Please Help Us Track Down Apple II Collections

Please spread this as far as possible – I want to reach folks who are far outside the usual channels.

The Summary: Conditions are very, very good right now for easy, top-quality, final ingestion of original commercial Apple II Software and if you know people sitting on a pile of it or even if you have a small handful of boxes, please get in touch with me to arrange the disks to be imaged. apple@textfiles.com. 

The rest of this entry says this in much longer, hopefully compelling fashion.

We are in a golden age for Apple II history capture.

For now, and it won’t last (because nothing lasts), an incredible amount of interest and effort and tools are all focused on acquiring Apple II software, especially educational and engineering software, and ensuring it lasts another generation and beyond.

I’d like to take advantage of that, and I’d like your help.

Here’s the secret about Apple II software: Copy Protection Works.

Copy protection, that method of messing up easy copying from floppy disks, turns out to have been very effective at doing what it is meant to do – slow down the duplication of materials so a few sales can eke by. For anything but the most compelling, most universally interesting software, copy protection did a very good job of ensuring that only the approved disks that went out the door are the remaining extant copies for a vast majority of titles.

As programmers and publishers laid logic bombs and coding traps and took the brilliance of watchmakers and used it to design alternative operating systems, they did so to ensure people wouldn’t take the time to actually make the effort to capture every single bit off the drive and do the intense and exacting work to make it easy to spread in a reproducible fashion.

They were right.

So, obviously it wasn’t 100% effective at stopping people from making copies of programs, or so many people who used the Apple II wouldn’t remember the games they played at school or at user-groups or downloaded from AE Lines and BBSes, with pirate group greetings and modified graphics.

What happened is that pirates and crackers did what was needed to break enough of the protection on high-demand programs (games, productivity) to make them work. They used special hardware modifications to “snapshot” memory and pull out a program. They traced the booting of the program by stepping through its code and then snipped out the clever tripwires that freaked out if something wasn’t right. They tied it up into a bow so that instead of a horrendous 140 kilobyte floppy, you could have a small 15 or 20 kilobyte program instead. They even put multiple cracked programs together on one disk so you could get a bunch of cool programs at once.

I have an entire section of TEXTFILES.COM dedicated to this art and craft.

And one could definitely argue that the programs (at least the popular ones) were “saved”. They persisted, they spread, they still exist in various forms.

And oh, the crack screens!

I love the crack screens, and put up a massive pile of them here. Let’s be clear about that – they’re a wonderful, special thing and the amount of love and effort that went into them (especially on the Commodore 64 platform) drove an art form (demoscene) that I really love and which still thrives to this day.

But these aren’t the original programs and disks, and in some cases, not the originals by a long shot. What people remember booting in the 1980s were often distant cousins to the floppies that were distributed inside the boxes, with the custom labels and the nice manuals.

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On the left is the title screen for Sabotage. It’s a little clunky and weird, but it’s also something almost nobody who played Sabotage back in the day ever saw; they only saw the instructions screen on the right. The reason for this is that there were two files on the disk, one for starting the title screen and then the game, and the other was the game. Whoever cracked it long ago only did the game file, leaving the rest as one might leave the shell of a nut.

I don’t think it’s terrible these exist! They’re art and history in their own right.

However… the mistake, which I completely understand making, is to see programs and versions of old Apple II software up on the Archive and say “It’s handled, we’re done here.” You might be someone with a small stack of Apple II software, newly acquired or decades old, and think you don’t have anything to contribute.

That’d be a huge error.

It’s a bad assumption because there’s a chance the original versions of these programs, unseen since they were sold, is sitting in your hands. It’s a version different than the one everyone thinks is “the” version. It’s precious, it’s rare, and it’s facing the darkness.

There is incredibly good news, however.

I’ve mentioned some of these folks before, but there is now a powerful allegiance of very talented developers and enthusiasts who have been pouring an enormous amount of skills into the preservation of Apple II software. You can debate if this is the best use of their (considerable) skills, but here we are.

They have been acquiring original commercial Apple II software from a variety of sources, including auctions, private collectors, and luck. They’ve been duplicating the originals on a bits level, then going in and “silent cracking” the software so that it can be played on an emulator or via the web emulation system I’ve been so hot on, and not have any change in operation, except for not failing due to copy protection.

With a “silent crack”, you don’t take the credit, you don’t make it about yourself – you just make it work, and work entirely like it did, without yanking out pieces of the code and program to make it smaller for transfer or to get rid of a section you don’t understand.

Most prominent of these is 4AM, who I have written about before. But there are others, and they’re all working together at the moment.

These folks, these modern engineering-minded crackers, are really good. Really, really good.

They’ve been developing tools from the ground up that are focused on silent cracks, of optimizing the process, of allowing dozens, sometimes hundreds of floppies to be evaluated automatically and reducing the workload. And they’re fast about it, especially when dealing with a particularly tough problem.

Take, for example, the efforts required to crack Pinball Construction Set, and marvel not just that it was done, but that a generous and open-minded article was written explaining exactly what was being done to achieve this.

This group can be handed a stack of floppies, image them, evaluate them, and find which have not yet been preserved in this fashion.

But there’s only one problem: They are starting to run out of floppies.

I should be clear that there’s plenty left in the current stack – hundreds of floppies are being processed. But I also have seen the effort chug along and we’ve been going through direct piles, then piles of friends, and then piles of friends of friends. We’ve had a few folks from outside the community bring stuff in, but those are way more scarce than they should be.

I’m working with a theory, you see.

My theory is that there are large collections of Apple II software out there. Maybe someone’s dad had a store long ago. Maybe someone took in boxes of programs over the years and they’re in the basement or attic. I think these folks are living outside the realm of the “Apple II Community” that currently exists (and which is a wonderful set of people, be clear). I’m talking about the difference between a fan club for surfboards and someone who has a massive set of surfboards because his dad used to run a shop and they’re all out in the barn.

A lot of what I do is put groups of people together and then step back to let the magic happen. This is a case where this amazingly talented group of people are currently a well-oiled machine – they help each other out, they are innovating along this line, and Apple II software is being captured in a world-class fashion, with no filtering being done because it’s some hot ware that everyone wants to play.

For example, piles and piles of educational software has returned from potential oblivion, because it’s about the preservation, not the title. Wonderfully done works are being brought back to life and are playable on the Internet Archive.

So like I said above, the message is this:

Conditions are very, very good right now for easy, top-quality, final ingestion of original commercial Apple II Software and if you know people sitting on a pile of it or even if you have a small handful of boxes, please get in touch with me to arrange the disks to be imaged. apple@textfiles.com.

I’ll go on podcasts or do interviews, or chat with folks on the phone, or trade lots of e-mails discussing details. This is a very special time, and I feel the moment to act is now. Alliances and communities like these do not last forever, and we’re in a peak moment of talent and technical landscape to really make a dent in what are likely acres of unpreserved titles.

It’s 4am and nearly morning for Apple II software.

It’d be nice to get it all before we wake up.

 

Source: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/5180

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/03/20/please-help-us-track-down-apple-ii-collections/

Sandpapering Screenshots

The collection I talked about yesterday was subjected to the Screen Shotgun, which does a really good job of playing the items, capturing screenshots, and uploading them into the item to allow people to easily see, visually, what they’re in for if they boot them up.

In general, the screen shotgun does the job well, but not perfectly. It doesn’t understand what it’s looking at, at all, and the method I use to decide the “canonical” screenshot is inherently shallow – I choose the largest filesize, because that tends to be the most “interesting”.

The bug in this is that if you have, say, these three screenshots:

…it’s going to choose the first one, because those middle-of-loading graphics for an animated title screen have tons of little artifacts, and the filesize is bigger. Additionally, the second is fine, but it’s not the “title”, the recognized “welcome to this program” image. So the best choice turns out to be the third.

I don’t know why I’d not done this sooner, but while waiting for 500 disks to screenshot, I finally wrote a program to show me all the screenshots taken for an item, and declare a replacement canonical title screenshot. The results have been way too much fun.

It turns out, doing this for Apple II programs in particular, where it’s removed the duplicates and is just showing you a gallery, is beautiful:

Again, the all-text “loading screen” in the middle, which is caused by blowing program data into screen memory, wins the “largest file” contest, but literally any other of the screens would be more appropriate.

This is happening all over the place: crack screens win over the actual main screen, the mid-loading noise of Apple II programs win over the final clean image, and so on.

Working with tens of thousands of software programs, primarily alone, means that I’m trying to find automation wherever I can. I can’t personally boot up each program and do the work needed to screenshot/describe it – if a machine can do anything, I’ll make the machine do it. People will come to me with fixes or changes if the results are particularly ugly, but it does leave a small amount that no amount of automation is likely to catch.

If you watch a show or documentary on factory setups and assembly lines, you’ll notice they can’t quite get rid of people along the entire line, especially the sign-off. Someone has to keep an eye to make sure it’s not going all wrong, or, even more interestingly, a table will come off the line and you see one person giving it a quick run-over with sandpaper, just to pare down the imperfections or missed spots of the machine. You still did an enormous amount of work with no human effort, but if you think that’s ready for the world with no final sign-off, you’re kidding yourself.

So while it does mean another hour or two looking at a few hundred screenshots, it’s nice to know I haven’t completely automated away the pleasure of seeing some vintage computer art, for my work, and for the joy of it.

Source: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/5171

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/03/15/sandpapering-screenshots/

Thoughts on a Collection: Apple II Floppies in the Realm of the Now

I was connected with The 3D0G Knight, a long-retired Apple II pirate/collector who had built up a set of hundreds of floppy disks acquired from many different locations and friends decades ago. He generously sent me his entire collection to ingest into a more modern digital format, as well as the Internet Archive’s software archive.

The floppies came in a box without any sort of sleeves for them, with what turned out to be roughly 350 of them removed from “ammo boxes” by 3D0G from his parents’ house. The disks all had labels of some sort, and a printed index came along with it all, mapped to the unique disk ID/Numbers that had been carefully put on all of them years ago. I expect this was months of work at the time.

Each floppy is 140k of data on each side, and in this case, all the floppies had been single-sided and clipped with an additional notch with a hole punch to allow the second side to be used as well.

Even though they’re packed a little strangely, there was no damage anywhere, nothing bent or broken or ripped, and all the items were intact. It looked to be quite the bonanza of potentially new vintage software.

So, this activity at the crux of the work going on with both the older software on the Internet Archive, as well as what I’m doing with web browser emulation and increasing easy access to the works of old. The most important thing, over everything else, is to close the air gap – get the data off these disappearing floppy disks and into something online where people or scripts can benefit from them and research them. Almost everything else – scanning of cover art, ingestion of metadata, pulling together the history of a company or cross-checking what titles had which collaborators… that has nowhere near the expiration date of the magnetized coated plastic disks going under. This needs us and it needs us now.

The way that things currently work with Apple II floppies is to separate them into two classes: Disks that Just Copy, and Disks That Need A Little Love. The Little Love disks, when found, are packed up and sent off to one of my collaborators, 4AM, who has the tools and the skills to get data of particularly tenacious floppies, as well as doing “silent cracks” of commercial floppies to preserve what’s on them as best as possible.

Doing the “Disks that Just Copy” is a mite easier. I currently have an Apple II system on my desk that connects via USB-to-serial connection to my PC. There, I run a program called Apple Disk Transfer that basically turns the Apple into a Floppy Reading Machine, with pretty interface and everything.

Apple Disk Transfer (ADT) has been around a very long time and knows what it’s doing – a floppy disk with no trickery on the encoding side can be ripped out and transferred to a “.DSK” file on the PC in about 20 seconds. If there’s something wrong with the disk in terms of being an easy read, ADT is very loud about it. I can do other things while reading floppies, and I end up with a whole pile of filenames when it’s done. The workflow, in other words, isn’t so bad as long as the floppies aren’t in really bad shape. In this particular set, the floppies were in excellent shape, except when they weren’t, and the vast majority fell into the “excellent” camp.

The floppy drive that sits at the middle of this looks like some sort of nightmare, but it helps to understand that with Apple II floppy drives, you really have to have the cover removed at all time, because you will be constantly checking the read head for dust, smudges, and so on. Unscrewing the whole mess and putting it back together for looks just doesn’t scale. It’s ugly, but it works.

It took me about three days (while doing lots of other stuff) but in the end I had 714 .dsk images pulled from both sides of the floppies, which works out to 357 floppy disks successfully imaged. Another 20 or so are going to get a once over but probably are going to go into 4am’s hands to get final evaluation. (Some of them may in fact be blank, but were labelled in preparation, and so on.) 714 is a lot to get from one person!

As mentioned, an Apple II 5.25″ floppy disk image is pretty much always 140k. The names of the floppy are mine, taken off the label, or added based on glancing inside the disk image after it’s done. For a quick glance, I use either an Apple II emulator called Applewin, or the fantastically useful Apple II disk image investigator Ciderpress, which is a frankly the gold standard for what should be out there for every vintage disk/cartridge/cassette image. As might be expected, labels don’t always match contents. C’est la vie.

As for the contents of the disks themselves; this comes down to what the “standard collection” was for an Apple II user in the 1980s who wasn’t afraid to let their software library grow utilizing less than legitimate circumstances. Instead of an elegant case of shiny, professionally labelled floppy diskettes, we get a scribbled, messy, organic collection of all range of “warez” with no real theme. There’s games, of course, but there’s also productivity, utilities, artwork, and one-off collections of textfiles and documentation. Games that were “cracked” down into single-file payloads find themselves with 4-5 other unexpected housemates and sitting behind a menu. A person spending the equivalent of $50-$70 per title might be expected to have a relatively small and distinct library, but someone who is meeting up with friends or associates and duplicating floppies over a few hours will just grab bushels of strange.

The result of the first run is already up on the Archive: A 37 Megabyte .ZIP file containing all the images I pulled off the floppies. 

In terms of what will be of relevance to later historians, researchers, or collectors, that zip file is probably the best way to go – it’s not munged up with the needs of the Archive’s structure, and is just the disk images and nothing else.

This single .zip archive might be sufficient for a lot of sites (go git ‘er!) but as mentioned infinite times before, there is a very strong ethic across the Internet Archive’s software collection to make things as accessible as possible, and hence there are over nearly 500 items in the “3D0G Knight Collection” besides the “download it all” item.

The rest of this entry talks about why it’s 500 and not 714, and how it is put together, and the rest of my thoughts on this whole endeavor. If you just want to play some games online or pull a 37mb file and run, cackling happily, into the night, so be it.

The relatively small number of people who have exceedingly hard opinions on how things “should be done” in the vintage computing space will also want to join the folks who are pulling the 37mb file. Everything else done by me after the generation of the .zip file is in service of the present and near future. The items that number in the hundreds on the Archive that contain one floppy disk image and interaction with it are meant for people to find now. I want someone to have a vague memory of a game or program once interacted with, and if possible, to find it on the Archive. I also like people browsing around randomly until something catches their eye and to be able to leap into the program immediately.

To those ends, and as an exercise, I’ve acquired or collaborated on scripts to do the lion’s share of analysis on software images to prep them for this living museum. These scripts get it “mostly” right, and the rough edges they bring in from running are easily smoothed over by a microscopic amount of post-processing manual attention, like running a piece of sandpaper over a machine-made joint.

Again, we started out 714 disk images. The first thing done was to run them against a script that has hash checksums for every exposed Apple II disk image on the Archive, which now number over 10,000. Doing this dropped the “uniquely new” disk images from 714 to 667.

Next, I concatenated disk images that are part of the same product into one item: if a paint program has two floppy disk images for each of the sides of its disk, those become a single item. In one or two cases, the program spans multiple floppies, so 4-8 (and in one case, 14!) floppy images become a single item. Doing this dropped the total from 667 to 495 unique items. That’s why the number is significantly smaller than the original total.

Let’s talk for a moment about this.

Using hashes and comparing them is the roughest of rough approaches to de-duplicating software items. I do it with Apple II images because they tend to be self contained (a single .dsk file) and because Apple II software has a lot of people involved in it. I’m not alone by any means in acquiring these materials and I’m certainly not alone in terms of work being done to track down all the unique variations and most obscure and nearly lost packages written for this platform. If I was the only person in the world (or one of a tiny sliver) working on this I might be super careful with each and every item to catalog it – but I’m absolutely not; I count at least a half-dozen operations involving in Apple II floppy image ingestion.

And as a bonus, it’s a really nice platform. When someone puts their heart into an Apple II program, it rewards them and the end user as well – the graphics can be charming, the program flow intuitive, and the whole package just gleams on the screen. It’s rewarding to work with this corpus, so I’m using it as a test bed for all these methods, including using hashes.

But hash checksums are seriously not the be-all for this work. Anything can make a hash different – an added file, a modified bit, or a compilation of already-on-the-archive-in-a-hundred-places files that just happen to be grouped up slightly different than others. That said, it’s not overwhelming – you can read about what’s on a floppy and decide what you want pretty quickly; gigabytes will not be lost and the work to track down every single unique file has potential but isn’t necessary yet.

(For the people who care, the Internet Archive generates three different hashes (md5, crc32, sha1) and lists the size of the file – looking across all of those for comparison is pretty good for ensuring you probably have something new and unique.)

Once the items are up there, the Screen Shotgun whips into action. It plays the programs in the emulator, takes screenshots, leafs off the unique ones, and then assembles it all into a nice package. Again, not perfect but left alone, it does the work with no human intervention and gets things generally right. If you see a screenshot in this collection, a robot did it and I had nothing to do with it.

This leads, of course, to scaring out which programs are a tad not-bootable, and by that I mean that they boot up in the emulator and the emulator sees them and all, but the result is not that satisfying:

On a pure accuracy level, this is doing exactly what it’s supposed to – the disk wasn’t ever a properly packaged, self-contained item, and it needs a boot disk to go in the machine first before you swap the floppy. I intend to work with volunteers to help with this problem, but here is where it stands.

The solution in the meantime is a java program modified by Kevin Savetz, which analyzes the floppy disk image and prints all the disk information it can find, including the contents of BASIC programs and textfiles. Here’s a non-booting disk where this worked out. The result is that this all gets ingested into the search engine of the Archive, and so if you’re looking for a file within the disk images, there’s a chance you’ll be able to find it.

Once the robots have their way with all the items, I can go in and fix a few things, like screenshots that went south, or descriptions and titles that don’t reflect what actually boots up. The amount of work I, a single person, have to do is therefore reduced to something manageable.

I think this all works well enough for the contemporary vintage software researcher and end user. Perhaps that opinion is not universal.

What I can say, however, is that the core action here – of taking data away from a transient and at-risk storage medium and putting it into a slightly less transient, less at-risk storage medium – is 99% of the battle. To have the will to do it, to connect with the people who have these items around and to show them it’ll be painless for them, and to just take the time to shove floppies into a drive and read them, hundreds of times… that’s the huge mountain to climb right now. I no longer have particularly deep concerns about technology failing to work with these digital images, once they’re absorbed into the Internet. It’s this current time, out in the cold, unknown and unloved, that they’re the most at risk.

The rest, I’m going to say, is gravy.

I’ll talk more about exactly how tasty and real that gravy is in the future, but for now, please take a pleasant walk in the 3D0G Knight’s Domain.

Source: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/5153

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/03/15/thoughts-on-a-collection-apple-ii-floppies-in-the-realm-of-the-now/

The Followup

Writing about my heart attack garnered some attention. I figured it was only right to fill in later details and describe what my current future plans are.

After the previous entry, I went back into the emergency room of the hospital I was treated at, twice.

The first time was because I “felt funny”; I just had no grip on “is this the new normal” and so just to understand that, I went back in and got some tests. They did an EKG, a blood test, and let me know all my stats were fine and I was healing according to schedule. That took a lot of stress away.

Two days later, I went in because I was having a marked shortness of breath, where I could not get enough oxygen in and it felt a little like I was drowning. Another round of tests, and one of the cardiologists mentioned a side effect of one of the drugs I was taking was this sort of shortness/drowning. He said it usually went away and the company claimed 5-7% of people got this side effect, but that they observed more like 10-15%. They said I could wait it out or swap drugs. I chose swap. After that, I’ve had no other episodes.

The hospital thought I should stay in Australia for 2 weeks before flying. Thanks to generosity from both MuseumNext and the ACMI, my hosts, that extra AirBnB time was basically paid for. MuseumNext also worked to help move my international flight ahead the weeks needed; a very kind gesture.

Kind gestures abounded, to be clear. My friend Rochelle extended her stay from New Zealand to stay an extra week; Rachel extended hers to match my new departure date. Folks rounded up funds and sent them along, which helped cover some additional costs. Visitors stopped by the AirBnB when I wasn’t really taking any walks outside, to provide additional social contact.

Here is what the blockage looked like, before and after. As I said, roughly a quarter of my heart wasn’t getting any significant blood and somehow I pushed through it for nearly a week. The insertion of a balloon and then a metal stent opened the artery enough for the blood flow to return. Multiple times, people made it very clear that this could have finished me off handily, and mostly luck involving how my body reacted was what kept me going and got me in under the wire.

From the responses to the first entry, it appears that a lot of people didn’t know heart attacks could be a lingering, growing issue and not just a bolt of lightning that strikes in the middle of a show or while walking down the street. If nothing else, I’m glad that it’s caused a number of people to be aware of how symptoms portray each other, as well as getting people to check up cholesterol, which I didn’t see as a huge danger compared to other factors, and which turned out to be significant indeed.

As for drugs, I’ve got a once a day waterfall of pills for blood pressure, cholesterol, heart healing, anti-clotting, and my long-handled annoyances of gout (which I’ve not had for years thanks to the pills). I’m on some of them for the next few months, some for a year, and some forever. I’ve also been informed I’m officially at risk for another heart attack, but the first heart attack was my hint in that regard.

As I healed, and understood better what was happening to me, I got better remarkably quick. There is a single tiny dot on my wrist from the operation, another tiny dot where the IV was in my arm at other times. Rachel gifted a more complicated Fitbit to replace the one I had, with the new one tracking sleep schedule and heart rate, just to keep an eye on it.

A day after landing back in the US, I saw a cardiologist at Mt. Sinai, one of the top doctors, who gave me some initial reactions to my charts and information: I’m very likely going to be fine, maybe even better than before. I need to take care of myself, and I was. If I was smoking or drinking, I’d have to stop, but since I’ve never had alcohol and I’ve never smoked, I’m already ahead of that game. I enjoy walking, a lot. I stay active. And as of getting out of the hospital, I am vegan for at least a year. Caffeine’s gone. Raw vegetables are in.

One might hesitate putting this all online, because the Internet is spectacularly talented at generating hatred and health advice. People want to help – it comes from a good place. But I’ve got a handle on it and I’m progressing well; someone hitting me up with a nanny-finger-wagging paragraph and 45 links to change-your-life-buy-my-book.com isn’t going to help much. But go ahead if you must.

I failed to mention it before, but when this was all going down, my crazy family of the Internet Archive jumped in, everyone from Dad Brewster through to all my brothers and sisters scrambling to find me my insurance info and what they had on their cards, as I couldn’t find mine. It was something really late when I first pinged everyone with “something is not good” and everyone has been rather spectacular over there. Then again, they tend to be spectacular, so I sort of let that slip by. Let me rectify that here.

And now, a little bit on health insurance.

I had travel insurance as part of my health insurance with the Archive. That is still being sorted out, but a large deposit had to be put on the Archive’s corporate card as a down-payment during the sorting out, another fantastic generosity, even if it’s technically a loan. I welcome the coming paperwork and nailing down of financial brass tacks for a specific reason:

I am someone who once walked into an emergency room with no insurance (back in 2010), got a blood medication IV, stayed around a few hours, and went home, generating a $20,000 medical bill in the process. It got knocked down to $9k over time, and I ended up being thrown into a low-income program they had that allowed them to write it off (I think). That bill could have destroyed me, financially. Therefore, I’m super sensitive to the costs of medical care.

In Australia, it is looking like the heart operation and the 3 day hospital stay, along with all the tests and staff and medications, are going to round out around $10,000 before the insurance comes in and knocks that down further (I hope). In the US, I can’t imagine that whole thing being less than $100,000.

The biggest culture shock for me was how little any of the medical staff, be they doctors or nurses or administrators, cared about the money. They didn’t have any real info on what things cost, because pretty much everything is free there. I’ve equating it to asking a restaurant where the best toilets to use a few hours after your meal – they might have some random ideas, but nobody’s really thinking that way. It was a huge factor in my returning to the emergency room so willingly; each visit, all-inclusive, was $250 AUD, which is even less in US dollars. $250 is something I’ll gladly pay for peace of mind, and I did, twice. The difference in the experince is remarkable. I realize this is a hot button issue now, but chalk me up as another person for whom a life-changing experience could come within a remarkably close distance of being an influence on where I might live in the future.

Dr. Sonny Palmer, who did insertion of my stent in the operating room.

I had a pile of plans and things to get done (documentaries, software, cutting down on my possessions, and so on), and I’ll be getting back to them. I don’t really have an urge to maintain some sort of health narrative on here, and I certainly am not in the mood to urge any lifestyle changes or preach a way of life to folks. I’ll answer questions if people have them from here on out, but I’d rather be known for something other than powering through a heart attack, and maybe, with some effort, I can do that.

Thanks again to everyone who has been there for me, online and off, in person and far away, over the past few weeks. I’ll try my best to live up to your hopes about what opportunities my second chance at life will give me.

 

Source: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/5145

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/03/14/the-followup/

The Other Half

On January 19th of this year, I set off to California to participate in a hastily-arranged appearance in a UCLA building to talk about saving climate data in the face of possible administrative switchover. I wore a fun hat, stayed in a nice hotel, and saw an old friend from my MUD days for dinner. The appearance was a lot of smart people doing good work and wanting to continue with it.

While there, I was told my father’s heart surgery, which had some complications, was going to require an extended stay and we were running out of relatives and companions to accompany him. I booked a flight for seven hours after I’d arrive back in New York to go to North Carolina and stay with him. My father has means, so I stayed in a good nearby hotel room. I stayed with him for two and a half weeks, booking ten to sixteen hour days to accompany him through a maze of annoyances, indignities, smart doctors, variant nurses ranging from saints to morons, and generally ensure his continuance.

In the middle of this, I had a non-movable requirement to move the manuals out of Maryland and send them to California. Looking through several possibilities, I settled with: Drive five hours to Maryland from North Carolina, do the work across three days, and drive back to North Carolina. The work in Maryland had a number of people helping me, and involved pallet jacks, forklifts, trucks, and crazy amounts of energy drinks. We got almost all of it, with a third batch ready to go. I drove back the five hours to North Carolina and caught up on all my podcasts.

I stayed with my father another week and change, during which I dented my rental car, and hit another hard limit: I was going to fly to Australia. I also, to my utter horror, realized I was coming down with some sort of cold/flu. I did what I could – stabilized my father’s arrangements, went into the hotel room, put on my favorite comedians in a playlist, turned out the lights, drank 4,000mg of Vitamin C, banged down some orange juice, drank Mucinex, and covered myself in 5 blankets. I woke up 15 hours later in a pool of sweat and feeling like I’d crossed the boundary with that disease. I went back to the hospital to assure my dad was OK (he was), and then prepped for getting back to NY, where I discovered almost every flight for the day was booked due to so many cancelled flights the previous day.

After lots of hand-wringing, I was able to book a very late flight from North Carolina to New York, and stayed there for 5 hours before taking a 25 hour two-segment flight through Dubai to Melbourne.

I landed in Melbourne on Monday the 13th of February, happy that my father was stable back in the US, and prepping for my speech and my other commitments in the area.

On Tuesday I had a heart attack.

We know it happened then, or began to happen, because of the symptoms I started to show – shortness of breath, a feeling of fatigue and an edge of pain that covered my upper body like a jacket. I was fucking annoyed – I felt like I was just super tired and needed some energy, and energy drinks and caffiene weren’t doing the trick.

I met with my hosts for the event I’d do that Saturday, and continued working on my speech.

I attended the conference for that week, did a couple interviews, saw some friends, took some nice tours of preservation departments and discussed copyright with very smart lawyers from the US and Australia.

My heart attack continued, blocking off what turned out to be a quarter of my bloodflow to my heart.

This was annoying me but I didn’t know it was, so according to my fitbit I walked 25 miles, walked up 100 flights of stairs, and maintained hours of exercise to snap out of it, across the week.

I did a keynote for the conference. The next day I hosted a wonderful event for seven hours. I asked for a stool because I said I was having trouble standing comfortably. They gave me one. I took rests during it, just so the DJ could get some good time with the crowds. I was praised for my keeping the crowd jumping and giving it great energy. I’d now had been having a heart attack for four days.

That Sunday, I walked around Geelong, a lovely city near Melbourne, and ate an exquisite meal at Igni, a restaurant whose menu basically has one line to tell you you’ll be eating what they think you should have. Their choices were excellent. Multiple times during the meal, I dozed a little, as I was fatigued. When we got to the tram station, I walked back to the apartment to get some rest. Along the way, I fell to the sidewalk and got up after resting.

I slept off more of the growing fatigue and pain.

The next day I had a second exquisite meal of the trip at Vue Le Monde, a meal that lasted from about 8pm to midnight. My partner Rachel loves good meals and this is one of the finest you can have in the city, and I enjoyed it immensely. It would have been a fine last meal. I’d now had been experiencing a heart attack for about a week.

That night, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. The pain was now a complete jacket of annoyance on my body, and there was no way to rest that didn’t feel awful. I decided medical attention was needed.

The next morning, Rachel and I walked 5 blocks to a clinic, found it was closed, and walked further to the RealCare Health Clinic. I was finding it very hard to walk at this point. Dr. Edward Petrov saw me, gave me some therapy for reflux, found it wasn’t reflux, and got concerned, especially as having my heart checked might cost me something significant. He said he had a cardiologist friend who might help, and he called him, and it was agreed we could come right over.

We took a taxi over to Dr. Georg Leitl’s office. He saw me almost immediately.

He was one of those doctors that only needed to take my blood pressure and check my heart with a stethoscope for 30 seconds before looking at me sadly. We went to his office, and he told me I could not possibly get on the plane I was leaving on in 48 hours. He also said I needed to go to Hospital very quickly, and that I had some things wrong with me that needed attention.

He had his assistants measure my heart and take an ultrasound, wrote something on a notepad, put all the papers in an envelope with the words “SONNY PALMER” on them, and drove me personally over in his car to St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Taking me up to the cardiology department, he put me in the waiting room of the surgery, talked to the front desk, and left. I waited 5 anxious minutes, and then was bought into a room with two doctors, one of whom turned out to be Dr. Sonny Palmer.

Sonny said Georg thought I needed some help, and I’d be checked within a day. I asked if he’d seen the letter with his name on it. He hadn’t. He went and got it.

He came back and said I was going to be operated on in an hour.

He also explained I had a rather blocked artery in need of surgery. Survival rate was very high. Nerve damage from the operation was very unlikely. I did not enjoy phrases like survival and nerve damage, and I realized what might happen very shortly, and what might have happened for the last week.

I went back to the waiting room, where I tweeted what might have been my possible last tweets, left a message for my boss Alexis on the slack channel, hugged Rachel tearfully, and then went into surgery, or potential oblivion.

Obviously, I did not die. The surgery was done with me awake, and involved making a small hole in my right wrist, where Sonny (while blasting Bon Jovi) went in with a catheter, found the blocked artery, installed a 30mm stent, and gave back the blood to the quarter of my heart that was choked off. I listened to instructions on when to talk or when to hold myself still, and I got to watch my beating heart on a very large monitor as it got back its function.

I felt (and feel) legions better, of course – surgery like this rapidly improves life. Fatigue is gone, pain is gone. It was also explained to me what to call this whole event: a major heart attack. I damaged the heart muscle a little, although that bastard was already strong from years of high blood pressure and I’m very young comparatively, so the chances of recovery to the point of maybe even being healthier than before are pretty good. The hospital, St. Vincents, was wonderful – staff, environment, and even the food (incuding curry and afternoon tea) were a delight. My questions were answered, my needs met, and everyone felt like they wanted to be there.

It’s now been 4 days. I was checked out of the hospital yesterday. My stay in Melbourne was extended two weeks, and my hosts (MuseumNext and ACMI) paid for basically all of the additional AirBNB that I’m staying at. I am not cleared to fly until the two weeks is up, and I am now taking six medications. They make my blood thin, lower my blood pressure, cure my kidney stones/gout, and stabilize my heart. I am primarily resting.

I had lost a lot of weight and I was exercising, but my cholesterol was a lot worse than anyone really figured out. The drugs and lifestyle changes will probably help knock that back, and I’m likely to adhere to them, unlike a lot of people, because I’d already been on a whole “life reboot” kick. The path that follows is, in other words, both pretty clear and going to be taken.

Had I died this week, at the age of 46, I would have left behind a very bright, very distinct and rather varied life story. I’ve been a bunch of things, some positive and negative, and projects I’d started would have lived quite neatly beyond my own timeline. I’d have also left some unfinished business here and there, not to mention a lot of sad folks and some extremely quality-variant eulogies. Thanks to a quirk of the Internet Archive, there’s a little statue of me – maybe it would have gotten some floppy disks piled at its feet.

Regardless, I personally would have been fine on the accomplishment/legacy scale, if not on the first-person/relationships/plans scale. That my Wikipedia entry is going to have a different date on it than February 2017 is both a welcome thing and a moment to reflect.

I now face the Other Half, whatever events and accomplishments and conversations I get to engage in from this moment forward, and that could be anything from a day to 100 years.

Whatever and whenever that will be, the tweet I furiously typed out on cellphone as a desperate last-moment possible-goodbye after nearly a half-century of existence will likely still apply:

“I have had a very fun time. It was enormously enjoyable, I loved it all, and was glad I got to see it.”

 

Source: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/5139

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/02/24/the-other-half/

Ten Area Men Charged with Federal Dog-Fighting Offenses

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ten Area Men Charged with Federal Dog-Fighting Offenses

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Federal and local law enforcement officers made arrests this morning of area men charged by indictment with conspiracy to sponsor and participate in a dog-fighting venture and related charges. The indictment, returned by the grand jury last week, had remained sealed pending the arrests and initial court appearances. The defendants are making their initial appearances in federal court in Rock Island.

 

Those charged in the conspiracy include the following: Demarlo A. McCoy, 29; Ryan M. Hickman, 42; Andre Keywan Lidell, 40; Algerron Lee Goldsmith, 46; Stantrel Vontrez Knight, 29; Simmeon Terrell Hall, 28; Sherrick Cornelius Houston, 43; Willie Earl Jackson, 34, all of Rock Island, Ill.; and, Terrell Onterial McDuffy, 43, of Davenport, Iowa. In addition, the indictment charges Jaquan Leontae Jones, 27, also of Rock Island, with a single misdemeanor count of knowingly attending a dog fight.

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Hansen, FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean M. Cox, Springfield Field Office, and Rock Island Police Chief Jeffrey R. VenHuizen announced the charges today. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Rock Island Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Don Allegro and Ryan Finlen are prosecuting the case.

 

The indictment charges the defendants with conspiring from 2011 through April 14, 2016, to sponsor pit bull-type dogs in fights as well as buying, selling, training, and possessing dogs to participate in such fights. According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly scheduled and conducted dog fights for sport and entertainment and wagered money on fight results.

 

The defendants allegedly discussed and disseminated information, including video recordings of dog fights, to establish the fighting reputations of specific dogs, to maximize the dogs’ values for breeding fighting dogs, and to maximize the defendants’ reputations as fighting-dog trainers and breeders.

 

In a separate, but related matter, the government filed a civil complaint in April 2016, seeking forfeiture of approximately 64 dogs that were seized in the execution of search warrants on April 14, 2016. According to the civil complaint, the dogs were involved in and used to commit or facilitate the alleged dog-fighting venture.

 

To date, pursuant to a court order, 27 of the previously seized dogs have been forfeited to the government. On Jan. 26, 2017, the court granted the government’s motion for default pertaining to 24 additional dogs. Two dogs have been euthanized pursuant to a court order; five were voluntarily surrendered; and three dogs have died. There are three dogs whose claims remain unresolved, including two for which a motion to strike is currently pending.

 

Law enforcement agencies that coordinated and participated in making today’s arrests include: the Rock Island Police Department; FBI; Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office; DEA; Scott County, Iowa Sheriff’s Office; the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Team (QCMEG); and the U.S. Marshals Service.

 

Representatives of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) were available today to assist in the event any additional dogs were seized in the execution of the arrest warrants. ASPCA continues to assist in the care of the dogs seized by law enforcement in April 2016, during the execution of search warrants.

 

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

 

If convicted, the maximum statutory penalty for each offense charged is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as sentencing is determined by the court based on

the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The maximum statutory penalty is up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count charged of conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture; sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV; possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV; and transporting an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV. For the misdemeanor charge of knowingly attending an AFV, the penalty is up to one year in prison. The table below lists the defendants and specific counts charged in the indictment.

 

Defendant Charge
Demarlo A. McCoy, 29

400 block 7th St.

Rock Island, Ill.

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (4 counts)

Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Ryan M. Hickman, 42

500 block 14th Ave.

Rock Island, Ill.

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Andre Keywan Lidell, 40

800 block 15th Ave.

Rock Island, Ill.

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (2 counts)

Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Algerron Lee Goldsmith, 46

1200 block 14th St.

Rock Island, Ill.

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Defendant Charge
Stantrel Vontrez Knight, 29

500 block 6th St.

Rock Island, Ill.

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (1 count)

Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Terrell Onterial McDuffy, 43

1800 block 8th Ave.

Davenport, Iowa

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

 

Simmeon Terrell Hall, 28

800 block 21st St.

Rock Island, Ill.

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (3 counts)

Transporting an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Sherrick Cornelius Houston, 43

1600 block 5th St.

Rock Island, Ill.

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Willie Earl Jackson, 34

1500 block 9th St.

Rock Island, Ill.

Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (1 count)

 

Jaquan Leontae Jones, 27

1000 block 10th Ave.

Rock Island, Ill.

Knowingly attending an animal fighting venture (1 count)

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/02/02/ten-area-men-charged-with-federal-dog-fighting-offenses/

Illinois Man Who Illegally Accessed Email Belonging to More Than 300 People, including Many Celebrities, Sentenced to Federal Prison

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Illinois Man Who Illegally Accessed Email Belonging to More Than 300 People, including Many Celebrities, Sentenced to Federal Prison

          LOS ANGELES – An Illinois man who admitted responsibility for a phishing scheme that gave him illegal access to over 300 Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts, including those belonging to members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison.

Edward Majerczyk, 29, of Chicago, was sentenced yesterday in Chicago by United States District Judge Charles P. Kocoras, who said the defendant’s crime was “abhorrent.”

Majerczyk pleaded guilty in September to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, specifically, one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information. Majerczyk was charged by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, but the case was transferred to the Northern District of Illinois, where the defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

“This defendant engaged in a computer hacking scheme that not only gave him access to his victims’ computers, it also gave him access to the most personal details of their lives,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This was a deep intrusion into the victims’ privacy and a violation of federal law.”

According to a plea agreement filed in this case, from November 23, 2013 through August 2014, Majerczyk engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain usernames and passwords for his victims. He sent e-mails to victims that appeared to be from security accounts of internet service providers that directed the victims to a website that would collect the victims’ usernames and passwords. After victims responded by entering information at that website, Majerczyk had access to victims’ usernames and passwords. After illegally accessing the iCloud and Gmail accounts, Majerczyk obtained personal information including sensitive and private photographs and videos.

“Mr. Majerczyk manipulated hundreds of victims by tricking them into providing access to their accounts, including high-profile victims whose information was specifically targeted,” said Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The lasting harm this type of intrusion can cause to celebrities and non-celebrities alike cannot be overstated, and this case should serve as a necessary reminder to all of us that it is dangerous to respond to unsolicited e-mails in which our personal information is requested.”

Many of Majerczyk’s victims were members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. By illegally accessing the e-mail accounts, Majerczyk accessed at least 300 accounts, and at least 30 accounts belonging to celebrities.

The charge against Majerczyk stems from the investigation into the leaks of photographs of numerous female celebrities in September 2014 known as “Celebgate.” However, investigators have not uncovered any evidence indicating that Majerczyk was responsible for any of the postings of celebrity photographs.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kocoras ordered Majerczyk to pay $5,700 in restitution to one victim whose photos were published on the Internet. Majerczyk was ordered to begin serving his sentence by February 27.

The case against Majerczyk is the product of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was filed by Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan White and Vicki Chou of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. The sentencing hearing was handled by Chicago-based Assistant United States Attorney Raj Laud.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/01/30/illinois-man-who-illegally-accessed-email-belonging-to-more-than-300-people-including-many-celebrities-sentenced-to-federal-prison/

Neshoba County Residents Sentenced to Prison for Assault on Choctaw Tribal Lands

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 30, 2017

Neshoba County Residents Sentenced to Prison for Assault on Choctaw Tribal Lands

Jackson, Miss – Robert Lee Jim, age 32 and Jackie Devon Stokes, Jr., age 33, both Choctaw Indians and residents of Neshoba County, were sentenced on January 23, 2017, by Senior U.S. District Judge William H. Barbour, for assault resulting in serious bodily injury, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. The defendants previously pled guilty to the charges.

Robert Lee Jim was sentenced to 96 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release, and Jackie Devon Stokes, Jr. was sentenced to 84 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Both defendants were also ordered to pay a $1500 fine.

The crime took place on April 6, 2011 at a residence in Neshoba County on lands within the confines of the Choctaw Indian Reservation. The victim was brutally attacked and assaulted by both defendants. The victim was treated at University of Mississippi Medical Center.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with the Choctaw Tribal Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abe McGlothin, Jr.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/01/30/neshoba-county-residents-sentenced-to-prison-for-assault-on-choctaw-tribal-lands/

Gospel Singer Sentenced for $4 Million Money Laundering Conspiracy

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 27, 2017

Gospel Singer Sentenced for $4 Million Money Laundering Conspiracy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Jacqueline Green-Morris, 41, of Woodbridge, was sentenced today to 63 months in prison for her role in a money laundering conspiracy which resulted in a loss of $4.1 million.

Green-Morris pleaded guilty on Aug. 30, 2016. According to court documents, Green-Morris was employed as a Quality Analyst/Training Manager for a federal government contractor based in Virginia. As part of her duties, Green-Morris paid invoices submitted by outside vendors for employee training and testing. In 2012, Green-Morris conspired with Amit Chaudhry, owner of an Ashburn based business, to submit inflated and fraudulent invoices for payment of information technology training and professional certification courses that were never provided. Green-Morris and the co-conspirator also created numerous “shell” companies and opened bank accounts in the names of the “shell” companies to facilitate the movement of the proceeds of the fraudulent payments through PayPal. Green-Morris used additional bank accounts held in the names of various entities she controlled, including Jacquie Green Music LLC and Sweet Lane Entertainment, companies used to facilitate her gospel singing career. The amount of loss in this case was at least $4.1 million and Green-Morris used the proceeds to purchase a home in Woodbridge, travel, gamble and purchase luxury items for herself and others.

Co-conspirator Amit Chaudhry pleaded guilty on Sept. 20, 2016, and is scheduled for sentencing on February 9.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division; Thomas Holloman, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington; Joseph W. Cronin, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Christian Schurman, Acting Director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly R. Pedersen and Katherine L. Wong prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-190.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/01/30/gospel-singer-sentenced-for-4-million-money-laundering-conspiracy/

‘Wife’ of Man Facing Charges of Conspiring with Shooter in San Bernardino Attack Pleads Guilty to Entering into Sham Marriage

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 26, 2017

‘Wife’ of Man Facing Charges of Conspiring with Shooter in San Bernardino Attack Pleads Guilty to Entering into Sham Marriage

          RIVERSIDE, California – Mariyah Chernykh today pleaded guilty to federal immigration fraud charges and admitted entering into a sham marriage with Enrique Marquez Jr., who is facing charges of conspiring with the male shooter in the December 2, 2015 attack in San Bernardino.

Chernykh, 26, of Ontario, pleaded guilty this afternoon before United States District Judge Jesus Bernal to charges of conspiracy, perjury, and false statements.

As a result of her guilty pleas, Chernykh faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Judge Bernal is scheduled to sentence the defendant on November 20, 2017.

Chernykh is the second person to plead guilty in the immigration fraud scheme. On January 10, Syed Raheel Farook, the brother of deceased San Bernardino attacker Syed Rizwan Farook, pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy.

The third defendant in the case – Tatiana Farook, the wife of Syed Raheel Farook – still faces charges contained in a grand jury indictment and is scheduled to go on trial on March 28.

The indictment alleges that, beginning in late 2014 and continuing through February 2016, the three defendants conspired with Marquez to obtain immigration benefits for Chernykh by arranging and carrying out a fraudulent marriage between Chernykh, a Russian citizen, and Marquez, a United States citizen. In court today, Chernykh admitted that she made false statements in immigration documents, that she paid Marquez for his participation in the scheme, and that she made additional material false statements during interviews with FBI special agents.

Marquez was charged in a separate federal indictment with participating in the marriage fraud scheme, as well as plotting with San Bernardino attacker Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012 to carry out attacks in the Inland Empire. Marquez is also charged with supplying two firearms that Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfin Malik, later used in the San Bernardino attack and during the shootout with law enforcement that ended in the couple’s death. Marquez is scheduled to go on trial before Judge Bernal on September 26.

“Two of the four defendants charged as a result of the investigation into the December 2 San Bernardino terrorist attack have now been convicted,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “These convictions signify important progress in the ongoing investigation and prosecution of all those connected to the attack. Today’s guilty pleas are further proof that law enforcement has doggedly investigated all leads stemming from the tragic attack in San Bernardino as we continue our efforts to bring justice to the community.”

“The criminal activity by the defendants who entered into phony marriages was uncovered following the deadly terror attack that occurred in December 2015 in San Bernardino,” said Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Mariyah Chernykh ultimately admitted to lying to FBI Agents who were urgently seeking answers immediately following the attack to ensure that there were no additional threats to public safety. The defendant’s admission to violating U.S. immigration laws and defrauding the United States government is a welcome step as we continue our investigation of the attack which left 14 dead and several others seriously wounded.”

“Today’s guilty plea and the broader circumstances of this case are a powerful reminder about the serious consequences that can result when people lie or use false information to obtain an immigration benefit,” said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “Not only do such actions corrupt the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system, but they can directly or indirectly put the safety of the American people at risk.”

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Riverside, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the San Bernardino Police Department; the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department; and the United States Attorney’s Office.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jay H. Robinson, Melanie Sartoris and Deirdre Z. Eliot of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section with substantial assistance from Trial Attorney C. Alexandria Bogle of the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.internetking.us/wordpress/2017/01/30/wife-of-man-facing-charges-of-conspiring-with-shooter-in-san-bernardino-attack-pleads-guilty-to-entering-into-sham-marriage/

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