Tuesday, August 23, 2016

U.S. Marshals Introduce Explosives Detection Canine “Ave”

Albuquerque, NM - Deputy U.S. Marshal Todd White and U.S. Marshal Service Explosives Detection Canine “Ave” graduated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Canine Training Operations Center’s canine handler basic course in Front Royal, VA on August 12, 2016.

Having completed the 10-week class and learning the necessary skills to deploy an explosives detection canine in operational environments, Deputy Marshal White and his partner “Ave”, a 16 month old black Labrador Retriever, are the only ATF-certified explosive detection canine unit in the State of New Mexico.

“Ave” was originally part of the Guide Dog Foundation prior to being selected to participate in the ATF Explosive Detection Training Program “Ave” is capable of searching for more than 19,000 explosive odors, including homemade and peroxide-based explosives in the field. The certification consists of five training and evaluation area: Odor Recognition Test, Transportation, Article, Field & Mission. The Odor Recognition Test identifies up to 20 different explosive odors.

The Explosive Detection Canine Program (EDCP) teams serve on the front line of America’s War on Terror. These very effective mobile teams can quickly rule out the presence of dangerous materials that may present a threat. Just as important, they can quickly rule out the presence of dangerous materials in unattended packages, structures or vehicles mainly in government spaces under the auspices of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The ATF provides the canine, initial training, equipment, in-service training and re-certifications to the USMS. The ATF Canine Training and Operations Support Branch (CTOSB) continue to provide canine and explosives-related support throughout program participation. Details include USMS Judicial Conferences, high-threat trials and search warrants. Upon request, the USMS provides support to the ATF CTOSB detail. The USMS personnel have assisted ATF with National Security Special Events, including Super Bowls, Republican and Democratic Conventions and local field division requests.

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Production of Child Pornography

An Alexandria, Virginia, man pleaded guilty today to production of child pornography for enticing minors to engage in sexually-explicit conduct online and recording the acts.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia; Fairfax County, Virginia, Chief of Police Edwin C. Roessler Jr.; and Special Agent in Charge Clark E. Settles of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington made the announcement.

Lucas Aronson, 31, was charged on April 8, 2016, and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia.

According to admissions made in connection with the plea agreement, a video and text chat website reported an Internet Protocol (IP) address to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for streaming child pornography.  The IP address was linked to Aronson’s residence and during a court-authorized search of that residence, law enforcement officers recovered a thumb drive containing child pornography videos and conversations in which Aronson posed as a minor girl as he chatted with female minors online.  Aronson admitted that he enticed some of the minors to engage in sexually explicit activity on web camera and recorded the video.

The Fairfax County Police and HSI investigated the case.  Trial Attorney Lauren Britsch of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay V. Prabhu of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.

Friday, August 19, 2016

California Woman Sentenced to 50 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Illegally Export Fighter Jet Engines and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to China

Wenxia Man, aka Wency Man, 45, of San Diego, was sentenced today to 50 months in prison for conspiring to export and cause the export of fighter jet engines, an unmanned aerial vehicle – commonly known as a drone – and related technical data to the People’s Republic of China in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

The sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Mark Selby of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) in Miami and Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin of the Department of Defense’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS).

On June 9, 2016, Man was convicted by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida of one count of conspiring to export and cause the export of defense articles without the required license.

According to evidence presented at trial, between approximately March 2011 and June 2013, Man conspired with Xinsheng Zhang, who was located in China, to illegally acquire and export to China defense articles including: Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet; General Electric F110-GE-132 engines designed for the F-16 fighter jet; the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, capable of firing Hellfire Missiles; and technical data for each of these defense articles.  During the course of the investigation, when talking to an undercover HSI agent, Man referred to Zhang as a “technology spy” who worked on behalf of the Chinese military to copy items obtained from other countries and stated that he was particularly interested in stealth technology.

HSI and DCIS investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Walleisa of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Thea D. R. Kendler of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section prosecuted the case.