- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 11, 2007

Small plane crashes in Georgia; 4 killed

FORT STEWART, Ga. — A small civilian airplane crashed in a training area on Fort Stewart, killing four persons on board, authorities said yesterday.

The Beechcraft Bonanza plane was en route to Anderson, S.C., from Titusville, Fla., when it went down Friday night, said Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta. The cause of the crash was under investigation. The identities of the victims were not released.

Man admits smuggling women into U.S.

AUSTIN, Texas — A man accused of managing brothels in Texas and Oklahoma has pleaded guilty to smuggling women into the country to work as prostitutes.

The Austin and Oklahoma City operations run by Juan Balderas-Orosco, 34, were part of a larger ring that included brothels in 13 cities in Texas and across the nation, including Atlanta, Las Vegas and New York City, according to documents filed with his plea on Friday.

The ringleaders sneaked hundreds of women into the United States, most of them from Latin American countries, and forced them to have sex with as many as 40 men a day, according to the court documents.

Balderas-Orosco pleaded guilty to federal charges of transportation for prostitution, importation of illegal aliens and conspiracy to smuggle, transport and harbor illegal aliens. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.

Spilled cow parts tie up highway

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — About 40 tons of cow intestines and bones spilled onto a highway after a truck driver became distracted by his digital music player and his semitrailer tipped over, officials said.

Authorities closed parts of Interstate 43 for about two hours Thursday while the beef byproduct was cleaned up, said sheriff’s Sgt. Blaine Spicer.

The accident happened in the town of Mosel when 25-year-old Ryan Engle’s truck veered off the road as he adjusted his MP3 player, Sgt. Spicer said.

Mr. Engle, of Kenosha, was cited for inattentive driving and taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, Sgt. Spicer said.

Old gambling equipment seized

WHITEFISH, Mont. — A 19th-century roulette wheel and other old gambling equipment were seized by state agents from an antique store under a law prohibiting the possession of unlicensed gambling equipment, authorities said.

“Some of these things are over 100 years old,” said Ron Turner, owner of the Cowboy Cabin. “These are not gambling devices. These are antiques. It’s a historical collection.”

Those arguments failed to convince three agents with the state Department of Justice Gambling Control Division, who showed up at the store Jan. 31. Mr. Turner said the seized items are worth an estimated $77,000.

The state has not filed charges against Mr. Turner or his wife, Eila, who recently moved to Whitefish from California, where they also sold antiques.

Gene Huntington, administrator of the state’s Gambling Control Division, said the most likely charge would be misdemeanor possession of illegal gambling equipment.

Ex-Marine charged with sex abuse

LOS ANGELES — A retired Marine captain accused of having sex with young girls while working as a teacher in Cambodia was in custody on a sex charge in the United States, federal authorities said Friday.

Michael Joseph Pepe, 53, arrived Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport accompanied by federal agents after he was expelled from Cambodia, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

A judge ordered him held without bond, pending a March 12 arraignment in federal court. He faces one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and could be sentenced to prison for up to 30 years if convicted.

Woman wants town to pay dental bill

ABINGTON, Mass. — Joanne Harding broke a tooth on a Tootsie Roll she took from a candy jar in the town clerk’s office in Abington Town Hall last month during a visit to get a license for her dog. Now, Miss Harding wants the town to help pay her $4,000 to $5,000 dental bill.

“I took the candy, so it’s partially my fault,” she told the Patriot Ledger of Quincy. “I wouldn’t have taken it if it wasn’t there.”

Town Manager Phillip Warren Jr. forwarded Miss Harding’s request for financial assistance to the town’s insurance carrier.

“We’ll wait to see what the insurance company says,” he said.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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