March 30, 2005 in Nation/World

Man, 87, sentenced for sex plan abroad

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Santa Ana, Calif. An 87-year-old man convicted of attempting to travel to the Philippines to molest young girls was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison under a 2003 federal law aimed at fighting sex crimes abroad.

John W. Seljan was the first person to be convicted at trial of violating the Protect Act, which made it easier for U.S. authorities to prosecute people for overseas sex crimes, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Seljan sat in a wheelchair and used headphones to listen to the proceedings when he was convicted by a judge during trial in November.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested him in October 2003 at Los Angeles International Airport as he was about to board a flight to the Philippines. In his luggage, he had child pornography, sexual aids and nearly 100 pounds of chocolates and other candy. Authorities said he intended to have sex with two girls, ages 9 and 12.

Airmen allegedly stole, sold bulletproof vests

Valdosta, Ga. Three airmen have been arrested in an alleged scheme to steal 35 bulletproof vests from Moody Air Force Base and sell them to drug dealers for $100 each.

Eighteen of the vests, which typically sell for up to $600, have been recovered but others still may be on the street, Sheriff Ashley Paulk said.

“You never want the bad guys to have all the tools that you’ve got to work with,” Paulk said.

The investigation began last week when police arrested a suspected gang member and found he was wearing a bulletproof vest that eventually was traced to the Air Force base.

Cocaine stash blamed for car’s lack of speed

Slidell, La. A reliable family car suddenly developed a tendency to decelerate, leading to the discovery that it had been driven for years with $40,000 worth of cocaine in the gas tank.

A suburban New Orleans family had bought the 1996 Toyota Camry from a used car lot in 1997.

“They hadn’t had any major mechanical difficulties with it until last week,” sheriff’s spokesman James Hartman said Tuesday.

When the car started losing speed, it was taken to a mechanic, who discovered two bricks of cocaine wrapped around the vehicle’s fuel line. The wrapping had apparently come loose recently.

Impatient 7-year-old tries to drive to day care

Enterprise, Ala. A 7-year-old who wanted to play with friends couldn’t wait.

He drove off in his father’s truck, eventually running it into a ditch before police managed to coax him out of the vehicle.

The boy was driving the big, dual-wheel truck erratically along Highway 27 when other drivers called police, saying they couldn’t see anyone behind the wheel.

The boy apparently got the keys while his father, who was not identified, was sleeping, and he was trying to drive to an Enterprise day care center, police said.

Capt. Mike Lolley said the boy was near a convenience store when the vehicle swerved into a ditch.

The boy rolled up the windows and locked the doors as police approached. As he pressed the gas pedal, the truck sent mud and dirt flying but didn’t move.

Officers coaxed him out by telling the child they would take him to play with his friends, then took him to the police station.

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