A Brief Look at Crime 02/15 – 02/21

Las Vegas Strip: Police Make 1,229 Arrests Through Three-Month Operation

Las Vegas police arrested over 1,200 people during its three month operation against violent crime. Operation Persistent Pressure ran from September 18 to December 20, in response to a rise in violence in September. Crime levels in December were 1.8% higher year on year, but police say they will maintain their efforts. Las Vegas police made 1,229 arrests and confiscated 64 firearms in the Strip area during its three-month operation to stop the rise in crime levels.

Metro Captain Dori Koren said last Tuesday that the rise in crime and violence on the Strip “was resolved to some extent,” as police made “tremendous progress” in dealing with crimes on the tourist corridor. According to Koren, arrests included disorderly conducts, robberies, assaults, batteries, and illegal shootings with 36% people charged for gross misdemeanors or felonies. Violence Began to Rise Significantly in September In a statement issued Friday, Koren declared that violent crime in the Strip area started rising in September, with violent altercations including shootings and aggravated assaults.

Las Vegas Woman Gets Three Years in Federal Prison for Role in Sweepstakes Scam

A 50-year-old Las Vegas woman received a three-year federal prison sentence Wednesday for her role in a $9 million criminal scheme that targeted mostly elderly and other vulnerable victims who received fraudulent mailers claiming they won prizes. In addition to the prison time, Andrea Burrow was also sentenced to three subsequent years of supervised release. The court also ordered her to forfeit $272,000, according to a US Department of Justice release. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro handed down the sentence in a Nevada federal district court.

Prosecutors sought a nearly five-year prison term. They did so because they claimed her criminal behavior started well before 2010, when this case originated. Court documents also show federal authorities seized more than $237,000 from a Bank of America safety deposit box and her Las Vegas residence in February 2018. The mail scheme sent bogus prize announcements to individuals. The letters claimed victims would receive a large cash prize if they paid a fee, typically between $20 to $30. Burrow, authorities said, opened the mail, sorted the payments, and kept track of those who submitted payments in a database. People who mailed payments were then targeted for additional prize scams.

Feds seek 5-year prison sentence for former sports talk radio host Marty Tirrell

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence former Des Moines sports talk radio host Marty Tirrell to five years in prison for a pattern of sports ticket scams they say stretches back more than a decade. Tirrell, 60, defrauded investors of more than $1.5 million by claiming to have access to tickets to major sporting events that he could re-sell at a higher rate, promising to split the profits, Acting U.S. Attorney Richard Westphal wrote in a sentencing brief filed Thursday. Westphal is also asking that Tirrell be ordered to pay $1.46 million in restitution to American Express, Wells Fargo, Bank of the West and five individuals identified only by their initials.”The Defendant has been defrauding businesses and individuals with his lies for years, with little to no consequences,” Westphal wrote. “Defendant continued to lie after he was under investigation in this matter, and the Government is concerned he won’t ever stop lying.”

Workers lose Christmas bonuses due to embezzler’s ‘horrible betrayal’ 

A woman whose theft from a small Grand Rapids business cost 45 employees their Christmas bonuses was sent to prison for what a judge called a pattern of “horrible’’ behavior. “It’s just a horrifying thing that you did; this betrayal,’’ Judge Curt Benson told 42-year-old Terry Jo Lamore. Lamore embezzled more than $150,000 from The Screen Print Department, which prints and embroiders T-shirts, jackets and hats in a brick factory on the city’s Northwest Side. The embezzlement came to light just before the pandemic, which served as a double hit for the locally-owned business. “Employees look forward to raises and Christmas bonuses,’’ Human Resources Manager Renee Orr said. “And this year that just didn’t happen with that $150,000 taken from us.’’ It is not new territory for Lamore, who lists an address in Belmont.  She embezzled more than $13,000 from a Kelloggsville Public Schools parent-teacher organization more than a decade ago. Benson said Lamore’s pattern of criminal behavior justifies prison. Investigators determined some of the embezzled funds were used for gambling.

Wattsburg School District’s ex-payroll chief gets 2-13 years for embezzling $320,000 

The defense said addiction and abuse contributed to a former payroll supervisor at the Wattsburg Area School District embezzling $320,000 from the district for more than three years ending when she resigned under pressure in February 2019. Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri blamed the thefts on a gambling habit. He said the defendant, Rebecca A. Leone, 36, crafted a sophisticated plan to take the money by writing a total of 161 school district checks to herself and then “went out to play the slots at the casino,” referring to Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Summit Township. “She gambled it away,” Daneri said at Leone’s sentencing in Erie County Court on Friday. The prosecution’s points prevailed. Erie County Judge John J. Mead followed Daneri’s recommendation and sentenced Leone to state prison. Mead gave her two to 13 years. “This was not a crime of opportunity, but a systematic looting of the school district,”

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