- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 19, 2005

‘Goodfellas’ mobster faces drugs charge

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — Former mobster-turned-chef Henry Hill, whose gangland experiences inspired the movie “Goodfellas,” has been charged with felony drug possession.

Police said Mr. Hill’s luggage was searched on Aug. 15 at the North Platte Regional Airport, and methamphetamine and cocaine was found. On Friday, Lincoln County Judge Kent Florum sent him to district court on a felony charge of drug possession.

Mr. Hill, portrayed by Ray Liotta in “Goodfellas,” had sought refuge in the witness protection program after agreeing to testify against his former mob bosses from New York.

However, he left the witness protection program and now lives in North Platte with his wife, who is from the area. He has been working as a chef and helping establish an Italian restaurant, and wrote “The Wiseguy Cookbook,” released in 2002.

Deadly smuggling casede liberations set

HOUSTON — The driver of a tractor-trailer in the nation’s deadliest smuggling attempt was an inexperienced pawn of a smuggling ring who didn’t know 17 immigrants were dying in the airless truck, the defense said in closing arguments.

Tyrone Williams’ lawyer said Friday that his client didn’t speak Spanish and couldn’t hear the immigrants banging on the walls to get out.

The immigrants died after succumbing to the heat in the sweltering trailer, which was packed with more than 70 people. Two others died later.

The case went to the jury Friday, but deliberations were to begin tomorrow. The defense rested quickly Friday after calling just one witness — a meteorologist who briefly testified about the outside temperatures along the smuggling route.

9/11 flag garners $25,000 on EBay

A damaged U.S. flag that reportedly flew over the Pentagon when it was attacked on September 11 was sold in an online auction on EBay for $25,000.

The Virginia man who offered the memento had hoped for much more to cover expenses related to his advanced kidney cancer, The Washington Post reported yesterday.

At one point in the bidding it appeared as if David Nicholson would get $371,300 for the flag, but controversy surrounding the banner’s authenticity apparently prompted the party offering the six-figure sum to withdraw from the auction.

John Andrews II, owner of the Andrews Community Investment Corp., got the flag for $25,000 and said he planned to donate the flag.

Demonstrations mark Iraq war anniversary

Anti-war activists marched in the streets of American cities big and small yesterday, stopping traffic and lying down alongside flag-draped cardboard coffins to mark the second anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

Some of the protesters were arrested in New York as they demanded that U.S. troops be brought home.

“This country was founded by acts of civil disobedience,” said David McReynolds, 75, of New York as he marched along 42nd Street. “We have an obligation to make our resistance public and to say as clearly as we can that the war is illegal.”

In San Francisco, hundreds of protesters rallied in Dolores Park in the city’s Mission district, holding up posters with photographs of dead American soldiers. The protesters then marched to San Francisco City Hall for another rally.

One protester dressed up like the hooded Iraqi prisoner in the famous photo taken of detainee abuse at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison. The woman was surrounded by others wearing masks of President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, who were dancing to the song “Shout” by the Isley Brothers.

Minnesota gets 16 inches of snow

MINNEAPOLIS — A late-winter storm dropped up to 16 inches of snow across portions of Minnesota on Friday, forcing dozens of schools to close and canceling more than 200 flights out of the Twin Cities.

The National Weather Service said the heaviest snowfall was in the state’s southern counties, which could receive more snow throughout the night.

The storm prompted authorities to shut down Interstate 90 in the western half of the state. Police reported receiving hundreds of accident reports by Friday evening, but there were no fatalities or reports of serious injuries.

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