THREE CHICAGO MEN CHARGED IN MURDER-FOR-HIRE PLOT
CHICAGO — Three Chicago men have been charged in a murder-for-hire conspiracy that resulted in two fatal shootings in the city’s Lawndale neighborhood.
DESHAWN MORGAN, 37, DARIUS MURPHY, 19, and DEMOND BROWN, 26, are charged with conspiracy to use an interstate facility in the commission of a murder for hire, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. All three defendants are in law enforcement custody. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox scheduled a detention hearing for Brown for Aug. 19, 2019, at 4:30 p.m., and preliminary hearings for Morgan and Murphy for Aug. 20, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. (read here)
NAVAJO MAN FROM COYOTE CANYON SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS FOR FEDERAL CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CONVICTION
ALBUQUERQUE – Harold Lee Redhouse, Jr., 29, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation from Coyote Canyon, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 18 years of imprisonment for sexually abusing two children under the age of 12 years. Redhouse will be on supervised release for ten years after completing his prison sentence. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.
The FBI arrested Redhouse in Jan. 2018, on a criminal complaint following an investigation that was initiated in summer 2017, based on a referral from the Navajo Nation Division of Social Services, which reported allegations that Redhouse had sexually abused two children under the age of 12 years. read here
MAN SENTENCED TO 382 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR FIRING ON FEDERAL AGENTS
A man who fired shots at FBI agents attempting to arrest him in Delaware County on Oct. 1, 2018, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Brian Kirk Marshall, 50, of Pattonsburg, Missouri, to 382 months in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Marshall pleaded guilty on June 5, 2019, to assaulting federal officers, obstruction of justice by attempting to kill witnesses, and carrying, using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. read here
GULFPORT MAN SENTENCED TO ALMOST 6 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ACCESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Gulfport, Miss. – Michael Alex Miller, 19, of Gulfport, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to 70 months in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for accessing with intent to view visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Mississippi.
Judge Ozerden also ordered Miller to pay $5,000 under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 and $3,000 under the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018, in addition to $18,000 in restitution. read here
FORMER WASHINGTON RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO WIRE FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING IN FRAUDULENT IPO STOCK SCHEME
A former Seattle area resident who defrauded dozens of investors of at least $5.8 million pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to wire fraud and money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. KEENAN A. GRACEY, 28, formerly of Newcastle, Washington, defrauded Seattle-area investors and others out of millions of dollars by pretending to sell them stock that GRACEY did not own and had no right to sell. Under the terms of the plea agreement, both the prosecution and the defense will recommend a prison term of 153 months in custody when GRACEY is sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on November 15, 2019.
According to records in the case, between 2016 and 2018, GRACEY posed as a British billionaire with degrees from the London School of Economics and Oxford University. He drove expensive cars such as Bentleys and Ferraris and claimed to own expensive homes in Clyde Hill, Mercer Island, and Newcastle, Washington, as well as in Beverly Hills and San Diego, California. GRACEY also used falsified bank statements to make it appear he had hundreds of millions of dollars of cash on hand. The investigation revealed that GRACEY is Canadian, not British, and rented expensive homes and cars to make it appear he was wealthy. read here
OWNERS OF POPULAR THAI RESTAURANT GROUP PLEAD GUILTY IN SCHEME TO USE ‘TAX ZAPPER’ SOFTWARE TO HIDE CASH INCOME AND REDUCE STATE & FEDERAL TAXES
Two owners of the popular ‘Bai Tong’ restaurant chain pleaded guilty Wednesday, August 14 in U.S. District Court in Seattle to a multi-year scheme to hide cash sales and reduce the taxes owed at the restaurant chain, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. PORNCHAI CHAISEEHA, 41, and CHADILLADA LAPANGKURA, 40, both of Kent, Washington, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to defraud the government by hiding more than $1 million in income. The two are scheduled for sentencing by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on November 4, 2019.
According to records filed in the case, CHAISEEHA and LAPANGKURA were part owners of the chain that has Thai restaurants in Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii. Some of the restaurants operated under the name ‘Bai Tong,’ and some were called ‘Noi.’ The restaurants used a point-of-sale computer system that included a “cash suppression” or “Zapper” software program that modifies the sales records by removing cash sales from the business records. The two had the “Zapper” software operating at their Redmond and Tukwila, Washington, restaurants and at their Bend, Oregon, restaurant. The restaurants earned $1,034,750 in cash income that was never reported on state or federal tax returns, resulting in an agreed tax loss of $299,806. The pair also used the unreported cash to pay employees under the table, avoiding state and federal employment taxes. Finally, some of the cash proceeds were siphoned off to bank accounts in Thailand, and the existence of the accounts was not reported on their income tax returns. read here
DEFENDANT PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT TO ISIS
Azizjon Rakhmatov, a citizen of Uzbekistan and resident of New Haven, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Today’s plea took place before United States District Court Judge William F. Kuntz, II. When sentenced, Rakhmatov faces up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
According to court filings, Rakhmatov’s co-defendants Abdurasul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhmetov planned to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIS. Rakhmatov and co-defendant Abror Habibov discussed providing their own money to cover Saidakhmetov’s travel expenses and to purchase a firearm for Saidakhmetov once he arrived in Syria. Rakhmatov also agreed to collect money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel. On the day before Saidakhmetov’s scheduled departure, Rakhmatov transferred $400 into co-defendant Akmal Zakirov’s personal bank account to facilitate Saidakhmetov’s travel to and expenses in Syria. read here
LAKE CHARLES MAN PLEADS GUILTY FOR POSSESSING A STOLEN FIREARM AT A CASINO
According to the guilty plea, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a complaint on May 19, 2018, of an attempted armed robbery with a firearm and an attempted carjacking at a Lake Charles casino. Upon arrival, officers came in contact with Rankins, who had already been detained by the casino’s security officers. Deputies also spoke with the 61-year-old victim, who stated that she was in her car at around 4 a.m. when Rankins sat in the passenger seat brandishing a firearm and demanding money. She denied having any money, at which point he demanded the keys to her car. The hotel security later detained Rankins, and while he was being questioned, a witness discovered the loaded 9 mm Ruger handgun he used on the ground under a truck tire. The investigation revealed that the handgun was stolen on May 17, 2018, from a vehicle parked in the casino’s parking garage.
Rankins faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court set the sentencing date for November 14, 2019. read here
BUSBY MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR SEXUALLY ABUSING MINOR
BILLINGS—A Busby man who admitting having sex with a minor on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2017 was sentenced today to 37 months in prison and to five years of supervised release, said U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme.
Romer Jesse Jaure, 28, pleaded guilty in April to sexual abuse of a minor. read here
FEDERAL INDICTMENT CHARGES MAN FOR MAKING THREATENING CALLS AGAINST A MARYLAND SYNAGOGUE
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury today indicted Stephen Lyle Orback, age 64, on the federal charge of making threatening communications, specifically multiple telephone calls threatening a synagogue.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to the indictment, between May 12 and May 13, 2019, Orback made multiple telephone calls to an employee of a synagogue in Owings Mills, Maryland, threatening to kill many members of that Jewish congregation. read here
FORMER CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS SENTENCED FOR ASSAULT OF HANDCUFFED INMATE AT ELAYN HUNT CORRECTIONAL CENTER
Two former correctional officers at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, were sentenced today for their roles in assaults on a handcuffed inmate in January 2017. Adrian Almodovar III and Charles Philson III previously pleaded guilty to depriving the inmate of his constitutional rights while acting under color of law.
“The Justice Department is committed to holding correctional officers who deprive inmates of their right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment accountable to the public,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to obtain justice for victims of these atrocious crimes.” read here
MANDEVILLE RESIDENT AND FORMER DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO ACCESSING GOVERNMENT COMPUTER SYSTEM WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION AND RECKLESSLY CAUSING OVER $23,000 WORTH OF DAMAGE
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that GARY PETER SIMON, JR., age 56, a resident of Mandeville, Louisiana, pleaded guilty on August 13, 2019 before United States District Judge Greg G. Guidry to a one-count bill of information charging him with intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization and recklessly causing damage resulting in loss of more than $5,000 during one year, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ” 1030(a)(5)(B) and 1030(c)(4)(A).
According to court documents, The Strategic Petroleum Reserve Office (SPRO) was a component of the Department of Energy (DOE) that was responsible for, among other things, overseeing and maintaining the readiness of the United States’ stockpile of emergency crude oil, which was stored along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. DOE SPRO operated a restricted cloud-based computer system to handle a variety of functions, including documenting daily activity. SIMON, who was employed as a contractor for DOE SPRO from September 2007 until August 2018, worked in the Emergency Management Directorate and was responsible for, among other things, IT management of SPRO network applications. He was one of two individuals who knew the username and password of the Administrative Account. read here
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office announced today the results of the August 2019 Federal Grand Jury.
The following named individuals have been charged with a federal crime or crimes by the return of an indictment by the Grand Jury. A grand jury Indictment does not constitute evidence of guilt. A grand jury Indictment is a method of bringing formal charges against the defendant. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and may not be found guilty unless evidence establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. United States Sentencing Guidelines may be considered, upon conviction, by the sentencing court. Federal prison sentences are non-parolable. read here
WARSAW MAN SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Kory Doyle, 33, of Warsaw, NY, who was convicted of possession of child pornography, was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison by Chief U.S District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who handled the case, stated that on September 5, 2017, investigators found the defendant in possession of child pornography on multiple computers, hard drives, and cellular telephones. Doyle downloaded the images and videos from various websites. Some of the images and videos depicted prepubescent minors under 12 years old, violence, and the sexual abuse of an infant. read here
DISTRICT CLERGY MEMBER FOUND GUILTY OF MULTIPLE COUNTS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
WASHINGTON – Urbano Vazquez, 47 of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury today of committing four counts of child sexual abuse against to two children in his parish from 2015 to 2017, in Northwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu.
The guilty verdicts were returned Thursday, August 15, 2019, following a nine-day trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Juliet McKenna scheduled sentencing for November 22, 2019. read here
ELK GROVE AND LAS VEGAS RESIDENT INDICTED FOR VIOLATING THE UNITED STATES’ TRADE EMBARGO ON IRAN
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A three-count indictment by a federal grand jury was unsealed today charging Dariush Niknia, 56, of Elk Grove, and Richard Lant, 74, of Las Vegas, Nevada, with a conspiracy to violate the United States’ embargo on Iran and engaging in prohibited trade-related transactions with Iran, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to the indictment, between May and October 2015, Niknia and Lant conspired to unlawfully sell and supply 500 Russian-made tank helmets to Niknia’s contact in Tehran, Iran. The indictment alleges that in May 2015, Niknia contacted Lant, who operated R&L Ltd., a company that sold Russian items, and requested to purchase 500 tank helmets and to have the helmets shipped to Tehran. Niknia initially paid R&L monies to purchase two sample tank helmets and to have the helmets sent from Russia to Iran. Once Ninkia’s customer approved the second sample tank helmet, Niknia paid Lant additional money in an attempt to purchase an additional 50 tank helmets for shipment to Iran. read here
TWO MEN ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH SMUGGLING MARIJUANA INTO THE UNITED STATES
BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Jason Ng, 59, of Woodside, NY, and Can Ren Li, 56, of Norwich, CT, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with smuggling of goods into the United States, importation of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah E. Lenihan, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on August 12, 2019, at approximately 11:10 a.m., the defendants attempted to enter the United States from Canada at the Rainbow Bridge Port of Entry in Niagara Falls, NY. Ng and Li were in a vehicle bearing New Jersey temporary license plates. During primary inspection, Ng, who was the driver, declared that he and Li spent one night at the casino and were returning to Buffalo. However, a Customs and Border Protection Officer noticed that both defendants had frequent border crossings at different ports of entry in different plated vehicles. The officer opened the back of the van and observed five spare tires. When asked why he had the tires, Ng stated that he had a tire repair business. Ng declared $1,000.00 U.S. currency and Li declared $125.00 U.S. currency. The defendants were then referred for secondary inspection. read here
INLAND EMPIRE MAN ARRESTED ON FEDERAL INDICTMENT FOR ALLEGEDLY ENGAGING IN SEXTORTION WITH VICTIMS HE MESSAGED ON FACEBOOK
LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino County man was arrested today on a federal grand jury indictment alleging he blackmailed young women on Facebook by threatening to publish nude photographs and videos unless they complied with his demands of sending him additional sexually explicit images.
Jorge Esteban Sanchez Ramos, 23 – who used a series of online aliases, including “Nathan Ramirez,” “Juan Romero” and “George Sanchez” – was arrested without incident this morning at his Ontario residence by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sanchez was charged with four felony counts of stalking in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on May 24. Sanchez is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles. read here
RETIRED CABELL COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF AND SON INDICTED ON DRUG AND GUN CHARGES
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Huntington has returned a six count superseding indictment charging Steven Dale McCallister, 45, and his father, Larry McCallister, 76, a retired Cabell County Deputy Sheriff, with various drug and gun crimes. Steven Dale McCallister was arrested on June 12, 2019, at the McCallister home in Barboursville following the execution of a search warrant on the residence. During the search, law enforcement officers seized approximately 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl, 300 grams of methamphetamine, over $8,000 in cash, $4,000 of which was from an earlier undercover purchase of fentanyl. A Smith and Wesson, Model 686, .357 revolver was also seized. Larry McCallister was at home and present during the search. read here
DOMINICAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO IDENTITY THEFT
BOSTON – A Dominican national formerly residing in Lawrence pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Freddy Tejada-Diaz, 50, a Dominican national formerly residing in Lawrence, pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of Social Security number and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Nov. 13, 2019. Tejada-Diaz will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. read here
ILLEGAL ALIEN SENTENCED TO 6 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ILLEGALLY RE-ENTERING U.S. AFTER BEING DEPORTED
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A citizen of Mexico pleaded guilty in federal court in Johnstown to a charge of re-entry of an illegal alien, and immediately following, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Francisco Covias-Lopez, 40, pleaded guilty to the indictment before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
In connection with the guilty plea, on December 1, 2018, Covias-Lopez, an alien who had been deported from the United States on June 22, 2012, was found in Cambria County, Pa. He had unlawfully re-entered this country without receiving permission to do so from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. read here
FEDERAL INMATE SENTENCED TO 16 MORE MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ILLEGALLY POSSESSING SUBOXONE IN PRISON
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – An inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pa. pleaded guilty in federal court in Johnstown to a charge of possession of a prohibited object in prison, and immediately following, was sentenced to 16 months followed by 3 years of supervised release, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Ramon Santiago-Sandoval, 28, pleaded guilty to the indictment before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson. read here
FLORIDA MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD-EXPLOITATION CRIMES
Tampa, FL – A Florida man was arrested today following the return of an indictment by a federal grand jury charging him with two counts of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual activity and two counts of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez of the Middle District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements’ Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa made the announcement. read here
LAWRENCE RESIDENT CHARGED WITH SEXUALLY EXPLOITING CHILDREN
BOSTON – A Lawrence resident was arrested last night and charged today in federal court in Boston with sexually exploiting a 4-year-old.
Jakob Nieves, who also goes by Dakota, 19, was charged with one count of sexual exploitation of children and one count of distribution of child pornography. Nieves appeared in federal court in Boston today and was ordered detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.
According to the charging document, as part of an investigation into the use of Kik messenger for the trade of child pornography, a federal agent, acting in an undercover capacity, allegedly communicated with Nieves via Kik. In the course of those communications, Nieves sent the undercover agent images and videos that she produced that depict her sexually abusing a child. read here
PITTSBURGH MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN SCHEME TO DEFRAUD BANKS, CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS OF $175 K
PITTSBURGH – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Joseph Naill, 41, pleaded guilty to the three felony counts before Senior United States District Court Judge Arthur Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from December 23, 2016 until June 8, 2018, Naill and a coconspirator agreed to defraud banks, institutions and individuals, and to obtain money and property by false identifications and false representations. Their conspiracy produced approximately $175,000 in fraudulent proceeds. read here
GONZALES MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN FEDERAL COURT TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that HENRY BABIN, age 29, of Gonzales, Louisiana, pled guilty before Brian A. Jackson to possessing child pornography. As a result of his conviction, Babin faces a term of imprisonment, a fine, and a period of supervised release.
According to admissions made during his plea, on January 26, 2018, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force agents executed a search warrant for Babin’s property. During the execution of the warrant, Babin emerged from a detached shed that had been converted into a private residence, in which he solely resided. read here
TENNESSEE CORRECTIONAL OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS OFFENSE FOR BEATING INMATE
Memphis, TN – Nathaniel Griffin, 29, today pleaded guilty to using unlawful force on an inmate while Griffin was serving as a correctional officer with the Tennessee Department of Corrections, announced Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee D. Michael Dunavant, and FBI-Memphis Special Agent in Charge M.A. Myers.
“The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute correctional officers who violate the public’s trust by committing crimes and attempting to cover up violations of federal criminal law,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “Officer Griffin abused his power in this case, and the Department of Justice held him accountable for his unlawful actions.” read here
NEW HAMPSHIRE MAN SENTENCED FOR TRAFFICKING IN PROTECTED WILDLIFE
BOSTON – A New Hampshire man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for illegally trafficking live water monitor lizards from the Philippines.
Derrick Semedo, 26, of Nashua, N.H., was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to two years of probation and 120 hours of community service. In April 2019, Semedo pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in monitor lizards that were exported illegally from the Philippines. read here
GRAND JUNCTION JURY CONVICTS GUNNISON MAN FOR DESTROYING ACRES OF FEDERAL LAND WITH A BULLDOZER
GRAND JUNCTION — A Grand Junction Jury took less than an hour of deliberation to convict Robert Timothy Allen of depredation of federal property. The guilty verdict was announced on August 14, 2019, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
Defendant Allen was indicted in 2016 and charged for damaging federal land in Saguache County between July 24, 2013, and May 22, 2014. After indictment, Allen evaded arrest for nearly two years before being arrested and ultimately detained in 2018. According to evidence presented at this week’s trial, Allen dug-up about three acres of federal land with a bulldozer. While he claimed to be lawfully prospecting federal land, he received four official notices from the Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety that he was violating the law and directing him to stop. After refusing to stop violating the law, he was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office. read here
JAMAICAN LOTTERY SCAMMER RECEIVES 34 MONTHS FOR DEFRAUDING ELDERLY VICTIMS AND MAKING DEATH THREATS
INDIANAPOLIS – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today the conviction and sentencing of Oraine Gray a/k/a “James Cooper”, a 23-year-old resident of Jamaica, to 34 months in federal prison after his admission of guilt to devising a lottery scam that swindled elderly and vulnerable victims throughout the United States of their retirement accounts and savings, and to making death threats in furtherance of the scam. The defendant was arrested in Jamaica on September 20, 2018 and waived extradition to the United States.
“This defendant preyed on these elderly victims in the most despicable way – by taking from them through lies and deceit over a significant time period,” said Minkler. “Protecting the most vulnerable members of society from these scammers, no matter where they reside, is a top priority of this office. This sentence sends a message that the Southern District of Indiana will go after international scammers, extradite, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.” read here
CONVICTED DRUG DEALER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR FIRST DEGREE MURDER OF DRUG SUPPLIER
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A convicted drug dealer with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to life in federal prison today in connection with the killing of a drug supplier at point-blank range during a drug deal gone bad in November 2013, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
Following a seven-day jury trial in May 2019, Louis Matthews, 37, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime resulting in death. United States District Judge Andrew P. Gordon presided over the trial. read here
FORMER CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OF 1 GLOBAL CAPITAL LLC CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT SECURITIES FRAUD IN RELATION TO $330 MILLION SCHEME
A former Chief Financial Officer of 1 Global Capital, LLC has been charged in connection with a $330 million securities fraud scheme, related to a commercial payday loan business that operated from early 2014 through July 2018, that impacted more than 3,600 investors in 42 different states.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office made the announcement.
Alan G. Heide, 61, of Lake Worth, Florida, was charged today by information with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, in Case No. 19-60231. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Roy Altman in Fort Lauderdale. If convicted, Heide faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 or double the gross proceeds of the offense. read here
FAYETTEVILLE SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Fayetteville, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Anthony Rhoden, age 42, was sentenced today to 120 months imprisonment without the possibility of parole followed by 25 years of supervised release on one count of Accessing the Internet with Intent to View Child Pornography. Rhoden received an additional 30 months imprisonment for committing the offense while on Federal Supervised Release. The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.
According to court records, in February 2018, Rhoden was on Federal Supervised Release following a conviction for receiving child pornography. United States Probation Officers conducted a search of Rhoden’s motel room and located a cellular phone. Rhoden stated he had been utilizing it to search the internet for child pornography. A forensic review of the phone revealed numerous images of child pornography. read here
STORM LAKE MAN SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
man who received child pornography was sentenced August 9, 2019, to 6 years in federal prison.
James Gailey, 49, from Storm Lake, Iowa, received the prison term after pleading guilty to one count of child pornography on March 4, 2019.
At the plea hearing, Gailey admitted that in October 2017 he utilized a Dropbox account to receive child pornography. Gailey further admitted that in January 2018 he utilized a second Dropbox account to receive additional child pornography. Gailey also admitted that he received images and videos of sexual abuse or exploitation of victims as young as infants or toddlers. Evidence at sentencing further showed that Gailey’s offense involved over 600 images of child pornography. read here
MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
RICHMOND, Va. – A New Orleans man was sentenced today to more than 24 years in prison for production of child pornography.
According to court documents, Alexander Witt, 30, sexually abused two minors and produced video and pictures of that abuse. Witt engaged in sexual acts with Minor 1 when Minor 1 was approximately 11 or 12 years old. This abuse involved taking nude pictures of Minor 1 and filming himself engaging in sexual acts with Minor 1. Additionally, Witt sexually abused a second minor by engaging in sexual acts and produced images and video of that abuse. read here
FORMER UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR SENTENCED FOR TRAVELING TO MISSOURI FOR SEX WITH A MINOR
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A former Ohio university professor was sentenced in federal court today for traveling to Kansas City, Missouri, to engage in sexual activity with a person whom he believed to be a 14-year-old runaway.
Kevin Connor Armitage, 54, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to two years and nine months in federal prison without parole.
On May 1, 2019, Armitage pleaded guilty to traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Armitage was a professor of American studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. read here
DEFENDANT EXTRADITED TO THE UNITED STATES FROM MEXICO TO FACE SEX TRAFFICKING CHARGES
Jose Miguel Melendez-Rojas was extradited to the United States yesterday, and is scheduled to be arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn on an 18-count indictment charging him with sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking of minors, interstate prostitution, alien smuggling and money laundering conspiracy. Melendez-Rojas was arrested in February 2019 in Mexico following a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Mexico City and New York Offices, and the Mexican Federal Police. Melendez-Rojas is charged with five co-defendants: two were extradited from Mexico to the United States in October 2018, and three were previously arrested in the United States. read here
INDICTMENT: REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER PRODUCED, DISTRIBUTED CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
WICHITA, KAN. – A man from El Dorado was indicted Wednesday on charges that even though he already was a registered sex offender he produced and distributed child pornography, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Daniel Eric Merida, 35, El Dorado, Kan., was charged in a superseding indictment with one count of producing child pornography, two counts of committing crimes against minors while registered as a sex offender, two counts of distributing child pornography, one count of possessing child pornography, one count of sending obscene material to a minor and one count of transporting child pornography. The crimes are alleged to have occurred at various times from 2014 to 2018 in Butler County, Kan.
Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Producing child pornography: Not less than 25 years and not more than 50 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Felonies involving minors while a registered sex offender: A term of 10 years, consecutive to sentences on other counts.
Distributing child pornography: Not less than five years and not more than 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Possessing child pornography: Not less than five years and not more than 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Sending obscene material to a minor: Up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000. read here
BIRMINGHAM PSYCHOLOGIST AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING STATE MEDICAID AGENCY OF $1.5 MILLION BY FILING FALSE CLAIMS FOR COUNSELING
BIRMINGHAM— A one-count information filed yesterday in U.S. District Court charges a Birmingham psychologist with defrauding the Alabama Medicaid Agency by filing false claims for counseling services that were not provided, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-OIG Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.
SHARON D. WALTZ, 50, operated Capstone Medical Resources in a number of locations around Alabama, with its primary office in Birmingham. Among other services, Waltz provided individual and group counseling sessions for at-risk youth. The information charges that many of the services billed to the Alabama Medicaid Agency were never performed. Waltz has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud Medicaid of at least $1.5 million. Waltz has also agreed to pay restitution to Medicaid in the amount of $1.5 million. read here
THIRTY-THREE G-SHINE GANG MEMBERS AND DRUG TRAFFICKING ASSOCIATES PLEAD GUILTY IN FEDERAL COURT
Florence, South Carolina — U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that less than nine months after 33 Horry County and Myrtle Beach drug traffickers were indicted based on a federal wiretap investigation into the G-Shine/SMG gang, all 33 have pleaded guilty and are being sentenced in federal court.
“When we lock arms with our local, state, and federal agencies to get the most violent offenders off our streets, our communities notice an immediate and sustained positive impact,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon. “In the first half of 2017, there were 14 homicides in Horry County. After the Operation Rise and Shine takedown, that number dropped to three homicides in the first half of this year. Robberies and aggravated assaults have also noticeably declined. This case demonstrates the effectiveness of the Project Safe Neighborhoods model, and we will continue to replicate it across the state as we combat violent crime and the opioid epidemic.” read here