California State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of a man said to have owned and operated a so-called revenge porn website. According to the arrest warrant (PDF), the site operated by Kevin Christopher Bollaert published over 10,000 sexually explicit photos. The young women who appeared in these images, some of whom were minors at the time they were taken, were charged up to $350 each to be removed from the site.
California Department of Justice agents arrested Bollaert, 27, in San Diego where he lived. He is in San Diego County jail on $50,000 bail, and has been charged with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion. If he is convicted, penalties may include jail time and fines.
The arrest warrant is well worth a read. It includes the stories of a number of young women who ended up physically exposed and personally identified on the internet against their will. In some cases, private photos made their way online after their accounts were hacked or phones snatched. The women speak about how that violation damaged their lives and destroyed their sense of privacy.
During an in-person interview with two special agents, Bollaert bemoaned the burden of all those emails he was receiving from young women and teens, asking for images to be removed -- a service he charged hundreds of bucks for.
"At the beginning this was like fun and entertaining," he said to the agents, "But now it's ruining my life." At the end of the meeting, the agents served him with search warrants.
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Colton Harris-Moore, the 20-year-old, 6-foot-5 criminal whose hijinks in multiple countries led to internet fame and the "Barefoot Bandit" name, today pleaded guilty to seven criminal charges.
Appearing in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the lanky, 6-foot-5 Camano Island man entered guilty pleas to each of the federal charges. Under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Harris-Moore, 20, also agreed to forfeit any proceeds earned from the sale of his story.
The forfeiture issue had been a sticking point in plea negotiations between federal prosecutors and the defense, according to Harris-Moore's attorney, John Henry Brown. Browne has said that Harris-Moore did not want to profit from his crime spree and intends any proceeds to go toward paying restitution, which Browne said is in the range of $1.5 million.
"Whether the government wants it or not, there will be a movie. There will be more books. And there will be money from them," Browne said earlier this month.
Heh. And what poetry it would be if everyone who wanted to see the movie just stole it online!
More, including court documents, at the Seattle Times.
A remote video surveillance system captured drug smugglers using a catapult to launch packages of pot over the Mexico/US border. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, US National Guard troops coordinated with Mexican authorities to halt the operation.
Video and story at local TV station
KVOA, Tucson, Arizona.
: A Mr Potatohead toy containing 293 grams of ecstasy seized by Australian Customs at a mail center in Sydney, Australia is seen in this undated handout photograph. The parcel was posted from Ireland and sent to a residential address in Sydney's western suburbs. (Reuters/Australian Customs/Handout)
More photographs of weird things seized by customs and law enforcement officials, including drugs and living creatures, below.
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The strange saga of a 32-year-old barefoot and bedreadlocked gentleman named James D'Zilva appears to be at an end.
Wanted in the stabbing of a policeman, he has evaded police for a month by running barefoot through the wilderness, covering 30km (19 miles) a day, traveling with nothing but the clothes on his back. Police say he suffers from schizophrenia, and is off his medication. The constable he is believed to have stabbed survived the attack.
The Age has more here, and reports that he is "suspected of breaking into numerous homes and businesses in the Dandenongs in the past month, escaping with items including clothes, ice cream and chocolate."
We will presume that Mr. D'Zilva does not bathe with soap.
(Via Submitterator, thanks imorgan73)