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Priority Crimes Task Force Charges Four After Counterfeit Credit Card Search Warrant

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A man and a woman face a total of 84 criminal charges related to stolen and counterfeit credit cards after a Priority Crimes Task Force investigation that began in early March and culminated in a search warrant at a Sylvan Lake residence where RCMP seized credit card counterfeiting items and stolen credit cards. The investigation and search warrant were executed collaboratively by Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP.
 
Shortly before 9:30 am on March 16, RCMP executed the search warrant at a residence on Sylvan Drive and took four people into custody without incident. During the search, RCMP seized a number of stolen credit cards, cheques, identity documents, what is believed to be methamphetamine, and a shotgun. With regard to the counterfeit investigation, RCMP seized numerous electronics and items consistent with counterfeit and forgery activities, including a credit card embossing machine and a card printer.
 
RCMP then spent many more hours investigating the origin of the items seized to determine which were stolen and which may be forgeries in order to lay the appropriate charges. A number of the credit cards and identity documents had been stolen after they were left in vehicles that were subsequently broken into, in central Alberta and beyond.
 
42 year old James Johnstone Jardine was wanted on six outstanding warrants for fraud under $5,000 at the time of his arrest and now faces 43 further charges:
·         Criminal Code 342.01 – Possession of instrument used for forging credit cards X 3
·         Criminal Code 342(1)(b) – Forgery of credit card
·         Criminal Code 366(1)(a) – Forgery X 7
·         Criminal Code 91(1) – Unauthorized possession of a firearm
·         Criminal Code 86(1) – Careless use of a firearm
·         Criminal Code 355(b) – Possession of stolen property under $5,000 X 28
·         Criminal Code 733.1(1) – Fail to comply with probation X 2
Jardine is scheduled to appear in court in Red Deer on September 18 at 9:30 am.
 
46 year old Rachel Jean Meyerink was wanted on an outstanding warrant at the time of her arrest and faces the following 41 additional charges:
·         Criminal Code 342.01 – Possession of instrument used for forging credit cards X 3
·         Criminal Code 342(1)(b) – Forgery of credit card
·         Criminal Code 366(1)(a) – Forgery X 7
·         Criminal Code 91(1) – Unauthorized possession of a firearm
·         Criminal Code 86(1) – Careless use of a firearm
·         Criminal Code 355(b) – Possession of stolen property under $5,000 X 28
Meyerink is scheduled to appear in court in Red Deer on September 18 at 9:30 am.
 
44 year old Chance Tosh Murananka faces the following charges:
·         CDSA 4(1) – Possession of Schedule I substance (methamphetamine)
·         Criminal Code 145(3) – Fail to comply with conditions
Chance Muranka is scheduled to appear in court in Red Deer on August 1 at 9:30 am.
 
41 year old Travis Jeremy Murananka has already appeared in court and been sentenced on the following charges:
·         Criminal Code 355(b) – Possession of stolen property under $5,000
·         Criminal Code 145(3) – Fail to comply with conditions
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Crime

Author Salman Rushdie attacked on lecture stage in New York

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CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked and apparently stabbed in the neck Friday by a man who rushed the stage as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and punch or stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The 75-year-old author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was arrested.

State police said Rushdie was apparently stabbed in the neck and was flown to a hospital. His condition wasn’t immediately known. The moderator at the event was also attacked and suffered a minor head injury, police said.

Rabbi Charles Savenor was among the roughly 2,500 people in the audience. Amid gasps, spectators were ushered out of the outdoor amphitheater.

The assailant ran onto the platform “and started pounding on Mr. Rushdie. At first you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten,” Savenor said. He said the attack lasted about 20 seconds.

Another spectator, Kathleen Jones, said the attacker was dressed in black, with a black mask.

“We thought perhaps it was part of a stunt to show that there’s still a lot of controversy around this author. But it became evident in a few seconds” that it wasn’t, she said.

A bloodied Rushdie was quickly surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest.

Rushdie has been a prominent spokesman for free expression and liberal causes. He is a former president of PEN America, which said it was “reeling from shock and horror” at the attack.

“We can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil,” CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement.

Rushdie “has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered,” she added.

His 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” was viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims. Often-violent protests against Rushdie erupted around the world, including a riot that killed 12 people in Mumbai.

The novel was banned in Iran, where the late leader Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death. Khomeini died that same year.

Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has never issued a fatwa of his own withdrawing the edict, though Iran in recent years hasn’t focused on the writer.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday’s attack.

A bounty of over $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.

The death threats and bounty led Rushdie to go into hiding under a British government protection program, which included a round-the-clock armed guard. Rushdie emerged after nine years of seclusion and cautiously resumed more public appearances, maintaining his outspoken criticism of religious extremism overall.

He has said he is proud of his fight for freedom of expression, saying in a 2012 talk in New York that terrorism is really the art of fear.

“The only way you can defeat it is by deciding not to be afraid,” he said.

Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment has lingered. The Index on Censorship, an organization promoting free expression, said money was raised to boost the reward for his killing as recently as 2016, underscoring that the fatwa for his death still stands.

In 2012, Rushdie published a memoir, “Joseph Anton,” about the fatwa. The title came from the pseudonym Rushdie had used while in hiding.

Rushdie rose to prominence with his Booker Prize-winning 1981 novel “Midnight’s Children,” but his name became known around the world after “The Satanic Verses.”

The Chautauqua Institution, about 55 miles southwest of Buffalo in a rural corner of New York, has served for more than a century as a place for reflection and spiritual guidance. Visitors don’t pass through metal detectors or undergo bag checks. Most people leave the doors to their century-old cottages unlocked at night.

Police said a state trooper was assigned to Rushdie’s lecture.

The Chautauqua center is known for its summertime lecture series, where Rushdie has spoken before. Speakers address a different topic each week. Rushdie and moderator Henry Reese were set to discuss “the United States as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression.”

___

Associated Press writers Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, New York; Michael Hill in Albany, New York; and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

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Crime

Wanted man cut through fence to cross U.S. border with children: Border Patrol

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United States Border Patrol says a convicted Canadian sex offender drove through a barbed wire fence to cross the intentional border with two children and their mother.

U.S. border patrol says agents found a cut fence near the Turner Port of Entry between Saskatchewan and Montana.

Mounties in Saskatchewan issued an Amber Alert for the boy and girl Monday and it was extended into South Dakota Wednesday.

Benjamin Martin Moore, who is 50, was taken into custody in South Dakota soon after.

The seven-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy, as well as their mother, were with Moore.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirm that Moore, as well as the mother, remain in custody.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2022.

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