It's been ten years since Syracuse-area oncologist Dr. Rafil Dhafir was arrested for crimes involving the Muslim charity Help the Needy. Dhafir continues to serve a 22-year prison sentence after he was convicted of violating U.S. sanctions against his native Iraq by sending money there. In 2005, a federal jury convicted him of 59 felonies, including fraud and tax evasion, among other things. But Dhafir's conviction and incarceration still has some central New Yorker's crying foul.
In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting and the contentious push for new gun control laws in both Washington and Albany, it’s often easy to forget that the United States has been experiencing what some have called the "Great American Crime Decline."
The city of Syracuse is asking Onondaga County to help crack down down on burglaries. Syracuse officials want to make it harder for burglars to sell stolen items to second hand shops throughout the county.
The United as One Coalition is taking its case for an Onondaga County jail oversight board to county lawmakers. Coalition members want the Onondaga County Legislature to create a board that they say could ultimately save lives.
This summer, the synthetic drugs known as bath salts alarmed emergency responders all over upstate New York, including in Jefferson County. In Watertown, they dealt with unstable, violent users several times a day. But lawmakers and law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels have been responding with crackdowns on the drugs. Now, both police and hospital officials in Watertown say cases are down sharply.
Central New York law enforcement authorities and prosecutors are standing firmly behind a law pushed by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer that would get federal authorities involved in the witness intimidation investigating business. The Democrat senator from New York was in Syracuse to promote passage of the State Witness Protection Act, which would give prosecutors more tools to convince witnesses to come forward.