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rope-1149730_1920-300x200In January, Denis Palamarchuk, age 36, was driving a semitruck when he was pulled over by police. The truck contained nearly 7,000 pounds of hemp. Law enforcement arrested Palamarchuk on a drug trafficking charge and also seized both the hemp and the truck.

While law enforcement officers believed the material in the truck to be marijuana, Palamarchuk attempted to explain that it was, in fact, industrial hemp. Although cannabis and hemp are closely related plants, hemp contains only a small amount of the psychoactive agent which makes cannabis so potent. Industrial hemp is used in a wide variety of products, including foods, beauty products, and rope. In December 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill, which made hemp legal federally.
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calculator-1680905_1920-300x200The operator of an employment agency in central Massachusetts has been arrested for allegedly concealing his company’s payroll in order to lower his workers’ compensation insurance dues.

Tam Vuong, age 43, ran employment agency UT Services Inc., although it is his father, Ut, who appears as the company’s president and treasurer on the business registration. Vuong allegedly told UT Services’ workers’ compensation insurance carrier that the business had just one employee and a payroll of only $50,000 per year. UT Services, in fact, had several dozen employees and a considerably higher payroll.
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cab-hand-iphone-34239-300x200Uber driver Emilio Victores is accused of attempting to sexually assault a female passenger after she fell asleep in his vehicle.

Victores, 45, is charged with attempted sexual battery on a helpless victim. He was ordered held on $25,000 bond. The press did not name an attorney for him.

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highway-828985_1920-300x200Between 2016 and 2017, police officers in Phelps County, Missouri seized over $2.5 million during traffic stops along a 20-mile stretch of I-44. Law enforcement did not file any criminal charges for those seizures.

The property was taken using a legal procedure known as civil asset forfeiture. This controversial procedure allows law enforcement to seize an individual’s property if said property is suspected of being involved in a crime.

In criminal procedures, proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” is required to gain a conviction. As civil asset forfeiture is a civil and not a criminal process, the standard of proof required to permanently take property is usually lower. In Missouri, all that is required is “a preponderance of the evidence.”
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apple-blur-book-stack-256520-300x199Miami-Dade Public Schools employee Victor Brantley was arrested on April 9 for allegedly engaging in sexual relations with a 15-year-old boy.

Brantley, 45, is listed as an IT specialist at South Dade Senior High School. He faces charges that include lewd and lascivious battery, using a computer service arrange travel to meet a minor, and transmitting child pornography.

He was booked into Miami-Dade jail and was ordered held on $35,000 bond. He has since been released. The press did not name an attorney for him.

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