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Monday, July 15, 2019

Heart Butte man admits distributing meth to minor


GREAT FALLS – Gary Allen Jimenez, a Heart Butte resident, admitted drug distribution charges today for providing a minor with methamphetamine on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Jimenez, 24, pleaded guilty to distribution of a controlled substance to a person under 21. Jimenez faces a minimum mandatory one year to 40 years in prison, a $2 million fine and at least six years to life of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided and set sentencing for Oct. 24. Jimenez is detained.

The prosecution said in court records that in early 2017, FBI agents began investigating allegations that persons on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation were providing meth and other drugs to minors. A juvenile girl was identified as being involved in such activity and communicated with potential meth dealers through Facebook. A search of the juvenile’s Facebook accounts identified Jimenez as being involved in illicit transactions with the juvenile, who at the time was between 12 and 14 years of age. The juvenile told law enforcement that he provided her with meth on multiple occasions and that they had smoked it together.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Starnes prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Blackfeet Tribal law enforcement.

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Twenty-two Individuals Facing Federal Charges following Violence Reduction Partnership Investigation into Gang Violence in Miami Gardens


After a lengthy investigation into the criminal conduct of various street gangs operating in and around Miami Gardens, Florida, a federal grand jury indicted 22 people in Miami on charges that include drug trafficking, armed drug trafficking, dealing in firearms, and firearm possession by convicted felons.  Some of the defendants are members and known associates of the Zone 3 gang, a Miami Gardens based gang.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Ari C. Shapira, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Delma Noel-Pratt, Chief of the City of Miami Gardens Police Department, and Gadyaces S. Serralta, U.S. Marshal for the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Today’s operation involved approximately 200 federal and local law enforcement officers.  During the course of the operation, law enforcement officers arrested 17 of the 22 indicted defendants and seized over 40 firearms, approximately 220 rounds of assorted ammunition, cash, cocaine, crack, heroin, fentanyl, Alprazolam, marijuana, other drugs, and drug paraphernalia.

“As demonstrated by these charges and the arrests this morning, our commitment to combatting violent crime and drug trafficking in the City of Miami Gardens is unrelenting,” said U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan.  “Thanks to the collaboration of federal and local law enforcement, the armed sale of drugs and firearms by these Zone 3 gang members and associates in the City of Miami Gardens has come to an end.  We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to combat violence, drug distribution, and the illegal sale and possession of firearms to ensure safety in our communities.”

“Today is truly a good day for our community, parts of which that have been terrorized by this group of violent individuals who have long-created chaos within the City of Miami Gardens.  I am proud of our partnerships to include the Miami Gardens Police Department.  This collaboration has led to the seizure of considerable evidence against this group to include more than 40 firearms,” said Special Agent in Charge Ari Shapira, ATF, Miami Field Division.  As we all know, even one firearm in the wrong hands can destroy countless lives.  This investigation proves that collaboration works, and demonstrates our commitment to combat gun violence and improve the communities of South Florida.  We all want our communities in South Florida to be filled with the sounds of happy children playing outside, not the noise of stray gunfire that strikes fear in the hearts of parents.  The people in Miami Gardens deserve no less.”

“Drug dealing and violent crime associated with gang activity have an insidious impact on our communities.  They take a toll on our citizens through street violence, increased law breaking, and addiction.  The vicious armed gangs pushing this poison into the streets tear apart the fabric of our communities,” said Scott A. Rottman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami.  “It is a complex problem that requires effective partnerships between law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal level.  Our combined efforts aim to disrupt and dismantle the criminal organizations involved in the illegal drug trade.  Removing drug traffickers and violent gang members from the streets means they can no longer threaten the health and safety of our communities.  We will continue to target these criminal organizations and their violent activities to ensure they are held responsible for the harm they cause.”

“I’m extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of my lead detectives, as well as other departmental personnel.  As a result of the strong partnerships that have been established with our federal, state and local partners, we are able to bring this case to a successful conclusion, said Miami Gardens Police Department Chief Delma Noel-Pratt.  “This case reaffirms the Miami Gardens Police Department’s commitment to building a safer community.”

“Today, in Miami Gardens, the strong partnership between police officers and federal agents resulted in a successful operation that makes the City of Miami Gardens safer,” said Chief Deputy Darin D. Cooper for the U.S. Marshals Service.  “We remain committed to combatting violent crime.”

“Today is a win for residents of Miami Gardens, South Florida, as well as the many law enforcement agencies that worked together to say collectively, we will not tolerate crimes of any nature,” says Mayor Oliver Gilbert. “We are thankful to everyone involved in this operation and for the collaboration with agencies like the ATF, FBI and DOJ who provided access to expanded resources during the course of this investigation. Our combined efforts and activities have resulted in dangerous individuals, drugs, and illegal guns being taken off our streets.”

THE INDICTMENTS:

(1) United States of America v. Ernest Renard Smith, et al., Case No. 19-20415-CR-Gayles/Otazo-Reyes.

The first indictment, containing 21 counts, names: Ernest Renard Smith (“E. Smith”), 35; Ernest Smith, Jr. (“E. Smith Jr.”), 62; Thaddeus Auguast Smith, Jr. (“T. Smith”), 28; Denico Lynden Dudley McSweeney (“McSweeney”), 30; and Ivan Lewis Harris (“Harris”), 38, all of Miami Gardens.  According to the indictment, from at least as early as May 2018, and continuing through January 29, 2019, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy.  E. Smith, E. Smith Jr., T. Smith, and Harris each face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the conspiracy count.  McSweeney faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on the conspiracy count.

The first indictment also charges E. Smith with seven counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, such as heroin, crack cocaine, and/or fentanyl, three counts of dealing in firearms and ammunition, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and three counts of being a felon in possession.  If convicted on all counts, E. Smith faces up to 20 years in prison on each count of possession with intent to distribute charge, five years in prison on each count of the dealing in firearms and ammunition charge, life imprisonment on the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking charge with a five year mandatory minimum term in prison on this charge, and 10 years in prison on each felon in possession charge.

The first indictment also charges T. Smith with possession with intent to distribute a heroin.  If convicted on this count, T. Smith faces up to 10 years in prison.

The first indictment also charges McSweeney with three counts of dealing in firearms and ammunition and four counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin.  If convicted on all counts, McSweeney faces up to five years in prison on each dealing in firearms charge, and 20 years in prison on each possession with intent to distribute charge.

(2) United States of America v. Sonya Anita Spivey, et al., Case No. 19-20417-Altonaga/Goodman.

The second indictment, containing 10 counts, names: Sonya Anita Spivey (“S. Spivey”), 49, of Miami Gardens; Jacqueline Renee Spivey (“J. Spivey”), 53, of Miami Gardens; Janie Spivey Bryant (“J. Bryant”), 68, of Miami Gardens; Charlie Billy Herman Taylor (“Taylor”), 25, of Miami Gardens; Keno Reuben Teveris Burton (“Burton”), 31, of Miami Gardens; Tekieya Nicole Aldridge (“Aldridge”), 41, of Opa Locka; and Alton Claude Hammonds (“Hammonds”), 38, of Miami.  According to the indictment, from at least as early as August 2018, and continuing through April 11, 2019, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute N-Ethypentylone, Alprazolam, cocaine, crack cocaine, eutylone, and ecstasy.  The defendants face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the conspiracy count.

The second indictment also charges S. Spivey with seven counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, such as, N-Ethypentylone, cocaine, Alprazolam, eutylone, and marijuana. If convicted on all counts, S. Spivey faces up to 5 years in prison for the possession with intent to distribute Alprazolam count and 20 years on each remaining possession with intent to distribute charge.

The second indictment also charges J. Spivey with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, such as fentanyl, eutylone, and marijuana.  If convicted on this count, J. Spivey faces up to 20 years in prison.

The second indictment also charges J. Bryant with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, such as fentanyl, eutylone, and marijuana.  If convicted on this count, J. Bryant faces up to 20 years in prison.

The second indictment also charges Taylor with possession with intent to distribute Alprazolam and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  If convicted on both counts, Taylor faces up to five years in prison on the possession with intent to distribute count and life imprisonment on the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking charge with a five year mandatory minimum term in prison on this charge.

The second indictment also charges Burton with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, such as cocaine, eutylone, Alprazolam, and marijuana, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  If convicted on all counts, Burton faces up to 20 years in prison on the possession with intent to distribute count and life imprisonment on the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking charge with a five-year mandatory minimum term in prison on this charge.

(3) United States of America v. Michael Anthony Hardaway, et al., Case No. 29-20416-CR-Williams/Torres.

The third indictment, containing eight counts, names: Michael Anthony Hardaway, Jr. (“Hardaway”), 42; Clementa Leaford Johnson, Jr. (“Johnson”), 42; Eric Ransom (“Ransom”), 49; Erin Meil Williams (“Williams”), 39; and James Earl Cammon (“Cammon”), 40, all of Miami Gardens.  According to the indictment, from at least as early as October 2018, and continuing through April 11, 2019, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute eutylone, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy, Percocet, and marijuana.  The defendants face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the conspiracy count.

The third indictment also charges Hardaway with four counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, such as heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine.  If convicted on all counts, Hardaway faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.

The third indictment also charges Williams with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, such as marijuana, crack cocaine, cocaine, eutylone, and heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  If convicted on all counts, Williams faces up to 20 years in prison on each possession with intent to distribute charge and life imprisonment on the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking charge with a five-year mandatory minimum term in prison on this charge.

The third indictment also charges Cammon with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, such as marijuana, crack cocaine, cocaine, eutylone, and heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  If convicted on all counts, Cammon faces up to 20 years in prison on each possession with intent to distribute charge, life imprisonment on the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking charge with a five-year mandatory minimum term in prison on this charge, and 10 years in prison on the felon in possession charge.

(4) United States of America v. Dana De Von Smith, Case No. 19-20420-CR-King/Becerra.

The fourth indictment charges Dana De Von Smith (“D. Smith”), 49, of Miami Gardens, with two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  If convicted on both counts, D. Smith faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.

(5) United States of America v. Theothis Rogers, Case No. 19-20419-CR-Gayles/Otazo-Reyes.

The fifth indictment charges Theothis Rogers (“Rogers”), 37, of Miami Gardens, with two counts of possession with intent to distribute N-Ethylpentylone.  If convicted on both counts, Rogers faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.

(6) United States of America v. Jason Adam Dulman, Case No. 19-20422-CR-Bloom/Louis.

The sixth indictment charges Jason Adam Dulman (“Dulman”), 40, of Dania Beach, with possession with intent to distribute heroin and use of communications facility.  If convicted on both counts, Dulman faces up to 20 years in prison on the possession with intent to distribute charge and four years in prison on the use of communications charge.

(7) United States of America v. Anthony Maurice Smith, Case No. 19-20418-CR-Ungaro/O’Sullivan.

The seventh indictment charges Anthony Maurice Smith (“A. Smith”), 29, of Miami Gardens, with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  If convicted, A. Smith faces up to 20 years in prison.

(8) United States of America v. Steven Alcime, Case No. 19-20421-CR-Scola/Torres

The eighth indictment charges Steven Alcime (“Alcime”), 30, of Miami, with dealing in firearms and being a felon in possession.  If convicted on both counts, Alcime faces up to five years in prison on the firearms charge and 10 years in prison on the felon in possession charge.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Through the collaborative Southern District of Florida’s Violence Reduction Partnership (“VRP”), the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its federal and local law enforcement allies have sought to dismantle the most violent criminal networks that plague communities throughout the Southern District of Florida. Through these Partnerships, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its federal and local law enforcement allies have sought to dismantle the most violent criminal networks that plague communities in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.  The VRP strives to combat violent crime, narcotics trafficking, gang activity and firearms offenses by prosecuting offenders and working with community leaders and non-profit entities to provide preventive services to the local populations.  The charges announced today are the result of the VRP’s law enforcement initiatives. Additional information regarding the VRP initiatives is available at usafls.vrp@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail) or by calling (305) 961-9134.

The members of the VRP who participated or assisted in this investigation include the United States Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Miami Field Office,   Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, Miami Gardens Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami Field Office, Miami-Dade Police Department.

This investigation, Operation End Zone, is a result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the FBI, ATF, City of Miami Gardens Police Department, and USMS for their dedicated efforts to combat violent crime and drug trafficking in South Florida.  She thanked the Miami-Dade Police Department for their assistance.  These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rilwan Adeduntan and Stephanie Hauser.  Assistant U.S. Attorney William Zloch is handling the forfeiture aspects of this case.

An indictment is a charging instrument containing allegations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Department of Justice Enables Direct Tribal Access to FBI National Sex Offender Registry Direct Access to FBI CJIS’s National Sex Offender Registry Helps Tribal Governments and Law Enforcement Track and Identify Sex Offenders


WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Justice announced today a new tool giving tribal governments the ability to directly input data and gain access to the FBI’s National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) using the Tribe and Territory Sex Offender Registry System (TTSORS).  The system connection will be available to all tribal governments already participating in the Tribal Access Program (TAP), which allows information sharing between tribal and federal government criminal information systems.

TTSORS is a no-cost registry system provided by the Justice Department’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART).  The Department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) developed the connections which allows tribes to seamlessly submit new and updated sex offender information directly from TTSORS to NSOR.

“The Department of Justice is dedicated to addressing the public safety crisis in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, including the high rates of sexual violence against women and children,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “Providing a direct connection to the FBI National Sex Offender Registry gives tribal law enforcement the information they need to investigate and prevent these heinous offenses.”

“Nine of our Western Washington tribes participate in TAP, and this new ability to share information will improve safety in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  “I’m hopeful that more of our tribal partners will successfully apply for TAP funds and we will see additional communities joining in this important information sharing network.”

American Indian and Alaska Native people suffer persistently high rates of victimization, including from sexual assault. According to a 2016 study funded by the National Institute of Justice, more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native adults have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime, and more than half of all American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence from an intimate partner.  In June, the department extended a deadline for tribes to apply for up to $167 million in federal funds through August 16, 2019, to support crime victims throughout Indian country.

“The direct connection between the National Sex Offender Registry and Tribe and Territory Sex Offender Registry System provides increased resources for identifying, tracking, and sharing information about persons convicted of committing these crimes,” said Gwendena L. Gatewood, Chairwoman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.  “It will also allow for further improvements in providing a safer community for all involved to integrate tribal law, custom, tradition and practices in a comprehensive fashion consistent with holding offenders accountable.”

“Standing Rock has always had a priority of ensuring public safety,” said Mike Faith, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.  “Technological advances to our systems ensure that our SORNA staff are able to input offender information and get back in the field while ensuring compliance is maintained.”

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, requires that, when an offender initially registers or updates his or her information in a jurisdiction, that the state, tribe, territory or District of Columbia must submit immediately the information to NSOR as well as other jurisdictions where the offender has to register. TTSORS is a fully functioning registry system that complies with SORNA requirements. TTSORS was created to assist the Indian tribes that have elected to implement SORNA.

Since 2015, the SMART Office, OCIO, the FBI, the Office of Tribal Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office for Victims of Crime, have worked together to develop the Tribal Access Program to provide tribes direct access to national crime information systems for both criminal and non-criminal justice purposes. This includes the ability to directly enter NSOR data and enhance the capacity to collect and submit fingerprints and palm prints to the FBI. TAP has been instrumental in assisting tribes with ongoing implementation of SORNA. In fiscal year 2019, the department expanded TAP to 25 more tribes, for a total of 72 participating tribes.

Tribes with TAP access in Western Washington include: Chehalis, Swinomish, Lower Elwha, Quinault, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Suquamish, Tulalip Tribes, Makah, and Lummi Nation.