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26 people arrested in multiagency drug investigation

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation led a seven-month investigation that ultimately resulted in the arrest of 26 people across four counties. Agents from the SBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Asheville Police Department and Haywood County and Henderson County sheriff's offices contributed to the operation. Law enforcement officers in possession of search warrants raided locations throughout Henderson, Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties.

The SBI reported that the investigation had focused on three men, age 34, 43 and 46, whom they viewed as the ringleaders of a large-scale drug distribution organization. The men allegedly oversaw a network of associates who assisted them with selling cocaine in the western half of the state. Authorities have charged the three men with various counts related to operating an ongoing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to traffic controlled substances.

Family homes and divorce settlements

Dividing a home in a divorce can be an emotional experience as it may be a place where an individual raised a family or had happy moments with a spouse. However, it may not always be practical for a person to keep a North Carolina home for financial or other reasons. It is possible to to sell a marital home and split the proceeds with the other spouse.

Individuals considering this option will need to account for possible capital gains taxes and other costs associated with selling an asset. Furthermore, those who are thinking about moving out of their home should think carefully about where they will stay after the sale is finalized. In some cases, divorcing couples may decide to retain joint ownership of a family home. This may be advantageous for parents who want their children to remain in a familiar location until they reach a certain age.

White House proposes collecting DNA from immigrants

A policy change proposed by the Trump administration would allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to collect DNA samples from immigrants taken into custody in North Carolina and around the country. The proposed policy change was announced by a White House representative on Oct. 21 and published in the Federal Register on Oct. 22. If the measure is implemented, the DNA collected from immigrants in custody will be added to a nationwide database compiled and maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Critics of the president were quick to brand the proposal as another attempt by the administration to criminalize immigrant communities, but the White House shot back by pointing out that Congress authorized the collection of DNA from immigrants who enter the United States illegally in 2005. The practice was suspended during the Obama administration by the Department of Homeland Security. An administration representative said that restoring the authority will protect the nation's borders, help police departments to solve cold cases and prevent fraud.

Eight sentenced to federal prison for meth trafficking

On Sept. 27, eight North Carolina residents pleaded guilty to participating in a methamphetamine trafficking ring. All of the defendants have been sentenced to federal prison for their crimes.

According to court documents, the defendants were running a meth ring in Surry County, Atlanta and other areas. A two-year investigation into the ring discovered that the group had distributed between 700 and 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine in Surry County alone. Over the course of the investigation, which was dubbed "Operation Thin Ice," authorities seized an undisclosed quantity of methamphetamine and multiple firearms, including handguns, rifles and shotguns.

DWI arrests on the decline in North Carolina

For decades, law enforcement and safety advocates have been trying to get the word out that drunk driving is a dangerous and potentially deadly choice. Lawmakers continue to tighten laws, and police enforce those laws in an effort to keep the roads safe. These efforts seem to be working since the number of drunk driving arrests has dropped an average of 30% across North Carolina.

However, while lawmakers and others may take some responsibility for this positive trend, much of the credit may belong to technology. It seems that the number of DWI arrests began to decline shortly after ride-sharing services came to the state.

USCIS denying more skilled worker visas

The rate of denials for H1-B visas has been on the rise since the beginning of the Trump administration. The number of denials rose to 32% during the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year from just 6% during the 2015 fiscal year. North Carolina employers that are pursuing H1-B visas might be interested in the details of some government documents that shed light on the reasons for the increase in the number of denials.

The documents show that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is making an effort to reduce the number of skilled workers from foreign countries performing jobs in the United States. The government documents were made public by the American Immigration Lawyers Association after it settled a lawsuit brought under the Freedom of Information Act. Based on the evidence contained in the documents, it seems USCIS has raised the burden on U.S. companies to bring in foreign nationals for highly-skilled work. This is especially true for companies in technology fields like computer programming.

Influence of gender and economic stress on marital satisfaction

University researchers have uncovered new insights about the factors that influence marital satisfaction. According to their survey results, married couples in North Carolina and elsewhere could experience differences in marital contentment based on their gender, initial feelings about the marriage and economic status.

Information collected from 431 couples between 2009 and 2014 indicated that people's initial happiness with marriage typically set them up for long-term satisfaction. Couples that started with high to moderate marital happiness largely maintained stable relationships. Couples that expressed low satisfaction initially tended to experience increasing feelings of dissatisfaction over time. Among people who had low satisfaction at the start of their marriage, women reported feeling the greatest decline in satisfaction. Men in the same group, however, responded that their satisfaction stabilized as time went by.

White House seeks indefinite detention for migrant families

North Carolina residents who have been following the ongoing legal battles over some of the Trump administration's more controversial immigration policies will likely not be surprised to learn that another court case is brewing. A proposed rule change published in the Federal Register on Aug. 23 would allow immigrant families to be detained indefinitely while their applications for asylum are being processed. They are currently detained for no more than 20 days.

The president's political opponents say the proposed rule change and several of the administration's other recent immigration directives are an attempt to bypass Congress and undermine decades of federal immigration law, and the move is almost certainly going to be challenged in the courts by civil rights groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union. Mexico's Secretariat of Foreign Affairs has also voiced objections to the policy and is said to be mulling legal action.

Thirteen states sue over Trump's new immigration rule

North Carolina readers might be interested to learn that 13 states have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's controversial new "public charge" rule, which denies green cards to immigrants who receive certain government benefits. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington on Aug. 14.

Do you know the difference between jail and prison?

When accused of a crime, many people immediately begin to think about the possible consequences that could result from a conviction. If you are currently facing criminal charges, you may worry about fines and going to jail. Or prison. What's the difference?

Though it is common for people to use "jail" and "prison" as if they are the same term, the two words do have different meanings. As your case proceeds, understanding the difference between going to jail and going to prison may be useful to you.

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Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-794-6138
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