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Tuesday, July 5 2022
Edition: Weekly | Monthly
Daily Dose of Justice

Daily Dose of Justice

MESCALERO APACHE MAN SENTENCED TO 137 MONTHS FOR FEDERAL VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER CONVICTION

“ALBUQUERQUE – Stanislaus Venego III, 34, an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., was sentenced yesterday morning (Sept. 19, 2019) in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 137 months of imprisonment for his conviction on a voluntary manslaughter charge. Venego will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

On March 11, 2019, Venego pled guilty to an indictment charging him with voluntary manslaughter.  In his plea agreement, Venego admitted that on April 28, 2018, he punched and kicked the victim multiple times upon a sudden quarrel and in the heat of passion, and that the victim died as the result of the injuries he sustained. The incident occurred on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in Otero County, N.M.” read here

TULSA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BANKRUPTCY FRAUD

“A Tulsa resident pleaded guilty today to making a false statement in a bankruptcy proceeding, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney R. Trent Shores.

According to the information and written plea agreement filed in the case, Michael J. Fletcher, of Tulsa, filed a bankruptcy petition in August of 2011 in which he stated that he had no legal or equitable interest in any real property.  In November 2011, the Department of Justice filed a complaint objecting to the discharge of Fletcher’s federal income tax debts on the grounds that Fletcher had concealed his interest in real property located on 110th Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  During the trial in that matter in October 2014, Fletcher testified that his parents owned the house on 110th Street and that the down payment for the purchase was funded by a loan from his daughters to his father.  In pleading guilty Fletcher admitted that he was the source of the funds used for the down payment, and that he lied during his bankruptcy court testimony when he denied this fact.” read here

JURY FINDS BROOKLYN MAN GUILTY OF CONSPIRACY AND ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT TO ISIS

“Today, a jury in Brooklyn returned a verdict finding Dilkhayot Kasimov, a citizen of Uzbekistan and resident of Brooklyn, guilty of conspiracy and of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The verdict followed a one-week trial before United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II.  When sentenced, Kasimov faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the verdict.” read here

FORMER INTELLIGENCE OFFICER CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED ESPIONAGE SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON

“SALT LAKE CITY – A former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer, who pleaded guilty in March to attempting to communicate, deliver, or transmit information involving the national defense of the United States to the People’s Republic of China, will serve 10 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson imposed the sentence Tuesday afternoon in Salt Lake City.

Ron Rockwell Hansen, 60, of Syracuse, Utah, was arrested June 2, 2018, on his way to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Wash., as he was preparing to board a flight to China while in possession of SECRET military information.” read here

IRANIAN CITIZEN SENTENCED FOR CONSPIRING TO FACILITATE THE ILLEGAL EXPORT OF TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN

“Assistant Attorney General of National Security John C. Demers and United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald for the District of Minnesota today announced the sentencing of Negar Ghodskani, 40, to 27 months in prison for her participation in a conspiracy to illegally export controlled technology from the United States to Iran. Ghodskani, who pleaded guilty on Aug. 9, 2019, was sentenced this morning before United States District Judge Joan N. Ericksen in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, Ghodskani assisted in establishing and operating Green Wave Telecommunication, Sdn Bhn, (“Green Wave”) a Malaysian company located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Since its incorporation in 2009, Green Wave operated as a front company for Fanavar Moj Khavar (“Fana Moj”), an Iran-based company that specializes in both broadcast communications, microwave communications as well as in the production of digital video broadcasting equipment. Fana Moj supplies microwave radio systems and wireless broadband access in Iran. Fana Moj’s principal customer was the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which is controlled by the Government of Iran.” read here

NATIVE MOB GANG MEMBERS ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT IN AID OF RACKETEERING, METHAMPHETAMINE DISTRIBUTION

“United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced a federal indictment charging ROBIN LEE LUSSIER, 30, WILLARD DUANE REED III, 24, and JOSHUA ADAMS HANKS, 24, with distribution of methamphetamine and assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering activity.[1] LUSSIER and REED made their initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz. They were ordered detained pending a detainment hearing scheduled for Thursday September 26, 2019 at 2:45 pm.

As alleged in the indictment, from December 1, 2015 through January 1, 2019, LUSSIER and REED conspired with each other and others to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The indictment further alleges that LUSSIER and HANKS were members of the Native Mob gang, a criminal enterprise whose members and associates engage and have engaged in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, robbery, and assault.  Finally, the indictment alleges that members and associates of the Native Mob meet regularly to discuss, among other things, acts of violence and crimes committed against rival gang members, gang rules and by-laws, law enforcement interactions, and to share with one another the identities of individuals who might be cooperating with law enforcement and propose actions to be taken against those individuals.” read here

SECOND PARENT SENTENCED TO PRISON IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CASE

“BOSTON – A California businessman became the second parent to be sentenced to prison today in connection with his involvement in the college admissions case.

Devin Sloane, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani to four months in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to complete 500 hours of community service and pay a fine of $95,000. Sloane is the chief executive officer of AquaTecture, LLC, a privately held Los Angeles-based company involved in the water and wastewater industries. In May 2019, Sloane pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The government recommended a sentence of one year and one day in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $75,000.” read here

OCEAN COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF MINOR, ONLINE ENTICEMENT OF MINOR AND RECEIPT OF CHILD PRONOGRAPHY

“TRENTON, N.J. – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was charged today with online enticement to produce, as well as receipt of, images of child sexual abuse, U.S Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Samuel Schwinger, 34, of Lakewood, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count each of sexual exploitation of a minor, online enticement of a minor to produce child pornography and receipt of child pornography. Schwinger is already in custody on state charges; his initial appearance will be scheduled for a later date.” read here

TWICE DEPORTED FELON SENTENCED

“FORT WAYNE – Joel Sanchez-Lopez, age 33, of Fort Wayne, Indiana was sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Holly Brady for illegal reentry of a removed alien, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.

Joel Sanchez-Lopez was sentenced to 15 months in prison and will be deported upon completion of his federal sentence.” read here

GRAND JURY INDICTS 18 IN MEXICO TO OHIO HEROIN, MONEY LAUNDERING & IMMIGRATION DOCUMENT CONSPIRACIES

“COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has charged 18 individuals in conspiracies to distribute kilogram quantities of heroin, launder money back to Mexico and run a fake immigration identification business.

The superseding indictment was returned here yesterday and 13 of the defendants were arrested in Central Ohio today. Custody will be sought for five defendants in California.” read here

TWO DEFENDANTS CHARGED IN SCHEME TO SELL FRAUDULENTLY MISBRANDED BEEF PRODUCTS

“An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Howard Mora and Alan Buxbaum with conspiring to commit wire fraud in connection with a scheme to use counterfeit United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) stamps to misbrand USDA “Choice” beef products as higher quality USDA “Prime” and sell those products at inflated prices. The defendants were arrested this morning and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Bethanne M. Dinkins, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG), announced the charge.” read here

OPERATION QUACK ATTACK LEADS TO MULTIPLE ARRESTS IN CHICOT COUNTY

“LITTLE ROCK—Fifteen federal defendants are in custody after federal and state authorities made numerous arrests as part of an ongoing investigation. Operation Quack Attack has resulted in the identification of multiple drug traffickers and the seizure of large quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana in the Chicot County area.

Operation Quack Attack, an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation, is being conducted by the FBI and the Arkansas State Police.  In 2016, authorities began a joint investigation after an increase in violence related to drug trafficking in the Chicot County area. Today’s arrests are announced by Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Little Rock Field Office, and Arkansas State Police Colonel Bill Bryant, in conjunction with the unsealing of the indictments of 15 defendants who were charged by a federal grand jury on September 5, 2019. In addition to the FBI and Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Community Correction Special Response Team provided assistance throughout the investigation. Assistance with today’s operation was also provided by the Lake Village Police Department and the Chicot County Sheriff’s Office.” read here

MEMBER OF BANK FRAUD CONSPIRACY ADMITS ROLE IN MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR LOAN SCHEME

“NEWARK, N.J. – A New York man today admitted participating in a scheme that involved the creation of false documentation to secure over $4 million in bank loans, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Raymundo Torres, 35, of New York City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.” read here

GOLDEN GOOSE OF THE MEXICAN MAFIA SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS FOR ROLE IN DRUG DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY AND ATTEMPTED ROBBERY ORDERED BY THE MEXICAN MAFIA

“SAN DIEGO – Fady Esho, was sentenced yesterday in federal court to 30 years in prison for his aggravated role in a drug distribution conspiracy as well as his participation in an attempted armed robbery ordered by the Mexican Mafia.

The charges stem from an investigation by the FBI-led Violent Crimes Task Force, Gang Group (VCTF-GG) into drug trafficking, firearms and violent crimes being committed by certain gang members and their associates in San Diego.” read here

HARTLAND MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL EXPLOSIVES CHARGE

“John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DAVID BOURNE, 37, of Hartland, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to an explosives offense.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 6, 2018, Connecticut State Police responded to Rory Mocarsky’s residence in Hartland after reports of gunfire and explosions at the property, and after viewing a YouTube video showing Mocarsky and Bourne engaged in activities involving firearms and explosives. A search of the property revealed an 8mm rifle, three .22 caliber rifles, a suspected homemade silencer, ammunition, a suspected improvised explosive device (“IED”), suspected post-blast IED devices and fragments, suspected explosive materials, and other electronic devices. A related search of a location in the Tunxis State Forest in East Hartland, where Mocarsky and Bourne had recorded explosions, revealed metal fragments, a section of PVC pipe, and PVC pipe fragments from a suspected IED.” read here

SENIOR MANAGER AT FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH A CONSPIRACY TO MISLEAD REGULATORS AND THE PUBLIC ABOUT DIESEL VEHICLE EMISSIONS

“A senior manager of diesel drivability and emissions at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) was charged in an indictment unsealed today for his alleged role in a conspiracy to mislead U.S. regulators, customers and the public by making false and misleading statements about the emissions control software used in more than 100,000 FCA diesel vehicles in order to increase the vehicles’ emissions when they were not running on federal emissions test cycles.

Emanuele Palma, 40, an Italian citizen and resident of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, to violate the Clean Air Act and to commit wire fraud.  Palma is also charged with six counts of violating the Clean Air Act, four counts of wire fraud and two counts of making false statements to representatives of the FBI and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID).” read here

LOCAL MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CREATING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY THROUGH SEXUAL ABUSE OF TODDLER

“DAYTON – A Miami Township man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to creating and distributing child pornography of the sexual abuse of a two-year-old.

Travis E. Walker, 36, was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2018 and offered a guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington on September 23.” read here

CITIZEN OF EL SALVADOR WITH CRIMINAL HISTORY SENTENCED TO 2 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ILLEGALLY REENTERING U.S.

“John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WALTER ARNULFO GUZMAN RIVAS, 39, a citizen of El Salvador last residing in Stamford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 24 months of imprisonment for illegally reentering the U.S. after being deported.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in July 2005, Guzman Rivas was deported from the U.S. to El Salvador after being convicted in Texas of three counts of assault on a family member. He illegally reentered the U.S. and, in 2006, was convicted in Kentucky of four counts of robbery in the second degree, for which he was sentenced to 10-years of incarceration. He was again deported to El Salvador in July 2009.” read here

VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICIAL PLEADS GUILTY TO SIX CORRUPTION RELATED COUNTS ARISING FROM SCHEME TO TAKE BRIBES TO RIG FEDERAL CONTRACTS

“DENVER – U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn announces that former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official Dwane Nevins, age 55, pleaded guilty last week to an indictment charging him with corruption related crimes, arising from a scheme to take payments from an undercover FBI agent. Earlier this week, on September 17, 2019, his co-conspirator Anthony Bueno pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring with Nevins to make those payments. Another businessman involved with the scheme, Robert Revis, pleaded guilty in April 2019.

As described in the indictment, Dwane Nevins — a small business specialist at the VA’s Network Contracting Office in Colorado — agreed to take bribes offered by Revis, Bueno, and an undercover FBI agent to help them manipulate the process for bidding on federal contracts with the VA. Revis and Bueno, working with Nevins, agreed to submit fraudulent bids from service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses under contract with their consulting company so that federal contracts would be set aside for only those companies. As Bueno allegedly explained, they would then “own all the dogs on the track.” Nevins, Bueno and Revis worked to conceal the nature of the bribe payments by either kicking back to Nevins a portion of the payments made to their consulting company, or by asking their consulting company’s clients to pay Nevins for sham training classes related to federal contracting.” read here

NEBRASKA MAN SENTENCED FOR FAILURE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER

“United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Omaha, Nebraska, man convicted of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender was sentenced on September 23, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

Kenneth Ray Dandridge, age 36, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Dandridge was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 6, 2014. He pled guilty on June 28, 2019.” read here

CITIZEN OF DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL REENTRY

“John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that PLACIDO SANTIAGO, 62, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in Bridgeport, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to reentry of a removed alien.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in October 1999, Santiago, who at the time was a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., was convicted in Massachusetts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. Santiago was deported to the Dominican Republic in October 2006.” read here

ST. THOMAS STUDENT CHARGED FOR HOAX BOMB THREATS AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY’S ST. PAUL CAMPUS

“United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced a federal criminal complaint against RAY GHANSHAM PERSAUD, 20, for calling in bomb threats to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.[1] PERSAUD was arrested this morning and will make his initial appearance today at 2:00 pm before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to the allegations in the criminal complaint and law enforcement affidavit, on April 17, 2019, PERSAUD called the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and said there was a bomb on campus, specifically mentioning McNeely Hall. PERSAUD called the University of St. Thomas three times that morning making bomb threats. As a result, the University evacuated and closed its entire St. Paul campus, including a child care center located in one of the buildings. The FBI determined that the calls came from a Voice Over Internet Protocol, or “VOIP,” telephone number serviced by TextMe, an app that allows users to have multiple telephone numbers. On August 20, 2019, PERSAUD again called the University of St. Thomas via TextMe and said there was a bomb in the John Roach Center, a classroom building on the St. Paul campus, which was subsequently evacuated and closed for the day. On September 17, 2019, PERSAUD called the University of St. Thomas again, through a different VOIP app, and stated that there were bombs in the O’Shaughnessy Science Center, the John Roach Center, the Anderson Student Center, and the Facilities Design Center. All four buildings were subsequently evacuated. Investigators were able to trace the origin of the September 17, 2019, calls to PERSAUD’s home address in Blaine, Minnesota.” read here

NAVAL OFFICER INDICTED ON TRANSPORTATION AND ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

“PROVIDENCE – A retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander most recently stationed at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence, RI, today on charges he allegedly transported and enticed a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and that he distributed, received, and possessed child pornography all while actively serving and following his retirement from active service with the U.S. Navy.

Ronald W. Zenga, 49, of Middletown, RI, who retired from the U.S. Navy in October 2017, was indicted today on two counts of enticement or coercion of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity and one count each of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illicit sexual activity, interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, distribution of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina, and Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni.” read here

OPERATORS OF U.S. COIN BULLION, LLC TO  PLEAD GUILTY TO MORE THAN $7 MILLION IN FRAUD

“Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that brothers Salvatore Esposito (47, Orlando) and Joseph Esposito (43, Orlando) have agreed to plead guilty to an Information charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. Each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Their initial appearances and change of plea hearings have been scheduled for October 2, 2019.

According to court documents, the Espositos operated U.S. Coin Bullion, a local Orlando company formed in 2012. From 2014 to July 2019, the Espositos engaged in a conspiracy to defraud U.S. Coin Bullion’s customers. Instead of using the customers’ funds to purchase precious metals as had been promised, the Espositos caused U.S. Coin Bullion to use customer funds to pay other customers, to pay commissions and other business expenses, and to purchase silver for the company itself.” read here

 

 

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