James "Russell" Bolton (Facebook photo)

A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for a onetime candidate for Stevens County, Washington sheriff who allegedly tried to extort members of his right-wing militia group through anonymous written threats backed by insinuations they came from a Mexican drug cartel.

James "Russell" Bolton, 51, also is accused of pushing an associate down a flight of stairs and trying to suffocate him with a plastic bag in Spokane, according to records filed last month in Stevens County Superior Court. In that incident, Bolton allegedly claimed his own wife had been kidnapped and was being held for a $100,000 ransom.

Bolton faces at least six charges of extortion and attempted theft. As of Wednesday, he had not been arrested and his whereabouts weren't clear.

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The steady increase in deadly violence that Mexico has experienced over the past three years continued in May when 2,890 people were killed — an average of 93 a day, or almost four victims an hour.

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Photo via Associated Press

A federal judge in Mexico's Jalisco state on Aug. 23 sentenced one-time Guadalajara cartel chief Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo to 37 years in prison for the 1985 killing of US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena.

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Associated Press photo

After six years of civil war, Syria remains the bloodiest battlefield on the planet. But there’s one other conflict zone whose violence in recent years has come to eclipse both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and the bloodshed is right on America’s doorstep.

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