Friday, April 26, 2013

Justice Department Returned $1.5 Billion to Victims of Crime since January 2012

As the United States concludes its recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman announced that the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program has returned more than $1.5 billion in forfeited assets to more than 400,000 crime victims since January 2012.  The funds were distributed through the forfeited assets distribution program managed by the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS).

“Returning forfeited funds to crime victims is an essential ingredient in achieving justice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “Fulfilling this important mission, the department has distributed over $1.5 billion over the past 16 months to victims of fraud and others.  I commend the prosecutors in the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices around the country, as well as the many federal, state and local law enforcement agents, who have worked so hard to reach this milestone.” 

AFMLS, in close coordination with the U.S. Attorneys’ offices and federal law enforcement agencies, reviews and rules on petitions for remission submitted by crime victims.  During the past decade, AFMLS has partnered with federal regulatory agencies, court-appointed receivers, private claim administrators, and private class action cases to successfully return more than $3 billion in forfeited assets to crime victims.
Noteworthy cases include:

$729 Million to Victims of Adelphia Communications
Adelphia Communications Corporation was the fifth-largest cable television company in the United States before going bankrupt in 2002 as a result of fraud committed by its principal owners, the Rigas family.  In April 2005, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York entered into settlement agreements with Adelphia and the Rigas family, including forfeitures of cash, stock of Time Warner Cable Inc. (purchaser of Adelphia assets), real estate, and the proceeds from a litigation trust.  The total value of the forfeited assets, including accrued interest, was approximately $729 million.  AFMLS approved the appointment of a special master to identify and notify victims of the remission, process victim petitions, make decision recommendations, and distribute the forfeited funds.  In April 2012, the special master commenced distribution of funds to 8,727 victims.

$65 Million to Victims of Enron Securities Fraud
In June 2012, the Criminal Division released approximately $65 million in forfeited funds to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for distribution to approximately 128,200 victims of the Enron Corporation securities fraud.  The funds were forfeited in several criminal and civil actions handled by the Department of Justice’s Enron Task Force, the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division and AFMLS.  In the late 1990s, Enron was the nation’s largest natural gas and electricity marketer.  Beginning in 1997, principals of Enron defrauded Enron’s shareholders by using off-balance-sheet transactions with certain Special Purpose Entities (SPE) the principals controlled.  As a result of these illegal actions, Enron’s stock price dropped from more than $80 per share to less than $1.  Enron eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

$45 Million to Victims of Qwest Communications Fraud
Between April 2012 and April 2013, the Criminal Division distributed approximately $45 million to approximately 112,200 victims of fraud committed by Qwest Communications International Inc.  The funds were forfeited to the United States as a result of the 2007 federal conviction of Qwest’s Chief Executive Officer, Joseph P. Nacchio, for securities fraud.  Between 1999 and 2002, Nacchio and Qwest issued false and misleading statements to the public about the company’s financial condition in order to meet revenue projections.  After the irregularities were discovered, Qwest stock, which had traded as high as $55 per share, plummeted to about $1 per share.  The prosecution of Nacchio was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.

$20 Million to Victims of Warshak/Berkeley Products Fraud
On June 14, 2012, the Criminal Division released $23 million in forfeited funds to 138,426 victims of a nutritional supplement fraud.  Customers who requested a free sample of the Berkeley “sexual enhancement” product were fraudulently billed for additional products they did not order.  The prosecution of Berkeley and its principal, Steven Warshak, and related forfeitures were handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

$1.3 Million to Victims of ICT Telemarketing Fraud
In December 2012, the Criminal Division distributed approximately $1.3 million to victims of Integrated Check Technologies (ICT), a payment processor.   ICT withdrew funds from victims’ bank accounts without their authorization in furtherance of a telemarketing fraud scheme.  Approximately $2.9 million was civilly forfeited by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York.  The Criminal Division approved more than 3,600 petitions with verified losses of $1.3 million.  Because the amount recovered through forfeiture exceeded the victims’ total losses, each victim received a 100 percent reimbursement.

$2.4 Million to Victims of “UniDyn” Securities Fraud
In February 2013, the Criminal Division distributed $2.4 million to victims of a “pump and dump” securities fraud orchestrated by Randy Jenkins and Ira Gentry.  Jenkins and Gentry secretly acquired millions of shares of UniDyn on the Over the Counter market and posted messages online falsely touting the company’s earning potential.  After having fraudulently “pumped” the value of UniDyn stock, Jenkins and Gentry proceeded to “dump” their holdings on unsuspecting buyers.  Jenkins and Gentry were convicted of multiple counts of securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, and one count of tax evasion.  In related civil actions, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona obtained forfeitures of cash and real and personal property valued at approximately $3.35 million.   About 660 persons submitted petitions for remission, of which 466 were approved by AFMLS, with confirmed losses of $5.8 million.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony

Washington, D.C. ~ Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Thank you, Tony, for those kind words, and for your leadership as Associate Attorney General.   I’d also like to thank Mary Lou for the outstanding work that she and her colleagues in the Office of Justice Programs are leading .   It’s a privilege to take part – once again – in this important annual ceremony.   And it’s a pleasure to join so many friends, colleagues, and passionate advocates in celebrating the achievements of this year’s National Crime Victims’ Service Award recipients.
I’d like to extend a special welcome to each of today’s honorees – along with the proud family members and supporters who have traveled from far and wide to help us pay tribute to their outstanding work.   I’d like to acknowledge all of the national leaders, critical partners, and dedicated victims’ service providers – in this room and throughout the country – whose daily contributions are instrumental in our work to assist and empower victims.   And I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude – on behalf of President Obama and my Justice Department colleagues – to each of the dedicated men and women who, as we speak, are working around the clock to coordinate victim support with the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the aftermath of last week’s heinous and cowardly terrorist attack.
As our comprehensive investigation unfolds, and we continue to seek justice on behalf of all who were killed or injured in this incident – I’m confident that their efforts will touch and improve the lives of countless ordinary citizens and law enforcement officials who were impacted by this tragedy.   And I want each of them to know that – by providing direct assistance, offering support, and aiding in the healing process, they are not only standing with those in need – in a larger sense, they’re also helping to ensure, and make real, our nation’s fundamental promise of justice for all.
This promise lies at the heart of today’s ceremony – and at the center of the remarkable work of those we’ve gathered to celebrate.   Although none of our awardees sought special recognition for their actions, all of them richly deserve it.   And all should be commended for their dedication to helping others, and their determination – even under the most difficult circumstances – to make a positive difference.  
From safeguarding victims of sexual violence, to helping survivors recover and reach their full potential – some of this year’s award recipients have provided invaluable assistance to those who are struggling to get their lives back on track.   Others are being recognized for their work to identify and implement new technologies , resources, and training programs – and to build support for innovative policy initiatives, legislative proposals, and needed litigation assistance – that can help to lessen the physical, emotional, and financial impact of crime.  
One of our honorees transformed a heartbreaking personal tragedy into a powerful force for positive action by promoting nonviolence and strengthening community relations.   Another employed the skills he gained during an impressive career in law enforcement to help solve cold cases and bring some degree of comfort to victims of sexual assault.   And yet another came forward to provide crisis intervention and support to victims and eyewitnesses of the tragic mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011.  
All of them are improving lives – and giving voice to every victim’s right to respect, restitution, and relief.   Many are pioneering new strategies for engaging with federal, state, local, and tribal authorities to help guard against exploitation, abuse, human trafficking, sexual violence, and online threats.   Through counseling sessions and educational programs, some have restored hope to victims whose lives have been shattered.   And all are raising public awareness about our work to address persistent needs – and to take our comprehensive victim support efforts to a new level.  
Of course, I realize that – in this time of budgetary uncertainty, when sequestration has imposed untenable cuts across every federal agency, and so many government leaders have been asked to do more with less – advancing this critical work has in many ways never been more difficult.   But it’s also never been more important.   And that’s why, today – as we gather in observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week – I want to assure you that the Department of Justice is more determined than ever to help ensure your continued success.   We are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each of the leaders in this room – to help move this country toward the goals we share.   And I’m proud to report that we are proving our determination – and backing up our commitment – with a plan for action.  
Thanks to the tireless work of public servants throughout OJP and, especially, its Office for Victims of Crime, under the leadership of Principal Deputy Director Joye Frost – over the last four years, the Department has provided training opportunities, enhanced resources, and development support to fulfill our responsibilities to crime victims.   Through important programs like OVC’s groundbreaking Vision 21 initiative, we’ve developed a clearer understanding of the needs and challenges facing the crime victim advocacy field.   And we’re working to address these needs by providing investments in cutting-edge research, legal assistance, and evidence-based policy solutions.  
Earlier today, at an event on Capitol Hill sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy – a longtime supporter of crime victims, and a fierce advocate for the Crime Victims Fund – OVC released the framework for the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative.   When the full report is unveiled, it will lay out a blueprint for closing gaps in victim-related research, expanding reporting systems, and securing more flexibility in the administration of the Victims of Crime Act to bolster the capacity of victim assistance providers.  
I’m pleased that the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2014 allocates $45 million to build on the important work Vision 21 has made possible – including $20 million to support Tribal Assistance for Victims of Violence.   I look forward to working with Congress to secure the passage of this budget plan, and to address the needs and concerns raised in this new report.   In the meantime, however, I’m also determined to keep working under existing authorities to expand our comprehensive victim assistance efforts – and to do so starting immediately.
As many of you know – in addition to National Crime Victims’ Rights Week – today’s ceremony falls during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.   I can think of no better time to pay tribute to those who serve as champions for individuals in need – including two awardees who are being honored for their work with victims of sexual assault.   And I am proud to announce – today – that the Department is releasing an updated National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations – or, SAFE Protocol.   The Department developed this important tool to promote victim recovery, improve the criminal justice response, and ensure offender accountability in the wake of a sexual assault.  
The SAFE Protocol offers specific guidelines, practices, and recommendations that will strengthen our ability to preserve, collect, and analyze evidence.   It draws on the expertise and insight of the healthcare providers, legal practitioners, law enforcement personnel, victim advocates, forensic scientists, and others who are engaged in this important work every day.   And it will enable us to harness the latest technologies, data-driven policies, and cutting-edge strategies to help all victims of sexual assault – including those with limited English proficiency, victims with disabilities, tribal communities, military service members, and LGBT individuals.  
Along with our sweeping efforts to engage a broader range of allies and partners – from mental health and elder abuse prevention groups, to law enforcement professionals; from faith-based organizations, to hospitals and victim service organizations – big and small – this new Protocol is emblematic of the Justice Department’s revitalized commitment to reduce and address victimization wherever it occurs.   Together with the new Vision 21 framework, it represents a promising roadmap for the future of our comprehensive efforts.   And today’s ceremony serves as an essential reminder that – despite all that this community has achieved; despite the pride we take in the service our awardees have rendered to their communities and our nation; and despite the promising work that’s underway throughout the country – we cannot yet afford to be satisfied.   This is no time to become complacent.   Each of us has a responsibility to do even more.  
In communities across America – from Tucson, to Newtown, to Boston, and far beyond – we’re depending on leaders like you to guide and inform our work.   We’re relying on you to help rally new partners to this cause.   And we’re counting on you to keep driving the progress our citizens so desperately need; keep inspiring our nation to aim higher; and keep pushing us all to become better when it comes to serving and assisting those who are in need.  
Thanks to this year’s awardees, I’m confident that we’re already on the right track.   As I look around this crowd, I’m certain that – if we remain focused, and continue to engage with one another – there’s no limit to what we can achieve together.   And I look forward to where our comprehensive efforts will lead us in the months and years ahead.
Congratulations, once again, to each of our National Crime Victims’ Service Award recipients.   I urge all of you to keep up the great work.   And it’s now my privilege to introduce a key leader of these efforts in the United States Congress – and a survivor of the 2011 Tucson shootings, who knows firsthand the power and importance of your work – Representative Ron Barber.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Florida Woman Sentenced to Serve 72 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute Prescription Drugs Over the Internet

Lina Rodriguez, 34, was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to serve 72 months in prison, followed by 24 months of supervised release, for operating and facilitating the operation of an Internet-pharmacy business that illegally shipped over $1.5 million of pharmaceuticals since July 2007 to U.S. and overseas purchasers.  
According to the Dec. 6, 2012, indictment, Rodriguez owned an Internet-pharmacy business used to advertise, sell and distribute a wide variety of controlled substances and prescription drugs in the United States and abroad.   Since May 2009, her co-defendant, Michael P. Jackson, of Carmi, Ill., supplied Rodriguez with the prescription drug known as Adderall, which contains amphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
The drugs distributed by Rodriguez’s business included Adderall, Ritalin (containing the controlled substance methylphenidate), Esbelcaps (containing a combination of the controlled substances fenproporex and diazepam ), and other controlled and non-controlled substances.
“This prosecution aims to curb the flow of dangerous drugs into the hands of United States citizens,” said Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. “The controlled substance drugs allegedly sold by the defendants were not dispensed by U.S. licensed pharmacies, and were not prescribed by any physician.  Along with FDA, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and our other law enforcement partners, we will continue to protect our citizens from unsafe and potentially harmful drugs.”
Rodriguez pled guilty to the lead count of the indictment on Feb. 11, 2012, which charged her and Jackson with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute Adderall.    According to her plea agreement, Rodriguez agreed to forfeit two vehicles and not to oppose a judgment against her in the amount of $36,112, as gross proceeds of the offense to which she pleaded guilty. Jackson awaits sentencing on June 3, 2013.
The case was investigated by the Miami Field Office of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations; the Miami Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Sacramento Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin J. Larsen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, and Perham Gorji, Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra Capo Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy

Anthony Staino, 55, of Swedesboro, N.J., pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in a racketeering conspiracy as a capo in the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra (LCN) Family and committing loan sharking and illegal gambling.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Staino pleaded guilty to conspiring to conduct and participate in the affairs of the Philadelphia LCN Family through a pattern of racketeering activity.  He faces a maximum penalty of 70 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jul. 17, 2013.

Through court documents and statements yesterday in court, Staino admitted that, as a made member and capo of the Philadelphia LCN Family, he gave a usurious loan to an undercover FBI agent and used threats of violence to collect payments on the loan.  Staino also admitted that he ran an illegal electronic gambling device business for the mob, providing video poker machines and other gambling devices for bars, restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops and other locations in Philadelphia and its suburbs, and then collected the illegal gambling proceeds.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the New Jersey State Police, the Philadelphia Police Department, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.  Additional assistance was provided by the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney John S. Han of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank A. Labor III and Suzanne B. Ercole of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Valuable prosecutorial assistance was provided by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Former Tuscaloosa Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation for Sexually Assaulting a Woman

Jason Glenn Thomas, 34, a former sergeant with the city of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Police Department, pleaded guilty today to a criminal civil rights charge for using his authority as a law enforcement officer to sexually assault a woman.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Thomas admitted that while on duty shortly after midnight on March 27, 2011, he stopped and detained a female pedestrian without placing her under arrest.   Thomas then transported the woman in his department issued patrol vehicle to a remote area and sexually assaulted her.  
“This former officer did the unimaginable when he used his police powers to sexually assault this victim,” said Roy L. Austin, Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.   “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those who abuse their position and authority to harm those individuals whom they have sworn to protect.”
“Most police officers work diligently every day to protect the citizens,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce White Vance. “A community must be able to trust its police officers.  My office is committed to prosecuting any officers who abuse the authority of the badge to commit a crime.  This abuse of the public’s trust will not be permitted.”
“Mr. Thomas dishonored his badge and his fellow officers when he violated the civil rights of a female pedestrian while on duty, in uniform and in a marked patrol car,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Birmingham, Ala., Field Office Richard D. Schwein Jr. “Citizens have a right and should expect ethical and proper treatment from all law enforcement officers and we, as civil servants, must never forget that we have sworn an oath to serve and protect them. The public can be assured the FBI will continue to aggressively pursue those rogue officers who violate that trust.”
Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.   Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2013, before U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith.
This case was investigated by the Tuscaloosa resident agency of the FBI’s Birmingham Field Office, and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney George Martin for the Northern District of Alabama.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Alabama Murder Suspect Captured

Savannah, GA – An Alabama man wanted on Murder and Armed Robbery charges was arrested by the United States Marshals Service Savannah Office of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department (SCMPD) Patrol units on April 14, 2013 in the Turtle Creek Apartment complex.

Kiunte Jerome Furr, 18, was wanted by the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for capital murder charges which occurred during an armed robbery on April 9, 2013. The case was referred to the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force in Birmingham, Alabama for assistance in locating and arresting Furr. The Gulf Coast Task Force generated information that Furr could be in the Savannah, GA area, possibly at 516 Vinson Street possibly with a Broderick Davis. This information was passed to the Savannah Task Force, who went to the address early on Sunday April 14, 2013 to find Furr. While talking to the residents of the Vinson Street address, Task Force officers determined that the female resident, Sherita Bellinger sent a text message to her son Broderick Davis, who was staying with his girlfriend in Turtle Creek apartments to alert him that the Marshals were at her home. Marshals’ Task Force Officers and SCMPD officers immediately went to the Turtle Creek apartments. Broderick Davis was seen walking in the parking lot of the complex in a suspicious manner and was stopped by officers. Other Marshals Task Force Officers drove through the complex and saw an individual milling around one of the dumpsters in a suspicious manner and confronted the subject. The suspicious subject matched the description and photo of Kiunte Furr, and he was immediately arrested. Furr was taken to the SCMPD headquarters to be interviewed by SCMPD homicide detectives and will then be taken to the Chatham County jail to await extradition proceedings to send him back to Alabama. Sherita Bellinger was also arrested for Obstruction by Hindering Apprehension of a fugitive and taken to the Chatham County.

Through excellent coordination and cooperation between Task Forces and our local law enforcement partners, another dangerous felon was captured. Fugitive apprehension is a 24/7 operation and the Marshals Task Forces and our local law enforcement partners are there to capture these dangerous fugitives regardless of the day of the week or hour of the day.

Annually, investigations carried out by the U.S. Marshals result in the apprehension of over 36, 000 federal fugitives. More federal fugitives are arrested by the Marshals Service than all other federal agencies combined. In 2012, U.S. Marshals led task forces arrested 86,704 state and local fugitives, which cleared over 114,000 warrants.

The Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force has three offices: Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah. The task force covers the whole state of Georgia. The Savannah Office of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force is a team comprised of investigators from the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Department, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department, the Hampton County Sheriff’s Department, and the United States Marshals Service. The task force objective is to seek out and arrest fugitives charged with violent crimes, drug crimes, sex offenders, and other felonies.

San Jose Double Homicide Suspect Caught in Mexico

San Jose, CA – U.S. Marshal Don O’Keefe is proud to announce the arrest of Pedro Medina-Castillon, who is wanted to stand trial in the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County, for two counts of homicide. The 31-year-old suspect was arrested Tuesday in Guadalajara, Mexico, for purposes of extradition to the United States by the Policia Federal Ministerial assigned to PGR Interpol Mexico, working with assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service Mexico City Foreign Field Office, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.

It is alleged that in July 2012 in San Jose, Medina-Castillon forced entry into the home of Maribel and Pedro Jimenez. While their three children looked on, Medina-Castillon allegedly shot and killed Pedro Jimenez, then went to the master bedroom and shot and killed Maribel Jimenez while she attempted to call 911. Investigators believe Medina-Castillon then fled to Los Angeles and eventually on to Mexico.

Due to a relentless investigation conducted by the San Jose Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service Deputies in San Jose, and with the assistance of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the DOJ Office of International Affairs, Pedro Medina-Castillon was taken into custody on the basis of a Provisional Arrest Warrant, which seeks his extradition to the United States.

Other U.S. Marshals Service entities involved in the U.S. Marshals portion of the investigation include the Investigative Operations Division, International Investigations Branch and the Technical Operations Group.

The U.S. Marshals Service is the primary federal agency charged with conducting fugitive investigations throughout the United States. The U.S. Marshals Service regularly works in concert with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to seek out and arrest violent fugitives and sex offenders, and has established task forces throughout the nation to facilitate the apprehension of fugitives.

U.S. Marshals Task Force Nab Murder Suspect Who Allegedly Killed Victim with a Hammer

Fort Walton Beach, FL – The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force along with Okaloosa County Deputies captured Coty Keith Holmes at a motel in Fort Walton Beach earlier today. The Task Force, working with information provided by the U.S. Marshals Smokey Mountain Fugitive Task Force from Chattanooga, TN, determined that Coty was in the Fort Walton Beach area last night. Early this morning, task force members pinned down Holmes’ and that he was about to check out of the motel that sits at the corners of Miracle Strip and Beal Parkways.

The 25 year-old Holmes, considered a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Top Ten Wanted Fugitive, is wanted by the and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for his alleged involvement in beating a man to death with a ball-peen hammer and who was found in a cornfield in Cowan, Tennessee in March. Holmes is the third suspect arrested in connection with this murder and is being charged with First Degree Homicide and Felony Murder. There is still one suspect at large, David Gordan Jenkins who is also being sought on the same charges.

Anyone with information of the whereabouts of Jenkins is asked to call 1-800-TBI-FIND or the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at (931) 962-0623 or your local law enforcement agency.

Coty was transported to Okaloosa County Jail and booked in as a fugitive from justice.

Man Accused of Shooting at Police Arrested in Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, WV - A major fugitive, wanted on two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder on Police Officers and numerous armed robbery warrants, was arrested by the Charleston Police Department, U.S. Marshals, and members of the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) on the west side of Charleston early this morning.

Rashad Akeem Williams, 21 years old, was being sought by the Macon Police Department, Georgia for firing at Police Officers during an armed robbery. It is possible that Williams may face additional local charges related to this morning’s arrest, subsequent to a search warrant executed by MDENT on the residence where Williams was found.

Fugitive from Justice charges will be filed against Williams, and he will be held at the South Central Regional Jail pending an extradition hearing in Kanawha County Court.

Annually, investigations carried out by the U.S. Marshals result in the apprehension of approximately 34,000 federal fugitives. More federal fugitives are arrested by Marshals than all other federal agencies combined.

The United States Marshals Service's Cops United Felony Fugitive Enforcement Division (CUFFED) Task Force is a team comprised of law enforcement officers from over twenty local, county, state, and federal agencies in Southern West Virginia. The task force objective is to seek out and arrest violent felons and sexual predators. Last year, U.S. Marshals task forces arrested more than 27,000 state and local fugitives on felony charges.