Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
TIKI BAR FUGITIVE
Police wait downstream for suspect trying to swim to freedom
LAKE LURE, N.C. (AP) – A wanted Tiki bar cook tried to flee authorities by swimming away in a North Carolina river, but was caught by officers waiting downstream.
A Lake Lure Police statement says 38-year-old Jesse Lee Boyd was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service on warrants accusing him of forgery or counterfeiting in Iowa.
Investigators said they made a plan over the weekend to arrest him at the management office of the Geneva Riverside Tiki Bar. But they say Boyd was warned as he walked to the office and fled on foot before dashing into the Rocky Broad River.
Officers positioned themselves downstream along the banks, and Boyd eventually gave himself up.
A police statement Monday said department officials didn’t know if Boyd has an attorney.
RNC HOST-TRUMP COMMENTS
Charlotte, host of GOP convention, condemns Trump’s comments
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Lawmakers of the North Carolina city set to host the 2020 Republican National Convention have condemned recent comments by President Donald Trump as racist and xenophobic.
The Charlotte Observer reports the Charlotte City Council voted 9-2 Monday to pass a resolution calling out specific tweets and comments by Trump.
Trump tweeted this month that four minority congresswomen should return to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The comment targeted Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who immigrated to the U.S. decades ago. Trump supporters singled out Omar at a rally last week, chanting “Send her back.”
The resolution also criticized Trump saying that white supremacists in Charlottesville are “very fine people.”
NORTH CAROLINA-DISPUTED ELECTION
NC special election candidate to offer ideas on health care
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Democrat in a U.S. House special election is proposing ways he thinks the government could improve access and affordability in the country’s health care system.
Dan McCready is expected to argue Tuesday for keeping the Affordable Care Act in place to protect people with pre-existing conditions. He’s also expected to talk about expanding Medicaid so more people can see a doctor when needed and encouraging early treatment by limiting out-of-pocket patient costs.
The candidate in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District also wants legislation that expands the use of a system that pays doctors and hospitals based on outcomes and quality rather than every procedure they perform.
Republican candidate Dan Bishop told The Charlotte Observer earlier this month that he favors increasing competition by health providers to force down costs.
North Carolina targets robocalls and scammers with penalties
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers are cracking down on robocalls and telephone scammers in a bill that’s passed both chambers of the General Assembly.
The state Senate voted 45-0 on Monday and sent the bill to Gov. Roy Cooper for a decide on whether to sign it.
Under the bill, any telephone solicitor who masks their real number on caller ID so that the call appears to come from a local number or a familiar number can be fined up to $5,000.
The practice of using fake numbers or names is already illegal under federal law, but this bill gives North Carolina more leverage to go after scammers. It requires callers to use their real information or the information of the business they’re representing.
The bill also applies to text message solicitations.
N Carolina closer to setting rules on ride-sharing drivers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators are nearing new requirements for drivers of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft in reaction to the death of a university student in South Carolina who police say climbed into a car driven by an impersonator.
The state Senate on Monday voted 45-0 for a package of requirements that include making it a crime to impersonate a ride-sharing driver. The measure now heads back to the House for review of Senate changes.
Those changes include raising the minimum age for drivers from 19 to 21, increasing the punishment for assaulting a driver and expanding the size of the identifying logo that drivers must display for riders. Starting next year, a driver’s company logo also would have to be seen clearly day and night.
TAX PREPARER-FRAUD CHARGE
Tax return preparer pleads guilty to trying to defraud IRS
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release on Monday that Garvey Imhotep of Raleigh conspired with others to file false tax returns for the tax years 2011 through 2014.
Specifically, prosecutors say Imhotep and his co-conspirators filed returns claiming false education expenses and other fraudulent items in order to increase clients’ tax refunds. The prosecutors say he used tax preparer identification numbers associated with other individuals to hide his involvement and avoid detection by the Internal Revenue Service.
Imhotep is scheduled to be sentenced in October 2019. He could be sentenced to a statutory maximum of five years in prison, as well as substantial monetary penalties, supervised release and restitution.
CIGARETTE SMUGGLING CHARGES
31 charged in scheme to smuggle cigarettes to New York
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors have charged 31 people with running an operation to smuggle cigarettes from North Carolina and sell them in the New York area to avoid taxes.
A news release Monday says that the smugglers would buy thousands of cigarettes from businesses in Fayetteville, then pack them in vans or trucks and drive to New York after stopping in Virginia.
Raleigh-based U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon told reporters that the ring could make more than $50 in profit per carton because of the difference in sales taxes and retail prices for cigarettes in North Carolina and New York. Authorities say the scheme netted at least $12 million in illicit profits.
Multistate raids last week led to more than two dozen arrests.
The defendants face charges ranging from conspiracy to money laundering.
Actress charged with drug possession in North Carolina
MANTEO, N.C. (AP) – Actress Sonja Sohn, who played a detective in the HBO series “The Wire,” is facing charges of felony possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The sheriff’s office in Dare County, North Carolina, says Sohn, whose legal name is Sonja Plack, was arrested after midnight Sunday in Manteo on the Outer Banks.
Authorities say it happened after a traffic stop. Sohn was a passenger in the vehicle. The sheriff’s office says a K-9 detected the smell of drugs, and a purse with cocaine and drug paraphernalia was found after a search.
Bail was set at $1,500 for the 55-year-old actress, and she was released from the county detention center. An arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.
Sohn also has had roles in TV series including “The Chi,” and “The Originals.”