Government Drops Charges Against Chinese-Born Temple Prof


Federal officials on Friday dropped charges against the Temple professor they had previously said shared confidential technology to his native China.

The feds offered no explanation in withdrawing the wire fraud charges against Xiaoxing Xi, saying in court documents only that it is “in the interests of justice” to discontinue the case. But the New York Times reported that federal prosecutors had discovered they misunderstood the technology at the heart of their case against Xi.

The technology involved a so-called “pocket heater,” used in semiconductor research. Xi allegedly sent schematics for such a device to contacts in China. Except, it turns out, he didn’t.

“The blueprints were not for a pocket heater. Faced with sworn statements from leading scientists, including an inventor of the pocket heater, the Justice Department on Friday afternoon dropped all charges against Dr. Xi, an American citizen,” the Times reported. “It was an embarrassing acknowledgment that prosecutors and F.B.I. agents did not understand — and did not do enough to learn — the science at the heart of the case before bringing charges that jeopardized Dr. Xi’s career and left the impression that he was spying for China.” Read more »

Feds: Fake Lawyer Represented Immigration Clients Under Nose of Department of Homeland Security, DOJ


With all of the concern over illegal immigrants and Islamic extremists in this country, you’d think that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice might have a decent handle on what’s going on inside immigration court. But the strange tale of Leaford George Cameron shows us that this is probably not the case.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia indicted the Jamaica-born 62-year-old Burlington, New Jersey, man who is accused of fraudulently posing as an attorney for 12 years. According to United States Attorney Zane David Memeger, Cameron’s client list included more than 70 people from the Philadelphia region, Florida, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Jamaica and India. Read more »

Pair Break Into Kensington Home, Take Car Keys, Steal Car

Police in Philadelphia are looking for a duo that broke into a woman’s house in West Kensington, took her car keys, then walked up and down the block until finding her car and driving away in it.

The burglary took place Wednesday at around 7 in the morning. The victim was asleep in her house when two people entered her home through the back door and/or window. They took her purse containing ID, credit cards, cell phone and laptop — as well as her car keys. Read more »

Philadelphia Receives Grant to Resolve Rape Kit Backlog

Map of grant recipients from Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Map of grant recipients from Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Solid colors reflect grants that impact an entire state. | Courtesy New York County District Attorney’s Office.

Yesterday Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced that 32 jurisdictions in 20 states — including the City of Philadelphia — would receive part of a total $38 million in grant money from his office to tackle a backlog of unprocessed rape kits. According to a detailed breakdown of the awards, Philadelphia will receive $419,788 to address a backlog of 600 untested rape kits. (The Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner, with a backlog of 400 kits, was the only other jurisdiction in Pennsylvania to receive funding, in the amount of $254,437.) The largest award, almost $2 million, went to the state of Georgia, which has a backlog of more than 3,000 untested kits.

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Guilty Plea in Brazen Germantown Kidnapping


The man who grabbed Carlesha Freeland-Gaither off a Germantown street won’t be getting out anytime soon.

Delvin Barnes, 37, pleaded guilty today to kidnapping Freeland-Gaither on November 4, 2014. His jury trial was scheduled to start next week; Barnes faces 35 years in prison.

Barnes grabbed Freeland-Gaither of the 100 block of W. Coulter Street. A surveillance camera captured her struggling with the kidnapper, who pulled her into a van. Federal prosecutors said she hit Barnes with a hammer once he got her into the car, but Barnes threatened to kill her if she continued to fight.

He drove to Maryland, where police caught up with him after three days. Freeland-Gaither identified Barnes as the culprit. Read more »

Man Steals $5,000 in Laptops From Northeast Philly Catholic School

A man broke into St. Martin of Tours school in Summerdale and stole $5,000 worth of laptops and other computer equipment, police said.

The robbery happened on Monday morning, on Labor Day, at around 6:40. The burglar got in through a side window and left through the door. Surveillance footage shows the man exiting the school with a bag of equipment. Read more »

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