- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

CALIFORNIA

Men to pay restitution in child-sex cases

LOS ANGELES — Two Southern California men convicted yesterday in connection with separate child-sex tourism investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been ordered to pay restitution in what are believed to be among the first monetary awards imposed in such cases.

Both men admitted traveling to the Philippines to have sex with teenage boys.

At a hearing in Los Angeles, Edilberto Datan, 61, was ordered to pay $16,475 in restitution to eight of his teenage victims in the Philippines. The retired auditor pleaded guilty in March to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors and producing child pornography outside the United States.

Datan was sentenced in June to 17 years in federal prison and lifetime supervision.

Meanwhile, in San Diego, Bernard Lawrence Russell, 38, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to help Philippine victims of child exploitation. Under an agreement worked out by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ICE, the restitution payments will be overseen by a court-appointed guardian who will work with the Justice Department to administer the funds.

COLORADO

Environmentalists back new tax measures

DENVER — Seven environmental groups have endorsed ballot measures that would temporarily relax Colorado’s strict limits on taxes and spending, saying the caps threaten the state’s ability to safeguard air and water quality and to preserve open space.

Voters will be asked in November to let the state keep $3.1 billion over five years that otherwise would be refunded to taxpayers.

FLORIDA

Human-smugglers arrested by ICE agents

MIAMI — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, the Brazilian Federal Police and the Diplomatic Security Service yesterday arrested 48 persons in a 16-month international human-smuggling investigation in Brazil that stretched as far as Miami, Mexico City, Amsterdam and Bangkok.

Armed with more than 100 search warrants throughout various locations in the cities, those arrested included Brazilian police and customs officers, airline personnel and others thought to be part of an organization that had been smuggling foreign nationals in and out of Brazil and through Mexico to the United States.

“Uncovering and halting criminal activities that, if left unchecked, would threaten the national security of the U.S., Brazil and other nations is, and will continue to be, a top priority for our agency,” said ICE agent Jesus Torres, who heads the agency’s Miami office.

GEORGIA

Officials want to blockillegal-alien benefits

ATLANTA — Senate Republicans say they’re giving top priority to a bill that would block taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants.

The legislation would require anyone receiving taxpayer-funded benefits in Georgia to prove he or she is a Georgia resident and a U.S. citizen or is legally present in the United States.

MASSACHUSETTS

Students displaced by hurricane stabbed

BOSTON — Two Loyola University students attending classes at Boston College after their school was shut down by Hurricane Katrina were stabbed on a Boston street early yesterday morning.

Joseph Vairo, 19, was in serious condition at a hospital after being stabbed twice, Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn said, and an unidentified 20-year-old was treated and released.

The students — among 150 from Loyola and Tulane University who are temporarily attending Boston College — got into an argument with five men at 1:30 a.m. outside a store, said Officer Mike McCarthy, a Boston police spokesman.

MINNESOTA

‘Fishing Hat Bandit’sentenced to 15 years

ST. PAUL — A bank robber dubbed “the Fishing Hat Bandit” for wearing floppy hats in some of his robberies was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

John Whitrock, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, who departed upward from sentencing guidelines. Whitrock pleaded guilty to 21 robberies and one attempted robbery. He expressed regret and sought leniency for poor health.

NEBRASKA

Family gets letter mailed in 1944

POOLE — It took more than 60 years, but the final letter of a soldier killed in World War II finally made it home.

Gary Mathis bought a box of old newspapers at a yard sale in Kansas, and discovered the letter inside a newspaper from 1915. The letter’s envelope has military post office markings dated March 6, 1944. It was addressed to W.J. Krotz of Poole.

Mr. Mathis placed an announcement and picture of the letter in the Ravenna News, hoping someone might know the family.

Louise Kisling said she heard about her brother’s letter through word of mouth. Clinton Krotz, an infantry soldier in Italy during the war, was killed in action on May 8, 1944. The letter was the last one he sent home.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Court ends inmate’s parental rights

COLUMBIA — The state Court of Appeals has terminated the parental rights of Thomas Ballington, who’s serving a life sentence for killing his wife seven years ago.

The court said Ballington intentionally failed to support his 10-year-old son. The court said the father refused to forfeit his rights to his late wife’s estate, worth $500,000, which could have been used to support the boy.

UTAH

Deer Valley voted best ski resort

SALT LAKE CITY — Deer Valley, the Park City resort known for pampering guests with ski porters, gourmet food and immaculately groomed slopes, was voted the best North American resort by more than 20,000 subscribers of Ski Magazine.

Deer Valley passed Vail, Colo., for the No. 1 spot in a ranking of the top 50 resorts.

WASHINGTON

Judge ends ban on new strip clubs

SEATTLE — The city’s 17-year moratorium on new strip clubs is an unconstitutional restraint on free speech and can no longer be enforced, a judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge James L. Robart ruled Monday that the city’s rationale for repeatedly extending the ban lacked merit.

The city had argued that the case was not a censorship issue, but that it was waiting for the state and county to adopt new cabaret regulations. It first imposed a temporary moratorium on new adult cabarets in 1988, after the number of strip clubs in Seattle jumped from two to seven over two years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.


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