• Police in Madrid, Spain, caught up with a wanted criminal in late May, AFP reported. Nacho Vidal, a porn star, was charged with manslaughter relating to the death of fashion photographer Jose Luis Abad last year at Vidal's country residence.
According to authorities, Abad died after inhaling "venom of the bufo alvarius toad" during the "celebration of a mystic ritual."
The toad, which is native to Mexico and the southwestern U.S., secretes venom containing a powerful psychedelic substance.
Police said Vidal and his cohorts have lured people who are "easily influenced, vulnerable or who were seeking help for illnesses or addictions" to the rituals on a regular basis.
One of Vidal's relatives and an employee were also arrested. [AFP, 6/3/2020]
• Julie Wheeler of Beaver, West Virginia, pleaded guilty in February to health care fraud and faced up to 10 years in prison. So she and her husband, Rodney Wheeler, apparently cooked up a plan to keep her out of jail: On May 31, Rodney and the couple's 17-year-old son reported that Julie had fallen from the Grandview overlook at the New River Gorge National River.
Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and rescue crews began a search for her, including use of a helicopter and rappelling into a jagged canyon, to no avail.
After three days of searching, however, Julie turned up -- hiding in a closet in her home, WVNS reported.
Now, in addition to the fraud conviction, Julie and Rodney will face multiple charges of conspiracy and giving false information to West Virginia State Police.
"It is hard to hide at home," remarked U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart. [WVNS, 6/3/2020]