Thursday, March 27, 2014

Defendant Found Guilty of Possessing Heroin and Methamphetamine

TULSA, OKLAHOMA— A Tulsa man with three prior felony convictions was found guilty in federal court Tuesday for possessing a firearm and ammunition, and possessing heroin and methamphetamine with intent to distribute, announced United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Reco D. Manning, 31, of Tulsa, was found guilty of possessing a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver and ammunition; and possessing approximately 22 grams of methamphetamine and 9.5 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute. Manning was previously convicted in Arkansas for Second Degree Battery, Possession of Powder Cocaine with Intent to Deliver, and Possession of Xanax with Intent to Deliver.

Manning was indicted on November 5, 2013. A formal sentencing date has been set for July 2, 2014.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Tulsa Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Gary L. Davis, II prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

University of Virginia NROTC Takes Lead in Promoting Bystander Intervention

By Midshipman 2nd Class Shelby N. Smith University of Virginia NROTC

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NNS) -- The University of Virginia (UVA) Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) unit hosted an event here March 21 in an attempt to take a lead in promoting bystander intervention on campus in order to prevent incidents of sexual assault.

In response to dialogue at a conference in February entitled - UVA: Sexual Misconduct Amongst College Students, UVA NROTC hoped its event would motivate active bystanders and raise awareness of preventing sexual assaults.

The February conference ended with a focus on a need to change the culture that fuels sexual misconduct.

"UVA NROTC's role is one step in changing that culture - one small step in one giant movement," said Capt. Mike Cashman, commanding officer of the unit and professor of Naval science.

The midshipmen's event was a revival of a movement called the "Hand Print Project at the University of Virginia," which focuses primarily on preventing sexual assault among college fraternities and sororities.

According to Cashman, bystander intervention is an approach to sexual violence prevention relying on many and their dedicated efforts to be proactive when witnessing an incident.

Many at the event signed a pledge stating, "I pledge to be an active bystander and stop incidents of sexual assault." Cashman called it a short statement with a powerful message.

"It calls for personal involvement of individuals who sign," he said.

The Dean of Students at University of Virginia, Dr. Allen Groves, also added remarks about the importance of bystander intervention for the UVA community.

By signing the pledge and participating in a host of fun activities at the event, UVA NROTC conveyed the importance of bystander intervention while providing a celebration for every individual's own personal involvement in preventing incidents of sexual assault.

"I believe UVA NROTC showed that the United States Navy is also taking a lead to make a difference, specifically in preventing incidents of sexual assault," said Cashman.

The NROTC program, is overseen by, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) headquartered on Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill. The program was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values in order to commission college graduates as Naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the Naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government. There are NROTC units at more than 160 colleges and universities across the nation.

NSTC also oversees the Officer Training Command at Naval Station Newport, R. I., and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide. NSTC is also ultimately in charge of Recruit Training Command, the Navy's only boot camp, also located on Naval Station Great Lakes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

East Texas Fugitive Arrested in West Monroe, LA

Tyler, TX – Delanda Letregg Player, 48, was arrested on March 22nd by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) - Western District of Louisiana in West Monroe, LA. Deputy U.S. Marshals in West Monroe were working with members of the Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force when they were able to locate and arrest Player.

Player has narcotic warrants with the Tyler Police Department, Smith County Sheriff’s Department, as well as a parole violation from the State of Texas. He was arrested without any resistance.

Player was transported to the Ouachita Parish Jail and will be held without bond pending an extradition hearing back to Texas. He could face additional charges regarding to his status as a sex offender.

The agencies that are members of the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force (Tyler Division) that assisted in this investigation include the Tyler Police Department, Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Office of the Inspector General, Smith County District Attorney’s Office, and the USMS.

The primary mission of the Task Force is to arrest violent offenders and sexual predators. In 2013, the Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force cleared 2,441 cases throughout the Eastern District of Texas.

Fugitive from Jacksonville, TX Arrested in Ohio

Tyler, TX – Kevin Ray Morris, 49, of Jacksonville, Texas was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Task Force in Cleveland, Ohio. Morris has been wanted since October 2013 on sexual offense warrants out of Jacksonville.

The Tyler division of the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force adopted this fugitive investigation last week. Deputy Marshals from East Texas developed information indicating Morris left the East Texas area and was living in Orwell, Ohio. The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Task Force in Ohio was contacted and they developed a plan to arrest Morris at his residence.

Morris attempted to evade arrest by riding an ATV into a heavily wooded area, but was quickly apprehended. Morris is now waiting to be extradited back to East Texas to face his charges.

The agencies of the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force (Tyler Division) that assisted in this investigation include the Tyler Police Department, Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Office of the Inspector General, Smith County District Attorney’s Office, and the USMS.

The primary mission of the Task Force is to arrest violent offenders and sexual predators. In 2013, the Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force cleared 2,441 cases throughout the Eastern District of Texas.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Former Army National Guard Soldier Pleads Guilty in Connection with Bribery and Fraud Scheme to Defraud the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau

To Date, 22 Individuals Have Pleaded Guilty in Ongoing Corruption Investigation

A former soldier of the U.S. Army National Guard has pleaded guilty for his role in a bribery and fraud scheme that caused approximately $70,000 in losses to the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas.

Former Sergeant First Class Michael Rambaran, 51, of Pearland, Texas, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery and one count of aggravated identity theft.   Sentencing is scheduled for June 24, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in Houston.

The case arises from an investigation involving allegations that former and current military recruiters and U.S. soldiers in the San Antonio and Houston areas engaged in a wide-ranging corruption scheme to illegally obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses.   To date, the investigation has led to charges against 25 individuals, 22 of whom have pleaded guilty.

According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. (Docupak) to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).   The G-RAP was a recruiting program that offered monetary incentives to Army National Guard soldiers who referred others to join the Army National Guard.   Through this program, a participating soldier could receive bonus payments for referring another individual to join the Army National Guard.   Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.   To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.

Rambaran admitted that between approximately February 2008 and August 2011, while he was a recruiter for the National Guard, he obtained the names and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers and provided them to recruiting assistants so that they could use the information to obtain fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses by falsely claiming that they were responsible for referring those potential soldiers to join the Army National Guard, when in fact they were not.   In exchange for the information, Rambaran admitted that he personally received a total of approximately $29,000 in payments from the recruiting assistants.

Co-conspirators Edia Antoine, Ernest A. Millien III and Melanie Moraida pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery in connection to this scheme.   Antoine and Millien are each scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 24, 2014.   Moraida is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 26, 2014.   All of these sentencing hearings are set before U.S. District Judge Rosenthal in Houston.

Another alleged co-conspirator, Christopher Renfro, who was indicted on Aug. 7, 2013, remains charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.   Trial is currently scheduled for June 16, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Rosenthal in Houston.   An indictment is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The cases are being investigated by special agents from the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of Army CID’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.   This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Heidi Boutros Gesch and Mark J. Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Three Time Convicted Felon Sentenced on Drug and Gun Charges

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jewell Wiggins, 46, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted of  possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possessing a firearm while being a convicted felon, was sentenced to 188 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Larimer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles E. Moynihan, who handled the case, stated that the defendant was arrested after members of the Rochester Police Department, while conducting a routine traffic stop of his car, found the defendant in possession of a loaded .45 caliber Colt Combat Commander semiautomatic handgun. During the investigation, Wiggins made several admissions to possessing the firearm.

Once under arrest for possessing the firearm, the defendant was transported to the Rochester Police Department Public Safety Building. During this transport, the Rochester Police Department officer observed Wiggins moving around in the backseat of the police vehicle. As this was happening, the defendant stated, “I just want you to know, I’m only moving around back here because I have a bad leg, not because I’m doing anything funny.” The officer searched the rear of his patrol vehicle after he had turned the defendant over the Monroe County Jail and found that the defendant had discarded thirty small bags of cocaine and five small bags of marijuana. Officers also found that the defendant possessed over $300.00 in United States currency.

The sentence is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Cannon, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction Chief Michael Ciminelli.