This Gun Loving Miami Teen Is In Jail On A Child Porn Charge After His Dad Turned His Phone Over To Police

What You Need To Know About This Story:

-An 18 year old student at Miami Krop Senior High School is in jail after his father turned over the teen’s phones to police. 

-Sean Mesa was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography and a charge of improper display of a firearm after police were given his phones to look at concerns his father had regarding his gun use. 

The Miami Herald reports that federal and local investigators knew about Mesa before his father turned over the electronic devices because of various social media posts he has made in the past. 

-Mesa’s father was apparently motivated to turn over the phones after the Parkland shooting. 

-From the Herald

“Mesa came to the attention of U.S Homeland Security Investigations’ Violent Gang Task Force, which forwarded his Instagram and Snapchat photos “recklessly displaying firearms and pointing them at the camera,” according to an arrest warrant.

Miami-Dade Schools Detective John Messenger went to Krop High on Tuesday to try to “engage in a friendly conversation to understand what Sean Mesa’s fascination with firearms was.” 

Mesa, however, bristled — telling him ‘he likes guns and it was his right to post on social media whatever he wished.'”

-After the police visited Mesa at school, his father agreed to turn over the phones to authorities. 

-During the search on the phones, the US Secret Service found video of a 10 year child being sexually abused. Mesa allegedly had shared in a group chat. 
Do you know Sean Mesa? Send us a tip to [email protected] 

This story is from The Miami Monster, a new brand focused on telling the true stories of what life is like for a young person living in South Florida. Be sure to also follow our founder Joel Franco on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest breaking news in the area.  You can send news tips to [email protected] 

Burglars Allegedly Punch 13 Year Old Boy In The Face After Breaking Into Miami Shores Home

What’s New With This Story: 

–Miami Shores Police are searching for three suspects who they say broke into at least two homes on Thanksgiving Day. 

-According to LOCAL 10, one of the burglars punched a 13 year old boy in the face while his 11 year old sister looked on. 

-A Miami Shores resident named Brett Firestone foiled the robbery at one house when he confronted the men. He told LOCAL 10, that they then drove away down NE 107th St at over 100 miles per hour. 

–The alleged robberies took place at a home near NE 107th St and NE 10th Place and at a home on NW 100th Terrace. 


Here’s the official advisory from MSPD:

Here’s LOCAL 10’s report on it:

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Report: Miami Joker Says He Was Treated Like A “Celebrity” In Jail

Lawrence Patrick Sullivan seemingly had a rough day Wednesday after being arrested for waving a gun at cars in the Hammocks area of Miami-Dade County.

But if you hear him tell it, Sullivan was having a grand old-time in county lock up before bonding out.

In an interview with CBS Miami after getting out of jail, Sullivan said that he was “treated like a celebrity” by the guards.

He was kept on the psychiatric wing of the jail due to his history of mental illness.

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Photo Credit: CBS Miami

Recent Deaths Force Memphis To Confront Its Problems With Crime And A Lack Of Opportunities For Young People

By Courtney Anderson

MEMPHIS, TN- This southern city is renowned for its importance in American culture. It is sadly also known as one of the most violent cities in the country, with a violent crime rate that is nearly three times that of the entire state of Tennessee.

Local news reports the deaths of Memphis citizens nearly every day.

With the recent deaths of 18-year-old Myneisha Johnson, who was only a week away from graduating high school, and Memphis police officer Verdell Smith, city government officials have sworn to fight back against crime.

Memphis mayor Jim Strickland promised to create even more efforts against crime, and released his plan on June 6.

Strickland’s plans, titled “Better Memphis,” calls for more police officer patrols, improved communication between MPD, highway patrol and sheriff deputies and more close monitoring of past offenders.

“We have to do a lot more as a city government and as a community,” Strickland said in a statement on June 9. “As a city government, we need more police officers. We need coordination with the sheriff and the state.”

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The website for the Memphis Police Department has a statement about the department’s dedication to crime prevention and several examples of programs created to curtail crime.

“The Crime Prevention efforts of the Memphis Police Department seek to combine prevention, intervention, and law enforcement in a partnership effort with the community to combat crime,” the Memphis Police Department site states.

The Memphis Police Department’s website features the Community Outreach Program (also known as C.O.P), the Neighborhood Watch, “Memphis’s Night Out Against Crime” and other programs.

The MPD has also increased their presence on the often-crowded Beale Street and those who visit the famous street are charged a $10 cover fee.

And yet, crime in Memphis still seems to be on the rise.

Crime despite increased policing indicates other issues besides police presence in the city. While the MPD is experiencing a low enrollment rate and have experienced a severe cut in funding, the communities that experience the most crime still have heavy police presence. Memphis’s problems do not seem to have come from a lack of policing.

Memphis’s main issues seem to stem from an uneven distribution of the city’s money and resources.

It is no secret that the areas of Memphis that experience the most crime (the Frayser and South Memphis areas being two of the most prominent) are the ones that have the least community centers, schools and other educational resources.

Even Strickland admits that part of the problem comes from the fact that the 18-24 age group doesn’t have much to do.

“The frustrating thing for people is, they want immediate results,” Strickland said in an interview with a local news station. “Nationally, we were the worst in the country in the percent of young people, aged 18-24, who were not in school and who did not have a job. We need to create more programming for young people to have something to do when they’re not in school.”

The city of Memphis has closed several elementary, middle and high schools throughout the years. Most recently, the city closed down George Washington Carver High School, which was located in South Memphis.

Another high school, Northside High, is also supposed to be closed in 2017.  

And there is the uneven number of community centers across the city.

There are 24 community centers in Memphis, but while there are nine of them in North Memphis, there are only four in South Memphis.

Not to mention the fact that the centers do not have consistent hours or programming.

The onus for protecting children and teenagers in Memphis often falls on the parents and neighborhood churches and organizations run by citizens.

“The families of these troubled youths, the churches, the communities, the non-profits. We all have to step up and do more,” Strickland stated.

Luckily, they have.

Churches in North Memphis and Frayser have worked to create summer day camps and educational after-school programs.

Major churches often hold citywide prayers and discussions about preventing crime and helping Memphis youth. And they do it on their own dimes.

While city funding for schools, city-run programs for young Memphis citizens, and the police and fire departments seem absent, funding for new corporations seems to create a paradox.

One recent example is ServiceMaster Co., which was awarded a $5.5 million grant to renovate and move into the vacant Peabody Place building in downtown Memphis.

ServiceMaster, along with the Turner Dairy Foods and TAG truck services, were granted tax breaks by the Economic Development and Growth Engine.

And then there is the Memphis Riverfront Corporation and the long-delayed Beale Street Landing.

In 2014, it was estimated that the Beale Street Landing would cost $43 million. Back then, the city council voted to provide another $600,000 to the construction and restore funds the city had previously cut.

It’s hard to square the image of a financially strapped city that can’t pay for schools and one that gives payment in lieu of taxes to major corporations. It’s a juxtaposition that may give many Memphis citizens pause.

When you look at these situations, you see a city that needs to reorder its priorities. Memphis citizens, who have been trying to follow Strickland’s “advice” to do more, need a boost from the city. There is only so much a community can do with little money and resources.

In order for the city to truly advance, the government will have to provide more support to its citizens. And the support will have to come in some form other than more police officers.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Joel/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This Woman’s Suicide Nearly 15 Years After Her Husband Was Falsely Accused Of Kidnapping Elizabeth Smart Proves How Devastating Botched Justice Can Be

The widow of Richard Ricci, one of the original suspects in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, was found dead at her residence on Dec. 18, according to Deseret News. It was later determined to be an intentional prescription drug overdose.

Following her death, Angela Morse Ricci’s son Trevor Morse created a GoFundMe page for the funeral expenses.

“The official cause of death was suicide, but I believe she died from a broken heart,” On it Trevor Morse wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Back in 2002, Salt Lake City authorities pinpointed their main person of interest in the Elizabeth Smart case as Richard Ricci, the Smart family’s handyman.

Nine days after Smart was abducted from her home, Ricci was arrested for violation of parole in the 1983 attempted murder of a police officer. He was charged with burglaries near the Smart house that were similar to the break-in that led to Smart’s disappearance.

A month after his arrest, Ricci suffered from a brain aneurysm and died three days later on Aug. 30, 2002.

Until Smart was eventually found and Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee were arrested in March 2003, Ricci remained a prime suspect after his death.

Morse described his step-father being falsely accused further on the GoFundMe page:

“He was convicted by the police and the public, and was intensely interrogated, all the while trying to tell anyone who would listen that he was innocent.”

“Since the day Richard Ricci died, my mother’s broken heart never healed,” Morse wrote on GoFundMe.

He explained the toll it took on both of them, but highlighted his mother’s unrelenting love throughout, stating that she stood by her husband and continued to make time for loved ones.

“Her house was open to anyone who needed a place to stay,” Morse wrote on the social media fundraising website.

Claiming her husband’s rights were violated, Ricci sued for wrongful death. The suits were later dismissed.

In 2004 she received a settlement of $150,000 from the Utah Department of Corrections.

Utah did not recognize any wrongdoing on its part however, the Deseret News also reported.

“Since the day Richard Ricci died, my mother’s broken heart never healed,” Morse wrote on GoFundMe.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for you us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

Cover Photo Credit: KOMUnews (CC by 2.0)

Three White Supremacists Arrested In Virginia After Wanting To Start Race War

Three Virginia men have been arrested after allegedly plotting to commit a string of violent crimes meant to start a “race war” in the United States according to WTVR.

The plot which included plans to bomb black churches and synagogues, fill a local jewelry store owner, rob an armored car and kill a gun store owner in Oklahoma was foiled by federal agents.

According to federal court documents obtained by WTVR, the men were plotting to cause havoc in order to start a “race war.”

The three men arrested Robert Doyle, Ronald Beasley Chaney and Charles Halderman are all white.

Federal agents arrested the men early on Sunday morning in a Chesterfield County, VA home.

“I walked to the end of the cul-de-sac, and saw 15 police cars, marked and unmarked, and K-9’s searching,” a witness of the arrest told WTVR. “There were people wearing camo and carrying big weapons.”

Fears about a race war in America have been around since before the founding of the republic. But in recent months, the term has come up more an more in media reports after the killing of 9 African-American parishioners of a well known black church in Charleston, SC.

The head of a local Baptist Church was alarmed by the plot.

“It’s a shame you can’t worship your god in peace,”  Rodney Clarke told the television station. “You try to have your focus on him, but you have to worry about what’s coming through the door.”

Cover Photo Credit: WTVR/ Screenshot

Miami Police Officers Kill 15 Year Old Boy After He Allegedly Robs A Drugstore

Miami-Dade county police officers shot and killed a 15 year old boy early Thursday morning after he allegedly robbed an area drugstore at gunpoint.

The boy, who police identified as Jorge Santiago Tapia was recorded on surveillance cameras holding up a gun to a cashier at a Walgreens located at SW 288th Street and South Dixie Highway. Wearing dark glasses and a bandanna around his mouth, the suspect who police say is Tapia quickly fled the scene.

CBS Miami has a rundown of what took place after Tapia allegedly fled the scene:

“Arriving officers spotted a car that matched the description of a vehicle that the armed man drove off in.

After a brief pursuit, Zabaleta said Santiago’s car got a flat tire and came to a stop. Shots were fired.”

The boy had recently celebrated his 15th birthday and was in the 8th grade at Coconut Palm Academy according to a local television report.

“There should be justice for what they did to him,” Angelica Santiago, the suspect’s sister told CBS Miami.  “The cops should have waited to see who was the suspect, not just say he was a grown man, who was going to kill them.”

Seven police officers shot Tapia.

“Not only did he use the gun to commit the armed robbery, of course, we have to assume he is going to use the gun against the officers as well,” Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told Local 10 News.

Rise News will update this story as new information comes out. Have a tip? Send it to [email protected]

Cover Photo Credit: Steven Straiton/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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