- - Thursday, July 5, 2012

TEXAS

McALLEN — A father and son were charged Thursday with shooting a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in South Texas, prosecutors said Thursday.

Pedro Alvarado, 41, and his son Arnoldo Alvarado, 18, are charged with assault of a federal officer and knowingly using and carrying a firearm during a violent crime. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the assault charge and a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison on the weapons count.

Both men briefly appeared before a federal judge Thursday and were ordered to stay in jail at least until a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday. The father and son also asked to be assigned court-appointed attorneys.

The agent, Kelton Harrison, was shot early Tuesday morning while conducting surveillance on an anticipated drug deal at a property near Hargill, 25 miles northeast of the border town of McAllen. Mr. Harrison required surgery but is expected to fully recover.

Arnoldo Alvarado told authorities that his father spotted what he considered a suspicious vehicle and told him and another person “to get the guns,” according to a criminal complaint. The third person was a minor who was not named in the complaint and has been turned over to state authorities.

The three got into a car and approached the other vehicle with their lights off. The minor fired six times at the vehicle using a .22-caliber rifle and Arnoldo Alvarado fired twice with a 9-mm handgun, the complaint says.

CONNECTICUT

Navy dismisses exam-cheating claims

HARTFORD — U.S. Navy investigators have dismissed allegations that pervasive cheating has tainted training exams administered to enlisted sailors and officers in the submarine force, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press.

The inspector general for the Atlantic submarine force opened an investigation following a complaint that originated in Groton, Conn., the home port of an attack submarine that was hit by a cheating scandal in 2010.

In a letter sent to U.S. Fleet Forces Command in December, the commander for the Atlantic submarine force said the claims were unsubstantiated. It said previous episodes mentioned in the complaint were investigated and dealt with individually.

The letter, which the AP obtained Thursday through a Freedom of Information Act request, recommended the case be “closed as unsubstantiated with no further action.”

The investigation began with a complaint from a crew member aboard the USS Memphis, a submarine that lost about 10 percent of its crew to disciplinary measures after a cheating ring was discovered in November 2010. The crew member also complained that the punishments were unduly harsh and influenced by abuse of authority - claims that were also investigated and dismissed by the Navy.

In the case of the Memphis, sailors were emailed the answers before qualification exams, took tests outside the presence of proctors and openly asked officers for answer keys.

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