Canine has a nose for cocaine
A canine trained to detect narcotics led border patrol agents at the World Trade Bridge near Laredo, Tex., to a commercial shipment of paper towels that contained 424 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $3.3 million, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
One-fifth still use tobacco products
About 20% of the U.S. adult population continued to use some form of tobacco product in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. About 42 million adults—or 87% of those who used tobacco—reported they used a combustible product such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes (including hookahs and water pipes). The other 6.275 million—or 13%–used e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, snus, and dissolvable tobacco.
Workplace injuries continued decline in 2016
Approximately 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. It worked out to 2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers, and continued a decline that began in 2003 when there were 5.0 cases per 100 workers. (The rate has declined in every year except in 2012 when the 3.4 cases per 100 rate remained unchanged from 2011.) BLS said that about one-third of the injuries and illnesses reported in 2016 were serious enough to require workers to take time off from work.
Funds recovered for Madoff’s victims
The Department of Justice said it is mailing $772.5 million to 24,631 persons who lost money to Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff. The distribution is the first in a series of payments that will eventually return over $4 billion to the scheme’s victims. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the money was recovered
“from third parties—not Mr. Madoff” and represents “the largest restoration of forfeited property in history.” About $2.2 billion of the amount was collected from the estate of deceased Madoff investor Jeffry Picower, and $1.7 billion was part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. In 2009, Madoff was given a 150-year prison sentence and was ordered to forfeit $170.8 billion.
DEA bans fentanyl derivatives
The Drug Enforcement Administration slammed the door on a loophole that enabled the distribution of narcotics containing modified forms of fentanyl. The DEA said all narcotics containing fentanyl or fentanyl-derived substances will be henceforth banned under the Controlled Substances Act. DEA said overseas chemical manufacturers have evaded regulatory controls by creating fentanyl variants that are not expressly banned by the CSA.
Trio indicted for student aid fraud
Three women from Akron, Ohio—Janice Shufford, 53, Bridgid Sommerville, 47, and Christine Robinson, 38—are under indictment for defrauding the U.S. Department of Education out of $1.8 million. According to the Department of Justice, the three women fraudulently applied to the government for student financial aid on behalf of the “students” who were enrolled at Maricopa Community College in Phoenix, Ariz.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.
The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Thursday, November 9