- - Tuesday, April 26, 2011


‘Cop’ revealed as illegal with false ID

ANCHORAGE — A Mexico-born illegal immigrant working as a police officer in Alaska was caught only after the U.S. citizen whose identity he stole applied for a passport, authorities said Tuesday.

Rafael Mora-Lopez, 47, was arrested last week after federal agents processing his passport-renewal request discovered he was using the identity of Rafael Espinoza, a legal citizen. Mr. Mora-Lopez pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of passport fraud, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence.

Mr. Espinoza, who has dual citizenship, lives outside of the U.S. and recently applied for a passport, Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said.

Around that time, the officer using Mr. Espinoza’s name applied for a passport renewal under the same identity, according to police and federal authorities.

Mr. Mora-Lopez has formally resigned from the police department, where he worked for six years, Chief Mew said. He was a well-regarded swing-shift patrol officer, winning an award after he and another officer conducted CPR on a person last year, the chief said.


Plea deal reached in school bullying case

HARTFORD — One of six teens charged in the notorious Massachusetts bullying case of a 15-year-old Irish immigrant who committed suicide has struck a plea agreement with prosecutors, according to new court documents.

If accepted by a judge, 17-year-old Sharon Chanon Velazquez’s plea deal would be the first case resolved in connection with South Hadley High School freshman Phoebe Prince’s suicide.

Phoebe hanged herself in January 2010 in her family’s apartment after what prosecutors call a relentless campaign of bullying by other students that included slurs about her Irish heritage, insults on Facebook and threats to beat her up.

Miss Velazquez and four other teens were charged two months after Phoebe’s death with offenses connected to the alleged bullying, and a sixth teen was charged with statutory rape for allegedly having sexual contact with the underage girl. All pleaded not guilty.


Sword fight erupts at Sikh temple; 7 charged

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