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Message from the President
Scott G. Hall

The early-bird registration deadline has now passed for the conference but you can still register online until Feb. 13. Registering online is quick and easy — just follow this link to do so. PBUS members please remember to sign-in first to get your member conference discount rate! We are at 99 percent of our room block too so if you haven't made your hotel reservation do so now!

The lucky winner of a $50 gift card for registering by the early-bird discount is ...

Congratulations — Dudley Goolsby! Dudley, your name was pulled out of a pool of 149 early-bird registrations! Your gift card will be mailed to you very soon. Thanks for registering early!

Here is a brief line-up of our breakout sessions on Tuesday:
  • ICE's Online eBonds Program: The eBONDS program is a web-based system developed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to streamline, standardize and automate the immigration bond process by providing online access to surety companies and their agents. This session will be led by Carl A. Albritton, Management and Program Analyst for ICE.
  • Apps, Tricks and Toys: Come and learn about useful investigative smartphone apps, useful Google search tips and other investigative gadgets. This session will be led by Jeff Kirkpatrick, PBUS' Executive Vice President, Vice President of Industry Relations for Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company and a Master Certified Bail Agent. Jeff has been a bail agent for over 30 years and owns a retail bond agency.
  • Skip-Tracing Loves Preparation: Effective Skip-Tracing happens when Information, Communication and Organization meet. Skip-Tracing is much more than just calling people and asking for a subject's new location or banging away on the keys of your keyboard looking for new data. In this class you will learn how to profile people, where to get information for the type of skip you are working, the three people you must speak with in order to locate your subject and asking the right question at the right time with Power Questions. This session will be led by Alex Price, a nationally-recognized expert on the Art of Skip-Tracing/Cyber-Tracking
  • MCBA/CBA Orientation Session and CBA Testing Center: For members who are interested in learning more about and pursuing a MCBA and/or CBA certification. All CBA classes are now taken online with the testing center offered at either the winter conference or mid-year meeting.
  • The Importance of an Online Presence: This presentation will focus on creating unique Web designs to include content management; the importance of blog postings on your website; how to manage map listings; why a social media presence is important; pay-per-click management; and how to get the most out of Google. This session will be led by Nolen Walker with and
  • How to Work Effectively with the FBI: learn how to work with domestic and international cases; Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution warrants, Provisional Arrest warrants and a Red Notice. This session will be moderated by PBUS Board member Topo Padilla with a presentation by FBI Agent Scott Hendricks.
  • Council of Presidents' Meeting: One of the most well attended meetings, the Council of Presidents' is an informal, autonomous group comprised of presidents, past and present, or in their absence vice presidents, of state bail associations.
Our gala reception and dinner awards celebration will also be held Tuesday evening. Enjoy an array of delicious hors d'oeuvres and beverages and mingle with friends and family during the welcome reception. Have your very own "prom" picture taken to remember this special evening. Then enjoy a delicious full-course plated dinner followed by our awards celebration honoring individuals in the bail industry, our sponsors and friends.

All conference details can be found on the PBUS website at See you soon in Las Vegas!
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Slump in New York arrests, fines hits traffic lawyers, bail bondsmen
A sharp drop in arrests and fines in New York may prove costly for the city, but it could already be hurting some traffic lawyers and bail bonds firms, which are seeing their phones ring less often as fewer people are in trouble and need help. The slump in arrest volume is seen by supporters of new York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as evidence of a work slowdown by police officers angered by recent comments he made that they viewed as anti-police. Police unions say they have not sanctioned a slowdown.
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Trying to find a fugitive? You do what it takes.
Byron McDaniel, a chiseled 6-foot-2, 270-pound bail bondsman, slinked through the dark, vacant house with a gun and a flashlight, his nerves pulsating with adrenalin. A former high school wrestler, power lifter and personal trainer, McDaniel eventually reached a small bathroom, where he kicked down the door and found himself face-to-face with a 7-foot-3, 400-pound, grizzly-bear-of-a-man who had skipped out on his court date and was now holed up and high on heroin.
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Ex-N.J. man admits collecting bounties on fugitives already captured by police
A former Jersey City man admitted to paying off Hudson County sheriff's officers in order to collect bounties on fugitives that had already been captured by police, state authorities said.
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8 oddest enforcement cases of 2014
Sometimes, you just can't make this stuff up. Every week at ThinkAdvisor, they pore over dozens of enforcement cases from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other regulators. Some are small fines for minor bookkeeping matters. Some are giant settlements for bribery or busts of massive insider trading rings. But other cases are more notable for their details, the reminders that even the driest corners of finance are not immune from human weirdness.
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Bill would criminalize the release of criminal justice information
A bill that would criminalize the unauthorized release of certain criminal justice information had its day before the House Judiciary Committee, but some lawmakers were skeptical about possible unintended consequences. House Bill 32, sponsored by Montana State Rep. Kirk Wagoner, R-Montana City, would make it a misdemeanor offense for those with access to confidential criminal justice information to release it for personal gain.
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Bill could ease overcrowding in Texas county jails
Odessa American via CorrectionsOne
A house bill filed by a state representative out of San Antonio would allow county jails to house some inmates in tents for the remainder of their sentence, but the local sheriff said he is still short 30 jailers and currently not thinking about jail expansion. The bill, H.B. 161, filed by Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, for the upcoming 84th Texas Legislature, that if approved, would allow inmates in county jails to spend the remainder of their sentences in tents or other facilities that are not attached to a county jail.
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How Proposition 47 has impacted criminal justice
Proposition 47 impacted the courts, law enforcement and bail bonds companies, according to officials. "We've probably seen a 25 percent decrease in the number of clients that we work with," said Jeff Chavez, vice president of All American Bail Bonds in Santa Clarita, California. "All of those clients we were bailing out at about $10,000 each are not going to require our services." This past December was the All American Bail Bonds in Santa Clarita's slowest December in their 10-year history as a business, Chavez added.
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Snyder signs bill that could erase criminal record
Detroit Free Press
People convicted of a nonviolent felony or two misdemeanors will have the chance to get some of their crimes expunged under a bill signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. The second-chance bill would allow a convict to apply to a judge to get either the felony or the misdemeanors removed from his or her record five years after they complete their sentence.
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The FBI says it can search your cellphone without a warrant by using 'Stingrays' in public places
The National Law Review
The data on employees' cellphones may be taken by law enforcement, even without a warrant, if those smartphones are used in public places. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the position that search warrants or other court orders are not required when deploying cell-site simulators, known as "stingrays," in public places which imitate cellphone towers and capture the locations, identities, calls and texts of mobile phone users. With the pervasive use of smartphones in business today and with those phones containing confidential personal and business information, this may present real concerns for employers.
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PBUS News Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Danielle Wegert, Assistant Executive Editor, 469.420.2696   
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