Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dunseith Man Pleads Guilty to Assault

June 30, 2010 - BISMARCK, ND—Acting United States Attorney Lynn Jordheim announced that on June 29, 2010, Michael L. Demery, 26, of Dunseith, North Dakota, pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Daniel L. Hovland to a charge of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

In the early morning hours of January 19, 2010, the victim was giving Demery a ride home when they began to argue. Demery used his fists to strike the victim in the face multiple times. The victim freed himself from his seatbelt during the assault and got out of the vehicle. Demery took the vehicle, leaving the victim on the roadside. The victim was found by a passing motorist and transported to the hospital. The victim sustained multiple facial fractures which required surgery, a broken nose, and some of his teeth were knocked out.

The charge of assault resulting in serious bodily injury carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Belcourt Police Department.

Sentencing for Demery has been scheduled for September 27, 2010, in United States District Court in Minot, North Dakota, at 2:00 p.m.

Assistant United States Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell is prosecuting the case.

Former Houston County Deputies Sentenced for Assault

June 30, 2010 - BEAUMONT, TX—Two former Houston County Sheriff's deputies have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in the assault of a Crockett, Texas man in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Henry Doyce Gresham, Jr. 50, and Charles James Clark, 63, both residents of the Crockett area, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2009, to misdemeanor assault and were sentenced on June 29, 2010 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin. Gresham received four months in federal prison and was ordered to forfeit his service weapon and Clark was sentenced to three months in federal prison.

According to information presented in court, on July 11, 2008, Gresham and Clark confronted an individual at Gresham's residence before transporting him to the Davy Crockett National Forest where he was assaulted and abandoned. Gresham's service weapon and a county-issued Tazer were used in the assault. Gresham and Clark were indicted by a federal grand jury on Mar. 4, 2009. This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jim Middleton and Frank Coan.

Former Dodge County Sheriff and Deputy Sentenced for 2004 Election Fraud

June 30, 2010 - DUBLIN, GA—MICHAEL LAWTON DOUGLAS, JR., 38, the former Sheriff of Dodge County, and OLIN NORMAN GIBSON, 44, a former Dodge County Deputy Sheriff, were sentenced today before The Honorable Dudley H. Bowen, Jr., United States District Judge, at the federal courthouse in Dublin, Georgia.

At an earlier change-of-plea hearing, Douglas pled guilty to conspiring to buy votes and to vote more than once in connection with his election in 2004 as Dodge County Sheriff. Gibson pled guilty to buying votes for Douglas during that election. Evidence at the hearing established that Douglas provided money to various supporters, including Gibson, to be used to pay hundreds of voters to vote for him in the election. Douglas’s supporters also paid voters for absentee ballots, and in particular blank absentee ballots, in order to fill those ballots out for Douglas and cast them improperly in the election. Douglas was elected as Dodge County Sheriff in 2004 and served as Sheriff until his re-election campaign was defeated in 2008.

Judge Bowen today sentenced Douglas to 18 months in prison to be followed by a three year term of supervised release. Douglas was additionally ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and complete 150 hours of community service. Gibson received four months in prison, a three year term of supervised release, a $1,000 fine, and 150 hours of community service.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “Election fraud strikes at the very heart of our democracy. This office and our law enforcement partners will exercise zero tolerance in our efforts to apprehend and prosecute those who seek to steal or dilute the constitutional rights of citizens in the electoral process.”

U.S. Attorney Tarver recognized the efforts of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and particularly GBI Special Agent Eve Rodgers and FBI Special Agent Ed Sutcliff.

Assistant United States Attorney R. Brian Tanner prosecuted the case for the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Sexual Predator of Children Receives Life Sentence

June 30, 2010 - HUNTSVILLE—A federal judge today sentenced a 37-year-old Huntsville man to life in prison for child pornography and obscenity offenses, and for repeatedly seeking out young girls for sex between 2002 and 2008, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley.

U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. sentenced JOHN LAWSON SIMONS on child exploitation charges brought in two separate indictments in 2008. Simons pleaded guilty to all charges in both indictments in January 2009. In sentencing Simons to life in prison, Judge Smith said, “The only sentence that will protect other minor victims and the public at large is the maximum sentence provided by law.”

Simons admitted to multiple incidents of either traveling to other states or transporting girls back to Alabama to sexually abuse them. His crimes involved girls from Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Simons met these girls either on the Internet, or by introducing himself to them in public places, like Wal-Mart.

“This man is a classic sexual predator,” Vance said. “He thought only of himself and never considered how his abuse and manipulation damaged his young and vulnerable victims. He needs to be in prison for the rest of his life so that he never again has the opportunity to harm young girls,” she said.

“The FBI will continue to identify and bring to justice sexual predators who prey upon young people, often leaving the victims emotionally and physically scarred for life,” Maley said. “Our children deserve to be protected.”

Simons admitted to possessing child pornography on his computer and producing videotapes of girls involved in sexually explicit conduct. Some of these tapes were made in other states and brought back to Simons’ home in Alabama, where they were found by law enforcement. Simons also admitted he sent nude images of himself to a minor via a webcam.

The charges Simons pleaded guilty to include: one count of possessing child pornography, one count of transporting child pornography, two counts of producing child pornography, two counts of transferring obscene matter to a minor, one count of inducing a minor to travel across state lines for sexual purposes, one count of transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes, and 14 counts of traveling across state lines to engage in sex with a minor.

Special agents of the FBI investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell.

California Couple Sentenced for Their Role in Hate-motivated Beating

June 30, 2010 - WASHINGTON – Today in Sacramento, Calif., U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez sentenced a couple from Fairfield, Calif., for their roles in a July 2007 beating of an American citizen who is originally from India, announced the Department of Justice. Judge Mendez sentenced Joseph Silva, 56, and his wife, Georgia Silva, 52, to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised released.

At the March 2010 trial, the jury heard that the victim was attempting to enjoy El Dorado Beach on Lake Tahoe, Calif., when the Silvas confronted and attacked him. The evidence showed that Georgia Silva initially hurled derogatory racial and ethnic slurs at the victim and his then girlfriend. When the victim called the police, Georgia Silva assaulted the victim, knocking him to the ground. At the trial, the jury heard a recording of the call made by the victim to the police and statements the Silvas were making to the victim.

After knocking the victim to the ground, and while Georgia Silva was on top of the victim, her husband kicked the victim in the head. The attack caused fractures to bones in the victim’s face and he was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. Witnesses to the incident recounted that Georgia Silva also insulted and attempt to spit upon another man of Indian descent.

"This case demonstrates that hate-motivated violence has no place in twenty-first century America, and such crimes will be vigorously prosecuted and punished," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "Americans of all races, colors, and ethnicities should feel free to use public parks and facilities without fear of intimidation and violence."

"Bias motivated violence has no place in our society. Vigorously enforcing federal hate crime laws is among the highest priorities of the U.S. Department of Justice," said Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California. "We will protect the rights of all persons in this richly diverse community to avail themselves of public facilities without fear of hate mongers and racists."

The case was investigated by FBI Special Agent Christopher Campion with the assistance of Special Agent Brad J. Bilderback. Officer Rhett Gann of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department also assisted in the investigation and testified at the trial.

The case was prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn K. Delaney and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorneys C. Douglas Kern and Michael J. Frank.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

L’Anse Woman Sentenced to Prison for Tire Iron Assault

June 29, 2010 - MARQUETTE, MI—Roseann Marie Brennan, 21, of L’Anse, Michigan, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for assault with a dangerous weapon, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. In addition to the prison term, Senior U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar ordered Brennan to serve two years of supervised release following her release from prison, to pay a $100 special assessment, and to have no further contact with the victim. Brennan was also ordered to pay $5,360.25 in restitution. Brennan pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon on March 16, 2010. The charge stemmed from an incident occurring on Keweenaw Bay Indian Community lands in December 2009, during which Brennan struck the victim, a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, in the head with a tire iron in the course of a fight.

U.S. Attorney Davis commended the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Police, the Village of Baraga Police, the Baraga County Sheriff Department, and special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work in this case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul D. Lochner.

Mille Lacs Band Assailant Sentenced to Prison

June 29, 2010 - MARQUETTE, MI—Leonard Scott Nickaboine, 32, of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribe, was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for domestic assault by a habitual offender, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. In addition to the prison term, Senior U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar ordered Nickaboine to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison and to pay a $100 special assessment. Nickaboine pleaded guilty to a federal indictment charging him with domestic assault by a habitual offender on March 19, 2010. The charge stemmed from an incident at Nickaboine’s residence on December 19, 2009, during which Nickaboine assaulted his wife, throwing her to the ground, striking her with his fist, and choking her. Nickaboine was previously convicted of domestic violence on two separate occasions in Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Tribal court.

U.S. Attorney Davis commended the Sault Ste. Marie Tribal Police Department and special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work in this case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul D. Lochner.

South St. Paul Man Sentenced for Robbing Credit Union

June 29, 2010 - Today in federal court in Minneapolis a 48-year-old South St. Paul man was sentenced for robbing the Wakota Federal Credit Union on October 30, 2009. United States District Court Judge David S. Doty sentenced Steven Lee Olson to 60 months in prison on one count of credit union robbery. He was indicted on December 2, 2009, and pleaded guilty on March 9, 2010.

In his plea agreement, Olson admitted stealing $1,514 from the credit union, which is located at 1151 Southview Boulevard. According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit, the credit union was robbed at 4:58 p.m. on October 30, 2009. At that time, the robber, later identified as Olson, walked up to a teller, pointed what she thought was a gun at her, and demanded “banded” money. The teller was too scared to respond, so the robber went to a second teller. After obtaining cash from that teller, he left the premises.

The robber was wearing a red jacket, and a red bandana covered a portion of his face. A bystander, who saw him get into a Dodge Intrepid, reported his location to police. The police, in turn, responded. However, upon their arrival on the scene, the robber fled. Authorities pursued him for about two miles before he jumped from his vehicle and attempted to outrun them. Following a short chase, they apprehended the man. During a subsequent search of his vehicle, officers found the red-hooded jacket, a red bandana, a toy revolver, loose bills, and a bill wrapper from the First State Bank of Rosemount, which was robbed on October 21, 2009.

Later Olson admitted that he had committed five other bank robberies as well as one attempted bank robbery. Those robberies included one at the MidCountry Bank in Inver Grove Heights on September 25, 2009; the Central Bank in South St. Paul on September 30, 2009; a Wells Fargo Bank in Minneapolis on October 6, 2009; the First State Bank of Rosemount on October 21, 2009; the Associated Bank in Hudson, Wisconsin, on October 9, 2009; and the attempted robbery of the Cherokee State Bank in St. Paul on October 20, 2009.

This case was the result of an investigation by the South St. Paul Police Department and the FBI, with assistance from the Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul police departments. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan P. Petterson.

Norfolk Man Sentenced to More Than 23 Years in Prison on Drug Conspiracy and Firearm Charges

June 29, 2010 - NORFOLK, VA—Dion Christopher Cameron, 42, of Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced today in Norfolk federal court to 280 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana and for possessing a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime. Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Cameron was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Cameron previously pled guilty to the charges on March 29, 2010.

According to court records, from approximately late July 2000 until his arrest on December 4, 2009, Cameron was involved in the distribution of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. He primarily distributed drugs in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Hampton, and Newport News, Virginia. From approximately July 2000, until early 2005, Cameron traveled to New York City on a regular basis to procure multi-hundred gram and kilogram quantities of heroin, and then transported the heroin to the Eastern District of Virginia where it was processed and distributed to redistributors and users. Records also show that Cameron traveled to Washington, D.C. and Florida to obtain marijuana, and that he obtained his cocaine from dealers within the Hampton Roads area. During the course of the conspiracy, Cameron was responsible for 47.344 kilograms of heroin, 4.010 kilograms of cocaine and 48,163.99 kilograms of marijuana.

This case was investigated jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Portsmouth Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Darryl Mitchell prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

FBI Arrests Bank Robber

June 29, 2010 - Javier Angel Moreno, 41, was arrested without incident yesterday evening by the FBI at approximately 6:30 p.m. at his residence in San Elizario, Texas. Moreno, who is unemployed, was arrested in connection with the bank robbery at GECU, 8936 Alameda, El Paso, Texas on June 21, 2010.

Moreno was taken to the El Paso County Detention Facility and booked on one count of bank robbery, Title 18 USC 2113. His initial appearance will be before Federal District Judge Norbert Garney today.

The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force which includes the El Paso Police Department and the El Paso Sheriff’s Department were instrumental in the execution of Moreno’s arrest.

Federal Officials Announce the Sentencing of a Former Member of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Board of Education

June 29, 2010 - Peter J. Smith, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Janice Fedarcyk, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Troy Stemen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division; and Kathy Tighe, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General jointly announced today that Frank Pizzella, Jr., a former member of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Board of Education, was sentenced Friday by United States District Court Judge James M. Munley. Judge Munley sentenced Pizzella to a two-year term of probation, five months of home confinement, and a $10,000 fine.

In 2004, before Pizzella was elected to the Board of Education, Pizzella conspired with others to corruptly give $5,000 in cash to a member of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Board of Education in exchange for a teaching job. In September 2009, federal officials announced the charges against Pizzella.

According to U.S. Attorney Smith, to date, 30 individuals have been charged with criminal conduct since January 2009 in the ongoing investigation targeting public corruption in Luzerne County.

This case is part of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service and is being prosecuted by a team of federal prosecutors led by Senior Litigation Counsel Gordon Zubrod and includes Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Houser, Michael Consiglio, Amy Phillips John Gurganus and Criminal Division Chief Christian Fisanick. Smith praised this team of investigators and prosecutors for their tireless efforts on behalf of the people of Luzerne County.

Jury Convicts San Antonio Man of Child Pornography Charges

June 29, 2010 - United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that in San Antonio, 23-year-old Daryl Ray McNair, Jr., faces between five and 20 years in federal prison after a jury late yesterday convicted him of distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography.

Evidence presented during trial revealed that on September 9, 2009, federal agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence where they seized a computer and an external hard drive containing child pornography. A forensic analysis of the computer equipment revealed the presence of more than 7,000 images and 39 videos depicting child pornography. The investigation originated in 2008 when a federal agent in Miami, Florida, acting in an undercover capacity, accessed a secure online file sharing network which the defendant was using to distribute and receive child pornography. The federal agent downloaded numerous images of child pornography from the defendant’s shared folder. The case was transferred to San Antonio after further investigation revealed that the defendant lived in San Antonio.

Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on October 6, 2010, before United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez.

This Project Safe Childhood case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Wannarka is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Police Commander Convicted

Former Chicago Police Commander Convicted of Perjury, Obstruction of Justice Related to Torture of Suspects


June 28, 2010 - WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced that a federal jury in Chicago today convicted former Chicago Police Department (CPD) Commander Jon Burge, 60, of Apollo Beach, Fla., on perjury and obstruction charges related to his denials that he participated in the torture of suspects in police custody decades ago. The jury found that Burge lied and impeded court proceedings in November 2003 when he provided false statements in a civil lawsuit that alleged that he and others tortured and abused people in their custody.

During the trial, several victims testified that they had been tortured by Burge and other officers who worked for him in area two of the CPD. Various witnesses testified that the officers administered electric shocks to their genitals, suffocated them with typewriter covers, threatened them with loaded guns and burned them on radiators. The jury found that Burge had lied under oath when he claimed that he did not participate in any of these acts of torture, and that he was unaware of any other officers having done so.

"For decades, Jon Burge’s horrific actions ran contrary to all that our justice system stands for. Burge betrayed the public trust, first by abusing suspects in his custody, and then by lying under oath to cover up what he and other officers had done. The jury’s verdict allows those harmed by his actions to finally start the healing process, " said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Civil Rights Division will aggressively prosecute any officer who violates the Constitution."

"At long last, a measure of justice was delivered today when a jury returned a verdict of guilty against Jon Burge on obstruction of justice and perjury. The verdict necessarily found that torture and abuse occurred in police districts in the city of Chicago in the 1980s. It’s disgraceful that torture happened and sad that it took so long to bring Burge to justice, and the only thing that would have been worse is if this measure of justice never happened," said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Burge faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count of obstruction of justice and five years in prison for perjury.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Weisman and April Perry and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Betsy Biffl.

Virginia Resident Sentenced to 37 Months in Prison for Bribing Foreign Government Officials

June 28, 2010 - WASHINGTON—John Webster Warwick, a Virginia Beach, Virginia resident, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia to 37 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to pay bribes to former Panamanian government officials to secure maritime contracts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia; Assistant Director in Charge Shawn Henry of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Michael Morehart of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and Special Agent in Charge John P. Torres of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Washington office.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson also sentenced Warwick to two years of supervised release following his prison term. In addition, Warwick forfeited $331,000 in proceeds of the crime.

On Feb. 10, 2010, Warwick, 64, pleaded guilty to a one-count indictment charging him with conspiring to make corrupt payments to foreign government officials for the purpose of securing business for Ports Engineering Consultants Corporation (PECC) in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Under the FCPA, it is a crime to pay or offer to pay anything of value to a foreign government official in order to obtain or retain business.

According to court documents, Warwick, Charles Jumet and others conspired to pay money secretly to Panamanian government officials for awarding contracts to PECC to maintain lighthouses and buoys along Panama’s waterway. In December 1997, the Panamanian government awarded PECC a no-bid 20-year concession. Upon receipt of the concession, Warwick, Jumet and others authorized corrupt payments to be made to the Panamanian government officials. In total, Warwick, Jumet and others caused corrupt payments of more than $200,000 to be paid to the Panamanian government officials.

In a related case, Jumet pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with conspiring to make corrupt payments to foreign government officials for the purpose of securing business for PECC and making a false statement. On April 19, 2010, Jumet was sentenced to 87 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $15,000.

This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Rina Tucker Harris of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Dry of the Eastern District of Virginia. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, and the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

FBI Arrests Bank Robber and Seeks Accomplice

June 28, 2010 - Kelvin Gibson, age 30, was arrested on Friday, June 25, 2010 in Dania Beach, Florida by the FBI. Gibson has been charged with robbing Wachovia Bank in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The FBI is now seeking information regarding his accomplice who has not yet been apprehended.

According to the complaint affidavit, on June 21, 2010, defendant Gibson and a second individual robbed the Wachovia Bank located at 1201 East Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Hallandale Beach, Florida. Gibson and the second robber walked into the bank carrying handguns and wearing dark blue shirts, jeans, masks, and white sneakers. The second robber pointed his firearm at customers and employees in the lobby, while Gibson jumped the teller counter. While vaulting the counter, a magazine fell out of Gibson’s handgun, which was later recovered by law enforcement officers. Gibson then pointed the gun at tellers and demanded money. The pair left with approximately $25,000.

The next day, law enforcement received a tip that Gibson was one of the bank robbers. Based on witness interviews and surveillance video, Gibson was seen shortly after the robbery scaling a fence in the back of his residence in Dania Beach, Florida, wearing a dark blue shirt, jeans, and white tennis shoes. In addition, a Hallandale Police Department Crime Scene Technician matched a fingerprint found on the magazine left at the bank with Gibson’s left ring finger fingerprint.

Gibson will make his initial appearance in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow.

If anyone has information regarding the identity and/or location of the second bank robber, they are urged to call the FBI at (305) 944-9101.

This case is being worked jointly with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Hallandale Beach Police Department.

A Complaint is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Torrence Kyere McGee Sentenced in U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 25, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, TORRENCE KYERE McGEE, a resident of North Dakota and Louisiana, appeared for sentencing. McGEE was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 20 months, consecutive to another sentence in Louisiana
Special Assessment: $200
Supervised Release: six years
McGEE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to distribution of cocaine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

In 2008 and 2009, McGEE was involved in distribution of cocaine in the Billings area.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that McGEE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, McGEE does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.

Otis Taylor Yellow Mule Sentenced in U.S. District Court

June 28, 2010 - The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 25, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, OTIS TAYLOR YELLOW MULE, a 23-year-old resident of Wyola, appeared for sentencing. YELLOW MULE was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 78 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: three years
YELLOW MULE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to robbery.

During the afternoon of December 12, 2009, YELLOW MULE and P.B., knocked on the door of the victim's house in Wyola, which is within the boundaries of the Crow Indian Reservation, wanting to come inside. The victim refused to let them into her house, so YELLOW MULE sprayed the victim with pepper spray while P.B. pushed her way into the victim's house. The victim fled out the back door of her house and ran to the home of a neighbor.

YELLOW MULE and P.B. stole the victim's purse and a box containing prescription medications. They then drove away from the victim's house, past the neighbor's house, and yelled obscenities as they drove by.

YELLOW MULE and P.B. were arrested that same day by Bureau of Indian Affairs police. The police recovered a pepper spray canister. Items belonging to the victim were subsequently recovered from the home of P.B.'s mother, where YELLOW MULE and P.B. stopped immediately after the robbery. Finally, ATM transaction records and witnesses confirmed that YELLOW MULE attempted to use the victim's debit card to withdraw cash from her bank account at a gas station in Lodge Grass shortly after the robbery. The debit card was found in the car that YELLOW MULE and P.B. were driving prior to their arrest.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that YELLOW MULE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, YELLOW MULE does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Des Moines Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Robberies

June 28, 2010 - Ray Edward Lee, 51, of Des Moines, Iowa, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of bank robbery in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on June 24, 2010, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. In a plea proceeding before United States Judge James E. Gritzner, Lee pleaded guilty to robbing the U.S.Bank, Skywalk Branch, Des Moines, on October 27, 2009, and the U.S. Bank, Euclid Bank, Euclid Branch , Des Moines, on October 28, 2007.

According to the written plea agreement, Lee used a note in both banks which stated “I am armed”, even though he did not have a firearm. The plea provides that by taking the currency from the banks under such circumstances, Lee committed the robberies by force, violence, and intimidation.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 23, 2010, before Judge Gritzner. Lee and the government have agreed upon a sentence of twenty years which still requires approval of the Court. Lee is also subject to a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release after service of the sentence of imprisonment imposed, and an assessment of $200 to the Crime Victims Fund.

This case was investigated by the Des Moines Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Baltimore Man Seeking to Have Sex with a 12 Year Old Girl Sentenced to Over 8 Years in Prison for Transportation of Child Pornography

June 28, 2010 - BALTIMORE, MD—U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Shawn Ryan Walker, age 27, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 97 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for transportation of child pornography. Judge Blake also ordered that Walker must register as a sex offender in any location where he resides, works and goes to school.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Walker’s plea agreement, during an undercover operation a Baltimore County Police Detective noticed a posting by Walker on Craigslist, which indicated Walker’s desire to have sexual contact with “a young girl or young boy” and included a picture of a penis. Walker exchanged text messages and e-mails with the undercover detective, as Walker sought to finalize arrangements to have sex with a 12 year old girl. With the arrangements seemingly finalized, Walker went to the hotel room where he was to meet the girl, got undressed and got into the bed. He was then arrested. The next day, a search warrant was executed at Walker’s home and a forensic examination of a computer hard drive discovered 37 videos and images documenting the sexual abuse of minors. The images included prepubescent minors and sadistic, masochistic and other depictions of violence.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland’s program are available at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who prosecuted the case.

Three Indictments Announced Charging 14 With Conspiracy, Gun Crimes and Drug Trafficking Near the “Tot Lot” Playground in Cincinnati’s West End

June 28, 2010 - CINCINNATI — Teams of federal, state and local law enforcement agents today began arresting 14 people accused in three federal indictments charging them with conspiracy, trafficking cocaine and crack cocaine within 1000 feet of a child’s playground, and illegal firearms sales.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Christopher Sadowski, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas H. Streicher, Jr., announced the arrests today. A federal grand jury here returned the indictments on June 16. They were unsealed following the arrests.

A list of those charged is attached. All defendants will appear in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati for initial appearances on the charges.

The charges grew out of an investigation connected with the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati. The federal charges are based on evidence gathered during an 18-month investigation by ATF, Cincinnati Police, the Hamilton County Probation Department, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. In addition to today’s federal indictments, Mr. Deters announced state charges against other people arising out of the same investigation.

“The 14 people named in these three federal indictments face lengthy terms in federal prison if convicted,” Stewart said. “These charges allege an ongoing pattern of drug trafficking and violence in the affected neighborhoods.”

The indictments unsealed today allege that the defendants conspired to possess and distribute quantities of crack cocaine and sold it within 1,000 feet of a playground in the West End known as the Tot Lot. The charges cover alleged criminal activity dating back to February, 2009.

Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by ATF agents with officers from the Cincinnati Police District One Violent Crime Squad, Cincinnati Police Homicide Unit, Intelligence Unit and Vortex Unit, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Karl P. Kadon and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Tierney, who are prosecuting the case.

He also acknowledged the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST) in making the arrests.

An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until and unless the government proves their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

Fire at Clothes Warehouse Intentionally Set

June 28, 2010 - LAREDO, Texas — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Houston Field Division Special Agent in Charge Dewey Webb and Laredo Fire Chief Steve Landin announced today the completion of the on-scene investigation of the June 20, 2010 fire that completely destroyed Jerry’s Ropa Usada. They jointly announced that the blaze is ruled arson but were unable to release additional details as the investigation is on-going.

The ATF National Response Team (NRT) and the Laredo Fire Department completed their scene work yesterday. The investigators conducted in excess of 70 interviews and fully processed the scene. The information developed was reviewed and analyzed to assist in determining the cause and origin of the fire.

“Local ATF special agents will continue to work in partnership on the investigation with the Laredo Fire Department until the individual(s) responsible are brought to justice” said Webb.

ATF developed the NRT to assist federal, state, and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant arson and explosives incidents. The NRT consists of three teams organized geographically to cover the United States. Each team can respond within 24 hours to assist state and local law enforcement/fire service personnel in onsite investigations.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating major fires and crimes of arson. More information on ATF and its programs is available at http://www.atf.gov/.

Friday, June 25, 2010

River Ridge Man Indicted for Production, Receipt, and Possession of Child Pornography

NEW ORLEANS—CHRISTOPHER SOMMERS, 28, of River Ridge, Louisiana, was indicted today by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in New Orleans, for crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.

According to today’s indictment and documents filed in federal court earlier this week, SOMMERS produced sexually explicit images involving the use of a toddler. SOMMERS was also indicted for receiving and possessing images of child pornography.

If convicted, SOMMERS faces a maximum penalty of thirty (30) years with a mandatory minimum of fifteen (15) years' imprisonment as to Count 1; a maximum penalty of twenty (20) years with a mandatory minimum of five (5) years' imprisonment as to Count 2; a maximum penalty of ten (10) years' imprisonment as to Count 3, followed by up to a lifetime term of supervised release; a $250,000.00 fine; and SOMMERS can be required to register as a sex offender.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

U.S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.

Four Individuals Indicted for Conspiracy and Bank Robbery Committed in Edgard, Louisiana

June 25, 2010 NEW ORLEANS—COREY RICHARDSON, age 36, ERROL HARRIS, age 27, VINCENT BEVERLY, age 21, and DORIYAH JORDAN, age 20, all residents of New Orleans, Louisiana, were charged yesterday in a three-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury with conspiracy and bank robbery, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.

According to the indictment, on approximately May 4,2010, RICHARDSHON, HARRIS, BEVERLY, and JORDAN travelled to Edgard to survey the Capital One Bank located on Highway 18. RICHARDSON and HARRIS then entered the bank and while HARRIS pointed a handgun at a bank employee, RICHARDSON jumped over the bank teller counter and removed money from the bank teller drawers. Subsequently, JORDAN and BEVERLY assisted in the attempted escape from the scene.

If convicted, RICHARDSON and HARRIS face a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, a fine of $250,000.00, and three (3) years of supervised release; BEVERLY and JORDAN face a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a fine of $250,000, and three (3) years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. John’s the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, and St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Elizabeth Privitera.

Former Office Manager Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

June 25, 2010 - NEW ORLEANS—PATRICIA LANDRY, age 59, a resident of Reserve, Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court yesterday before U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon to a federal felony involving embezzlement from a health care benefit plan operated by a local dermatologist, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten today.

According to court documents, LANDRY was employed as an office manager at a medical practice in New Orleans, Louisiana, owned and operated by a local dermatologist. LANDRY was charged with routinely keeping cash payments, instead of depositing them into the account of the dermatologist, and made electronic payments on her various credit card accounts by taking the funds deposited into the account of the dermatologist. LANDRY admitted that she took approximately $551,355 of health care benefit plan funds in the embezzlement scheme.

LANDRY faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a $250,000 fine, and a three (3)-year term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for September 23, 2010.

The case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Patrice Harris Sullivan, the Health Care Fraud Coordinator in the Financial Crimes Unit.

Robbery of 1st Bank in Denver

June 25, 2010 - The Denver Police Department (DPD) and the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force (RMSSTF) responded to a bank robbery which occurred on

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at approximately 3:30 p.m. at the 1st Bank, 8901 E. Hampden Ave., Denver, Colorado 80231.

This bank robber is believed to be responsible for a total of five bank robberies. The RMSSTF has dubbed this bank robber as the "Formerly Known as the Perennial Bandit Bandit." Since this is his fifth robbery his nickname needed to be amended because he has broken has once a year robbery pattern. The below photographs provide an excellent image of the assailant, who is believed to be armed and dangerous.

His age appears to be late teens to early twenties, 6'0 - 6'1, medium build, with blonde hair.

Bank robbery is punishable by a 20-year prison sentence for each offense and increases if a dangerous weapon is used in the commission of the crime.

The FBI continues to provide financial institutions with the best practices for security to make them less vulnerable to robberies.

If anyone has any information on the bank robbery above, or any bank robbery, please call the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force at 303-629-7171; or, you can remain anonymous and earn up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) by calling CRIMESTOPPERS at 720-913-STOP (7867).

FBI Seeks Public’s Assistance to Identify the “Geezer Bandit,” Believed to be Responsible for 11 Bank Robberies

FBI Seeks Public’s Assistance to Identify the “Geezer Bandit,” Believed to be Responsible for 11 Bank Robberies


The FBI, San Diego Police Department, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the unknown male bank robber dubbed the “Geezer Bandit.” The Geezer Bandit is believed to be responsible for robbing 11 banks in San Diego County and one in Riverside County.

The latest bank robbery in the Geezer Bandit series is believed to have occurred today with the robbery of the Bank of America, 31934 Highway 79, South, Temecula, CA.

At approximately 1:14 p.m. today, an unknown male believed to be the individual dubbed the Geezer Bandit robbed the Bank of America, 31934 Highway 79, South, Temecula, CA. During today’s robbery, the robber approached the victim teller and presented a demand note for cash. The robber carried a leather case which contained a small caliber pistol that he threatened to use if the teller did not comply with his demands. After receiving a sum of money the robber walked out of the bank.

Witnesses have described the Geezer Bandit as follows:

Sex: Male
Race: White
Age: 60 – 70 years old
Height: Approximately 6’0” tall
Weight: Approximately 190 lbs.
Build: Average
Weapon: Revolver pistol

Canadian Woman Pleads Guilty to Making False Statement

June 25, 2010 - BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced that Mary Anne Catalano, 32, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to making a false statement during an immigration inspection on September 14, 2009, when she attempted to enter the United States at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York. The guilty plea was entered before United States District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The maximum penalty for Ms. Catalano’s felony offense is five years' imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul J. Campana said Ms. Catalano told Officers from the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that the medical equipment and supplies she was carrying were intended for display at a medical conference she was attending with her boss, Dr. Anthony Galea of Toronto. She later admitted that, in fact, her purpose for coming to the United States was to meet Dr. Galea and to deliver the medical equipment and supplies to him so he could perform a medical procedure on a person in the United States. Galea, 50, who is not a United States citizen, has a medical practice in Toronto and is not licensed to practice medicine in this country.

Campana said a criminal complaint against Galea, 50, was filed in U.S. District Court in Buffalo on May 18, 2010, in a case arising from this investigation. Galea is charged in that complaint with making false statements to federal officials, smuggling, unlawful distribution of human growth hormone (HGH), introducing an unapproved drug (actovegin) into interstate commerce, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

In the plea agreement signed today by Ms. Catalano, she has agreed to cooperate in the investigation of Galea. Campana said Ms. Catalano’s cooperation began early in the investigation when, after her inspection was completed on September 14, 2009, she admitted to agents from ICE and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that she in fact was coming to the United States to deliver medical items to Galea to enable him to perform medical services in this country. U.S. Attorney Hochul said the FBI joined the investigation shortly after the events at the border were concluded.

Ms. Catalano said in her plea agreement that Galea told her to tell U.S. border officials that she and Galea were coming to the United States only to attend lectures, but that in fact, when she and Galea came to the United States, Galea provided medical treatments to athletes in different cities here. The amount of billings generated as a result of Galea’s work in the United States while Ms. Catalano worked for him exceeded $200,000.

Ms. Catalano also admitted in her plea agreement that on August 27, 2009, at Galea’s request and at his direction, she entered the United States and delivered a product containing human growth hormone for use by two persons in the United States.

As United States Attorney Hochul stated: "The threats which appear at our borders on virtually a daily basis, come in many different forms. We remain vigilant in our effort to preserve the integrity of our nation's borders, and in so doing, to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of all who live and work in our great country."

U.S. Attorney Hochul said the guilty plea was the result of an investigation by special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Lev Kubiak; Department of Homeland Security, Office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Port Director Joseph J. Wilson; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent In-Charge James Robertson; and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent In-Charge Mark Dragonetti.

Judge Arcara scheduled sentencing for October 14, 2010 at 12:30 p.m. Ms. Catalano is released on a $10,000 unsecured bond pending sentencing.

Beaver County Man Charged with Traveling to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

June 25, 2010 - Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, June 23, 2010, that on June 15, 2010, a resident of Clinton, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct.

The one-count indictment named Sherwood Stevenson, age 71, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, in December 2009, Stevenson traveled with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with another person.

Assistant United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of thirty (30) years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Johnston City Man Sentenced on Child Pornography Offense

A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on June 14, 2010, DAVID ALAN DONALDSON, age 47, of Johnston City, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in Benton, Illinois. DONALDSON was sentenced to 120 months' imprisonment, 15 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution.

DONALDSON had previously pleaded guilty to a one-count federal Indictment charging him with possession of child pornography that has been mailed, or shipped, or transported in interstate commerce.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Southern Illinois Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Crimes Against Children Task Force, and a number of state and local law enforcement agencies. This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, in which the United States Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with federal and state law enforcement authorities, is actively investigating and prosecuting individuals who produce, distribute, or possess child pornography. Anyone with information concerning the use of the Internet for the purposes of possessing, producing, or trafficking in child pornography is encouraged to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation or their local police department.

The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney George A. Norwood for prosecution.

Anesthesiologist Sentenced on Health Care Fraud Charge

June 25, 2010 - BOSTON, MA—The former chief of the acute pain clinic at Bay State Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts was sentenced today in federal court for health care fraud.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the Food & Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations; Susan J. Waddell, Special Agent in Charge of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General—Office of Investigations; and James C. Burrell, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Boston Field Division, announced today that SCOTT REUBEN, 51, of Longmeadow, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ponsor to six months' imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, a $5,000 fine, restitution of $361,932 and forfeiture of $50,000. REUBEN pleaded guilty to engaging in health care fraud on February 22, 2010.

At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the court that had the case proceeded to trial, the government’s evidence would have proven that REUBEN obtained research grants from pharmaceutical companies for the purpose of performing research on pain management, including one from Pfizer in 2005 regarding the use of multi-modal analgesia for patients having and recovering from anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery. Despite entering into contracts by which pharmaceutical companies funded his research and provided free drug for the studies, REUBEN did not actually perform certain studies, including one funded by Pfizer on the topic of “Perioperative Administration of Celecoxib as a Component of Multimodal Analgesia for Outpatient Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery.” However, REUBEN caused medical journals, including Anesthesia and Analgesia to publish articles touting his multi-modal analgesia therapy despite knowing that he had falsified the research.

The case was investigated by the Food & Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General-Office of Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sternberg of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.

Former Brocade CEO Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

Defendant Ordered to Surrender on September 10, 2010

June 25, 2010 - SAN FRANCISCO—Gregory L. Reyes, former Chief Executive Officer of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. in San Jose, Calif., was sentenced today to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $15 million and a special assessment of $900, Acting United States Attorney Brian Stretch announced.

The Hon. Charles R. Breyer imposed the sentence. Judge Breyer also granted the government’s detention motion and ordered Reyes to surrender to the United States Marshal on Sept. 10, 2010.

The sentence followed Reyes’s March 26, 2010, conviction by a federal jury on four counts of securities fraud, four counts of lying to accountants and one count of false books and records. The jury found that Reyes had backdated stock option grants to falsely inflate earnings in the financial statements Brocade filed with the SEC. In its sentencing memorandum, the United States recommended a sentence of 37 months and a fine of $33 million.

Evidence at trial showed that Reyes falsified stock options grants at Brocade by pretending a meeting to grant the options had taken place on a date earlier than it in fact occurred and backdated the stock option grants to hide that he was looking back and selecting lower, more favorable stock prices. By backdating the options grants, Reyes made it falsely appear that the grants were made at fair market value with no compensation expense when in fact the grants had a built-in profit for which Brocade should have recognized a compensation expense. As a result of this fraud, Reyes granted millions of options that were in-the-money and had better prices than the outside investing public paid. At trial, the government’s expert, Gerald Fujimoto of Deloitte LLP, estimated the total amount of the fraud on the investing public at approximately $949,538,000.

Reyes, 47, of Saratoga, Calif., was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 10, 2006. The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b), 78ff and 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5 (securities fraud); 15 U.S.C. § 78ff and 17 C.F.R. § 240.13b2-2 (false statement to accountants); and 15 U.S.C. §§ 78m(b)(2)(A), 78 m(b)(5) and 78ff (false books and records) is 20 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine.

At trial, First Assistant United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Assistant United States Attorney Adam A. Reeves prosecuted the case with the assistance of Paralegal Specialist Alycee Lane and Legal Assistant Jennifer Hiwa. The prosecution is the result of a five year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Quintin Peterson Wins 1st Place in his Category in PSWA’s 2010 Writing Competition

June 25, 2010 - The Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) held its annual conference at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from June 17-20, 2010. The annual conference is open to anyone writing crime and mystery fiction or non-fiction, technical writing for public safety magazines in print or online, or anyone interested in writing. On Sunday, June 20th, the winners of PSWA’s 2010 Writing Competition were announced at an award luncheon. Retired MPDC Officer Quintin Peterson took 1st Place in the Short-Story Published category for Cold as Ice, which appeared in the crime fiction anthology D.C. Noir, edited by George Pelecanos.

All winners receive plaques or certificates and publicity and recognition via a wide variety of public safety-related publications.

Founded in 1997 as the Police Writers Club, the PSWA is open to both new and experienced, published and not yet published writers. Members include police officers, civilian police personnel, firefighters, fire support personnel, emergency personnel, security personnel and others in the public safety field. Also represented are those who write about public safety including mystery writers, magazine writers, journalists and those who are simply interested in the genre. The association also welcomes publishers, editors, agents and others who help writers realize their writing goals.

Click for more on Quintin Peterson

Sacramento Woman Sentenced to 2 ½ Years in Prison for Credit Card Fraud

June 25, 2010 - SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Stephanie Fahlgren, 33, of Sacramento, to two years and six months in federal prison for access device fraud. She pleaded guilty on January 28, 2010.

This case was the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Davis Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Robin R. Taylor is prosecuting the case.

According to court documents, from June 2008 through November 2008, Fahlgren used her computer to obtain personal and financial information relating to more than 114 victims. She obtained the information by accessing a computer database of a national life insurance company without authorization. This database contained the medical and personal data of prospective life insurance purchasers. Using this information, Fahlgren compiled profiles of the victims and opened lines of credit and credit cards their names. She then made purchases without the consent of the victims, often ordering merchandise to be shipped to an address in Sacramento or picked it up at retail locations.

In issuing the sentence, Judge England noted the devastating effect of identity fraud on the victims and that the crime is prolific. Fahlgren is scheduled to appear in court on July 29, 2010, for the court to determine the amount of restitution owed to the fraud victims.

Second Superseding Indictment Handed Down in Plot to Overthrow the Government of Laos

Conspirators Planned to Arm Hmong Insurgency and Procure Mercenaries

June 25, 2010 - SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that a federal grand jury in Sacramento issued a five-count second superseding indictment in United States v. Harrison Jack, et al., the pending prosecution related to the alleged 2006-2007 plot by various individuals to overthrow the government of Laos.

This case has been the result of an extensive investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Prosecuting the case are Assistant United States Attorneys S. Robert Tice-Raskin, Ellen Endrizzi, Jill Thomas, Jared Dolan, as well as Trial Attorneys Robert Wallace and Heather Schmidt of the National Security Division at the United States Department of Justice.

The second superseding indictment names the same 12 defendants presently under indictment: Harrison Jack, 63, of Woodland; Lo Cha Thao, 37, of Clovis; Lo Thao, 66, of Sacramento; Youa True Vang, 73, of Sanger; Hue Vang, 41, Fresno; Chong Vang Thao, 57, of Fresno; Seng Vue, 71, of Fresno; Chue Lo, 62, of Stockton; Nhia Kao Vang, 51, of Rancho Cordova; David Vang, 51, of Fresno; Jerry Vang, 59, of Stockton; and Thomas Vang, 48, of Stockton.

The second superseding indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to acquire and furnish military arms, munitions, materiel, personnel, and money to insurgents in Laos to conduct military operations against the government of Laos and to overthrow the government. The indictment outlines a series of meetings with an undercover ATF agent and conversations among the defendants during which they allegedly outlined plans to acquire and ship arms to insurgents in Laos for use against the current government and to procure mercenaries to initiate targeted bombings of government buildings in the Lao capital, all as part of an effort to cause a coup.

All defendants are charged with:

• conspiring to violate the Neutrality Act; to receive, possess and transfer machine guns and destructive devices; and to export listed defense items without a license from the

• U.S. Department of State (count one);

• conspiring to kill, maim and injure persons and to damage property in a foreign country (count two);

• conspiring to receive and transport explosives in interstate and foreign commerce (count four).

• violating the Neutrality Act (count five).

Additionally, defendants Harrison Jack, Lo Cha Thao, Lo Thao, Hue Vang, Chong Yang Thao, Che Lo, Youa True Vang, Nhia Kao Vang, and Jerry Yang are charged with conspiring to receive and possess missile systems designed to destroy aircraft (Stinger missiles) (count three).

The second superseding indictment charges the same defendants with the same crimes as the first superseding indictment, but adds a limited number of modified allegations. For example, the first superseding indictment alleged in count one that one of the objects of the conspiracy was to “acquire military arms, munitions, materiel, personnel, and money in the United States” and “to transfer and furnish said military arms, munitions, materiel, personnel, and money to insurgents in Laos to conduct military operations against the government of Laos” or to “overthrow the government of Laos.” The second superseding indictment realleges these objects, but also makes similar allegations when describing the manner and means of the conspiracy.

All of the defendants have been released from custody on bail and other conditions of supervision. A hearing has been scheduled for October 15, 2010, in connection with a number of defense motions. If convicted, they face a potential sentence of life in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CBP Officers Seize More Than $400,000 in Cocaine at Brownsville Port of Entry

Brownsville, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Gateway International Bridge discovered cocaine valued at approximately $451,200 concealed within a Nissan pickup.

On Tuesday, June 22, CBP officers at the Gateway International Bridge came in contact with a male driving a 1992 Nissan pickup. The driver was identified as a 23-year-old male Mexican citizen who resides in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. A primary CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle to secondary for further inspection.

CBP officers in the secondary inspection area determined the red Nissan pickup had six packages concealed within the rear area of the vehicle. CBP officers removed six packages from the vehicle which had a combined total weight of 6.38 kilograms, or 14.1 pounds, of cocaine.

The cocaine from this seizure has an estimated street value of approximately $451,200. CBP officers turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for further investigation. CBP officers seized the narcotics and the vehicle.

“Outstanding work by Brownsville’s CBP officers has prevented these drugs from being smuggled into the country. I applaud our officers for their work ethic and their vigilance in this enforcement action,” said Michael Freeman, CBP port director for the Brownsville port of entry.

Mobile, Alabama, Man Indicted on Federal Civil Rights and Weapons Charges Related to Desecration of Synagogue

June 24, 2010 - WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced that a federal grand jury in Mobile, Ala., has returned a three-count indictment charging Thomas Hayward Lewis, 24, of Mobile, with violating and conspiring to violate the civil rights of congregants of the Congregation Tree of Life Messianic Synagogue in Mobile, as well as possession of an unregistered firearm.

The indictment alleges that on or about the night of Jan. 3, 2009, Lewis spray painted the Tree of Life Synagogue with anti-Semitic graffiti and neo-Nazi markings. The indictment further alleges that prior to the incident, Lewis and a co-conspirator, Christian Rodney Ice, conspired to deface and desecrate the synagogue. Lewis’s co-conspirator has already pleaded guilty in federal court in Mobile to one count of violating the Church Arson Act by placing threatening graffiti and neo-Nazi markings on the Congregation Tree of Life Messianic Synagogue.

"Religious freedom is a basic civil right, and threats against religious institutions and their members will not be tolerated in this country," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "This case should send a clear message to others who would carry out similar criminal acts that we will vigorously pursue all responsible parties and all will be held accountable for their actions."

"The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to the protection of our citizens’ civil rights. The United States Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion is one of our citizen’s most sacred civil rights," said U.S. Attorney Kenyen R. Brown for the Southern District of Alabama.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the civil rights charges.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the city of Mobile, Ala., Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney George May of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Donald Tunnage of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

THE DISASTER SQUAD

Serving in the Worst of Times

06/24/10 - The Disaster Squad helps ID victims through fingerprints, palm prints, and even footprints.

When planes crash or natural disasters strike or terrorists attack, it’s often incredibly difficult to identify the remains of the victims. It requires special forensic expertise—as well as the ability to endure tough conditions and gut-wrenching scenes.

But it’s work that needs to be done—not only to help solve cases and address issues like insurance payments and settlement of estates, but just as importantly, to satisfy the very human need that families have to know the fate of their loved ones, to lay them to rest, and to gain some sense of closure.

It’s for all these reasons that we have a “Disaster Squad”—a team of highly-trained forensic examiners who are deployed worldwide at a moment’s notice to identify victims of mass fatality incidents. In some cases, their efforts support FBI investigations, but many times these professionals are simply providing a humanitarian service when asked for identification help by colleagues around the world.

The squad came into being seven decades ago—in the summer of 1940—when FBI agents and fingerprint experts were called to the site of a plane crash in a Virginia cornfield that killed all 25 on board, including two Bureau employees. When they arrived, our personnel found total chaos—no one seemed to know what to do or how to identify the victims. So we offered our fingerprint expertise and positively identified eight bodies—one of which had initially been misidentified through visual inspection. The episode made the Bureau realize the need for the scientific determination of identity at scenes of disaster, so we established a team of experts known as the Disaster Squad.

Today’s team is more capable than ever, using advanced scientific techniques and new technologies. The squad consists of latent print examiners from the FBI Laboratory who are experts in the field of friction ridge analysis.

Members of the Disaster Squad—who are sent out on a rotating basis, with team size determined by the severity of the incident—help identity victims through fingerprints, palm prints, and sometimes even footprints.

Once prints have been recovered from the deceased, examiners—working on site—can use mobile technology developed by the Bureau to search postmortem prints against the approximately 80 million antemortem prints housed in the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, maintained by our Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia.

If no identification is made, recovered prints can also be submitted to other federal, state, and local agencies for automated searches in additional fingerprint databases.

Requests for Disaster Squad assistance come from all over: FBI field offices, police departments, local medical examiners or coroners, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Department of Health and Human Services, for example. In the event of a disaster overseas, a foreign government can request our help through the U.S. State Department.

How can law enforcement or government officials request such assistance? Contact our Latent Print Support Unit at the FBI Laboratory, 2501 Investigation Parkway, Quantico, VA, 22135; or phone (703) 632-8443); or fax (703) 632-7397).

In the end, it’s the human touch that’s so important to the squad members' mission. Victims' fingerprint and footprint impressions are still recovered by human hands. And the men and women of the FBI Disaster Squad are proud to be those hands.

Reward Offered for Bank Robber

FBI Special Agent in Charge David Cuthbertson announced today that Wells Fargo is offering a reward for information related to the city’s fourth bank robbery this year.

Wells Fargo is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for original information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the individual who robbed the Wells Fargo bank located at 500 North Zaragoza in El Paso, Texas on March 17, 2010.

Crime Stoppers of El Paso is also offering an additional $1000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the individual who robbed the aforementioned Wells Fargo bank.

The subject, who walked into the bank and made a verbal request to the teller demanding money, is described as a Hispanic male, light complexion, in his late 20s or early 30s, approximately 5’5”-5’6” tall, slim build, 5 o’clock shadow, hairy arms, brown eyes, wearing a blue baseball hat with a white star on the front, white shirt with “Akuma” on front, light blue jeans, and white shoes.

Per Wells Fargo, verification that original information led to the identification, arrest, and conviction is provided to Wells Fargo by the primary investigating law enforcement agency, which also recommends the amount to be paid. In most cases, a reward offer is valid up to 12 months after the date a crime has been committed. When a case involves multiple verified informants, rewards are shared.

This case is being worked by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes the El Paso Police Department and El Paso Sheriff’s Department. If anyone was in the vicinity of this bank, located near North Loop Drive and Zaragoza Road, and has information about this robbery, please call the FBI at 915-832-5000.

Taunton Man Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI

June 24, 2010 - BOSTON, MA—A former Hanover man was convicted today in federal court of making false statements to a federal agency about his supposed victimization in a mortgage fraud scheme.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; James C. Burrell, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Office; and Chief Walter Sweeney of the Hanover Police Department announced today that PAUL L. PLAHN, 43, of Taunton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to one count of making materially false statements to a federal agency.

At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the government’s evidence would have proven that PLAHN developed an elaborate scheme to deceive his wife and extended family about their deteriorating financial status and avoid losing their Hanover house in foreclosure. In April 2008, PLAHN told an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that he was a victim of unscrupulous mortgage lenders and foreclosure rescue services. Among other things, PLAHN told the agent that he was assisting in a “sting” operation being conducted by the Massachusetts State Police investigating mortgage fraud and provided the agent with a letter on Massachusetts State Police letterhead thanking PLAHN for his efforts. In fact, there was no sting operation and PLAHN had fabricated the letter.

Judge Saris scheduled sentencing for Sept. 22. PLAHN faces up to five years' imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $ 250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hanover Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra S. Bower of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

Calhoun County Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography

June 24, 2010 - GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Bradley Dean Buehrer, 30, of Marshall, Michigan, pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting a child, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. Buehrer pleaded guilty to taking sexually explicit pictures as he sexually assaulted a 2-year-old girl. The assault occurred back in September 30, 2005, in Buehrer’s former residence in Jonesville, Michigan. The pictures were not discovered until April 2010, after Buehrer’s girlfriend discovered and reported the pictures to law enforcement authorities. Buehrer was arrested on May 13, 2010, and has remained in custody.

Sentencing for Buehrer is scheduled for September 28, 2010, and will be before the Honorable Robert Holmes Bell, U.S. District Court Judge. At sentencing, the defendant will be facing a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and maximum of 30 years in prison, a lifetime term of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, and federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The investigation of this matter was conducted by the FBI, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, and Marshall Police Department, with the assistance of the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Mekaru.

Queen City Man Sentenced for Four Bank Robberies and Check Fraud

June 24, 2010 - CONCORD, NH—Richard Joseph Perry was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Steven J. McAuliffe to a term of 92 months of incarceration for a series of four bank robberies, including two in Manchester, N.H., and for a check forging scheme, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas. Perry previously had pleaded guilty to four counts of bank robbery and, in connection with the forgery scheme, one count of bank fraud. Perry, age 36, resided in Manchester before his arrest on August 20, 2009, on related charges.

In prior proceedings, Perry admitted that he committed four bank robberies on the following dates at the following bank branches: (1) on July 22, 2009, a branch of Citizen’s Bank at 365 Lincoln Street, Manchester, N.H.; (2) on August 6, 2009, a branch of Citizen’s Bank in Wareham, Massachusetts; (3) on August 13, 2009, a branch of Citizen’s Bank in Hyannis, Massachusetts; and (4) on August 18, 2009, a branch of TD Bank at 300 Franklin Street, Manchester, N.H. Perry acknowledged that, during each robbery, he displayed to a bank teller a note demanding money. In each instance, according to Perry’s admissions, the teller complied, and Perry fled with the money.

During prior proceedings, Perry also admitted to a scheme to defraud TD Bank and a relative. Specifically, Perry acknowledged that he stole blank checks from a relative. He further acknowledged that he made those checks—drawn on his relative’s account at TD Bank—payable to a friend, forging his relative’s signature. Perry admitted that he then induced his friend to cash the forged checks and turn the proceeds from those transactions over to Perry, who used them for his own personal benefit.

In addition to imposing the 92 months of incarceration, Chief Judge McAuliffe ordered Perry to make full restitution to the banks he robbed and to the relative he defrauded and imposed a term of supervised release of five years. During his term of supervised release, Perry will be required to abide by certain conditions established by the court, including satisfying his restitution obligations. If Perry violates those terms of conditions, he could be returned to prison. Perry has been jailed since his arrest.

The multi-jurisdictional investigation that resulted in Perry’s prosecution was coordinated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with vital investigative contributions from the Manchester (N.H.) Police Department, as well as the Wareham (Mass.) and the Barnstable (Mass.) Police Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Morse.

Indianapolis Man Charged with Bank Robbery


June 24, 2010 - INDIANAPOLIS—Michael G. Adkins, 42, Indianapolis, Indiana, was charged late yesterday with armed bank robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence, following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indianapolis Police Department.

On September 5, 2009, at approximately 11:15 a.m., The Huntington National Bank branch on Rockville Road, Indianapolis, was robbed of over $42,000 by two men armed with handguns. According to a probable cause affidavit earlier filed in this case, Adkins allegedly posted himself at the lobby door as a lookout while the other robber jumped over the teller counter, took money from a teller drawer, and then obtained currency from the vault. While the second robber was in the vault room, Adkins purportedly grabbed an 11-year-old girl who was present in the bank with her mother and placed the girl in a headlock, pointing his handgun to her head and threatening to kill her if the bank employees did not comply.

The girl was released and both robbers ran out of the bank. They entered a gold Dodge Intrepid automobile which had been backed into a parking lot space at the bank. As they pulled away, a bank customer recorded the license plate number and notified police. That car had been reported stolen two days before the robbery.

Less than 20 minutes later, officers located the car in a carport at an Indianapolis apartment complex. Officers observed gray sweat pants and tennis shoes next to the car, which clothing matched that worn by one of the robbers. Adkins had allegedly been wearing those gray sweat pants.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Warden, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Adkins faces a maximum of 25 years in prison for Count 1 and not less than seven years consecutive to Count 1 for Count 2 and a $250,000 fine. The second alleged robber has not been identified and the investigation continues. An initial hearing will be scheduled before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bellevue Man Arrested on Mail and Wire Fraud Charges

June 24, 2010 - United States Attorney Deborah Gilg and Weysan Dun, Special Agent in Charge of the Omaha Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announce the following information for the attention of the media:

Event Triggering this Release

David Lane Musk was arrested without incident on June 23, 2010, in Bellevue, Nebraska, by special agents and task force members of the FBI. Musk had been indicted on wire and mail fraud charges on May 18, 2010.

According to the indictment Musk, operating under the business name “Pavilion Commercial Group,” represented to individuals and businesses seeking private equity funding for real estate development projects, that his company could perform FBI or Interpol background checks on prospective investors. Charging a fee of $600.00, Musk collected at least $170,000.00 for background checks which were never performed. Private citizens are not capable of performing FBI or Interpol background checks.

“Today’s arrest does not signify the conclusion of an investigation, but rather serves as notice that the FBI aggressively continues to pursue allegations of fraud. The public should also be aware that private citizens are not capable of performing FBI or Interpol background checks and anyone other than legitimate law enforcement officers claiming to have that ability should be brought to the attention of the FBI,” said Weysan Dun, Special Agent in Charge, Omaha FBI.

Chesterfield Mental Health Service Provider Convicted of Health Care Fraud

June 24, 2010 - RICHMOND, VA—Denise C. McCreary, 43, of Chesterfield, Va., was convicted today by a federal jury for submitting false and fraudulent claims for reimbursement to the Virginia Medicaid program. Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia; and Michael F.A. Morehart, Special Agent- in-Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after the verdict was returned.

After a two-day trial in Richmond, Virginia, a jury convicted McCreary of nine counts of health care fraud. Trial evidence established that McCreary owned and operated Camp Hope Youth Services, a Medicaid contracted provider of Intensive In-home Therapy Services for children and adolescents. Intensive In-home Therapy Services, one of the many mental health services offered by Medicaid in Virginia, are designed to assist youth and adolescents who are at risk of being removed from their homes, or are being returned to their homes after removal, because of significant mental health, behavioral, or emotional issues. Medicaid requires that Intensive In-home Therapy providers employ qualified metal health workers to provide a medically necessary service to at-risk children and adolescents.

McCreary billed Medicaid for services that were not reimbursable because the services did not address a child’s specific mental health issues, were not provided by qualified mental health workers, and were not provided to children who were in actual need of the offered services. McCreary also billed Medicaid for services that were never provided. The indictment alleges that Medicaid paid McCreary at least $601,580 that she was not entitled to receive.

At sentencing, scheduled before United States District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson for September 17, 2010, McCreary faces a maximum sentence of 10 years’ incarceration and a $250,000.00 fine on each health care fraud count.

“We view health care fraud as a very serious crime and an office priority,” said United States Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “We will aggressively investigate and prosecute health care providers who attempt to take advantage of the system.”

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia, added, “My office will not tolerate health care providers who commit fraud against the Medicaid program—the very program that the taxpayers of the commonwealth fund for some of our most vulnerable citizens. I want to personally thank the men and women of my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the FBI, and Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services for their outstanding collaboration to bring Denise McCreary to justice.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Moore and Special Assistant United States Attorney Joseph E.H. Atkinson.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Texas Man Pleads Guilty in Murder-for-Hire of Troy Couple

June 23, 2010 - A Texas man pleaded guilty today in the murder-for-hire of a Troy, Michigan couple, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.

Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Pleading guilty before Chief United States District Judge Gerald E. Rosen was Narayan Thadani, age 63, formerly of Houston, Texas.

According to the information presented to the court at the time of the guilty plea, THADANI and co-defendant Douglas Tabor arranged for Miguel Servando and Nelson Mendoza to travel from Texas to Michigan with the intent to murder Aasha and Brij Chhadbra of Troy, Michigan. Servando and Mendoza were arrested by the Taylor Police Department after a traffic stop while traveling southbound on I-75. The traffic stop led to a search of the vehicle which revealed, among other things, a diagram and address of a home in Troy, Michigan, and a copy of a passport picture of a woman. The Taylor officer requested that the Troy Police Department conduct a welfare check on the home. The Troy Police Department’s welfare check resulted in the discovery of the two victims, Brij and Asha Chhabra, who had been killed.

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade stated, “This case is a great example of the success that can be achieved when law enforcement agencies work together. Through collaboration, we are able to bring violent criminals to justice."

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Thadani will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The penalty for the charged offense is death or life imprisonment. Thadani and Tobar are currently in the custody of the United States Marshals Service. Servando and Mendoza were charged with first degree murder by the Oakland County Prosecutor's office. Servando pleaded guilty to state and federal charges, and is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison. Mendoza was found guilty after a trial on state charges, and is currently serving a life sentence in state custody.

United States Attorney Barbara McQuade praised the and hard work of the Taylor Police Department, the Troy Police Department, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Immigration Customs Enforcement for conducting an aggressive, thorough, and effective joint investigation. This multi-jurisdictional investigation serves as another example of how the public can greatly benefit from the cooperation of federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Roth and Jennifer Gorland are handling the prosecution of this case.

Police Captain Charged

NOPD Captain and Security Company Owner Charged with Wire Fraud Involving Kickback Scheme for FEMA Funds


June 23, 2010 - NEW ORLEANS—MICHAEL ROUSSEL, age 46, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana and a captain with the New Orleans Police Department, and JOSEPH BRANCH, age 37, a resident of Brownsboro, Texas and owner of Gladius, Inc., were charged in a criminal complaint with being involved in a wire fraud scheme to pay and to receive kickbacks under a contract to provide armed security guards following a hurricane, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and David Welker, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the complaint, on approximately June 14, 2010, a Confidential Witness (CW) who works in the Security Department for a large multi-national corporation (Company) located in New Orleans, Louisiana, notified the FBI that ROUSSEL contacted him and told him that he (ROUSSEL) had a friend who lived in Texas and owned a company that provided security services wherein GLADIUS would provide armed guards to the Company after a hurricane. It is alleged that ROUSELL told the CW that if the CW gave ROUSSELL’s friend a contract, ROUSSEL’s friend would “kick-back” money to both ROUSSEL and the CW.

Further according to the complaint, the CW subsequently met with ROUSSEL and BRANCH in New Orleans and during this meeting, they agreed to an hourly rate of $89.50 per hour per guard with an inflated portion of approximately $15.00 per hour, per guard. The CW, BRANCH, and ROUSSELL then agreed to split the $15.00 inflated fraudulent charge equally. On June 22, 2010, the CW, ROUSSEL, and BRANCH were scheduled to meet at the company’s offices in New Orleans, Louisiana, and sign a contract that included the inflated prices.

If convicted of the wire fraud, BRANCH and ROUSSEL face a maximum term of imprisonment of thirty (30) years maximum, a $1,000,000 fine, and a five (5) year term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Both defendants are scheduled to appear for an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Louis Moore, Jr. at 2:00 p.m. today.

U.S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the complaint is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation is being conducted by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael W. Magner and Brian J. Capitelli.

Bridgeport Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 19 Years in Federal Prison

June 23, 2010 - David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOEL SOTO, also known as “Joe Crack,” 28, formerly of Cleveland Avenue, Bridgeport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 228 months of imprisonment, followed by eight years of supervised release, for his active involvement in a Bridgeport-based narcotics trafficking ring.

This matter stems from “Operation G-Force,” a joint law enforcement investigation into Bridgeport-area narcotics trafficking headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force. The year-long investigation, which led to the federal prosecution of 46 individuals, included a seven-month court-authorized wiretap; controlled purchases of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin; search and seizure warrants, and physical surveillance.

On October 1, 2009, a jury in Bridgeport found SOTO guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

According to court documents, statements made in court and the evidence presented during the trial, from approximately January 2002 to February 2009, George Sanchez, also known as “G,” headed a large-scale cocaine and crack cocaine distribution ring operating in Bridgeport. Using the U.S. Mail, DHL, and other shipping services, Sanchez had, on average, two kilograms of cocaine shipped from Puerto Rico to various residences in Bridgeport each week. The cocaine was wrapped and secreted inside electronic devices such as VCRs, clothing, and other items. Once the packages were received in Bridgeport, Sanchez and his associates would process some of the cocaine into crack cocaine, and package the cocaine and crack cocaine for distribution to other narcotics traffickers in the Bridgeport area. Evidence collected during the course of the investigation included two kilograms of cocaine, which were seized in Puerto Rico, destined for an address in Bridgeport used frequently by Sanchez and his associates for the delivery of cocaine.

The evidence at trial demonstrated that SOTO was actively involved in distributing large quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine with Sanchez. At Sanchez’s direction, SOTO would receive kilogram-sized shipments of cocaine, convert the powder cocaine into crack cocaine, and package narcotics for wholesale distribution. Sanchez also provided large amounts of cash to SOTO so he could obtain kilograms of cocaine for the Sanchez drug ring from various suppliers. In addition, SOTO sold wholesale quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine to other drug dealers.

Sanchez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base. On May 26, 2010, Judge Hall sentenced SANCHEZ to 330 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

This matter was investigated by members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, which is composed of federal agents and state and local officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force, and the Bridgeport, Stamford, Stratford, Fairfield, Trumbull, and Norwalk Police Departments. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hal Chen and Dave Vatti.