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Afghan Girl Prints Theft Arrest; 37 Caught Heroin Bust; NTSB Prelim Report Amtrak 188
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/02/15 7:43 pm | updated: 06/02/15 7:43 pm
 
Steve McCurry is a world-renowned photographer based in Chester County most notable for his picture of the "Afghan Girl" on the cover of the June 1985 National Geographic. It was announced today by Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan that, McCurry's assistant, 32-year-old Bree DeStephano of York, PA, has been charged with theft and related offenses. DeStephano worked as the Manager of Fine Art Print Sales at Steve McCurry Studios, LLC, located in Exton, West Whiteland Township. Between May 2012 and November 2013, she stole and sold 50 prints with a total value of $628,000. These included the Afghan Girl, Vertical Dust Storm, The Blue City, and Bengali Woman and Child. She also took 233 books and other items valued at $23,196.14. DeStephano's accomplice, Brandon Donahue, will be charged in Colorado. Bail was set at $250,000 unsecured. Authorities were able to recover most of the art.

Federal authorities arrested and charged 37 people today in a multi-state heroin trafficking operation with ties to the Philadelphia area that smuggled more than a ton of heroin from Mexico. The Laredo Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), led by 46-year-old Antonio Laredo and his brother 31-year-old Ismael Laredo of Mexico, supplied the drugs to distributors in Philadelphia, Camden, New York, Chicago and Atlanta. The drugs were hid in car batteries, car bumpers and sealed fruit and vegetable cans. They also ran street level bagging and packing operations in Philadelphia. Of those charged, 14 are from Philly and 3 are from South Jersey. They each face a minimum of 10 years in prison and fines of $10 million or more. The kingpin brothers face a mandatory life sentence. “This indictment and the arrests this morning are a significant victory in our efforts to combat drug trafficking,” said United States Attorney David Memeger. “Because of the persistent and collaborative efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies across the country, a major supplier of heroin to the Philadelphia region is out of business.”

The National Transportation Safety Board released a two page preliminary report today regarding Amtrak 188 that derailed in Philadelphia early last month. The report outlines much of what is already known. The only new insight was a cost estimation of $9.2 million. This also comes on the same day that Congress began questioning officials about the accident. Members of Congress were frustrated that investigators haven't determined whether the engineer's phone was being used at the time of the crash, but officials say they are still working on syncing those records. Finally, Amtrak vows to install Positive Train Control systems that would have slowed the train, even as the questions of funding are debated.

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Light rain, temperatures in the mid 50's this evening in Center City.
 
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