Purportedly From the IC3

Consumers need to be aware of e-mail schemes containing various versions of fraudulent refund notifications purportedly from the IC3 and the government of the United Kingdom. The e-mails claim the refunds are being made to compensate the recipients for their losses as victims of Internet fraud.

The perpetrators of this fraud use the names of people not associated with the IC3 but give them titles in an attempt to make the e-mails appear official. The perpetrators use the IC3’s logo and the former name of the IC3, the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC), as well as the names of the Bank of England and the Metropolitan Police in the e-mails.

The e-mails promise refunds of thousands of dollars which are to be sent via bank wire transfer from the “bank of England” once the victim signs a “fund release order.” The e-mails contain warnings that failure to sign the order will place the funds on hold and a penalty will be applied.
As with most spam, the content contains elements which are evidence of fraud such as: multiple spelling errors, poor grammar, agency names, signatures of officials and titles to appear authentic, and a warning for failure to comply. In some of the e-mails, the names of the officials do not match the signatures.

Consumers always need to be alert when they receive an unsolicited e-mail. Remember: do not open unsolicited e-mail or click on any links embedded in the e-mail, as they may contain a virus or malware.

If you have received an e-mail similar to this, please file a complaint at

FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive Arrested in Mexico

Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Boston, announces that "Top Ten Fugitive" Jon Savarino Schillaci, 36, was arrested yesterday without incident. The arrest occurred about 11:30 a.m. Central time in the town of San Jose De Gracia, Mexico. San Jose De Gracia is located southeast of Guadalajara in the state of Michoacan. When approached by the FBI and Mexican authorities, Schillaci confirmed his identity.

Schillaci was transported back to Morelia, Mexico where he boarded Mexicana Airlines to the United States early this morning. Schillaci and his FBI escort landed at Chicago O'Hare at 5:55 a.m Central time. He was then transferred to an FBI aircraft and flown to Pease International Airport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was then brought to the Rockingham County Courthouse for arraignment on his Rockingham County charges.

Prior to his arrest, it was determined that Schillaci was living in Guadalajara, Mexico from approximately February 2003 until September 2006 under the alias, Dylan Natchitoches Pierce, aka Dylan N. Pierce. He also operated under the alias Dylan Thomas as a "DJ" for the boychat-associated web-based radio show, "The Dylan Thomas Show". Investigation also determined that Schillaci was the current Webmaster of pedophile website
On November 4, 1999, Jon Savarino Schillaci, was indicted by a Rockingham County Grand Jury at Brentwood, New Hampshire, on charges relating to the sexual assault of a five year old. In September of 2000, Schillaci was additionally charged with twenty three counts of possession of child pornography.

Schillaci was placed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list on September 7, 2007. He was the 488th person to be placed on the list, which was established in 1950. Since then, 459 fugitives have been apprehended or located. Prior to Schillaci's placement on the "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list, he was placed on Oprah's Child Predator Watch List and has been profiled on the television program, "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back".

Further information about Jon Savarino Schillaci, and other fugitives currently appearing on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list is available on the FBI's Internet Home Page at

The FBI would like to thank the Mexican immigration authorities and Mexican law enforcement authorities for their assistance. The FBI Legat offices in Mexico City and Guadalajara coordinated the arrest with the Mexican authorities

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Peachtree City Police Department Arrests Suspect

On Thursday, June 5, 2008, the Peachtree City Police Department received an anonymous tip that a package containing approximately 39 pounds of Marijuana was scheduled to be delivered to 518 Raintree Hill in Peachtree City. The package of Marijuana was delivered to this location during the morning of June 6th. At approximately 1:15 p.m. on June 6th, a Hispanic male arrived at 518 Raintree Hill, picked up the package and proceeded to leave in a vehicle. Peachtree City Officers stopped the vehicle on Robinson Road at the Avalon Subdivision and arrested MALDONADO, EDY (date of birth 02/20/66 of 133 Watson Home Lane, Dayton, TN). The investigation is ongoing at this time and further information will be released as available.

If anyone has information that would assist the Police Department in this or other incidents, please contact the Peachtree City Criminal Investigations Division at 770-631-2510, or the Crime and Narcotics Information Hotline at (770) 487-6010. You may remain anonymous.

Golf Cart Safety Especially Important In Busy Summer Months

Now that school is out, Peachtree City’s paths are seeing more use than ever. Peachtree City Public Information Officer Betsy Tyler is reminding golf cart owners of the rules of the path for Peachtree City's signature vehicle.

Tyler said, “Golf carts are a way of life in Peachtree City, and they are certainly a lot of fun. However, cart owners and operators need to remember that these vehicles share the paths with pedestrians and bicyclists, and can cause serious injuries if drivers are not careful.”

Peachtree City has several rules to help keep all path users safe:
• All passengers of a golf cart must remain seated while the cart is in motion – it is very easy to throw a standing passenger from a cart by suddenly starting or stopping the vehicle, or hitting a bump in the path or street.
• No one may sit in the driver’s lap while the cart is in motion – children could become crushed between the driver and the steering wheel in an accident.
• Young children should sit flat in the seat and wear safety helmets to avoid injury from falling or being thrown from the cart.
• All operators must abide by all traffic regulations applicable to vehicular traffic.
• Golf cart drivers should slow down when approaching other path users, curves, and intersections.
• Golf cart drivers should use caution when crossing any street or driveway, stopping the cart if an auto is approaching.
• Golf cart drivers are required to use a horn or other audible signal when approaching pedestrians from behind -- electric carts are very quiet and can injure pedestrians.
• Where cart paths exist they must be used instead of parallel city streets (excluding private golf course paths).
• Carts driven at night must be equipped with functional headlights and tail lights.
• Carts are not allowed on or across Hwy 54, Hwy 74, Peachtree Pkwy, or Crosstown Road except at authorized crossings.

Tyler added, “Drivers need to pay attention and use caution at all times because owners can be held both criminally and civilly liable for injuries caused by their carts.”

The City also strongly encourages golf cart owners to obtain separate liability insurance. Tyler said homeowner policies often do not cover carts taken off property, making accidents especially expensive.

Another potential cost to cart owners can come from allowing under-age drivers to operate carts.

In Peachtree City, golf carts may only be driven by:
• Those 16 and over, whether or not they have a license (unless license has been suspended or revoked)
• 15-year olds with a valid learners permit may drive alone, or if unaccompanied by a parent/grandparent, or person 18 or older, they may drive accompanied by up to one other person who must be at least 15 years old, or may be accompanied by up to 3 immediate family members.
• 15-years old with NO learners permit must be accompanied in the front seat by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or a person age 18 or older with a valid drivers license.
• Children age 12, 13 & 14 must be accompanied in the front seat by a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian.
• No person under 12 years of age may drive a cart.

Tyler reminds residents that fines for under-age drivers are very steep, ranging from $350 for a first offense to $1,321 and loss of registration for a third offense within two years. Tyler said, “Violations on a golf cart can also affect a teenager’s ability to obtain a drivers license.”

Tyler said, "Using caution on the paths and following the rules will help every to have a safe and fun summer."

The City posts complete path rules on its web site,, and on the street and path map available for purchase at City Hall.

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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Friday, June 6, 2008

Peachtree City Police Department Offers Reward for Recent Robbery

On Thursday, June 5, 2008, at approximately 12:31 a.m. the Peachtree City Police Department responded to a report of a robbery at the Flash Foods convenience store located at the corner of Crosstown Drive and Highway 74. The store clerk reported that a suspect sprayed him in the face with a substance and took money from the cash register. The suspect then fled the store on foot. The suspect was described as an African-American male, between 19-21 years of age, wearing a light colored denim baseball cap, dark in color jacket with a hood, white under shirt, white sneakers, and blue basketball jersey style shorts with a white vertical stripe on each leg.

A $1000.00 reward is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

If anyone has information that would assist the Police Department in this or other incidents, please contact the Peachtree City Criminal Investigations Division at 770-631-2510, or the Crime and Narcotics Information Hotline at (770) 487-6010. You may remain anonymous.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Oak Grove DARES to be Drug Free

Approximately seventy-five 5th graders from Oak Grove Elementary School in Peachtree City received certificates for recently completing the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program.

This nationwide program deals with the consequences of drug usage and shows how students can cope with peer pressure. Taught by specially trained members of the Peachtree City Police Department and sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City this program is presented to 5th grade classes in all of Peachtree City’s elementary schools. Each student submits an essay on what the programs means to them. One winner is selected from each class.

Pictured from the left with Officer Paul Smiley, the primary instructor, are winners Shaelyn Comiskey, Jessica Ward, Sarah Mendes, and Haley Febrey. The other picture shows the students with their certificates.

UGA Researcher Questions Carbon-Monitoring Methods

Monique Leclerc is testing a theory that could turn the science of carbon measuring on its ear. If her theory proves true, it could have far-reaching implications from Wall Street to the rain forests.

"For more than a decade, I've studied the exchange of carbon between ecosystems and the atmosphere. The approach now considered our method of choice ‘par excellence’ needs substantial rethinking," said Leclerc, a University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences biometeorologist.

"The current model of quasi-ad-hoc carbon-exchange monitoring stations limits in-depth studies," she said, "particularly for large terrestrial ecosystems, including forests, wetlands and grasslands ecosystems that cover a large portion of the Earth's surface."

Expanding the way data on carbon sequestering is gathered could drastically change the common carbon sequestration estimates from terrestrial ecosystems that feed into local and regional assessments, mitigation and remediation and even the basis for carbon credits traded on international markets.

To improve the data collection system in the southeastern United States, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $900,000 to Leclerc and colleagues at the Savannah River National Laboratory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The group will harness cutting-edge technologies to generate new information about the carbon cycle. "This will give us more solid, valid data," Leclerc said.

Our lab "has an excellent existing infrastructure and sees a genuine opportunity to refine our understanding, measurement methods and protocols of data analysis associated with the magnitude of carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems," she said.

The data will be entered into regional models. This will enable scientists to create more accurate simulations of how the climate changes. “This also tells us how well our proposed or enacted solutions are working out,” she said.

Leclerc plans to work literally day and night. She plans to test her theory on reasons behind the inadequacy of the current methods to determine the amount of gases exchanged between the surfaces (forests, agriculture, cities) and the atmosphere.

"Plants don't stop working at night,” she said. “We need to measure accurately the amount of carbon dioxide given off at night by the vegetation. Between 40 percent and 60 percent of the net carbon exchange between the forests or crops and the atmosphere happens (at night).

"My greatest hope is that this project will help us get a more reliable picture of the amount of net carbon sequestered on a daily, seasonal and annual basis," she said.

Central to their project is the creation of a unique carbon flux super site at the SRNL near Augusta. Scientists agree that this area is one of the most productive regions of the U.S. and accounts for 48 percent of the carbon uptake in the country.

At Leclerc’s latest site, “many towers and an excellent infrastructure, coupled with a fine group of scientists, have played in our favor,” she said. “But where these tall towers are placed is as critical as the interpretation of the data collected on them.”

Leclerc is particularly interested in the coupling between atmospheric ‘rivers’ of fast-moving air hundreds of meters above the surface and how they impact and skew the interpretation of the nighttime CO2-atmosphere exchange.

Researchers think that measurements at this new location add value to the international and national monitoring networks. It fills the information gap for the highly productive region of the U.S. on the net ecosystem exchange between the existing flux-monitoring stations at Duke University and sites in Florida.

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

Faith Peppers is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

OAAA Partners with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for Outdoor Advertising AMBER Alert Initiative

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) today announced a new initiative that will use digital billboards to help recover abducted children across the country. OAAA, the industry group representing outdoor advertising companies, is partnering with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) as a secondary AMBER AlertTM distributor.

“Digital billboards are on the cutting edge of outdoor advertising technology and are uniquely suited to purposes like AMBER Alerts,” said Nancy Fletcher, OAAA’s president and CEO. “Because they can be updated by computer, AMBER Alerts on digital billboards can reach thousands of drivers within minutes of the Alert being issued.”

The AMBER Alert Program, operated by the U.S. Department of Justice, is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, media outlets, and transportation agencies to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child abduction cases.

OAAA’s new initiative enhances the overall goal of the AMBER Alert program – to notify as many people as possible about a recent child abduction, and to provide information which can help in the search for the abducted child, suspected abductor, and/or suspected vehicle and in the safe return of the child. AMBER Alerts will be distributed by a central computer server to OAAA members participating in the program which fall within the specific, geographically targeted areas for the Alert.

“Today’s announcement reflects the dynamic progress we continue to make in improving the AMBER Alert system. This exciting initiative shows that public-private partnerships are central to the protection of our children,” said Jeff Sedgwick, the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs and the National AMBER Alert Coordinator.

The program is named after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who in 1996 was abducted while riding her bike in her Texas neighborhood and later found murdered. Since the program’s inception in 1997, AMBER Alerts have been credited with the successful recovery of more than 399 children.

“The success of the AMBER Alert program is directly related to people’s willingness to get involved, which is invaluable,” said John Kelly, Chairman of NCMEC’s Board of Directors. “OAAA’s digital technology will allow thousands more to join the search and aid in the rescue and recovery of these children.”

Initial OAAA members participating in the partnership include CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor, Epic Outdoor Advertising, Fairway Outdoor Advertising, Lamar Advertising Company, Magic Media, Norton Outdoor Advertising, Titan Outdoor, and YESCO (which also designed the software for the program). These companies operate more than 900 digital billboards in the United States in hundreds of communities.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Arrest in Peachtree City Stabbing Incident

On Saturday, May 31st, 2008, at approximately 2:00 a.m., a witness reported to police that they had located a male in the Beaver Dam Park of the Wynnmeade subdivision who had been stabbed in the leg. Officers were able to determine that Julio Cesar Diaz Zamora had been injured when he had a physical altercation with JOSE ISABEL HERNANDEZ, age 25, over some financial matters. During the encounter, HERNANDEZ reportedly stabbed Zamora in the leg with a knife. The incident was determined to have occurred at their mutual address, 212 Wynnmeade Parkway.

HERNANDEZ was arrested for BATTERY-FAMILY VIOLENCE and transported to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department. On June 2, 2008 he appeared in Fayette County Magistrate Court where he was granted a $2300.00 cash or property bond.

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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sen. Chance’s Identity Theft Bill Signed Into Law

Governor Sonny Perdue has recently signed two measures that will further protect the identity of Georgia’s consumers. In order to curb the rise of identity theft, Gov. Perdue introduced legislation during the 2008 session to establish an identity theft task force within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Sponsored by Sen. Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone), Senate Bill 388 creates a new GBI task force that will investigate alleged identity theft, educate the public on how to protect themselves, support victims and train local law enforcement to combat identity theft.

“The state is taking an active role in preventing identity theft through this legislation, which I am confident will be an important step in curbing such illegal activity,” said Sen. Chance. “With $1 million in new funding in the state budget, SB 388 will enable the GBI to add eight investigative positions to the ID Theft Task Force to combat identity theft statewide.”

The Governor also signed House Bill 130 to allow consumers to place or remove an immediate security freeze on their credit report for a $3 fee. Under this legislation, each major consumer credit reporting agency, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, must offer this service to allow consumers to prohibit the release of their credit report or credit score to third parties.

As of August 1, consumers will be able to request a freeze electronically through Internet systems that each credit reporting agency is required to develop. Once submitted electronically, requests will be fulfilled within 15 minutes. A toll-free telephone number will also be provided, so that requests may be made over the phone. In order to make this service easily accessible to everyone, consumers who are 65 years of age or older, and those who are documented victims of identity fraud, will not be charged the $3 fee for placing or removing a freeze.

“Identity theft is a rampant problem across the country, and I am pleased that we can offer our citizens added protection to keep them and their family safe,” added Sen. Chance. “These new laws give consumers the tools they need to protect their hard-earned savings, and give those who have fallen victim to this crime the immediate help they need to minimize the damage.”