Criminal Justice News

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ronald Glenn Keiser, III Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Butte on April 26, 2012 before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, Ronald Glenn Keiser, III, a 37-year-old resident of Wolf Point, pled guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Sentencing has been set for August 2, 2012. He is currently detained.

In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

During the evening of Friday, August 19, 2011, a bar in Nashua hosted a bike rally. Activities at the bar throughout the evening included a disc jockey, a pole dancer, a beer drinking contest, and a hot legs contest. Keiser, an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Tribes, showed up at the bar that night. Witnesses saw Keiser staggering around the bar and drinking beer. Keiser left the bar by himself a little before 10:30 p.m. and drove away in his pickup truck.

At 11:23 p.m. on August 19, 2011, the first call to dispatch came in regarding a car crash on Highway 2 just east of Frazer, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. A witness drove up on scene and saw a head-on collision had recently occurred between a pickup truck and a suburban. Both cars were steaming. A man, later identified as Keiser, still sat in the driver’s seat of the truck, while the driver of the suburban had just gotten out and had lain on the ground. The witness saw two people trapped in the suburban. She checked on a male passenger seated in the front passenger seat. The man seemed to still be breathing. She then checked on the other male passenger seated in the right rear passenger seat directly behind the front passenger. He was dead. The witness immediately checked on the front passenger again, and he had stopped breathing.

Emergency crews arrived at 11:37 p.m. Keiser sat uninjured on the side of the road with his head in his hands. The grill guard from Keiser’s truck was embedded in the middle of the right passenger side of the suburban. The passengers in the suburban were confirmed deceased.

Keiser’s blood alcohol content shortly after the crash was a 0.182. He was the only person in his truck at the time of the crash. Police found an open can of beer in the driver’s door panel in Keiser’s truck. They also found two partially filled cases of beer behind the driver’s seat in the truck—one six-pack and one 18-pack.

Keiser faces possible penalties of eight years in prison on each count, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division, and the Montana Highway Patrol.

Gun Trafficker Identified as Part of the ’Hot Spot’ Initiative in White Center Sentenced to Prison

Sold Guns and Drugs to a Person Working with Law Enforcement

One of approximately 25 federal defendants prosecuted as part of the White Center “Hot Spot” initiative, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five years in prison and four years of supervised release for drug distribution and gun crimes, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. JUAN TRINIDAD MIRANDA, 26, of Seattle, is a citizen of Mexico who likely will be deported following his prison term. TRINIDAD MIRANDA pleaded guilty to three counts of being an alien in possession of a firearm and four counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. In July, August and September 2011, TRINIDAD MIRANDA repeatedly sold guns and drugs to a person working with law enforcement. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly said, “these are serious crimes, selling drugs and guns.”

According to records filed in the case, TRINIDAD MIRANDA sold cocaine on July 28, and August 11, 2011. On August 15, 2011, TRINIDAD MIRANDA sold the person working with law enforcement cocaine as well as a Ruger pistol. On August 24, 2012 TRINIDAD MIRANDA sold the person an assault rifle and a few days later offered to sell a .22 caliber Uzi. On August 27, the person working with law enforcement purchased a Intratec, model Tec 22, .22 caliber rifle from TRINIDAD MIRANDA. Finally on September 6, 2011, TRINIDAD MIRANDA was arrested as he attempted to sell a kilo of cocaine.

In asking for the five year sentence prosecutors wrote to the court that “Trinidad Miranda repeatedly sold illegal drugs and firearms to a confidential informant. These included two assault&ndashstyle rifles as well as over a kilo of cocaine. Trinidad Miranda committed these crimes while here illegally. Simply put, Trinidad Miranda engaged in egregious and dangerous conduct that puts the entire community at risk.”

“Illicit drug traffickers don–t care about people or communities,” said Kelvin Crenshaw, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Seattle Field Division. “Drug dealers are selfish greedy individuals that care about lining their pockets regardless of consequences. These criminals do nothing but destroy lives, create fear and fuel violent crime and ATF is wholly committed in bringing them to justice.”

The White Center –Hot Spot– initiative targeted law enforcement resources in the White Center area from July to October 2011. The operation focused on illegal gun sales and drug dealing both on the street and in area businesses. In all approximately 50 people were arrested and law enforcement seized 68 guns, 51 lbs of methamphetamine, 2 lbs of crack cocaine and more than 10 lbs of powder cocaine.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The investigation was a coordinated joint effort by ATF, the King County Sheriff–s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), the Seattle Police Department, the King County Metro Transit Police, Washington State Department of Corrections, Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs. Mr. Hobbs is a Senior King County Deputy Prosecutor, specially designated to prosecute firearms cases in federal court.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553&ndash4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

Agents Seize Meth, Pot Valued in Excess of $275,000

Yuma, Ariz. – U. S. Border Patrol agents from Yuma Sector Border Patrol’s Wellton Station seized approximately four pounds of methamphetamine and 432 pounds of marijuana in unrelated incidents.

Agents working the I-8 checkpoint at mile marker 78 referred a silver sedan for a secondary inspection April 19. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, agents found four clear plastic bags of methamphetamine concealed in the vehicle’s intake manifold.

The drugs, worth about $62,000, and the suspect, a U.S. citizen, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Agents assigned to Camp Grip, Yuma Sector’s forward operating base, detected footprints made by individuals traveling through the desert April 21. Agents followed the footprints leading to the discovery of eight makeshift backpacks hidden in brush and filled with marijuana. The marijuana, worth an estimated $216,000, was seized for destruction. Three individuals were later arrested and processed for removal from the U.S.

Checkpoints play a vital role in the Border Patrol's ability to restrict routes of egress from border areas, impacting smugglers’ ability to transport contraband deeper into the United States. Border Patrol agents have made significant progress toward establishing a secure and safe border environment while improving the quality of life for Arizona’s communities.

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.

Robbery of Guaranty Bank in Plymouth

On April 27, 2012, at approximately 11:45 a.m., an unidentified male robbed the Guaranty Bank located inside the Rainbow Food Store at 10200 6th Avenue in Plymouth, Minnesota. The robber approached the teller counter, placed a black bag on the counter, and displayed a handgun. He then ordered the victim teller to fill the bag with money. The victim teller complied with the robber’s demand and filled his bag with an undisclosed amount of cash. The robber departed the area on foot.

The robber was described as a black male with a light complexion; approximately 6’0” to 6’2” in height, and having a medium build. The robber wore a gray business suit, a white-collared shirt, and a cream-colored Fedora.

Anyone with information concerning this robbery should contact the FBI at (763) 569 8540 or the Plymouth Police Department.

United States Announces $8 Million Penalty and Non-Prosecution Agreement with Florida-Based Imperial Holdings Inc.

CONCORD, NH—Imperial Holdings Inc., a publicly traded specialty finance corporation headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, has entered into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire to pay an $8 million penalty to resolve fraud allegations related to Imperial’s involvement in making misrepresentations on life insurance applications in connection with its premium finance business, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire John P. Kacavas announced today.

According to the NPA, from December 2006 through January 2009, as part of its premium finance business, certain Imperial employees, who were licensed insurance agents, worked with external general agents and brokers, to obtain life insurance policies on individuals over 65 years of age for which Imperial would offer premium finance loans. These Imperial employees had direct contact with the prospective insureds and worked with the insureds and external general agents and brokers to complete life insurance applications for submission to various life insurance companies.

While Imperial employees were engaged in this business, many life insurance applications required the insured and the agent to disclose information about whether premium payments would be funded by a premium finance loan. An insured was typically required to disclose if he or she intended to seek such a loan to pay premiums, and often, the agent was also required to disclose if he or she was aware of an intent by the insured to obtain such a loan. When applications were submitted to insurance companies that likely would not have issued a policy if the application accurately described the insured’s intent to obtain premium financing, the Imperial employees, who were acting as life insurance agents on the policies, made and/or facilitated misrepresentations on the applications that concealed the insured’s intent to seek a premium finance loan from Imperial.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire entered into the NPA with Imperial based, in part, on Imperial’s decision to terminate its premium finance business and separate the employees who are known at this time to have been primarily involved in the misconduct identified above; Imperial’s substantial cooperation to date in the investigation into its premium finance business; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire’s desire to limit the negative impact and adverse consequences to the non-premium finance aspects of Imperial’s business and the company’s employees and shareholders that would result from a prosecution of Imperial. In addition to the monetary penalty, Imperial has agreed, among other things, to provide cooperation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire and investigatory agencies, including providing documents and the assistance of its officers, agents, and employees.

U.S. Attorney Kacavas praised the agreement saying, “This NPA ensures the end of Imperial’s life insurance premium finance line of business while allowing it to carry on its legitimate lines of business. Importantly, Imperial has provided and will continue to provide substantial assistance in the investigation of those individuals whose fraudulent conduct was at the root of the illegal business practices.”

This case is being investigated by the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arnold H. Huftalen and Seth R. Aframe are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire.