Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Former North Carolina Law Enforcement Officer Found Guilty for Role in Providing Armed Support to Large-Scale Drug Trafficking Organization

A jury in the Eastern District of North Carolina found a former North Carolina police officer guilty of drug, firearm and bribery charges stemming from his participation in trafficking narcotics and narcotics proceeds for a large-scale drug trafficking organization.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John Stuart Bruce of the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement.

Antonio Tillmon, 33, a former police officer with the Windsor City Police Department, was found guilty of multiple counts of conspiring to distribute controlled substances, attempting to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, conspiring to use and carry firearms in relation to drug trafficking offenses, using and carrying firearms in relation to drug trafficking offenses and federal programs bribery. Senior U.S. District Judge Malcom J. Howard of the Eastern District of North Carolina scheduled sentencing for Aug. 8, 2017.

The charges stemmed from a large scale undercover investigation into allegations of systemic law enforcement corruption in Northampton County, North Carolina. The evidence at trial established that Tillmon accepted $6,500 from undercover FBI agents posing as drug traffickers in return for transporting a total of 30 kilograms of heroin from North Carolina to Maryland over three separate occasions between August 2014 and April 2015. On each occasion, Tillmon carried his law enforcement badge and a firearm to secure the illicit narcotics. Tillmon was prepared to use his badge and fake documentation to evade drug interdiction in the event the transport vehicle was stopped. The evidence also showed that Tillmon agreed to participate in a fourth drug transport, to which he brought five firearms, including an assault rifle accompanied by three magazines of ammunition.

Fourteen other defendants, 13 of whom were law enforcement or correctional officers, were charged in the drug trafficking and firearm conspiracies – the law enforcement and correctional officers were also charged with federal programs bribery. Those defendants all pleaded guilty to various offenses and are scheduled to be sentenced later this year. Tillmon is the only charged defendant who proceeded to trial.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Molly Gaston of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby Lathan of the Eastern District of North Carolina. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Division, Raleigh Resident Agency.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mother Sentenced to 26 Months in Prison for Taking Child from Illinois to Canada in International Parental Kidnapping Case

A Canadian woman was sentenced to serve 26 months in prison following her December conviction for international parental kidnapping, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Hansen of the Central District of Illinois.

Sarah M. Nixon, 48, of Montreal, Canada, was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce of the Central District of Illinois. On Dec. 21, 2016, a federal jury found Nixon guilty of one count of international parental kidnapping for taking her minor child from the United States to Canada in July 2015, with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of the father’s rights.

Evidence at trial established that after a custody trial where it was apparent that Nixon would lose custody of her six-year-old daughter, Nixon fled the United States with the child in the middle of the night. When she did not appear for the custody ruling and neither she nor her daughter could be located, law enforcement issued a child abduction alert. Nixon and the child were eventually located in a farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. Authorities then returned the child to the father. Nixon was arrested in New York on Sept. 20, 2015, as she attempted to return to the United States.

Trial Attorneys Elly M. Peirson and Lauren S. Kupersmith of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case. The FBI; Urbana, Illinois, Police Department; University of Illinois Police Department; Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; Ontario Provincial Police; and U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigated the case, with assistance from the Champaign County, Illinois, State’s Attorney’s Office and the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.

Fort Wayne Man Sentenced to 151 Months Imprisonment

For Possession With Intent To Distribute Heroin

FORT WAYNE – The Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, Clifford D. Johnson, announces that Marlon Cole, 40, of Fort Wayne, Indiana was sentenced before Fort Wayne District Court Chief Judge Theresa Springmann after pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute less than 100 grams of heroin.

Cole was sentenced to 151 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release.

According to documents in this case, on July 21, 2016 Cole was in possession with the intent to distribute less than 100 grams of heroin.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the Fort Wayne Police Department.  This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Speith.