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6000 drug offenders to be released from federal prisons

TEXAS- Jessica Crawford

The Department of Justice has confirmed the release of 6,000 drug offenders.

Last year, the US Sentencing Commission reduced sentencing guideline levels  for federal drug trafficking offenders.

"Six thousand people, six hundred in the state of Texas, you're telling me," says Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham. "They're letting out a large number of people."

The release will take place between late October and early November.

"Most of the cases in the federal courts are major drug transactions," says Wortham.

According to The Commission, no offender will be released unless a judge finds they're not a threat to public safety.

Deputy Marcus McLellan made arrests in drug crimes as a patrol officer.

"Some of them may see it as a second chance, others may see it as a free pass to go back to the life they were in," says McLellan.

Wortham says some smaller cases may have made it to federal courts.

"I'll be the first one to tell you, yes there are some people that probably got more time, and they're very passive, they were minimal, small drug dealers that got caught up in a big bust," he says.

The released inmates who aren't US citizens will be turned over to US Immigration Custom Enforcement officials.

There will be more releases in the future. The Commission says the reduced sentences could lower the federal prison population over time.

"Overcrowding can be a problem, but you have to be very selective of the people you release," says Wortham. "You can't paint it with a big wide brush. You need an artist brush where you dot the I's and cross the T's."

Wortham says it's important for the country to invest in the rehabilitation of the drug offenders it's releasing.

"If we keep them from being addicted, we cure them, they go back into the system and are productive," he says. "Now they have an opportunity to be successful, to be productive, to be a good husband, to be a good father, to be a good neighbor in our community."



TXDOT: All lanes open on I-10 following 18-wheeler accident
TRAFFIC ALERT : UPDATE -- All lanes of the I-10 are now open.
A crash involving two 18 wheelers on I-10 eastbound at 11th street earlier tonight had  traffic on I-10 backed up.

Victims in North Arizona University shooting identified

Police have identified the victims of the shooting at Flagstaff campus of Northern Arizona University.

The student who was killed in the incident has been identified as Colin Brough, the Associated Press reported citing authorities. The three students who were injured have been identified as Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring. The three are being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center, NAU said.

The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Steven Jones, Chief Gregory T. Fowler of the Northern Arizona University Police said in a press conference. Jones is in police custody.

Initial calls reporting shots fired came in at 1:20 a.m. Arizona time, the school said in a statement.

Fowler explained that the individuals involved in the shooting had some sort of confrontation, but could not provide further details on what caused the incident. Local and university police are conducting the ongoing investigation into the incident.

The shooting took place in a parking lot outside a dorm, The Associated Press reported.

"The incident took place outside Mountain View Hall on the northeast end of the Flagstaff Campus," according to NAU. 

Mountain View Hall is "a dormitory which houses most of the campus' students involved in Greek organizations," ABC News reported.

CNN confirmed that some of the individuals involved in the shooting were members of the Delta Chi Fraternity. 

NAU's public relations director, Cindy Brown told CNN that there are about 20,000 students on the Flagstaff Campus and said that students were sent a series of alerts regarding the shooter situation.

The University has set up a family assistance center and set up a phone line for parents. Classes are expected to be held as usual on Friday, according to the University.

"The university called the shooting an 'isolated and unprecedented' incident," The Associated Press reported. 

Support services are being provided for members of the university community.

Texas Southern U. lockdown lifted following fatal shooting

UPDATE -- The lockdown at Texas Southern University has been lifted, according to Houston media reports.  An 18-year-old freshman was killed in a late morning shooting there.  Houston police have two persons in custody and are seeking a third.





 Stay tuned to KFDM News at 5, 6 and 10 PM for updates and to thoughout the day for breaking news.


HOUSTON (AP) -- One person was killed and another wounded during a shooting at a Texas Southern University student housing complex on Friday, and the Houston campus has been placed on lockdown, university and police officials said.


The shooting was reported around 11:30 a.m. Central at University Courtyard Apartments. Houston Police tweeted early Friday afternoon that a possible suspect had been detained. The tweet also said one person died in the shooting, and another person was wounded.


University spokesman Kendrick Callis said the campus is on lockdown and classes have been cancelled.


Houston and campus police didn't immediately return messages seeking comment. Police and emergency vehicles were at the scene, though no additional details were available.


The incident occurred just hours after another shooting near the same housing complex. The university said in a statement posted on its website that the earlier shooting occurred early Friday morning, and that the school was increasing police presence on campus. No other details were immediately available and it's not clear if the shootings are linked.



The university has about 9,700 students.








Shooting reported near Texas Southern U in Houston. Campus on lockdown


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