Former NFL Player Accused of Operating International Drug Trafficking Ring

Former NFL player and current Scottsdale resident Derek Loville has been accused of operating in an international drug trafficking ring.

According to court documents, Lovelle was in a federal grand-jury indictment that includes charges of:

  • Racketeering conspiracy
  • Drug trafficking
  • Illegal gambling
  • Money laundering

Led by Owen Hanson, a former athlete from USC, the operation went by the name of “ODOG”, which made fake companies to cover up illegal gambling and drug trafficking.

Along with other crimes, Hanson and others threatened someone to pay them a $2.5 million debt, according to the indictment.

The threat included a delivered package containing photos of the customer’s spouse and family. Allegedly, they also sent an email titled “Operation Shovel”. In the email, it contained a photo of the customer’s gravestone, implying they would die soon.

Later, “ODOG” sent a DVD showing a masked person beheading two men with a chainsaw and a knife. The DVD had a message that said “If you don’t pay us our money, this will happen to you.”

According to authorities, Loville sold illegal narcotics to someone in Phoenix for “ODOG”. Then, two days later, Loville transferred $1,150 to Hanson.

On January 13 the U.S District of Southern California issued a warrant for Lovell’s arrest. Loville then made his appearance in court on January 27 and then was released.

With more court dates to come, we will soon find out if Loville was a part of “ODOG” and whether he distributed drugs for Hanson.

Arizona Representative Aims to Change Photo Radar Requirements

Imagine getting a photo radar ticket for something you didn’t do. Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff is proposing a bill (HB 2366) that would do just that.

With this new bill, it would end the requirement for photo radar tickets to have a picture of the vehicle’s driver. The only thing the government would need is a picture of the license plate.

On its face, the bill’s main purpose is to put photo radar cameras on school buses. With a camera attached to a bus, Arizona law enforcement hopes it will be be able to catch drivers who don’t stop for school buses.

Under Arizona law, motorists must stop when a school bus has its flashing lights on and a stop sign extended. Anyone who violates this law must pay a $250 fine. If the violation occurs three times within a 36-month period, motorists can lose their license for at least six months.

If the bill is approved, however, the photo radar law will affect more than just school buses. Car owners will no longer be able to prove who was driving their vehicle. When a photo radar camera takes a picture of the license plate and not the driver, car owners will have two options; pay the ticket or provide the name of who was driving the vehicle.

Since it’s entirely plausible that a family member, friend or mechanic could drive someone else’s car from time to time, the threat of overreaching and unfair photo radar ticketing becomes a concern. If for some reason, the car exceeds the speed limit, the government won’t know who’s behind the wheel. The car owner will then receive the ticket and face the penalty unless they can provide another name.

As this new bill makes it way through the legislature, it’s clear it is more about making a profit than safety. Every year, photo radar companies and the government look to maximize their revenue from photo radar tickets.

As the process for prosecuting photo radar tickets continues to change, Corso Law Group is one of the few firms in Arizona that specializes in photo radar defense and understands how to fight them. Should you have questions about photo radar or any other moving violation, please contact us for a free consultation or call (480) 471-4616.

The True Cost of a Speeding Ticket

Have you ever received a speeding ticket? Did you wonder where the money went after you paid the ticket? Most likely you and many others in Arizona contributed tens of millions to government programs through unnecessary citation costs.

Instead of local and state taxes contributing to government programs, Arizona legislation has shifted the burden to those who have committed a crime.

Over the last two decades, Arizona’s state-mandated surcharges went from 56 percent to 83 percent, according to the Arizona Republic.

When you pay the state $95 for a speeding ticket, you’ll also be required to pay for programs and flat fees that could raise the price to as much as $243.

Because of these surcharges you’ll be paying:

  • $95 for the ticket
  • $79 for state programs
  • $13 for police training
  • $2 for a victim’s rights fund
  • $7 court-restitution fund
  • $27 for court technology
  • $20 for the county probation department.

Penalizing drivers with additional costs and surcharges should not be practiced by the state of Arizona. Government-run programs should receive their funding from taxpayers, without drivers picking up the remainder of the tab.

Along with the financial consequences, there also can be a personal impact from a criminal speeding ticket. In Arizona, a criminal speeding ticket is a class 3 misdemeanor. If you’re found guilty, every time you’re asked if you have a criminal record, you’ll have to answer “yes”.

At Corso Law Group, we understand the consequences and the true costs of a speeding ticket. If you are charged with speeding, the lawyers at Corso Law Group will fight for you and obtain the best possible outcome.

Click for a free consultation or call (480) 471-4616.

Former Prosecutor Disbarred After Presenting False Testimony in Death Row Case

Texas remains third on the list of states with the highest number of death row inmates. But in 2015, new death sentences reached their lowest point since 1976. This was the year that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Texas’ revised death penalty statute. However, prosecutors are still fighting for unfair death-row sentences in a completely illegal manner. One recent case of false testimony illustrates this.

Anthony Graves was sentenced to death in 1994 for the murder of six people. He spent 18 years in prison, with 12 of those years on death row. But Graves wasn’t guilty and he wasn’t the right person to be sentenced to death.

Although Graves conviction was overturned in 2006, he wasn’t exonerated till 2010. Several pieces of evidence lead to his exoneration.

The prosecutor in Graves’ case, Charles Sebesta “failed to provide several items of exculpatory evidence to the defense during Graves’ trial, presented false testimony to the jury, made a false statement of material fact to the trial judge and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

Recently, the State Bar of Texas made the decision to disbar Sebesta. But yet, disbarring Sebesta can only go so far as to right the wrongs of Sebesta.

Corso Law Group knows the facts about death row sentences. They know why cases with certain evidence should be not be legal in the first place. In Graves’ case, the prosecution presented evidence that should have never been accepted.

Our firm seeks to fix this problem. It’s the main reason our criminal defense attorneys always fight for our client’s rights.

For life-altering, difficult situations, an experienced, aggressive defense attorney is crucial. Having a criminal defense attorney who also has prior prosecutorial experience is an advantage.

Our firm knows how prosecutors operate and we fight to defend your rights.

Graves experienced unimaginable suffering. He served 18 years in prison, thinking he was going to be executed for a crime he didn’t even commit.

Corso Law Group operates in a different way. Our focus is to help the person, not just the client.

Phoenix Officials Pushing for Body Cameras for All Patrol Officers

Body cameras for all Phoenix police officers might be on their way. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Thelda Williams have asked for all patrol officers to wear body cameras in the next three years.

However, this request comes with an expensive price tag. Last year, Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner said equipping police officers with body cameras would cost more than $3.5 million.

Despite the high price, Stanton and Williams are asking for the proposal to move forward due to the camera’s success in the Maryvale precinct.

In a memo to City Manager Ed Zuercher, Williams and Stanton said:

“In the areas where cameras were used, Phoenix saw significant drops in complaints against officers, more effective processing of cases in court and improved evidence in the prosecution of domestic-violence cases.”

If the proposal passes, behavior among police officers might improve. With the potential to make police officers more trustworthy and transparent, body cameras seem ideal. The body cameras seem a natural fit in the courtroom as well. In court, it’s usually the police officer’s word versus the defendant’s testimony. With body cameras on every officer, cases could change for defendants in the Valley. By using video evidence, cases will become clearer since video footage will be available for review.

Putting body cameras on all police officers could move Phoenix toward a new generation of policing by building trust between the officers and the communities they serve.

Avvo Interviews Corso Law Group Founder on Martin Shkreli Case

Martin Shkreli is one of the most talked about men in America right now. In his recent appearance before a congressional committee, Shrekli pleaded the fifth when asked questions about highly increased drug prices.

Christopher Corso, founder of Corso Law Group weighed in on the national controversy and if Martin Shkreli had the right to plead the Fifth in such a serious case.

Does the Fifth Amendment even apply in this situation?

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from self-incrimination, stating that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” As Shrkeli’s hearing was not a matter of criminal inquiry, was his taking the Fifth an appropriate response?

“[The Fifth Amendment] covers any statement that would tend to give rise to criminal liability on the speaker’s part,” says criminal defense lawyer Christopher Corso, founder of Corso Law Group. “Mr. Shkreli fully had the right to plead the Fifth.” The hearing was more about the ethical than the criminal implications of Shkreli’s actions, but Corso says it comes down to who’s making the determination about what was and was not legal.

“Until you’re with attorneys, you may be [unwittingly] adding information,” cautions Corso, “Answers that may perhaps—even in a miniscule way—open yourself up to criminal liability is a problem. Therefore, he is able to plead the Fifth.”

Did Congress intentionally try to make Shkreli look bad?

Bottom line: No matter what you think of Shkreli, he was not improperly invoking his constitutional rights. “As somebody that advocates for the constitution,” says Corso, “I would say no, the 5th Amendment was not abused.”

Read the full article here: http://stories.avvo.com/rights/did-martin-shkreli-have-the-right-to-plead-the-fifth.html