Friday, December 30, 2016

Two Men Receive Multi-Year Prison Sentences for Scheme to Rob Drug Dealers at Gunpoint

CAMDEN, N.J. – Two Camden, New Jersey, men were sentenced to prison today for their roles in a conspiracy to rob a drug stash house of multiple kilograms of cocaine that they believed would be stored at the location, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Cordero Hodge, 25, and Jameel Pierce, 25, were sentenced to 160 and 140 months in prison, respectively. Hodge and Pierce previously pleaded guilty in May 2016 to separate superseding informations charging them each with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle imposed both sentences today in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In October 2013, Hodge and Pierce planned a gunpoint robbery of a drug stash house in order to steal multiple kilograms of cocaine from drug dealers at the location.

During the investigation – which led to the recovery of a sawed-off shotgun from Pierce and a .40 caliber firearm from Hodge – Pierce was recorded saying that he and Hodge would “off them,” referring to killing the occupants of the stash house. Hodge was recorded seeking a silencer for his firearm, saying that he could use a potato, but that it would not silence a .40 caliber firearm.

Special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrested Hodge and Pierce when they arrived at a meeting location in Maple Shade, New Jersey, on Oct. 18, 2013.

A subsequent ballistics comparison linked the same .40 caliber firearm recovered on Oct. 18, 2013 to evidence recovered from the scene of the Aug. 25, 2013 murder of Surinder Singh, who worked as an attendant at Garden State Fuel gas station in Woodbury, New Jersey.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Simandle sentenced Pierce and Hodge to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with the ATF Camden Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George P. Belsky in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentences. He also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Maple Shade Field Office, as well as the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, the Cherry Hill Police Department, and the Maple Shade Police Department.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin C. Danilewitz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Timothy Dale Washington, II (33, Tampa) to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. The Court also ordered him to forfeit the firearm and ammunition used in the offense. He pleaded guilty on September 12, 2016.

According to court documents, on January 24, 2016, deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office located Washington at an apartment complex in Tampa, pursuant to an outstanding arrest warrant. As the deputies announced their presence and approached Washington, he removed a pistol from his pants, dropped it, and fled. The deputies apprehended and arrested Washington. At the time, Washington had multiple prior felony convictions for violent offenses and serious drug offenses, and therefore was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Taylor G. Stout.

This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Daryl R. McCrary, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Task Force Arrests Missing Probationer

Burlington, VT - The U.S. Marshals Service, Vermont Violent Offender Task Force (VVOTF), arrested a missing probationer, whose whereabouts were unknown since November 2016.

Isaac Hunter, 36, of the greater Burlington area, was arrested on Thursday, December 22, 2016 in Burlington, Vermont when located by Deputy U.S. Marshals and members of the VVOTF. Hunter was wanted by the Burlington Police Department for Burglary and Cocaine Charges and also by the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole (P&P), for a Violation of Probation (VOP).

On December 21, 2016 Burlington Police Department contacted the VVOTF and requested assistance in locating and arresting Hunter, as his whereabouts were unknown. Communication with P&P revealed that Hunter was also wanted for violating the terms of his probation. According to P&P, Hunter’S whereabouts became unknown in November 2016 and remained unknown until located and arrested by the VVOTF.

Working with P&P and the Burlington Police Department, the VVOTF chased down leads throughout Chittenden County until they located and arrested Hunter in Burlington on December 22, 2016.

Hunter has a lengthy criminal history, to include a felony conviction.

Hunter was brought to the Chittenden Superior Court, Criminal Division in Burlington, Vermont on December 22, 2016. The outcome of this hearing was not available at the time of this release.

Any further inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to the Burlington Police Department or Probation and Parole.

Hunter’s arrest was a culmination of investigative efforts by the VVOTF, the Burlington Police Department and the Vermont Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole.