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Monthly Archive: May 2009

May 20, 2009

Minnesota Legislature Interprets Federal Law to Allow States to Block Internet Gambling Sites, Raising First Amendment Concerns

A recent order by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, which would block access of residents to a list of gambling websites, has come under criticism for infringing upon First Amendment rights. The State of Minnesota published a seven page list of internet gambling web sites, which it then distributed to Internet Service Providers operating within the state and ordered the ISPs not to provide access to the listed sites. The order to blacklist the websites came on the legislature’s interpretation of a Federal law, stating the law “requires upon notice of a law enforcement agency...

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Posted in: Uncategorized

May 13, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Search of a Vehicle Following an Arrest Must be Reasonably Necessary and Related to the Offense

The Supreme Court of the United States recently overruled a long established precedent, found in New York v. Belton, which allowed police to search the passenger compartment of a vehicle and any containers therein as a contemporaneous incident of a recent occupant’s lawful arrest. In the case of Arizona v. Gant, Gant was stopped for a minor traffic violation. It was discovered by the officer that Gant’s driver’s license had been suspended. A total of five police officers arrived on the scene and subsequently arrested Gant and his two passengers, securing each of them in individual...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes

May 11, 2009

Third Circuit Follows Olhovsky Decision with another Pro-Defense Opinion in Tomko – Ruling a Lenient Sentence Is Not Unreasonable

One day following the Third Circuit’s precedential opinion in U.S. v. Olhovsky, the Court issued an en banc decision in the case of U.S. v. Tomko, again holding that a lenient, below-guidelines sentence is not unreasonable if supported by mitigating circumstances. In Tomko, the Defendant pled guilty to Federal tax evasion charges; stipulating to a tax loss of $228,557 for work performed on his own home but disguised as expenses to his company via false invoices. At sentencing the District Court looked to the sentencing guidelines which called for a prison term of twelve (12) to eighteen...

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Posted in: Federal White Collar Crime

May 5, 2009

Third Circuit Holds Government Contracted Psychologist May Be Subpoenaed To Testify Favorably For Defendant at Sentencing

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. Olhovsky, ruling that the sentence imposed by the District Court upon the Defendant was unreasonable. Nicolau Olhovsky was sentenced to six years imprisonment after pleading guilty to charges of possessing child pornography. In 2004, an undercover law enforcement officer was investigating an Internet Relay Chat channel (“IRC”) in which users would trade pornographic images of children. Olhovsky was identified as one of the IRC’s users. In...

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Posted in: Child Pornography, Internet Crime