- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Man faces charges in alien smuggling
The Justice Department yesterday announced the arrest and indictment of Maher Wazzen Ahmed Yusof Jarad on charges of encouraging or inducing aliens to enter and reside in the United States in violation of U.S. immigration laws.
Mr. Jarad, 35, is accused by a grand jury in Washington of smuggling aliens in connection with the U.S. government's interception of an Ecuadorian vessel named "Esperanza," which was bound for Guatemala with a final destination of the United States. Passengers on board the ship included Ecuadoreans and Iraqis.
The ship was ordered to return to Ecuador by Ecuadorean authorities after the U.S. authorities advised them the vessel was so unfit for travel that it endangered the lives of those aboard and that several migrants were already seriously ill. If convicted, Mr. Jarad faces up to five years in prison for each migrant.

AFL-CIO seeking more political money
NEW ORLEANS The executive council of the AFL-CIO yesterday recommended charging its member unions extra to pay for political activities, such as issue ads and get-out-the vote campaigns.
If approved by the full AFL-CIO board in May, the mandatory assessment of 4 cents per member per month would raise an additional $7 million annually, said AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney.

Pharmacist pleads guilty in drug-dilution case
KANSAS CITY, Mo. The pharmacist accused of endangering lives by watering down cancer drugs pleaded guilty yesterday to all 20 federal counts in an agreement with the government that avoids a trial.
Millionaire pharmacist Robert R. Courtney, 49, shackled at the hands and ankles, admitted that he committed 158 separate dilutions of drugs for 34 patients.
Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 17 to 30 years in federal prison.

September 11 remains to be given to kin
SOMERSET, Pa. The remains and belongings of 40 persons who died when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a western Pennsylvania field on September 11 are being returned to their survivors, the county coroner said yesterday.
The remains of all but the plane's four hijackers will be placed into caskets. The first sets of remains were shipped Monday, and the rest will be delivered when the victims' survivors are contacted, Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said.

Missing girl's neighbor charged with murder
SAN DIEGO A neighbor of 7-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom was charged with murder, kidnapping and possession of child pornography yesterday.
David Westerfield, 50, was arraigned yesterday in the death of Danielle van Dam, the subject of an intense search since she was reported missing more than three weeks ago.

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