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5 Things To Know: Local Teen Accused of Hatching Plot to Kill Joe Biden

...and four more stories from Oct. 18-24

Kannapolis Man Found to Be Hatching Plot to Kill Joe Biden

A federal order released this week lays out the details behind the May arrest of a 19-year-old Kannapolis man who was indicted in September on child pornography charges, and kept in custody due to apparent plans he made to carry out terror attacks, including allegedly hatching a plot to kill former Vice President and current presidential candidate Joe Biden. 

Federal agents were first alerted to Alexander Treisman after Kannapolis Police Department officers were called to a bank in Kannapolis to check out a suspicious van that had been left in the parking lot. According to the report, responding officers could see an assault rifle, a canister of explosive Tannerite material and ammunition laying in plain sight in the van, which belonged to Treisman. A further search found about $509,000 in cash the van, along with books about bomb-making and drawings of swastikas and terror attacks, among other things. 

plot to kill Joe Biden
Alex Theisman is being held in custody after federal agents found evidence of a plot to kill Joe Biden. (Photo courtesy of Kannapolis Police Department)

Federal agents eventually arrested Treisman, who was found to be in possession of child pornography on eight different electronic devices. Investigators also found posts from Treisman detailing his desire to carry out sexual violence against children and terror attacks against people, specifically laying out details of an apparent plot to kill Joe Biden. Treisman’s internet history showed that he repeatedly sought out information about Joe Biden’s home address, made posts about his desire to kill Biden and wrote out a checklist with the end goal being “Execute.” He also allegedly traveled to a Wendy’s just four miles from Biden’s home during the time he was doing this. 

The order stated agents were told Treisman did not suffer from any mental health conditions, though the suspect’s lawyer asked one agent if he was aware Tresiman has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, according to the report. 

Treisman has not been charged with any crimes in connection to the terror plots, though a judge ordered “that no combination of available release conditions would reasonably assure the safety of the community, and that a preponderance of evidence establishes that no conditions would ensure Defendant’s presence in court.”

Multiple COVID Deaths Tied to United House of Prayer Outbreak

County health officials have shut down a Charlotte church after tying more than 100 positive COVID-19 cases and three deaths to an outbreak that occurred there.  The county issued an “order of abatement of imminent hazard” against United House of Prayer in west Charlotte, prohibiting the church from opening or hosting gatherings. It is believed the outbreak started during convocation events at the church that took place between Oct. 4-11. The order states that church officials have refused to cooperate with the county since then and had been planning a Worldwide Revival event that consisted of hosting nightly events from Oct. 25-31.

According to an update from Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) on Friday, officials have traced 99 cases in Mecklenburg County and two cases in Iredell County to the outbreak, with at least three deaths, five hospitalizations and a cluster of 12 cases in Madison Saints Paradise South Senior Living resulting from the large gatherings. MCPH has attempted to contact more than 137 close contacts of the 99 confirmed cases. 

plot to kill Joe Biden

According to the most recent data released by MCPH on Friday afternoon, there had been 32,410 positive cases of COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents and 381 deaths resulting from the coronavirus to that point. That’s an increase of 1,387 cases and seven deaths since the same time last week. In-depth data for cases that occurred through Wednesday showed, on average, around 108 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 at any given day during the past week and an average 6.3% test-positivity rate, with both stats trending up compared to the previous 14 days.

CMPD Highlights Rise in Intimate-Partner Violence During Pandemic

At a press conference on Wednesday, officials with CMPD and Safe Alliance discussed a rise in domestic violence calls locally since COVID-19 led to restrictions and shutdowns in March. According to Lt. Stephen Fischbach, officers have responded to 31,873 domestic violence-related calls this year, a 6% increase compared to 2019. 

According to Det. Melanie Greene with the CMPD Domestic Violence Unit, there have been 14 murders in Charlotte this year related to domestic violence, with five of those victims having been killed by an intimate partner. 

Greene noted that the pandemic has limited CMPD and other organizations from doing educational outreach in churches, colleges and other community centers, as is usual during October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Greene said she is concerned because the upcoming holidays often spur a spike in domestic violence cases. 

Greene encouraged survivors of domestic violence or their loved ones to call the Safe Alliance Greater Charlotte Helpline at 980-771-4673. Greene also pointed victims to a resource page on the CMPD website

At the press conference, Safe Alliance CEO Karen Parker announced the launch of a Survivor Resource Center (SRC), a stopgap effort to help survivors of domestic violence while city and county officials continue to work toward developing a more comprehensive Family Justice Center. The SRC will be a partnership between Safe Alliance, Pat’s Child Advocacy Center, Mecklenburg County and CMPD that focuses on the highest-risk abuse cases locally to provide wraparound support. The center will open this winter. 

NC Farmworkers Call on Labor Department To Do Its Job

On Thursday, a delegation of H2A guestworkers and members of the Farm Labor Organizing  Committee (FLOC) delivered a petition to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour office in Raleigh calling for Trump’s Labor Department calling for them to “do their job” after a case has been  lingering in the government bureaucracy for over a year. The action was as part of the launch of a new anti-corruption campaign in the Agricultural Guestworker Program.

Protesters gather outside the U.S. Department of Labor North Carolina office in Raleigh on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Enlace Latino)

In September 2019, a group of workers complained to the US DOL about significant workplace abuses, including wage theft and health risks at OJ Smith Farms in Whitakers, NC, and other farms in the state handled by farm labor contractor Salvador Barajas. According to a press release from the coalition, US DOL settled with Barajas and told workers they would receive backpay from the labor contractor in  November 2019. As Queen City Nerve reported in March, the DOL announced a $500,000 fine for Barajas, but the coalition now claims that, to date, “no one has seen any money or received an update.” 

“We haven’t heard anything about our case since the first day the labor inspector showed up at the farm,” an FLOC member identified only as Martin stated in the release. “We demand  that they tell the victims what is happening with our wages. Because we’re union members, we brought a private claim  against the grower, but the many workers that haven’t had that opportunity are depending on the Labor Department.  We still want to know why Salvador has been able to get off without paying.”

Man Arrested in East Charlotte Double Murder

Police have arrested a suspect in the double murder that occurred in broad daylight in east Charlotte on Monday afternoon. Police responded to a shooting call on Kilborne Drive near the intersection of Eastway Drive at around 12:14 p.m. on Monday and found two gunshot victims, 26-year-old Dondrake Moore and 27-year-old Jakailah Jackson. Moore was pronounced dead at the scene and Jackson was transported to a hospital, where she later died.

Moore and Jackson were shot while riding in a car with their 3-year-old child, who was miraculously unarmed. Moore would have turned 27 on Thursday. On Wednesday, acting on tips from the community, police arrested 22-year-old Xaveon Dunn two counts of murder, attempted murder, discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

Xaveon Dunn (left) has been charged for the murders of Jakailah Jackson and Dondrake Moore (right).

Police have arrested two 16-year-old boys for the murder of 21-year-old Jevon Ayala, who was shot and killed during an apparent robbery on Farmhurst Drive in southwest Charlotte on Wednesday night.

Police are investigating another murder after a man was shot and killed in a home on Potenza Drive in University City on Saturday morning. The victim’s name has not yet been released. 

Detectives announced on Monday that the May 15 stabbing of 65-year-old Paul Balshem, originally investigated as a homicide, has been deemed a suicide. That brings the total number of homicides in Charlotte this year to 97. 

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