Criminal Justice News

Friday, May 29, 2015

Thirteen Individuals, Including a JSO Patrol Officer, Charged in Organized Crime Investigation

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of four indictments charging 13 individuals with various federal criminal offenses, including conspiracy to commit money laundering, failure to file an IRS Form 8300, structuring of currency transactions, conspiracy to transmit wagering information, and narcotics trafficking.  Included in the indictments is a count charging Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) Patrol Officer Michael Rounsville (46, Jacksonville) with the unauthorized use of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Database. Also charged today are Hedar Khlaf, Manuel Rodriguez, Mollie Bass, Diane Harrison, Erick Estrada-Lopez, Bruce Childs, Christian Magliano, John Amell, Ilia Mato, Vladimir Adunts, Justin Downing, and Evanc Rajta.

According to court documents, between May 2012 and January 28, 2013, multiple individuals conspired to conduct financial transactions with proceeds represented by an undercover agent to be from the distribution of ecstasy.  As part of the conspiracy, a vehicle was purchased without filing an IRS Form 8300, and wire transfers from bank accounts were structured to avoid triggering the filing of a Currency Transaction Report.  In furtherance of the conspiracy, Rounsville exceeded his authorized access to the NCIC database by performing a criminal history check on the aforementioned undercover agent.  The indictment also alleges that in January 2013, several of the individuals conspired to distribute marijuana. Amell, Mato, Adunts, and Downing have each been charged with conspiracy to transmit wagering information related to Internet gambling, and Rajta has been charged with laundering funds represented to be proceeds from the distribution of marihuana.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless,  and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; the United States Secret Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; the Washoe County (Nevada) Sheriff’s Office; and the Nevada Highway Patrol.  It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diidri Robinson.

This investigation, dubbed Operation Thunderstruck, is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, which was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers. Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the Attorney General’s drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, money laundering organizations, and related criminal enterprises.

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