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U.S. authorities reportedly detained a record 1.7 million-plus illegal migrants at the southern U.S. border in fiscal 2021.

The number was first reported Wednesday by The Washington Post, based on unpublished Customs and Border Patrol data. 

The CBP is expected to release the final fiscal 2021 data later this week. 

A flood of illegal migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border began soon after President Biden took office in January and remains high. The administration argued the early surge was consistent with historical seasonal trends. However, the report shows the high numbers continued through the sweltering summer months.

As Biden’s poll numbers fall, his handling of the crisis at the border remains his least popular issue. Along with the rest of the Democratic party’s field of presidential candidates, back in 2020 Biden promised to make the United States more welcoming to immigrants. 

Quickly after landing in the Oval Office, Biden stopped construction on the border wall and ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy that had limited illegal border crossings during the Trump administration. Biden also announced a 100-day pause on most deportations. 

Earlier this year, Biden assigned Vice President Kamala Harris to address the “root causes” of increased migration from the Northern Triangle nations – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. But the diplomatic mission appears to have resulted in no significant reductions, and Harris appears to have distance herself, at least publicly, from the issue. 

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Mexican nationals were the single largest group of illegal immigrants into the U.S. in fiscal 2021, with the Border Patrol arresting more than 608,000. That figure places the administration in a challenging position as it relies on Mexico to be responsible for blocking caravan groups heading north toward the U.S. border.

The CBP categories the second-largest group as “other,” which includes Brazilians, Cubans, Ecuadorians, Haitians, Venezuelans and illegal migrants from dozens of other nations. The combined group accounted for 367,000 arrests. That figure was followed by the number of Hondurans who were arrested (309,000), and then Guatemalans (279,000), and then El Salvadorians (96,000.)

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Crime

Police Officer Terminated After Allegedly Shooting Man In Wheelchair

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Tucson, Arizona police officer, Ryan Remington, has been terminated after fatally shooting a man who was sitting in a mobility scooter.

On Tuesday, released bodycam and surveillance recordings showed 61 year-old Richard Lee Richard get shot nine times. Richards had allegedly stolen a toolbox from Walmart.

The officer and a store associate followed Richards through a parking lot as he was in the wheelchair.

Remington requested to see Richards’s receipts. Instead the man displayed a knife and traveled towards another store.

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“If you want me to put the knife down, you’re going to have to shoot me,” a worker stated that Richard’s said.

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Rioter who bragged she wouldn’t go to jail gets prison term

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A real estate agent from suburban Dallas who flaunted her participation in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol on social media and later bragged she wasn’t going to jail because she is white, has blond hair and a good job was sentenced on Thursday to two months behind bars.

While some rioters sentenced for the same misdemeanor conviction have received only probation or home confinement, prosecutors sought incarceration for Jennifer Leigh Ryan of Frisco, Texas, saying she has shown a lack of candor and remorse for her actions when the pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol building and delayed Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

They also said Ryan’s belief that she’s shielded from punishment shows she doesn’t grasp the seriousness of her crime.

Ryan wasn’t facing a felony for more serious conduct, but U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper said she was still among the mob who overnumbered police in an attack that led to the deaths of five people and will have a lasting effect on government institutions.

Though Ryan said she was sorry for her actions, Cooper questioned whether she is remorseful and has respect for the law.

“Your actions since Jan. 6 make me doubt some of those things,” the judge said.

Prosecutors said Ryan traveled to Washington on a jet chartered by a Facebook friend, described Trump’s rally before the riot as a prelude to war, livestreamed her entry into the building as alarms sounded, participated in chants of “Fight For Trump,” tweeted a photo of herself next to broken windows outside the Capitol and later said she deserved a medal for what she did.

Her lawyer responded that she was in the building for only two minutes, didn’t act violently and has a First Amendment right to speak up on social media.

The judge then referred to Ryan’s March 26 tweet in which she wrote, “Definitely not going to jail. Sorry I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I’m not going to jail. Sorry to rain on your hater parade. I did nothing wrong.”

In a letter to the judge, Ryan denied believing she was immune to punishment, saying she was responding to people who made fun of her appearance and called for her to be imprisoned. She said her attorney told her at the time that prosecutors would be recommending a sentence of probation.

“I was attacked and I was answering them,” Ryan said in court.

She is the 10th person charged in the Jan. 6 attack to get a jail or prison sentence. More than 650 people have been charged for their actions at the Capitol.

Prosecutors said Ryan has since downplayed the violence at the Capitol and falsely claimed to probation authorities that she didn’t know there was a riot until she came to the Capitol, even though she had recorded herself in a hotel room watching news coverage of rioters climbing the walls of the Capitol.

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After the riot, Ryan said she faced a backlash that included death threats, public heckling and graffiti painted on her real estate signs. She said she had to change her name and disguise herself in public.

Ryan tweeted a photo of herself next to broken windows and holding her fingers in a V sign, with a caption saying, “Window at The capital. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next…”

Shortly afterward, Ryan posted another tweet about a crowd damaging equipment belonging to news organizations, including The Associated Press. She tweeted it was a “cool moment” when rioters “went to town on the AP equipment.”

Ryan is expected to start serving her sentence in January.

Also on Thursday, a Maryland woman who joined the mob’s attack was sentenced to three years of probation, including two months of home detention.

Brittiany Angelina Dillon said her actions at the Capitol were “inexcusable and unacceptable.” She referred to Jan. 6 as the worst day of her life.

“I never want to step foot in Washington, D.C., again, and I love that city,” she said. “Ï don’t want to think about that day. It’s horrible.”

Judge Dabney Friedrich said text messages show Dillon clearly anticipated violence when she went to Washington on Jan. 6 and seemed intent on doing her part to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.

The judge said she was troubled by statements that Dillon made before and after the riot, including her reference to law enforcement officers as “devils.”

“The attack she participated in was an attack on our institutions of government, the rule of law and our democratic process,” Friedrich said.

According to prosecutors, Dillon pushed through a crowd of rioters to approach an entrance to the Capitol but was pushed back before she could make it beyond the building’s threshold.

She wasn’t accused of engaging in any violence or property damage. Dillion pleaded guilty in July to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in a Capitol building. _____ Billeaud reported from Phoenix and Kunzelman from College Park, Maryland.

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81-year-old pharmacist charged with trading deadly drugs to addicted customers for sex

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An 81-year-old pharmacist in Pennsylvania has been arrested and charged with trading pain medication for sexual favors from customers.

The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a Nov. 1 statement that Martin Brian was arrested and charged with distributing drugs from his pharmacy in Media, Penn., in return for sex from addicted customers who had no prescriptions.

Brian was charged with “multiple counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance to a drug-dependent person, the dispensing of a controlled substance in a manner inconsistent with the rules of the medical profession, the criminal use of a communication facility, and sexual extortion,” according to the District Attorney’s office.

Jack Stollsteimer, Delaware County District Attorney, said:

He was giving out those drugs to people who did not need them, people who were addicted to them, just so he could get what he wanted from them, which was sexual gratification.

The investigation was launched in April when police were notified about two people who were passed out inside a car parked behind the Murray-Overhill Pharmacy on State Street.

As the cops identified the occupants, a woman came out of the back of the pharmacy. Seeing the officers, she went back inside. Brian then came out of the store.

The cops questioned the two and became suspicious when their statements contradicted each other.

They then seized the woman’s mobile phone, where they found messages sent by the pharmacist instructing her on how to reply to police questions.

An investigation into the pharmacy was opened. An audit of its records determined there were large amounts of missing medications that had not been properly accounted for.

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The analysis found the pharmacy run by Brian was the biggest purchaser in the local ZIP code of highly addictive drugs, such as oxycodone, Xanax and the deadly substance fentanyl between 2016 and 2021.

Investigators also found around $50,000 in cash in a drawer inside the store.

The woman previously questioned later confessed to police she had been exchanging sexual favors in return for drugs from Brian on a weekly basis.

Police were then able to identify a second woman, who told the officers the same story.

The second woman told authorities she received oxycodone from the pharmacist in exchange for sex. She then resold it to buy heroin.

Stollsteimer said: “What’s going on with fentanyl is destroying families all across Delaware County as we speak.”

Brian was not in custody during the investigation but handed himself in to authorities on Nov. 1. His bail bond was set at $250,000.

Thomas Hodnett, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division, called the allegations against Brian “repulsive.” He said they “demonstrate Brian’s total disregard for his legal and ethical responsibilities as a pharmacist.”

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 17 before Magisterial District Judge Walter A. Strohl.

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