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Monday, April 24, 2017

Senator Isakson urges Senate colleagues to support Sonny Perdue to be Ag...





#JohnnyIsakson #SenatorIsakson


“LET ME BE CLEAR”: Sean Hannity’s stern response to sexual harassment allegation – TheBlaze

Fox News star and syndicated radio host Sean Hannity has issued a strong denial following a sexual harassment allegation made by attorney/blogger Debbie Schlussel, a former guest on Hannity’s television show.
Schlussel leveled the charges against Hannity Friday during an interview with Pat Campbell, an Oklahoma radio talk show host.


“LET ME BE CLEAR”: Sean Hannity’s stern response to sexual harassment allegation – TheBlaze

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Re: Science March






‘Develop your country, not your WMDs’: Australian FM hits back at N. Korea’s missile threat — RT News

North Korea should focus on its citizens’ welfare rather than building up its nuclear arsenal, said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, after Pyongyang warned that Australia was “coming in range” of a nuclear strike.



‘Develop your country, not your WMDs’: Australian FM hits back at N. Korea’s missile threat — RT News

Interview with Alexei Navalny About Protests and Putin - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Alexei Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition figure, was just released from jail after widespread protests against government corruption. In an interview, he speaks about Putin's future plans for the country, the new generation of activists and why previous protests failed.



Interview with Alexei Navalny About Protests and Putin - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Masked Israeli settlers assault Jewish-Arab activists with stones, sticks (VIDEO) — RT News

Video footage of a group of masked Israeli settler youths attacking a group of activists and Palestinian shepherds in the Jordan Valley has received global media coverage. The attack left five activists injured.



Masked Israeli settlers assault Jewish-Arab activists with stones, sticks (VIDEO) — RT News

Battle for Berkeley: Will Ann Coulter spark another clash? - KCTV5

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - The word "CANCELED" is printed across a poster of Ann Coulter's face at the University of California, Berkeley. But that appears to be wishful thinking.



Battle for Berkeley: Will Ann Coulter spark another clash? - KCTV5

N. Korea ready to sink US aircraft carrier with a ‘single strike’ – official paper — RT News

North Korea has vowed to sink the USS Carl Vinson, which is scheduled to arrive in the waters around the Korean peninsula “within days.” Meanwhile, Japan said two of its ships have joined the aircraft carrier group for a “joint exercise.”



N. Korea ready to sink US aircraft carrier with a ‘single strike’ – official paper — RT News

Right to work marks new Missouri governor's first 100 days - KCTV5

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens during his first 100 days in office made good on a top campaign promise to sign right to work legislation.



Right to work marks new Missouri governor's first 100 days - KCTV5

Real-World Observational Study in the U.S. Veterans Affairs System Evaluating Use of Merck’s ZEPATIER® (Elbasvir and Grazoprevir) Shows High Sustained Virologic Response Rates in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C | Merck Newsroom Home

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, today announced the presentation of findings from a retrospective database analysis of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who were administered ZEPATIER® in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. For the evaluable population (n=2,436), 95.6 percent of veterans treated with ZEPATIER achieved the primary outcome of sustained virologic response (SVR), defined as undetectable HCV RNA at least twelve weeks after the end of treatment. For patients with no HCV RNA measurements at or after 12 weeks (19% of the study cohort), the analysis used HCV RNA measurements available at least four and less than 12 weeks after the end of treatment. The response rates in the real-world setting of the VA supplement the overall findings from the controlled clinical studies of ZEPATIER. These findings will be presented today in an oral session (abstract #PS-095) at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 being held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



Real-World Observational Study in the U.S. Veterans Affairs System Evaluating Use of Merck’s ZEPATIER® (Elbasvir and Grazoprevir) Shows High Sustained Virologic Response Rates in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C | Merck Newsroom Home

Pfizer Unveils ATLAS®, An Interactive, User-Friendly Website That Provides Global Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance Data Across 60 Countries | Pfizer Pharmaceutical News and Media | Pfizer: the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer Inc. today announced the launch of the company’s Antimicrobial Testing Leadership and Surveillance (ATLAS) website, which is designed to provide physicians and the global health community with easy access to critical data on the efficacy of various antibiotic treatments and emerging resistance patterns across more than 60 countries. Understanding evolving bacterial resistance patterns is a key element in managing the rise of antimicrobial resistance. To that end, ATLAS can not only help physicians select the most appropriate treatment choices for their patients, but also enable global health authorities to develop data-driven antimicrobial resistance mitigation strategies. Pfizer will formally unveil ATLAS on April 22nd at the annual meeting of the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ECCMID) in Vienna.



Pfizer Unveils ATLAS®, An Interactive, User-Friendly Website That Provides Global Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance Data Across 60 Countries | Pfizer Pharmaceutical News and Media | Pfizer: the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company

UP: Union Pacific Corporation Invites You to Join Its 1st Quarter 2017 Earnings Release Broadcast

UP: Union Pacific Corporation Invites You to Join Its 1st Quarter 2017 Earnings Release Broadcast

Pfizer Invites Public To Listen To Webcast Of April 27 Annual Meeting Of Shareholders | Pfizer Pharmaceutical News and Media | Pfizer: the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company

Pfizer Invites Public To Listen To Webcast Of April 27 Annual Meeting Of Shareholders | Pfizer Pharmaceutical News and Media | Pfizer: the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company

Lilly to Present Data for Galcanezumab for the Prevention of Migraine at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting (NYSE:LLY)

INDIANAPOLISApril 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) will highlight Phase 2 data evaluating galcanezumab for the prevention of migraine at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting, which will take place April 22-28, 2017, in Boston.



Lilly to Present Data for Galcanezumab for the Prevention of Migraine at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting (NYSE:LLY)

Virginia Man Sentenced to 88 Months in Prison For Distribution of Heroin and Cocaine

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 21, 2017

Virginia Man Sentenced to 88 Months in Prison For Distribution of Heroin and Cocaine

Defendant Admits Obtaining Drugs Through Supplier in New York, Selling Them in Culpeper County, Virginia Area

            WASHINGTON – Robert Apperson, 35, of Reva, Virginia, was sentenced today to 88 months of imprisonment on a federal drug trafficking charge relating to the distribution of heroin and cocaine in Culpeper County, Virginia. He is among 14 people charged with federal crimes following an investigation by a law enforcement task force of a narcotics trafficking ring that operated in places including New York, N.Y., Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

            The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips; Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Peter Newsham, Acting Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

            All told, the investigation led to the seizure of 2.8 kilograms of powder cocaine, 248 grams of crack cocaine, 700 grams of heroin, more than $100,000 in cash, and a firearm.

            Apperson pled guilty in January 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. He was sentenced by the Honorable John D. Bates. Upon completion of his prison term, Apperson will be placed on four years of supervised release. Apperson also was ordered to pay $130,000 in a forfeiture money judgment.

            According to plea documents, the investigation revealed that co-conspirators in the narcotics trafficking ring transported heroin and cocaine from New York to a supplier, based in Washington, D.C. In turn, the drugs were supplied to numerous other co-conspirators for distribution in Washington, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.

            According to the plea documents, Apperson and/or one of the co-conspirators traveled to Washington, D.C., to obtain between 100 grams and one-kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin from the supplier. Apperson and the co-conspirator then worked to distribute cocaine (as both powder and as crack cocaine) and heroin throughout the Culpeper County area.

            Between September 2015, and January 7, 2016, according to the government’s evidence, Apperson and the co-conspirator purchased between 100 grams and one kilogram of cocaine and heroin approximately every seven to 10 days. In total, according to the government’s evidence, Apperson and the co-conspirator obtained approximately five kilograms of cocaine and four kilograms of heroin from the Washington, D.C. supplier, which they divided 50/50 between the two of them. Apperson then sold his half of the cocaine and heroin to customers throughout the Culpeper area. Apperson was arrested on August 25, 2016, and has been in custody ever since.

            During the course of his arrest, law enforcement seized $3,750 from Apperson’s vehicle and $40,000 from a nightstand drawer at his newly leased residence in Fredericksburg, Va.

            The drug sales took place at a time when the nation is experiencing a rise in opioid overdoses. In Culpeper County, Va. and the town of Culpeper, the Virginia State Police responded to more than 80 overdoses in 2016, including nine that resulted in deaths.

            This prosecution was the result of an investigation initiated in the fall of 2014 by the FBI/MPD Cross Border Task Force, with assistance from the DEA and the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force. The Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the investigation. The Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force sponsored and supported this complex investigation.

            Those working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia include Legal Assistant Peter Gaboton, former Legal Assistant Brendan Coyne, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kara Traster and Nihar Mohanty, of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics Trafficking Section, who prosecuted the matter.

Monroe County Physician Sentenced To One Year In Prison For Illegally Prescribing Pain Medications

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 21, 2017

Monroe County Physician Sentenced To One Year In Prison For Illegally Prescribing Pain Medications

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Monroe County, Kentucky physician was sentenced by Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell, in U.S. District Court, yesterday to serve one year and one day in prison for prescribing pain medications outside the course of professional medical practice to five patients during a more than six year period, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
Clella Louise Hayes, whose medical practice was located in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to five counts of a grand jury indictment on September 14, 2016. Hayes was charged with dispensing and distributing Schedule II controlled substances and Schedule III controlled substances outside the course of her professional medical practice.

Further, Hayes, age 41, of Glasgow, Kentucky, authorized prescriptions for fentanyl, morphine, Oxycodone, Demerol, hydrocodone and Klonopin. The illegal activities occurred between March 2008 through March 2014.

Specifically, between June 2009 and September 2011, Hayes intentionally dispensed Schedule II controlled substances to the same patient, outside the course of professional medical practice, by issuing and authorizing prescriptions for fentanyl, morphine, Oxycodone, and Demerol. During the same time period, Hayes failed to establish a legitimate diagnosis of A.R.’s (the patient) pain complaints, failed to establish an individualized treatment plan, failed to take into account significant risk factors for abuse, and failed to take into account multiple inconsistent urine drug screens which reflected drug abuse and diversion. On September 19, 2011, Dr. Hayes prescribed fentanyl to A.R. On September 23, 2011, at age 55, A.R. died as a result of a fentanyl overdose, with post-mortem toxicology reports reflecting fentanyl at five times the therapeutic range in A.R.’s blood. a similar instance, Between November 2011 and November 2012, A.H. was Dr. Hayes’s patient.

During that time period, Dr. Hayes knowingly and intentionally dispensed Schedule II controlled substances to A.H. outside the course of professional medical practice, by issuing and authorizing prescriptions for Oxycontin and Demerol.
Dr. Hayes failed to establish a legitimate diagnosis of A.H.’s pain complaints, failed to establish an individualized treatment plan, failed to take into account significant risk factors for abuse, and failed to take into account multiple inconsistent urine drug screens which reflected drug abuse and diversion.
On November 27, 2012, A.H. died at age 48 as a result of a poly-pharmacy overdose, with post-mortem toxicology reports reflecting high blood concentrations of medications Dr. Hayes prescribed to A.H., including Oxycodone and Klonopin. Between June 2010 and January 2014, K.S. was Dr. Hayes’s patient.

During that time period, Dr. Hayes knowingly and intentionally dispensed Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances to K.S. outside the course of professional medical practice, by issuing and authorizing prescriptions for Oxycontin and hydrocodone.
Dr. Hayes failed to establish a legitimate diagnosis of K.S.’s pain complaints, failed to establish an individualized treatment plan, failed to take into account significant risk factors for abuse, and failed to take into account multiple inconsistent urine drug screens which reflected drug abuse and diversion.
On January 1, 2014, K.S. died at age 53 as a result of a poly-pharmacy overdose, with post-mortem toxicology results reflecting oxycodone, and hydrocodone at ten (10) times the therapeutic dose, both of which Dr. Hayes prescribed to K.S in December 2013.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser and was investigated by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations West, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with assistance from the Tompkinsville Police Department.
###

Volkswagen AG Sentenced in Connection with Conspiracy to Cheat U.S. Emissions Tests

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 21, 2017

Volkswagen AG Sentenced in Connection with Conspiracy to Cheat U.S. Emissions Tests

Volkswagen AG (VW) was sentenced in federal court in Detroit today after pleading guilty on March 10, 2017, to three felony counts of: (1) conspiracy to defraud the United States, engage in wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act; (2) obstruction of justice; and (3) importation of merchandise by means of false statements. During the sentencing hearing, the court accepted the parties’ plea agreement, which requires VW to pay a $2.8 billion penalty stemming from the company’s decade-long scheme to sell diesel vehicles containing software designed to cheat on U.S. emissions tests.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch of the Eastern District of Michigan, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jean E. Williams of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance and Special Agent in Charge David Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office made the announcement.
U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox of the Eastern District of Michigan accepted the plea agreement, resulting in VW’s conviction on three felony charges. VW was convicted, first, of participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and its U.S. customers and to violate the Clean Air Act by lying and misleading the EPA and U.S. customers about whether certain VW, Audi and Porsche branded diesel vehicles complied with U.S. emissions standards. Moreover, the company used cheating software to circumvent the U.S. testing process, and concealed material facts about its cheating from U.S. regulators. Second, VW was convicted of obstruction of justice for destroying documents related to the scheme. And third, VW was convicted of importing these cars into the United States by means of false statements about the vehicles’ compliance with emissions limits.
As part of the plea agreement, VW will pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty to the U.S. and fully cooperate in the government’s ongoing investigation and prosecution of individuals responsible for these crimes. The parties also announced that the government had selected Larry D. Thompson as an independent corporate compliance monitor who will oversee the company during its three-year term of probation. Thompson is a former Deputy U.S. Attorney General. His team includes experts in automotive regulatory compliance, as well as the corporate monitors for Deutsche Bank in the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) manipulation prosecution and Duke Energy in the coal ash environmental prosecution.
“The sentencing of Volkswagen marks a significant milestone in this historic case,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Lemisch. “Volkswagen has been punished for its scheme to defeat U.S. environmental standards and cheat U.S. consumers. This prosecution sends a strong message to Volkswagen and others that we take our environmental laws seriously and that federal prosecution awaits those who defraud the EPA.”
“The Criminal Division will continue to be vigilant in assuring that all companies – foreign and domestic – that choose to benefit from our valuable economy and consumers abide by our laws, said Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco. “The sentencing of VW vindicates the rights of U.S. consumers who for over a decade were victims of the calculated corporate decisions of VW and its senior management to fraudulently employ a device intended to deceive U.S. consumers and to defeat our environmental laws.”
“With today's sentence, VW is being held fully accountable for its deception and fraud perpetrated against American consumers and the environment, as well as the deliberate obstruction of the criminal investigation into its wrongdoing,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Williams. “We also hope this sends a message around the world that those who violate American environmental laws will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”
“Today's strong sentence recognizes the egregious nature of VW’s violations, and VW’s attempt to gain an unfair competitive advantage over automakers that follow the law,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Starfield. “Vehicle emissions standards help protect clean air and ensure a level playing field for companies that play by the rules. When those standards are broken, violators can expect to be held accountable.”
“Americans expect corporations doing business in the United States to conduct their business honestly,” said Special Agent in Charge Gelios. “Today's sentencing sends a clear message that the FBI, along with its federal partners, will continue to hold corporations, like Volkswagen AG, accountable when they defraud consumers and violate federal laws.”
Along with the January 2017 plea agreement, the United States also announced separate civil resolutions of environmental, customs and financial claims, in which VW agreed to pay an additional $1.5 billion to settle EPA’s claim for civil penalties in connection with the importation and sale of these cars, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claims for customs fraud. In addition, that agreement requires injunctive relief to prevent future violations. The agreements also resolved alleged violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).
The FBI and EPA investigated the case. This case is being prosecuted by members of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section, including: Chief of the Securities and Financial Fraud Unit Benjamin D. Singer, as well as Trial Attorneys David Fuhr, Alison Anderson, Christopher Fenton and Gary Winters. Also prosecuting the case are members of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Crimes Section, including: Senior Trial Attorney Jennifer Blackwell. Additionally, the case is being prosecuted by members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, including Criminal Division Chief Mark Chutkow, Economic Crimes Unit Chief John K. Neal and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Wyse. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also assisted in the case. The Justice Department extends its thanks to the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Braunschweig, Germany.

Fairfax Man Sentenced to Prison for Child Pornography

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 21, 2017

Fairfax Man Sentenced to Prison for Child Pornography

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Roger Wheaton Webb, 53, of Fairfax, was sentenced today to five years in prison for receipt of child pornography.
Webb pleaded guilty on January 18. According to court documents, between February and March 2015, the FBI identified an Internet Protocol address accessing child pornography from a Fairfax business. Law enforcement officers later executed a federal search warrant at that business where Webb worked. During the search, several electronic devices were located and reviewed, including a Dell computer and a flash drive. Forensic analysis revealed that these two devices contained approximately 5,500 image files and 362 video files of child pornography. The analysis of the computer further confirmed that it had been used to download child pornography using peer-to-peer software. When interviewed, Webb admitted that he had used the business’s computer to access, receive, and download child pornography and that he had transferred and stored child pornography to an external drive or flash drive he possessed.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Dougherty Russell and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Leslie Fisher of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-298.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Merck Donates $300,000 to Support Neglected Tropical Disease Elimination Efforts in Africa

From #Merck:


Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:00 am EDT
KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today a $300,000 cash donation to support non-governmental organization (NGO) partners working to eliminate river blindness (onchocerciasis) and lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Africa. The donation will be offered to 10 NGOs beginning this year, and will be administered through the MECTIZAN® Donation Program (MDP), a public/private partnership established in 1987 following the announcement by Merck to donate MECTIZAN® to control and eliminate river blindness.
River blindness and LF are targeted for elimination in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Roadmap on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), and NGOs have long played a critical role in the broad partnership focused on achieving those targets. Grants will be given to support activities focused on the elimination of river blindness or LF, and will be offered to our partner NGOs who are directly involved in the distribution of MECTIZAN®. Eligible NGOs will be able to request funds through an application process in which they will be required to secure a 50-50 matching grant, effectively doubling the resources to $600,000.
Through the MDP and its partners -- including endemic countries, NGOs, the WHO, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), the WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO EMRO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department for International Development (DFID) and others -- more than 200 million people in 32 countries are reached each year. NGOs play a critical role in this partnership, facilitating community-led efforts to distribute MECTIZAN® and educating people about the diseases. Since the inception of the program in 1987, Merck has donated more than 2.5 billion treatments for river blindness and LF.
"Since the MECTIZAN® Donation Program began 30 years ago, Merck and its global partners have made great strides to control and eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. With both diseases now targeted for elimination, we hope this grant will enable our partner NGOs to achieve further progress toward that goal,” said Brenda Colatrella, executive director, corporate responsibility. The MDP's impact extends beyond its immediate health benefits. The program has been a catalyst in the formation of similar donation programs for other NTDs. Initially focused only on river blindness, in 1998, Merck expanded the MDP to include MECTIZAN® for the prevention of LF in African countries where the disease coexists with river blindness. Further, the broad public-private partnership supports the training of community health care workers and strengthening distribution systems through which other medicines, vaccines and medical supplies can be delivered in resource-poor settings.
About Merck
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInYouTube and Instagram.
About the MECTIZAN ® Donation Program
The MECTIZAN® Donation Program (MDP) was established at the Task Force for Global Health in 1987 to provide medical, technical and administrative oversight of the donation of MECTIZAN® by Merck for the treatment of onchocerciasis. In 1998, MDP expanded its mandate to include oversight of the donation of albendazole by GSK to be distributed in conjunction with MECTIZAN® for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis in onchocerciasis co-endemic areas.
Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

Buffalo Man Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Role As Getaway Driver In Tonawanda Bank Robbery

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Buffalo Man Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Role As Getaway Driver In Tonawanda Bank Robbery


CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Nicholas Graham, 46, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of aiding and abetting a bank robbery by use of a dangerous weapon, was sentenced to 84 months in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Joseph P. Geraci, Jr.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Adler, who handled the case, stated that on January 8, 2016, the defendant assisted two other individuals in a bank robbery at the Evans Bank located at 2800 Niagara Falls Boulevard in Tonawanda, New York. Graham drove the individuals to the bank in a 2007 Infiniti around 5:45 p.m. The defendant remained in the vehicle and acted as both the lookout and the getaway driver.
During the robbery, the two masked individuals wore nearly identical uniforms including dark tan jackets with hoods, dark colored baseball caps, dark colored masks, and tan pants. Once inside the bank, the masked robbers aimed BB guns, that appeared to be real pistols, at customers and employees and ordered them to get down so that nobody would get hurt.
Following the robbery, law enforcement officers tracked the defendant and the two individuals to the Scottish Inn Motel on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Graham was detained at the motel, while the robbers fled and remain fugitives. Officers found items at the motel including cash, clothing worn by the robbers, the BB guns, receipts for the purchase of the guns, and several identification cards.
The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen and the Town of Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jerome C. Uschold.

Jacksonville Gang Member Sentenced To More Than Twelve Years For Selling A Child For Sex

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jacksonville Gang Member Sentenced To More Than Twelve Years For Selling A Child For Sex

Jacksonville, FL – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard today sentenced Antwan Harper, a/k/a “Pappy” (22, Jacksonville) to 12 years and 6 months in federal prison for sex trafficking a child. The Court also ordered him to serve a five-year term of supervision after his release from prison, and to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty on November 10, 2016.

According to court documents, in December 2015, Harper met a 15-year-old girl and advertised her for prostitution on the Internet. He accepted payment for the girl to perform sexual acts with his associates and fellow gang members. Harper is a documented member of the PYC street gang. On December 18, 2015, he was arrested and the victim was recovered by law enforcement.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Black P-Stones Gangster Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Black P-Stones Gangster Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A gang member who pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy and use of a firearm resulting in death was sentenced today to 30 years in prison.
Desmond Finnell, 30, of Newport News, pleaded guilty on Nov. 15, 2016. According to court documents and trial testimony, Finnell was a lieutenant in the Black P-Stones gang headed by Michael Hopson between 2007 and 2010. Finnell was responsible for multiple shootings in Newport News and Hampton as part of his P-Stones gang activity. On Nov. 28, 2010, Finnell lured Ernest “Critter” Crudup to a location in Newport News where he shot him to death, as he believed Crudup robbed him of between 15 and 20 pounds of marijuana.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric M. Hurt and Trial Attorney Marianne Shelvey of the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Department of Justice prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:13-cr-96.

Weymouth Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Assault-Style Weapons and Ammunition

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Weymouth Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Assault-Style Weapons and Ammunition

BOSTON – A Weymouth man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with possessing assault-style weapons and ammunition.

Robert Nicholas Kurtzer, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. According to court documents, Kurtzer was prohibited from possessing ammunition and/or firearms because of a prior state conviction for armed robbery. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for July 13, 2017.

In spring 2016, agents conducted an investigation into Kurtzer’s activities. On July 12, 2016, law enforcement officers stopped a pick-up truck, in which Kurtzer was a passenger, for a traffic violation. Kurtzer was carrying a large knife on his hip and a canister of pepper spray. Officers asked Kurtzer if there were any weapons in the vehicle, and Kurtzer replied, “Lots of them.” Kurtzer was searched and found in possession of: (1) a 10.5 inch Smith and Wesson fixed blade knife; (2) a canister of Sabre Red O/C spray; (3) one .300 AAC BLK caliber bullet; (4) several .22 caliber long rifle ammunition; and (5) seven .45 caliber Winchester ammunition.

Following Kurtzer’s arrest, officers searched Kurtzer’s Weymouth residence and a secondary storage locker where the following items were seized: two assault rifles (including a Midwest Industries AR15-style assault rifle with an optic scope attached to the top, and an AR15-style assault rifle with unknown manufacturer and a 37mm flare launcher attached to it); a Marlin bolt-action rifle with an obliterated serial number; two handguns (including a .45 caliber pistol bearing serial number 0615-020055; and a Colt MKIV Series 80 pistol, bearing an after-market Punisher logo); numerous weapons parts for use in the assembly of assault rifles and handguns; one firearm silencer; approximately six unfinished, partly assembled firearm silencers; milling machinery used to manufacture handguns and rifles; and approximately 671 rounds of assorted ammunition.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; and Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Cannon of Weinreb’s Organized Crime & Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

Former Local Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Former Local Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

HOUSTON – A 51-year-old Houston man has been convicted of receipt and possession of child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.

The investigation into Jason Dion Johnson began Dec. 6, 2015, as the FBI sought to identify persons using peer-to-peer software to traffic in child pornography. Agents soon discovered a specific computer as offering to participate in the distribution of child pornography movies. Johnson was identified as the person linked to that computer.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant May 6, 2016, at Johnson’s Houston residence, at which time investigators found a number of videos and images of prepubescent girls being sexually exploited. Additionally, agents allegedly found several unmarked VHS tapes which revealed the presence of what appeared to be a hidden camera video from a changing area within a school. On these tapes, there are young female students who are observed to be entering the camera’s field of view and removing their clothing while in the process of changing into a uniform.

At the time of the investigation, Johnson was employed as a 7th grade Social Studies teacher at Beechnut Academy in Houston. However, authorities do not believe the footage was taken at that school.

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett accepted the plea and has set sentencing for July 6, 2017. At that time, Johnson faces a minimum of five and up to 20 years imprisonment for the receipt of child pornography as well as up to 10 years for possession of child pornography.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Ann Leo, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visitwww.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visitwww.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Former office manager of Mountain State Justice sentenced to over four years in federal prison for embezzling more than $1.5 million and tax evasion

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Former office manager of Mountain State Justice sentenced to over four years in federal prison for embezzling more than $1.5 million and tax evasion

Defendant embezzled the money over nearly 12 years through stealing checks and using a secret account

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The former office manager of Mountain State Justice, Inc., was sentenced today to four years and six months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Kim Cooper, 55, of St. Albans, pled guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion on January 23, 2017, admitting that she had embezzled over $1.5 million from Mountain State Justice and evaded the payment of income taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service.
Cooper began working in the late 1990’s in the Charleston office of Mountain State Justice, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides legal services for indigent and low-income West Virginia residents in civil cases. Cooper became the office manager and her duties included overseeing the daily operations of the Charleston office and making deposits of checks in Mountain State Justice’s bank accounts. In late June 2004, she opened an account at WesBanco Bank in the name of Mountain State Justice, which no one else at Mountain State Justice knew about. She began stealing checks made out to Mountain State Justice that were payment for attorneys’ fees and deposited the stolen checks in the secret WesBanco account. Cooper wrote checks from the secret account, payable to a close family member, with notations that made the checks appear to be payment for legitimate business expenses of Mountain State Justice. Cooper endorsed those checks by forging the signature of the close family member, and then deposited the checks in another account at a different bank. Cooper then transferred the stolen funds and used them to pay rent, make car payments, make credit card payments, and pay for other personal expenses.
Cooper also hid her crime by omitting these stolen checks from the cash log used to record all incoming monies and by hiding all incoming mail from WesBanco. She perpetuated her fraud scheme by sending false income statements to the board of directors of Mountain State Justice that underreported the income of the organization. Finally, Cooper evaded income tax she owed on the embezzled money. Cooper was able to keep this up for almost 12 years before the scheme finally ended in late March 2016, when she was interviewed by federal law enforcement agents. Her employment was terminated shortly thereafter.
The FBI and the IRS - Criminal Investigation division conducted the investigation. First Assistant United States Attorney Philip H. Wright is in charge of the prosecution. United State District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., imposed the sentence.
Judge Copenhaver deemed the offense “particularly egregious” because Cooper committed this crime after she was convicted in Wood County in the late 1990’s for a financial crime that also involved embezzlement. Judge Copenhaver commented on the need to deter others from engaging in similar conduct as he sentenced her to the upper end of the sentencing guideline range, which was 46 to 57 months.