SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A 42-year-old Springfield man is facing up to 40 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to participating in a scheme to sell thousands of counterfeit DVDs over the Internet.
Matthew Cerullo pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Springfield to mail fraud, trafficking in counterfeit labels, trafficking in counterfeit goods and making false statements to federal agents.
Prosecutors say the federal probe began after a shipment of counterfeit DVDs from Hong Kong addressed to a UPS store in Missouri was seized at JFK Airport in New York.
Cerullo told investigators he had not received a seizure notice from Customs and Border Protection, and that he does not buy DVDs. Agents who later served a search warrant found four prior seizure notices in his desk and more than 22,000 DVDs.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Springfield officials say a longtime zookeeper was killed by an elephant at the city's Dickerson Park Zoo.
City spokeswoman Cora Scott says senior zookeeper John Bradford died Friday when a female elephant charged him.
Zoo officials say Bradford worked at the zoo at least 25 years and was a senior zookeeper.
Police continue to investigate the death and further details were not immediately available.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - The grand opening of a new National Rifle Association museum takes place next month inside Bass Pro Shops' flagship store in southwest Missouri.
The Springfield News-Leader reports the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum occupies about 7,500 square feet of the outdoor recreation outfitter. The Aug. 2 grand opening coincides with the start of Bass Pro Shops' Fall Hunting Classic.
A Bass Pro announcement says the museum will have more than $20 million worth of firearms, including some from the 1600s.
Company officials say the nearly 1,000 artifacts will include firearms used by Annie Oakley, Theodore Roosevelt and John Wayne, as well as Napoleon's double-barrel sporting flintlock.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An exhibit of drawings of fallen Illinois soldiers on display in Springfield has been extended for another month.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum announced Friday the "Portrait of a Soldier" exhibit will remain open until after July 4. The display originally was scheduled to close Friday.
The new closing date will give more visitors a chance to see the traveling display of hand-drawn portraits of Illinois soldiers killed since Sept. 11, 2001.
Artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon has drawn all the portraits. He began drawing them in August 2004.
Gov. Pat Quinn says the exhibit honors Illinois heroes. The free exhibit is at the library portion of the museum campus.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that Violet Watson is asking in excess of $25,000 in damages in the suit filed this month in Green County.
The March 2010 fire killed 7-year-old Alexis Watson, 5-year-old Kelsey Watson and 4-year-old Devin Watson. The children's grandfather was seriously injured.
Initially, Violet Watson's then-fiance was charged with setting the fire. But the charge was dropped after laboratory tests found no trace of an accelerant. The cause of the fire is listed as undetermined.
The lawsuit says the landlords failed to maintain a safe property for the home's residents. The suit says there were smoke alarm issues and that the house had "faulty wiring."
< The Springfield News-Leader reports the child, Harmony Blue, was in the car with an older child when the car was taken from a store parking lot Saturday afternoon. Police say the children's father left them and the keys in the car while he was in a store and briefly chased after the car on foot.
The older child was dropped off nearby and recovered by police.
Springfield police Lt. Brian Phillips says the young girl was reunited with her family Saturday evening and the car was recovered, but he declined to release details.
There was no arrest reported.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Law enforcement officers are looking for a Springfield man who managed to escape a patrol car while in handcuffs.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 31-year-old Nicholas Ray Gamblin fled last Wednesday. He was in the patrol car after being taken into custody for allegedly stealing a truck and gathering chemicals to make methamphetamine.
Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jason Pace says the officer double locked the handcuffs behind Gamblin's back and put him in the front seat of the patrol car.
Gamblin fled when the trooper began searching the pickup truck.
The Springfield News-Leader reports an in-car camera showed the man turned around in the seat, opened the door behind his back and ran from the vehicle.