Taxpayers: Checking the “Animal Welfare Fund” box on your state tax returns helps local shelters meet community needs

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 Animal Welfare Fund grants. This year, MDARD will distribute $150,000 to 34 registered animal shelters throughout the state to support various animal welfare projects thanks to Michiganders who check the “Animal Welfare Fund” on their annual state tax returns.

According to statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association, Michigan is home to approximately 2.4 million dogs and 1.8 million cats; and some of these animals are in living one of Michigan's 204 registered animal shelters, waiting to become someone's beloved pet.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —A civil forfeiture of over $79,000 that was stolen from an individual victimized by a “debt elimination services” scam, has been returned to the victim.

Criminal organizations engage in a variety of scams with the intention of convincing unwitting victims to send money to locations or bank accounts based in the United States or overseas. One type of scam involves purported debt elimination services, where the fraudsters offer to pay off the victim’s debt obligations for an upfront fee that is considerably less than the underlying debt. The fraudsters induce the victims by paying off small increments of debt in the beginning to gain trust, and eventually, the victims pay larger upfront fees while the underlying debt remains unpaid.

CONCORD – A man attending Keene State College has been charged for calling the office of a member of the United States House of Representatives and threatening to kill the Congressman.

Allan Poller, 23, was charged with transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure the person of another. Poller made an initial appearance in federal court in Concord on April 3, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.

According to the charging documents, on March 29, 2023 at approximately 12:20 a.m., Poller called the congressional office in Washington DC and left a voicemail, stating:

PHILADELPHIA - Automotive repairs can be costly. Consumers might try to save a few bucks by buying cheaper parts online or by hiring a mechanic who offers to do the repair work at less than market value. But that decision could be even more costly if the auto parts fail because they are knockoffs.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized a Philadelphia-bound shipment of counterfeit auto parts on Monday that consisted of 177 pieces, including air bag covers, aluminum hoods, front fenders and bumpers, and badges bearing trademarked logos of Chevrolet, Buick, and Dodge. The counterfeit auto parts were valued at $196,035 manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), had they been authentic.

EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Paso Del Norte Border Crossing intercepted 32 pounds of fentanyl, 31 pounds of cocaine and 79 pounds of methamphetamine in less than 24 hours. The combined narcotics have an estimated street value of approximately $900,000.

“CBP officers work tirelessly to secure our borders while efficiently facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel," said CBP El Paso Port Director Ray Provencio. “The interception of these dangerous drugs demonstrates the commitment of our frontline officers to the border security mission.”

EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers working at the Bridge of the Americas border crossing in El Paso, Texas intercepted 32.8 pounds of fentanyl in powder form, 18.16 pounds of cocaine and 1.05 pounds of methamphetamine in two separate unrelated incidents.

“Every drug seizure that a CBP officer makes is important,” said CBP El Paso Port Director Ray Provencio. “Stopping the flow of narcotics at the border helps keep our communities safe.”

The first interception occurred on Feb. 3 when CBP officers encountered a 50-year-old male, U.S. citizen who arrived from Mexico via the vehicle lanes.   more...