orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Government

March 1, 2013

Obama issues pardons to 17 for minor offenses

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday issued pardons for 17 people, largely for minor offenses.

Those receiving pardons came from 13 states and had been sentenced for crimes that included falsely altering a money order, unauthorized acquisition of food stamps, drug violations, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

No one well-known was on the list released by the White House. Some of the crimes drew light penalties in the first place — such as a North Carolina woman sentenced to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service for distributing satellite cable decryption devices.

A dozen of the 17 had been placed on probation. The other five had been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 54 days to five years. For those placed on probation, the length ranged from one year to five years.

The White House offered no details on why these particular people were selected by Obama, who has issued relatively few pardons since taking office.

He granted his first pardons in December 2010, to nine people convicted of such offenses as drug possession, counterfeiting and mutilating coins. He also issued two separate batches of pardons in 2011, including eight people in May for relatively minor offenses and five people that November.

Those pardoned Friday by Obama:

— Robert Leroy Bebee of Rockville, Md., sentenced to two years' probation for concealing a felony or concealing information about a felony.

— James Anthony Bordinaro of Gloucester, Mass., sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, three years supervised release and a $55,000 fine for conspiracy to restrain, suppress and eliminate competition in violation of the Sherman Act and conspiracy to submit false statements.

— Kelli Elisabeth Collins of Harrison, Ark., sentenced to five years' probation for aiding and abetting a wire fraud.

—Edwin Hardy Futch Jr., of Pembroke, Ga., sentenced to five years' probation and $2,399.72 restitution for theft from an interstate shipment.

—Cindy Marie Griffith of Moyock, N.C., sentenced to two years' probation with 100 hours of community service for distribution of satellite cable television decryption devices.

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