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Border agents find woman hiding in suitcase

A muggling attempt at the U.S. border with Mexico failed when inspectors found a woman from Bangkok, Thailand, tucked into a suitcase, agents said.

Customs and Border Protection  agents released a photo showing Pornkamol Mongkolsermsak, 48, curled up in the suitcase. They said they found her in the suitcase, covered with clothing items, while inspecting a Honda SUV that was crossing the border into Nogales, Ariz., on Dec. 30. 

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Mongkolsermsak was charged with re-entering the United States after having been previously deported.

The SUV was driven by a 56-year-old Phoenix man who was not immediately named. 

The case is now being handled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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  • Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, as Kenneth Williams received a lethal injection Thursday night, KARK reported. >> Read more trending news Williams, 38, died at the Cummins Unit prison in Varner. He was convicted of killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in 1999, The Associated Press reported. At the time of his escape, in a hog slop-filled tank in a garbage truck, Williams was serving a life term for killing a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, KTHV reported. On December 18, 1998, Williams kidnapped Dominique Hurd and her friend at gunpoint and forced them out of their car. Williams shot Hurd in the head, KTHV reported. On Oct. 3, 1999, Williams escaped from state prison. During his escape, he fatally shot 57-year-old Cecil Boren, who had once worked as a prison warden, KTHV reported. He stole Boren’s pickup truck and then drove to Missouri, where he was arrested after a high-speed chase, KTHV reported. Williams was sentenced to death in 2000, KARK reported. The state had planned to put eight men to death before its supply of the sedative midazolam expires on Sunday, the AP reported. Courts issued stays for four of the men who were scheduled to die.  
  • Even with another major push to get Republicans on board with a plan to overhaul the Obama health law, House GOP leaders were unable to bring the bill to the floor for a vote on Friday, still short of the support needed to squeeze out a majority for a major campaign promise. A day of arm twisting finally ended around 10 pm on Thursday night, as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters that there would be no vote on Friday or Saturday on health care, and that Republicans would try again next week. “We’re going to go when we have the votes,” Speaker Paul Ryan had told reporters earlier in the day, as it became painfully evident for the GOP in the hours after that statement – again – that they were short on votes. no surprise but House leaders made it official late tonight – no vote on Obamacare repeal until AT LEAST next week. — Joanne Kenen (@JoanneKenen) April 28, 2017 “I think they are real close,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) Thursday afternoon about the vote count, who said GOP leaders “want to be certain “before taking the bill to the House floor. Overall, Republicans were closer than previous attempts, as more conservative lawmakers who had resisted the bill in previous weeks, got on board in recent days. .@MajLeader: no vote on health care tonight or Friday. After almost 2-hr leadership meeting, says they were just working on CR — Erin Mershon (@eemershon) April 28, 2017 “I think the recent amendments to the health care bill have been very significant,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a member of the more conservative House Freedom Caucus, who said he was ready to vote for the bill this time. “I commend President Trump, Vice President Pence, Speaker Ryan, and my colleagues for keeping the lines of communication open, which has ultimately led to a better bill,” said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), another Freedom Caucus member who was ready to vote “Yes.” But the bottom line as lawmakers go home this weekend is the same – Republicans still haven’t found the magic formula to get the health care bill through the House.
  • A Kentucky doctor who made headlines earlier this month when he was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago has settled with the airline, attorneys said Thursday in a news release. >> Read more trending stories Dr. David Dao suffered numerous injuries when he was dragged off a flight bound for Kentucky on April 9 after refusing to give up his seat. The confrontation between Dao, 69, and three Chicago Department of Aviation officers was caught on video by passengers on the flight. The footage quickly spread on social media. >> Related: United passenger suffered broken nose, teeth while being dragged from plane Attorneys for Dao declined to share details of the settlement, citing a confidentiality provision in the agreement. Attorney Thomas Demetrio praised Oscar Munoz, CEO of United's parent company, in a statement. 'Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has,' Demetrio said. 'In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the city of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded.' Dao was hospitalized for days after the incident on Flight 3411 with injuries that included a severe concussion, a broken nose and an unspecified injury to his sinuses. He lost two front teeth in the scuffle, Demetrio said. 'Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers,' Demetrio said. The settlement was reached on the same day United announced policy changes aimed at preventing a similar situation from happening to other passengers. Among the changes was the announcement that the airline will offer travelers as much as $10,000 to give up their seats on overbooked flights. >> Related:United unveils 10 policy changes, will pay bumped passengers up to $10,000 Previously, the airline would offer up to $1,350, according to Bloomberg. A number of other airlines also announced policy changes aimed at offering passengers more incentive to delay flights in cases of overbooking and to ensure that they are not taken off planes after boarding. United's response in the immediate aftermath of the confrontation was widely criticized. Munoz first defended the airline and described Dao as 'belligerent' before publicly apologizing days later and vowing to do better. The officers who pulled Dao from the United flight were placed on leave after the incident. >> Related: Police who dragged passenger from United flight stand by use of force The agency released a report on Monday in which the officer who pulled Dao from his seat, James Long, gave his version of events. Long said Dao was verbally and physically abusive and was flailing his arms before he lost his balance and struck his mouth on an armrest. The department's roughly 300 officers guard the city's two main airports but are not part of the regular Chicago police force. They receive less training than police officers do and cannot carry guns inside the terminals. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Prosecutors are building a money trail of deposits, withdrawals, and lavish spending allegedly benefiting former Congresswoman Corrine Brown and a few others, through the testimony of an FBI Special Agent. But Brown’s defense says, at no time, did she have control of the account in question. Deputy Chief of the Department of Justice Public Integrity Section Criminal Division Eric Olshan’s questioning of FBI Special Agent Vanessa Stelly spanned two days of Brown’s federal fraud trial. Stelly was assigned to this investigation as part of her work in the white collar crime division. She told the court she had worked through bank and business records for Brown, as well as the alleged “sham” charity One Door For Education, which Brown and a few others are accused of funneling money through. Stelly confirmed that at no time was One Door registered in either Florida or Virginia- where it was incorporated as a business- to solicit charitable donations as a 501(c)(3) organization. One Door’s President, Carla Wiley, opened a bank account for the organization in 2011, but it closed about a year later because of a negative balance. Wiley opened another account with a $250 initial deposit, and there was no activity until August 2012, when Stelly says there was a $25,000 check deposited by a Political Action Committee based in Virginia. That PAC is backed by a lobbying firm where Brown’s daughter, Shantrel Brown, works. Corrine and Shantrel Brown share a home in Virginia. FULL COVERAGE: The federal fraud trial of now-former Congresswoman Corrine Brown One of the points that prosecutors are trying to hammer in is that there was a habit of using One Door donations for the personal expenses of Brown and a few others. To do that, Olshan first walked Stelly through repeated instances where bank records show hundreds of dollars at a time being taken from the One Door account at an ATM near the Laurel, MD home of Brown’s Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons, with a like sum soon after deposited in one of Brown’s accounts- also in Laurel. Prosecutors further showed a surveillance photo of Simmons making at least one withdrawal and deposit. Prosecutors alleged Simmons would sometimes withdraw the cash and give it directly to Brown, and there was a surveillance photo of Brown herself making one deposit. Brown’s attorney, James Smith III, jumped on the charted expenses though, pointing out with Stelly that only about $3,000 of the roughly $26,000 One Door Funds allegedly deposited in to Brown’s account are suspected to have been deposited by her, with the majority done by Simmons. As he works to show Simmons betrayed Brown’s trust, Smith guided Stelly through cross examination, where she confirmed Brown did not have access to the One Door account, did not have the debit card, and was not formally affiliated with the governance or running of the organization. Another focus of the prosecution is a trip by Brown and her daughter to the Bahamas, and later Los Angeles. A July 2013 check for $3,000 from the One Door account made out to a specific Bank of America bank account said in the memo line that it was for children’s summer camps. Stelly says bank records show $3,000 being deposited around the same time in to Shantrel Brown’s bank account, and $1,000 being transferred from Shantrel Brown’s account to that of her mother. At the same time, Stelly says bank records show several cash withdrawals from One Door’s account in Simmons’ city of residence amounting to $3,000, the same sum which was then deposited in to Brown’s account as well. This all happened as Brown and her daughter first spent time at a resort in the Bahamas and then traveled to the Los Angeles-area, where they did a significant amount of shopping, according to Stelly’s analysis. When Stelly’s testimony resumed Thursday, the focus turned to more than $330,000 in One Door funds that the US Attorney’s Office says funded events hosted by Brown or in Brown’s honor which didn’t actually result in any kind of scholarship fundraising. There were several events Stelly says were represented as being paid for by another group, like Friends of Corrine Brown, but actually had at least some One Door dollars. Still other events were largely entirely funded by One Door, but prosecutors allege that’s not what the donations were intended for. They pulled out fliers for the events, which generally listed One Door as a sponsor or gave more detailed explanation of the organization. Smith questioned whether there were any documents that had been introduced as evidence which specifically said donations would only be going toward education scholarships, though, and Stelly said there were none. Smith further questioned whether Stelly could be sure there were no scholarships or opportunities created as a result of the networking done at these events. Stelly could only confirm One Door had not given out scholarships at the events or raised money for scholarships they would distribute. Olshan added that it was not Stelly’s job to investigate other charity and scholarship organizations. GALLERY: One Door For Education’s website A substantial amount of time was also spent on the Congresswoman Corrine Brown Invitational Golf Tournament which was advertised as sponsored by One Door to benefit a scholarship fund and other community non-profits. Stelly says $55,594.55 in One Door funds were used to put on the event. Among the expenses charged to One Door, though, are hotel nights for Brown in the days leading up to the event- at a hotel about five miles from her Jacksonville home- and several nights for her and a few others at a hotel near the golf tournament- about 25 miles from her home. The hotel nights alone added to a little more than $1,400. Prosecutors also took the time to look at the charitable giving One Door touted on its website. In all, over about two years, Stelly says she found just $10,408 she identified as “possible charitable contributions”, which includes everything from $30 to the Town of Eatonville to $1,500 for the Jacksonville Men Who Cook Fundraiser. WOKV is inside of the federal courthouse as the testimony in this trial continues. Check back frequently at wokv.com.
  • A woman has been arrested after a report said she locked up a Jacksonville day care on Wednesday with a 10-month-old child left inside.   The police report said a Jacksonville police officer arrived at ABC Christian VPK on Timuquana Road at 7 p.m. to see a woman pacing in front of the building. The woman said that she could see her child, who had been left in a crib inside the locked facility.   The day care's assistant director opened up the facility so the mother could get her child. The owner and day care worker Sakoya Mashamae Francis, 27, arrived at the facility shortly afterward.   The officer reported that the mother, who usually arrives to pick up her child no later than 6:30 p.m., said no one was at the facility when she arrived.   The mother said that she thought that her grandfather might have picked up the child. After calling him and driving to his house, she said the child wasn't there.   The woman returned to the day care and said she saw her diaper bag inside the facility and called police, who discovered the child inside the crib.   The officer noted that the carpets were highly stained and that the child had toys in the crib.   The owner said she left the day care at 6:05 p.m. and told Francis that the child was still in the crib at the time. The owner said Francis is responsible for checking all spaces of the day care before leaving and locking up the building.   Francis was arrested on a charge of child neglect.

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