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August, 2012

  1. Failed Norfolk project follows developer to courtroom

    August 23, 2012 by Christy

    More than a year ago, a local developer gave a passionate speech before the City Council about why the city should partner with him to build a $33 million office project.

    He pitched the deal as a money maker for Norfolk that would bring jobs to a low-income area that had not seen meaningful development in decades.

    Many who spoke in favor of the project that day emphasized that Etheridge was a role model, a man who gave generously of his time and money to mentor kids in some of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods.

    He also sold his personal story – he was raised in public housing and became a successful businessman.

    “If you work hard, play by the rules and keep the faith, all things are possible for you,” he said as cheers erupted

    – Tommy Smigiel, Andy Protogyrou and Angelia Williams – were skeptical.

    The tension boiled over into that February 2011 council meeting.

    Read the full article here.

  2. Norfolk Council seeks to clarify tax refund information

    August 22, 2012 by Christy


    article here.

  3. Man taught Norfolk class while awaiting drug case

    by Christy

    For six years a Norfolk man served as a front man for a multimillion dollar drug ring that brought more than 1.5 tons of cocaine to Hampton Roads, federal prosecutors said.

    Convicted last week on charges that included money laundering and racketeering, the 58-year-old Norfolk man helped his bosses start trucking companies and buy a nightclub

    as money laundering should not be hired to teach ex-convicts.

    “Someone dropped the ball. A simple record check would have caught that,” he said.

    Read the full article

  4. Wardrobe can be a factor in verdict

    August 16, 2012 by Christy

    Norfolk defense attorney Andy Protogyrou’s first look at his client wasn’t pretty. The man’s head was shaved clean as a bullet, and his Fu Manchu mustache dangled well past his chin. He wore standard-issue, motorcycle gang leather. Lots of it.

    “The jury’s going to convict you just because of the way you look,” Protogyrou told his client.

    The middle-aged man

    and neck tie ensemble replaced his leather. He looked, Protogyrou, said recently, “like a 50-year-old banker.”

    The client walked away from the federal trial with just misdemeanor convictions, he said.

    These days, courtrooms have joined reality television shows as real-life examples of extreme makeovers. The wrong appearance, many lawyers say, can prejudice a jury or potential jurors.

    Read the full article here.

    All case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. These prior case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

  5. Arkansas traffic stop leads to drug charges in Norfolk

    by Christy

    During a traffic stop, Arkansas State Police brought in a drug-sniffing dog, which gave a “positive alert” for the odor of drugs in a Norfolk man”s vehicle, according to a search warrant affidavit. In addition to a small amount of marijuana inside the motor home, troopers found a total of $179,800 in cash under a bed and in a closet, the affidavit said. The men in the vehicle denied ownership of the money and were sent on their way. Arkansas State Police kept the cash.

    The Norfolk resident returned to Norfolk after the traffic stop. But an agent with Homeland Security Investigations, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement whose cases include drug smuggling, notified Norfolk police narcotics detectives about the incident in Arkansas.

    A federal agent and Norfolk officers on several occasions in April, May and July took the Norfolk resident”s garbage after he left it at the curb of his residence, according to the search warrant.

    In court records, police refer to such operations as “a trash pull,” and they sifted through contents of the knotted white trash bags. According to the search warrant, they found marijuana and a rental car receipt from California. Police then used an informant to record a conversation in reference to the Norfolk resident selling narcotics.

    The Norfolk resident was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and related charges and is awaiting a court hearing. Andy Protogyrou, his attorney, said he plans to file motions to suppress evidence.

    Read the full article

    All case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. These prior case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.