June 21, 2013
New York
Washington’s letter sells for $1.4 million

A letter in which George Washington offers his positive views on the newly drafted Constitution has sold for $1.4 million in New York.

It was written during the contentious debate over the document’s ratification. A private collector offered it for sale at Christie’s on Friday.

Christie’s says the seven-page letter was bought by an anonymous phone bidder for $1,443,750. Bidding was between the phone bidder and a woman in the room. Dated April 25, 1788, the letter is addressed to Revolutionary War officer John Armstrong.

Washington writes that he doubts “whether the opposition of the Constitution will not ultimately be productive of more good than evil.” He also says the framers of the Constitution “have given the rights of man a full and fair discussion.”

— Associated Press

California
Police report: Firing of Dorner justified

A Los Angeles Police Department review has upheld the firing of Christopher Dorner, the rogue ex-officer who killed four people during a February rampage that ended with his death.

The review, which was released Friday, said Dorner fabricated allegations against fellow officers.

Dorner’s firing “was not only appropriate, it was the only course the department could have taken based on the facts and evidence,” the report said.

In an online manifesto, titled “Last Resort,” Dorner claimed he had been wronged and his reputation tarnished. He vowed to wage war on the police.

That led Police Chief Charlie Beck to order the review even as Dorner was on the run.

Authorities said Dorner killed four people, including two law enforcement officers, during a massive manhunt that ended with his apparent suicide in a mountain cabin following a gun battle with law enforcement officers.

— Associated Press

Judge sentences Border Patrol agents

A federal judge on Friday sentenced two former Border Patrol agents to at least 30 years in prison for running a ring that smuggled more than 500 illegal immigrants into the United States.

U.S. District Court Judge John Houston sentenced Raul Villarreal to 35 years in prison for being the ring leader. His brother, Fidel Villarreal, was sentenced to 30 years for managing the operation.

Houston said he gave the severe sentences to deter other agents who have been entrusted by the American people to protect the border. The judge called their smuggling operation “disgusting” and a threat to national security.

The agents would abandon their job duties manning the border to transport the migrants in Border Patrol vehicles

Prosecutors said when the brothers learned they were being investigated in June 2006, they quit their jobs and fled to Mexico. Two years later, they were arrested there and extradited to the United States where they were charged with human smuggling, witness tampering and bribery.

— Associated Press

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