Criminal Justice News

Monday, January 31, 2011

Reward of $20,000 Offered in “Geezer Bandit” Investigation

Latest Robbery in Goleta, California, Friday, January 28, 2011

On Friday, January 28, 2011, the bank robber dubbed the “Geezer Bandit” is believed to have robbed the Bank of America, located at 5892 Calle Real, Goleta, California. The “Geezer Bandit” is now believed to be responsible for robbing 13 banks during the period, August 28, 2009 through January 28, 2011.

The latest robbery attributed to the “Geezer Bandit” occurred on Friday, January 28, 2011, at approximately 5:53 p.m., at the Bank of America, located at 5892 Calle Real, Goleta, California. During this robbery the “Geezer Bandit” reportedly threatened the victim teller with a weapon and demanded money. The teller complied with his demand and provided him with a sum of money.

Since August 2009, the FBI, San Diego Police Department (SDPD), San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and other law enforcement agencies have sought the public’s help in identifying the “Geezer Bandit.” A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the “Geezer Bandit.”

Witnesses from previous robberies have described the “Geezer Bandit” as follows:
Sex: Male
Race: White
Age: 60 - 70 years old
Height: Approximately 5’10” to 6’0” tall
Weight: Approximately 190 to 200 lbs.
Build: Average
Clothing: Navy-colored blazer, navy or black-colored baseball cap, dark-colored pants, and possibly wearing a mask
Weapon: Revolver pistol

The “Geezer Bandit” is believed to be responsible for robbing the following banks:

August 28, 2009 US Bank 9643 Mission Gorge Rd., Santee
September 12, 2009 San Diego National Bank 7877 Ivanhoe, La Jolla
October 9, 2009 US Bank
4627 Carmel Mountain Rd., San Diego
October 26, 2009 Bank of America 17008 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe
November 16, 2009 Bank of America 7680 Girard Ave., La Jolla
January 27, 2010 San Diego National Bank 1075 Rosecrans, San Diego
April 20, 2010 California Bank & Trust
140 Escondido Ave.
, Vista
April 30, 2010 US Bank 1301 E. Vista Way, Vista
May 11, 2010 Bank of America 9711 Mission Gorge Road, Santee
June 7, 2010 US Bank 14837 Pomerado Road, Poway
June 24, 2010 Bank of America 31934 Highway 79 South, Temecula
November 12, 2010 Bank of America 4480
Coffee Road, Bakersfield
January 28, 2011 Bank of America 5892 Calle Real, Goleta, California

Bank Surveillance photographs from the Bank of America, 5892 Calle Real, Goleta, California, on Friday, January 28, 2011, at approximately

On the Northern District Court in Florida’s Affordable Care Act Ruling

By Tracy Russo

Following the ruling today out of the Northern District Court in Florida on the Affordable Care Act, Tracy Schmaler, Deputy Director of the Office of Public Affairs released the following statement:

“The department intends to appeal this ruling to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

“We strongly disagree with the court’s ruling today and continue to believe – as other federal courts have found – that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. This is one of a number of cases pending before courts around the country, including several that the government has won in the district courts that are now before the courts of appeals. There is clear and well-established legal precedent that Congress acted within its constitutional authority in passing this law and we are confident that we will ultimately prevail on appeal.”

“We are analyzing this opinion to determine what steps, if any – including seeking a stay – are necessary while the appeal is pending to continue our progress toward ensuring that Americans do not lose out on the important protections this law provides, that the millions of children and adults who depend on Medicaid programs receive the care the law requires, and that the millions of seniors on Medicare receive the benefits they need.”

For more information on the department’s defense of The Affordable Care Act, visit: justice.gov/healthcare.

Carl Lawrence Estep Sentenced in U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on January 27, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, CARL LAWRENCE ESTEP, a 66-year-old resident of Belgrade, appeared for sentencing. ESTEP was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 48 months
Special Assessment: $200
Restitution: $1,379,700
Supervised Release: Three years
ESTEP was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to wire and mail fraud.

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

In April 2003, ESTEP moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to the Bozeman area and shortly thereafter engaged in a far-reaching, multi-state investment fraud scheme. The scheme defrauded numerous investors out of significant amounts of money by promising them large returns from overseas investments that were allegedly realized by leveraging “gold ore” as collateral for overseas trading.

In 2003 ESTEP met K.L. who allowed him to store 200 barrels of rock and sand in a Belgrade barn. Along with the barrels, ESTEP obtained an “assay” that purported to show that the rock and sand in the barrels contained large amounts of gold and/or platinum. K.L. provided this assay to ESTEP, which was allegedly done by a company called Rogers Research. Rogers Research was contacted in the investigation and stated that the assay is a forgery.

Nonetheless, when ESTEP obtained access to the 200 barrels, he used them as the basis for his scheme to defraud. He enticed potential investors, often over singles dating web sites, by claiming that he used to work for the Howard Hughes Corporation and operated their mining division. He claimed that he was paid in barrels of gold ore that was worth millions, and often gave them the Rogers Research assay report as proof. He further solicited investors by stating that he owned a gold refinery in Montana and was trying to build others in the area that could refine the gold and investors stood to make large profits by investing in the gold barrels and refinery operations. ESTEP stated that the barrels were in a “warehouse” that was guarded by a private security guard and investor money would be used for business operating expenses and building refiner! ies. He claimed to use the gold barrels as collateral for a unique overseas investment that would make huge profits. He also told investors that the money never left the accounts because the “gold” was being leveraged.

ESTEP gave investors a contract that allowed them to “call” their investment which would be returned in full within 6 months. But when investors did not see their money again, ESTEP made elaborate excuses as to why they could not be paid. He claimed that “Homeland Security has tied the money up overseas due to terrorist related activities around the world.” In reality, ESTEP did not own any refineries. He did not own the barrels of rock and sand. He did not make any expenditures to develop refineries, and he did not invest money overseas. He simply used the money for numerous personal expenditures, including cars, overseas travel, daily expenses, and unreasonably large expenses on his hunting dogs. Agents confirmed that ESTEP never worked for the Howard Hughes Corporation.

V.H. was a victim-investor based out of Florida who was defrauded out of $220,000 in 2008 and 2009. V.H. wired $100,000 to ESTEP to invest in his scheme on December 30, 2008. V.W. was an investor based out of Texas, and she mailed a $100,000 investment to ESTEP on February 6, 2008. Both V.H. and V.W. met ESTEP over the Internet on a church-related dating website.

Through additional investigation, the FBI recorded numerous calls with ESTEP and visited the barn with the 200 barrels of rock and sand. Agents subsequently executed a search warrant and seized several of the barrels and other documentary evidence. Analysis on the barrels indicate that there is no gold value in the barrel samples that were seized, and it would be more profitable to use the rock and sand as road grade rather than attempt to extract any gold.

In speaking with agents, ESTEP acknowledged that he spent investor money on personal items and his statements to investors were not 100% true since they did not know their money was used for his personal gain. ESTEP told investors their funds would be used for operating expenses and trading overseas, and were safe in his account. Although he acknowledged that he pushed the truth and spent money inappropriately, ESTEP said that Count Ugo Di Carpegna from Geneva, Switzerland, will be sending him millions of dollars very soon and he will pay investors back. This has never happened.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that ESTEP will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, ESTEP 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

“Only through the concerted efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service can frauds like the one perpetrated by Carl Estep be detected, investigated and successfully prosecuted. Today’s sentence should send a strong message to the community – fraud will not be tolerated in Montana and will result in prison sentences.” United States Attorney Michael W. Cotter.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.

Oracle America to Pay United States $46 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Against Sun Microsystems

Oracle and Sun Merged in 2010

WASHINGTON - Oracle America Inc. has agreed to pay the United States $46 million to settle claims that Sun Microsystems Inc., a corporation that merged with Oracle in 2010, submitted false claims and caused others to submit false claims to the General Services Administration (GSA) and other federal agencies, the Justice Department announced today.  

This settlement resolves allegations under the False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Act that Sun knowingly paid kickbacks to systems integrator companies in return for recommendations that federal agencies purchase Sun’s products. Sun executed agreements with consulting companies that provided for the payment of fees each time the companies influenced a  government agency to purchase a Sun product. These kickback allegations are part of a larger, ongoing investigation of government technology vendors that has resulted in settlements to date with six other companies.  

The settlement also resolves claims under the FCA that Sun’s 1997 and 1999 GSA Schedule contracts were defectively priced because Sun provided incomplete and inaccurate information to GSA contracting officers during contract negotiations, as well as claims that the incomplete and inaccurate information resulted in defective pricing of Sun’s contract with the U.S. Postal Service and GSA Schedule contracts held by two resellers of Sun products.   At the time Sun entered into its contracts with GSA to sell information technology products and services to federal agencies, applicable regulations and contract provisions required Sun to fully and accurately disclose to GSA how it conducted business in the commercial marketplace so that GSA could use that information to negotiate a fair price for government customers using the GSA contracts to purchase Sun products and services.   The defective pricing information that Sun disclosed to GSA was subsequently relied on by the Postal Service in negotiating a contract with Sun, as well as by GSA in negotiating contracts with two resellers of Sun products.  

“Kickbacks, illegal inducements, misrepresentations during contract negotiations – these undermine the integrity of the government procurement process and unnecessarily cost taxpayers money,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “As this case demonstrates, we will take action against those who abuse the public contracting process.”

“In this district, we are committed to aggressively pursuing any actions in which the government has been defrauded,” said Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “Ultimately, it is the taxpayers’ money at issue and our office works to protect the citizens of the United States.”

The allegations that Sun improperly paid kickbacks were first made in a lawsuit that whistleblowers Norman Rille and Neal Roberts filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas in 2004. Under the FCA’s qui tam provisions, private citizens may file actions on behalf of the United States alleging the submission of false claims and share in any recovery. The United States intervened in the kickback allegations alleged in the complaint, and also added new claims that Sun defectively priced its GSA schedule contracts.   The government’s defective pricing allegations were based on an audit conducted by the GSA Office of Inspector General, which concluded that Sun provided inaccurate information during contract negotiations.

“Our auditors did not waver.   They pursued the facts until they got to the truth,” said GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller. “This case shows that with a lot of hard work and tenacity, justice will prevail.”   

“The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General is firmly committed to pursuing possible fraud in Postal Service contracting. This settlement is a testament to that commitment,” said Brian E. Cropper, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Major Fraud Investigations Division of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.  

“The Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration is dedicated to ensuring that contractors working for the Internal Revenue Service are thoroughly scrutinized, and any scheme that denies the American people the absolute best value for its tax dollars will not be tolerated,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

“The American taxpayer expects the Department of Defense and the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Inspector General to be champions of fiscal accountability and acquisition integrity. Those who participate in corrupt procurement practices erode that public confidence and deny full support to America's armed forces. The Defense Criminal Investigative Service will continue to investigate violations of law and support the Justice Department in its efforts to uncover fraud in the federal procurement process,” said Edward T. Bradley, Special Agent in Charge, Northeast Field Office of DoD’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

The Assistant Attorney General acknowledges the contributions of the Civil Division of the Justice Department; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas; GSA’s Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General; the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration; DoD’s Office of Inspector, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General.

This article was sponsored by Police Leadership Books.

Ponzi Operator Who Collected $2 Million from Victims Sentenced to Nearly Four Years in Federal Prison

LOS ANGELES—A Woodland Hills man who bilked more than 20 victims out of approximately $2 million in less than one year has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison.

Alfred Eugene Parker, 32, was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner, who remanded the defendant into custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing. Parker was sentenced after pleading guilty in September 2010 to three counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to a bank.

Parker was a counselor at a non-profit agency that provided credit-repair advise to low-income families. In late 2006, Parker started an investment company—Skyline Investment Group—that he used to solicit investors with promises that their money would be used to help needy homeowners who were facing foreclosure on their homes. Targeting primarily African-American victims, including professional athletes and people in the entertainment industry, Parker and Skyline lured investors with “guaranteed” returns as high as 40 percent in less than three months.

Instead of using investors’ money to help distressed homeowners, Parker used the money to finance a luxurious lifestyle, which included a Rolls-Royce Phantom, two Ferraris, a $2.5 million home, and trips to high-end resorts in Hawaii and Santa Barbara. Parker also used some of the money to make Ponzi payments to earlier investors.

In November 2007, Parker sought a $1 million line of credit from Broadway Federal Bank. When applying for the loan, Parker submitted forged documents to the bank and falsely claimed that he had $2 million in savings and that he owned valuable real estate in Los Angeles and Cleveland. When the bank approved a $200,000 line of credit, Parker drew down the funds in less than two months.

During Monday’s sentencing hearing, victims told Judge Klausner that Parker had preyed on African American victims in their community and that he had presented himself as a religious man who would use their investments to help needy homeowners in the area.

The case against Parker is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.

Former Uplands Park, Missouri, Police Officer Sentenced on Civil Rights Violations

WASHINGTON—Leon Pullen, 32, of Foley, Missouri, a former police officer employed by the Uplands Park Police Department in suburban St. Louis, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on civil rights violations stemming from several incidents where he sexually assaulted and stole money from women, the Justice Department announced.

According to court documents, Pullen was a police officer employed by the Uplands Park Police Department. On July 15, 2009, Officer Pullen responded to an advertisement placed on the internet. The woman posted her picture and contact information as a prostitute. Pullen contacted her via cell phone, identified himself as "Jimmy," and, without identifying himself as a police officer, arranged to meet her at a specific location in Uplands Park. He agreed to pay $400 for sexual acts, and also asked her to bring a friend. When the woman arrived, a police vehicle pulled behind her car. Pullen, who was on duty and dressed in full uniform, including a badge and sidearm, approached her, showed her the ad she had posted on the Internet, and demanded to know how much money she had with her. Pullen made her follow him to the police station where he sexually assaulted her.

In February or March of 2009, Pullen answered another ad from a different woman and arranged to meet her at a hotel room that she had rented in St. Louis. When he arrived, he was wearing a blue jacket over a gray golf shirt that had a police badge embroidered onto the front with the words "Detective Pullen." Once inside, he identified himself as a police officer and told her that she was under arrest. He displayed his firearm and handcuffs. After he sexually assaulted her, he took $100 in cash and her laptop computer. The victim told the FBI later that she was initially afraid to report the sexual assault when it happened because Pullen identified himself as a police officer.

Pullen sexually assaulted two more women using the same tactics in May and June 2009.

Following his arrest on Sept. 20, 2009, Pullen gave a voluntary statement to the FBI. First, he told the agents that he had never taken money from the victims, and denied to the FBI that he had ever engaged in sexual activity - consensual or otherwise - while on duty.

"Communities must be able to trust their law enforcement officers to protect public safety. When officers abuse their power and violate the rights of individuals in their communities, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Pullen pleaded guilty in July 2010 to one felony count of conspiracy to violate deprivation of rights under color of law, four felony counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, one felony count of conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by threats or violence, one felony count of interference with commerce by threats or violence, one felony count of tampering with a witness, and one felony count of making false statements. He appeared today for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Marcus and Former Civil Rights Division trial attorney Eric Gibson.

San Diego man sentenced to 125 months for distributing child pornography

Defendant used Internet chat room to post sexually explicit images of minors

SAN DIEGO - A local man has been sentenced to 10 years and five months in prison for distributing child pornography on the Internet in connection with an investigation led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

James Dennis Wickline, 54, of San Diego, had been employed as a regional director for an office cleaning company. He was sentenced here Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge M. James Lorenz. In addition, Judge Lorenz sentenced the defendant to a 12-year period of supervised release following his prison term. Upon release, Wickline will be required to register as a sex offender.

Wickline pleaded guilty in July 2010 to one count of distributing images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Judge Lorenz has also ordered the defendant to pay $9,000 in restitution to three of the minors depicted in some of the sexually explicit images.

"This sentence should serve as a warning to those who seek to victimize and rob young children of their innocence," said Miguel Unzueta, special agent in charge for ICE's Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego. "ICE HSI will work with its law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue child predators to ensure they are held accountable for their despicable behavior."

According to the court records, Wickline admitted that he knowingly distributed visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct between March 20, 2009, and May 20, 2009, and that he began looking at child pornography in pictures involving nude children in sexual situations about 10 years ago.

The San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force assisted in this investigation.

This investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.

As part of Operation Predator, ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Through Project Safe Childhood, the Department of Justice is seeking to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Reno-area immigration consultants busted in probe by ICE and Nevada attorney general

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Three employees of a Reno-based immigration consulting firm were arrested Friday on state criminal charges following an investigation by the Nevada Attorney General's Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) into allegations they orchestrated a multi-state scam that included impersonating employees of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The defendants, who worked for a company called Telestaffing, located at
610 Plumb Lane
, allegedly told clients they were USCIS employees and could assist them with obtaining and completing immigration forms and filing them with USCIS. The group used a fee schedule identical to the fees posted by USCIS. However, because Telestaffing failed to file many of those forms in a timely fashion, some of the company's clients actually lost their legal immigration status.

The defendants - Charles Doucette, Deborah Stilson and Cybil Duran Berti - are charged with six counts of obtaining money under false pretenses in the course of a technological crime; six counts of conspiracy; and two counts of criminal racketeering.

"These egregious actions by scammers who impersonated federal employees and preyed on innocent people who were trying to work within the system to achieve citizenship is particularly distressing," said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.

"The original reports that led to this investigation and today's arrests were called in by concerned citizens to ICE's toll-free tip line," said John Budrewicz, acting resident agent in charge for U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in Reno. "As is so often the case, the people who ended up being victimized by these defendants were trying to do the right thing and abide by the law. Instead, they ended up being duped. This enforcement action should send a message about our collective resolve to seek justice for those who prey on the well intentioned and the vulnerable."

Telestaffing, which was doing business under several names including - Immigration Forms; Immigration Forms Processing Center; Immigration Forms and Services; Immigration Forms and Documents; USA-Helpline.Info; and Immigration Helpline - duplicated electronic checks for its services without authority, resulting in a double payment for the filing. In some cases, Telestaffing clients who paid by money order or other means found the defendants either refused to file the benefit forms with USCIS or did nothing and kept the money.

Additional agencies that provided assistance with the investigation include the Better Business Bureau of Northern Nevada; the Washoe County Sheriff's Department; the City of Reno; the Reno Police Department; the Colorado Attorney General; the Missouri Attorney General; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Federal Trade Commission; and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The filing of a criminal complaint or arrest is not a determination of guilt or innocence, but is a finding of probable cause by the Nevada Attorney General that a crime was committed. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Second Luzerne County Bank Teller Charged with Conspiring to Commit Theft

The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today the filing of an Information charging Mary Ann Wright, age 42, of Kingston, with conspiring to commit theft from the Kingston, Luzerne County, Branch Office of First Keystone National Bank.

According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, the Information alleges that between 2009 and 2010, Wright and another person, who were employed as bank tellers, together embezzled more than $7000 in currency from their teller "cash drawers," and, in anticipation of bank audits, would remove money from each other's "cash drawers" in order to hide the cash discrepancies.

If convicted, Wright faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, followed by a three- year term of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

Previously, the United States Attorney's Office announced the filing of an information charging Jennifer Sgroi, age 30, of Wyoming, Luzerne County, with conspiring to commit theft from First Keystone National Bank. Sgroi was also employed as a bank teller at the Kingston Branch Office.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prosecution has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O'Hara.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.

Charleston Woman Sentenced to 147 Months on Federal Firearms and Drug Charges

The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that a Charleston, Missouri woman was sentenced on federal firearms and drug charges.

HOLLI WRICE, age 32, was sentenced to 147 months on one felony count of Interference With Commerce by Threat or Violence, one felony count of Using a Firearm Duringa Crime of Violence and one felony count of Possession of Marijuana With the Intent toDistribute. She appeared before United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr.

On July 30, 2008, Holli Wrice and Lana Neal entered Paul’s Pawn and Jewelry in Sikeston, Missouri. The two women drew pistols and pointed them at the owner. The women ordered the owner to the floor and told her to crawl to a back room where they secured her with tape. One woman watched the owner, while the other woman took items from the store displays. Among the items taken were jewelry, firearms, cash, a Tanika brand digital scale and personal items belonging to the owner. After securing the store items in a backpack, the two left the store. The owner was eventually able to free herself and call police.

On November 6, 2008, the owner of the pawn shop called the Sikeston police departmentand told them that she had just seen one of the two women at the Sikeston Wal-Mart store. Officers responded and made contact with the woman, who identified herself as Holli Wrice. Ms. Wrice denied robbing Paul’s Pawn and Jewelry.

Further investigation eventually led the officers to the home of Lana Neal, in Sikeston, Missouri. Initially, Neal denied being involved in the robbery, then admitted that she and Holli Wrice committed the robbery. Neal produced a small quantity of jewelry from her home that she said was from the pawn store robbery and took the officers to a rural location where she said that she and Wrice discarded unusable items from the robbery.

On March 13 2009, law enforcement officers observed Ms. Wrice in a vehicle on
Market Street
in Charleston. As the officers approached the vehicle, the vehicle fled. During the ensuing chase, officers saw Wrice throw numerous items from the vehicle. The officers eventually stopped the car and detained the occupants, two men and Wrice. Wrice admitted she was selling a quantity of marijuana to the men when the police arrived and that she threw the marijuana out of the window of the vehicle as they fled from the officers. Wrice also reported that she threw a firearm out of the car during the chase. The officers went to the location that Ms. Wrice reported throwing items from the car and found a Bersa, .380 caliber pistol and a quantity of marijuana. More marijuana and a Tanika brand digital scale were found in Wrice’s home during a subsequent search.

Lana Neal entered a plea of guilty to one felony count of being a previously convictedfelon in possession of a firearm. On December 3, 2009, Neal was sentenced to 88 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The Sikeston Department of Public Safety; the Charleston Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Keith D. Sorrell is handling the prosecution for the Government.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

CBP Instates Broker Management Plan for Area Port of Memphis

New Orleans, La. – To better enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection brokerage oversight and compliance in the Memphis area of responsibility, a plan will be implemented to sustain the entire broker licensing and permitting process in the area port of Memphis.

This will provide better and timely external customer services to the Mid-South and New Orleans importing communities by reducing administrative redundancy. The change will have no impact on the statutory regulations nor will it require a change in current district boundaries. Full implementation will begin on Feb. 1.

CBP permitting and licensing processes for individual licensed brokers residing in the states of Arkansas and Tennessee will be handled by the area port of Memphis. Partnerships, associations and corporations permitted in the states of Arkansas and Tennessee will also be handled by the area port of Memphis.

The Memphis Broker Management Officer is Supervisory Entry Specialist Janice Weems. License and/or permit fees will be sent to Weems at:

Memphis Area Service Port
3150 Tchulahoma Road
Suite 1
Memphis, TN 38118
(901) 544-0291

Supervisory Entry Specialist Patricia Burke will remain the New Orleans Broker Management Officer for individual licensed brokers and permitted corporations for the geographical areas of Louisiana and the portion of the state of Mississippi covered by the New Orleans Customs Broker District boundaries. License and/or permit fees will be sent to Patricia Burke at:

New Orleans Area Service Port
1515 Poydras Street
Suite 1700
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 670-2391

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

This article was sponsored by Police Leadership Books.

Belmont Resident Sentenced to 36 Months’ Imprisonment for Illegally Exporting Electronics Components Used in Military Radar, Electronic Warfare, and Missile Systems

BOSTON, MA—The manager of a Massachusetts electronics company was sentenced today to 36 months’ imprisonment for conspiring over a period of 10 years to export military electronics components and sensitive electronics used in military systems to the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Waltham, Mass., company she managed CHITRON ELECTRONICS, INC. (CHITRON-US) was fined $15.5 million stemming from their convictions last year. Several Chinese military entities were among those to whom the defendants exported the equipment.

In May 2010, YUFENG WEI, 46, of Belmont, Mass., was convicted of illegally exporting U.S. Munitions List parts and export restricted sensitive technology to the PRC over a period of 10 years, illegally exporting electronics to the PRC (between 2004 and 2007), and conspiring to file, and filing, false shipping documents with the U.S. Department of Commerce (2005-2007).

Also in May 2010, CHITRON-US was convicted of unlawfully exporting military electronics and exporting restricted electronics to the PRC and illegally exporting such parts to the PRC on 26 occasions between 2004 and 2007. Earlier this week, ZHEN ZHOU WU, WEI's ex-husband and the Chinese national who owned CHITRON-US, was sentenced to 97 months’ imprisonment for his role in the illegal export conspiracy.

On May 17, 2010, following a five-week trial, WEI and CHITRON-US, along with WU, were convicted of conspiring from 1997 to 2007 to unlawfully export to the PRC military electronics and export restricted electronics components and illegally exporting such parts to the PRC on numerous occasions between 2004 and 2007. The defendants' illegal enterprise involved the use of CHITRON-US as a front company for its parent company, CHITRON ELECTRONICS COMPANY LIMITED, headquartered in Shenzhen, PRC. WEI used CHITRON-US to procure export restricted equipment from U.S. suppliers and then export the goods to China, through Hong Kong. The exported equipment is used in electronic warfare, military radar, fire control, military guidance and control equipment, missile systems, and satellite communications.

CHITRON sought to market electronics to Chinese military factories and military research institutes, including numerous institutes of the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, which is responsible for the procurement, development, and manufacture of electronics for the Chinese military, including the People's Liberation Army.

The Department of Defense's Defense Technology Security Administration has concluded in a report filed with the Court that the defendants' activities seriously threatened "U.S. national and regional security interests." According to the Department of Defense, the parts the defendants were convicted of illegally exporting are "vital for Chinese military electronic warfare, military radar, fire control, military guidance and control equipment, and satellite communications." Further, the illegally exported parts are "precisely the [types of] items ... that the People's Liberation Army actively seeks to acquire."

Also charged in the indictment was CHITRON-US's parent company, CHITRONSHENZHEN, which received the U.S. electronics and delivered the parts to Chinese end-users. The Court has entered a contempt order against CHITRON-SHENZHEN for refusing to appear for trial.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Assistant Attorney General David Kris of the Justice Department's National Security Division; John J. McKenna, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, Boston Field Office; Bruce Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Homeland Security and Investigations in Boston; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Office; and Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Resident Agent in Charge of the Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service in Boston made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys B. Stephanie Siegmann and John A. Capin of Ortiz's Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit.

This article was sponsored by Police Leadership Books.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Former Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff and Criminal Clerk’s Employee Charged

NEW ORLEANS, LA—GELISHIA GARRISON, age 40, a resident of New Orleans, was charged today in a Bill of Information with four counts of computer fraud by accessing a protected computer of the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.

According to the Bill of Information, between 2006 and 2010, GARRISON was employed by the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Clerk’s Office and the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office. It is alleged that GARRISON accepted payments from four criminal defendants and then used her position to access the Sheriff’s computer system and alter each defendant’s bail status to one of personal recognizance bonds, which are normally reserved for individuals who have been determined by a judge to not pose a danger to the community and to stand a strong likelihood to re-appear in court as ordered.

The Bill of Information indicates that GARRISON received a $1000 “money gram” to effect the release of Defendant A who had been ordered held on a $75,000 bond, and unspecified quantities of cash to effect the releases of Defendants B who had been ordered held on a $20,000 bond, and Defendants C and D who had both been ordered held on a $55,000 bond.

If convicted, GELISHIA GARRISON faces a possible maximum sentence of five (5) years, a $250,000 fine and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

U. S. Attorney Letten expressed his gratitude to the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.

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

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Daniel P. Friel.

Sex Offender Sentenced

United States Attorney, Michael J. Moore Middle District of Georgia, announced that on January 27, 2011, United States District Judge W. Louis Sands sentenced defendant Solomon B. Kersey, to 151 months’ imprisonment for distribution of child pornography. The Court further ordered the defendant to serve twenty-five years of supervised release after completing his sentence of imprisonment and to register as a sex offender in the state where he lives.

Kersey, age 26, a resident of Valdosta, Georgia, pleaded guilty on April 23, 2010, to a violation of Distribution of Child Pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 2252(a)(2). Kersey has been in custody since the time of his arrest on November 4, 2009.

The stipulation of facts in the plea agreement included the following: On October 6, 2008, a Valdosta resident reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he had been sent numerous items of unsolicited child pornography from another computer user. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this and determined that the child pornography images had been sent from defendant Kersey's residence in Valdosta.

On December 5, 2008, Agents executed a search warrant at the defendant's residence. The defendant was interviewed at the time of the search and confessed to receiving, possessing and distributing images of child pornography via the internet.

The FBI computer analyst examined numerous items of computer media which were seized from the defendant's residence. In total, the FBI forensic examiner found approximately 5,000 still images of child pornography and approximately 190 videos of child pornography.

United States Attorney Michael Moore said, "One of the goals of the United States Attorney's Office is to track down and prosecute offenders who, by participating in the distribution of child pornography, repeatedly exploit the innocence of the children who have already been victimized by the producers."

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Crane. For additional information please contact Sue McKinney, Public Affairs Specialist at (478) 621-2602.

Compass Bank Robbery

At approximately , a man walked into the Compass Bank located at 7744 North Loop, El Paso, Texas, approached a teller with a note, and demanded money. The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of money. The suspect did not display a weapon and fled the bank on foot headed west on North Loop. The money did contain a dye pack which agents believe exploded and therefore will leave red stain(s) on the suspect.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic Male, approximately 45-50 years old, slim build, unshaven gray beard, wearing a dark work coat, dark pants, a red baseball cap and large clear glasses.

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 and/or has information about the robbery, please contact the FBI at 915-832-5000.

Sunnyvale, Texas Man Sentenced to More Than 14 Years in Federal Prison, Without Parole, on Child Pornography Conviction

Defendant Taken Into Custody At Sentencing Hearing

DALLAS—Robert Royce Jensen, Jr., 62, of Sunnyvale, Texas, who pleaded guilty in March 2010 to one count of receipt of child pornography, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 170 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Judge Boyle remanded Jensen, who had been on bond, to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

According to plea documents filed, Jensen admitted using the Limewire peer-to-peer software to download child pornography from the Internet. When executing a search warrant in May 2008, FBI agents seized several computers and storage media from Jensen. A forensic examination performed revealed that there were more than 600 still images and videos of child pornography that had been downloaded. Jensen admits that some of the images he possessed were of prepubescent minors or children under the age of 12. He also admits that the videos depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and the production of the images involved real minors.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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 http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov/

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Plano Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks was in charge of the prosecution.

FBI and San Diego Police Seek Public’s Assistance to Identify Navy Federal Credit Union Robber

The FBI and San Diego Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the unknown male responsible for robbing the Navy Federal Credit Union,
17030 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego, California
, on Tuesday, January 25, 2011.

On Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at approximately , an unknown male robbed a teller at the Navy Federal Credit Union,
17030 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego, California
. The robber reportedly approached the victim teller and made a verbal demand for cash. After receiving a sum of money the robber walked out of the bank and left in an older model motor home.

Witnesses describe the robber as follows:

Sex: Male
Race: White
Age: Approximately 50 years old
Height: Approximately 5’10” tall
Build: Husky
Weight: Approximately 225 lbs.
Hair: Short grey hair; clean shaven
Clothing: Denim shirt, blue jeans, green baseball cap, and grey t-shirt

Anyone with information concerning this robbery is asked to contact the FBI at telephone number (858) 565-1255 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. You may remain anonymous by calling the FBI or Crime Stoppers.

San Diego Man Charged with Robbing Wells Fargo Bank

Akil Saeed Daniels, age 29, has been charged with one count of bank robbery and one count of assault on a federal officer.

According to the federal complaint filed in this matter on January 26, 2011, in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, Daniels is charged with robbing the Wells Fargo Bank,
9360 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, California
, on Tuesday, January 25, 2011.

On Tuesday, January 25, 2011, Daniels is alleged to have entered the Wells Fargo Bank,
9360 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego
, at and robbed one of the tellers using a demand note. The victim teller complied with the robber’s demand and provided the robber a sum of money and a tracking device.

San Diego Police Department Officers were able to track the robber’s vehicle and subsequently conducted a vehicle stop near Interstate 805 at
H Street, Chula Vista, California
. The driver later identified as Daniels, fled from the vehicle on foot. San Diego Police Officers and a service dog gave chase and eventually took Daniels into custody. Daniels was later transported to San Diego Police Department Headquarters for an interview.

After completing his interview, Daniels requested to use the restroom and was released of his handcuffs. Daniels was escorted by two detectives. While inside the restroom, Daniels made two attempts to overtake and obtain one of the detective’s firearm. Daniels was subdued by the detectives and others. As a result of this incident Daniels was also charged with assault on an officer.

On Thursday, January 27, 2011, Daniels was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) where he will remain until his initial appearance. Daniels is expected to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge, on Friday, January 28, 2011. This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

An arrest itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Man Claiming to Have Bomb Robs N.M. Bank

The FBI and Albuquerque Police are investigating a bank robbery that occurred Thursday afternoon (January 27) at First Community Bank,
8251 Golf Course Road NW
, near
Paseo Del Norte Boulevard
.

Witnesses say a black male wearing a stocking mask walked into the bank around and announced he had a gun and a bomb. He had a pistol in one hand and an unidentified object in the other.

The subject left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money. He was seen running south into the Taylor Ranch neighborhood.

Nobody was injured.

The man is described as about 5'8 tall, thin to medium build, and in his 30s to 40s. He wore a navy blue hooded sweatshirt pulled over his head. He also wore dark pants and carried a tan backpack.

A reward of up to $1,000 may be available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the subject.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Albuquerque FBI Office at (505) 889-1300 (24 hours) or Albuquerque Police Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP.

Madison Area Tax Preparer Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud and Tax Fraud

MADISON, WI—John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Gail L. Mendez, 45, Sun Prairie, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 66 months in federal prison for mortgage fraud and tax fraud. The prison sentence will be followed by a three-year term of supervised release.

In 2006 and 2007, Mendez engaged in two separate schemes, while working as a tax preparer doing business as Mendez Connections in the Madison area. She engaged in a mortgage fraud scheme and a separate tax fraud scheme.

Mendez is the last of five defendants to be sentenced as a result of the investigation. The four other individuals who have been convicted and sentenced on related charges are:

Amy Strait, 43, McFarland, Wis., a former mortgage loan officer at Park Bank in Madison was sentenced to three months in federal prison. She pleaded guilty on September 9, 2010, to conspiracy to obstruct the bank fraud investigation.

Carlos R. Solis, 33, Morrisonville, Wis., a former real estate agent, was sentenced on October 26, 2010, to a year and a half in federal prison. He pleaded guilty on May 25, 2010, to bank fraud.

Marty G. Mendez, 27, Sun Prairie, Wis., a former tax preparer at Mendez Connection, a Madison area tax preparation business, was sentenced on October 26, 2010, to one year and a day in federal prison. He pleaded guilty on May 17, 2010, to assisting in the filing of a false income tax return. Marty Mendez is the son of Gail Mendez.

David Knickmeier, 45, Madison, Wis., a former tax preparer at Mendez Connection, pleaded guilty to assisting in the filing of a false income tax return and was sentenced on September 28, 2010, to one year and a day in federal prison.

The Mortgage Fraud Scheme

During 2006 and 2007 Gail Mendez worked as a tax preparer in the Madison area, doing business as Mendez Connection. Amy Strait was employed as a mortgage loan officer at Park Bank, a federally-insured financial institution. Carlos Solis did business as a real estate agent.

Park Bank had a mortgage loan program that allowed borrowers to apply for a loan using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security Number. An ITIN is a nine-digit tax processing number issued by the IRS to aliens who are required to have a U. S. taxpayer identification number but are not eligible to obtain a social security number. Under Park Bank's ITIN mortgage program, a borrower applying for an ITIN loan was required to submit to the bank copies of the borrower's income tax returns for the prior two tax years. Under the program, the bank did not check with the IRS to verify the income stated on a borrower’s submitted federal tax returns.

From February 2006 to October 2007, Gail Mendez, Strait, and Solis engaged in a scheme to defraud Park Bank and to obtain money owned by the bank and under its custody and control. In connection with approximately 50 ITIN loans totaling more than $8 million, Gail Mendez, Strait and Solis caused false tax returns to be fabricated and presented to Park Bank. The returns falsely inflated borrowers' income and had not been filed with the IRS.

The scheme resulted in $498,000 in losses to Park Bank.

The Conspiracy to Obstruct the Bank Fraud Investigation

When Park Bank told Amy Strait its discovery of the fraud scheme, the bank directed her not to talk with anyone about the investigation, noting that federal investigators could be involved. Immediately after Strait learned of the investigation, however, she called Solis and told him about it. She told him the bank was looking at tax documents that had been submitted for ITIN loans, and they were not matching what had been reported to the IRS. Strait purchased a prepaid cell phone for the purpose of communicating with Solis about the investigation.

Solis relayed to Mendez what Strait had told him. Mendez later asked for a list from Solis for all the loans that Park Bank might be investigating. Mendez told Solis she needed this list so she could be sure all her files matched the bank's loan files. Solis, with Strait's assistance, generated a list of the loans under investigation and faxed it to Gail Mendez on October 24, 2007. Mendez then used the list of names to direct her employees to destroy evidence of the scheme contained in her tax files.

The Tax Fraud Scheme and Further Obstruction

Gail Mendez and her employees, including Marty Mendez and David Knickmeier, willfully aided and assisted taxpayers in filing U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns that falsely and fraudulently claimed dependents and child tax credits to which they were not entitled. The Court has found that the scheme resulted in a tax loss of $925,000.

In December 2007, Gail Mendez learned that the IRS was investigating the claiming of child tax credits on returns prepared at Mendez Connection. At her direction, employees of Mendez Connection removed from the Mendez Connection files and destroyed any notes referring to the fraudulent child tax credits.

These charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of these individuals has been handled by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen P. Sinnott.

These prosecutions are part of President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

This article was sponsored by Police Leadership Books.

Sioux Falls Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy Dismantled

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced today that Kenton Perry, age 32, of Sioux Falls, appeared before United States District Judge Roberto A. Lange on January 24, 2011, and pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance. Another member of the conspiracy, Melissa Anne Rieger, age 23, of Buffalo, was sentenced by Judge Lange, also on January 24, 2011, to serve 12 months and one day in custody, two years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund. Rieger had previously pled guilty to the conspiracy charge on November 1, 2010.

These events follow the recent sentencing of the conspiracy's leader, William Derek Leaver. Leaver, age 29, of Sioux Falls, was sentenced by Judge Lange on January 10, 2011, to 87 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a $10,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund. Leaver had previously pled guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana.

Leaver and six others were indicted by a federal grand jury on May 11, 2010. The Superseding Indictment charged that in late March or early April of 2009, Leaver traveled from Sioux Falls to Las Vegas, Nevada, to arrange a source of marijuana for his plan to distribute multi-pound quantities of marijuana in the District of South Dakota.

Subsequently, continuing until at least December 16, 2009, on approximately 24 occasions, two or more individuals, at the direction of Leaver, traveled from South Dakota to Las Vegas to purchase marijuana intended for distribution in South Dakota. Leaver provided these individuals with envelopes of cash for expenses, payment to the drivers, and payment to the Las Vegas marijuana source. Approximately 175 pounds of marijuana were transported from Las Vegas to South Dakota at the direction of Leaver.

Leaver had the marijuana delivered to an apartment in Sioux Falls where he divided the marijuana into distribution quantities which he provided to others, including Nicole Rae Bahrenfuss, Richard Wayne Cook, and Michael James Gorman. These individuals received the marijuana through a "front," or on credit, and paid Leaver after having sold their allotment.

“These prosecutions have effectively dismantled a Sioux Falls group established to import large amounts marijuana from Las Vegas and distribute it in the community,” US Attorney Johnson said. “I am proud of our office’s efforts and the professional work of our law enforcement partners.”

The disposition for others involved in the conspiracy is as follows:

Richard Wayne Cook—age 34, of Sioux Falls was sentenced by Judge Lange on November 22, 2010, for his part in the same conspiracy. Cook was sentenced to 57 months in custody, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.

Nicole Rae Bahrenfuss—age 32, of Sioux Falls was sentenced by Judge Lange on December 21, 2010. Bahrenfuss was sentenced to 37 months in custody, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.

Michael James Gorman—age 24, of Sioux Falls was sentenced by Judge Lange on November 22, 2010, for his part in the same conspiracy. Gorman was sentenced to 42 months in custody, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.

Shaun Michael Dye—29, of Las Vegas, Nevada, pled guilty to the conspiracy charges on January 5, 2011, and will be sentenced on March 28, 2011.

Kenton Perry will be sentenced on April 11, 2011. He faces a maximum penalty upon conviction of not more than 20 years of imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both; three years of supervised release; and a special assessment of $100 to the Victim Assistance Fund.

The investigation was conducted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Ted L. McBride.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.