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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Robbery of TD Bank Branch in Maywood

On February 28, 2012, at 4:24 p.m., a white male entered the TD Bank located at 560 Maywood Avenue, Maywood, New Jersey and approached the teller. The man handed the teller a note that demanded money in specific denominations. The teller complied with an unspecified sum of cash. The suspect then fled in an unknown direction. The robber did not display a weapon and no one was injured during the robbery.

The case is being jointly investigated by the FBI and the Maywood Police Department. Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to contact the FBI at 973-792-3000 or the Maywood Police Department at (201) 845-8800. Citizens are reminded they should never attempt to apprehend a fugitive and to call 911 in an emergency. Images and details of this robbery will be posted on bandittrackernortheast.com.

Three Individuals Charged with 1998 Racially-Motivated Murders of Two Men in Las Vegas

WASHINGTON –  The Justice Department announced today that Ross Hack, 40, Leland Jones, 31, and Melissa Hack, 37, have been charged with first degree murder and firearms offenses in relation to the 1998 deaths of Lin Newborn and Daniel Shersty.  The murders took place on land owned and managed by the Federal Bureau of Land Management within the Las Vegas northwest valley.

 According to the indictment, which was unsealed today, between on or about July 3 and July 4, 1998, Ross Hack, Leland Jones, Melissa Hack and others not named in the indictment, allegedly aided and abetted each other in the premeditated shooting and killing of the two victims.  A third man, John Butler, was convicted of the murders of Newborn and Shersty by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in 2000 and is serving two consecutive life sentences in state prison.  Evidence at Butler’s trial indicated that the defendants were affiliated or associated with racist neo-Nazi “skinhead” groups at the time of the murders, and that Newborn, who was African-American, and Shersty, who was white, were members of the Anti-Racist Action Group, which is also known as the Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARPS).  Both victims were in their 20s at the time of their deaths.

 “This case demonstrates that the Department of Justice will be vigilant in working to ensure that every perpetrator of racially-motivated violence is brought to justice,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “I commend the partnership between federal and local law enforcement agencies that led to the charges in this indictment and for continuing to investigate circumstances surrounding the victims’ deaths.”

 “I commend the law enforcement agents and detectives for their persistence and efforts in this investigation,” said Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada.  “We will pursue the prosecution of these defendants with equal vigor."

 “This week's indictments and arrests in the brutal murders of Daniel Shertsy and Lin Newborn would not have been possible without the extraordinary effort and dedication of the FBI agents, Metro detectives and DOJ prosecutors who have worked on this matter,” said Kevin Favreau, FBI Special Agent in Charge in Las Vegas.  “Even though it was difficult, and it took a very long time to fully investigate, the FBI and Metro never gave up on this case.  And with the support of outstanding prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the DOJ's Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., the public can rest assured that all those responsible for the murders of Daniel Shertsy and Lin Newborn will finally face justice.”

 Ross Hack and Melissa Hack face potential penalties of life in prison or the death penalty.  Jones, who was not yet 18 years old at the time of the murders, faces a potential penalty of life in prison.

 This case is being investigated by the Las Vegas Division of the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Bliss of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada and Trial Attorney Patricia Sumner of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

 An indictment is merely an accusation.  The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by the government at trial.

ICE arrests 45 during enforcement operation targeting convicted criminal aliens in Connecticut and Massachusetts

40 arrested in Connecticut; 5 arrested in Massachusetts

HARTFORD, Conn. — During a four-day targeted enforcement operation in Connecticut and Massachusetts that ended Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers arrested 44 convicted criminal aliens. An additional individual was arrested who had two outstanding arrest warrants in New York and Texas. Of the 45 arrested, 40 were arrested in Connecticut and five were arrested in Massachusetts.

Operation Threats Against the Community commenced Feb. 24. Forty-four of the individuals taken into custody had prior criminal convictions, including 18 aliens who had multiple criminal convictions. Additionally, 24 of those arrested had felony convictions. Many of these criminal aliens had prior convictions for serious or violent crimes, such as indecent assault and battery of a child, sexual assault, possessing and selling dangerous drugs, drunken driving and larceny charges.

"The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ERO's ongoing commitment to public safety," said ERO Boston Field Office Director Dorothy Herrera-Niles, who oversees ERO throughout New England. "Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ERO officers — along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners — there are fewer criminal aliens in our neighborhoods."

The 45 arrests took place in the following locations:

Connecticut:
           Bridgeport
           Danbury
           Darien
           Derby
           East Hartford
           Hamden
           Hartford
           Meriden
           Naugatuck
           New Britain
           New Haven
           New London
           Shelton
           Stamford
           Stratford
           Trumbull
           Waterbury
           Willimantic

Massachusetts:
           Holyoke
           Longmeadow
           Pittsfield
           Springfield

Numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts assisted ERO with these arrests.

Of those arrested, there were 38 men and seven women who are nationals of the following countries: one from Bosnia, two from Brazil, one from Canada, one from Colombia, five from the Dominican Republic, one from El Salvador, one from England, one from Guatemala, one from Guyana, one from Haiti, one from Honduras, 17 from Jamaica, two from Mexico, one from Montserrat, two from Peru, one from the Philippines, three from Poland, one from Portugal, one from Russia and one from Tanzania. They range in ages from 21 to 57.

Forty-four of the 45 individuals were arrested administratively for being in violation of immigration law, and all are being held in ERO custody pending immigration removal proceedings. The individual with an outstanding warrant for their arrest will be turned over to the New York State Police via the extradition process.

Some of those arrested during this operation include:

• A national of the Dominican Republic who was convicted of the following crimes: assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, gaming, smuggling of U.S. currency, knowingly receiving stolen property and malicious destruction of property.
• A national of El Salvador who was convicted of the following crimes: assault and battery of a minor and failing to register as a sex offender.
• A national of Jamaica who was convicted of the following crimes: carrying a weapon without a permit, risk of injury to a minor, eight counts of the illegal discharge of a firearm and three counts of assault on a police officer.
• A national of Haiti who was convicted of the following crimes: assault in the second degree, two convictions for assault in the third degree, sale of illegal narcotics and resisting arrest.
• A national of Canada who was convicted of indecent assault and battery of a minor.
• A national of Jamaica who was convicted of the following crimes: assault, sale and possession of controlled substances.

"This operation is one of the many tools that ERO uses to effectively reduce crime at the street level in communities throughout New England," added Herrera-Niles.

In November 2011, ERO Boston conducted a similar enforcement operation that yielded 53 arrests of convicted criminal aliens in Massachusetts.

This enforcement action was spearheaded by ERO's Criminal Alien Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens. The officers who conducted the operation received substantial assistance from ERO's Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) located in Williston, Vt.

ERO is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ERO also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.

Largely as a result of these initiatives, for three years in a row, ERO has removed more aliens than were removed in fiscal year 2008. Overall, in FY 2011 ERO removed 396,906 individuals nationwide — the largest number in the agency's history. Of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed, were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors — an 89 percent increase in the removal of criminals since FY 2008. This includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence. ERO achieved similar results with regard to other categories prioritized for removal. Ninety percent of all ERO's removals fell into a priority category and more than two-thirds of the other removals in 2011 were either recent border crossers or repeat immigration violators.

Food Lion Robber Gets 20 Years

NEWPORT NEWS, VA—Emmanuel Norman, 27, of Hampton, Virginia, was sentenced yesterday to 20 years and one month in prison for his role in the robbery and shooting of a beer vendor in the Hampton Food Lion Store on October 21, 2011.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Henry C. Morgan. Norman pled guilty on December 7, 2011.

According to court documents, the defendant and a conspirator, Jeffrey Malcou, posing as FBI agents, robbed a Food Lion grocery store in Hampton. During the course of the robbery, the defendants placed what appeared to be explosive devices on the employees of the Food Lion. They threatened to blow the employees up if they tried to do anything to stop them. An altercation occurred between Jeffrey Malcou and a beer vendor who was inside the Food Lion at the time of the robbery. The defendant discharged a firearm, shooting the vendor in the leg. The victim testified at the sentencing hearing and is still recovering from his injuries. Malcou’s case is scheduled for trial in Newport News Federal Court on April 17, 2012.

This case was investigated by the Hampton Police Department and FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Robert Bradenham, II and Special Assistant United States Attorney Bradley Price prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

New Haven Man Sentenced to Nearly Six Years in Federal Prison for Distributing Crack

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BRANDON TOLSON, 30, of Winchester Avenue, New Haven, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 70 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for distributing crack cocaine.

This matter stems from a joint law enforcement investigation conducted by the FBI New Haven Safe Streets Task Force, the DEA New Haven Task Force, the New Haven Police Department, and the Hamden Police Department. Through the use of court-authorized wiretaps, investigating officers identified and dismantled a large drug-trafficking organization that was centered in the Newhallville section of New Haven and Hamden, and was responsible for the distribution of crack cocaine and cocaine throughout the greater New Haven area.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from August to November 2010, TOLSON purchased between 140 and 175 grams of crack cocaine from other members of the drug trafficking organization and then sold the drug in smaller quantities for profit. On November 4, 2010, TOLSON was arrested after he attempted to sell crack to an undercover officer.

On March 15, 2011, TOLSON pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

TOLSON was on state parole at the time of this offense.

Forty-seven individuals have been charged in federal court with various narcotics offenses as a result of this investigation.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Haven Safe Streets Task Force (composed of members of members of the New Haven, Ansonia, Milford, Hamden, and East Haven Police Departments; the Connecticut State Police; and the Connecticut Department of Correction), the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force (composed of members of the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Ansonia, Hamden, and Branford Police Departments), along with substantial participation by members of the New Haven and Hamden Police Departments. The United States Marshals Service also has assisted the investigation.

The investigation was funded in significant part by the United States Attorney’s Office Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and supported by the office’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Anti-Gang programs.

This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher M. Mattei and Robert M. Spector.

Prison Sentence for Puyallup Man Who Dealt Large Amounts of Prescription Narcotics

Defendant Sold Oxycodone from Smoke Shops on Tribal Land

BILLY MIRANDA FLORES, 42, of Puyallup, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 20 years in prison in connection with a major drug distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. In February 2011, FLORES was convicted of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, three counts of distribution of oxycodone, possession of methadone with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime following a two week jury trial. The evidence at trial revealed that BILLY MIRANDA FLORES was selling hundreds or even thousands of pills of Oxycontin (oxycodone), along with methadone, each day. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said FLORES had harmed many people. “The biggest challenge for any judge sentencing someone is distinguishing between dumb or ignorant defendants who need a break, and those criminals that are really bad. I put Billy Miranda Flores among that [latter] group. He preys on people, he has no empathy for other people,” Judge Leighton said.

“This defendant flooded his community with powerful drugs that destroyed the fabric of many lives,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “We commend tribal authorities who worked with federal law enforcement to stop the flow of these drugs into Native and non-Native communities.”

Six people were arrested in October 2009, following a lengthy investigation of prescription drug dealing from the Indian Smoke Shop on Puyallup Tribal Trust Land in Milton, Washington and the Lil Red Smoke Shop on Tribal Trust Land in Tacoma, Washington. According to records filed in the case, the 18-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FBI revealed that BILLY MIRANDA FLORES not only sold large amounts of Oxycontin from his smoke shop, he was also the principal supplier of Oxycontin to other members of the conspiracy who then distributed it. Danny Lee Sherwood was a key coconspirator who stored the drugs for FLORES and sold them to others. FLORES and Sherwood sold the Oxycontin for between $35 and $70 per pill, giving discounts for high-volume purchases. Over the course of the investigation, FLORES and Sherwood sold Oxycontin to a DEA undercover agent and a confidential informant working with police. Agents seized over $50,000 in cash—the proceeds of the drug sales—when the search warrants were executed in October 2009. FLORES was caught with hundreds of methadone pills, and Sherwood had hundreds of oxycodone pills in his car and a safe in his bedroom.

The Puyallup Tribe has since bulldozed the Lil Red Smoke Shop and shut down the Indian Smoke Shop.

In their sentencing memo, prosecutors wrote about the damage done by the oxycontin dealing. “Not only is the health of the individual drug users harmed, but the health and public safety of the entire community is put at risk in many ways. Increased crime, some of it violent, either to support drug habits or simply committed by those high on drugs. Persons high on drugs get into vehicular accidents or cause injuries or damage to property and lives in other ways. Drug addicts soak up medical care and take up hospital beds, as well as raise medical costs for everyone,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

As for the other defendants in the case: Bill Celeya Flores, 60, of Tacoma, father of defendant BILLY MIRANDA FLORES, was sentenced to 57 months in prison; Jay Timothy Morehead, 24, was sentenced to 18 months in prison; and Shelbie Ingham, 19, is serving a nine-month prison sentence. Tiny Bean-Flores, 29, of Tacoma and Danny Sherwood are scheduled for sentencing on March 6, 2012.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The lead investigative agencies on the case were the DEA and FBI, with assistance from a number of state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Fife, Milton, Puyallup, and Auburn Police Departments; the Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team; and the South Sound Gang Task Force, which includes the Tacoma and Lakewood Police Departments; and the Washington State Patrol and Department of Corrections.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory A. Gruber and David Reese Jennings.

Drug Dealers Sentenced

United States Attorney Michael J. Moore, Middle District of Georgia, announced that the Honorable Hugh Lawson, United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia, imposed the following sentences on February 27, 2012:

On December 8, 2011, James Corshoray Willis, age 35, of Moultrie, Georgia, pled guilty to distribution of cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). In his plea agreement, Willis admitted that from April 21, 2010 through August 10, 2010, he sold cocaine to confidential informant on multiple occasions. Willis also stipulated that the amount of drugs attributable to him was at least 500 grams but less than two kilograms of cocaine.

Willis was sentenced to serve 80 months in the Bureau of Prisons. This sentence was ordered to be consecutive to sentences imposed for violating the terms of his earlier imposed parole in Henry County Superior Court Case Number 02-CR-300, for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and in Colquitt County Superior Court Case Number 02-CR-717, for possession of ecstacy. The prison sentence is to be followed by a period of supervised release of three years.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Colquitt County Drug Enforcement Team, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

On November 16, 2011, William McKeithen, age 42, of Valdosta, Georgia, pled guilty to distribution of cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(ii). In his plea agreement, McKeithen admitted that on December 29, 2010, officers with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by McKeithen. A search of the vehicle revealed 998.7 grams of cocaine in eight separate bags hidden inside a cardboard gift box that was located on the front passenger seat.

McKeithen was sentenced to serve 209 months in the Bureau of Prisons. The prison sentence is to be followed by a period of supervised release of five years. McKeithen was categorized a career offender based on his prior 1990 conviction for third-degree murder in Dade County, Florida, and his 2001 conviction for distribution of crack cocaine in the Valdosta Division of the Middle District of Georgia.

The case was investigated by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

On August 19, 2011, David Laster, age 41, of Ocilla, Georgia, pled guilty to distribution of crack cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iii). In his plea agreement, Laster admitted that on January 9 and January 23, February 26, and April 7, 2009, he had sold a total of 128.8 grams of crack cocaine to a confidential informant.

Laster was sentenced to serve 120 months in the Bureau of Prisons. The prison sentence is to be followed by a period of supervised release of eight years. Laster’s sentence was enhanced based on his 1991 and 1998 convictions for sale of cocaine in Irwin County, Georgia.

The case was investigated by agents of the South Central Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

On November 22, 2011, Curtis Lee Williams, age 31, of Lakeland, Georgia, pled guilty to distribution of crack cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iii). In his plea agreement, Williams admitted that beginning on December 16, 2009, and continuing through March 1, 2010, he had sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant. Williams also admitted that on October 7, 2010, deputies of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a rental vehicle he was operating. A search of the vehicle revealed a large bag of powder cocaine. Williams stipulated that he was responsible for 87.69 grams of crack cocaine and 132.69 grams of cocaine.

Williams was sentenced to serve 60 months in the Bureau of Prisons. The prison sentence is to be followed by a period of supervised release of four years.

The case was investigated by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration

On December 19, 2011, Peter Thornton, age 39 of Moultrie, Georgia, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iii). In his plea agreement, Thornton admitted that on January 1, 2007, he possessed both crack cocaine and powder cocaine with the intent to distribute them and that from August 5, 2009 through January 6, 2010, he sold cocaine to a confidential informant. Thornton stipulated he was responsible for 109 grams of cocaine base a/k/a crack cocaine and 337 grams of powder cocaine.

Thornton was sentenced to serve 188 months in the Bureau of Prisons. The prison sentence is to be followed by a period of supervised release of five years. Thornton was categorized a career offender based on his 1990 conviction for sale of cocaine in Colquitt County, Georgia, and his conviction for kidnapping in Colquitt County, Georgia.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Colquitt County Drug Enforcement Team, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

On October 5, 2011, Justin Barron, age 30 of Valdosta, Georgia, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iii). In his plea agreement, Barron admitted that on January 31, 2008, he had sold crack cocaine and powder cocaine to a confidential informant. The court found him responsible for at least 28 grams of crack cocaine but not more than 112 grams of crack cocaine.

Justin Barron was sentenced to serve 135 months in the Bureau of Prisons. The prison sentence is to be followed by a period of supervised release of five years.

The case was investigated by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Valdosta Police Department.

On September 26, 2011, Corey Miller, age 29 of Lakeland, Georgia, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iii). In his plea agreement, Miller admitted that on multiple occasions between November 22, 2009 and February 21, 2010, he sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant. Miller stipulated that he was responsible for 43 grams of crack cocaine.

On December 19, 2011, Miller was sentenced to serve 151 months in the Bureau of Prisons. The prison sentence is to be followed by a period of supervised release of three years. Miller was categorized a career offender based on his 2001 and 2003 convictions for sale of cocaine in Lanier County, Georgia.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On November 3, 2011, the co-defendant and brother of Corey Miller, Johnny Locklear, age 45, of Lakeland, Georgia, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). In his plea agreement, Locklear admitted that on February 3, 2010, he delivered cocaine to the confidential informant at Corey Miller’s direction.

Locklear was sentenced to serve six months in the Bureau of Prisons. Locklear stipulated that he was responsible for less than two grams of crack cocaine. The prison sentence is to be followed by a period of supervised release of three years.

“I appreciate the cooperative efforts of our state, local, and federal partners as we work together to take drug dealers off of our streets and out of our neighborhoods, and put them in federal prison for a good, long time,” U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The cases were all prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Leah E. McEwen.

Mission Man Arraigned on Charge of Aggravated Sexual Abuse

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Mission, South Dakota man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for aggravated sexual abuse.

Markis Anthony Rattling Leaf, age 29, was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 14, 2012. He appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on February 24, 2012 and pled not guilty to the indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is life in custody, a $250,000 fine, or both.

The charge is merely an accusation, and Rattling Leaf is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Maher. Rattling Leaf was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals

CBP Officers' Quick Reaction Results in Seizure of 35 kilos of Cocaine, 2 Arrest

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, working jointly with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), seized on Monday 35 kilograms of cocaine at the Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport in St. Croix, and arrested two individuals for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Calieb Jared Webster, 29, and Jamhila Hodge, 23, both of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, were arrested when they presented themselves for pre-clearance inspection at the St. Croix airport before boarding an American Airlines flight to New York via Miami. Both passengers were traveling together but presented themselves for inspection separately.

During the inspection, CBP officers discovered a total of 21 brick-shaped objects containing a white powdery substance within Webster’s checked luggage and carry-on bags, and 10 additional bricks in Hodge’s carry-on bag for a total of 31 bricks with an approximate total weight of 35 kilograms. The contraband tested positive to cocaine during a field test.

“The CBP workforce remains continually dedicated to the mission of our agency through diligence and hard work. This morning they demonstrated our agency's core values of vigilance, integrity and service through the performance of their duties and responsibilities in an exemplary manner. We expect all our staff to serve the homeland with the same enthusiasm and pride than was shown today” stated Director of Field Operations Marcelino Borges.

“ICE HSI will continue working with our CBP, federal and local partners to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved in the illegal trafficking of narcotics," said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge of HSI in Puerto Rico and USVI. “Those who think that the U.S. Virgin Islands are an easy transshipment point to smuggle drugs into the mainland, should think it twice. ICE HSI and its partners are vigilant and those responsible will be arrested and brought to justice.”

Those arrested had their initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge George W. Cannon on Tuesday and are scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday, March 1 in the District Court of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Croix. They were transferred to the Golden Grove Correctional Facility in St. Croix awaiting the outcome of their case.

The Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States

The ICE HSI investigation continues.

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

West Topsham Man Arraigned for Possession of Child Pornography

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on February 16, 2012, Foster E. Phelps, 38, of West Topsham, Vermont, pleaded not guilty in United States District Court to a single-count indictment charging him with possessing images of child pornography. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy ordered Phelps released to the supervision of the United States Probation Office. Phelps’ will be subject to electronic monitoring and was ordered to have no contact with minors under the age of 18.

According to court records, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at Phelps’ West Topsham residence on February 2, 2012. While executing the warrant, agents found multiple images of children under the age of 18 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. If convicted, Phelps faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. United States Attorney Tristram J. Coffin emphasized that the charges contained in the indictment are accusations only and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.

United States Attorney Coffin commended the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Vermont State Police for their work in this case. The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Timothy C. Doherty, Jr. The defendant is represented by David McColgin from the Federal Public Defender’s Office.

The United States Attorney noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Projectsafechildhood.gov.

Prince George’s County Bank Robber Exiled to Over Eight Years in Prison

GREENBELT, MD—Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Coretz Maurice Mallory, age 26, of Clinton, Maryland, today to 97 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for bank robbery and attempted bank larceny in connection with the attempted theft of an automated teller machine (ATM). Judge Chasanow also ordered Cortez to pay restitution of $108,000 and to forfeit a 2004 BMW.

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 Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to Mallory’s plea agreement, on January 11, 2011, Mallory and others participated in the robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., d/b/a Wachovia Bank, in the 7700 block of Landover Road in Landover, Maryland. On January 11, 2011, two masked persons, armed with firearms, got out of a vehicle parked in front of the bank and entered the bank. The two robbers took a bag of money containing $90,000 from a bank employee, who was also assisting in the robbery. As part of the planned robbery, the assisting bank employee was carrying the bag of currency to the ATM when it was taken by the masked robbers. The two robbers fled the bank, got back into the vehicle still parked in front of the bank, and then sped away. Mallory was one of the three persons who arrived at and fled the bank in the vehicle and participated in the bank robbery, where guns were used in furtherance of the robbery. Two days later, Mallory paid cash for a 2004 BMW automobile.

On February 8, 2011, Mallory and others attempted to break into an ATM at the PNC Bank in the 7300 block of Hanover Parkway in Greenbelt, Maryland. Mallory and the other persons attempted to break into the ATM, which was on the exterior of the bank, using a blow torch, saw, or other cutting tool, causing substantial damage to the ATM. PNC Bank had to replace the ATM at a cost of $28,000.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorneys William D. Moomau and Christen A. Sproule, who prosecuted the case.

Eagle Butte Man Indicted for Sexual Abuse and Assault with Dangerous Weapon

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that an Eagle Butte man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for aggravated sexual contact with a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Jody Jeremy Dupris, age 31, was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 14, 2012. He appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on February 27, 2012 and pled not guilty to the indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in custody, a $250,000 fine, or both. The charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of a victim between October and November 2010 and the alleged assault of a Cherry Creek woman in May 2011. The charges are merely accusations, and Dupris is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Mikal Hanson is prosecuting the case. Dupris was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals. A trial date has not yet been set.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nogales CBP Officers Seize Heroin, Meth Over Weekend

Seized narcotics valued at more than $271K

Nogales, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Tucson Field Office made three separate drug seizures over the weekend, resulting in nearly 12 pounds of heroin and almost seven pounds of methamphetamines being seized, worth nearly $271,000.

CBP officers at the Dennis DeConcini Port referred a 46-year-old Tucson man for a secondary inspection of his Dodge truck when he attempted to enter the United States on Friday. After a CBP officer noticed some possible tampering with the engine, the vehicle was taken to a vehicle lift where officers located seven packages of crystal methamphetamine weighing almost seven pounds and valued at $106,000 concealed in the engine compartment.

Saturday, a 33-year-old man from Glendale, Ariz., was referred for a secondary inspection of his Buick sedan when he attempted to enter the United States. After a CBP detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs, a subsequent inspection was conducted leading officers to discover four packages of heroin inside some luggage. The packages contained almost eight pounds of heroin valued at $102,000.

On Sunday, an 18-year-old Mexican national was referred for a secondary inspection of his Dodge truck when he attempted to enter the United States. After a CBP detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs, the subject’s tailgate was removed for a non-intrusive x-ray. Inside the tailgate officers located four packages of heroin. The packages weighed nearly five pounds with a value of $62,000.

In all three of the incidents, the vehicles and drugs were processed for seizure. The subjects were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

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.

Fugitive from England Indicted for Illegal Firearms, Document Fraud, Identity Theft

SPRINGFIELD, MO—Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that additional charges have been filed against a fugitive from England who was arrested in Ozark, Mo., and indicted by a federal grand jury today for illegally possessing firearms, document fraud, and identity theft.

Edward John Maher, also known as Michael Maher, 56, of Ozark, was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed on Feb. 9, 2012, and includes additional charges. Maher remains in federal custody.

Today’s indictment alleges that Maher used a Social Security card as an identification document for employment verification in Christian County, Mo., on May 25, 2010. The indictment alleges that the Social Security card was not issued lawfully for Maher’s use.

Maher is also charged with aggravated identity theft. Maher allegedly possessed and used a means of identification that he knew belonged to another person. This charge is related to Maher’s alleged use of a Missouri driver’s license in the name of his brother, Michael Maher, on Oct. 12, 2011.

The indictment also includes the charge that was contained in the original criminal complaint. The indictment alleges that Maher, an illegal alien, was in possession of a Hi-Point .45-caliber pistol, a Jennings .380 pistol, a Mauser 7.62x39 rifle, a Mossberg .22-caliber rifle and ammunition on Feb. 8, 2012. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Maher to forfeit those firearms to the government.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, the Ozark Police Department received information on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, regarding a fugitive from England who allegedly stole a large amount of cash while working as a security guard. Ozark police officers and FBI agents conducted surveillance of Maher until he was arrested on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012.

Maher told federal agents that he began working in the United States in 1998 and has been using the identity of his brother, Michael Maher, who lives in England. Police officers seized the firearms from Maher’s residence and from a storage facility in Ozark. Under federal law, it is unlawful for an illegal alien to possess any firearms or ammunition.

Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Ozark, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.

El Centro Sector Border Patrol Agents Seize Narcotics Valued at More than $2.55 Million

Salton Sea, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station arrested two suspected smugglers on February 24, with over $2.55 million worth of illegal narcotics. 

The first incident occurred at 4:50 p.m., after a Border Patrol canine team performing a cursory search alerted to a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu occupied by a 40-year-old female Mexican national at the Highway 86 Border Patrol Checkpoint near Salton Sea. Agents later conducted a thorough inspection which revealed a hidden compartment with 11 packages of cocaine. The cocaine weighed approximately 27 pounds and had a street value of approximately $880,000.

Later that evening at approximately 10:45 p.m., a Border Patrol canine team alerted to a 2004 Honda Accord occupied by a 42-year-old male Mexican national, his adult son and juvenile daughter. After further inspection, agents discovered 42 vacuum sealed packages of methamphetamine hidden throughout several non-factory compartments. The narcotics weighed approximately 52 pounds and had a street value of more than $1.67 million.

Both suspects were arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicles and narcotics.

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.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI Assistant Director in Charge Announce Fraud Charges Against Campaign Treasurer for Candidate Seeking Citywide Elective Office in 2013

At Least 40 Fraudulent Donations Allegedly Designed to Funnel City Matching Funds to Campaign; Defendant Also Charged with Obstruction of Justice

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), today announced fraud charges against JIA HOU, a/k/a “Jenny Hou,” the campaign treasurer for a candidate (the “Candidate”) seeking citywide elective office in 2013 (the “Campaign”). HOU is accused of participating in a scheme that used “straw donors” to funnel to the Campaign large, illegal contributions that were well above the individual limit authorized by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (the “NYCCFB”), with the intent to fraudulently increase the amount of matching funds provided by NYCCFB to the Campaign. She is also charged with obstructing the government’s investigation of suspected fraud in connection with the Campaign’s fundraising efforts. HOU was arrested this morning and will be presented in Manhattan federal court later today.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “New York’s campaign finance laws are not optional. They ensure that all candidates operate on a level playing field and that everyone plays by the rules. Today, we allege that Jia Hou, a Campaign treasurer, was a central figure in a coordinated scheme to break the city’s campaign finance laws. As described in the criminal complaint, Hou concealed the use of straw donors, subverted the city’s electoral system, and obstructed justice. As today’s charges demonstrate, unlawful campaign conduct will not be tolerated.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated: “As the complaint alleges, Hou circumvented the city’s campaign finance rules in a scheme that used straw donors to exceed the limit on individual contributions. The intent of those rules is in part to limit the influence of wealthy contributors on political campaigns. In a very real sense, Hou is accused of undermining the democratic process.”

The following allegations are based on the complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court:

New York City’s Matching Campaign Funds Program
Candidates for elective office in New York City are eligible to receive matching campaign funds from a program administered by NYCCFB. Under the program, for each dollar a New York City resident over 18 years of age contributes to a participating candidate—up to a maximum of $175—the city provides the candidate $6 in matching funds. Accordingly, each candidate could receive up to a maximum of $1,050 in matching funds per contributor. Individuals are allowed to donate up to $4,950 to candidates running for citywide elective offices. For each donation received, campaigns seeking matching funds must provide NYCCFB with a campaign contribution form that includes the donor’s name, address, employment information, and amount donated. The donor must sign the form, acknowledging that he/she is not being reimbursed in any manner for making the contribution.

The Straw Donor Scheme
HOU serves as the Candidate’s treasurer for the 2013 election cycle and is responsible for all financial disclosures related to the Campaign. She is responsible for accounting for every donation and for ensuring that all donations by individuals are within the maximum allowed by New York City. HOU and the Candidate are the only individuals authorized to submit disclosure statements on behalf of the Campaign. HOU is also responsible for disclosing to the NYCCFB the identities of “intermediaries,” also known as “bundlers” involved in soliciting and receiving donations for the Campaign.

HOU participated in a scheme that used straw donors to circumvent the limit on individual contributions and with the intent to fraudulently increase the amount of matching campaign funds provided by NYCCFB to the Candidate’s 2013 campaign. Certain individuals, who wanted to donate more than the legally allowed amount, would instead arrange for straw donors to make contributions that were under the limit. The individuals would then reimburse the straw donors. As part of the scheme, the Campaign submitted fraudulent contribution forms on behalf of the straw donors to NYCCFB. The forms included information about the straw donors as well as their purported signatures acknowledging that each individual donor was not being reimbursed. The information contained in these fraudulent contribution forms is used by the city to determine whether to release matching campaign funds to the Candidate’s 2013 campaign.

In furtherance of the scheme, HOU offered to reimburse an individual for a donation to the Campaign notwithstanding the requirement under New York state law that donations must be paid from a donor’s personal funds and may not be reimbursed in any manner. In a series of instant messages on July 14, 2011, HOU and the individual discussed the reimbursement. After the individual asked if HOU was taking personal funds to reimburse the individual, HOU responded: “Don’t worry about it. I’m gonna mail it to [individual’s residence]. Whenever you get a chance though, I need [you to] sign that form and send it back to me cus [because] I can’t charge your card without a signature.”

HOU also instructed a campaign volunteer (“Campaign-Volunteer-1”) to imitate the handwriting of campaign donors on the contribution forms in order to make it appear that the forms were filled out by the purported contributors and to disguise the Campaign’s use of straw donors. In addition, HOU instructed another campaign volunteer (“Campaign Volunteer-2”) and others not to accept consecutively numbered money orders as donations to the Campaign because NYCCFB had previously notified the Candidate’s 2009 Campaign Treasurer that sequentially numbered money orders indicated that the contributions were coming from the same donors, instead of different donors, as reported. HOU also discussed with Campaign Volunteer- 2 ways to conceal information about campaign fundraisers in order to avoid alerting NYCCFB to the possible use of undisclosed intermediaries and straw donors.

Furthermore, HOU worked closely with individuals who served as intermediaries in connection with multiple events where straw donors were reimbursed for their contributions, and failed to disclose to the NYCCFB their involvement in the Campaign. NYCCFB records show that the Campaign did not disclose any bundlers or intermediaries for the 2013 New York City election cycle until January 17, 2012, despite the fact that the Campaign had been raising funds since at least December 2009. On January 17, 2012, the Campaign disclosed a list of approximately 59 intermediaries to the NYCCFB, but that disclosure did not include multiple individuals who appear to have served in that capacity.

In addition, HOU impeded the government’s investigation of suspected fraud in connection with the Campaign’s fundraising efforts. Specifically, in an apparent attempt to frustrate the investigation, HOU failed to produce facially inculpatory documents in response to subpoenas served on her and represented that her production of documents was complete when in fact it was not.

***

HOU, 25, of Queens, New York, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of attempting to commit wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI and expressed appreciation to the New York City Department of Investigation for its contribution to this ongoing investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by the office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steve C. Lee, Brian A. Jacobs, and Justin Anderson are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Firefighter Fatality

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality:

Name: Matt Waller
Rank: Firefighter/Fire Marshal
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Status: Career
Years of Service: 29
Date of Incident: 02/16/2012
Time of Incident: 1330hrs
Date of Death: 02/25/2012

Fire Department: Memphis Fire Department
Address: 721 W Robertson ST, Memphis, TX 79245
Fire Department Chief: Wiley Davis

Incident Description: Firefighter/Fire Marshal Waller passed away from a stroke he suffered while on-duty at the fire station.

Incident Location: 721 W Robertson ST, Memphis, TX 79245

Funeral Arrangements: Services will be at 1400hrs, 02/28/2012, at the First Baptist Church with the Rev. Daniel Downey officiating. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery. Arrangements are by Hughs Funeral Home of Memphis. (http://www.hughsfuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=1406213&fh_id=10265)

Tribute is being paid to Firefighter/Fire Marshal Matt Waller at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/fatalities/

To date, 13 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2012. Year-to-date monthly and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online @ http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/fatalities/statistics/ff_stats.shtm

Fugitive Wanted for 1996 Murder in Chicago Arrested in Riverside County

Awaiting Extradition to Illinois

A fugitive wanted for a 1996 homicide in Chicago, Illinois was arrested in Hemet, California last Tuesday, after the FBI’s regional fugitive task force received information from the FBI’s Chicago Field Office that led to the fugitive’s location, announced Steven Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and Robert Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office.

Giovanni Spiller, 65, was wanted by the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department after he was identified as a suspect by the Chicago Police Department in a 1996 homicide that occurred in the city of Chicago. In December 1996, an arrest warrant charging Spiller with one count of murder was issued in Cook County, Illinois.

Spiller became a fugitive in 1997 and has eluded capture since. Investigators have sought Spiller in the United States and abroad, and believed he traveled through the Philippines, among other locations. Once Chicago detectives determined that Spiller had fled the state of Illinois, the FBI was asked to join the investigation and a federal warrant charging Spiller with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (UFAP) was obtained in the Northern District of Illinois in May 1997.

Last week, members of the FBI’s Inland Regional Apprehension Team (IRAT) were contacted after investigators in Chicago received a tip indicating that Spiller could be located at a residence in Hemet, California.

IRAT members responded to the home and, after a short surveillance, located Spiller as he was parking in the driveway of the Hemet residence.

IRAT members positively identified Spiller, who had been using a fictitious name, and he was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, California.

Spiller is being held at the Presley Detention Center pending extradition to Chicago to face prosecution. It is anticipated that the United States government will dismiss the federal warrant charging Spiller with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and that he will remain in custody while he awaits prosecution for the state murder charge by the Cook County District Attorney’s Office.

The fugitive investigation was the result of cooperation by the FBI’s Chicago and Los Angeles Field Offices; IRAT members from the Riverside Police Department, the San Bernardino Police Department, and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; and the FBI’s legal attaché assigned to the United States Embassy in Manila, the Philippines.

The FBI continues to work with local law enforcement to apprehend violent criminals charged with state crimes who then flee the jurisdiction interstate or internationally. Photos and descriptions of many fugitives wanted by the FBI can be found at FBI.gov.

Gun Traffickers Arrested in Stockton After Selling Guns to ATF Undercover Agents

STOCKTON, Calif. – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot Thomasson announced Dennis William Estes and Kevin John Webber were arrested Friday morning in Stockton, CA after conspiring to manufacture and sell firearms without a license to ATF undercover agents Friday, Feb. 24.

Estes 37, a resident of Modesto and has been charged with six counts of dealing firearms without a license, six counts of being a felon being in possession of a firearm, two counts of possessing a machine gun and silencer, and conspiracy to commit a federal crime. Webber 35, resident of Lathrop has been charged with one count of aiding and abetting the dealing of firearms without a license and conspiracy to commit a federal crime.

Beginning in November 2011 to February 2012, ATF conducted a proactive firearms trafficking investigation and made undercover purchases of numerous firearms from Estes including two suspected Machine Guns, AR 15 Type Weapons, AK-74 Rifle, silencer, as well as other long guns and hand guns, and approximately 450 rounds of .223 ammunition. Webber aided and abetted the dealing of firearms without a license. Estes attempted to purchase an M-60 Machine Gun on Friday during the pre-arranged undercover meet with ATF undercover agents just prior to his arrest. After Estes was taken into custody ATF seized eight additional firearms, and alleged controlled subtances. Subsequent to the service of a search warrant at Estes' residence ATF located and seized several more firearms.

The two appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, CA. on a criminal complaint alleging the above mentioned violations. Estes is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms because of prior felony convictions.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This investigation was conducted by the ATF, and Task Force Officers from Stockton Police Departments, and the Stanislaus District Attorney's Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hitt.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating firearms violations. More information on ATF can be found at ATF.gov

Northern Arapaho Man Sentenced for Arson and Burglary

U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts announced that on February 24, 2012, Norman Ybarra, a 23-year-old Northern Arapaho Tribal member from the Wind River Indian Reservation, was sentenced for his role in the September 2011 arson and burglary of the Arapahoe Baptist Church. Mr. Ybarra was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Clarence A. Brimmer to 53 months’ imprisonment, five years of supervised release, $200 in court costs, and $223,818.14 in restitution. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.