- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Marijuana seized on reservation

TUCSON — U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than 3,300 pounds of marijuana over the weekend after chasing suspected drug smugglers on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. Agents estimated the value of the marijuana at about $2.6 million.

Two of the suspects fled into the desert Saturday and returned to Mexico, but agents arrested a third man, Border Patrol spokesman Rob Daniels said. Agents found 166 bundles of marijuana in the suspects’ two vehicles, which had been stolen in Phoenix, he said. The marijuana was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Mr. Daniels said Juan Gabriel Ruiz-Gonzalez, an illegal alien from Mexico, was turned over to the DEA for prosecution. He was charged in U.S. District Court in Tucson on Monday with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 kilos or more of marijuana.


Agents target gang in police shootings

BURBANK — Nine hundred federal and local law-enforcement agents joined forces yesterday for a raid on a gang suspected in the shooting deaths of two police officers, authorities said.

The overnight raid targeted 42 members of the Vineland Boys gang.

The San Fernando Valley gang was suspected in the deaths of Los Angeles police Officer James Beyea, who was shot during a burglary in 1988, and Burbank police Officer Matthew Pavelka, who died when two men who were being questioned opened fire in 2003.


Ex-university official admits taking money

GAINESVILLE — A former associate dean at the University of Florida pleaded guilty to wire fraud for pocketing more than $120,000 intended for continuing-education programs for doctors.

Investigators said Timothy Van Susteren, 56, asked pharmaceutical vendors to mail checks to his home for fees the university charged to prepare seminars for physicians.

Van Susteren appeared Friday in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Allan Kornblum. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing Sept. 12.

Messages left yesterday for Van Susteren’s attorney, Ted Curtis, were not returned.


Watercraft rider rescued at sea

HONOLULU — A large wave knocked a man off his rented personal watercraft and he drifted at sea overnight before being spotted by Coast Guard searchers two miles west of Maui.

Patrick Hannon, 21, of Cambridge, Mass., was dehydrated and shaken but suffered no major injuries, authorities said.

Mr. Hannon told KGMB-TV that he was thrown from the watercraft Saturday by a large wave and that the craft drifted away before he could swim to it.


Army officer guilty in abuse case

FORT KNOX — An Army captain accused of failing to stop his drill instructors from abusing basic-training recruits at Fort Knox was convicted yesterday of dereliction of duty and false swearing.

A military judge found Capt. William C. Fulton guilty. He could get more than five years behind bars and a dishonorable discharge.

Fulton, 35, had testified that he did not witness any abuse of trainees in his company on their first day of basic training earlier this year. However, several privates said they saw him standing nearby as drill sergeants punched, kicked and threw trainees into lockers.


Army deserter leaves country

WELDON — U.S. Army deserter Charles Jenkins apologized to the Army, the United States and his family yesterday before saying goodbye to live in Japan.

At a press conference outside his sister’s house in Weldon, where he and his Japanese wife spent the past week visiting his ailing 91-year-old mother, Mr. Jenkins was asked whether he was sorry for his July 5, 1965, desertion in North Korea.

“Of course I am,” he said. “I let my soldiers down. I let the U.S. Army down. I let the government down, and I made it very difficult for my family in the United States to live.”


Radio stations reject Shoney’s ad

NASHVILLE — Two New Orleans radio stations apparently don’t think there is anything funny about passing Gas.

Marketing folks for Shoney’s Inc. thought they had come up with a humorous radio spot promoting the restaurant’s breakfast buffet. A driver ticks off middle America towns with odd-sounding names — Two Egg, Fla., Weiner, Ark., and Sweet Lips, Tenn. — noting there are Shoney’s along the way.

“Pretty soon down the road when you’re passing Gas, you’ll be glad you stopped,” the announcer says before a pause. “What? Gas, Kansas, you sicko. I can’t believe you went there.”

Dan Burgess, public relations director at Doe Anderson, the Louisville, Ky., advertising firm that created the ad, said New Orleans stations WLMG and WTKL chose not to run the spot.

People in Gas — population 530 — weren’t offended. “We’re actually so used to this kind of thing, it’s almost second nature,” City Clerk Rozanne Hutton said.


FBI makes searches of city councilman

DALLAS — FBI agents carted boxes of records from a top city official’s offices and searched another official’s security company as part of a federal investigation.

Agents searched the home and offices of Don Hill, the City Council’s mayor pro tem, on Monday, then returned to his home yesterday to continue the search.

They also served a search warrant at council member James Fantroy’s security company, J.L.’s Security and Investigations.

Federal authorities would not comment on the reason for the search. FBI Special Agent Lori Bailey said only that it was “part of an ongoing investigation and the warrant itself is under seal.”

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