News by Professionals 4 Professionals


Minnesota Police Officer Recalls Tense Encounter With Mall Attacker

Avon Police Officer Jason Falconer, who took out a terrorist at a Minnesota mall last September, says he is not a hero. Ten victims suffered stab wounds before Jason Falconer stepped in. Surveillance video captured a crazed man wearing a security guard uniform on the attack and stabbing people at random. Falconer recalled what happened at the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud, Minn., when the madman approached him. “I don’t think I’m a hero,” he told Inside Edition as he spoke about the incident for the first time.

Students get in-depth look at 179th Airlift Wing & 200th RED HORSE Squadron

MANSFIELD Seventh and eighth grade students from Richland County fashioned helmets, vests, rucksacks and even a gas mask. They also had a chance to look through night vision goggles and experience first-hand what military members have to wear and use either in training or real-world operations.


179th at LeaderRichland

The LeaderRichland program offered an introduction to Richland County’s seventh- and eighth-grade students to the Ohio Air National Guard units last week at Ohio State-Mansfield. (Submitted Photos)

It was part of last week’s LeaderRichland program at The Ohio State University at Mansfield (OSU-Mansfield) and North Central State College (NCSC) Campus. Members from the 179th Airlift Wing (AW) and 200th RED HORSE Squadron (RHS) Det. 1 engaged with the students about potential academic and career development the Ohio Air National Guard offers.

At this stage of their life most of these young men have not given any thought to what they want to do or be, Leader Richland provides us a chance to introduce the ANG and its awesome benefits and opportunities to serve as citizen-airmen, 200th RHS Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Joseph Logan. Hopefully in a few years when they are trying to figure out life beyond high school some will remember this and want to serve. Students also watched a video that highlighted the ANG and the different capabilities the organization provides.

It was a lot of fun to show the kids what I do and have them try out some of our equipment,” Security Forces Specialist Staff. Sgt. James Unger said. “It s nice to see the impact on the children. The children get an opportunity to see the benefits of serving the local community.

179th AW Executive Officer Maj. Brandy Piacentino, Public Affairs Officer 1st Lt. Paul Stennett, and Logistics Flight Commander Capt. Joshua Clegg spoke with students about their positions and experience while serving in the Air National Guard (ANG).

Unger brought gear commonly used by the security forces squadron for the students to try on, touch and learn how to use.

It was great to expose the kids to what we do here at the 179th AW and 200 RHS, many of them were unaware there was even an ANG unit in country, Clegg said.

Men whose coke-filled plane landed at OU Airport agree to plead guilty

Two Montreal area men whose small plane filled with cocaine was forced to land at the Ohio University Airport earlier this spring have agreed to plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The plane s pilot, Sylvain Desjardins, 48, and a passenger, David Ayotte, 46, both of Maribel, Quebec, Canada, a suburb of Montreal, intended to fly the cocaine to Canada and then distribute there, according to a news release from Benjamin C. Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. However, as they were flying over the Athens area on March 29, they discovered that the plane was having mechanical issues and landed it at the OU Airport in Albany, the release said.

Change-of-plea hearings before U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley have not yet been scheduled, according to the release. Possession with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine is a crime punishable by a range of 10 years to life in prison. When the Piper Navajo PA-31 landed at the Gordon K. Bush (OU) Airport, police said it was carrying about 300 pounds of cocaine. Soon after landing, Desjardins and Ayotte were taken into custody by federal Homeland Security. The international flight, departing from the Bahamas, landed at the OU airport without proper authorization, officials said at the time.

The plane was owned by Desjardins and is registered in Canada. Law enforcement and other agencies involved in this case included U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, OU Police Department, the OU Airport, Athens County Sheriff s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, Ohio National Guard Counter Drug Program, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Attach Office Montreal, Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency and Service de Police del la Ville de Montreal. According to the Statement of Facts filed in support of the plea documents (as recounted in the U.S. Attorney s news release) on March 29, 2017, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations center official in Riverside, California detected an aircraft that departed from the Bahamas and was traveling to Windsor, Ontario, Canada but had diverted to Gordon K. Bush Airport at Ohio University.

The official contacted the Athens County Sheriff s Office, who, along with agents from HSI, executed a search warrant on the plane upon arrival. While doing so, investigators discovered approximately 132 kilograms or 290 pounds of cocaine.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation of this case by law enforcement, as well as Deputy Criminal Chief Michael J. Hunter, who is representing the United States in this case.

The Montreal Gazette reported March 31 that the two suspects, Desjardins and Ayotte, have prior convictions for drug offenses in Canada, with Desjardins having multiple past convictions and prison time.

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