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Four Plaintiffs identified in their lawsuit as Jane Does filed a lawsuit under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) alleging they were victims of conspicuous and open sex trafficking that occurred at hotels managed by hotel franchisors Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, and Microtel Inn & Suites (MISF).  The Plaintiffs argued the franchises should be liable under the TVPRA for benefiting financially in a venture which they knew or should have known involved sex trafficking at the Defendants’ hotels.   Two of these companies, Wyndham and MISF, are franchisors that license its brand to the Microtel Inn & Suites in Atlanta, Georgia.  Choice Hotels International is a franchisor that licenses its brand to the Suburban Extended Stay in Chamblee, Georgia.

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Brandon Fleury was posting and messaging on Instagram posing as mass murderer Nikolas Cruz, the perpetrator of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD), which took place on February 14, 2018, when Cruz brought a AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle into the school located in Parkland, Florida, and murdered seventeen students and faculty members. Between December 22, 2018 and January 9, 2019, Fleury used aliases like nikolas.killed.your.sister, the.douglas.shooter, and Teddykillspeople (referencing Ted Bundy) and sent victims’ family members and friends taunting and harassing messages that put them in fear for their own lives.  After the messages were traced to Fleury, he was charged in federal court in the Southern District of Florida with transmitting interstate threats and cyberstalking.  His charges were based on posts and messages sent to three individuals who lost loved ones in the MSD shooting. Following a jury trial, he was convicted.

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Litzky’s live-in boyfriend, Roberto Oquendo, was a passenger in a car pulled over for a traffic stop in Melbourne, Florida.  The officer conducting the traffic stop learned that he had child pornography on his phone.  He gave an interview and admitted having pictures of the genital areas of his daughters for his sexual gratification.  Law enforcement officers also discovered thousands of lewd images of naked children on his electronic devices.  Oquendo was of course a pedophile.

Among those images were screenshots of video conversations between Oquendo and Litzky over several months where Litzky had posed the two children-victims focusing on their vaginal and buttocks area.  Litzky was interviewed and eventually she confessed to sending approximately 500 hundred nude images and videos of their children to Oquendo. Litzky was charged with violating various federal child-pornography offenses and convicted.

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Clare Grady, Carmen Trotta, and Martha Hennessy are members of the Plowshares Movement, a Roman Catholic protest and activism group opposed to nuclear weapons.  On April 4, 2018, they and others surreptitiously and illegally entered the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Marys, Georgia, to engage in protest of nuclear weapons by engaging in what they referred to as symbolic disarmament.  What they did was more destructive.  They spray painted numerous anti-nuclear and religious messages on the sidewalk and on monuments, poured donated blood from the movement’s members on the door of a building and the sidewalk, hammered on a decommissioned missile display, placed crime scene tape around the base, removed signage and part of a monument, and cut through wiring and fencing to enter a highly secured area and display banners protesting nuclear weapons.

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Charles was arrested by a Dawson County Sheriff’s deputy on an outstanding warrant after he was found inside a car that the deputy had pulled over for speeding. Charles resisted his arrest for over five minutes and the deputy succeeded in subduing Charles with the aid of a civilian bystander and a second deputy.  Charles was convicted of felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer in a Georgia state court.

He sued the two deputies and the civilian in federal court under section 1983 alleging excessive force under Georgia state law and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.  His claim against the civilian was that the deputy and the civilian conspired to violate his right to be free of excessive force.

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Francisco Arcila Ramirez was charged with several federal crimes in connection with selling firearms to the National Liberation Army (ELN), a paramilitary group in Columbia, designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization.  Through a straw purchaser, he acquired AK-style weapons in the Miami, Florida area, then had them smuggled to Colombia where they were delivered to an ELN weapons broker who then arranged delivery to a farmhouse in rural area of Colombia where they were picked up by members of the ELN.  Arcila Ramirez was paid $26,567 in cash for his efforts.   After this transaction, Arcila Ramirez began acquiring large quantities of firearm components to send to Colombia where they could be assembled.  The firearm parts were cheaper to buy, easier to smuggle, and did not require straw purchasers.

When Arcila Ramirez was arrested in the United States, he waived his right to remain silent after receiving a Miranda warning. He admitted using straw purchaser to buy firearms on his behalf and concealing them in air compressors to be smuggled into Colombia.  He admitted the firearms had to be for guerillas or delinquents but said he was not part of or involved with any group.

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Five co-defendants including Matthew Wheeler were charged in federal court with wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§1341 and 1349 for their involvement in a telemarketing scheme to defraud stock investors.  Following an eight-week trial the jury found each defendant guilty on all counts.  However, post-trial, the federal trial judge granted the judgments of acquittal based on insufficient evidence as to two defendants, Wheeler and Long.  The three convicted defendants appealed their convictions while the government appealed the acquittal judgments.

The codefendants were charged with substantive mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.   It alleged that the defendants played various roles in a telemarking scheme that tricked investors into making stock purchases and misappropriated their money while operating out of two phone rooms. Certain codefendants worked as salespeople using an alias.  Others had the role of managers, instructing salespersons on how to pitch a stock.  Others played the role a loaders, who would play the role of high-level executives pushing the buyer to purchase “institutional” shares.  Both phone rooms used and prepared written materials to aid their pitches to investors which contained inaccurate information but also included exaggerations and fabrications.  Using the press releases and scripts, salespeople made false representations to potential investors, stating they were paid only in company stock, did not work for commissions, and that important businesspeople or celebrities were involved in the company they were pitching.

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In protest of police brutality against African Americans, quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the pregame national anthem.  Kaepernick’s kneeling encouraged other athletes around the country to kneel as well.  A year later a group of African American cheerleaders at Kennesaw State University, a public university in Georgia, followed that trend by kneeling in protest during their pre-game national anthem.

In reaction to the cheerleaders’ kneeling, the president of KSU, Samuel Olens, decided to prohibit the cheerleaders from kneeling.  After conferring with Georgia state legislator Earl Ehrhart, the KSU Athletic Director, and the County Sheriff Neil Warren, Olens announced the “tunnel rule”.  The cheerleaders would not be allowed on the field during the anthem but would instead remain in the stadium’s tunnel.  Olens authorized the athletic director to announce the implementation of this new policy.  After the first game that the tunnel rule was enforced, the amount of pressure and protests from students, faculty, the press, and the Board of Regents, forced Olens to announce that the tunnel rule would be abolished, and the cheerleaders would again be permitted to take the field before presentation of the national anthem.

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A deputy from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office pulled over Sosa while driving.  After checking his name in the computer system and finding an outstanding warrant for a David Sosa, Sosa explained that he had been mistakenly arrested four years earlier for the same warrant.  He told the deputy about the differences between himself and the real Sosa who was wanted.  The deputy arrested him anyway, and he spent three days in jail before the sheriff’s office acknowledged he was not the wanted Sosa and released him.

Sosa filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Martin County Sheriff’s Department alleging a violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth amendment rights by falsely arresting him and for detaining him longer than he should have been detained.  He made a claim pursuant to Monell that the Sheriff failed to institute policies and train deputies to prevent these types of things from happening.  The trial court dismissed the case for failure to state a claim.

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Two Miami Police officers were charged and convicted in federal court with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine, for protecting drug couriers, and for possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.  The investigation began with an F.B.I. investigation into police corruption in the Miami Police Department.  Posing as would-be drug dealers, the F.B.I.’s investigation focused on an officer named Anderson, who agreed to cooperate.  The F.B.I. created a reverse sting posing as drug dealers in need of protection for delivering drugs and money.

Wearing a wire, Anderson approached an officer named Schonton who agreed to give protection for the undercover drug dealer.  When Schonton was asked if she knew other law enforcement officers willing to participate, she suggested Kelvin Harris, who become involved in this reverse sting operation designed by the F.B.I.  Harris received money for his assistance from the undercover agent posing as a drug dealer.  The undercover F.B.I. agent told Schonton and Harris that more officers were needed for a bigger job, and the two officers also recruited Miami Police officer Archibald.  The F.B.I. set up an undercover sting that involved transporting 20 kilograms of cocaine that would arrive in Miami. The recruited officers provided protection by providing a police escort to the hotel where the undercover agents transporting the contraband.  All the officers were present when the drugs were unloaded and unpacked at the hotel.  Each paid $4,000.

Archibald and Harris went to trial in federal court.  Archibald claimed he did not know what was going on during the first sting operation.  He also argued he was entrapped then he met the undercover agents who scared him.   Harris testified in his defense claiming that while he realized Schonton and Anderson were involved in illegal conduct, he decided to conduct his own surreptitious but lawful investigation by infiltrating the drug operation.  The jury found Harris guilty on all counts and found Archibald guilty on most counts.

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