Saturday February 9, 2013

Vermont man sentenced
in farm worker prostitution case

BRATTLEBORO (AP) -- A former Vermont state worker has been sentenced to six months of home detention for his role in a scheme to bring women from New York City to Vermont to engage in prostitution with farm workers.

Alex Young-Hernandez was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Brattleboro. The 56-year-old worked as a case aide for the Department of Children and Family Services for 10 years at the time of his arrest. Young-Hernandez said he learned about the prostitution operation in October 2010 from Jose Flores-Rocha at a trailer in northern Vermont where Young-Hernandez lived with several farm workers, according to court records.

"Flores-Rocha had brought a woman to his trailer to engage in sexual acts with at least one of Young-Hernandez’s roommates, who worked at a nearby farm. Flores-Rocha asked Young-Hernandez to provide numbers and names for farmer workers that might be interested in prostitution services. Young-Hernandez agreed," said a sentencing memorandum filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Ross.

Flores-Rocha was arrested six months later by Border Patrol agents. A woman traveling with him said he had taken her to three farms on March 15, 2011, to provide sexual services to farm workers, court records said.

When Flores-Rocha was arrested, he had Young-Hernandez’s business card and three text messages from Young-Hernandez on his cellphone listing addresses of farms where workers were interested in receiving sexual services, the sentencing memorandum said.

N.H. court says driver’s cell phone use
can be considered in criminal negligence cases

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Even though talking on a cell phone while driving is not illegal in New Hampshire, the Supreme Court says such conduct can be used to convict a driver of criminally negligent homicide. In its unanimous ruling Friday, the court upheld the conviction of 48-year-old Lynne Dion of Franklin in the 2009 death of pedestrian Genny Bassett in Franklin.

Phone records showed Dion used her cell phone 90 seconds before using that same phone to call police after the accident.

Bassett was in a well-lit crosswalk on the Ward One Bridge when she was struck and killed.

The court said that even though cell phone use while driving is legal, it may constitute blameworthy conduct when such use distracts a driver. Dion’s lawyer did not immediately return a call. Multi-car accident causes delays on I-89 in Vt.

SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- Vermont State Police say several vehicles have crashed in both the north and southbound sides of Interstate 89 in South Burlington.

One southbound lane was blocked Friday afternoon and traffic was backed up going north. Earlier in the day, a multiple-vehicle crash caused substantial traffic delays on Interstate 89 south in an area known as "Bolton Flats."

Police also asking drivers to slow down as snow has made for some difficult driving conditions.

N.H. officials raise awareness about poaching

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire fish and game officials hope a new, traveling exhibit will raise awareness about poaching.

The exhibit will be in a mobile trailer and soon making the rounds to educate the public about Operation Game Thief, an anti-poaching program that encourages the public to report suspicious activity or knowledge about poaching.

The project recently raised $30,000 to buy a 20-foot, enclosed trailer to house the exhibit, which highlights poaching cases.

The exhibit includes an interactive display showing the types of cases fish and game officers pursued.