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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BGF Leader Sentenced to Over 12 Years in Prison for Participating in a Racketeering Conspiracy

The DEA works hard to make sure criminals and racketeers are off the street.  Check out these Drug Enforcement Administration books and be amazed!

Final BGF Defendant Also Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy

BALTIMORE—U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Rainbow Williams, age 32, of Baltimore, today to 151 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for a conspiracy to conduct and participate in the activities of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF), a racketeering enterprise.

Kimberly McIntosh, the final co-defendant and one of the leaders of the conspiracy, pleaded guilty on August 23, 2011, to her participation in the BGF racketeering conspiracy. On the same day, co-defendant Randolph Edison, a/k/a Uncle Rudy, age 52, of Baltimore, was sentenced to eight years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of a stolen firearm.

The sentences and guilty plea were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Secretary Gary D. Maynard of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

According to their plea agreements, BGF is a nationwide gang operating in prison facilities and major cities throughout the United States. Founded in California in the 1960s and introduced into the Maryland correctional system in the mid 1990s, BGF in Maryland is increasingly active on the streets of Baltimore City, as well as in various prison facilities in Maryland.

BGF conducts its affairs through a pattern of criminal activity, including: narcotics trafficking, robbery; extortion; bribery; retaliation against a witness or informant; money laundering; and commercial robbery. BGF members arrange to have drugs, tobacco, cell phones, food, and other contraband smuggled into Maryland prison facilities, sometimes recruiting and paying employees of prison facilities, including corrections officers, to assist BGF and its members in the smuggling of contraband, the collection of intelligence and in the concealment of BGF’s criminal activities. BGF members use violence and threats of violence to coerce incarcerated persons to pay protection money to BGF, to enforce the BGF code of conduct, and to increase their control of the Baltimore City drug trade and the underground “prison economy” in Maryland correctional facilities.

According to their plea agreements, from 2006 through June 2010, Williams and McIntosh were members and leaders of BGF, enforcing discipline in the gang and directing and participating in the drug trafficking activities of the gang. It was forseeable that as a members of the conspiracy, Williams and McIntosh possessed with intent to distribute between 700 grams and one kilogram of heroin.

Specifically, at the direction of BGF leader Eric Brown, Rainbow Williams delivered contraband, including narcotics, to corrections officers to be smuggled into correctional facilities, sometimes paying the officer for smuggling the contraband into prison. Williams even attempted to smuggle contraband into a Maryland correctional facility via a pair of tennis shoes, but he was discovered by corrections officials.

During intercepted phone conversations, Williams and co-defendant Ray Olivis discussed the day to day operations of BGF, violations of BGF protocols, and the sanctions that should be ordered against the members violating those protocols. On April 9, 2009, Williams arranged a meeting of approximately 100 BGF members at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore. In another phone conversation, Olivis, Edison and other BGF members discussed retaliating against a suspected informant.

According to McIntosh’s plea agreement, at various times during the conspiracy McIntosh: stored heroin and packaging material at her residence in the 1100 block of Homewood Avenue; processed heroin for street level distribution on behalf of BGF; and sold heroin to fellow BGF members. McIntosh also hosted and participated in meetings of high ranking members of BGF at her home, where racketeering activities, including drug trafficking, robberies, and retaliation against rival gangs and BGF members who broke protocol, were discussed. McIntosh assisted BGF members in financing the racketeering enterprise, specifically, McIntosh formulated a plan to have each BGF commander on the streets of Baltimore raise $3,000 from his subordinates and transfer those funds to BGF’s central “treasury.” In addition, McIntosh collected membership dues from members, which were paid in part by the racketeering acts committed by members of the conspiracy.

Edison admitted that, on March 13, 2009, he was traveling in a car with three other individuals when the car was stopped by Baltimore Police officers. During the stop, officers recovered a stolen .44 caliber revolver from Edison.

Kimberly McIntosh faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Judge Quarles has scheduled her sentencing for November 8, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. Co-defendant Ray Olivis, a/k/a Ronnie Hargrove, Uncle Ray, Unc and Ray Ray, age 57, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison at his sentencing on December 8, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. Eric Brown, a/k/a E and EB, age 42, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on August 18, 2011.

Mr. Rosenstein praised the DEA; Baltimore City Police Department; Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office; and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their work in this investigation and prosecution; as well as the Baltimore County Police Department; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington D.C. Field Office, for their assistance.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorneys Antonio Gioia, Miabeth Marosy, and Rebecca Cox, for their work in the investigation and prosecution, and Assistant United States Attorneys James T. Wallner and Clinton J. Fuchs, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

Shiprock Man Sentenced to 78 Months in Prison for Attempting to Kill His Common-Law Wife

ALBUQUERQUE—This afternoon in federal court in Santa Fe, Michael Harrison, 29, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, New Mexico, was sentenced to a 78-month term of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on an assault with intent to commit murder charge.

Harrison was arrested on federal assault charges on October 7, 2010 and has been in custody since that time. On October 27, 2010, he was charged in a four-count indictment with: (1) assault with intent to commit murder; (2) assault with a dangerous weapon; (3) assault resulting in serious bodily injury; and (4) abandonment or abuse of a child. On April 19, 2011, Harrison pled guilty to count one of the indictment. In his plea agreement, Harrison admitted that he attempted to murder his common-law wife, also a member of the Navajo Nation, by slashing her throat on September 23, 2010. The remaining three counts of the indictment against Harrison were dismissed at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that the case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, Shiprock Division, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rozzoni.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Firefighter Fatality

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality:
 
Name: Anthony Quinten “Tony” Meyers
Rank: Firefighter
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: Pending
Date of Incident: 08/28/2011
Time of Incident: 1515hrs
Date of Death: 08/28/2011
 
Fire Department: Angelina River Volunteer Fire Department
Address: RTE 7 Box 299-4, Jasper, TX 75951
Fire Department Chief: Richard Lackie

Incident Description: While operating at the scene of an outdoor fire, Firefighter Meyers passed away from injuries sustained when, according to state police, he lost control of the ATV he was operating and crashed into the front of a Texas Parks and Wildlife pickup truck at a roadway intersection.

According to media reports, Meyers was using the ATV to travel between two separate fires that were burning in order to monitor the progress of each blaze.  Local authorities suspect that both fires were intentionally set.

Incident Location: County Roads 39 and 32 in Jasper County, TX.
Funeral Arrangements: Pending
Memorial Fund Contact and Address: Pending
Tribute is being paid to Firefighter Anthony Quinten Meyers at http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/fatalities/
 
To date, 65 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2011; 60 from incidents that occurred in 2011 and five from previous years’ incidents.  Year-to-date monthly and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online @ http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/fatalities/statistics/ff_stats.shtm.

Six MS-13 Gang Members in San Francisco Convicted of Racketeering Charges

All Three Defendants Charged With Murders Convicted and Face Mandatory Life in Prison

WASHINGTON – After a five-month trial, a federal jury today convicted six members of La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, in federal court in San Francisco of racketeering (RICO) conspiracy and related charges, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California and Director John Morton of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).   One defendant was acquitted of the charges against him.

The evidence presented during trial showed that the defendants were part of the violent, transnational gang known as MS-13, which claimed part of the Mission District of San Francisco as its territory and operated in the Bay Area since the 1990s.   Since its inception, MS-13 members warred with rival gang members and sought to extort payments from other criminals in its territory.   However, beginning in 2007, under the leadership of Marvin Carcamo, Angel Noel Guevara, and later, Moris Flores, the violence increased dramatically as the gang sought to expand its reach.   The prosecution presented evidence of more than a dozen shootings and stabbings carried out by MS-13 members in the years leading up to the Oct. 22, 2008, arrest of the majority of the gang’s members, including four murders that occurred in 2008.   The evidence presented at trial also showed how the defendants, with others, conspired to commit a variety of crimes to further the goals of the gang, including attacking and killing rival gang members and others who defied or challenged MS-13.

“These defendants committed senseless acts of violence and spread fear throughout San Francisco, all in the name of MS-13,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer.   “Above all else, they showed allegiance to their murderous gang.   Today’s guilty verdicts, coming after five months of trial, are evidence of our relentless efforts to stop violence in its tracks, and put an end to MS-13’s brutal reign.   These convictions, together with prior guilty pleas, have substantially impacted the gang’s ability to operate in San Francisco.   We will continue to investigate and prosecute violent street gangs wherever we find them.”

“Today’s verdicts should send a strong message to anyone who thinks gang membership gives them the power to intimidate, threaten, steal or kill,” said U.S. Attorney Haag.   “Acts of senseless violence will not be tolerated.   You will be caught and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The jury’s verdict sends a resounding message about the shared resolve of law enforcement and the public to protect our communities from the crime and violence perpetrated by transnational gangs such as MS-13,” said ICE Director Morton.  “Our goal in these enforcement actions is to disrupt a gang’s illegal activities, dismantle the organization, and stop them from further organized and vicious violence.  With this investigation and resulting prosecutions, we’ve crippled this criminal enterprise and defused much of the threat posed by what was once one of the Bay Area’s most dangerous street gangs.”

The defendants convicted today are Marvin Carcamo, 31, aka “Cyco” and “Psycho;” Angel Noel Guevara, 30, aka “Peloncito;” Moris Flores, 22, aka “Slow” and “Slow Pain;”   Guillermo Herrera, 22, aka “Sparky” and “Shorty;” Jonathon Cruz-Ramirez, 22, aka “Soldado;” and Erick Lopez, 23, aka “Spooky.”   These defendants were among an initial group of 29 individuals charged in an indictment unsealed on Oct. 22, 2008, alleging various racketeering, narcotics and firearms-related offenses.

Among other charges, Lopez was convicted of the racketeering murders of Ernad Joldic and Phillip Ng that occurred in the early morning hours on March 29, 2008.   The evidence presented at trial established that Lopez, seeking to retaliate for the shooting of a fellow MS-13 member earlier that night, shot and killed Ng and Joldic, mistakenly believing that the victims were rival Norteno gang members.

Among other charges, Herrera and Cruz-Ramirez were convicted of the July 11, 2008, racketeering murder of Armando Estrada near 20th and Mission Streets.   Herrera was identified as the gunman by an eyewitness, who testified that the gunman pulled down the bandana that masked his face and laughed immediately after the shooting.   Cruz-Ramirez was also convicted for helping to plan the murder and serving as the getaway driver for Herrera.   The evidence showed that Estrada was a “niero,” or someone who sold counterfeit identifications and other items, and that Herrera and Cruz-Ramirez killed Estrada as a result of MS-13’s attempts to extort protection money from “nieros” in the gang’s territory.

Lopez, Herrera and Cruz-Ramirez each face a mandatory minimum of life in prison on the racketeering murder convictions.

Lopez, Herrera and Cruz-Ramirez were also convicted of three racketeering-related conspiracies as well as various firearms offenses, as were the other three convicted defendants – Marvin Carcamo, Moris Flores and Angel Noel Guevara.   Each of these three defendants was a leader of MS-13 in San Francisco in 2007 or 2008 and was linked to different murders committed by the gang.   Carcamo and Guevara, who led the gang in 2007 until their arrest late that year, were linked to the May 2, 2007, murder of David Pollock in San Francisco, with the murder weapon recovered from Carcamo’s home.   Flores, who was leader of MS-13 following the arrests of Carcamo and Guevara, was involved in Lopez’s retaliatory hunt for rival gang murders that led to the murder of Ng and Joldic.   In addition, he also helped coordinate Herrera and Cruz-Ramirez’s flight from the scene of Estrada’s murder, as well as the destruction of evidence after that murder.   Evidence at trial also showed that Flores ordered younger members to “hunt” for rival gang members on July 31, 2008, which led to the stabbing murder of 14-year old Ivan Miranda.

In addition, Guevara was convicted of three racketeering attempted murders that occurred Dec. 26, 2007, when he and an accomplice attacked three separate individuals with knives during a 30-minute spree of violence that began at 24th and Shotwell Streets and ended at Silver Avenue and Mission Street.

Flores, Guevara and Carcamo each face a maximum penalty of life in prison as well as a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, which would be served consecutively to the prison term on the RICO conspiracy charge.   Sentencing for all six defendants is scheduled for Nov. 30, 2011, before U.S. District Judge William Alsup.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys W.S. Wilson Leung, William Frentzen and Christine Wong of the Organized Crime Strike Force of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and Trial Attorney Theryn G. Gibbons of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.   The case was investigated by ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the San Francisco Police Department.

New York CBP Apprehends Fleeing Homicide Suspect at JFK

Jamaica, NY – Trying to escape the long arm of the law is never a good idea; something that a fleeing alleged criminal found out recently at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Even more impressive was how JFK Customs and Border Protection officers were able to track him down with very little information.

On August 21, CBP officers were notified by the New York Police Department Bronx Homicide Squad that a homicide suspect was attempting to flee the United States for the Dominican Republic. The information was based on an anonymous tip received by NYPD and was passed on to CBP officers for further analysis. CBP officers were given a first name only; “Jeffrey” and that he would be boarding a flight to the Dominican Republic in an attempt to flee the U.S. CBP officers armed with this limited amount of information were able to confirm that the passenger in question, a Jeffry Alfredo Ramirez Lopez, was in fact boarding a flight to the Dominican Republic.

Armed with this information, CBP officers conducted a passer-by inspection of outbound passengers waiting to board the Dominican Republican bound flight. The CBP officers conducting the scan of passengers were able to locate Lopez prior to his boarding the flight to the Dominican Republic and detained him until NYPD arrived on the scene.

New York Field Operations Director, Robert E. Perez said, “CBP officers stand on the frontlines in defending the United States from threats both externally and internally. This is another example of our CBP officers working in-concert with other law enforcement agencies in the apprehension of an alleged criminal.”

The subject was turned over to NYPD for processing and arraignment.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Cochiti Pueblo Man Receives 25-Year Prison Sentence for Murdering His 95-Year-Old Grandmother

ALBUQUERQUE—United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, this morning, a United States District Judge sentenced Brian Joseph Chavez, 39, a member of the Pueblo of Cochiti, to a 25-year term of imprisonment for his second-degree murder conviction. Chavez, who has been in custody since his arrest on June 19, 2009, will be on supervised release for five years after he completes his prison sentence.

Chavez was convicted through a guilty plea of murdering his 95-year-old grandmother, Jane Louise Chavez, on June 19, 2009 in the home shared by Ms. Chavez and Chavez in the Pueblo of Cochiti. According to court filings, an investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that, on June 19, 2009, Francisco Chavez, the son of Ms. Chavez and the father of Chavez, went to his mother’s home at approximately 11:30 a.m. for his daily visit. Because Francisco Chavez had lost his hearing, his son typically communicated with him by written notes. When Francisco Chavez arrived at his mother’s home, Chavez handed his father a series of written notes explaining that he had killed his grandmother at her request and in order to end her suffering.

After Francisco Chavez returned to his own home in an agitated state, other family members went to Ms. Chavez’s home and found her dead body on the couch. Chavez explained to them that he shot his grandmother to relieve her suffering. When emergency medical responders got to Ms. Chavez’s home at 1:20 p.m. that day, they determined that she had no heartbeat, was cold to touch, lividity was apparent, and her limbs were stiff. Chavez told an emergency medical responder that his grandmother had been dead since 6:30 that morning. Later that day, Chavez made a detailed statement to agents describing how and why he shot his grandmother “four or five times in the chest.” An autopsy confirmed that Ms. Chavez died from gunshot wounds to the chest.

Chavez was arrested on June 19, 2010 and subsequently was indicted on a first degree murder charge on July 7, 2010. On April 22, 2011, Chavez entered a guilty plea to an information charging him with second degree murder. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the first degree murder charge was dismissed against Chavez after he was sentenced.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Offices of Justice Services, Northern Pueblos Agency, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Presiliano Torrez.

Millersville Man Sentenced for Posing as a Retired Army Special Forces Colonel

Lied for 12 Years About Special Forces and Terrorism Experience to Gain Teaching Employment; Also Fabricated a Story of His Daughter’s Kidnapping and Murder by Sex Traffickers

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced William G. Hillar, age 66, of Millersville, Maryland, today to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for wire fraud in connection with a scheme to lie about his military experience and academic credentials in order to gain employment for teaching and training. Judge Quarles also ordered Hillar to pay restitution of $171,415 and perform 500 community hours at the Maryland State Veterans Cemeteries.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office.

“William G. Hillar claimed that he had earned praise as a hero, but the truth is that he deserves condemnation as a liar,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “He did not serve in the U.S. Army, did not receive military training in counter-terrorism and psychological warfare, and did not lose his daughter to sex traffickers.”

“Mr. Hillar’s fraudulent representations came to the FBI’s attention from concerned citizens, including former members of the Special Forces community. This investigation is an example of the difficulty the public faces trying to verify the accuracy of information on the Internet,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely.

“The Defense Criminal Investigative Service is committed to supporting America’s warfighters and protecting the interest of the American taxpayers,” said Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the DCIS Mid-Atlantic Field Office. “The service members that comprise the Department of Defense’s elite special warfare units have undergone years of specialized training and sacrifice to be called Special Forces. To misuse their titles for personal gain is unconscionable and discredits those that served and continue to serve the United States of America.”

According to Hillar’s plea agreement, from around 1998 to 2010, private and public sector organizations paid Hillar at least $171,415 for teaching, leading workshops, giving speeches and conducting training on counter terrorism, drugs trafficking, human trafficking and related topics. Hillar conducted these activities through a business named “Bill Hillar Training.” According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, most of Hillar’s victims were military, law enforcement or first responder organizations.

In order to secure employment with these organizations, Hillar falsely represented in resumes, biographical statements and on the Internet that: “William G. Hillar is a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Special Forces. He has served in Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America, where his diverse training and experiences included tactical counter-terrorism, explosive ordnance, emergency medicine and psychological warfare.” Hillar also represented that he received a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.

Hillar never served in the U.S. Army or the Special Forces and never attained the rank of Colonel. Hillar never served in Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America, and did not acquire in those locales training and experiences in counter-terrorism, explosive ordnance, emergency medicine and psychological warfare. Hillar did serve in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve as an enlisted sailor from 1962 to 1970, achieving the rate of Radarman, Petty Officer Third Class. According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, the organizations that Hillar purported to train exercise critical public safety and national security functions, and require ongoing training and education in order to respond to new and changing threats. Hillar, who was not qualified, displaced qualified teachers and trainers, thereby putting members of our military, law enforcement and first responders at risk.

Moreover, the government’s sentencing memorandum states that Hillar fabricated a gruesome tale that his own daughter had been kidnaped, forced into sex slavery, sodomized and tortured before being hacked to death with machetes and thrown into the sea. He further claimed that this experience and his life story was the basis for the 2008 film “Taken”. The significant press attention that film generated, in turn, generated free press for Hillar. Hillar admits that he fabricated the story about his daughter, who was alive and well.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service for their work in the investigation, and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Leo Wise, who prosecuted the case.

Bridgeport Man Admits to Participating in the Murder of Three Individuals in 2005

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, announced that AZIKIWE AQUART, also known as “Z” and “Ziggy,” 31, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to three counts of murder in aid of racketeering stemming from his role in the murder of three Bridgeport residents in August 2005.

According to court documents, statements made in court and evidence introduced during Azibo Aquart’s trial in the spring of 2011, Azibo Aquart, who is Azikiwe Aquart’s brother, was the founder and leader of a drug trafficking group that primarily sold crack cocaine out of an apartment building located at 215 Charles Street in Bridgeport. Azibo Aquart and his associates participated in acts of violence, such as threats and assaults, to maintain their control over the group’s drug distribution activities at the Charles Street Apartments. In the summer of 2005, Azibo Aquart and his associates became involved in a drug trafficking dispute with Tina Johnson, a resident of 215 Charles Street who sometimes sold smaller quantities of crack cocaine without the approval of Azibo Aquart. On the morning of August 24, 2005, Azibo Aquart, Azikiwe Aquart and others entered Apartment 101 at 215 Charles Street and murdered Tina Johnson, 43, her boyfriend James Reid, 40, and friend Basil Williams, 54. The three victims were bound with duct tape and brutally beaten to death with baseball bats.

Today, Azikiwe Aquart specifically admitted that he had agreed to participate in what he believed would be a robbery with his brother and others and, after entering the apartment he committed the murder of James Reid, while other participants in the crime murdered Tina Johnson and Basil Williams.

During the trial of Azibo Aquart, in addition to witness testimony, the government offered extensive forensic evidence gathered from the apartment, including fingerprints and evidence that contained DNA from the Aquarts and others.

Judge Underhill has scheduled Azikiwe Aquart’s sentencing for November 14, 2011, at which time Aquart faces a mandatory life term of imprisonment on each of the three counts of murder in aid of racketeering.

On May 23, 2011, after a month-long trial, a federal jury in New Haven found Azibo Aquart guilty of the murders of Johnson, Reid and Williams. On June 15, 2011, the jury unanimously determined that Azibo Aquart should be sentenced to death for committing both the racketeering murders and drug-related murders of Johnson and Williams, but could not reach a unanimous decision as to an appropriate penalty, life imprisonment or death, for the racketeering murder and drug-related murder of Reid.

United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton will schedule a sentencing date for Azibo Aquart after the submission of post-trial motions.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction’s Intelligence Unit, ICE Homeland Security Investigations, United States Marshals Service, Bridgeport States Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracy L. Dayton, Peter D. Markle, Alina P. Reynolds of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, and Trial Attorney Jacabed Rodriguez-Coss of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Capital Case Unit.

FBI in Montana: In Resident Agencies, Agents are ‘Jacks of All Trades’

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In the early days of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, popular lore has it that agents who botched a job risked exile to the Bureau’s remote field office in Butte, Montana. The field office closed in 1989, but the FBI still sends plenty of agents to the Big Sky state. It’s not a punitive measure, but a concerted effort to tackle the same threats confronting the rest of the country.

“If you think this is a sleepy little burg, think again,” says Scott Cruse, an assistant special agent in charge in Helena, one of 10 satellite offices, or resident agencies, in Montana under the governance of the Salt Lake City Field Office, which also covers Utah and Idaho. Priorities here largely mirror those of every other field office: fraud, corruption, cyber scams, child pornography, terrorism, criminal networks. “We may not have the large enterprises in Montana, but we work it up the chain,” Cruse says. “We follow that thread.”

Oftentimes, the thread extends well beyond the state’s expansive borders. In one recent case, an agent in Helena working with local police peeled back the seedy layers of a child pornography web spanning at least five states. In another case, an agent in Bozeman unraveled a local conman’s ruse to trick investors into pouring millions into a fictitious gold-mining scheme. The cases, which we will feature in the coming days on fbi.gov, illustrate how despite the region’s relative remoteness it is not immune to the prevailing threats of the modern era.

“It’s not a small world for us anymore,” says Special Agent Greg Rice, who works in the Bozeman resident agency. “We tend to find a lot of cases that are connected to other states, or even foreign nationalities.” In one such case, a local bank received a fax on what appeared to be the letterhead of a local business. The fax actually originated in Russia, instructing the teller to transfer $50,000 to a foreign account.

“There’s a lot of wealth here,” Rice says. “The people are very nice. They’re very trusting.”

The FBI has 56 field offices and about 400 resident agencies across the U.S. While in the larger field offices agents might work on terrorism or white-collar squads, agents like Rice in the small resident agencies have to be generalists—capable of working any case anytime.

“You have to learn to handle them all,” says Rice. “If people are calling in about fraud you’ve got to deal with it. You can’t wait for the fraud guy to come back.”

The Montana offices support each other on large operations, but individual cases are generally handled locally. Agents in the Kalispell office in Northwest Montana, for example, might focus more heavily on domestic terrorist threats, while in Bozeman and Billings the agents might be tracing the interstate flow of drugs or cyber scams. The 600-mile border with Canada also presents special challenges.

Agent Cruse says it takes a special type of agent to work in a resident agency, or RA. “You have to be a jack of all trades,” he says. “You’ve got to be willing to work long, odd hours, you’ve got to be able to get along with the local police, you’ve got to be diplomatic, and you’ve got to have a tough skin.”

“When you’re in a small RA,” Agent Rice adds, “you are the face of the FBI.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

Albuquerque Bank Robbery

The FBI and Albuquerque Police are looking for a man who robbed U.S. Bank, 2015 Eubank Blvd., on Monday morning.

The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-20s. He is about 5’11, with a slight build, blonde hair and blue eyes.

The man was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

Witnesses say the suspect entered the bank shortly before 11 a.m. and gave a teller a note demanding cash. The note implied the robber had a weapon.

The man left with an undisclosed amount of money. He was last seen traveling on foot west on Snow Heights Boulevard NE.

Bank robbery is punishable by a 20-year prison sentence for each offense and the penalty increases if a dangerous weapon is used in the commission of the crime.

A reward of up to $1,000 may be available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the subject.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Albuquerque FBI Office at (505) 889-1300 (24 hours) or Albuquerque Police Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP.

Seeking the Public’s Assistance in Locating Javaris Crittenton

ATLANTA—Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Brian D. Lamkin, in conjunction with Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. Martinez, Los Angeles FBI, requests the public’s assistance in the following matter:

Javaris Crittenton, age 23, of Fayetteville, Georgia, is wanted by the Atlanta Police Department on murder charges stemming from the August 19, 2011 fatal shooting of 22 year old Julian Jones. On that date, officers responding to a shooting found Ms. Jones with multiple gunshot wounds. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Witnesses in the matter stated that a dark colored SUV vehicle drove by the location firing an assault type rifle.

Crittenton, a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player, is believed to have traveled to the Los Angeles, California area where he is known to have family and friends. Investigators learned that on August 24th, Crittenton purchased and traveled on a one way airline ticket to Los Angeles.

On Monday, August 29, 2011, the Atlanta Office FBI obtained a federal Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP) arrest warrant for Crittenton.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of this individual should contact their local law enforcement agency, the Atlanta FBI Office, tel. (404) 679-9000, or the Los Angeles FBI Office, tel. (310) 477-6565.

Serial Bank Robber Pleads Guilty—Alleged Co-Conspirators Indicted

RICHMOND, VA—Mustafa Khalil Naeem, Age 56, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was sentenced for Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Robbery; Bank Robbery; and Using, Carrying and Brandishing a Firearm During a Bank Robbery.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Michael Morehart, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement after the sentencing by United States District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Judge Hudson accepted the joint recommendation of the parties and sentenced Naeem to a total of 30 years’ active incarceration on the three charges.

The agreement reached resolves 18 unsolved robberies committed by Naeem and others from June 2004, through September 2009, spanning from Maryland to South Carolina, as well as Naeem’s independent armed robbery of the Virginia Partners Bank in Fredericksburg, Virginia on September 25, 2009. The robberies resulted in the theft of over $1,000,000 and the agreement included an order for Naeem to pay restitution to the banks he robbed.

In a related case, Naeem’s alleged coconspirators, David Darnell Lowery, age 37; Derek Lamar Tompkins, age 35; and Tyre Antoine Johnson, age 27; all of Maryland, were charged in a two count indictment returned on August 16, 2011, charging them with Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Robbery and Using, Carrying and Brandishing a Firearm During that Conspiracy. The conspiracy charge alleges 24 separate bank robberies committed as a part of the conspiracy spanning from June 2004 through November 2010, with an alleged loss amount of over $1.3 million. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment. The firearm charge carries a minimum mandatory term of seven years and a maximum of life imprisonment. Lowery and Tompkins are scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on August 31, 2011 before Judge Hudson. Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned on September 30, 2011.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, in conjunction with the local Police and Sheriff’s Departments for the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Fairfax County, Virginia; Charles County, Maryland; Montgomery County, Maryland; Anne Arundel County, Maryland; Howard County, Maryland; Arlington County, Virginia; the City of Alexandria, Virginia; the City of Fairfax, Virginia; the City of Raleigh, North Carolina; and the City of Florence, South Carolina. Assistant United States Attorney Olivia L. Norman is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

Week in Review—Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, IN—The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following:

Benjamin VanAllen, 32, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Theresa Springmann to 78 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to count one of a superseding Indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine in the case U.S. v Rosas et al. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Indiana State Police, the Fort Wayne Police Department and the Allen County Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Geller and Tina Nommay.

Roberto Montemayor, Jr., of Marion, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Theresa Springmann to 60 months’ imprisonment and four years of supervised release after pleading guilty to count one of an Indictment charging him with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Custom Office of Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Indiana State Police, the JEAN Task Force, the Blackford County Sheriff’s Office, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and the Marion Police Department . This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Geller.

Martrell Coleman, 26, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Roger Cosbey to count one of an Indictment charging him with possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fort Wayne Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Geller.

Brendon Coffee, 20, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Roger Cosbey to count one of an Information charging him with delay or destruction of mail or newspaper. Sentencing has been set for 11/28/11. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tina Nommay.

The specific sentence in each case to be imposed upon conviction will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Arkansas Man Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Offenses Related to Firebombing of Mixed-Race Couple’s Home

WASHINGTON—Jason Walter Barnwell, 37, of Evening Shade, Ark., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Ark., to charges related to his involvement in the Jan. 14, 2011, racially motivated firebombing of the home of a mixed-race couple in Hardy, Ark. Barnwell pleaded guilty to one count of civil rights conspiracy and one count of use of fire during the commission of a felony in connection with the incident. Barnwell also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for illegally possessing a firearm on March 16, 2011, the Department of Justice announced today.

Barnwell, along with Gary Dodson, 32, of Waldron, Ark.; Jake Murphy, 19, also of Waldron; Dustin Hammond, 20, of Hardy; and Wendy Treybig, 31, of Evening Shade, were indicted in April 2011 by a federal grand jury on civil rights charges and other federal charges stemming from their participation in the racially motivated firebombing and subsequent attempt to obstruct a federal investigation.

During the plea proceedings, Barnwell admitted that on the night of Jan. 14, 2011, while at a party at his house, he, Murphy, Hammond and Dodson devised a plan to firebomb the victims’ house. Thereafter, all four men drove from Barnwell’s residence to the victims’ house in Hardy. When they arrived, Barnwell, Murphy and Hammond constructed three Molotov cocktails and threw them at the house. The victims’ house sustained some damage; however, the victims were not injured. Barnwell also admitted to illegally possessing a firearm after he had been convicted of a felony.

“We simply will not tolerate racially-motivated violence in this country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute individuals who commit such heinous acts.”

“This joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; along with the Arkansas State Police; the Hardy and Waldron Police Departments; and the Scott and Sharp County Sheriff’s Offices demonstrates how seriously all levels and branches of law enforcement consider these acts of prejudice, intolerance, and intimidation,” said Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “We are committed to protect the civil rights of all citizens of the Eastern District of Arkansas.”

Barnwell faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison. Sentencing has been set for Dec. 20, 2011. Murphy, Hammond and Treybig previously pleaded guilty for their involvement in this matter. Gary Dodson is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 25, 2011.

This case was investigated by the Little Rock Division of the Federal FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ray White of the Eastern District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Henry Leventis of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

Isabel Man Sentenced for Sexual Contact

U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that an Isabel, South Dakota, man charged with abusive sexual contact was sentenced on August 26, 2011, by Chief U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier. Brent Two Bear, age 22, was sentenced to 235 months in custody.

Two Bear was indicted for Abusive Sexual Contact by a federal grand jury on November 2, 2010. In 2007, Two Bear engaged in sexual contact with a juvenile who was under the age of 12. He pled guilty to Abusive Sexual Contact on May 10, 2011.

This case was investigated by the FBI and BIA Law Enforcement Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Wright prosecuted the case.

Two Bear was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

Bloods Leader Arrested, Charged with Possessing Arsenal of Weapons Tied to Murders and Other Violent Acts in Newark

NEWARK, NJ—An alleged leader of the Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods street gang was arrested today and charged with possessing eleven firearms, including two firearms tied to homicides in Newark, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Narik Wilson, a/k/a “Spaz,” 26, of Newark, N.J., was arrested today and charged by criminal complaint with two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms. Count One charges that on April 28, 2011, Wilson unlawfully possessed three firearms, including an assault rifle and a shotgun. Count Two charges that on July 18, 2011, Wilson unlawfully possessed eight firearms, including two assault rifles and two shotguns.

According to the Complaint that was unsealed today:

Wilson was identified as a leader of the Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods street gang. He and other members of the gang were engaged in a “street war” with a rival gang in Newark. Law enforcement received information that Wilson and the other gang members were hiding guns in vacant apartments in Newark.

On April 28, 2011, law enforcement conducted a search at one of these apartments, finding an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a semi-automatic pistol, as well as hundreds of rounds of various types of ammunition, a mask, and heroin. On July 18, 2011, law enforcement searched another vacant apartment, finding eight firearms, including two assault rifles, two shotguns, and other semi-automatic weapons, along with over 100 rounds of various types of ammunition, two ski masks, and cocaine.

After the seizures, Wilson told a confidential witness that he was at war with a rival gang and that law enforcement had seized his firearms from the apartments. Wilson also stated that he was attempting to acquire more guns.

Ballistics analyses demonstrated that two firearms seized on July 18, 2011 were linked to a double homicide in Newark in 2010 and a homicide in Newark in 2011. In addition, analyses also linked seized weapons to 10 other shootings in Newark in 2010 and 2011.

The charges in the Complaint each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The case is assigned to Hon. Joseph A. Dickson, United States Magistrate Judge in Newark.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew W. Horace, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, and the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Director Samuel DeMaio and Police Chief Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest and charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Robertson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: John Kufos, Esq., Long Branch, N.J.
Wilson, Narik complaint

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hogsett Announces Federal Prosecution of Six Individuals in the Shooting Death of Terre Haute Officer Brent Long

INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced today the federal indictment of six Terre Haute residents for their actions in connection with the shooting death of Officer Brent Long. “While the person responsible for killing Officer Long is dead, the legacy of Brent Long must not end there. I will not stand idly by and tolerate law enforcement officers being targets while they perform their sworn duty to protect us all. People who are complicit with a senseless act of violence should also be held accountable,” Hogsett declared.

The shooting occurred July 11, 2011, in the 1800 block of North 8th Street in Terre Haute. Members of the Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force, comprised of Deputy United States Marshals, Indiana State Police and assisted by the Terre Haute Police Department, attempted to serve a warrant on Shaun Seeley for a felony probation violation.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant prepared by the Indiana State Police, members of the task force went to the residence and found it to be occupied by several persons. Shaun Seeley did not appear to be present. The officers removed Defendants Heather Elkins, C.J. Elkins, Utterback, Torres and Padgett from the residence and they were all questioned regarding Seeley’s whereabouts. Three are alleged to have affirmatively responded that Seeley was not inside the residence.

Officer Brent Long and his K-9 partner, Shadow, entered the residence to look for Seeley. Officer Long’s K-9 partner indicated the presence of someone inside a closet. Officers outside the residence heard gunfire. An unknown person continued to fire at officers from inside the residence. Members of the Terre Haute Special Response Team were called to the scene and eventually made entry into the residence. They were able to recover Officer Long and take him to a local hospital. Seeley was found in the residence, dead, with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Seeley was in possession of Long’s firearm and ammunition.

Further investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police, the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department and the Terre Haute Police Department.

That investigation involved interviews of Defendants Torres and Padgett. During the interviews, Torres is alleged to have falsely claimed that she and C. J. Elkins were asleep and were unaware Seeley was inside the residence. During his interview, Padgett is alleged to have falsely stated that a witness, Cyrus Mitchell, was not present at the residence just before the officers arrived to serve the warrant on Seeley.

Investigation also involved efforts to determine the source of the weapon used by Seeley. It was revealed that Scott Griffy, 40, of Terre Haute, sold a 9mm handgun to Seeley in June of 2011. Griffy is a convicted felon who can not legally possess a firearm. According to the federal indictment, Griffy knew Seeley also to be a convicted felon, yet sold the firearm to him. This 9 mm handgun, illegally possessed by Griffy, illegally sold to Seeley, is alleged to be the firearm used in the death of Officer Long.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthias Onderak, who is prosecuting the case for the government, the defendants face the following sentences and fines:

Scott Griffy 40, Terre Haute

- Unlawful sale of a firearm to a prohibited person
- Unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- Unlawful possession of firearm ammunition by a convicted felon

If convicted, all counts are punishable by a prison sentence up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

Heather Elkins, 23, Terre Haute
Charles Elkins, 23, Terre Haute
Roberta Utterback, 51, Terre Haute
Jenny Torres, 23, Terre Haute
Jesse Padgett, 21, Terre Haute

All charged with making a material false statement. If convicted, these charges are punishable by a prison sentence up to five years and a $250,000 fine.

In 2011, 117 police officers have been killed in the line of duty, 47 of them by use of a firearm. U.S. Attorney Hogsett said, “too many police officers are being killed in our communities by individuals who have no legal right to possess a firearm.” Hogsett added, “while in the abstract, the charge of making a false statement may seem trivial and insignificant, the circumstances of this case demonstrate the value of this federal prosecutorial tool in assisting our state and local law enforcement partners.”

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Warm Springs Police Shooting Investigation Completed

The United States Attorney’s Office has notified the FBI that it will not pursue criminal charges against Warm Springs Police Officer Levi Dowty related to the line-of-duty shooting death of Vernon Middleton that occurred on March 20, 2011. This decision was the result of an independent investigation conducted by the Oregon State Police and the FBI.