Thursday, April 17, 2014

Foothills Regional Airport (KMRN) former manager receives delay in reporting to prison

MORGANTON, NC — The former manager of Foothills Regional Airport won’t have to report to prison for at least 60 days.

Alex Nelson requested a delay in reporting to prison so he could square away the care of various family members. Nelson was supposed to report April 8 to a federal prison in Beaver, W.Va.

Nelson was sentenced Feb. 25 to three years in federal prison for conspiracy to engage in public corruption, embezzlement and money laundering. He pleaded guilty to the crimes in September 2012.

Nelson is out on bond. At his sentencing in February, Nelson was not taken into custody and was allowed to self-report to prison.

In a motion to extend the date he has to report to prison, Nelson’s attorney M. Gordon Widenhouse Jr. said Nelson having to report so soon has caused him serious issues. Those issues are due to Nelson’s responsibilities as primary caregiver for many members of his immediate family, the motion says.

The motion says Nelson has been through a number of serious family emergencies, including a car wreck he was involved in March 25, where he sustained a concussion and cervical strain.

The motion says Nelson’s wife needs constant care for acute depression and anxiety. His mother is in a nursing home, his mother-in-law needs daily care due to dementia and his father-in-law is nearly 100 percent disabled. It says Nelson needs more time to arrange for their care.

Widenhouse, in the motion, says he doesn’t expect to have to request an extension of time past June 7.

U.S. District Court Judge Martin Reidinger granted request for extended time for Nelson to report to prison.

Nelson also has filed an appeal of his sentencing to the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. Nelson said in March he has questions about the sentencing process used in his case.

Brad Adkins, the former airport operations manager who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and embezzlement on the same day as Nelson, has not yet been sentenced.

The federal government revoked the bond of Adkins and he has been held at the McDowell County jail. Adkins faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

No sentencing date has been set for Randy Hullette, former chairman of the board of Foothills Regional Airport, who pleaded guilty to embezzlement and witness tampering Aug. 21. He faces a total maximum sentence of 30 years. No presentence investigation report on Hullette has been filed yet, which is required before sentencing.

The FBI raided the airport in June 2012, seizing files, records, computers, log books and other information. The warrant included records from the airport involving Nelson, Adkins and Hullette defrauding the airport of at least $100,000.

The warrant also called for seizing any files, records or information related to Hullette Aviation, Burkemont Service Center, RANMAC Inc., Jeffrey Rose, Grady Rose Tree Service, Jimmy “Ron” Gilbert, Gilbert Grading and Construction, Simon Roofing and Parton Lumber.


State Police Increase Air Patrols Over Boston Marathon

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts State Police are adding eyes in the sky for marathon Monday. 

Last year, they had one helicopter flying along the route. This year state police will have four helicopters flying throughout the day.

The choppers have high-powered and infrared cameras that send crucial information down to officers on the ground. The technology was in place during last year’s search for the marathon bombers.

“The detail was phenomenal, he was actually standing up in the boat,” said Mark Spencer of the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing.

Spencer is one of the three airmen who were in the helicopter that spotted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They will be back in the air on Monday.

Some of the helicopters are six months old and the technology is even better than a year ago.

Police said they will not focus on abandoned bags or packages; They will patrol the crowds. They are also key in responding quickly to scenes when ground officers are delayed.

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