SEARCH-MEN RUN OFF
2 men held after running from I-10 traffic stop
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) - Law enforcement officers have apprehended two men who ran into the desert near Casa Grande Thursday morning after the Highway Patrol stopped their car on Interstate 10.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Raul Garcia says the men were taken into custody at a dairy farm several miles from I-10 after officers from several agencies set up a perimeter.
Garcia says circumstances of the incident raise the possibility that the men were involved with drug smuggling.
According to Garcia, weapons and a large quantity of marijuana were found in the car.
Garcia said he didn't have details about the weapons but news video shot from a helicopter showed two handguns on the roof of a car being searched.
Metal grinder ignites gunpowder in home; 2 hurt
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Two people were hurt when their Mesa home was destroyed by a fire that began when sparks from a metal grinder ignited gunpowder stored in a workshop in the home.
The man who had used the grinder was hospitalized for burns while his wife was being treated for smoke inhalation and lacerations.
Mesa fire spokesman Forrest Smith says the fire occurred late Wednesday night. Smith says the man had been grinding down a screwdriver in the home's shop area where gun powder was stored.
An adult son of the couple was able to get his parents out of the home before firefighters arrived.
ARIZONA SHERIFF-RACIAL PROFILING
Arpaio's office schedules community meetings
PHOENIX (AP) - The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will hold a series of community meetings on Dec. 21 in connection with a court case in which the agency was found to have systematically racially profiled Latinos during its patrols.
The meetings were ordered by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow in what the judge said was an effort to rebuild public confidence in the agency.
Snow ruled in late May that the agency systematically singled out Latinos in its regular traffic and special immigration patrols. Snow later ordered the appointment of an independent monitor to ensure that the agency isn't making unconstitutional arrests.
The agency says it's not yet known whether Sheriff Joe Arpaio will attend the meetings in Sun Lakes, Avondale, Sun City, Cave Creek, Queen Creek, Fountain Hills and Mesa.
FRAUD-POWER OF ATTORNEY
Woman accused of using power of attorney for fraud
PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - A Prescott-area woman faces on theft and other charges accusing her of misusing a power of attorney to defraud a 74-year-old woman with dementia and sell the home and other possessions of the victim.
Prescott police say 61-year-old Deborah Verna is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the victim, who was approximately $20,000 behind on payments to her care facility.
Police say Verna sold the victim's home at a price well below market value to a relative of Verna and signed the victim's vehicle over to herself.
According to police, most of the victim's possessions were sold but others were found at Verna's home during a search.
Verna was arrested Monday and is being held in lieu of $750,000 bond. It's not immediately known whether she has a lawyer.
Appeals court upholds ruling for Neb. railroad
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court decision that said U.S. border officials exceeded their authority by imposing multimillion-dollar fines against Union Pacific Corp. for failing to discover illegal drugs in railcars that crossed into the country from Mexico.
A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials were wrong to impose nearly $38 million in fines and to seize railroad equipment.
The government had argued that the Tariff Act of 1930 allowed the fines. But the appeals court said the act does not authorize penalties for drugs found on railcars Union Pacific "neither owns nor controls."
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