A West Virginia Supreme Court justice is in very hot water and is about to go to prison it looks like. Allen H. Loughry II, a 47-year-old justice at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, faces up to 395 years in prison and $5.5 million in fines after being hit with a 22-count indictment on numerous charges of fraud and corruption. Someone’s been a very naughty judge. He was charged by a federal grand jury on Wednesday with fraud, false statements, and witness tampering offenses. Loughry will be back in court this week to answer the charges against him.
“A federal grand jury has charged a Justice on the state’s highest court with numerous and serious federal crimes,” United States Attorney Mike Stuart said in a statement just released. “On this day—West Virginia Day—the people of our great state deserve better. They have worked too hard and too long to tolerate misconduct that strikes at the heart of the public’s trust by their elected officials. I intend to do all that I can to ensure that our people have the honest government they deserve.”
This turn of events must have shocked the good people of West Virginia and really, really ticked them off. Among his offenses, Loughry is accused of using a government vehicle and credit card on personal trips. He was living it up on the public dime. He also unlawfully converted to his own use a historically significant piece of furniture – a desk that belonged to famed architect Cass Gilbert. Loughry has also been charged with attempting to obstruct and influence testimonial evidence of a Supreme Court employee in an imminent grand jury investigation. His alleged corruption is long and deep and now very, very public.
Justice Loughry was arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday at his home. He was then transported to the federal courthouse in Charleston for processing and to schedule his arraignment. He was not expected to be detained pending his trial. That surprises me. I would think his bail would be revoked and he would be detained as a flight risk. “Public corruption is a top investigative priority for the FBI,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nick Boshears said. “It erodes public confidence and undermines the Rule of Law. We want the people we serve to know the FBI will hold those accountable who betray the public’s trust.” It’s a pity the FBI doesn’t hold itself accountable these days. Just sayin’.
This looks like a very bad guy and I’m glad he was busted. Loughry took office in 2012. He was selected to serve as Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court in April 2017, but later that year was replaced amid reports that he and another justice spent more than a million dollars of public funds. He has since been suspended without pay. He deserves far worse than that in my book.
Loughry is a registered Republican but is facing much more serious jail time than Democrats caught in similar circumstances. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, but the law should be blind to politics and social status. All of them should face the same justice. I would say however, 395 years seems excessive on all this. I doubt that will be his sentence. There is no doubt he’s going to prison, but it will be significantly less than the maximum here.
House Speaker Tim Armstead (R-WV) released the following statement regarding the indictment of Supreme Justice Allen Loughry:
“I’m saddened and disappointed to read these very serious allegations of corruption by a member of our state’s highest court contained in today’s indictment. I am deeply troubled by these allegations and believe my fellow West Virginians are as well.
“Under the legal process in our nation and state, Justice Loughry will be afforded due process as the case against him is prosecuted. While he has been suspended from sitting on the court and is not receiving pay, I would reiterate my belief that it is in our state’s best interest for Justice Loughry to resign so we can begin the long process of restoring our citizens’ trust in their judicial system.
“Regardless of what course Justice Loughry may choose to take, the Legislature will continue its work to get to the bottom of what has occurred, to evaluate the evidence and assess how best to proceed to ensure that our judges and all public officials are held to the highest legal and ethical standards.”
Sharky Democrat House and Senate leaders say they are renewing their call to begin impeachment proceedings for Justice Allen Loughry. They smell Republican blood in the water and are going for it. “As we stated in our June 8th letter to the Governor, President Carmichael and Speaker Armstead, our citizens deserve to be protected against corruption- and the Legislature must stand strong against Justice Loughry’s abuse of power,” Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso (D-WV) stated in a press release.
“The announcement today of the federal indictment of Supreme Court Justice Loughry is not surprising,” House of Delegates Minority Leader Tim Miley (D-WV) added. “The Governor and Republican leadership must take immediate action – and I am hoping that perhaps today’s news will prompt them to finally initiate an impeachment proceeding. Continued delay reflects tacit indifference to his behavior.”
Regardless of political affiliation, no one is above the law. If Loughry is guilty, then he should be punished to the full extent of the law here. He should resign while these charges are worked out legally. He’s charged with 16 counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering and three counts of making false statements to a federal agent. Even a state Supreme Court justice has to answer to the rule of law.
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Illegal Invader Collides With Major Karma After Leaving Church – Should’ve Listened!
An illegal alien was busted in North Carolina last week after leaving a church to meet for a scheduled appointment with immigration officials. Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was evidently living for almost a year in the basement of a Methodist church while trying to get his deportation to Mexico delayed. ICE doesn’t make arrests in churches so they waited until he left this one.
Oliver-Bruno was asked to provide his fingerprints to move his petition forward. He was promptly arrested in the USCIS office when he arrived. To be fair, this guy is a convicted criminal and is not some innocent victim here. Clergy from the church formed a human wall around the vehicle taking him to detention, singing “Amazing Grace” and chanting “Let him stay!” Several were arrested. The Hill has more on this misguided intervention:
An undocumented man was arrested in North Carolina on Friday after leaving a church to meet for a scheduled appointment with immigration officials, The News & Observer reported.
Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was living in the basement of Durham’s CityWell United Methodist Church for nearly a year while he petitioned for his deportation to Mexico to be delayed. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not make arrests in churches.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asked Oliver-Bruno to appear in person to provide his fingerprints in order for his petition to be processed. He was then arrested inside the USCIS office, the paper reported.
“Mr. Oliver-Bruno is a convicted criminal who has received all appropriate legal process under federal law, has no outstanding appeals, and has no legal basis to remain in the U.S.,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson Bryan Cox told The News & Observer in a statement.
Faith leaders and church members who had accompanied Oliver-Bruno formed a human wall around the vehicle taking him to detention, singing “Amazing Grace” and chanting “Let him stay!” Several were arrested, according to CNN.
“It was presented as a legitimate appointment but ICE utilized due process as bait,” Cleve May, a pastor at the church, told CNN. “So we went to the appointment with him, to offer protection, knowing that ICE could not be trusted. We were thinking we would be in and out in 30 minutes.”
“Samuel’s sudden and inappropriate arrest in the middle of the Thanksgiving season reflects the callous and cruel approach we’ve come to expect from the Trump administration. As Members of Congress representing the Durham community, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep the Oliver-Bruno family together,” they said.
“In a call with us this afternoon, ICE has committed to allow Mr. Oliver-Bruno to remain in the U.S. in detention while his case is adjudicated. While this means he will not be immediately deported, we remain committed to fighting for his release.”
Oliver-Bruno was arrested in El Paso, Texas, in 2014 after using a Texas birth certificate to enter the U.S., according to CNN. He lived for 11 months in sanctuary at the Durham church, where he helped with renovations, including a bedroom and shower after CityWell agreed to take him in the facility.
Oliver-Bruno said he feared he will be deported, leaving behind his son and wife, who has lupus and depends on her husband financially, the News & Observer reported.
Heavily Armed Aliens Just Showed Up And Are Caught On Camera – This Is Just The Beginning
Jim Chilton is a fifth-generation rancher in Arizona that finds himself on the front lines of the battle of border security and illegal immigration. He and his wife, Sue live it daily.
The 79-year-old owns and tends a 50,000-acre ranch situated on the U.S.-Mexico border and his property has become a hotspot for illegal aliens crossing into the country. Unlike the heavily fortified border fence in Arizona, the only barriers separating the Chilton ranch from the Mexican border are four strands of rusty barbed wire strung along steel posts.
While tending his cattle, Chilton states he packs no less than two guns and at least 5 gallons of water. The pistol and rifle are to help him ward off the drug smugglers, mules, and human traffickers, or coyotes as they are also known, as they continuously breach the border through his land.
The water is for thirsty border crossers lured by the promise of American jobs and a better life. Chilton states that it used to be that border crossers were simply part of the normal rhythm of everyday life on their ranch. People would come and go freely between the Mexican state of Sonora and Arizona to and from work.
Chilton states: “You’d feed them and give them water and directions.”
The rancher remarked that he has noticed a recent uptick in the number of individuals attempting to use his ranch to enter the country illegally for nefarious means as well. It was not always that way he says.
The early 2000s saw a marked shift as traffic increased significantly in overwhelming numbers, both for the region itself and for its ranchers. Approximately two years ago the migrant traffic slowed to a near halt, and a massive increase in drug smugglers and human traffickers began to flood across the border onto the Chilton ranch.
Now Sue states they are much more guarded about offering any assistance, stating: “At this point, I’m not opening the door except in the rarest of cases.” The danger is simply too great.
As the national debate rages hot over border security and illegal immigration, the Chiltons are living the reality of it. As a result, they have developed a bit more of a nuanced view, attempting to balance their desire for security and protecting America’s borders with the reality of desperate people – men, women, and children alike – wandering across their land starving and parched from the unforgiving desert sun.
Chilton says he does not understand why building a wall to fortify the border is even a question.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Chilton states that:
“Although he respects the Border Patrol agents in the region, he said, he doesn’t understand why they won’t fortify and build a substantial border fence along the Arivaca region, including the five miles of international boundary alongside his ranch.
“It’s inhumane, he said, to allow border crossers to walk in easily through the border, putting their lives at risk from cold nights and hot days. Many are apprehended farther inland anyway.
“The border should be secured at the border,” he said.”
“The couple lament a recently shuttered Border Patrol outpost, the agency’s only significant presence in that area. The outpost, which operated near the ranch, was closed because of budget cuts.
“The couple have even offered to lease 20 acres of their land — about 500 yards from the border — to Border Patrol officials for $1 a year for an outpost. They said the government had not taken them up on the offer.”
The couple states they believe in some sort of guest worker program similar to the federal program previously in place in the 1940s when temporary Mexican laborers were legally allowed to work in the United States. There were no cartels to pay. No human traffickers. No dying in the desert.
At least two neighboring ranchers have chosen to leave rather than continue to fight in the last few years because of just how dangerous the border security situation has gotten. However, the Chiltons state they intend to stay on their land, though it has proven very costly for them to do so.
The cost of maintaining water lines, as well as the international fence to repair it from all the slashing and trampling it undergoes, costs them thousands of dollars in repairs.
Sue states: “We have to maintain the fence or the cattle would all go to Mexico, y no habla español.”
“She gazed out at the trails on the other side of the measly fence, which stretches 15 miles east until it hooks up with an actual border wall in Nogales. She pointed out a network of trails that scar a hill on the Mexican side. It zigzags, leading toward the international fence on the Chilton’s ranch,” reports the LA Times.
“It’s almost as though we have ceded a swath of this United States of America… It has been ceded to operational control of the cartels,” she said.”
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