RealNews

New Terror Laws Used Vs. Common Criminals

In the two years since law enforcement agencies gained fresh powers to help them track down and punish terrorists, police and prosecutors have increasingly turned the force of the new laws not on al-Qaida cells but on people charged with common crimes. The Justice Department said it has used authority given to it by the USA Patriot Act to crack down on currency smugglers and seize money hidden overseas by alleged bookies, con artists and drug dealers. Federal prosecutors used the act in June to file a charge of “terrorism using a weapon of mass destruction” against a California man after a pipe bomb exploded in his lap, wounding him as he sat in his car. A North Carolina county prosecutor charged a man accused of running a methamphetamine lab with breaking a new state law barring the manufacture of chemical weapons. If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months. Full Story

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