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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Attorney General Sessions Reiterates Support of DEA Efforts to Investigate Hezbollah’s Drug Trafficking and Related Activities and Orders Review of Prior DEA Investigations



Attorney General Jeff Sessions today directed a review of the handling of Project Cassandra, a law enforcement initiative targeting Hezbollah’s drug trafficking and related operations in the United States and abroad, to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.

“Protecting our citizens from terrorist organizations and combatting the devastating drug crisis gripping our nation are two of the Justice Department’s top priorities,” said Attorney General Sessions. “Operations designed to investigate and prosecute terrorist organizations that are also fueling that drug crisis must be paramount in this administration.  The DEA has worked tirelessly on this front. I am committed to giving our hard working and dedicated DEA agents all the tools that they need to allow them to shut down these drug rings.

“While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans. We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations

“The Department of Justice is absolutely committed to investigating and prosecuting international drug trafficking organizations and with the assistance of our DEA and FBI agents we will leave no stone unturned as we work to making America safer.”

Friday, December 22, 2017

ATF Partners With NSSF To Offer $10,000 Reward After Burglary Of Oklahoma City Cabela’s



ATF Seeks to Identify Suspect

DALLAS — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Dallas Field Division is offering a $5,000 reward, combined with an additional $5,000 offered by the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF), for a total reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary and theft of more than two-dozen firearms from a Cabela’s location in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

On Monday, December 11, 2017, at approximately 4:30 a.m., an adult subject forced entry into Cabela’s located in the 1200 block of West Memorial Road. The suspect wore a dark hoodie, dark shorts, dark socks pulled up to the knee, dark gloves and a mask at the time of the burglary.

ATF is investigating the burglary in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD). Video of the burglary is available on the OCPD YouTube page by clicking here Theft of Guns from Cabelas - YouTube (link is external).

This reward is part of a larger national cooperative initiative between the NSSF, the trade association for the firearms industry, and ATF in which NSSF matches ATF’s reward in cases involving the theft of firearms from federally licensed firearms retailers.

Report any information regarding these crimes by phone to Crime Stoppers at 1-405-235-7300 or the ATF Dallas Field Division at 1-469-227-4300 or 1-800-ATF-GUNS (283-4867). A tip can also be reported online at www.okcrimetips.com (link is external)or via text through ATF’s new “reportit” app. To text a tip, send the code ATFDAL to 63975, then follow the link to create a report. The “reportit” app is available at www.reportit.com (link is external), at Google Play and the Apple App Store. All tips are confidential and can be anonymous. More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.

Transportation Operator Pleads Guilty to Defrauding the State Department



A local transportation operator pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing federal funds intended for a foreign exchange program maintained by the U.S. Department of State, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia and Inspector General Steve A. Linick of the U.S. Department of State.

Denon T. Hopkins, 49, of Germantown, Maryland, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of public funds and engage in honest services wire fraud before U.S. Senior District Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia.  Sentencing is scheduled for April 6, 2018. 

According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Hopkins was the operator and de facto owner of a transportation company that contracted with the State Department to provide bus and limousine services to Sports United Division, a State Department component devoted to sports diplomacy, which sponsored a foreign exchange program for emerging athletes and coaches from various countries.  The exchange program was managed by George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, through a federal grant and cooperative agreement with the State Department.  During a time period when Hopkins received $247,200 in grant funds for legitimate transportation services, he and a State Department official conspired to steal portions of the federal money allocated to the exchange program by, among other things, falsifying vendor-related invoices and making fraudulent checks payable to Hopkins.  In total, Hopkins stole approximately $17,335 from the State Department.  He also admitted that he used portions of the funds to pay kickbacks to the State Department official to retain his transportation contract.

The Department of State’s Office of Inspector General and the FBI’s Washington Field Office investigated the case.  Trial Attorney Edward P. Sullivan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly R. Pedersen of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.  Former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian D. Harrison provided assistance on the case.