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January 3, 2012

It pays to do your research, especially when it comes to counterfeiting money. Now, Michael Anthony Fuller of Lexington, N.C., is facing felony charges after trying to pay for $476 worth of purchases at the local Walmart with a fake million-dollar bill. Store clerks were skeptical: The $100 bill is the largest currently in circulation, and $100,000 is the top note ever issued (it was briefly printed in the 1930s). The arrest warrant's conclusion on the ersatz million-dollar bill? "There is no such thing." The Week Staff

1:40 a.m. ET

Under a plea deal, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pleaded guilty to a federal charge of lying to investigators, and will spend no more than six months in prison, if he serves any time at all.

In 2010, a grand jury began an investigation into corruption and abuse at the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, and since then, the U.S. Attorney's Office has charged 18 former and current deputies with such crimes as obstructing justice, beating inmates, bribery, and conspiracy, NBC Los Angeles reports. Baca previously claimed he had no knowledge of abuse at any county jails, deputies intimidating an FBI agent outside of her home, or a coordinated effort by deputies to keep an FBI informant from testifying to a grand jury; NBC Los Angeles reports that for two weeks in 2011, deputies moved the informant around to different jails using a false name every time so the FBI couldn't find the informant and have him or her testify.

Baca, who stepped down in 2014 after more than 15 years as sheriff, is the 18th former member of the department convicted in the case, and he will be sentenced on May 16. Prosecutors have been going up the ranks in the department, and in May 2015, former undersheriff Paul Tanaka was charged with obstructing justice. He is now facing trial. "No one is above the law," U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said Wednesday. "This is a fundamental principle in our society and when it is violated it's the job of the Department of Justice to step in and hold individuals accountable." Catherine Garcia

1:30 a.m. ET
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On Wednesday night, after five hours of live-streaming a phone call recording their standoff with federal agents, the four remaining holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside Burns, Oregon, said they planned to turn themselves in to the FBI on Thursday morning. The FBI, which encircled the refuge earlier on Wednesday, had agreed not to raid the refuge overnight, the armed occupiers said. The four militants — David Fry, 27, from Ohio; Jeff Banta, 46, from Nevada; and Sean and Sandy Anderson, 48 and 47, from Idaho — are the remnants of a group of armed anti-government protesters who took over the federal birding refuge on Jan. 2.

Before the livestream ended, Fry appeared to yell at the FBI negotiators, telling them: "You're going to hell. Kill me. Get it over with..... We're innocent people camping at a public facility, and you're going to murder us." At another point, he shouted that "the only way we're leaving here is dead or without charges," and telling the FBI to "get the hell out of Oregon." On Jan. 26, one of the occupiers had been wounded and another shot dead after running a police checkpoint; the occupation leader, Ammon Bundy, and other militants were arrested and most of the people at the refuge left after that.

"It has never been the FBI's desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully," FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing said in a statement Wednesday. Peter Weber

12:51 a.m. ET
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At a three hour hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sirhan Sirhan was denied parole again for killing Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, just after Kennedy won the pivotal California Democratic presidential primary. Sirhan, 71, maintained that he did not remember the shooting, though he clearly recalled going to a shooting range, getting drunk, and drinking coffee at a hotel in the hours before the assassination. The commissioners, in denying his parole request, said that Sirhan neither showed sufficient remorse nor seemed to understand the gravity of his crime.

Most of the drama at the hearing, Sirhan's 15th bid for parole, was provided by Paul Schrade, a 91-year-old former labor leader and RFK confidante who was shot in the head during Robert Kennedy's assassination. Schrade said that he believes Sirhan was the gunman who shot him but that Kennedy was slain by a second gunman, a theory he has espoused before. "I should have been here long ago and that's why I feel guilty for not being here to help you and to help me," Schrade told Sirhan, whom he was facing for the first time since Sirhan's 1969 trial. "Sirhan, I'm so sorry this is happening to you," he called out as Sirhan was leaving the room. "It's my fault."

The commissioners were not swayed by Schrade's theories, nor by Sirhan's protestation that he didn't remember the shooting. "This crime impacted the nation, and I daresay it impacted the world," said commissioner Brian Roberts. "It was a political assassination of a viable Democratic presidential candidate." Sirhan can petition for parole again in five years. Peter Weber

12:13 a.m. ET
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On Wednesday, the Senate voted 96-0 in favor of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, which targets North Korea's ability to finance the development of nuclear warheads and long-range ballistic missiles.

Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida both left the campaign trail to return to Washington for the vote. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) chose to keep campaigning the day after he won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, but released a statement voicing his support for the sanctions against the "totalitarian state of North Korea" that is "becoming more belligerent by the day." The sanctions, he said, "are an important tool in resolving the growing threat from Pyongyang. The legislation before the Senate would help prevent North Korea from obtaining goods or technology related to nuclear weapons, ban foreign assistance to any country that provides lethal military equipment to North Korea, and target the country's trade in key industrial commodities."

The legislation comes after North Korea's latest satellite launch. A similar bill was passed by the House of Representatives in January. Catherine Garcia

February 10, 2016
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FBI agents have surrounded the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in an attempt to get the last four armed occupiers to leave.

Armored vehicles have been placed around the refuge, The Oregonian reports, and the four occupiers all face arrest on a federal charge of conspiracy for their roles in the takeover. The FBI said in a statement that one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside of the camp at 4:30 p.m., but took off "at a high rate of speed" as FBI agents tried to approach him. As of 6 p.m., the FBI said "no shots have been fired," and negotiations are underway.

The refuge has been occupied since early last month. The group's leader, Ammon Bundy, and other occupiers were arrested in late January, the same day one of the protesters was shot and killed during a traffic stop. Catherine Garcia

February 10, 2016
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The estate of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2014, was notified Wednesday that it owes the city $500 for "ambulance advance life support" and mileage for Rice's ambulance ride to a medical center.

The city's assistant law director filed the claim in Cuyahoga County Probate Court Wednesday. "The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgement required for the city to send a bill — its own police officers having slain 12-year-old Tamir — is breathtaking," Rice family attorney Subodh Chandra said in a statement. "This adds insult to homicide."

Rice was shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann on Nov. 22, 2014, after he was spotted playing with a replica airsoft gun in a Cleveland park. The person who called 911 told the operator Rice looked to be a juvenile and the gun was possibly fake, but the information was not relayed to the officers. Loehmann shot and killed Rice within two seconds of arriving at the park, Cleveland.com reports, and the Rice family has filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Cleveland arguing that Loehmann and Officer Frank Garmback showed no concern for Rice's welfare, standing around him for four minutes without offering any first aid. An FBI agent then arrived and gave him assistance. In December, a grand jury declined to indict the officers. Catherine Garcia

February 10, 2016

Two sheriff's deputies were killed in Abingdon, Maryland, on Wednesday, after approaching a suspect inside a Panera Bread during the lunch hour.

Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler of the Harford County sheriff's department said in a statement that the deputies were at the restaurant for an investigation, and the suspect shot one deputy and then ran to a nearby apartment complex. A second deputy then "attempted to make contact with the suspect," and was also shot. At that point, at least two other deputies fired at the suspect, and he died at the scene, Gahler said. No customers inside the Panera Bread were injured, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The suspect has been identified as 67-year-old David Brian Evans, a white male. He had two outstanding warrants — one in Florida for assaulting a police officer and fleeing, and another in Harford County for a reason not disclosed by Gahler, USA Today reports. The names of the deceased deputies have not yet been released, but Gahler said one was a 30-year veteran of the department who worked in the Court Services Division, and the other was a 16-year veteran who worked with the Community Services Division. "Today is a sad day for the Harford County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Harford County who we are sworn to serve," Gahler said. Catherine Garcia

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