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Feds: Area Tech Firm's Employee Expensed Online Strippers and a Personal Sexual Device

Categories: Crime

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Image via YouTube
An employee of World Wide Technology, Inc., a Maryland Heights-based IT firm, was indicted in federal court here last week for secretly using his company credit card to shower online strippers with tips and gifts, and to buy himself a "sexual device" made by Fleshlight, a brand of male masturbation tools.

John David Berrett of Gilbert, Arizona, started working at WWT in 2004. His job was meet with clients both in the U.S. and abroad to offer training and support.

Berrett would submit expense reports to WWT detailing what he'd bought with his company credit card -- stuff like training materials and computer cables.

But in reality, prosecutors allege, Berrett was using the money for other things.

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North St. Louis Aldermen React to Emotional Viral Video of Jeffrey Boyd Denouncing Violence

Categories: Crime, Politics

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Image via
A still from Alderman Jeffrey Boyd's angry impromptu speech against street violence
First of all, you've got to watch this video (if you haven't already). It's Alderman Jeffrey Boyd of the 22nd Ward. He has just learned his 23-year-old nephew, Rashad Farmer, has been murdered on the street at Lotus and Goodfellow. So he agrees to an interview with KMOV (Channel 4).

KMOV only ended up using a snippet in their newscast, but weeknight news anchor Steve Savard seemed to know he had something extraordinary in this hands. He put the entire thing on Facebook on Thursday afternoon. Since then, the video has gone stratospheric, garnering more than 1.5 million views.

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How a Bungled Police Investigation Led to a Possible Rape Victim's Shaming

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Photo Courtesy of Flickr/KOMU News
Brittany Burke called Jefferson City Police Department because she feared she'd been assaulted. Things only got worse from there.

One sexual-assault kit. Clothing — underwear, dress pants, sport jacket, white shirt and shoes. Four vials of blood. One container of urine. Photos of bruises and abrasions on the woman's body. Dried secretions, soil and debris, suspected semen and saliva. Matted hair cuttings. The Jefferson City Police Department gathered all these things from a young woman named Brittany Burke after she called them to report a possible sexual assault on April 9.

She had been in a blackout, and wasn't sure what had happened, but a three-hour invasive exam by a sexual-assault nurse examiner found vaginal abrasions consistent with assault. The nurse also noted on her report that suspected semen was present.

Under Missouri law, because the victim was blacked out, she was unable to consent. Under Missouri law, it seemed likely that a crime had occurred.

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Anal-Retentive Drug Smuggler Hides Booty Stash for Three Days

Categories: Crime

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Flickr via Alex-501
Prison is a dehumanizing and achingly boring place to be, and so it's no surprise some inmates turn to drugs to get through those long years. Getting those drugs inside the slammer? Well, that's a whole other story.

In the case of Anthony Johnson, a 25-year-old inmate in the Federal Correctional Institution in Greenville, Illinois, that story involves a remarkable commitment to not pooping.

According to a press release, Johnson pleaded guilty on Monday to a drug possession charge stemming from a September 28, 2014, incident in a visiting room. A guard witnessed Johnson swallow an unknown object, prompting prison officials to throw him in a cell without a toilet, "so that his bowel movements could be monitored."

We'll let the press release take it from here:

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The Circuit Attorney's Sentencing Memos Are Going Online -- Facebook Photos and All

Categories: Crime

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Image via
Terry Swopes, a convicted felon, poses for Facebook.
This is Terry Swopes. A few months ago, a city jury convicted him of unlawful possession of a firearm -- four counts, all felonies.

How long should he spend behind bars? That was up to the judge. To help the judge decide, the Circuit Attorney's Office filed a sentencing memorandum with some details on the "defendant's character" -- in this case, writing that Swopes was a "documented member of the Arlington Mob Gang" with "numerous gang tattoos" who is known to hold up "gang signs."

Top secret intelligence? Not really. Swopes posted all that himself on Facebook.

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Lawrence Branam, Pervy Laser Hair Removal Clinic Owner, to Be Sentenced Today (w/Update)

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Courtesy of the St. Peters Police Department
Lawrence Branam
UPDATE: Branam was sentenced to a lengthy prison term on June 3. See details below.

Original story follows ...

The owner of a now-shuttered laser hair removal clinic in St. Peters will be sentenced today on four counts of deviate sexual assault following complaints he touched as many as eight customers inappropriately -- and a jury's guilty verdict in January.

Lawrence Branam, 51, was accused by customers at his clinic, Cosmetic Laser Center, of touching them inappropriately, and in some cases even penetrating them with his fingers. Following an investigation by the St. Peters Police Department, he was indicted first in June 2012 and then again on additional counts in March 2013.

See also: Eight Women Accuse Cosmetic Laser Center Owner of Sexual Assault

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Ex-Coroner Facing Charges for Smoking Meth Inside Hearse

Categories: Crime

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Flickr via That Hartford Guy
Claire Fisher approves.

We may have jokingly dubbed a swath of southeast Missouri "Meth-o-potamia" for its plentiful tweakers, but it's western Missouri's Ray County, just an hour's drive from Kansas City, that's making a strong push to claim that title for itself.

That's thanks to Toby Polley -- funeral home operator and, up until early March, Ray County's elected coroner.

It was February 24, nearly midnight, when Polley was allegedly spotted smoking meth in a white hearse in the parking lot of Argosy Casino. Security guards told Riverside Police that a surveillance camera had spotted "a male sitting in a white hearse, smoking a white substance out of a glass pipe," reported Fox4KC.

When an officer arrived to investigate, Polley identified himself as the Ray County Coroner. In fact, Polley said he'd just dropped off a body. But, in a move that likely confirmed he was high off his goddamn gourd, Polley then asked the officer if he would like to see a "suit of armor" he'd bought at Marshall's.

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Bedsheet Thief Tases Loss Prevention Officer at JC Penny's

Categories: Crime

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Courtesy of the St. Peters Police Department
Police say this surveillance photo shows a woman accused of tasing a loss prevention officer at the Mid-Rivers Mall.
Update: The bedsheet thief has been busted! See our update at the end of this post.

Original post follows ....

A twenty-something blonde at the Mid-Rivers Mall was not letting anything come between her and her 800-thread count bedsheets.

St. Peters Police say the would-be shoplifter fended off a loss prevention officer at JC Penny's ... by zapping her with a Taser.

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Surprisingly Polite Gunman Says "I'm Sorry, My Bad" After Shooting at Motorist

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Paramount Pictures
It was like this, only he said he was sorry. So it's OK, right?
We all make mistakes.

We cheat on math tests, text our exes "hey" at 3 a.m. and leave dog poop on our neighbors' yards. Those mistakes are understandable and, we hope, forgivable. But that's not the case with Michael V. Pona II, of Ballwin, who allegedly tried apologizing to the driver of a car he'd just fired on during a seemingly random shooting spree.

It all started around 1:30 p.m. Monday, when police began receiving reports of gunshots near Manchester and Holloway roads. Pona, 34, was behind the wheel of a black Cadillac Escalade, traveling east, when he allegedly opened fire on at least two vehicles before crashing his own car and attempting (unsuccessfully) to make an aquatic escape via creek.

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Fourth Local Church Reports Theft of "Black Lives Matter" Sign

Categories: Crime

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Courtesy Bob Molsberry
The stolen sign.

A fourth church in the St. Louis area is reporting that its "Black Lives Matter" sign has been stolen. Reverend Bob Molsberry of Peace United Church of Christ in Webster Groves says the 2-foot-by-3-foot vinyl sign had been hanging outside the church since the winter, only to suddenly disappear this week.

"I'm almost thinking it's not local in our Webster Groves area just because it was up for so long," he says. "It didn't seem to be a matter of controversy."

The theft in Webster Groves is the latest in a series targeting the signs, whose slogan has been used at many protests around the country in the effort to combat police brutality against people of color.

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