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Va.'s 'Rocket Docket' takes on international cases

Saturday - 3/23/2013, 11:10am  ET

Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Whether it's Somali pirates, alleged Kiwi copyright pirates or Colombian narcotraffickers, the long arm of U.S. law often runs through the Eastern District of Virginia.

In the past four years, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride has pursued prosecutions with international connections with increasing regularity.

Some of the cases have no obvious connection to his territory, which includes most of northern Virginia, the Richmond area and Hampton Roads. But the region provides some unique opportunities for a prosecutor to claim venue, in large part because the backbone of the Internet runs through northern Virginia.

Those who find themselves being prosecuted from abroad often question whether the U.S. should be able to extend its jurisdiction so broadly.

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