Coast Guard investigator seized journalist’s notes

A Coast Guard investigator accompanying Maryland State Police to serve a search warrant in a weapons investigation at a Maryland home seized unrelated government documents and notes from a journalist who was the suspect’s wife. The Coast Guard said its investigator was suspicious that the government documents were labeled “law enforcement sensitive.”

The government subsequently returned the papers after concluding the reporter had obtained them under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

The seizure comes amid ongoing criticism of the Obama administration’s efforts to root out leaks in the administration and the targeting of journalists as part of those leak investigations.

Special Agent Miguel Bosch of the Coast Guard Investigative Service took the records of Audrey Hudson, a former Washington Times reporter and freelance author, during a search for guns and related items owned by her husband, a Coast Guard employee.

The Washington Times said Friday it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment.


Man charged with felonies in online drug marketplace

The U.S. attorney in New York says about $28 million worth of bitcoins have been seized from a man charged with operating a notorious online drug marketplace known as Silk Road.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Friday more than 144,000 bitcoins were found on computer hardware belonging to Ross William Ulbricht. Federal authorities in New York have charged Ulbricht with three felonies related to the operation of the website. He was sent to New York from California earlier this month.


Five injured as ride starts up at North Carolina State Fair

Five people were injured on a carnival ride known for its wild twirls and flips at the North Carolina State Fair, and officials were trying to determine Friday what caused the accident.

Two people remained hospitalized in critical condition after the “Vortex” started up again as riders were getting off late Thursday, officials said. Three other people sustained less serious injuries.

Among the possible causes for the accident that investigators will review is a safety switch that malfunctioned on the ride Monday, according to Tom Chambers, the chief of the ride inspection unit at the state Labor Department. The ride was temporarily idled as workers replaced the switch, Chambers said. It reopened Monday night after being tested.

State agricultural commissioner Steve Troxler, whose agency runs the fair, said he remains confident in the safety of the rides. He stressed that the accident was “an isolated incident.”

“Safety is something we take very seriously,” he said. “We are all shaken by this.”

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