Monday, April 27, 2015
A Guatemalan national appeared in federal court in the Southern District of Texas, after being extradited to the United States from Guatemala to face criminal charges for her role in smuggling undocumented migrants to the United States for profit, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas and Director Sarah R. Saldaña of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Rosa Umanzor-Lopez, 35, of Guatemala, was arrested in Guatemala on Feb. 5, 2014, on a provisional arrest warrant based on a superseding indictment filed in the Southern District of Texas in December 2012. The indictment charges her with one count of conspiracy to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the United States, three counts of bringing aliens to the United States for financial gain and three corresponding counts of encouraging and inducing an alien to come to the United States. Three individuals also charged in the indictment have previously been convicted and sentenced.
The indictment alleges that Umanzor-Lopez and her co-defendants established a network to recruit individuals from India and elsewhere who wished to be smuggled into the United States. The defendants then allegedly arranged for aliens to be transported to the United States through South America and Central America by various means including by air travel, automobiles, water craft and foot.
The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The investigation was conducted by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in McAllen and Houston, with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Alien Smuggling Interdiction Unit. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christina Giffin of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Leo III and Casey MacDonald of the Southern District of Texas. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs assisted with the extradition.
The investigation was conducted under the Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force (ECT) program, a joint partnership between the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and HSI. The ECT program focuses on human smuggling networks that may present particular national security or public safety risks, or present grave humanitarian concerns. ECT has dedicated investigative, intelligence and prosecutorial resources. ECT coordinates and receives assistance from other U.S. government agencies and foreign law enforcement authorities.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Allegedly Killed Four Generations of a Family
Washington – The U.S. Marshals captured Alexander Rosevelt Hill, Jr., wanted on four counts of first-degree murder, at a homeless shelter in Buffalo, New York, this morning. The slayings occurred over the weekend of Easter 2014, but the trail for the suspect had been cold for a year.
At the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of four Virginia family members, including a toddler, the U.S. Marshals asked for the media’s help across the country to publicize the search for this dangerous fugitive. A tip came in that Hill was at a homeless shelter in Buffalo, New York.
The U.S. Marshals in Buffalo went to the shelter and arrested Hill without incident. Hill was going by the name Trent Dales and had false identification. Hill resisted being fingerprinted, but once Marshals were able to get his fingerprints, they positively identified him as the man being sought.
During the weekend of Easter 2014, Hill, 48, is accused of killing two family members by assault and then setting the house on fire, killing two others, including a 2-year-old, in Petersburg, Virginia.
Those killed were Pauline Wilkins, 67, Vicki Chavis-Ansar, 46, Tanique Chavis, 22, and Delvair Chavis, 2. A former girlfriend of Hill’s lived in the home but was not there at the time of the slayings.
Hill fled the Petersburg area shortly after the killings. U.S. Marshals and Petersburg Police detectives had determined that Hill traveled to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, by taxi just after midnight on April 20, 2014. Later that morning, Hill paid a man to drive him to the Amtrak station in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Until now, Hill had fallen off law enforcement’s radar.
The Marshals believed he could have been anywhere, but information pointed to Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Maryland, California and New York City.
“We are relieved at the capture of this dangerous fugitive close on the heels of the one-year anniversary of four tragic deaths. We weren’t giving up, no matter what,” said Robert Mathieson, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We hope this arrest will allow the family to begin healing from the pain of their tremendous losses.”
“I would like to thank the tipster who called into the Buffalo U.S. Marshals office with information regarding Hill’s location at St. Luke’s Mission. My deputies were fast to act and apprehend this suspect quickly and without incident. They did an outstanding job today. Thanks to the tipster, another dangerous fugitive is behind bars,” said Charles Salina, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of New York.
The U.S. Marshals partnered with the Petersburg Bureau of Police for the fugitive investigation, and the FBI also assisted with the case.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Funded through the Small, Rural, Tribal and Border Regional Center and hosted by the School Safety Advocacy Council, the Northeastern School Safety & Bullying Conference will take place on April 29-30, 2015, in Hampton Beach, N.H., at the Ashworth By-The-Sea Hotel. For more information and registration, visit www.schoolsafety911.org