Locals told to watch for illness, warned not to approach lab monkeys after three escaped following transport truck crash

Share:

DANVILLE, PA – Three escaped laboratory monkeys led Pennsylvania state troopers, game wardens, and the CDC on a chase in rural Pennsylvania after the the truck transporting the animals crashed.

According to NBC News, a shipment of 100 laboratory monkeys arrived Friday, January 21 at New York’s Kennedy Airport.  The monkeys had been transported from Mauritius, an island nation off the southeast coast of Africa.

NBC reports that the crated monkeys were transferred from a plane to a truck, which then headed to a “CDC-approved quarantine facility,”  and that it was unclear what research or laboratory work was involved with the monkeys.  The quarantine facility was also not identified.

According to USA Today, the monkeys were cynomolgus monkeys, “the most widely used primate in preclinical toxicological studies.” 

En route to the quarantine facility, the pickup truck towing the trailer of monkeys was traveling through Montour County’s Valley Township.  According to the Bangor Daily News, the pickup was proceeding on I-80 when it exited at Danville, and then it attempted to get back onto the interstate.

Witnesses noted that the pickup drove across another lane, and then collided on its passenger side with a dump truck.  The front panel of the trailer tore away, and “more than a dozen crates” fell out onto the interstate.

According to the crash report, three of the 100 monkeys escaped.

One witness to the crash told the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg that she spoke with the pickup truck driver, who “appeared to be disoriented.”  She also spoke to a passenger from the pickup truck, who thought he had a leg injury.

Bangor Daily News notes that it was not clear whether any citations were issued in the incident.

Re-Fund the Police

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Andrea Pelachick told NBC that “[a]uthorities had been instructed to secure the area for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.”

Personnel from multiple agencies joined in the search for the escaped monkeys, including Pennsylvania State Troopers, Game Commission officers, CDC personnel, and Valley Township firefighters.

Bangor Daily News reports that Valley Township firefighters also used thermal imaging to help locate the missing monkeys.  In addition, a helicopter was called in to assist.

Overnight, temperatures plummeted into the single digits as authorities searched.  Two monkeys were found on the night of Friday January 21, but one remained missing until it was finally located on Saturday.

During the search, authorities warned locals not to interact with monkeys.

The Pennsylvania State Police tweeted:

“Crash Update: There is still one monkey unaccounted for, but we are asking that no one attempt to look for or capture the animal. 

“Anyone who sees or locates the monkey is asked not to approach, attempt to catch, or come in contact with the monkey. 

“Please call 911 immediately.”

The presence of the monkeys caused some concern for citizens who were following the progress of the search.

One asked on Twitter of the State Troopers:

“Are they infected?”

Another tweeted:

“And what about the others? Alive/dead/injured? Who and how were they recovered? Hypothermic?  

“Were they carrying any disease organisms?”

Another rooted for the escape of the remaining monkey, commenting:

“I can’t help but be rooting for the monkey to evade capture!!! Bless it’s [sic] heart! It’s way too cold for it though & it won’t be able to find adequate food sources in a climate which it’s not accustomed to. 

“Hell it’s probably never had to find it’s [sic] own food since it was born. GO MONKEY GO!!!” 

According to CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund, as reported in USA Today, three of the 100 monkeys were euthanized following the crash.

Nordlund did not disclose the reasons for the euthanization, but she “said those euthanized were done so humanely according to American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

21-year-old who crashed stolen car while in possession of a loaded handgun, released on $750 bond gets rearrested three weeks later

Originally published January 8, 2022

SILVER SPRING, MD- According to reports, a man who was arrested for crashing a stolen vehicle while fleeing from police while in possession of a loaded handgun and illegal drugs, including PCP, and who was released from jail on a $750 bond, was re-arrested and re-booked for a burglary less than three weeks later.

Reports indicate that shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 13, 2021, a Montgomery County Police officer spotted a Honda Accord traveling along Kennett Street in downtown Silver Spring with burnt-out tail lights.

The officer activated his emergency lights to pull the driver over, however, the driver did not stop.

Instead, the driver of the Honda Accord turned onto Georgia Avenue and stepped on the gas, accelerating his speed.

The officer pursued, trying to get his eyes on the vehicle’s license plate number.

When the Honda reached the intersection of Georgia and Silver Spring Avenues, the driver lost control and crashed into a concrete wall, causing significant property damage.

The driver of the Honda, later identified as 21-year-old Malick Sebo of Silver Spring, allegedly climbed into the passenger seat, opened the front passenger door and fled on foot.

The lone officer chased Sebo for a few city blocks, at one point losing sight of him. 

According to the charging documents, police wrote:

“When the [officer] regained sight of Sebo, the [officer] clearly observed a black handgun on the ground in close proximity to Sebo. The [officer] then observed Sebo stumble over the curb and fall onto the ground.”

Officers reportedly arrested Sebo and transported him to the third district police station in Silver Spring.

Detectives with the Firearm Investigative Unit conducted a recorded interview with the 21-year-old suspect.  During that conversation, Sebo reportedly told detectives that he knew his tail lights were not operating correctly and that he did not pull over for police because he had a loaded handgun on him.

Officers ran the temporary tag on the Honda that Sebo crashed and it came back registered to a 2017 Mazda. A search of the Honda’s VIN number revealed that the car had been reported stolen from an address in Washington, D.C.

Police had the Honda towed to the third district station where they found a large glass vial of PCP, four grams of marijuana, and an empty gallon-sized, vacuum sealed bag with marijuana residue.

A search of Sebo’s wallet recovered five Oxycodone pills. In their statement of charges, police wrote:

Locals told to watch for illness, warned not to approach lab monkeys after three escaped following transport truck crash

“Oxycodone is a commonly abused and sold prescription pill based on the writer’s training and knowledge.”

According to police, the handgun found on Sebo was an unregistered Glock 22. It had one bullet in the chamber, 12 additional bullets in the extended magazine, and a mounted laser. 

Police charged Sebo with eight criminal counts including the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, drug possession, and weapons charges.

Less than 10 hours later, a Montgomery County District Court commissioner provided Sebo with a $7,500 bond. 

The conditions of the bond stated that Sebo needed to post 10 percent ($750) in “cash or other collateral security” for release.

He then provided the court with a check for $750 and a few hours later he was let go. 

Then, 16 days after crashing the stolen Honda, on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, Sebo was arrested by Prince George’s County Police.

Around 8 a.m. on the 29th, someone called 911 to report two individuals had broken into a sixth-floor apartment at 2400 Queens Chapel Road in Hyattsville. 

According to court documents, police wrote that as officers walked into the building elevator, they saw Sebo exit the elevator with a “very large bag” and a “money counter machine in his hand.” Police were able to locate the second suspect in the sixth-floor unit.

While interviewing Sebo and his alleged accomplice in the apartment complex parking lot, police determined that the Mercedes Benz they had arrived in had recently been reported stolen in Bowie. Police also found “two sets of keys” to the stolen Mercedes and “several credit cards” in Sebo’s jacket pocket.

Charging documents revealed:

“The stolen Mercedes was searched prior to being impounded. [Officers] discovered a loaded Glock 36 handgun un a Louis Vuitton shopping bag under the driver’s seat. [Officers] also discovered several blank checks and several credit cards and black tax return checks.”

Prince George’s County police arrested Sebo and charged him with fourth-degree burglary. Despite the back-to-back arrests, a Prince George’s County District Count commissioner granted Sebo a $2,000 bond.

The conditions stated that Sebo had to post 100 percent, which records show, he did the exact same day. 

Sebo now faces up to 24 years in prison in the Montgomery County stolen vehicle case and an undisclosed number of years in prison in the Prince George’s County burglary case.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Chicago violent offender on bail for repeated felony gun offenses arrested for seventh time

January 5th, 2022

CHICAGO, IL – Violent criminal Damien Stewart faces a seventh felony gun charge after Democrat-controlled Chicago released him six times on previous felony gun charges, each conviction receiving a lesser sentence than the previous one.

Stewart found himself in a familiar place on Friday after prosecutors charged him with Class X armed habitual criminal, possessing an extended ammunition magazine, leaving the scene, failure to report as a gun offender, and filing a false police report.

Stewart had become an expert in avoiding jail time, aided by liberal judges in Cook County, which includes Chicago. Entering a plea bargain for his sixth gun charge, Stewart managed to receive a lesser sentence than he did for his fourth and fifth convictions and avoided any jail time.

One of the reasons attributed to the rapid release of criminals like Stewart was the COVID-19 shutdown of the justice system, when speedy trials became impossible. Once the courts reopened, prosecutors began pushing cases through to clear a backlog.

Locals told to watch for illness, warned not to approach lab monkeys after three escaped following transport truck crash

Cook County’s First State’s Attorney’s Risa Lanier, one of the architects of Jussie Smollet’s plea deal which initially gave the former Empire star a “get out of jail free” card, said the office encouraged prosecutors to enter plea deals:

“What I told [prosecutors] to do was just to take a look at your cases, and make appropriate offers based upon your evidence and based upon the law, based upon your conversations with your victims.

“So, I was not telling anyone to, you know, to give away the candy store or make any sweetheart deals, we want to ensure that the work that we’re doing that we’re continuing to do it with integrity, despite the circumstances that we’re under, but we do empower our (assistants) to look at their cases and to use their discretion.”

Stewart was able to take advantage of the rush.

In 2019, he was charged with Class X armed habitual criminal, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon with previous convictions, ten counts of aggravated battery of police, aggravated assault of a peace officer by using a firearm, and DUI.

On May 6, Cook County prosecutors dropped most of the charges. Stewart had entered a plea deal reducing all the charges to a single count of being a felon in possession of a firearm with a previous conviction.

Remarkably, prosecutors then agreed to reduce the final charge to a Class 4 aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, the lowest felony grade in Illinois.

Judge James Linn sentenced Stewart to three years instead of the six to 30 years in prison he could have faced with the original charges. The lesser sentence from the judge was then reduced to no jail time after electronic monitoring time was credited.

State records show Stewart received a five-year sentence in 2015 for his fifth gun conviction, six years in 2010 for his fourth gun, three years for his third in 2009, and two years each for his first and second guns in 2008.

Despite using the liberal justice system in place in the city to escape justice time and again, his luck ran out on New Year’s Eve.

While still on parole for the other offenses, Stewart allegedly fled from police, who said they saw a gun in his vehicle during a traffic stop. After his arrest, he was taken in front of Judge Mary Marubio, a rare Democrat who believes in law and order and the rule of law.

Judge Marubio set bail at $250,000. The judge also ordered Stewart held without bail until a review of his parole status, taking the new allegations under consideration.

___________________

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
 
Facebook Follow First
Share:
Submit a Correction
Related Posts