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POSTED December 23, 2013 9:28 p.m.

MAN IN DRUG WEBSITE CASE WANTS HIS BITCOIN BACK: NEW YORK (AP) — An Internet entrepreneur accused of being behind an online marketplace for illegal drugs has asked the government to return more than $30 million in bitcoin seized from his computers.

Ross Ulbricht, of San Francisco, was arrested in October following a crackdown on the black market website Silk Road.

Federal prosecutors in New York say Ulbricht went by the online handle the Dread Pirate Roberts and turned the underground site into a place where anonymous users could buy or sell contraband and illegal services.

In court filings, prosecutors say they seized 144,336 bitcoins from Ulbricht's computers.

Though subject to fluctuations in value, the virtual currency is exceedingly valuable, but lightly regulated.

Ulbricht says in a legal filing that the currency should be returned because it isn't subject to civil forfeiture rules.

BULLET RICOCHETS OFF CALIFORNIA DEPUTY'S KNIFE : FRESNO  (AP) — Authorities say a Central California sheriff's deputy was saved from a gunshot wound by his pocket knife.

The unidentified Fresno County deputy was responding to a call of shots fired on Sunday evening when a bullet flew toward him.

Instead of hitting the deputy, it ricocheted off the deputy's knife, leaving him with just a bruise.

Sheriff's officials found weapons and ammunition in the backyard of a nearby home and detained several people for questioning.

JUDGE: NC POSSUM DROP ALLOWED TO GO ON: RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A judge says the annual New Year's Eve possum drop can go on as planned in a North Carolina town.

The judge says he won't block the organizer of a mountain town's celebration from getting a state permit allowing him to capture a possum and lower it in a cage at midnight.

Attorneys for the Wildlife Resources Commission and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were in court in Raleigh on Monday. The animal-welfare organization sought to block the annual Possum Drop in Brasstown. A PETA lawyer says the lights, noise and crowd of people can wreck a possum's nerves and health.

TEXAS DEPUTY SLAYING SUSPECT THOUGHT HE WAS VICTIM: DALLAS (AP) — A Central Texas man accused of capital murder for killing a sheriff's deputy thought someone was breaking into his home when he grabbed his rifle and opened fire, the suspect's attorney said Monday.

Henry Goedrich Magee gunned down Sgt. Adam Sowders on Thursday while Sowders and other investigators executed a search warrant, the Burleson County Sheriff's Office said. A district attorney described the warrant as being drug-related.

But Magee's attorney, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, called the fatal shooting a tragic accident. He said Magee was asleep and didn't know sheriff's deputies were entering his rural home near Somerville, about 90 miles northwest of Houston.

"Hank, like any homeowner, defended himself and his pregnant girlfriend," DeGuerin said Monday.

DeGuerin said sheriff's deputies did not knock on the door or announce who they were when they entered the home just before 6 a.m. Thursday.

"This is something that could have happened to anyone protecting their home at night," he said.

Christine Labertew, spokeswoman for the Burleson County Sheriff's Office, said Monday she did not know if or how deputies announced their entrance into the home. She said they were not wearing body cameras during the incident.

Labertew also did not know if dashboard camera video from their vehicles was available.

3 SHOT AFTER RIFLEMAN KNOCKS ON FRESNO DOOR: FRESNO  (AP) — Fresno police are looking for a man who shot three people in the face with a rifle, critically wounding them, after knocking on an apartment door.

There's no word on a motive for Sunday's attack. Officers called to Thomas Avenue Sunday evening found a 20-year-old man lying in the roadway in front of the apartment complex, and a 23-year-old man and 22-year-old woman in the kitchen.

All had been shot several times in the face and body. Authorities say the three were taken to a hospital in critical condition but their wounds aren't life-threatening.

Gomez says the victims didn't know the attacker, who fled after the shooting.

 

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