Criminal Justice + Policing

Sheriff launches investigation of Iowa dog breeder

BY: - January 10, 2023

County law enforcement officials say they are investigating a rural Iowa dog breeder who is being sanctioned by federal regulators. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has fined Henry R. Sommers, who runs the Happy Puppy dog-breeding operation on 141st Avenue in the Appanoose County town of Cincinnati, $12,600. The fine stems from numerous citations for […]

Iowans give millions to sheriffs’ group that spends only 34% on charity

BY: - January 9, 2023

Less than 34% of the $2.6 million Iowans have donated to an Iowa sheriffs’ group in recent years has been used for the stated purpose of training officers and helping underprivileged children. Newly disclosed tax filings by the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association Institute indicate the organization raised more money in 2021 than at […]

Bird charts new course for top law enforcement office

BY: - January 6, 2023

In her first week in office, Attorney General Brenna Bird took action consistent with her campaign promises to change tack on litigating administrative actions by President Joe Biden and seeking to reinstate Iowa’s restrictive abortion legislation. It was an about-face from the stances taken by her predecessor, Democrat Tom Miller, who held the post for […]

Ex-cop avoids prison, but more criminal charges loom

BY: - December 29, 2022

A former police officer who admitted to repeatedly stalking a woman and also striking a man in the face will not go to prison for the crimes if he abides by the terms of his probation, court records show. Walter Pacheco, 28, of Pleasant Hill, was convicted this week of felony willful injury and misdemeanor […]

Supreme Court: Pandemic trial violated rights of man accused of raping girl

BY: - December 22, 2022

A Dubuque man accused of raping a 16-year-old girl will get a new trial because a district court judge didn’t allow the public to attend his 2021 trial due to COVID-19 precautions, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in a split decision. Ronald James Brimmer, 25, was found guilty by a jury of second-degree sexual abuse […]

Prosecutors to seek prison for ex-cop who wants probation

BY: - December 20, 2022

A former police officer might have avoided prison as part of a plea agreement this summer related to allegations of stalking and harassing a woman, but his prosecutors are likely to seek a prison sentence now that he has been accused of further crimes against her, according to court records. Walter Pacheco, 28, of Pleasant Hill, […]

Accused of being drunk at work, county’s top prosecutor resigns

BY: - December 15, 2022

Dickinson County’s top criminal prosecutor, charged with public intoxication and accused of being “passed out” on more than one occasion while at work, has submitted her resignation to the county board. According to the Dickinson County website, the board of supervisors voted earlier this week to accept the resignation of County Attorney Amy Zenor. The […]

Club Q survivors at U.S. House hearing denounce anti-LGBTQ rhetoric

BY: - December 14, 2022

Survivors of a deadly attack at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs and other advocates told a U.S. House panel Wednesday that political rhetoric and policy fights dehumanize LGBTQ people and contribute to such violence. Democrats and Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee largely sympathized with the survivors, but drew different conclusions […]

Iowa bank’s lawsuit claims financial statements were fabricated as part of loan scheme

BY: - December 12, 2022

LINCOLN, Neb. — An Iowa bank, one of the many victims in a purported bank fraud case, is asking for an emergency court hearing and the appointment of a special investigator to determine whether the estate of a Lincoln businessman has sufficient funds to pay back at least $44 million in loans. Midstates Bank of Council […]

Ex-cop accused of threatening witness against him

BY: - November 23, 2022

A former police officer who faces numerous felony charges in connection with allegations of harassing and stalking a Des Moines woman is now accused by prosecutors of threatening to harm her to prevent her from testifying against him. Walter Pacheco, 28, of Pleasant Hill, had been released from jail pending the outcome of several criminal […]

FBI confirms a single juvenile suspect behind most bomb threats to dozens of HBCUs

BY: - November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The FBI has officially announced that a single minor youth is the main suspect in most racially motivated bomb threats to dozens of Historically Black Colleges and Universities earlier this year that terrorized students. The FBI in a statement on Monday did not release any further details — only that the individual is under 18 […]


Could another Mamie Till bring gun change?

BY: - November 11, 2022

Mamie Till came along at the right time in American history. During the 1950s, in an era when many Americans were blind to the grotesque toll of racial hatred, this courageous Illinois mother stepped forward and opened America’s eyes. What people saw outraged them — the mutilated body of her 14-year-old son, Emmett, lying in […]