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Ramsey Man Sentenced to Prison for Pornography Involving Minors

posted May 18, 2019, 7:28 AM by Crime Watch   [ updated May 19, 2019, 7:23 PM ]

By MN Crime, May 18, 2019       

Garrett Christopher Gorham, 33, of Ramsey, Minnesota, was sentenced on Tuesday in Anoka County court to sixty-seven months in prison for possessing child pornography and using minors in pornographic work.

Gorham was charged in November with eight felony counts including five counts of possessing pornographic work – electronic images – involving minors, two counts of using minors in sexual performance/pornographic work and one count of interfering with the privacy of a minor.

Gorham pleaded guilty in April to four counts of possessing pornographic work involving minors and to one count of using minors in pornographic work. The other three charges were dismissed in the plea agreement.

The sentences for each count handed down by Judge Barry A. Sullivan range from 15 months to 67 months. The sentences are to be served concurrently (at the same time), and Gorham will be required to register as a predatory offender.

Gorham is expected to serve about forty-two months under Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, which specifies a minimum term of imprisonment equal to two-thirds of the executed sentence, and the remainder of the term to be served on supervised release.  Gorham is scheduled for an anticipated release date of January 2023.

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  • Ramsey Man Sentenced to Prison for Pornography Involving Minors By MN Crime, May 18, 2019        Garrett Christopher Gorham, 33, of Ramsey, Minnesota, was sentenced on Tuesday in Anoka County court to sixty-seven months in prison for possessing child ...
    Posted May 19, 2019, 7:23 PM by Crime Watch
  • “I’m an arsonist”: Alan Theodore Enger Charged with Arson, Again By MN Crime, May 13, 2019 On Tuesday last week, Minneapolis fire crews responded to a vehicle fire located on the 3100 block of Oliver Avenue North in Minneapolis. The ...
    Posted May 18, 2019, 3:44 PM by Crime Watch
  • US Attorney-MN: Three Men Charged In Methamphetamine Distribution Conspiracy By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, May 9, 2019 Indictments were announced Thursday by the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota against three men accused of conspiring to distribute ...
    Posted May 13, 2019, 12:34 PM by Crime Watch
  • Northeast Minneapolis Man Charged with Stalking 11-year-old Girl By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, May 9, 2019 A northeast Minneapolis man has been charged with felony stalking after allegedly trying to grab an 11-year-old girl on Monday ...
    Posted May 10, 2019, 4:52 PM by Crime Watch
  • Sentencing Guidelines: Is it Time for Change in Minnesota? By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, May 5, 2019 A Brooklyn Park man involved in the Wednesday evening Minneapolis crash that killed another motorist should have been incarcerated, not in north ...
    Posted May 9, 2019, 7:52 AM by Crime Watch
  • Somali-American Police Association Calls Noor Conviction ‘Institutional Prejudice’ By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, May 1, 2019 The Somali-American Police Association has released a statement on this week’s conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor in ...
    Posted May 9, 2019, 7:38 AM by Crime Watch
  • FACT CHECK: Rep. Hodan Hassan (D-62A) on US incarceration rates By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, April 30, 2019 THE CLAIM During a legislative session on the Minnesota House floor on Thursday, April 25, 2019, related to the legislature’s omnibus ...
    Posted May 9, 2019, 8:00 AM by Crime Watch
Showing posts 1 - 7 of 7. View more »



 

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“I’m an arsonist”: Alan Theodore Enger Charged with Arson, Again

posted May 15, 2019, 6:30 AM by Crime Watch   [ updated May 18, 2019, 3:44 PM ]


By MN Crime, May 13, 2019

On Tuesday last week, Minneapolis fire crews responded to a vehicle fire located on the 3100 block of Oliver Avenue North in Minneapolis. The dispatch audio indicated that the fire may be threatening a nearby structure. Upon arrival of police on scene they determined they needed to make an arrest, per dispatch audio.

Serial arsonist Alan Theodore Enger, 54, was taken into custody and booked into Hennepin County Jail.

When fire investigators arrived they found the victim arguing with Enger about why he had started the victim’s vehicle on fire. Enger stated “because that is what you get when you f*ck with me.” When officers took Enger into custody he kept “referring to himself as an arsonist,” according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint states that officers spoke with victim who stated that he got into an argument with Enger before leaving the house, and when he returned, the truck was on fire. Fire investigators found four small gas cans next to the truck, “pour patters” were located in the truck’s bed, and a combustible gas detector retuned a 100% indication of accelerant use in the truck bed. There were no burn patters in the engine compartment of the car or on the car’s hood, which indicated the fire was not due to engine failure. Fire investigators estimated the damage to the car as over $2,500.

Enger has four prior arson convictions in Hennepin County stretching back as far as the early to mid-1980s which have earned him several stints in prison. Enger has a well-documented history as a drinker and firebug in northeast Minneapolis. Law enforcement reportedly has a list of dozens of fires they suspect Enger of setting dating back into the 1970s.

Interspersed between the prison stints for arson, Enger has served time for other offenses ranging from several DUIs, robbery, violate an order for protection, assault, controlled substance, damage to property and other traffic-related violations encompassing over two dozen cases.

By 2005, Enger was incarcerated for his fourth arson conviction and sentenced as a “career offender” with the court citing “that he [was] a danger to public safety based on his past criminal behavior” and two or more prior violent convictions. Under Minnesota statute he was sentenced to 120 months for 2nd degree arson. Enger appealed the sentence in 2006 as unconstitutional and received a reversal and reduction from the court setting the community on edge.

Since Enger’s 2012 release from prison, he’s has had several arrests and convictions including two gross misdemeanor convictions for DWI – refusal to submit to chemical test, and a conviction for damage to property in 2015. Enger has received reduced sentences on all of these recent convictions.

Following last week’s arrest, Enger was charged with 2nd degree arson and is in custody on $40,000 bail. Enger also has a warrant for failure to appear in court on a 2016 case for disorderly conduct. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 3.

Follow the case: Hennepin County 27-CR-19-10772

Photo credit: 2015 BustedMugshots.com

View original article: https://alphanewsmn.com/im-an-arsonist-alan-theodore-enger-charged-with-arson-again


US Attorney-MN: Three Men Charged In Methamphetamine Distribution Conspiracy

posted May 13, 2019, 12:34 PM by Crime Watch


By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, May 9, 2019

Indictments were announced Thursday by the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota against three men accused of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.

The indictments follow the discovery of 55-pounds of methamphetamine on April 3, 2019, that was being transported to Minnesota in a vehicle when a trooper with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) conducted a routine traffic stop.


Two of the defendants, Jose Alfredo Penaloza Romero, 22, of Minneapolis, and Irwin Enrique Becerra, 22, of Kansas City, each face of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The third defendant, Humberto Torres-Rodriguez, 38, of Los Angeles, is facing one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The trooper with the CSP’s interdiction unit pulled over a vehicle driving on I-70 for a minor traffic violation, according to Steve Knight, the Drug Enforcement Administration agent in charge in Grand Junction, as reported in The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction. During the traffic stop the driver, Torres-Rodriguez, consented to a search of the vehicle and the trooper found a manufactured compartment between the back seat and the trunk, a hydraulic "trap" with switches used to open it which contained the drugs.

Torres-Rodriguez agreed to cooperate with authorities and arrangements were made to meet Romero and Beccera at a hotel in Bloomington, MN. Agents conducted an undercover sting at the hotel on April 5th where Torres-Rodriguez was supposed to deliver the drugs, and arrested Romero and Becerra following the agents’ observation between the three of an exchange of money for the drugs.

Following the arrests, law enforcement executed a follow-up search warrant at Romero's residence on the 500 block of Ridgewood Avenue in Minneapolis and recovered an additional sixteen (half-pound to pound) packages of methamphetamine and approximately $30,000 in U.S. currency.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew R. Winter and Bradley M. Endicott. The defendants will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court at a later date.

Photo: The Daily Sentinel

View original article: https://alphanewsmn.com/us-attorney-mn-three-men-charged-in-methamphetamine-distribution-conspiracy/


Northeast Minneapolis Man Charged with Stalking 11-year-old Girl

posted May 10, 2019, 12:42 PM by Crime Watch   [ updated May 10, 2019, 4:52 PM ]


By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, May 9, 2019

A northeast Minneapolis man has been charged with felony stalking after allegedly trying to grab an 11-year-old girl on Monday.

Mohamed Hassan Ali, 54, was following and touching the 11-year-old girl who appeared to be in distress and trying to get away from the suspect, according to the criminal complaint.

The juvenile victim was walking a short distance from her home to a corner store nearby when she realized she was being closely followed by the suspect who then grabbed the girl by the shoulder and neck area. A passing motorist witnessed the girl trying to get away from the suspect and stopped his vehicle and told the suspect to leave the girl alone. The suspect again touched the shoulder of the victim and tried to turn her around and continued to closely follow her, according to the complaint.

The witness called 911 and continued to follow the suspect and victim. Meanwhile, the juvenile victim called her mother in tears and said the suspect was following her and that she was afraid.

The witness stayed with the victim and her mother after they met at the corner store and until police arrived. The suspect had left the area but was apprehended nearby. The complaint states that the suspect was uncooperative, and a short ground struggle ensued with the sole responding officer. A private citizen witnessed the struggle and came to the aid of the officer and helped detain the suspect until police back up arrived.

A person identifying themselves as the person who called 911 during the incident on Monday commented on a social media post following the incident and said that the suspect was “grabbing and rubbing” on the girl for almost five blocks.

Comments on a prior social media post indicate that nearby residents are familiar with the suspect and that people have observed him engaging in possibly suspicious activity in the area.

The suspect is currently being held in Hennepin County Jail and will make his first court appearance on Thursday, May 9.

###

View original article: https://alphanewsmn.com/northeast-minneapolis-man-charged-with-stalking-11-year-old-girl-2/


Sentencing Guidelines: Is it Time for Change in Minnesota?

posted May 9, 2019, 7:49 AM by Crime Watch   [ updated May 9, 2019, 7:52 AM ]


By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, May 5, 2019

A Brooklyn Park man involved in the Wednesday evening Minneapolis crash that killed another motorist should have been incarcerated, not in north Minneapolis driving a vehicle.

The suspect in the crash has nearly forty prior driving related convictions but had a “perfectly clean record” as far as the court was concerned when he was sentenced to just probation last month on a charge of felony Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle.

At least that’s the reason given by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office as to why he received probation and not a prison sentence last month.

But not even one month following that conviction and sentence of probation, the suspect is in jail facing charges for killing an innocent motorist after he attempted again to flee from police on Wednesday.

THE SCENE

According to a press release by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) the crash happened following police response to a report of suspected drug activity between two vehicles on the 3300 block of Aldrich Avenue North. After officers initially made contact with the drivers of both vehicles, one of the drivers “accelerated rapidly toward” one of the officers nearly striking him as the driver fled from the scene.

The officers advised dispatch that they were attempting to catch up to the vehicle which had left the scene at a high rate of speed. Upon driving in the direction that the vehicle had fled from the scene, officers came upon a crash at 36th and Aldrich Avenue North. One officer apprehended the suspected driver who had fled, and the other officer rendered aid to the victim in the other vehicle involved in the crash. The victim was taken to North Memorial hospital in Robbinsdale where he died from his injuries.

The apprehended suspect, Trevon Xavier Miguel McMorris, 27, has been identified in a statement by MPD, and is currently being held in Hennepin County Jail and is charged with felony Flee Peace Officer – Motor Vehicle – Resulting in Death. The driver of the other vehicle who was killed in the crash has been identified as 50-year-old Jose Angel Madrid Salcido, who had been living in Minneapolis for the past four years.

PRIOR HISTORY

McMorris, who has nearly forty prior driving related convictions, including numerous convictions for driving after revocation or suspension, no proof of driver’s license, and no proof of insurance, was just convicted on April 5, 2019, on felony Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle. However, instead of being sentenced for up to three years in prison, which is the maximum felony sentence outlined in the Minnesota statute under which he was convicted (§609.487, Subd. 3), his conviction was downgraded to a gross misdemeanor and he was placed on probation and sentenced by Hennepin County judicial officer Judge Jay Quam to the three days he had previously already spent in jail prior to the conviction.

Despite McMorris’ lengthy history of driving offenses and apparent flagrant disregard for traffic laws and the requirement for a valid driver’s license, he was given no prison time and was released on the promise that he would abide by the conditions of probation (Case #27-CR-19-150).

THE PROBLEM

We reached out to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) for an explanation as to why with so many prior driving convictions and flagrant, repeated violations McMorris was given probation on the felony Fleeing case and not sent to prison – or even county jail for some period. HCAO spokesperson Chuck Laszewski said that the courts use what’s called a “criminal record summary” and that McMorris’ criminal record summary showed “zero” prior offenses. And that under Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines McMorris was entitled to the downgraded conviction and probation sentence based on his “perfectly clean record.”

McMorris’ numerous prior driving offenses only reached the level of misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors and were prosecuted at the city attorney level. Laszewski explained that per the sentencing guidelines set by the state legislature, cases prosecuted for lower crimes at city level are not visible or are not considered at all by the county level court which prosecutes felony cases.  i.e. McMorris’ felony Fleeing case. The sentencing guidelines do not require that those misdemeanor cases be considered in any other felony level cases, regardless of their quantity or frequency.

When asked about the county attorney’s responsibility to the public and their responsibility to help ensure public safety that would protect innocent lives, Laszewski said that “[the county attorney] can only work within the strictures given to us by the legislature,” and that misdemeanor convictions or past patterns of flagrant disregard that are lower than felony level “don’t come into consideration under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines or under state statutes.”

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

Minnesota curiously doesn’t appear to specifically track crashes or deaths caused by unlicensed drivers even though they often make headlines around the state and Twin Cities. However, the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) did note in 2012 that “unlicensed drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a deadly crash as licensed drivers.” MSP also stated that there were 31 fatalities involving unlicensed drivers in 2011.

In the city of Minneapolis although traffic stops have decreased overall by seventy percent since 2010, the city is under new pressure by social justice activists to discontinue certain traffic stops altogether because of what activists claim to be racial bias and profiling by the MPD.

Should the state legislature take up review of the sentencing guidelines to allow inclusion of lower level crimes in some instances?

Should Minnesota consider strengthening penalties on misdemeanor driving offenses based on cumulative and frequent offenses that often result in danger to the public and damage to property?

Should Minnesota be tracking crashes and fatalities by unlicensed drivers?

Should the city of Minneapolis, and other cities, increase enforcement and prosecution of traffic violations in the interest of public safety?

### 

(This article has been updated to reflect formal charges against suspect, as originally published in link below)

Photo: Trevon Xavier Miguel McMorris, 2019 Hennepin County Sheriff

View original article: https://alphanewsmn.com/sentencing-guidelines-is-it-time-for-change-in-minnesota/


Somali-American Police Association Calls Noor Conviction ‘Institutional Prejudice’

posted May 9, 2019, 7:38 AM by Crime Watch

By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, May 1, 2019

The Somali-American Police Association has released a statement on this week’s conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017, calling Hennepin County’s prosecution of Noor “aggressive” and influenced by “institutional prejudices against people of color.”

Noor was convicted on Tuesday following a jury trial before ten men and two women who found the former officer guilty on third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but acquitted him on second-degree murder after a three week trial and ten hours of deliberation by the jury.

The statement issued by Waheid Siraach, retired Minneapolis police sergeant and now spokesperson for the Somali-American Police Association, suggested that “other motives were at play other than serving justice” in the prosecution of Noor.

The Somali-American Police Association in a 2018 statement accused Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman of being “more interested in furthering his political agenda than he is in the facts surrounding this case.” The association went on further to say in the 2018 statement that the charges against Noor were “not intended to serve justice, rather, they are meant to make an ‘example’ of him.”

Noor reportedly had a history of erratic behavior as a police officer as recently as two months prior to the killing of Damond, when dashcam video showed him pulling a gun on a driver and pointed it at their head during a traffic stop.

Other reports outlined “prior acts of recklessness and indifference” by Noor, and that during pre-employment screening Noor “reported disliking people and being around them.”

Noor is scheduled for sentencing on June 7.

The Somali American Police Association was established in 2012 and is based in Minneapolis with 25 current members. The association claims to be a “resource for the Somali American community and the various police departments.”

###

Logo photo: Somali-American Police Association website

View original article: https://alphanewsmn.com/somali-american-police-association-calls-noor-conviction-institutional-prejudice/


FACT CHECK: Rep. Hodan Hassan (D-62A) on US incarceration rates

posted May 9, 2019, 7:24 AM by Crime Watch   [ updated May 9, 2019, 8:00 AM ]



By Minnesota Crime Watch & Information, April 30, 2019

THE CLAIM

During a legislative session on the Minnesota House floor on Thursday, April 25, 2019, related to the legislature’s omnibus health and human services finance bill, HF 2414, Rep. Hodan Hassan (D-62A, Minneapolis) made an eyepopping claim that “twenty-five percent of the US population are locked up” [in jails or prisons].

Hassan’s claim was made amid debate over an amendment to the omnibus bill, authored by Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-30A, Elk River). Zerwas’ amendment, A99, was aimed at stemming fraud within Minnesota’s child care provider subsidy program by requiring that certain “large scale” childcare centers provide proof of surety bond coverage in the amount of up to $250,000. Requiring the bonds from certain providers would help “recover potential losses” to the state in the event of any future fraud by those specified program participants, a safeguard which does not currently exist within the program.       

Rep. Hassan made the “twenty-five percent” incarceration remark as part of an invective opposing the A99 amendment, during which she appeared to denounce comments by the amendment author and other representatives as “fearmongering, racist, Islamaphobic tactics to shame the Somali community” over reported fraud within the childcare provider program. And through her citation of the “twenty-five percent” incarceration statistic, Rep. Hassan insinuated that everybody is “related to somebody” who has “committed a crime.”

(Note: The Pioneer Press in March detailed findings within the Legislative Auditors report which contained the claim that fraud within Minnesota’s child care system is “pervasive” and that investigators are “unable to make a dent in the problem.”)

THE FACTS

The United States has a population of roughly 327 million people (Feb. 2018). Twenty-five percent of that number would be nearly 82 million people.

CNN reported just this month that according to a 2018 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), only 2.2 million adults were held in America's prisons and jails at the end of 2016. That translates to roughly .7 (seven tenths) of one percent of the US population – not twenty-five percent. 

Based on the same BJS report, Vox last year reported that the US prison population fell for the third year in a row to 1.6 million in 2016.

Specific to Minnesota, the Star tribune in December reported that Minnesota “has made a deliberate choice to send fewer criminals to prison than most states,” resulting in less time in prison for Minnesota felons whether their crime was robbery, aggravated assault or even rape.

FOLLOW UP

Since making her remarks on Thursday, internet clips of Rep. Hassan’s comments have been widely shared around camps from both sides of the aisle, yet neither Rep. Hassan nor anyone from her party has stepped forward to make a correction to the false claim, nor has any Minnesota media appeared to have called out the flagrant assertion.

Zerwas’ A99 amendment was ultimately rejected by a vote of 55-73 in a floor vote.

The omnibus health and human services finance bill passed in the House with a vote of 74-55 on Thursday (without the A99 amendment). The bill was then passed on to the Minnesota Senate for consideration.

Rep. Hassan’s district spans the area of Minneapolis south of I94 to roughly Lake St, on both sides of the 35W corridor, and from Lyndale Avenue on the west to roughly Hwy. 55 (Hiawatha Ave.) on the east. The district includes the Stevens Square, Ventura Village, Whittier, Phillips and Midtown Phillips neighborhoods.

Full video of Thursday’s House discussion related to the child care assistance program: https://youtu.be/u99O2ugz1IQ

View original article: https://alphanewsmn.com/fact-check-mn-rep-hodan-hassan-d-62a-on-us-incarceration-rates/


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