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Man Sentenced to 60 Years for 2014 Murder of Cab Driver in Stamford


The man charged with the murder of a cab driver in Stamford in 2014 has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Shota Mekoshvili was charged with the murder of Mohammed Kamal, who was found stabbed to death outside a taxi in Stamford in August 2014.

Kamal, a 47-year-old husband and father, was stabbed at least 15 times, according to police.

Mekoshvili, a Georgian Republic National Citizen, was staying in the United States on a visa.

Police also charged him with robbery after releasing surveillance photos from Stop & Shop that detectives say clearly show him as the suspect.

Authorities said there seemed to be some prior relationship between Kamal and Mekoshvili, but police do not know to what extent.

“Now that this case has been decided, I would like to say that this was a shocking, horrifying crime, and no matter the sentence, the loss to his wife and family will never be rectified. Mr. Kamal was just trying to earn an honest living for his family, and did not deserve this,” Stamford mayor David Martin said in a statement.

Man Pleads Guilty to Setting Up Sham Marriages for Immigration Status: Feds


A citizen of the Republic of Georgia who was accused of running a sham marriage immigration fraud scheme pleaded guilty Wednesday in court in Hartford, according to federal authorities.

According to United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut Deirdre Daly, David Nikolashvili, a 52-year-old a citizen of the Republic of Georgia who is living in Stamford, pleaded guilty to engaging in an immigration fraud scheme. 

He was accused of obtaining false immigration status from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services for approximately 50 to 60 citizens of European countries. 

After they paid Nikolashvili between $12,000 and $16,000, he would arrange sham marriages between the immigrants and U.S. citizens in order to obtain immigration benefits. Federal authorities said the U.S. citizens were paid to enter into the sham marriages. 

Nikolashvili was arrested on June 21, 2016, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false swearing in an immigration matter and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 27. 

He has been released on a $75,000 bond pending sentencing. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Danbury Driver Distracted With GPS Hits Trooper Cruiser: PD


A Danbury driver, who was distracted by his GPS, was arrested on Wednesday for hitting a police cruiser and sending the trooper to the hospital in January, Connecticut State Police said. 

State police said on Jan. 23, they were responding to an unrelated motor vehicle accident on Route 7 north near exit 12 in Brookfield at 8:19 p.m.

Trooper First Class Karen Nixon arrived at Route 7 in her marked cruiser, with emergency lights activated, and parked her police vehicle in the left lane a distance away from the crash to provide additional protection to the scene.

While troopers investigated the area and the tow truck operator hooked up the damaged vehicle, Brian Glasser continued driving in the left lane at a high rate of speed.

Glasser collided with Nixon's cruiser rear end and pushed the car 70 feet forward, police said.

Nixon was transported to Danbury hospital, while Glasser complained about minor injuries but declined medical attention at the scene, according to troopers.

The 38-year-old Danbury man said he was distracted as he looked for an address on his GPS and did not see the cruiser protecting the left lane of Route 7, Connecticut State Police said. 

An arrest warrant was obtained for Glasser and he turned himself in on Wednesday as a result of the January crash. 

Glasser is accused of following too closely, distracted driving, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and assault. He was released on bond.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Transgender Service Members Accuse Trump of Discrimination


If Emma Shinn were still an active U.S. Marine, she would be in a panic over President Donald Trump’s tweet Wednesday morning barring transgender men and women from serving in the U.S. military in any capacity.

Trump’s tweet just after 9 a.m. offered no guidance to the thousands of transgender men and women serving openly in the military under a policy announced by former President Barack Obama’s Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in June 2016. Trump’s sudden reversal caught many in and out of Washington D.C. by surprise.

“I don’t think any good can come out of discriminating against our brave servicemen and women,” said Shinn, a transgender woman who retired from the Marines in 2014 after serving in Iraq as an infantry platoon sergeant in Fallujah and as a judge advocate.

“They relied on assurances by our government that they could serve openly and they detrimentally relied upon that and to kick them out now, given their courage in serving openly and being a face of trans service members, I think that’s incredibly sad,” she said.

Shinn is a defense lawyer outside of Denver, Colorado, and co-founder of the Colorado Name Change Project, which provides pro-bono legal services for transgender men and women who want to change their names and gender designations. As a Marine, she was out as queer but not as transgender, she said.

She said she was not surprised by Trump’s decision, given his choice of the conservative Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate and despite Trump’s claim that he, unlike his rival Hillary Clinton, would fight for the LGBT community.

But, she said, “I’m disgusted at President Trump’s rejection of both science and intensive studies that show that trans service members should be allowed to serve openly. And I think that using the expense of medical treatment as an excuse is terrible.”

Trump’s announcement was met with criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Trump’s tweet showed why major policy announcements should not be made by Twitter.

“There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity,” he said in a statement. “We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are.”

McCain said that no new policy was appropriate until the Department of Defense had completed a study it was conducting on medical obligations that it would incur and the effect on military readiness.

Other studies — by the Rand Corp. last year and one published in the New England Journal of Medicine the year before — found that the cost of extending gender transition-related health care coverage to transgender personnel would be negligible. The Rand Corp, for example, calculated that health care costs for active personnel would increase by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year, representing an increase of between 0.04 percent to 0.13 percent. It also found that countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom saw no effect on military readiness.

But Trump emphasized both of those issues in his tweet.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” the president wrote on Twitter.

A statement from the Transgender American Veterans Association and the American Veterans for Equal Rights called the decision insulting. Current policies require that transgender recruits must complete gender transition before they can enter the military, the statement said.

“Mr. Trump is simply denying entry into the military to capable male and female volunteers no different from any other man or woman,” it said. “The citizens of the United States require a military governed by carefully considered policies and not by early morning tweet storms from a President who neither understands the current policy nor cares about the human cost of defending our nation’s liberty.”

One transgender airman told the Air Force Times Wednesday that he would go to court to remain in the military.

“I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military,” Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland said. “I would challenge them [in court]. You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life.”

And former SEAL Kristin Beck, a transgender woman, told the Tampa Bay Times that Trump’s decision would cost more in lawsuits that any savings.

"You are talking about potentially billions of dollars," Beck said. "That is a waste of money."

At a press conference on New York's Long Island Wednesday afternoon, Joanne Borden, a transgender woman who is a veteran of World War II, said she knew other transgender women who served in Korea and Vietnam.

"But now they are not good enough to be who they are," Borden said.

"It's a step toward the Middle Ages," she said.

Sean Sala, a LGBT advocate who is gay and who served in the U.S. Navy under the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, said he was angry but also heartbroken.

"I'm honestly heartbroken and I want people to know that this is wrong," he said.

Sala, who lives in Dallas, said he knew how it felt to serve the country, in some cases doing a better job than other service members, and then be rejected.

Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri, offered an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would have cut military funding for transition-related surgeries or hormone therapy treatment. The amendment was defeated.

On Wednesday, she tweeted, “Pleased to hear that @realPresidentTrump shares my readiness and cost concerns, & will be changing this costly and damaging policy #readiness.”

Shinn challenged the assertion that transgender service members affected morale. Discarding trained troops who are already serving honorably and who have done nothing but be who they are is a terrible waste of talent, she said.

“And definitely not the small government that Republicans profess to believe in,” she said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Emma Shinn
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NYC Heroin Ring Paid for $3,000 Stroller, Luxury Life: Feds


A major heroin ring operating out of New York City was busted this week, and federal authorities say they’ve arrested dealers who’ve been living the high life, including a man who lavished his young children with a Versace stroller and Gucci sneakers.

Luis Lopez, Peter Vasquez and Victor Agosto were arrested in Brooklyn on Wednesday. The three men allegedly ran an international heroin ring from Brooklyn, Queens and other locations. Three other men were also arrested.

Twelve kilograms of heroin worth $900,000 were seized Wednesday morning during the arrests, authorities say.

Authorities allege the men had connections to Mexican cartels and were able to move heroin from Mexico to Los Angeles, and from there to Chicago and New York. Papers filed in federal court in Brooklyn say they also traveled to Mexico for meetings with a drug cartel there.

During the investigation, agents seized more than $800,000 in drug proceeds, prosecutors said. Ohio state troopers discovered about $300,000 of that total hidden in a car rented at LaGuardia Airport in 2011, the papers said.

An Instagram photo under the user account @fishmoneybagz shows some of the suspects — including Vasquez, Lopez and Agosto — posing in pricey bathing suits on a boat.

Authorities say photos like that one prove the accused were living large off money they made selling heroin, and that everything from a $20,000 watch to gold chains and bracelets were flaunted openly on social media.

Instagram photos show hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry owned by Lopez and his wife, as well as a $3,000 Versace stroller for one of their children and Gucci sneakers worth hundreds of dollars that their 8-year-old daughter wore to her fifth-grade graduation, authorities say.

The three men allegedly compiled a fleet of cars worth more than $1 million, including a Lamborghini Hurácan, Rolls Royce Ghost, Bentley, Audi R8 Spyder, Mercedes CLS63, Mercedes S550, Porsche Cayenne, Maserati, Range Rover Sport and BMW M4.

When they wanted to relax, the accused jetted off and spent large amounts of money to rent out a Miami waterfront property, authorities say.

If convicted, the men face decades behind bars. 

It wasn’t immediately known if the six men had attorneys who could comment on their arrests. 

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Major Drug Bust Includes Postal Carrier Among 17 Arrests


The drug enforcement administration in Connecticut arrested more than a dozen people and seized seven kilos of cocaine on Wednesday.

Arrests were made in New Britain, Middletown and Meriden, in addition to a stash house, a location where drug dealers keep their supply and/or money, on West Boulevard in Hartford, according to federal agents.

Half a dozen arrested on Wednesday are alleged members of the Latin Kings gang, while another arrestee is a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS), according to federal agents. 

Steven Riccelli has worked for the postal service for 19 years and is currently a letter carrier at the Farmington Post Office. Riccelli remains on the record as an employee, according to Maureen Marion and Christine Dugas with the USPS.

The U.S. government said Riccelli was using his position as a postal employee to receive packages from Puerto Rico and that he would allegedly provide addresses to other suspects in order to send drugs.

Riccelli, federal agents believe, would take the packages off his postal route and hand deliver them to some of the other suspects involved.

Riccelli's attorney, Charles Kurmay, would not comment to NBC Connecticut after his client pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges.

"There is indication he had a job as of this morning. He probably does not have a job as of now. Apparently, he worked for the postal service, I don't think he'll continue to be employed," Kurmay told the court.

Eight others pleaded not guilty in federal court this afternoon, including:

  • Omar Rivera
  • Turon Davis
  • Derrick Bryant
  • Luis Arroyo
  • Lisette Perez
  • Orlando Quiros
  • Leonel Quiros
  • Corey Best

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Hall, who was at the federal court arraignments on Wednesday, the defendants were named and charged in an indictment by a grand jury last week.

Charges from count one of the indictment include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Hall told the court that defendants Luis Arroyo, Lisette Perez, Orlando Quiros, Leonel Quiros and Corey Best, are alleged to individually also be responsible for at least five kilos of cocaine.

Orlando Quiros, Leonel Quiros and Corey Best also face charges of attempting to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, according to the prosecutor in court. Quiros is also charged with use of a facility of interstate commerce to use the proceeds of drug trafficking.

NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters requested to speak with all but one of the suspects' attorneys after court. All of those requested to talk to NBC Connecticut declined comment.

Family members of several suspects also chose not to respond to inquiries from the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

Several other suspects appeared before the federal judge as well. NBC Connecticut is working to get their names and the charges against them.

If convicted, the charges carries penalties to include five or ten years behind bars to life sentences and five and ten million dollar fines.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Norwalk Mom Who Faced Deportation Granted Motion to Stay


A Norwalk mother who has lived in the United States for 24 years and refused deportation last week has been granted a stay that will allow her to stay in the country. 

Nury Chavarria left her native Guatemala in 1993, when she was 19, and applied for asylum. Her application was denied, but she remained in the U.S., with nothing to go back to at home.

Chavarria, a mother of four, was currently seeking sanctuary at the Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal Church on East Pearl Street in New Haven last week, because immigration officials could not arrest her on church property.

Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a statement shortly after the decision.

“Today, reason and compassion have prevailed. There was never a rational justification for Nury Chavarria to have been threatened with deportation and separated from her children, and I applaud this decision by ICE and the court to allow her to continue living and working in the United States with her family," Gov. Malloy said.

Since 2011, she has had yearly check-ins with immigration officials. Each year she was given the approval to remain in the U.S.

Chavarria said she has no criminal record, works as a housekeeper, and pays taxes. She believed those factors would allow her to remain in the U.S., despite President Donald Trump's administration’s focus on deportations. All that changed at her June check-in, when ICE officials told her in five weeks she would have to pack up her life and leave.

“I told him, 'I’m not a criminal. I’m a mother with four children. They are citizens. USA. I want to stay here to help them and keep my family together,'” she said.

Chavarria's request to stay was denied on July 18 but a motion for her to stay was granted on Wednesday. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

If You Paid Tolls in Massachusetts, You May be Owed Money


If you've ever used an E-ZPass to pay tolls in Massachusetts, you may be owed money. 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MASSDOT) is refunding drivers who still have money in their former E-Z passes. 

MASSDOT keeps track of toll information and recently handed over the discovery to the state's treasury department.

The money is considered "unclaimed property" and residents who have paid tolls in Massachusetts can search online on the state's treasury department website to see if they're due a refund. 

The online search for Massachusetts only gives results for amounts of $5 or more. Anyone who had less than that amount in their accounts can call the unclaimed property division at (617) 367-0400. 

NBC Connecticut reached out to authorities in New York and Rhode Island to find out if those departments have similar lists.

The New York Thruway Authority said when an account is closed any remaining funds are credited back to the account holder.

NBC Connecticut did not receive a response from Rhode Island.

Connecticut residents can also check this website for unclaimed funds.

New Haven Searches For Solutions After Shootings of 2 Teens


New Haven city leaders and community members are looking for ways to stop the street violence after the murder of a 14-year-old boy and a shooting that injured a 13-year-old boy just days apart.

Police have arrested a 21-year-old man they say fired the stray bullet that struck the 13-year-old on a basketball court, but the police search continues for the person who shot and killed 14-year-old Tyriek Keyes.

Community members expressed their anger over the teen’s murder at a news conference Wednesday afternoon with Mayor Toni Harp, New Haven Police brass and other city leaders.

"We want our children to have a chance," Odell Cooper said. "My son was shot and killed a year ago, mistaken identity."

Cooper told NBC Connecticut New Haven is not doing enough to keep children out of harm’s way.

"It’s about having the boots on the ground, the community in the ground and your police on the ground shutting down the crack houses, shutting down the drug houses and working with the individuals they know have the guns," Cooper said.

"We cannot arrest our way out of this situation," New Haven Police Department Assistant Chief Archie Generoso said.

Generoso said it is a matter of police working with the school system and outreach workers "to try to quell beefs, to try to talk with these kids and get them to mitigate problems without turning the gun."

The news conference organized by Harp came a day after she attended Keyes’ funeral.

"The mother sang through her tears on behalf of her child, so it was gut wrenching," Harp said.

Harp said part of the solution is providing jobs, training and "sense of hope" for young adults ages 18 to 24 who may struggle with the transition from high school into the real world.

"There has been some success," said Kermit Carolina, a supervisor of youth development and engagement with New Haven Public Schools. "It is not perfect."

Statistically, police said the number of shootings and homicides have been on the decline in New Haven since 2011.

"We’ve made huge progress in our city," Harp said. "We've still got a long way to go."

Generoso said he is hopeful police will soon make an arrest in the murder of Keyes.

"We’re making great progress in that investigation, that’s all I can say right now," Generoso said.

Wednesday afternoon, friends remembered Keyes through song, dance and a white balloon release at a New Haven park.

"You can be a great person in the community and still something can happen to you," said Chaz Carmon who knew Keyes from the local youth group, Ice The Beef.

"He’s been with our program a year and a half," Carmon said. "He walked one day with some of the dancers said he wanted to dance he had a couple moves so we helped him get more advanced and he became a phenomenal dancer."

Keyes was looking forward to starting his freshman year at Hillhouse High School in the fall.

"I want them to realize that the rest of the whole community, this could have been anybody’s child in the community," Carmon said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New London Making Changes to Busy Bank Street


One of New London’s busiest streets is getting a facelift – at least temporarily.

By Thursday, traffic will be reduced from two lanes to one lane on Bank Street, from Tilley Street to State Street.

With the extra space, there will be a four-foot buffer on either side of the street to hopefully give drivers more space to park and get out of their cars safely, Public Works Director Brian Sear said.

The goal is to not stop the flow of traffic.

"You crane your neck, you look in the rearview mirror, you have to have somebody get on the sidewalk and tell you it’s clear to go and you hope that you have a window opening up and closing," Sear said about the challenges of getting safely out of the car.

There will also be signs indicating that bicyclist can share the road with drivers.

"There’s no way to drive down this road on your bike. It’s too crowded," Vicki Doyle Dunn, a resident, said about the current biking situation on Bank Street in New London. She said she'd be more inclined to ride if the street was welcoming to bicyclists.

The program is a pilot that will be in place for 90 days, but based on its success, it could eventually become permanent, Sear said.

City planner Sybil Tetteh said the money comes from a state's Department of Transportation grant to help with traffic circulation downtown.

"It’s just too jammed packed. There’s so much traffic coming down here all the time. It’s hard to get in and get out," Catherine Crouch, of Groton, said.

Some Bank Street businesses see the pilot program as a positive, like Ellen Cummings, the owner of Flavours of Life, The Fair Trade Store.

"It will make it a lot easier for people in New London to come downtown and park, and shop, and get in and out of town," Cummings said.

Other business owners, who didn’t want to be named, are worried there will be even more stopping on the street with just one lane of traffic.

Some drivers also share that concern.

"The only thing that worries me is when Electric Boat lets out in the afternoon, how backed up it’s going to get around here," Janice Rosenthal, of New London, said.

There are signs telling drivers they cannot park on Bank Street starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Around 8:30 p.m. the road will close and crews will start painting around 9 p.m., according to Sear.

The paint they are using is not permanent since the program is just a test.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Inmate Found After Escaping From High-Security at Rikers


A manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies came to an end after a man who escaped from a high-security detention center on Rikers Island has been found, law enforcement sources told News 4 New York. 

Port Authority Police Dept. officers canvassed near LaGuardia Airport as they searched for the inmate, according to the sources. The NYPD Harbor Unit searched the waters around the island. 

All traffic on Rikers Island was suspended amid the lockdown. Police vehicles, many with their lights flashing, were seen coming to and from the island after nightfall. 

Dept. of Correction spokesman Peter Thorne said the inmate did not return from the outdoor recreation area Wednesday evening.

The law enforcement sources added that he jumped over a fence at the C-95 jail, also known as AMKC, which houses about 3,000 inmates.

Staff noted the disappearance around 7:30 p.m. when the headcount of inmates was off by one.

The 24-year-old inmate was wearing an orange jumpsuit, the sources said. 

Thorne said the Dept. of Correction was working with the NYPD as an investigation into the escape and the search for the inmate continued. 

"Rikers Island facilities have been placed on lockdown and we are talking to anyone who may be involved," Thorne said at the time of the search. 

Some civilians who were coming out of the facility said they had no idea what was going on. Some of them were stuck on buses, confused about what was happening and why they weren't allowed off. 

"They did not report any information to you at all," one woman said. "People were looking on their phones and something popped up at 9 o'clock. We were on the bus since 7:15." 

Another woman said people started fighting and kicking doors open on the bus. "People were fainting. It was crazy," she said.

The city's jail system has been plagued for years by a culture of violence and corruption.

A lawsuit filed by lawyers for inmates who were beaten by jail guards and joined by federal prosecutors who investigated brutality against 16- to 18-year-old inmates resulted in 2015 in a consent decree mandating the city implement a series of wide-ranging reforms.

Blue Hills Fire Officials in Shouting Match at Meeting


Accusations started flying within minutes of the beginning of a special meeting by the Blue Hills Fire District in Bloomfield on Wednesday night.

Last fall, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters did a series of investigative stories about the thousands of dollars in perks received by the commissioners.

Since our stories aired, a new commissioner got elected. She appears to have already sided with one of the incumbent commissioners, in asking the other incumbent commissioner, Tanya Farmer, to step down. The two commissioners accused Farmer of fabricating and destroying public documents. The commissioners did not show their findings to the audience, which included Bloomfield Mayor Joan Gamble.

Gamble had several outbursts, telling the two commissioners making the accusations that they should resign.

The commissioners who formed the voting block against Farmer also plan to ask Bloomfield Police to investigate whether she and the fire chief destroyed, or removed, their district credit card records. After a while, many of the taxpayers in the audience had enough with the two commissioners who called for the special meeting and made the accusations, asking them to step down.

Both Farmer and the fire chief, who are married, deny the accusations against them. One of the other commissioners, the board chair, is also married to a full-time firefighter in the department.

Arrest Made in Connection to Shots Fired in Vernon


Vernon police arrested a man on Wednesday in connection to the shots fired in the area of Ward Street and Prospect Street on Monday.

Coolidge Edwards, 21, was located in New Britain on Wednesday and faces charges that include criminal attempt assault, illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a firearm without a permit, unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment. 

Police allege that Edwards fired shots from his car to an occupied car and struck the vehicle. No one was injured.

Edwards bond was set at $250,000. 

Anyone with information on this incident as police continue to investigate is asked to contact Detective DiVenere at 860-872-9126 ext. 3765.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police

Kid Rock Says He'll Create Non-Profit for Voter Registration


Kid Rock is diving deeper into politics and creating a nonprofit organization to promote voter registration among Americans, the musician announced in a statement on his website late Wednesday.

"The one thing I've seen over and over is that although people are unhappy with the government, too few are even registered to vote or do anything about it," Kid Rock said in the statement, about two weeks after he first hinted that he may run for U.S. Senate in Michigan.

The statement was later added to his kidrockforsenate.com website.

Though the rocker offered no further specific details of his future group, Kid Rock explained that he wants to raise money for the cause and help people register to vote at his concerts. He also said that he wants profits from his merchandise to fund the cause as well.

In addition, Kid Rock plans to hold a news conference "in the next six weeks or so" to address his cause, his possible Senate bid and other issues, the statement concluded.

Kid Rock, who was born Robert Ritchie and lives in suburban Detroit, first teased a 2018 Senatorial bid on July 12 on social media, confirming the authenticity of the kidrockforsenate.com website.

The site is a single page with a link to buy merchandise on the website for his record label, Warner Bros. Records.

After Kid Rock's July 12 post, Republican officials in Michigan said the party had not heard from the musician about a potential run.

Kid Rock endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016, even visiting now-President Trump at the White House in April this year. 

In Michigan, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow is up for re-election in 2018, while Republican candidates include former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young Jr. and businesswoman Lena Epstein.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File

Three Arrested after Burglarizing Several Cars


Three people were arrested after burglarizing several vehicles early Thursday morning in Old Saybrook.

Police said the suspects fled in a stolen vehicle from Glastonbury after police tried to apprehend them.

Police said the vehicle struck a tree and they were able to apprehend two of the suspects. The third suspect fled from the scene and was located 45 minutes later by a K-9.

Main Street from Maple Avenue to East Street remains closed to traffic and is an active crime scene.

Police said they are collecting evidence from several vehicles in the Maple Avenue area.

Escaped Rikers Inmate Found on Island After Manhunt


A man who had escaped a high-security detention center on Rikers Island, sparking a massive manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies, has been found, never having left the island, officials say.

The escapee, who sources say is 24-year-old Naquan Hill, was found by two Department of Correction staff members on the island Thursday just before 3 a.m. in some type of trailer, police said. 

“I would like to thank the men and women of DOC, the NYPD, the Port Authority Police and New York State Police for their time and effort in locating this individual," New York City Department of Correction Acting Commissioner Cynthia Brann said. "Their coordinated actions helped safely return this inmate to custody.”

Hill went missing sometime Wednesday and the island was put on lockdown as Port Authority Police Department officers canvassed near LaGuardia Airport as they searched for him, according to the sources. The NYPD Harbor Unit searched the waters around the island. 

All traffic on Rikers Island was suspended amid the lockdown. Police vehicles, many with their lights flashing, were seen coming to and from the island after nightfall. 

Sources said the inmate did not return from the outdoor recreation area Wednesday evening.

The law enforcement sources added that he had jumped over a fence at the C-95 jail, also known as AMKC, which houses about 3,000 inmates.

Staff noted the disappearance around 7:30 p.m. when the headcount of inmates was off by one.

The 24-year-old inmate, who was wearing an orange jumpsuit, is back behind bars. He has been in custody for the past several months and has an arrest record for numerous burglaries in Queens. He had an upcoming court appearance next month. 

An investigation into how the inmate escaped is underway.

A source tells NBC 4 New York Rikers has not passed a physical security audit by the state in the past 10 years.

The city's jail system has been plagued for years by a culture of violence and corruption.

A lawsuit filed by lawyers for inmates who were beaten by jail guards and joined by federal prosecutors who investigated brutality against 16- to 18-year-old inmates resulted in 2015 in a consent decree mandating the city implement a series of wide-ranging reforms.

Prince William Working Last Shift as Air Ambulance Pilot


Prince William is working his last shift as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Thursday, the royal said in a letter published in the Eastern Daily Press.

William has piloted medevac missions for two years for the charity in Southeast England. In a previous statement, the Palace said William is stepping away to focus on his royal duties and charity work.

"These experiences have instilled in me a profound respect for the men and women who serve in our emergency services, which I hope to continue to champion even as I leave the profession," William wrote for the Eastern Daily Press. "I am hugely grateful for having had this experience."

The Duke of Cambridge went on to detail some of the "daunting incidents" and "appalling tragedies" he has witnessed as a service member of the EAAA.

Prior to working with the EAAA, William served for seven years in the Royal Air Force. He gained his wings in 2008 and worked as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot from 2009 to 2013, NBC News reported.

William is part of a long line of military members in his family. His brother, Prince Harry, as well as his father (Prince Charles), grandfather (Prince Philip), and grandmother (Queen Elizabeth II) all served in the British armed forces.

William's job change comes as his grandfather is expected to perform his final royal duty on Aug. 2. The Palace had said Philip is retiring from his royal duties but may attend certain events with the Queen afterward.

Photo Credit: Matt Dunham/AP/Pool, File

Report of Boating Issue in Branford Was False Alarm


Emergency crews responded to the water off Pawson Road in Branford after getting a report of two people in the water, but Branford fire officials said it was a false alarm.

Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard said two people were out of the water. 

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

3 Suspects in Car Burglary Arrested in Old Saybrook


Three people accused of burglarizing several cars were arrested around 3 a.m. in Old Saybrook after fleeing in a stolen vehicle from Glastonbury, according to police. 

Officers apprehended two people after the stolen vehicle they were in hit a tree. The other person fled and K-9 Kendo found the person 45 minutes later, police said. 

The area between Main Street and Maple Avenue and Main Street and East Street is closed and police said it’s an active crime scene. 

Investigators are in the process of collecting evidence from several vehicles in the Maple Avenue area of town that might have been burglarized. 

Anyone who thinks his or her vehicle might have been burglarized should avoid getting into it and instead call the police department at 860-395-3142.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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