- The Washington Times - Friday, July 27, 2007

ARKANSAS

Police say gambler admits robbing banks

CARLISLE A California man drove up next to a patrolman and said he wanted to confess to bank robberies in three states, blaming his crimes on a gambling habit, police said.

Thomas Michael Everett, 57, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., told Patrolman Chris Castleberry that he had a problem and needed to get help. Mr. Everett admitted robbing the banks and losing the money at casinos, Patrolman Castleberry said.

FBI agents questioned Mr. Everett after he surrendered Tuesday. Agents said surveillance video and Mr. Everett’s statements tie him to robberies in Nipomo, Calif.; El Paso, Texas; and one in Jackson, Miss.

John Strong, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Little Rock office, said the robberies were unarmed. Mr. Everett was in jail in Little Rock yesterday, being held for the U.S. Marshals Service.

ARIZONA

Sheriff defends anti-alien hot line

PHOENIX The county sheriff said he won’t disconnect a hot line he created for people to report information about illegal aliens that has been decried as promoting ethnic profiling.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio stressed that deputies would investigate people only if authorities had probable cause. The hot line began Friday and has received about 300 messages, including tips about family and friends, day laborers, houses where smugglers drop illegal aliens, and crank calls.

Sheriff Arpaio said officials are analyzing the tips but have not acted on any. “There’s nothing unconstitutional about putting up a hot line,” he said, pointing out that federal immigration officials have similar hot lines.

Some Hispanic advocacy groups will set up a hot line of their own to take tips from people who think they have been unfairly reported to Sheriff Arpaio’s hot line, said Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor.

CALIFORNIA

Explosion kills 2 at space-rocket site

MOJAVE An explosion yesterday killed two workers and critically injured four others at a Mojave Desert airport site used by the pioneering aerospace company that sent the first private manned rocket into space, authorities said.

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