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Around the Nation

- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2007

CALIFORNIA

Wanted man arrested at border

SAN YSIDRO — A Salvadoran man wanted by Sacramento authorities on a $1.35 million bail arrest warrant for lewd or lascivious activities with a child younger than 14 was apprehended this week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Jose Antonio Galindo Castro, who had been living illegally in the United States for 17 years, was taken into custody after CBP officers checked his fingerprints against the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and discovered the outstanding warrant.

CBP spokesman Vincent Bond said Mr. Castro, 36, arrived at the San Ysidro port U-turn booth as a passenger in a southbound pickup truck and asked to speak with officers because he wanted to leave the United States but could not persuade the driver to enter Mexico.

DELAWARE

Sex abuse suit filed under new law

WILMINGTON — A man who says he was molested as a teen by a Catholic priest became the first person to sue under a new law allowing child sexual abuse victims to seek damages for misdeeds that occurred years ago.

Robert Quill, 52, a Wilmington native who lives in Marathon, Fla., filed a federal lawsuit yesterday purporting that as a teenager, he was molested at least 300 times by the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca, who worked for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington for 35 years.

Mr. Quill's lawsuit purports that church officials in Wilmington knew as early as 1958 that DeLuca was sexually abusing boys, yet allowed him to serve as a priest.

MASSACHUSETTS

Marijuana dealer sent to prison

BOSTON — A Massachusetts man was sentenced this week in federal court to 151 months in prison on charges of conspiracy to distribute more than 220 pounds of marijuana, money laundering, structuring financial transactions and tax evasion.

Sean P. Bucci, 34, of North Reading was sentenced to prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, said June W. Stansbury, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in charge at the agency's Boston office.

Evidence presented during a nine-day trial proved that dating back to at least the late 1990s, Bucci was a large-scale marijuana dealer who sold thousands of pounds of the drug from his home in North Reading, and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars through various bank accounts owned by him and his mother, DEA spokesman Garrison K. Courtney said.

MICHIGAN

Man pleads guilty to spying for Saddam

DETROIT — A Michigan man pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he spied for Saddam Hussein's regime and shared information with the Iraqi dictator's intelligence service.

Ghazi Al-Awadi, 78, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Iraq, pleaded guilty to acting as an agent of the government of Iraq under Saddam's regime, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Under terms of the plea agreement in U.S. District Court, Al-Awadi, of Dearborn, faces up to 51 months in prison at sentencing on Nov. 8.

Al-Awadi was charged based on Iraqi intelligence documents captured by U.S. forces in Iraq in 2003 and later authenticated by former members of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, authorities said.

MISSISSIPPI

Detention center sued for abuse

JACKSON — Girls at a Mississippi detention center were sometimes shackled for 12 hours a day and subjected to "horrendous physical and sexual abuse," a youth advocacy group claims in a federal lawsuit.

The Mississippi Youth Justice Project sued the state Wednesday on behalf of six girls, ages 13 to 17, and called for the shutdown of the Columbia Training School.

All the girls involved have mental illnesses and were committed for nonviolent offenses, said Sheila Bedi, the Mississippi Youth Project director.

NEW JERSEY

Former mayor faces corruption charges

NEWARK — Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James was indicted yesterday on corruption charges involving land sales and accusations that he spent extravagantly on himself and several women using city-issued credit cards.

The federal grand jury's 33-count indictment charges Mr. James with fraud for purportedly facilitating and approving the cut-rate sales of city-owned land to a female companion.

It also charges Mr. James, 71, with using the city-issued credit cards on himself and eight women during trips to destinations including Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Rico and Martha's Vineyard, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie and state Attorney General Anne Milgram announced.

NORTH CAROLINA

Nifong issued disbarment order

RALEIGH — The North Carolina State Bar yesterday issued a formal order disbarring former District Attorney Mike Nifong for his handling of the now-discredited Duke lacrosse rape case.

Mr. Nifong must surrender his law license to the bar no later than 30 days from when he is served with the order. He also must pay costs associated with his June ethics trial.

A disciplinary hearing committee disbarred Mr. Nifong after finding he had committed at least two dozen violations of the state's rules of professional conduct.

TEXAS

Agent sentenced in alien bribery

EL PASO — An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent convicted of taking a $20,000 bribe was sentenced yesterday to more than three years in prison.

Santiago Efrain Valle, 44, was convicted in April of one count each of bribery and extortion under the color of law.

Valle denied that he offered to have an immigration charge dropped and the risk classification changed for a Mexican national jailed at the ICE detention center in El Paso in exchange for the bribe. From wire dispatches and staff reports