Friday, May 26, 2017

ATF Offers Reward Up to $5,000 in the Zion Lutheran Church Arson

SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Arkansas State Police and the Saline County Sheriff’s Office are seeking information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the May 22, 2017, arson at the Zion Lutheran Church located at 300 Avilla East Road, Alexander, AR 72002. The fire resulted in a total loss of the property.

On May 22, at approximately 4:16 a.m., a fire was reported at the Zion Lutheran Church. Upon arrival, firefighters found the church engulfed in flames.

The preliminary investigation indicated arson, but the fire is still being actively investigated.

Investigators are seeking the public’s help in solving this crime and are hopeful that this reward will provide additional leads in the investigation. Anyone having information about the fire at the Zion Lutheran Church should call:

1-888-ATF-FIRE (888-283-3473)

Saline County Sheriff’s Office

ATF Little Rock Field Office

Grants Pass Gun Dealer Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Gun Sales

MEDFORD, Ore. – On May 18, 2017, United States District Court Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Wilson Lee Clow, Jr., 68, of Grants Pass, Oregon, to two years in federal prison for illegal gun sales. Upon his release from prison, Clow will be on supervised release for three years. A federal jury previously found Clow guilty on three counts of selling a firearm to a felon and two counts of making false statements during firearms sales during a three-day trial ending June 29, 2016.

According to court documents, Clow was a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) who owned and operated a Grants Pass gun shop called 2nd Amendment Guns. In 2012, he sold high-caliber handguns to a known felon and falsified the paperwork related to the transactions. During these sales, Clow advised the felon that if law enforcement caught him with one of the firearms, the felon should tell the officers he purchased it at a garage sale. Clow also sold firearms from his private collection to avoid federally required paperwork and maintained a list of firearms for other felons who might be interested in purchasing them.

"Federally licensed firearms dealers are expected to be a first line of defense in preventing guns from reaching the hands of criminals," said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. "This sentence sends a message that gun dealers who violate the law and fail to uphold their duties to the community will be arrested, prosecuted and held accountable for their actions."

"The illicit trafficking of firearms remains ATF's highest national priority," said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Darek Pleasants. "Mr. Clow's willingness to operate outside the law, despite being a duly-licensed Federal Firearms Licensee, directly put his fellow Americans at risk."

The ATF Seattle Field Division’s area of responsibility includes the District of Oregon.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and was prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik and Amy Potter, Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Crips Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy in Nebraska

A violent member of the Omaha-area Crips Gang pleaded guilty today to participating in a racketeering conspiracy involving acts of violence including attempted murder and assaults, witness tampering and drug distribution, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Robert C. Stuart of the District of Nebraska.

Dionte Dortch, aka “Killa Tay,” 23, of Omaha, Nebraska, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon of the District of Nebraska to one count of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, one count of witness tampering, one count of attempted obstruction of justice and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. As part of his guilty plea, Dortch has agreed to be sentenced to 20 years in prison. The sentencing hearing for Dortch is scheduled for Aug. 23, 2017.

According to the plea agreement, Dortch admitted to conspiring to conduct and participate in the affairs of the Omaha-area chapter of the Crips, known as the “40th Avenue Crips” and “44th Avenue Crips,” through a pattern of racketeering activity. As part of the plea agreement, Dortch admitted to personally committing acts of violence for the gang in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy. These acts of violence included the hiring of a hitman to kill a potential witness, the shooting and attempted murder of four individuals believed to be associated with a rival gang and using threats of violence to prevent a witness from testifying before a federal grand jury, according to the plea.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Omaha Police Department are investigating the case. Trial Attorney John S. Han of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Molsen of the District of Nebraska are prosecuting the case.