“Never mind me”: North Carolina parolee posts videos of himself with guns, cash and dope, gets busted

CHARLOTTE, NC- According to authorities, a man identified in court documents as Joseph Banks, had guns, cash and dope, and recorded himself while engaging in all this illegal activity. 

While some criminal suspects inadvertently leave clues for police, this Charlotte man produced, narrated and starred in his own film festival of illegal activity where he posted online videos in which he flashed large amounts of firearms, wads of cash, and an impressive stash of a marijuana.

All of this creative output took place while Banks was supervised release from a 2018 conviction for Possession by a Convicted Felon, meaning it would be a crime for Banks to have guns, much less be waving them around on Facebook with wads of cash and bags of marijuana.

The 30-year-old is back in the Mecklenburg County Jail after being charged with a parole violation.

Documents show that he is also at the center of a new legal fight led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte to seize more than $8,000 in case found in the Charlotte apartment Banks reportedly shared with his girlfriend on the day of his May arrest.

In May, Banks and the girlfriend, identified in court records as Maleka Charnae Richardson, argued on the phone over the circumstances of the raid by U.S. marshals on the apartment just a few days earlier and how the couple failed to get their stories straight about the money. 

Mecklenburg jails calls made by inmates are recorded. Below is a transcription of a conversation recording between Banks and his girlfriend:

He: “I tried telling them the money was yours, but you told them the money was mine.”

She: “I didn’t say (expletive).”

He: “That (expletive) crazy. Your (expletive) opened the door so God (expletive) quick, I was trying to hide my money.”

She: “(Expletive), I didn’t do (expletive).”

According to documents in his case, Bank’s video productions began to find an audience among law enforcement just after Christmas 2020. On December 30, 2020, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police received a tip that Banks was violating his parole by carrying a handgun and dealing drugs. 

The cops soon found a Facebook page belonging to “Bebe Banks.” Before long, the show began. The curtain went up on February 27th, when Banks posted a video of himself driving a car holding a large wad of cash with a Glock-style pistol in his lap.

Prosecutors claim that in the same day, Banks posted another video that panned over a large amount of marijuana and multiple stacks of money. In the video, Banks is heard saying, “That real (expletive) right there.”

According to court documents, on another user’s Facebook page, Banks posted with two semi-automatic rifles held up to his face; later, with two handfuls of cash, he wrote, “Lol great day.”

A March video on Bank’s own Facebook page, entitled “These props,” featured eight firearms laid out on a kitchen counter.

A second video that same month had Banks posting in a laundry room with cash and dope.

The caption read, “Never mind me.” Police were tracking Bank’s cell phone and learned that he was staying overnight at Richardson’s apartment, a location he had not reported to his parole officer. 

The documents allege that at that apartment, U.S. marshals found 2.2. pounds of marijuana, three dozen THC vape pens, and a whole bunch of 20 dollar bills — 402 to be exact. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Bain-Creed said in a court filing that the money is likely tied to illegal drug sales and thus can be legally seized by the government. 

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Report: Gang member out on parole arrested for rape of 70-year-old woman in police-defunded NYC

September 12th, 2021

BRONX, NY- According to authorities, a gang member on parole was arrested for holding a 70-year-old woman at gunpoint and raping her inside of her Bronx apartment building. 

The New York Post reported that the shocking sexual assault happened around 2 a.m. on July 27th when the woman entered the stairwell of her building in Belmont and was approached by an unknown man from behind. 

Police said that the man, who was wearing a black mask and another red plastic face covering, pulled out a firearm and raped the woman and then fled the scene.

The elderly woman did not report the attack until August 2nd and was treated for injuries at BronxCare Health System Hospital. Police then released surveillance footage of the suspected attacker. On Tuesday, September 7th, the armed suspect was arrested.

He has since been identified as 28-year-old Reginald Bellot. Bellot has been charged with rape, strangulation, predatory sexual assault, criminal sex act, menacing and unlawful imprisonment in connection to the horrific and violent July 27th attack.

Police did not specify the gang with which Bellot is affiliated. State prison records show he was incarcerated in February 2018 in connection to an attempted robbery and prison contraband charge. Bellot was serving a sentence of one-and-a-half to six years.

However, in February 2020, he was released to parole. Records also show that he was sentenced to two years for an attempted burglary charge in 2015. He is now awaiting arraignment in the Bronx criminal court.

In a separate incident, a man from Manteca, California was arrested for allegedly raping a homeless female in Sonora, California. Authorities are concerned that she may not be the only victim. 

According to reports, the crime dates back to June 4th. Sonora Police spokesperson Thomas Brickley stated that the victim, a woman in her late thirties, was walking along West Stockton Street when a Hispanic man driving a dark-colored SUV pulled over and asked if she needed a ride. Brickley added:

“The victim accepted the offer and got inside of the vehicle. The make drove the victim to an undisclosed location instead of the intended destination. The male then ordered the victim out of the vehicle and raped her by force.”

Police were notified of the rape by Adventist Health Sonora after the victim was brought in by ambulance. DNA samples were collected during a forensic exam and on August 31st, police were notified of a match to 37-year-old Joseph Frank Pineda Pimentel. 

Further investigation, including a follow-up with Turlock Police, revealed that Pineda Pimentel had just been arrested on September 2nd for rape. On September 7th, he was arrested again, this time by Sonora Police. His bail was set at $150,000.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Arrest/Custody Report states that Pineda Pimentel is a Surgery Technician and was arrested at Adventist Health Sonora. In a comment sent via email, Communication Manager Jaquelyn Lugg said:

“Pineda Pimentel is an employee, but he is not on the schedule and is not currently working. We would also like to add that there is no indication that these charges involve a patient or other employees, and the arrest was not due to events that occurred on hospital grounds.”

Sonora police investigators are alerting the public that there may be more victims in the Foothills and Central Valley areas. Brickley said:

“We urge any additional victims to come forward and report the crime to the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. Investigators ask homeless resource groups to encourage those they assist in the homeless population to report any crime that occurs to them.”
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Report: Three Afghan refugees arrested after gang rape and murder of girl, 13, in Austria

August 24th, 2021

According to reports, Austrian authorities have arrested three Afghans as suspects in the rape and killing of a 13-year-old girl, a crime that promoted strong condemnation and tough talk from the country’s leader on crimes committed by migrants.

The young girl’s body was found next to a tree in Vienna’s Donaustradt district on Saturday, June 26th. A few days later, two Afghan youths, aged 16 and 18, were arrested as suspects. Both were asylum-seekers.

The 18-year-old reportedly had his protected status revoked as a result of three convictions that included a robbery.

On July 1st, police stated that a third man, a 23-year-old Afghan, was also arrested in Vienna on suspicion of involvement in the deadly crime.

Officials stated that the victim knew the first two suspects and had voluntarily accompanied them to the 18-year-old’s apartment. According to Vienna Police Chief Gerhard Puerstl, once at the apartment, the young girl was given drugs and “crimes against the sexual integrity” of the girl were committed.

Police stated that the elder of the two has denied having anything to do with the killing, while the 16-year-old has yet to say anything. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that authorities will ensure the perpetrators are “punished with the full force of law,” adding:

“I find it intolerable for people to come to us, say they are seeking protection and then commit cruel, barbaric crimes in Austria.”

Kruz, who has long taken a tough approach to migration issues, continued by saying:

“Politically, this means for me that we will stick to our consistent line. With me, there will definitely never be a half to deportations to Afghanistan or a watering-down of asylum law toward asylum-seekers who commit crimes.”

Fox News reported that by every measure, Afghan resettlement in Europe has been a failure. Afghan refugees have committed barbaric attacks, attacks that left-wing politicians in Europe frequently cover up for fear of being calling a racist.  For example:

“A gang of 50 Afghans who terrorized women in the neighborhood of the Linz train station were brushed off by a government official with the remark that this was an unfortunate consequence of bad weather.”

In another instance, during summer 2020, an Afghan migrant was arrested in Germany for raping an 11-year-old girl. Authorities released him from jail just a few days later. They claimed he was not dangerous and anyone who disagreed with that was a racist.

What happened next? The migrant the proceeded to rape another girl who was only 13-years-old.

Statistics show these are not just anecdotes, but that it happens often. Germany’s government conducted a recent study showing that rates of violent crime in Germany, which have been declining for years.

However, those rates shot up abruptly in 2015 during the same time when refugees from Afghanistan and Syria arrived in Germany. More than 90 percent of the new crimes in Germany were committed by asylum-seekers. 

Turkey has beefed up its border measures in an effort to block any Afghan refugee influx into the country. Mehmet Emin Bilmez, governor of the eastern border province of Van, said in a statement:

“We want to show the whole world that our borders are unpassable. Our biggest hope is that there is no migrant wave from Afghanistan.”

Authorities said there are 182,000 registered Afghan migrants in Turkey and up to an estimated 120,000 unregistered ones. Turkey stated they have no intention of becoming “Europe’s migrant storage unit.”

Officials stated that they have not yet seen signs of a major surge since last week’s Taliban takeover, but the long distances mean refugees could take weeks to arrive. 

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Video: Violence outside airport in Kabul, people covered in blood as Afghans desperately seek refuge

August 23rd, 2021

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Video has emerged from the area outside of the airport in Kabul, where gunfire can be heard, and a man is laid out on the ground – covered in blood and being tended to by a distraught woman.

The video reaffirms that the on the ground situation outside of the Kabul airport seems to be only escalating with the presence of the Taliban.

There’s little surprise in knowing that with the presence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, violence is playing out.

With the Taliban having effectively taken control of Afghanistan, many Afghans are crowding outside of the airport in Kabul, desperate for the chance to escape the country.

With video that came from the ground outside the airport on August 21st, one can catch a mere glimpse into the very circumstances these people are trying to flee from. If one were completely oblivious to the current ongoings in Kabul, one could easily mistake the footage as coming from a skirmish in a warzone.

Footage shows a man, laid out on the ground and drenched in blood, while a woman is crouched beside him, in tears and cradling his head. Gunshots can be heard going off nearby, and it’s frankly difficult to tell if the man on the ground is even alive.

Screams are emanating from all around, and the camera pans over to see a man with blood on his face.

This video was shot at the same time that the U.S. Embassy issued warnings for people to not make their way over to the Kabul airport, having cited “potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport.”

Additional video that was captured on August 20th shows another large crowd outside the airport in Kabul, where again screams can be heard and children visibly distressed, as the sounds of gunfire are heard.

The situation in Kabul is extremely fluid, with circumstances constantly changing. An August 18th report from CNBC noted that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman confirmed that the Taliban were not being as cooperative in allowing Afghans the ability to flee the country:

“We have seen reports that the Taliban, contrary to their public statements and their commitments to our government, are blocking Afghans who wish to leave the country from reaching the airport.”

A report from CNN on August 22nd stated that situation at the Kabul airport is resulting in some families being separated and even sent to different countries when being evacuated from the country:

“Conditions worsened throughout Sunday, with the airport’s entry gates for the most part closed and instances of families being split up and sent to different countries in the chaos.”

A source for the network claimed that the family separations are not intentional, but “they’ve had cases where mum, dad, and children all end up in different countries.”

Thousands are reportedly continuing to gather outside the airport currently, in an effort to flee the tyranny and subjugation of a government established by force & violence that they never voted or asked for.

The Associated Press reported on August 22 that at least seven Afghans were killed in crushes stemming from the thousands trying to gain access to the airport over the past week.

President Joe Biden told reporters that as many as 11,000 people have been airlifted out of Kabul during a 36-hour period over the weekend, but didn’t provide any details outside of that figure. 

The president has also reaffirmed that American citizens and Afghans who aided Americans during our time in the country will be prioritized for evacuation.

However, American citizens that are currently in Afghanistan are still being advised to abstain from coming to the Kabul airport until they receive explicit instructions to do so.

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Taliban reportedly opens fire on crowd of protesters in Jalalabad who were fighting for the National Flag

(Originally published August 18th, 2021)

JALALABAD, AFGHANISTAN – According to reports, protesters that had formed in Jalalabad to oppose the replacement of the Afghanistan national flag in public areas by the Taliban led to bloodshed, as Taliban fighters reportedly opened fire on the crowd of protesters.

On August 17th, hundreds of citizens in Jalalabad flocked to the streets to protest the Taliban’s removal of the nation’s flag to replace it with the emblem of the Taliban in public areas.

Video captured portions of the protest, with citizens marching through the streets, with some waving the national flag of Afghanistan.

However, the protesting and flag waving did not end well for those who defied the Taliban.

NDTV reported that this protest by the Jalalabad locals led to the Taliban firing upon the crowd, killing three and injuring dozens of others.

Video was shared to Twitter showing the locals running as gunshots rang out.

Jalalabad was reportedly the final city to come under the control of the Taliban before the group successfully took control of Kabul, with video shared to Twitter showing the Taliban entering the city on August 14th.

https://twitter.com/Rashid_OfficiaI/status/1426746865299738626

While having ended in bloodshed, the demonstration in Jalalabad appears to be the first sort of pushback against the Taliban since the overthrow of the government and seizure of Afghanistan.

The Taliban have attempted to manifest a more progressive front following the seizure, promising a broad exoneration, and encouraging women to join their government activities, not-to-distant memories of public lashings, executions, and stoning for acts of things like adultery during the Taliban’s rule from 1996 to 2001 are still vivid.

But if what took place in Jalalabad shows evidence of, it’s that there is some level of resistance to recognizing the Taliban as the country’s official government. Whether these sorts of demonstrations continue moving forward remains to be seen.

While the current ongoings with regard to the Taliban taking over Afghanistan has a complex history of over 20 years – with many proverbial ingredients stemming from multiple administrations – Americans overall disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the situation. 

A recent survey conducted by the The Trafalgar Group and Convention of States Action, which The Hill reported on, found that 69% of survey responders did not approve of President Biden’s handling of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. 

Even when breaking it down by political parties, 48% of polled Democrats disapproved of how President Biden employed the exit strategy in the country. 

Even CNN contributor Frida Ghitis, who still managed to attribute some level of culpability to former President Trump, wrote that “much of the fault” for what happened in Afghanistan rests in President Biden’s lap: 

“There’s no question that much of the fault lies with President Joe Biden. He made the final decision to withdraw. He chose to abide by a disastrous agreement crafted under the previous administration; moved the troops out with obviously poor planning for contingencies, and is the president under whose watch the two-decade war ended in a humiliating rush for exits for the US and NATO, as the previous regime took control.”

All the while, President Biden has been pointing the finger of blame at everyone but himself. 

According to a report from Reuters, President Biden laid blame on the Afghan military and officials for the disaster that unfolded earlier in August, characterizing the forces to something akin to a band of cowards fleeing: 

“The truth is: This did unfold more quickly than we anticipated. So what’s happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military gave up, sometimes without trying to fight.”

President Biden then redirected his energy toward rhetorically questioning how many more American lives needed to be lost to remain in a country he framed as being plagued by a “civil war”:

“How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghans – Afghanistan’s civil war, when Afghan troops will not? How many more lives – American lives – is it worth? How many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery?”

The president is doing his best to frame this ill-executed exit from Afghanistan as him falling on a proverbial sword, so that a future administration wouldn’t have to tackle the issue: 

“Our leaders did that in Vietnam when I got here as (a) young man. I will not do it in Afghanistan. I know my decision will be criticized but I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another president.”

While President Biden has proclaimed to “stand squarely behind” his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, this is going to be one stain on his presidency that will be unlikely to come out.

_

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Author: Jenna Curren


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