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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Man Pleads Guilty to Traveling to Maryland to Engage in Sexual Activity with a Minor

Contacted 13-Year Old Victim Through a Social Networking Site

Gregory King, 28, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today in connection with contacting a 13-year-old girl over the Internet and traveling across state lines to engage in sexual activity with her.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the FBI’s Baltimore Division made the announcement.

King pleaded guilty to one count of coercion of a minor to engage in sexual activity and one count of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor.   He was initially charged by indictment on Feb. 14, 2014.

According to King’s plea agreement, on Oct. 9, 2013, he initiated a chat with a girl on a social networking site whose profile indicated that she was 13 years old.  Throughout October and November 2013, King and the victim exchanged sexually explicit photographs and engaged in sexually explicit conversations.  On Oct. 30, 2013, King chatted with the victim about coming to her house in Maryland, telling her that he would take a bus from Washington, D.C.  The victim provided King with her address, but King was not able to get to the victim’s house that night.   King continued to chat with the victim and on Nov. 21, 2013, shortly after the victim’s 14 th birthday, again discussed coming to her home.  King took a bus from Washington, D.C. on the same date and met the victim at her home, where he spent the night.  King was arrested on Jan. 19, 2014.

As part of his plea agreement, King must register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).   Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 15, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.   Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.   For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc .  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “resources” tab on the left of the page.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Laurel Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney LisaMarie Freitas of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristi O’Malley of the District of Maryland.

Coos Bay Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to being an Armed Career Criminal



EUGENE, Ore. – Christopher Michael Morgan, 41, a resident of Coos County, Oregon, appeared before United States District Court Chief Judge Ann Aiken on July 29, 2014 and pled guilty to being an armed career criminal. Morgan, a felon, admitted possessing a loaded .45 caliber pistol in a woman’s restroom at Mingus Park in Coos Bay, Oregon, at 1:30 am on June 18, 2013.

After accepting the guilty plea, Chief Judge Aiken scheduled Morgan’s sentencing hearing for November 12, 2014. Morgan faces a 15-year mandatory minimum prison term and five years of post-prison supervision. Morgan qualifies to be sentenced as an armed career criminal because he possessed the pistol after being previously convicted of four residential burglaries and a felony assault. Morgan has been convicted six times for possessing methamphetamine and once for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Morgan and a woman were inside the women’s restroom at the park. A Coos Bay police officer confronted Morgan outside the bathroom and attempted to arrest him for violating his parole. Morgan fought the officer and during the struggle held the pistol, then tossed it away. Morgan was subdued and methamphetamine was located in his pocket. He was charged in state court with firearm and drug offenses, and resisting arrest. Coos County’s District Attorney Paul Frasier requested the assistance of the United States Attorney’s office in prosecuting Morgan. Morgan’s guilty plea and admissions were part of a global resolution of his federal and state charges.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Coos Bay Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank R. Papagni, Jr., with the assistance of Coos County Deputy District Attorney Steven Petty, prosecuted the case.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Henning Man Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Firearm Possession and Threatening a Witness



Memphis, TN – Darius D. Mitchell, age 26, of Henning, Tenn., was sentenced to six years in federal prison on July 25, 2014 following his March 2014 guilty plea to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of attempting to threaten a federal witness, announced Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, and 25th District Attorney General Mike Dunavant.

According to the facts alleged in the indictment and revealed during the sentencing hearing, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives began investigating Mitchell in April 2011. During the course of the investigation, federal agents discovered that Mitchell, a previously convicted felon, was in possession of a firearm and ammunition. In addition, on November 28, 2013, Mitchell threatened and intimidated a federal witness to prevent the witness from testifying against him in court.

In addition to the prison sentence, Senior U.S. District Judge Jon P. McCalla ordered Mitchell to serve three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the 25th District Attorney General’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Parks and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel R. Stringfellow represented the government.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Suspect in Armed Robbery and Kidnapping Arrested in Greensboro, NC by U.S. Marshals



Greensboro, NC – On July 28, 2014 at 09:30am, Charles Lewis Compton, a 38 year old, Black Male was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force. On June 3rd, 2014, warrants were issued against Compton by the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office for Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and 2 counts of Second Degree Kidnapping. These warrants stemmed from Compton’s alleged participation in a robbery committed on May 29, 2014, at the Village Business Center and Sweepstakes in Reidsville, NC. It is alleged that Compton, along with three other individuals, entered the business and, at gunpoint, tied up the employees and robbed the establishment.

Investigative efforts by the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force developed information that Compton was at large in the Greensboro, NC area. Compton was eventually located at 1908 Bailiff Street, in Greensboro, where he was arrested by members of the Task Force without incident. Compton was transported and booked into the Rockingham County Jail to await arraignment on the charges. Compton is also wanted by the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office on charges of Assault on a Female and Failure to Appear.

The U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force for the Middle District of North Carolina is comprised of investigators from the U.S. Marshals Service, Chapel Hill Police Department, Durham Police Department, Greensboro Police Department, High Point Police Department, Winston-Salem Police Department, Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Department of Community Corrections – Probation & Parole.

Man Wanted by South Carolina for Murder Arrested in Martinsburg, WV




Martinsburg, WV – On July 28, 2014 Blake Octavian Parrish, 26, was arrested in the 900 Block of Thompson St, Martinsburg, WV by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Mountain State Fugitive Task Force (MSFTF) after a brief foot pursuit.

Parrish is wanted by the Greenwood Police Department in South Carolina for murder and weapons violations. The USMS in the District of South Carolina requested the assistance of USMS in the Northern District of West Virginia believing that Parrish was residing in the Eastern Panhandle area possibly with family. During the investigation it was learned that Parrish was also wanted by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office for Wanton Endangerment with a firearm.

Task Force Officers (TFOs) were conducting surveillance on several locations when Parrish was observed leaving 122 Jackson Pl, Martinsburg, WV. TFO’s and additional members of the Martinsburg Police department converged on the location and attempted to take Parrish into custody. Parrish ignored officers’ commands and fled on foot. Officers pursued Parrish and ultimately a taser had to be deployed to subdue him.

Parrish was charged by the Martinsburg Police Department for obstruction and fleeing and will be charged as a fugitive from justice. Parrish currently remains in Eastern Regional Jail.

The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force agencies present during the arrest were the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Martinsburg Police Department, US Marshals Service and the West Virginia State Police. Additional agencies with the Task Force are the Charles Town Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Shepherdstown Police Department and the West Virginia Parole Office.

The primary mission of the U.S. Marshals led task forces is to locate and capture fugitives charged with violent crimes, drug crimes, sex offenders and other violent felony offenses.

Howard County Bloods Gang Member Exiled to Over 16 Years in Prison in Racketeering Conspiracy




Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Kenneth Ragan-Armstrong, a/k/a "Keezy," age 23, of Savage and Laurel, Maryland, today to 193 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to participate in a racketeering conspiracy and using a gun during a crime of violence.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner; and Howard County State’s Attorney Dario Broccolino.

"Howard County police and prosecutors are working closely with federal agencies to identify and disrupt gangs responsible for violence in the county," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to his plea agreement, Ragan-Armstrong was a member of the Bloods, a national criminal street gang. Beginning in at least 2010, Ragan-Armstrong founded "Cut Throat Committee," or "CTC," a gang whose members are associated with and/or members of the Bloods gang. CTC operated in and around Howard County, Maryland, and many of the members attended high school together.

Among his criminal activities as a gang member, Ragan-Armstrong admitted that he: committed at least two armed robberies of individuals in which drugs, cash and/or other items were stolen; an armed home burglary in which he pistol whipped the victim on the head; and sold drugs.

On May 8, 2013, Ragan-Armstrong was arrested along with 20 others connected with the Bloods. Law enforcement seized a mask, digital scale, 2 ½ ounces of marijuana packaged for distribution and $371 from an apartment used by Ragan-Armstrong.

During a two day sentencing hearing on July 25 and July 28, 2014, evidence was presented relating to Ragan-Armstrong’s use and sale of weapons used by him and other CTC gang members. The guns were used for protection and to rob individuals who also sold drugs – known by gang members as "licks." Witnesses also testified about Ragan-Armstrong’s participation in a sexual assault that occurred in December 2010 at an apartment in Catonsville, Maryland known by

CTC as the "40 House." The Court credited the evidence of the sexual assault when it imposed sentence.

Judge Russell sentenced David Jerome Robertson, age 23, of Columbia, Maryland on July 23, 2014 to 81 months in prison for his participation in the conspiracy. In addition to Ragan-Armstrong and Robertson, nine other defendants have pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy, as the result of a two year long investigation by the ATF and Howard County Police Department into Bloods/CTC gang activity in Howard County. Three other individuals pled guilty to narcotics trafficking and five defendants are scheduled for trial on October 14, 2014.

Mr. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Howard County Police Department and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Rachel M. Yasser, who prosecuted the case.