Daily Doses of Justice

Daily Doses of Justice

FORMER EAST GLACIER TEACHER SENTENCED FOR SEX ABUSE OF MINOR

“GREAT FALLS—An East Glacier woman who taught elementary school on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation was sentenced today to two years in prison and five years of supervised release for sexually abusing two students, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Sierra Shawnee Taylor, also known as Sierra Schildt, 36, pleaded guilty in July to sexual abuse of a minor.

U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.” read here

MARY MAN AND YANKTOWN MAN SENTENCED FOR KIDNAPPING AND ASSAULT RESULTING IN SERIOUS BODILY INJURY

“United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Marty, South Dakota, man convicted of Kidnapping was sentenced on November 4, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

Gavin Little, age 23, was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons also announced that a Yankton, South Dakota, man convicted of Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury was sentenced on November 4, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.” read here

ALLEN MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF A MINOR

“United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Allen, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Receipt of Child Pornography, Distribution of Child Pornography, Sexual Abuse of a Minor, and Transfer of Obscene Material to a Minor.

Stacey Garnette, a/k/a Stacy Garnette, age 41, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.” read here

SISSETON MAN SENTENCED TO 120 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ABUSIVE SEXUAL CONTACT

“United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Sisseton, South Dakota, man convicted of abusive sexual contact was sentenced on November 5, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Storm Gaylord Blue, age 25, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, to be followed by 20 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

According to court documents, between on or about October 9 and 10, 2017, in Roberts County, Blue forcefully engaged in and attempted to engage in sexual contact with a juvenile victim. Blue had the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, and degrade the victim and engaged in such sexual contact to arouse and gratify his sexual desires.” read here

THREE INDIVIDUALS, INCLUDING A FORMER TEXAS MAYOR, CEO AND OWNER, FOUND GUILTY IN A $154 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING AND HEALTH CARE SCHEME

“A federal jury found three individuals associated with dozens of hospice and home health companies guilty today for their roles in a $154 million health care fraud scheme, one of which was a mayor in Texas at the time.

After a three-week trial, the jury found Rodney Mesquias, 47, of San Antonio, Texas, Henry McInnis, 47, of Harlingen, Texas, and Francisco Pena, 82, of Laredo, Texas, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. In addition, Mesquias and McInnis were found guilty of six counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Pena was also convicted of one count of health care fraud, obstruction of health care investigations and one count of false statements, while Mesquias and Pena were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks.

U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera presided over the trial and set sentencing for June 17, 2020.” read here

SOUTH TEXAS TRUCKER ON HIS WAY TO PRISON FOR TRAFFICKING COCAINE

“CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 37-year-old Alton resident has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction for conspiring to smuggle nearly 20 kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Eddy Garcia-Abreu pleaded guilty July 30.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos handed Garcia-Abreu a 120-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that at the time of the offense, Garcia-Abreu was still on supervised release from a prior alien smuggling conviction.” read here

ROCKLAND COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH RUNNING MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR PONZI AND EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEMES

“Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced today the unsealing of an Indictment in Manhattan federal court charging RULESS PIERRE with securities fraud, wire fraud, and structuring charges. The Indictment alleges that PIERRE engaged in two separate fraud schemes. In the first scheme, PIERRE, as the owner of his own consulting firm, R. Pierre Consulting Group LLC (“RPCG”), solicited money from investors by falsely promising them that he would earn a 20% return on their initial investment every 60 days through stock trading. In truth and in fact, PIERRE lost most of the money he traded on behalf of his investors, while falsely reporting to investors that their funds were growing as promised. Also contrary to his representations, PIERRE secretly used investor funds to purchase luxury vehicles and even a fast food franchise for himself. He also used funds from new investors to make payments to other investors to avoid his scheme being detected. Through his lies, PIERRE obtained over $2 million from over 100 investors. In the second scheme, PIERRE defrauded his former employers, two hotels, by regularly embezzling funds out of bank accounts belonging to those hotels and then depositing those funds through structured transactions, into bank accounts PIERRE controlled. In total, PIERRE stole over $400,000 from the hotels. PIERRE was arrested yesterday in Nanuet, New York, and will be presented this afternoon before Chief Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein in Manhattan federal court.” read here

IOWA MAN CHARGED WITH PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“CAMDEN, N.J. – An Iowa man is scheduled to appear in court today on charges of producing and distributing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Donavon Oliphant, 37, of Independence, Iowa, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of producing visual depictions of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of distribution of child pornography. Oliphant is expected to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio in Camden federal court.” read here

SOMERSET COUNTY MAN ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

“NEWARK, N.J. – A Somerset County, New Jersey, man was charged today with allegedly distributing and possessing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

John Schulenburg, 65, of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.” read here

FORMER RIDGWAY RESIDENT RECEIVES 23 YEARS IN JAIL FOR PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVOLVING TWO MINOR VICTIMS

“ERIE, Pa. – A former resident of Ridgway, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 23 years in jail, lifetime supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,396 on his conviction of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter imposed the sentence on Jesse Porter, 42.

According to information presented to the court, Porter took sexually explicit photos and video of two minor victims. One victim was three years of age when Porter recorded himself sexually abusing her. The other victim was 15 when Porter took sexually explicit surreptitious video of her.” read here

TWO SOUTH FLORIDA MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO TRAFFIC IN CREDIT CARD

“Tampa, Florida – Michel Verona Saavedra (20) and Yoandy Del Prado (26), both of Hialeah, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in access devices and to possessing device-making equipment. Each faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreements and facts presented during the plea hearing, in the early morning hours of December 6, 2017, Del Prado and Saavedra had credit card skimming devices in their possession when deputies from the Sarasota County Sherriff’s Office stopped their car near a then-closed Sunoco gas station on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota. The deputies located two skimming devices in the rear of the car, along with a laptop computer. In addition, following Saavedra’s arrest, deputies found five counterfeit credit cards, with altered data information, in his possession. A subsequent investigation revealed that similar skimming devices were hidden inside of gas pumps at three gas stations in the immediate area, including the closed Sunoco station. Evidence of the scheme was also found on the laptop recovered from the car.” read here

FORMER BOY SCOUT TROOP LEADER INDICTED ON CHARGES OF TRAFFICKING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“URBANA, Ill. – A grand jury today returned an indictment that charges Milton Forsberg, 79, of the 800 block of West Charles Street, in Champaign, Ill., with trafficking child pornography. The indictment charges Forsberg with one count each of receipt and possession of child pornography.

Forsberg was previously arrested and charged in a criminal complaint on Oct. 16, 2019. Forsberg made his initial court appearance on Oct. 21, 2019, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long, in Urbana. Judge Long ordered that Forsberg remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.”read here

NINE CENTRAL ILLINOIS MEN ARRESTED IN FBI SPRINGFIELD OPERATION, CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED ENTICEMENT OF A CHILD TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTIVITY

“PEORIA, Ill. – U.S. Attorney John Milhiser and FBI Springfield Special Agent in Charge Sean M. Cox announced that nine Central Illinois men were arrested over the weekend related to a FBI Springfield Operation. The men have been charged in separate criminal complaints with attempted enticement of a child to engage in sexual activity. The complaints were unsealed on Nov. 4, 2019, as each made their respective initial appearance in federal court in Peoria. Each was ordered detained pending hearings scheduled for today.

According to the affidavits filed in support of the complaints, each of the men allegedly used various social media applications to contact and engage with FBI online covert employees posing as minors under the age of 18 to make arrangements to meet the minor girl or boy with the intent to engage in sexual activity.” read here

RETIRED POLICE OFFICER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS FOR TRANSPORTING MINOR ACROSS STATE LINES FOR ILLEGAL SEXUAL PURPOSE

“MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Larry Woods, 63, Beloit, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 12 years of supervised release, for transporting a minor from Wisconsin to Illinois for an illegal sexual purpose.  Woods pleaded guilty to this offense on August 7, 2019.

Woods retired from the Beloit Police Department in 2007 after working for the department for 25 years.  After retiring, he worked as a school safety officer with the Beloit Public School system, and as a security monitor for the Beloit Public Library.  Woods was a friend of the family of his minor victim, and had known his 13-year-old victim her entire life.  Woods gained the trust of his victim’s mother by offering to be a mentor.  He groomed his victim for months, and had a sexual relationship with her from late 2017 through his arrest in June 2018.  Woods often transported his victim to Rockford, Illinois, where he rented hotel rooms to engage in sexual activity.  Woods was convicted of repeated sexual assault of his victim in Rock County, Wisconsin, and was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, to be followed by five years extended supervision, on September 27, 2019.” read here

OHIO MAN SENTENCED FOR CROSSING STATE LINES TO HAVE ILLEGAL SEXUAL CONTACT

“CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – James Vincent Scott, of Hudson, Ohio, was sentenced today to 50 months incarceration for a sex charge, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Scott, age 32, pled guilty to one count of “Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct” in June 2019. Scott admitted to traveling from Ohio to Harrison County, West Virginia, to engage in illegal sexual conduct in February 2019.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Danae Demasi-Lemon prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Bridgeport Police Department investigated.” read here

DARK WEB NARCOTICS TRAFFICKER PLEADS GUILTY TO LAUNDERING MORE THAN $19 MILLION

“Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that HUGH BRIAN HANEY pled guilty in Manhattan federal court today to money laundering charges, based on his attempt to launder the proceeds of a narcotics trafficking operation that HANEY ran on the Dark Web site known as “Silk Road.” U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff presided over the defendant’s guilty plea.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: ‘Hugh Haney used Silk Road as a means to sell drugs to people all over the world. Then he laundered more than $19 million in profits through cryptocurrency. Peddling drugs on the Dark Web does not provide anonymity forever, as Hugh Haney can attest.’” read here

TWO COLOMBIAN NATIONALS CHARGED WITH COCAINE TRAFFICKING

“BOSTON – Two Colombian nationals were indicted today in federal court in Boston on drug trafficking charges.

Diego Sanchez, 34, and Ricardo Lopera Arteaga, 58, were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Sanchez was also charged with two additional counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The defendants were previously charged by complaint and arrested on Oct. 9, 2019. They are both currently in federal custody.

According to court documents, Sanchez engaged in two sales of cocaine to a cooperating witness on Sept. 10 and 27, 2019 in East Boston. Sanchez and Lopera-Arteaga alsoconspired together to sell one kilogram of cocaine to that same cooperating witness. On Oct. 9, 2019, law enforcement agents observed both men meet and walk together towards a spot arranged for the drug transaction. Agents arrested both men a short time later and seized one kilogram of cocaine from Lopera-Arteaga.” read here

MEXICAN MAN INDICTED ON IDENTITY THEFT CHARGES

“WICHITA, KAN. – A man from Mexico was indicted today on federal charges of identity theft, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Juan Tapia, 33, a citizen of Mexico, who has been living in Wichita, is charged with one count of using another person’s Social Security number, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by an alien illegally in the United States.

Tapia also is connected to the case involving Andrew J. Pleviak, a former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, who is charged with impersonating a federal officer. Pleviak allegedly pretended to be an ICE supervisor in September 2019 when he tried to get Tapia out of the Kingman County Jail. Pleviak was indicted Oct. 9 and is awaiting trial.” read here

SOUTH CAROLINA MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR FORCING MAN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY TO WORK AT RESTAURANT

“U.S. District Court Judge R. Bryan Harwell sentenced defendant Bobby Paul Edwards, 54, of Conway, South Carolina, to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay $272,952.96 in restitution to the victim. The defendant pleaded guilty on June 4, 2018, to one count of forced labor for coercing an African-American man with an intellectual disability to work extensive hours at a restaurant for no pay.

‘It is almost inconceivable that instances of forced labor endure in this country to this day – a century and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation,’ said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. ‘The Department of Justice will continue to investigate, prosecute, and convict human traffickers involved in forced labor, seeking justice on behalf of their victims.’” read here

SOUTHWICK MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SENDING THREATENING LETTERS AND WHITE POWDER TO FEDERAL AGENCIES IN SPRINGFIELD

“BOSTON – A Southwick man pleaded guilty today to sending two packages, containing white powder, to federal agencies in Springfield.

Kevin A. Johnson, 47, pleaded guilty to two counts of conveying false information and hoaxes. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Feb. 6, 2020. Johnson was charged by criminal complaint and arrested on Nov. 30, 2018.

Between July and November 2018, FBI’s Springfield Office and the Springfield Social Security Administration Office (SSA Springfield), collectively received three packages containing either threatening communications and/or suspicious substances. The Springfield Branch Office of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts received a letter from an individual claiming responsibility for sending the packages. All of the packages contained a piece of white-lined paper with a hand-drawn logo that appeared to combine the ‘anarchist A’ symbol (the capital letter ‘A’ surrounded by the letter ‘O’) and the symbol for ISIS, a foreign terrorist organization. Two of the packages contained suspicious white powder.” read here

SENATOR ABEL NAZARIO QUINONES INDICTED AND ARRESTED FOR BRIBERY CONCERNING PROGRAMS RECEIVING FEDERAL FUNDS

“SAN JUAN, P.R. – Today, Senator Abel Nazario-Quiñones and seven other defendants were arrested and charged in a one-count indictment alleging theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The FBI is in charge of the investigation with the collaboration of the Puerto Rico Comptroller’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Defendant Abel Nazario-Quiñones was first elected Mayor of Yauco, a municipality in Southwest Puerto Rico, in 2000, and continued to be the mayor until December of 2016. The other defendants are: Edwin Torres-Gutiérrez, Special Assistant to the Mayor; Claribel Rodríguez-Canchani, Director of Human Resources for the Municipality; Humberto Pagán-Sánchez, Kelvin Ortiz-Vegarra, Ramón Martes-Negrón, Juan Rosario-Núñez, and Eric Rondón-Rodríguez, who were all irregular employees of the Municipality under Mayor Nazario-Quiñones.” read here

PRESIDENT OF PURPORTED INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION INDICTED FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY SCHEME

“Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), today announced charges against ASA SAINT CLAIR for his participation in an investment scheme tied to a purported digital coin offering called IGOBIT. SAINT CLAIR allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud victims into providing loans tied to the launch of IGOBIT by World Sports Alliance, a purported intergovernmental organization focused on promoting international development through sports, and falsely promised investors guaranteed returns and an ownership interest in IGOBIT.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.” read here

 

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