tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC April 23, 2019 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
theris breaking news tonight in the opioid crisis. the first criminal charges against one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in america, a former ceo in handcuffs. >> doud cared more about profits than the laws intended to protect human life. >> tonight a major move by the feds, a company accused of ignoring the warning d fueling the epidemic ravaging so many families. will your air wog ? a federal investigation expanding tonight to half a dozen major car companies, toyota, honda, khyundai, mitsubishi and fiat chrysler. potential danger in over 12 million cars. is you one of them? jumping in the race. news has learned former vice president joe biden is set to make it official, shaking up the race for president.
also tonight, i go one-on-one with president trump's new point man at homeland security on the battle over the wall, separating migrant families, and about that report the president offered him a pardon if he got into legal jeopardy. >> i'm not going to do anything that violates the law, ever. an incredible suival story. a woman missing for five days. how she was found alive, trapped in her car. and the luckiest 24-year-old in america, claiming one of the biggest jackts in history. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening, everyone. r the sight of a forme drug company ceo being escorted in handcuffs today is rocking the pharmaceutical industry, and tonight signals a major shift in the fight against the opioid crisis. in a first, the ds criminally charging a major distribution company along with two of his former fixecutives with drug trafing, using tactics normally se reed for drug kingpins, except in this case the accused allegedly dealt in prescription painkillers.
our kate snow has details. >> reporter: larry doud was ceo of a pharmaceutical distributor for 26 years. today he was charged a litreet dealer. >> doud cared more about profits than the laws intended to protect human life. >> reporter: prosecutors describing how rochester drug cooperative, or rdc, under doud's leadership shipped massive amounts of le opioid paink to pharmacies, ignoring red flags they were being illegally distributed. >> doud directed rdc to pharmacies without doing any due diligence on them. rd was in doud's own words the knight in shining armor for pharmacies that had been cut off by other distributors. >> reporter: rdc distributes prescription drugs to independent phmacies to ten states in the northeast. between 2012 and 2016, rdc sales of the painkiller oxycodone increased 800%.
fentanyl sales went up 2,000%, in that same period's do compensation as ceo more than doubled to ut1.5 million. prosecs say among the red flags he and others ignored, large orders or customers traveling to pharmacies from out of state to fill prescriptions. employeeflagged more than 8,000 such orders, but reported only four to the dea. >> so that's how they did it. why did they do it? the answer is greed. >> reporter: the company, rdc is avoiding prosecution by paying a $20 million fine and agreeingo stricter oversight. a spokesperson for rdc says it's under new management now. we made mistakes. we're doing better and we will do better. >> and kate is with us. i know a lot of people are wondering is this is a one-off or could we see more of these. in the meantime, how serious are these arges? >> pretty serious. larry doud could face a minimum of ten year if convicted. his lawyer says he is being frame and will
fight these false charges his last breath. another former executive was also charged. he pleaded guilty. he is cooperating with prosecutors. >> kate, thank you there is unsettling news tonight for a lot of american drivers as federal regulators expand an investigation into malfunctions air bags that could responsible for as many as eight deaths nationwide. half a dozen major carmakers are now involved. we get details in all this from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: tonight air bags for more than 12 million vehicles from six manufacturers are under scrutiny. toyota, honda, kia, hyundai, mitsubishi and fiat chrysler, model years 2010 to 2019. the expansion comes te afregulators found two serious crashes involving 2018 and 2019 toyota corollas in which the air bags did not inflate. one personas killed. according to nhtsa, the national highway niraffic safety admiration the air bag control units made by an auto supplier, zf. the company says it proactively notified nhtsa about the issue and is cooperating with the
investigation. but it's the latest case involving potentially faulty air bags to rock the auto industry. this is separate from the ongoing recall of takata air bag inflaters that killed 24 people and injured more than 200. unlike the takata case where air bagsould explode sending shrapnel into passengers, this investigation involves air bag control units that may be preventing them from inflating at all. questions have been mounting for years. edn 2016, fiat chrysler recall.4 million of the vehicles because of this latest problem. last year, hyundai and kia recalled another million. critics say that's just not enough. t> it does not appear that industry has learned its lesson from takata. you don't need to wait for a body count to take proactive measures to get defeive parts out of your vehicle. toyota says it's also cooperating with regulators and conducting its own investigation. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta. tonight nbc news has learned former vice president joe biden is set to make it official, jumping into the race for president and shaking up the fight for the democratic nomination.
biden set to announce on thursday, and we haet late details from nbc's ie jackson. >> reporter: after months of flirting with a run, joe biden will finally announce it, set to enter the 2020 race as the front-runner. >> we'll find out wh her i can win in a primary. >> reporter: nbc news has learned after a roll-out video thursday, the former l vice president wil hold a rally in pittsburgh next week followed by trips to the four key early voting states. >> today yet another democrat joins the race for president. this time it's senator joseph biden of delaware. g >> reporter: hop the third run is the charm after two unsuccessful presidential campaigns. biden already leads in early polls, but he faces some challenges. after several women recently described unwelcome physical contact with him, he promised to do better. >> i will be more mindful, respectful of people's personal space. >> reporter: and while his decades long record includes support of the violence against women act and same-sex marriage, he'll probably field questions about his vote to authorize the iraq warand justice clarence thomas' confirmation hearing. biden's more moderate
stance a contrast with some progressive competitors in a field of democrats divided onhether to proceed with impeachment after the release of the redacted mueller report. cr it found no inal conspiracy between the trump campaign and russia. >> i believe congress should take the steps towards impeachment. >> reporter: but some candidates warn slow down or argue a focus on the president rather than kitchen table issues couldba fire. >> what i worry about is that works to trump's advantage. >> and hallie joins us now. hallie, jared kushner is grabbing headlines talking about the mueller report and russian election interference. let's take a look and then i'll get your thoughts. >> it's a terrible thing, but i think the investigations and all the speculion that has happened for the last two years has had a much harsh impact on democracy than a couple of facebook ads. >> and that comment i know has sparked a lot of reaction, hallie. >> it has. since what kushner said there not only downplays russian interference, it is just not true. facebook said russian accounts made some 80,000 posts, reaching
as many as 126 million people, and that's not even addressing moscow's cyber hacking that campaign robert mueller called sweeping and systematic. it's why democrats describe kushner's comments tonight as an outrage anop rtunism. >> hallie jackson, thanks. further cyber threats are among the topics that came up today in my interview with the new head of the department of homeland security. acting secretary kevin mcaleenan replaced kirstjen nielsen and is still feeling the g of the zero tolerance tolerance policy on the border. vedid the president gi you any firm marching orders, this is what i need youo do, these are your priorities? >> it's very clear that our first priority is to manage risis on the southern border and begin to take ingful steps to mitigate it. >> reporter: acting secretary kevin mcaleenan was recently the head of customs and bordrotection, and takes the dhs job as authories are struggling to deal with a flood of migrants, more than 100,000 apprehended at
the border just in march. the highest monthly total in over a decade, many of them families with children. you became the face of the family separation issue. the reports are that your predecessor was shown the door because she didn't want to t ove down that road. is thamething that you would reconsider, nsfamily separatio in any form? >> i think the president has been clear that family separation is not on the table. and, again, this was a zero tolerance prosecution initiative that was targeted at adults violating the law. it did have the impact of several -- 2,000 plus families being separated during that prosecution. they were alwa tended to be reunited. really, a better system as i said many times would allow us to detain familie together during fair and expeditious immigration proceedings and al getting actu immigration results from courts. so that's what's missing from the current situation. >> now i'll tell you something, once you don't visit, that's why you see many more people coming. they're comi like it's a picnic, because
let's go to disneyland. >> but in your view, did family separation en if it was ugly publicly? >> so prosecuting violations of law does have a consequence, and it does deter behavior, but it did senot work if you lo the public trust. if you can't maintain an initiative from the enforcement perspective, it's not worth it. >> the president has expressed his ion over the asylum system. getting rid of it is easier said than done. it's the system that we have right now. that said, how would u ke to change it? >> well, so we want to make sure that we're following up very strongly on people that are fraudult claims, right? we have unfortunately 3500 families so far this year, people presenting as families that didn't actual have apparent guardian relationship with the child. that's a real problem for us from a child smuggling perspective, from a welfare perspective, and also a fraud and enforcement perspective. also, we want to make sure we're applying the asylum laws on the books effectively. -> and about the wall- >> we don't need it everywhere, but we need it in critical areas of the border. >> one of the solutions the
present floated, shutting down the border. the "new york times" reported recently the president urged mcaleenan to do so, promising a pardon if he faced legal troubles. did that occur? do>> i'm not going to anything that violates the law, ever. i'm a law enforcement official. i've been asked to serve in this role, and i'll carry tha out with full focus on my legal duties. that said,'ve never been asked, never been suggested to do anything unlawful by the president or anyone else, and i wouldn't do it. >> but beyond the border, mcaleenan faces other urgent tehreats. our inrview comes days after the release of the muell report which said the russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion. >> 2020 is almost upon us. n?what happens the how do you recognize the threat? i>> so our agencys laser-focused on election security. supporting state and local governments, developing capabilities and
protectionas we lead up to 2020. we're also looking a very carefullythe foreign influence aspect of the cyber threat and how we can participate and support that countereffort as well. >> do you see them o still trying tme and interfere with our elections? >> i'm worried about multiple foreign actors and other groups trying to influence public opinion, influence elections. >> acting secretary mcaleenan also served nd at customs aorder protection under president obama. he tells me he expects to engage on border policy with democrats and republicans in congress you can see more of my interview at nbcnews.com. we'll turn now to developments in the easter terror attack in sri lanka. isis is now claiming responsibility, as the death toll has climbed to at least 321. and tonight we're seeing new images of s.ne of the suspected bomber nbc's bill neely is there. >> reporter: sri lanka's prime minister says tonight he is believes this ne of the bombers about to attack church. wearing a backpack, he touches a littleirl,
then enters the packed easter sunday service. isis claims he is one of their men. seconds later, an ex osion kills dozens of people. isis named their bombers but offered no proof. sri lanka's government claims it was an islamist revenge s, attack for thi the killing of dozens of muslims at mosques in new zealand most h. the government, though, is under fire here for ignoring tip-offs about the suicide boings. were you given any warnings? >> no. >> reporter: nobody said anything from the police? >> n no, no. >> reporter: you had no security? >> no, no. now only we have the security. >> reporter: too late? >> yes, solutely too late. >> reporter: today scores of victims were buried, more than 40 children and babies. among the four erican dead, kieran shafritz de zoysa, a fifth grader. >> now he is never going to be a teenager he was going to do great things for the world. >> reporter: also killed, dieter kowalski fm denver.
>> i'm missing him a lot. i still can't belief he is gone. >> reporter: and tonight warnings of more attacks from sri lanka's pre nister. he says more terrorists are on the run and d with explosives. this tonight a city under curfew and a country on edge. lester? >> all right, bill neely, thank you. ck in this country after days of protest, today police released body cam video two of officers opening fire on a car near yale university in new haven, connecticut, with two unarmed people inside. and tonight the new video raises even more questions. here is ron allen. >> reporter: this newly released body s cam video showe moment police conf nt paul witherspoon and his passenger .stephanie washington >> police, shots fired! >> reporter: a hail of bullets. >> shots fired, argyle street. >> reporter: fired by two officers who said s witherspoon and hi car fit the description of a insuspect and vehicle an attempted armed robbery, and he made an abrupt move toward them. >> the investigation is still evolving.
>> reporter: today connecticut state police, now leading the investigationve they believe the driver may have been following an order to get out of his car. >> there are indications he was told to on the door, yes. or come out with his hands up. >> reporter: police say no gun was found at the sced washington and witherspoon haven't been charged. she was slightly wounded. he was not injured, and his uncle has maintained his innocence. >> he did not have no gun. he didn't try to rob nobody. >> reporter: investigors also released the 911 call from earlier that night about the attempted robbery that led police to suspect >> driving a red car, license plate ak633 the 2. >> reporter: the ancident igniting nearlyeek of angry protests. the two officers, one from yale and another from a nearby town are now on admistrative leave per standard protocol. officials hoping the new video shows they're being transpart as they investigate just what happened. ron allen, nbc news. tonight two of the nation's largest drug store chains, walgreend rite aid's say they have plans to raise the
minimum age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21. the change goes into effect in the coming months. rival cvs stopped selling tobacco products several years ago. just ahead tonight, disturbing of allegations sexual harassment and discrimination againth owner of some of the biggest names in jewelry. then the woman found daysrapped in a car alive. how she was found. and the mystery nner of the third largest u.s. lottery ckpot ever revealed. stay with us. -♪ just like any other famy ♪ the house, kids, they're living the dre ♪ ♪ and here comes the wacky new maid ♪ -maid? , i'm not the... -♪ is she an alien, is she a spy? ♪ ♪ she's always here, someone tell us why ♪ -♪ why, oh, why -♪ she's not the maid we wanted ♪ -because i'm not the maid! -♪ but she's the maid we got -again, i'm not the id. i protect your home and auto. -hey, campbells. who's your new maid? i protect your home and auto.
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next to nextonight, the nation's largest jewelry retailer accused in a stunning new report of discriminating against women and allowing years of sexual harassment to take place.ni nbc's stephanie gosk has details. ♪ every kiss begins with kay's ♪ >> reporter: sterling jewellers accused of creating a culture of paid discrimination and sexual harassment that lasted decades, now facing new yollegations in "the
new times" magazine. >> how could this be going on to so many people in so many different parts of the country whdidn't know each other? >> reporter: a discrimination case first filed in 2008 no involving thousands of women has yet to be resolved. the details kept out of the court because sterling made employees sign an arbitration clause. but in 2017, some allegations of sexual harassment were made public. heather ballew told nbc news she was propositioned by a manager. >> he offered me that any time i wanted to come back to his district, which was near my family, he would do it if i went back to his hotel with him and had sex with him.>> eporter: "the times" article reveals new accusations. one woman says her boss raped her at a 2004 company meeting after inviting him into her hotel room. a vice president said it was better to hire female employees because the company did not have to pay
them as much. in response to the report, parent company signet writes "we're disappointed that "the new york times" decided to publish an article primarily based on decades old allegations, and we believe cast our mp y unfairly."e mpany has its first female ceo ever, and says it is now a recognized leader for geer diversity. but with the arbitration now more than a decade old, some of the women believe they wil never get justice. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. still to come, as we continue tonight, the woman missing for five days rescued from e her car becaus a quick-thinking driver. risk of certain cancers later in life. from an infection, human papillomavirus i knew widespread hpv is andthat might not be for most, the case for him. i is risk increases as he gets older. i knew a vaccine could help protect him at age 11 or 12, before he could be exposed. i knew so i talked to my child's doctor.
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found ron joyce fancher, who had been missing for five days,ab to move or explain what happened. rescuers spent nearly two hours cutting through the car before finally being able to pull her free, badly injured buive. police say fancher borrowed a boyfriend's gold mitsubishi last week to go to the post office but never came home. after two days of silence, fancher's family turned to police for help. days went by as police and the public searched f 49-year-old, but it wasn't until monday river a passing caught a glimpse of gold in a ditch outside the town of dothan and called 911. tonight fancher is in sp ital recovering, saved by the quick thinking of a stranger. .morgan chesky, nbc news up next tonight, the man who just won over $700 million. the man who the man who ♪ ♪
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finally, let's meet the0-something who just claimed one finally, let's meet the 20-something who just claimed one of the largest lottery jackpots ever. here is joe fryer. >> reporter: just 24 years old, manuel franco stepped forward to claim the second biggest haul in powerball history. >> it's amazing. >> reporter: three weeks ago the wisconsin native stopped for $10 worth of quick picks. >> grab the tickets. let's go! ut reporter: franco didn't check until the next day, i think it was the third ticketi did win $4, and i was super excited about that. the way. d it, by >> reporter: after all, 4 bucks was thing once he start ed scalping his tenth and final ticket. >> my heart started racing. i screamed for about five or ten minutes. >> reporter: he quit his job two days later. >> i honestly couldn't work. i was -- i was sweating so much that at work noticed.ryone i pretty much never
showed up for work again. >> reporter: now after winning the $768 million jackpot, franco will take home $326 million after taxes. >> i don't plan to play anymore, no. >> reporter: a powerball lifer happily retired. joe fryer, nbc news. >> by the way, he says he plans to live a normal life. that's "nightly news." i'm le st l