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New Mexico official arrested after allegedly leading Capitol rioters in prayer

A New Mexico county official was arrested Sunday after federal authorities said he entered a restricted section of the U.S. Capitol during the deadly pro-Trump incursion and led rioters in prayer.

Couy Griffin, an Otero County commissioner and founder of Cowboys for Trump, was arrested in Washington. D.C., and faces a single charge of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, a federal criminal complaint said.

In an affidavit, a Metropolitan Police detective said a Cowboys for Trump videographer told authorities that after he and Griffin saw the group push past security barriers, they scaled the Capitol building’s wall before making their way to an outside deck.

There, Griffin used a bullhorn to lead the group in prayer, the document states.

In a video cited by the affidavit, Griffin also told the crowd that it was a “great day for America” and that “people are showing that they’ve had enough.”

“People are ready for fair and legal elections, or this what you’re going to get,” he said, according to the affidavit.

In a Facebook post on the Cowboys for Trump page, Griffin later said he planned to return to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20 for a possible “2nd Amendment rally” that would include “blood running out of that building,” the affidavit says.

At a Jan. 14 Otero County meeting, Griffin told other officials that he planned on taking a rifle and a revolver when he returned to Washington, according to the affidavit.

Additional information about Griffin’s arrest was not detailed in the document, and it wasn’t clear whether he had retained a lawyer. A message left with Cowboys for Trump was not immediately returned Sunday.

In an interview with police, Griffin said he had gotten “caught up” with the crowd and that authorities never asked him to leave, according to the affidavit.

He told authorities he left the area peacefully and hoped there could be a change in leadership “without a single shot being fired.” He added that there’s “no option that’s off the table for the sake of freedom,” the affidavit says.

Dozens of people have been arrested and charged for allegedly participating in the Capitol takeover, including a Kentucky man who was taken into custody Sunday for appearing to use a rolled-up Trump flag to smash a window in the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads to the House chamber, according to an affidavit filed in federal district court in Washington.

Chad Barrett Jones faces charges of assault on a federal officer, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and other crimes. It was unclear Sunday if Jones had a lawyer.

Court documents said Jones was arrested when a relative contacted authorities after seeing him in news coverage.

Authorities still have hundreds of other open cases linked to the riot, in which five people died, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. The FBI released photos Sunday of seven men it said assaulted a Washington police officer.


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Woman arrested at DC checkpoint after telling police she is an officer and cabinet member

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

A woman has become the second known person to be arrested at a Washington DC checkpoint put in place for Joe Biden’s inauguration, after telling officers she was one of them.

Authorities said 63 year-old Linda Magovern was arrested on Saturday near Union Station after she showed police a military challenge coin – used by service members to prove they had been on active duty.

According to NBC News, she went on to say that she was “a part of the presidential cabinet” as well as a member of the police.

The woman, who approached the security checkpoint in a vehicle, then drove away after refusing to stop and prove she had a licence.

She was stopped nearby, outside Union Station, after reversing and driving away.

She was charged with the impersonation of a law enforcement officer, as well as failure to obey and fleeing a law enforcement officer, NBC News reported.

Ms Magovern, who was taken to hospital after the arrest, was the second person in as many days to be arrested at a security checkpoint set-up across the city.

On Friday, police stopped a man with an unregistered firearm and 500 rounds of ammunition, who had tried to pass through another checkpoint near the US Capitol, which have been set up in response to Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

According to The Washington Post, the man, who was named as Wesley Allen Beeler, had also shown officers an “unauthorised” security pass, and said afterwards he made an “honest mistake” and was lost. He was arrested on five charges, and released on Saturday.

Some 25,000 troops from the National Guard are expected to be in Washington DC for the inauguration, with many already deployed.

A security perimeter and multiple checkpoints have also been set-up around the US Capitol following the events of 6 January, which saw supporters of the outgoing president, Donald Trump, overwhelm Capitol Police and besiege Congress.

The two known checkpoint arrests also come as concerns are raised that further violence could be seen in the coming days, with top security officials having warned of protests.

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Richmond: Three arrested during traffic stop on suspicion of possessing firearms, police say

RICHMOND — Three people driving with stolen license plates were arrested Friday night on suspicion of possessing firearms after failing to stop for police and crashing into another vehicle, police said.

Richmond Police Department Central District Officer Fuller said he attempted to stop a car with stolen license plates Friday night near the intersection of Marina Way and Barrett Avenue. The driver refused to yield and shortly after, the car crashed into another vehicle at the intersection, police said.

Three suspects then fled the vehicle and ran onto the Union Pacific train tracks, police said. Officers searched the area and located all three subjects, who were either on parole or had outstanding warrants for their arrests.

A search of the suspects’ vehicle revealed five firearms, all fully loaded. Two fo the guns were rifles and three were handguns. Two of the handguns had extended magazines of 22 and 31 rounds, and the two rifles were an AK-47 and AR-15 with high capacity magazines.

“It is a relief to have these firearms off the streets and we are extremely proud of our officers and their commitment to keeping our community safe,” Richmond police said in a statement.


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Author: Aldo Toledo

Woman arrested at inauguration checkpoint in D.C. said she was cabinet member, police say

A woman pretending to be “part of the presidential cabinet” was arrested at an inauguration checkpoint in Washington, D.C., on Saturday morning.

Linda Magovern, 63, was charged with impersonation of a law enforcement officer, failure to obey and fleeing a law enforcement officer after she presented herself at the checkpoint while in a car, NBC Washington reports.

Magovern displayed “a round metallic object later identified as a Military Police Challenge Coin,” and said she was part of law enforcement, according to a police report. After initially complying when asked to park her car, Magovern drove off when then asked to provide her license, according to a police report obtained by NBC News.

Officers eventually stopped her and took her to a hospital to be evaluated, police said.

DC police did not return a request for comment and it was not immediately clear if Magovern has an attorney.

Her arrest comes as security has been dramatically increased in D.C in the wake of the Capitol riot and with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden just a few days away. The National Guard increased troop levels to 25,000, as much of the city is under lockdown, with restricted traffic and checkpoints.


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Governor’s brother-in-law arrested on suspicion of domestic violence

Bay City News Service

ROSS — Joshua Irwin Schiller, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s brother-in-law, was arrested Wednesday night in Ross for alleged domestic violence, police officials said.

Ross police officers responded shortly before 11 p.m. to a disturbance at a residence.

Upon speaking with the residents and investigating the disturbance, responding officers determined Schiller had allegedly committed an act of domestic violence against his spouse/cohabitant.

According to police, the victim had visible injuries that were minor in nature and did not require immediate medical treatment.

Schiller was arrested and booked at Marin County Jail on suspicion of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.

Putin Critic Alexei Navalny Detained After Landing In Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday at a Moscow airport as he tried to enter the country from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.

Navalny’s detention at passport control in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport was widely expected because Russia’s prisons service said he had violated parole terms from a suspended sentence on a 2014 embezzlement conviction.

The prisons service said he would be held in custody until a court rules on his case. No date for a court appearance was immediately announced. The service earlier said that it would seek to have Navalny serve his 3 1/2-year sentence behind bars.

Navalny, 44, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, brushed off concerns about arrest as he boarded the plane in Berlin.

“It’s impossible. I’m an innocent man,” he said.

The arrest raises tensions in Russia as it approaches national parliament elections this year, in which Navalny’s organization is expected to be active in trying to defeat pro-Kremlin candidates. Navalny decided to leave Berlin of his own free will and wasn’t under any apparent pressure to leave from Germany.

“This is a real act of bravery for Alexei Navalny to return to Russia, given that government agents already tried to kill him once,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth tweeted. “But he understandably wants to be part of the pro-democracy movement in Russia, not a dissident in exile.”

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, responded to a question about the arrest by saying “Was he arrested in Germany? I’m not up to date,” according to the online news site Podyom. Peskov, like Putin, is noted for avoiding saying Navalny’s name.

Navalny has sizable popularity in Moscow. Many supporters on Sunday went to Vnukovo airport where his flight was scheduled to land, though it was diverted to Sheremetyevo without explanation.

The OVD-Info organization that monitors political arrests said at least 53 people were arrested, including Navalny supporters and journalists, at Vnukovo, where where the arrivals hall had been blocked off and prisoner transport vehicles were parked outside. There were at least three detentions at Sheremetyevo, it said.

The independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and opposition social media reported Sunday that several Navalny supporters in St. Petersburg had been removed from Moscow-bound trains or been prevented from boarding flights late Saturday and early Sunday, including the coordinator of his staff for the region of Russia’s second-largest city.

Navalny fell into a coma while aboard a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on Aug. 20. He was transferred from a hospital in Siberia to a Berlin hospital two days later.

Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.

Russian authorities insisted that the doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia before he was airlifted to Germany found no traces of poison and have challenged German officials to provide proof of his poisoning. Russia refused to open a full-fledged criminal inquiry, citing a lack of evidence that Navalny was poisoned.

Last month, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as fake.

Navalny has been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side for a decade, unusually durable in an opposition movement often demoralized by repressions.

He has been jailed repeatedly in connection with protests and twice was convicted of financial misdeeds in cases that he said were politically motivated. He suffered significant eye damage when an assailant threw disinfectant into his face and was taken from jail to a hospital in 2019 with an illness that authorities said was an allergic reaction but that many suspected was poisoning.

A lawyer by training, he began his rise to prominence by focusing on corruption in Russia’s murky mix of politics and business. In 2008, he bought shares in Russian oil and gas companies, so he could push for transparency as an activist shareholder.

Navalny’s work to expose corrupt elites had a pocketbook appeal to the Russian people’s widespread sense of being cheated. Russia’s state-controlled television channels ignored Navalny, but his investigations of dubious contracts and officials’ luxurious lifestyles got wide attention through the back channels of YouTube videos and social media posts that often showed his sardonic sense of humor.

In 2013, he placed second in the race for Moscow mayor behind the candidate of Putin’s power-base United Russia party. That established him as a formidable force and a worry to the Kremlin.

He intended to run for president in 2018, but was kept off the ballot because of his previous criminal convictions. His own legal obstacles and the widespread obstruction authorities set before other independent candidates seeking public office led Navalny and his organization to adopt a new strategy for the 2019 Moscow city council elections.

The “Smart Vote” initiative analyzed which candidate in each district appeared to have the best chance of beating United Russia’s pick and tried to drum up support for that candidate.

The initiative appeared to be a success, with nearly half of the city council seats going to “systemic opposition” candidates, although its effectiveness couldn’t be quantified. Navalny intends to redeploy the same strategy in this year’s national parliament elections.

Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

From Baked Alaska to a guy with horns: notable riot arrests

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 125 people have been arrested so far on charges related to the violent insurrection led by supporters of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol, where a Capitol police officer and four others were killed.

Charges from the Jan. 6 riot range from curfew violations to serious federal felonies related to theft and weapons possession.

From a man pictured kicking his feet up on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to a far right-wing media personality known as “Baked Alaska” to the bare-chested guy sporting a furry hat with horns, here’s a list in alphabetical order of some of the more notable arrests and allegations made by authorities.

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Richard Barnett, 60, of Arkansas was photographed sitting with his boots on a desk in Pelosi’s office during the Jan. 6 riot. He was ordered Friday to be brought to Washington, where he faces charges of unlawfully entering a restricted area with a lethal weapon — a stun gun. Barnett is also charged with disorderly conduct and theft of public property.

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Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr., of Texas, is a former former fighter pilot photographed on the Senate floor wearing a military style helmet and body armor and carrying plastic zip-tie handcuffs. He is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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Jacob Chansley, 33 of Arizona was seen in the capitol wearing face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns and carrying a U.S. flag attached to a spear. Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, calls himself the “QAnon Shaman,” a reference to the apocalyptic and convoluted conspiracy theory spread largely through the internet and promoted by some right-wing extremists. He is charged with entering a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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Lonnie Leroy Coffman, 70, of Alabama drove to Washington to attend Trump’s “Save America Rally” in a red pickup packed with an M4 assault rifle, multiple loaded magazines, three handguns and 11 Mason jars filled with homemade napalm, according to court filings. The grandfather was arrested that evening when he returned to the truck carrying a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun and a .22-caliber derringer pistol. He is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and carrying a pistol without a license.

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Jenny Cudd of Texas, a former mayoral candidate in Midland, was arrested after posting a video bragging that she was part of a group that broke down Pelosi’s door. Cudd, who owns a flower shop, deleted the video and told The Associated Press she didn’t personally go into Pelosi’s office and didn’t do anything violent or destroy any property. She was charged with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. She said she received death threats and her business, Becky’s Flowers, was bombarded with one-star reviews calling her a traitor and domestic terrorist.

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Derrick Evans, 35, was a West Virginia lawmaker who streamed video of himself charging into the building with the mob. The recently sworn-in delegate to the West Virginia House resigned after his arrest on two riot-related charges and apologized. Evans was quickly identified after he posted the video of the Capitol door being smashed and declaring: “The door is cracked! … We’re in, we’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”

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Tim Gionet, a far-right media personality who calls himself “Baked Alaska,” entered various offices in the Capitol and cursed at a law officer he alleged had shoved him. When told by law enforcement officers to move, he identified himself as a member of the media. Gionet live-streamed for about a half hour from inside the building and could be heard encouraging other protesters not to leave, cussing and saying “I’m staying” and “1776 baby,” prosecutors said. He was arrested in Houston and faces charges of violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority.

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Jack Jesse Griffith of Tennessee was arrested after an informant identified him as a person known on Facebook as Juan Bibiano. That account shows of Griffith in what appears to be the Capitol Crypt, raising his closed fist into the air. Another post included a message saying he helped “stormed (sic) the capitol today.” He is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so. He’s also accused of engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct with intent to to impede or disrupt government business.

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Emily Hernandez of Missouri was seen in photos holding a splintered name plate belonging to Pelosi. Sullivan is charged with five counts, including disorderly conduct that impedes the conduct of government business and the stealing or disposing of government property.

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Doug Jensen, 41, of Iowa was seen on video chasing a Black officer up an interior flight of stairs in the Capitol as a mob trailed several steps behind. Jensen, who is white, was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

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Adam Johnson, 36, of Florida is accused of swiping Pelosi’s lectern during the chaos and smiling as he walked through the Capitol rotunda with it. He is charged with theft, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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Nicholas R. Ochs, 34, of Hawaii, founder of a local Proud Boys chapter, posted a photo of himself on Twitter inside the Capitol grinning widely as he smoked a cigarette. The FBI said it identified him from photos taken when Ochs campaigned unsuccessfully last year as the Republican nominee for a seat in the Hawaii statehouse.

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Robert Keith Packer, 56, of Virginia caused an uproar on social media after being seen in the Capitol wearing a sweatshirt bearing the name “Camp Auschwitz,” a reference to the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II. He was charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and unlawfully entering a restricted building.

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Dominic Pezzola, 43, of New York is a former Marine identified as a Proud Boys member who was seen in video shattering an exterior Capitol window with a stolen Capitol Police riot shield before he and others climbed inside, the FBI said. The bearded man, whose nickname is “Spazzo,” also appears in a second video taken inside the building that shows him puffing a cigar in what he calls a “victory smoke,” according to a court filing. He is charged with destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding and illegally entering a restricted building.

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Jenna Ryan, 50, of Texas live-streamed a Facebook video walking with a group toward the Capitol and said, “We are going to (expletive) go in here” as they approached the door. “Life or death, it doesn’t matter. Here we go.” She then turned the camera to expose her face and said, “Y’all know who to hire for your Realtor, Jenna Ryan.” She told KTVT-TV in Fort Worth she didn’t do anything violent, didn’t realize there was violence and hoped Trump would pardon her. “I just want people to know I’m a normal person, that I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol, that I was displaying my patriotism.” She faces a charge of knowingly entering or remaining in the restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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Robert Sanford, 55, a retired Pennsylvania firefighter, allegedly threw a fire extinguisher that hit three Capitol Police officers during the violent siege. He was charged with assault of a police officer, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, civil disorder and unlawfully entering the Capitol. His lawyer said he was a Trump supporter who got caught up in the mob mentality.


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Homeless man arrested on suspicion of carjacking, kidnapping 72-year-old man in Pasadena

A 47-year-old homeless man was arrested after he allegedly hopped into another man’s car, subsequently assaulted him and attempted to drive off in Pasadena on Friday night, Jan. 15, authorities said.

Charles Delvine Stanfield, 47, was unable to start the car at one point and later was arrested by police on suspicion of carjacking and kidnapping after officers spotted him walking near the area, Lt. Anthony Burgess said.

Police said they believe Stanfield jumped into the passenger seat of the victim’s car as the victim was waiting at a stoplight to make a left turn, Burgess said.

Stanfield allegedly told the victim, a 72-year-old man, to drive him to a 99 Cents Only store, Burgess said.

But when Stanfield realized the man wasn’t driving in the direction of the store and was, instead, possibly driving toward the Pasadena Police Department, he became angry and began assaulting the man, causing him to stop the car in the area of Fair Oaks Avenue and Maple Street, Burgess said.

Stanfield allegedly stepped out, pulled the victim out of the car and attempted to drive off, but he could not get the car started, Burgess said. It wasn’t immediately known why the car wouldn’t start.

A passerby saw the attack and called police about 11 p.m. Officers found Stanfield about three blocks north in the area of Fair Oaks and Peoria Street and arrested him without incident, Burgess said.

The victim suffered minor injuries, according to police.

Stanfield was being held in jail on no bail, inmate records show.

Homeless man arrested on suspicion of carjacking, kidnapping 72-year-old man in Pasadena

A 47-year-old homeless man was arrested after he allegedly hopped into another man’s car, subsequently assaulted him and attempted to drive off in Pasadena on Friday night, Jan. 15, authorities said.

Charles Delvine Stanfield, 47, was unable to start the car at one point and later was arrested by police on suspicion of carjacking and kidnapping after officers spotted him walking near the area, Lt. Anthony Burgess said.

Police said they believe Stanfield jumped into the passenger seat of the victim’s car as the victim was waiting at a stoplight to make a left turn, Burgess said.

Stanfield allegedly told the victim, a 72-year-old man, to drive him to a 99 Cents Only store, Burgess said.

But when Stanfield realized the man wasn’t driving in the direction of the store and was, instead, possibly driving toward the Pasadena Police Department, he became angry and began assaulting the man, causing him to stop the car in the area of Fair Oaks Avenue and Maple Street, Burgess said.

Stanfield allegedly stepped out, pulled the victim out of the car and attempted to drive off, but he could not get the car started, Burgess said. It wasn’t immediately known why the car wouldn’t start.

A passerby saw the attack and called police about 11 p.m. Officers found Stanfield about three blocks north in the area of Fair Oaks and Peoria Street and arrested him without incident, Burgess said.

The victim suffered minor injuries, according to police.

Stanfield was being held in jail on no bail, inmate records show.

Armed man arrested near Capitol with unauthorized inauguration pass, 500 rounds of ammo

A Virginia man was arrested at a Washington checkpoint near the Capitol with an “unauthorized” inauguration pass, a gun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, according to Capitol Police.

The suspect, identified as Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, was stopped at the checkpoint near Lower Senate Park about 6:30 p.m. Friday, an arrest report said. An unregistered gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found inside the truck that was adorned with gun decals days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to Capitol Police.

Beeler, of Fort Royal, Virginia, allegedly presented an “unauthorized Inauguration credential” to a Capitol Police officer. They did not describe what sort of document he showed that raised suspicion.

The arrest comes after the violent Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol where supporters of President Donald Trump and his unfounded claims of election fraud stormed the building in a violent siege that left five people dead and many more injured.

The suspect’s Ford F-150 pickup displayed weapons-related stickers, including one that read, “Assault Life,” and another that said, “If they come for your guns Give ‘Em your bullets first,” police said.

Beeler allegedly declared that he had a Glock handgun under an armrest, and a subsequent search found the nearly 550 rounds amount of ammunition and a loaded clip with 17 rounds, authorities said.

He was booked on suspicion of carrying a weapon without a license, according to court documents.

News of the arrest Saturday came as armed protesters were planning to descend on state capitals, including in St. Paul Minnesota and Austin, Texas.

In Sacramento, California the California Highway Patrol was on tactical alert, which allows for longer shifts, in preparation for inauguration-related protests.

No incidents or arrests have been reported.

President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday at the Capitol.


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Author: Dennis Romero and Suzanne Ciechalski