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St. Louis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Former funeral home employee faces federal fraud charge

A person who is facing criminal charges can be prosecuted in either a state court or a federal court. St. Louis residents should understand that being prosecuted in federal court means that the charges are more severe than in state court. Conviction on federal charges can lead to a permanent criminal record, harsh penalties and stiff fines.

In Missouri, a 40-year-old Higbee woman and former employee of a local funeral home, was recently indicted on a federal charge -- one felony count of wire fraud. Based on the report, the accused allegedly took money from the funeral home's escrow account, amounting to about $176,000. Purportedly, the funds were received from funeral home clients then deposited in escrow instead of the company's general operating fund. The woman is further accused of then reporting that payments were not received and taking money from the escrow account for personal gain.

Former Lutheran minister faces Internet sex crime charges

The Internet has brought an amazing array of products, services and communicate venues for all Americans, Missouri citizens included. It has also brought new forms of crime that have caused the development of new fields of criminal law.

Illegal online activities now include identity theft, phishing, various forms of fraud and cyberstalking. These Internet crimes are now subject to prosecution at both the federal and state levels. One of the most robust areas of federal and state prosecution now is concerned with the production and distribution of child pornography.

Teen arrested for juvenile crimes at Kansas City zoo promotion

Although adults predominate in judicial systems across the country, including in Missouri, children or teenagers can also enter the world of police, courts and prison. Although the juvenile judicial system works differently from the adult system, the outcomes of convictions for juvenile crimes can have profound effects on a young person's future. Although juvenile court records are generally sealed, the effects of criminal behavior can continue for many years.

In Kansas City recently, a 16-year-old teenager was arrested by police officers following an incident in the zoo's parking lot during a promotional free admission day. According to Jackson County authorities, visitors were leaving the zoo when shots were fired and fights broke out in the parking lot. Fortunately, most people fled quickly and no one was injured. The promotion drew several thousand more visitors than on a typical weekday, according to police.

Police arrest a St. Louis man accused of store robbery

When a person is arrested on criminal charges, that person has the right to establish a strong criminal defense which can eventually prove the person's innocence of the crime. Missouri authorities always follow leads and tips that can lead to the apprehension of criminals. It is important to note that criminal charges vary. A person facing criminal charges can be prosecuted in a state or a federal court, depending on the offense.

Police recently apprehended a 46-year-old St. Louis man accused of robbing a Dollar General Store and serveral banks in St. Louis area. The suspect was charged with second-degree robbery.

Columbia man accused of federal crimes, including sex charges

Federal offenses are prosecuted in federal courts even if the accused and victims are residents of the same state and the offenses are also crimes within that state.

A 33-year-old Columbia man is likely to discover just how much weightier federal charges can be after he was recently charged by a federal grand jury with sex trafficking charges for allegedly forcing two minor girls into prostitution. According to a federal grand jury, the suspect used threats, coercion and fraud against the two minors in order to coerce them into prostitution. He was apprehended in May 2013.

Six people face numerous accusations, including drug trafficking

The availability of drugs and other prohibited substances in the black market may be one reason why many people are being arrested on drug charges throughout the Missouri. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and police officers recently investigated large amounts of marijuana being sent through the mail in Missouri. The investigation led to the arrest of six people on federal-drug trafficking charges.

The police searched a home in which the two of those alleged to be involved - ages 22 and 23 - lived. They apparently found drug paraphernalia, six pounds of suspected marijuana and $23,900 in cash. The two men are now charged with distribution and delivery of a controlled substance. During the course of investigation, police also arrested four additional people who are allegedly associated with the first two suspects.

Howard County man accused of Internet crime

The Internet is the latest hub for criminal activity and unlawful acts including fraud, identity theft and child pornography. Here in Saint Louis, Missouri, readers should understand that they can be charged with an Internet crime simply by receiving an email that contains images that could be identified as child porn. In such cases, a strong criminal defense is needed in order to protect the best interests of the defendant.

Recently, one Howard County man was arrested after police allegedly discovered child porn in the suspect's house. According to local authorities, they searched a home located in a rural area and found drugs as well as child pornography. The authorities arrested the 28-year-old man and have charged him with distribution of child porn.

Teenager charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer

Missouri readers know that bad behavior is not exclusive to adults. Children can commit crimes too.

Juvenile crimes are often taken seriously by prosecutors and defense attorneys because both the results of the alleged crimes and any later convictions will remain with the children after they become adults. Depending on the nature of an offense and his or her age, a juvenile can be sentenced to time in jail or prison or be sent to a treatment facility or residential care.

Feds press sex charges against 40-year-old Texas man in Missouri

Federal crimes are often taken more seriously than state offenses and pursued more diligently than in any state court, including Missouri's. A person facing federal charges usually has less room for legal negotiations with federal prosecutors. Convictions on federal crime charges - including drug-related offenses, Internet crimes, white collar offenses and child pornography - can lead to longer prison terms, huge fines and other serious consequences such as sex-offender registration.

A Texas man was recently arrested on federal charges after he allegedly flew from Texas to Kansas City, Missouri, to meet two underage girls, ages 11 and 15, for sexual intercourse.

Man and woman arrested on drug charges in Columbia

In Columbia, a citizen complaint prompted local law enforcement authorities to investigate a couple who was suspected of distributing narcotics and counterfeit money. Recently, a search warrant was served by Boone County Sheriff's deputies on a house in a rural section of Columbia. The 9:00 a.m. search uncovered drug paraphernalia, methamphetamines, marijuana, counterfeit bills and a loaded handgun. Deputies say the confiscated items were within the reach of a child when the warrant was served.

The search and seizure of the drugs, counterfeit money and weapon led to the arrest of a man and a woman on drug offense charges. The man was also charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, forgery and first-degree endangerment of the welfare of a child. The woman was charged with first-degree endangerment of the welfare of a child and possession of a controlled substance.

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