Calvert County MD May 24 2013 Matthew David Griffiths, 27, of Lusby was sentenced Friday to six years in prison for stabbing a Tiki Bar bouncer last July.
Griffiths was originally arrested in August 2012, and later indicted on charges of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, wearing and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and disorderly conduct.
After a two-day trial in February, a Calvert County Circuit Court jury convicted Griffiths of first- and second-degree assault. The two remaining charges were dropped before the trial began.
Griffiths was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison, with all but six years suspended, for the first-degree assault charge. The second-degree assault charge was merged with the first-degree assault charge, and he was given credit for 97 days he has already served in jail. He also was placed on five years of supervised probation upon his release.
During the trial, Solomon Ogle, who worked last summer as a bouncer at the Tiki Bar in Solomons, testified he was working the night of July 3, 2012, and at about 1 a.m. July 4, he noticed two men “wrestling around” in the alleyway between the Tiki Bar and the Grill Sergeant. He said he walked over to the two men and told them to “cut it out” or they would have to leave. The two men broke apart, he said, and he believed the situation to be “squashed.”
Ogle said he then heard someone, later identified as Griffiths, tell him to get out of his friends’ faces because they weren’t doing anything wrong. He testified during the trial he told Griffiths to calm down or he would have to leave. Griffiths continued arguing with him, so Ogle said he told him to leave and started escorting him from the alleyway off Tiki Bar property, but Griffiths allegedly refused to leave.
Ogle testified he then grabbed Griffiths’ arms and started walking him toward the edge of the property, when he felt Griffiths reach into his left pocket and then felt something jabbing his right arm.
Ogle said he did not know he was cut until his arm turned cold and when he looked down he saw he had been “cut severely.” He pushed Griffiths away from him and walked back toward the bar to ask the bartenders to call the police and an ambulance, and Griffiths ran along Charles Street away from the bar, Ogle testified. Ogle was taken to Calvert Memorial Hospital, where he received 33 internal sutures and 68 staples for three deep stab wounds to his right forearm.
Although there were other bouncers and Griffiths’ friends surrounding Ogle and Griffiths, Ogle testified no one else was within 10 feet of them when he was stabbed.
Det. Hawkins with the Calvert Investigative Team, the lead investigator of the case, testified during the trial he interviewed Griffiths at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office the night of the incident.
Hawkins testified Griffiths told him he did not “commit the crime he was accused of.” He said Griffiths admitted there was an altercation at the Tiki Bar with a bouncer but he was not the one who stabbed him. Griffiths said, Hawkins testified, that he ran away after Ogle said, “I’ve been cut,” because he was afraid someone was cutting people and he did not want to be stabbed. Hawkins said he and other detectives went back to the crime scene several times to search in the grass and in the water for a weapon, but a knife used in the crime was never found.
Hawkins said Griffiths had blood on his T-shirt and right shoe, so those were taken and bagged as evidence and sent to the Maryland State Police forensics lab. MSP forensics lab DNA analyst Leslie Mounkes testified the DNA found on the T-shirt and shoe matched Ogle’s DNA.
13 corrections officers indicted in Md., accused of aiding gang’s drug scheme www.privateofficer.com
Baltimore MD April 24 2013 More than a dozen Maryland state prison guards helped a dangerous national gang operate a drug-trafficking and money-laundering scheme from behind bars that involved cash payments, sex and access to fancy cars, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Thirteen female corrections officers essentially handed over control of a Baltimore jail to gang leaders, prosecutors said. The officers were charged Tuesday in a federal racketeering indictment.
The indictment described a jailhouse seemingly out of control. Four corrections officers became pregnant by one inmate. Two of them got tattoos of the inmate’s first name, Tavon — one on her neck, the other on a wrist.
The guards allegedly helped leaders of the Black Guerilla Family run their criminal enterprise in jail by smuggling cellphones, prescription pills and other contraband in their underwear, shoes and hair. One gang leader allegedly used proceeds to buy luxury cars, including a Mercedes-Benz and a BMW, which he allowed some of the officers to drive.
“The inmates literally took over ‘the asylum,’ and the detention centers became safe havens for BGF,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt, using shorthand for the prison gang’s name.
The indictment, unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, puts the spotlight on the enduring power of gangs in jails and prisons. In particular, prosecutors were highly critical of Maryland’s facilities in Baltimore, with procedures and personnel that were “completely inadequate to prevent smuggling” and lacked “effective punishment.”
The Black Guerilla Family was founded in California in the 1960s but now operates nationwide in prisons and on the streets of major U.S. cities, including Baltimore. It arrived in Maryland’s prison system in the 1990s, according to the Justice Department, and is increasingly involved in narcotics trafficking, robbery, assault and homicides. By 2006, federal authorities say, the BGF had become the dominant gang at the Baltimore City Detention Center.
Gary D. Maynard, head of the Maryland agency that oversees the prisons, appeared at the Baltimore news conference where prosecutors announced the charges, and took responsibility for ongoing problems.
“It’s totally on me. I don’t make any excuses,” said Maynard, who was appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley in 2007, when the prison system was experiencing a spate of inmate violence and corrections officers’ complaints of staffing shortages. “We will move up the chain of command, and people will be held accountable.” A spokesman said late Tuesday that all of the officers have been suspended without pay and that the department will recommend that they be fired.
In a statement Tuesday, O’Malley said the indictment arose in part from the efforts of a Maryland prison task force that includes state and federal officials.
It comes at a sensitive time for the Democrat, who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid. Aides have said that part of O’Malley’s political pitch would be his record as a “performance-driven” manager of state government. “We have zero tolerance for corruption among correctional officers, and we will continue striving to make all correctional facilities as secure as they can possibly be,” the governor said.
State Sen. Joseph M. Getty (R-Carroll), a member of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, said the revelations, coupled with a recent string of inmate killings at Maryland prisons, were “a pretty harsh indictment” of O’Malley’s prison policies.
“This is frightening to us as legislators — the level of collusion that has existed between the correction officers and inmates,” Getty said
At the center of the investigation was an alleged leader of the Black Guerilla Family, Tavon White, who prosecutors said fathered five children with four of the corrections officers — Jennifer Owens, 31, of Randallstown; Katera Stevenson, 24, of Baltimore; Chania Brooks, 27, of Baltimore; and Tiffany Linder, 27, of Baltimore — since his incarceration on attempted murder charges in 2009.
In one wiretapped cellphone call in January, White, 36, of Baltimore, told an acquaintance: “This is my jail. You understand that? I’m dead serious. I make every final call in this jail.”
The prison guards were among 25 defendants, including inmates and outside suppliers, charged with racketeering and drug conspiracy. Twenty of the defendants are also charged in a money-laundering conspiracy. Defendants made initial appearances in court Tuesday; they face maximum prison time of 20 years on the racketeering and drug conspiracy charges. The online court docket did not list attorneys for the defendants. One of the defendants was killed in a robbery, prosecutors said, in the hours before the April 2 indictment was filed.
Four years ago, federal authorities in Baltimore targeted the BGF gang at the state prison in Baltimore, sending its reputed leader to prison for 12 years. In that case, prosecutors alleged that gang members, along with four prison guards who were also implicated, ordered hits from their cellphones and enjoyed salmon and Grey Goose vodka that had been smuggled in.
But the scope of corruption in the current case, Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, was stunning.
“Correctional officers were in bed with BGF inmates,” he said. “We need to be able to rely on people within law enforcement — to make sure they are on our side.”
Court papers that were made public Tuesday point to a highly organized, profitable smuggling enterprise within the Baltimore City Detention Center and several connected facilities, including the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center.
According to an affidavit for search warrants for the homes of the prison guards, who were arrested Tuesday, gang leaders strategically recruited female officers who they thought had “low self-esteem and insecurities.”
Gang leaders also relied on other inmates, known as “working men,” whose jobs throughout the prison gave them greater flexibility to pick up and deliver contraband. Inmates then paid for the drugs and cellphones using 14-digit numbers from prepaid debit cards that had also been smuggled into the prisons.
Within Maryland’s detention facilities, staff workers are generally free to move within their assigned areas, according to department spokesman Rick Binetti. With identification, they can often move freely outside of their assigned locations.
In one instance, prosecutors described Officer Jasmin Jones allegedly standing guard outside a closet while Officer Kimberly Dennis had sex with inmate Derius Duncan.
Maynard said department policy prohibits such relationships between inmates and correctional officers but added that he was unaware of the specific allegations until the court documents were made public Tuesday.
Corrections officers also allegedly warned inmates about impending searches of cells, according to prosecutors. In January, White spread the word to other inmates in a cellphone call recorded by law enforcement: “I just got a message saying that they was going to pull a shakedown tonight. Let me call all these dudes in my phone and let them know.”
In prison, prosecutors said, White bragged about earning $16,000 during a slow month. Percocet pills that cost $10 outside the prison walls, for instance, went for three times as much behind bars. One-gram bags of marijuana sold for $50, a profit of about $1,000 per ounce, according to court documents.
White is also accused of using the money to buy cars for corrections officers to use.
Sen. Lisa A. Gladden (D-Baltimore), who works as a public defender in Baltimore when the legislature is not in session, said the large percentage of female corrections at the detention center contributed to the problem. “A lot of times, they become smitten with the inmates. [The inmates] talk really sweet and say really nice things, and the CO’s fall for them. You need to have a bunch of rough, ugly men.”
But Maynard, the state prison chief, said that the sex of the officers was not the issue. It is not uncommon, he said, for detention centers across the country to employ women. The issue, he said, was this particular group of “bad actors,” who were strategically targeted and were willing to break the law.
Source- Washington Post
Detroit-Area Home Health Agency Office Manager Convicted in $5.8 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme www.privateofficer.com
WASHINGTON DC April 18 2013—A federal jury in Detroit today convicted the office manager of a home health agency for her participation in a $5.8 million Medicare fraud scheme, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade; Robert D. Foley, III, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh, III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations, Detroit Office.
Nabila Mahbub, 27, the office manager of All American Home Care Inc., was found guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
Mahbub was charged in a superseding indictment returned March 27, 2012. Nineteen other individuals who worked at or were associated with All American were previously convicted for their roles in the fraudulent scheme; one was acquitted at trial but was convicted at trial for a separate, but related, scheme.
According to evidence presented at trial, the defendant and her co-conspirators caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare through All American, a home health care company located in Oak Park, Michigan, that purported to provide skilled nursing and physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries in the greater Detroit area.
The evidence at trial showed that the defendant and her co-conspirators used patient recruiters, who paid Medicare beneficiaries to sign blank documents for physical therapy services that were never provided and/or medically unnecessary. The owners of All American paid physicians to sign referrals and other therapy documents necessary to bill Medicare. Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants then created fake medical records using blank, pre-signed forms obtained by the patient recruiters to make it appear as if physical therapy services were actually rendered, when, in fact, they were not.
According to evidence presented at trial, Mahbub doctored and directed the doctoring of fake patient files to facilitate the commencement and billing of home health services purportedly provided by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants working for All American. Mahbub also directed the physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who created fake therapy visit notes using blank, pre-signed forms, to make it appear that physical therapy services billed to Medicare were actually provided.
All American was paid more than $5.8 million from Medicare between September 2008 and November 2009.
At sentencing, scheduled for July 25, 2013, Mahbub faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Chief Gejaa T. Gobena and Trial Attorney Matthew C. Thuesen of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The investigation was led by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint effort of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
INDIANAPOLIS IN April 16 2013 – A Pike Township special needs teacher was arrested Sunday for allegedly engaging in sexual acts with a male student.
John White, 27, of Indianapolis, was arrested for child molestation after the mother of the special needs student called police and reported the alleged incident.
An Indianapolis Metropolitan police report says the 13-year-old told his mother Sunday that there were several sexual encounters dating back to 2012. The last incident was at 2 a.m. Sunday when the former student stayed the night at White’s home.
The report said the boy is a former student of White’s. White is also a foster parent to two teenage boys. They were removed from the home on Sunday.
According to Sarah Dorsey, spokeswoman for MSD OF Pike Township, White was fired after the school district heard about the allegations and arrest. The school district will also launch their own internal investigation, she said in an e-mail.
“We are deeply saddened by these troubling accusations and are cooperating fully with authorities. As always, the physical, social, emotional, and mental wellbeing of our students is our primary concern,” she said in an e-mail.
Source: Washington Post
In separate informations filed in U.S. District Court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Christopher Jarris Addison, 31, of Birmingham; Crystal Davis Blackmon, 27, of Bessemer; and Andre Clinton Dale, 45, of Mobile, with conspiring in 2011 to devise a scheme to defraud the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Combined, the three defendants were paid nearly $175,000 from the oil spill claims funds.
“The trust fund was designed to help remedy the damage done by the disastrous BP oil spill in 2010,” Vance said. “We are going to put criminals who fraudulently divert those funds from the victims of the oil spill in jail,” she said.
British Petroleum, which owned the Macondo oil well where the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, established the Gulf Coast Claims Facility in June 2010 for the purpose of administering and settling claims resulting from the oil spill disaster. A subsidiary of BP established the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust Fund in August 2010 to pay certain types of claims and expenses from the oil spill, including claims settled through the GCCF.
Addison, Blackmon, and Dale all are charged with independently agreeing to provide their Social Security numbers and bank account information to individuals, who are not named in the charging documents, so that those individuals could file fraudulent claims for lost wages to the GCCF. After the fraudulent claims were paid, Addison, Blackmon, and Dale each returned part of the money to the individuals who recruited them to participate in the scheme, according to the informations and plea agreements.
The GCCF paid Addison $77,942 from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust Fund on August 24, 2011, according to the court documents. On August 25, 2011, Addison gave the bulk of the payment to the two individuals who recruited him to the conspiracy, according to the documents.
Blackmon was recruited into the conspiracy by her cousin, who is not named in the court documents. She provided him with her bank account and personal identifying information and on August 2, 2011, received about $47,878 from the GCCF, according to her information and plea agreement. She paid about $35,533 of that to her cousin, according to the documents.
Dale received about $47,678 in claim funds on July 20, 2011. On July 26, 2011, according to his information and plea agreement, he paid $15,000 to one of the individuals who recruited him into the scheme.
The FBI investigated these cases. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Cornelius is prosecuting the cases.
Westhampton Beach NY March 21 2013 A Westhampton Beach Middle School gym teacher was arrested Wednesday accused of filming girls changing in the school’s locker room, New York State police said.
Police said an investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call State Police at 631-208-9002.
So far, 41 defendants have been charged to date for their involvement with a timeshare resale telemarketing room called Timeshare Mega Media and Marketing Group Inc. (TMMMG). The other cases previously filed include Case Nos. 11-60190-CR-Cohn, 11-60247-Cr-Marra, 11-60268-Cr-Hurley, 12-60019-Cr-Scola, 12-60149- Cr- Scola, and 12-mj-6114-RSR.
According to the indictment, in June 2009, Pappalardo incorporated TMMMG, using defendant Duany and Duany’s mother as nominee owners. Pappalardo was a co-owner of TMMMG, and Ditroia, Agovino, and Duany helped run TMMMG for him. According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendants conspired to unlawfully enrich themselves by making false representations over the telephone to individuals who were trying to sell their time-share units. Among the false statements, the defendants would tell customers, most of whom lived outside of the state of Florida, that the defendants had successfully sold their time-share unit and asked the customer to pay a fee to finalize the sale, a which fee would purportedly be refunded at closing. This fee ranged from at least $1,996 to as much as $10,000.
According to the indictment, the defendants knew that TMMMG never had any buyers for any of the sellers of their timeshare units. In this way, during the 10 months that TMMMG was in business, it fraudulently induced customers to send approximately $5,000,000 to TMMMG, of which Pappalardo received at least $300,000 in checks and hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash from victims.
If convicted, defendants Pappalardo, Agovino, Ditroia, and Duany each face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison. Defendants Bleich, Lovinsky, Al-Dabbas, Scheel,
Harrington, Lowton, Lee, Rockmore, Davis, Oliver, and Ross each face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to twenty years in prison.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. Mr. Ferrer also recognized the assistance provided by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Federal Trade Commission during this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.
Defendant Chiaramonte was sentenced to 51 months in prison; defendant Higgins was sentenced to one year and one day in prison; defendant McFarlane was sentenced to 90 months in prison; and defendant Tomasso was sentenced to 42 months in prison.
These defendants participated in a telemarketing boiler room through which telemarketers negotiated to purchase victim-owned timeshares on condition that the victim paid an advanced fee to cover such things as a title search. This fee ranged as high as tens of thousands of dollars. The victims were also told that this fee would be refunded to them at closing together with the money the conspirators were to pay them for the timeshares. None of these purchases ever occurred. In total, the conspiracy victimized over 1,000 people, many of whom were senior citizens, and cost the victims, in aggregate, more than $2.5 million.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the Boca Raton Police Department. This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry S. Baron.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.
Milburn NJ Feb 28 2013 A man and woman were arrested in two separate shoplifting incidents Monday at The mall at Short Hills , Millburn police said Wednesday.
Bowling Green KY February 28 2013 Police are investigating a shooting involving an off-duty court security officer that has led to one man being shot multiple times.
Police say that Brandon Bradshaw, 27, of Bowling Green, a former Warren County constable, was shot by off-duty Warren County Sheriff’s Office court security officer Thomas Brown, during some type of altercation.
Brown fired three shots at Bradshaw while Bradshaw was in a white Ford pickup truck in the parking lot of Michelle’s Consignment Boutique, 1135 U.S. 31-W By-Pass leaving Bradshaw fighting for his life at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
A witness told police that the two was involved in a heated argument when Brown flashed a badge and pulled a gun and began screaming at Bradshaw. Seconds later, witnesses saw Brown fire into the pick-up truck striking Bradshaw.
Bradshaw, the father of three children, – is passionate about engaging kids in theater at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, where he works as youth theater educator.
A sheriff’s department investigator said that Brown does provide security at the courthouse but was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle at the time of the shooting.
Kentucky State Police, which investigates law enforcement officer-involved shootings, has not released details about what occurred before the shooting.
The state police investigation into the shooting will be turned over to the Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for review, according to a statement from Warren County Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines.
Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron declined to discuss the incident.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Florida Feb 22 2013
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; Antonio J. Gomez, Acting Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Field Office; and Ric L. Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, announce the arrests of 30 individuals engaged in a massive drug conspiracy that trafficked drugs from Arizona to Florida. The defendants were arrested earlier today and are expected to make their initial appearances today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon in West Palm Beach at 1:00 p.m.
Charged in the 12-count indictment are George Evans Bivins, Jr., a/k/a “Ziggy,” 30, of West Palm Beach; Antonio Markeith Beverly, a/k/a “Tony,” 29, of West Palm Beach; Daniel Emmanuel Torrez, 31, of Tucson, Arizona; Lavaris Reshard Bivins, a/k/a “Varis,” 22, of West Palm Beach; William Alvarenga, a/k/a “Chico,” 19, of Boynton Beach; Jessica Marie Arvizu, 30, of Tucson, Arizona; Michael Maxwell Barkley, a/k/a “Tater,” 38, of Lake Worth; Jerrick David Bartee, 30, of West Palm Beach; Kirk Douglas Bivins, a/k/a “Kirky,” 38, of Riviera Beach; Demetri Pernell Cobb, a/k/a “Meechi,” 23, of Lake Worth; Darren Duane Donnally, 39, of Palm Springs; Quatavious Carnell George, a/k/a “Jelly Boy,” 26, of Riviera Beach; Wellington Timothy Glinton, a/k/a “Timmy,” 20, of Lake Worth; Javaris Reshad Bartelmy, 24, of Boynton Beach; Ernest Andrew Holiday, a/k/a “Bam,” 30, of Riviera Beach; Jean Innocent, a/k/a “Barko,” 20, of Lake Worth; Demetrice Lemane Jones, 37, of Riviera Beach; Dominic Perry Lamare, 33, of Port St. Lucie; Patrick Jarrod Lowe, 24, of Lantana; Richard John Mercy, 30, of North Palm Beach; Frank Davis Moore, Jr., a/k/a “Bow Head,” “Bodeen,” 33, of Royal Palm Beach; Evens Pierre Louis, a/k/a “E-Bo,” 27, of Palm Springs; Theresa Lashai Razz, 28, of West Palm Beach; Lori Beth Mae Saccoman, 50, of West Palm Beach; Jeannot Saintelus, a/k/a “Jit,” 23, of Lake Worth; Calvin Leon Sirmans, Jr., a/k/a “CJ,” 28, of Lake Worth; Jamie Toby, 24, of Lake Worth; Monica Deloris Toby, 47, of Lantana; Eric Lanard Williams, a/k/a “Baby Boy,” 29, of Lantana; and David Lendell White, a/k/a “Popper,” 25, of Lake Worth.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Today, the streets of Lake Worth and the surrounding areas are just a little safer, thanks to the concerted efforts of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. Thanks to their hard work, we have removed more than two dozen drug traffickers from our streets.”
“Through the combined efforts of local and federal law enforcement, this massive drug trafficking conspiracy is out of business,” said Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Miami. “Drugs and the violent gangs that profit from them have a devastating effect on our communities and we will continue to work with our partners to make South Florida a safer place.”
Antonio J. Gomez, Acting Inspector in Charge for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service stated, “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and all of our law enforcement partners in making our communities safer by working to eradicate narcotics from the U.S. mail stream.”
More specifically, the indictment, filed on February 7, 2013 and unsealed today, charges the defendants with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and/or cocaine hydrochloride, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and/or cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), and 846. If convicted, the defendants each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison up to a statutory maximum term of life in prison.
According to statements made in court, this conspiracy involved multiple kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride that were shipped from Tucson, Arizona to Palm Beach County for sale and distribution as both cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base. Much of the cocaine was sold in and around the streets of Lake Worth, Florida.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rinku Tribuiani and Robert Waters.
An indictment is only an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Buford GA Feb 20 2013 A Buford man was arrested on Feb. 16 after reportedly claiming he was a Gwinnett County Police officer.
Sugarloaf Mills security contacted the Gwinnett County Police Department (GCPD) after an employee of Bass Pro reported that another employee of the store had identified himself as a police officer. A GCPD officer located the man, later identified as Zachariah Henry, 27, of Buford, wearing a baseball cap with “POLICE” across the front. Henry was also wearing a holstered Glock 22, handcuffs, two loaded magazines and a gold-plated badge which appeared to be similar to a Gwinnett County Police badge.
Upon questioning, Henry reportedly said he was a police officer and worked for the Gwinnett County Police Department. When the officer asked which precinct he worked out of, Henry allegedly replied “The 13th.” GCPD does not have a 13th precinct.
When asked for his police credentials, Henry was unable to produce any and said he had left them at home. While another GCPD officer stayed with Henry, the investigating officer spoke with the witnesses.
One witness, a co-worker of Henry’s, advised that Henry seemed excited about the store’s new 5.11 tactical gear. The co-worker said her friend asked Henry if he was a “rent-a-cop.”
According to the police report, “Henry responded in a defensive manner and said he took offense to [the friend's] comment because he worked hard to get where he was and cops did not appreciate comments like that.”
The officer returned to speak with Henry and asked why he had claimed to be an officer when he was not. Henry reportedly said, “I don’t know. I guess I got scared.”
Henry was placed under arrest for impersonating an officer. While enroute to the jail, Henry reportedly apologized for lying and said he had wanted to be a police officer all his life.
Henry’s weapons and police gear were placed into evidence at police headquarters. He was released from jail on Feb. 17 on a $2,950 bond.
Source: Patch News
Glendale CA Feb 1 2013 A man who may have coerced as many as 350 women to strip for him via webcam has been arrested by the FBI on federal computer-hacking charges.
According to federal authorities, Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, of Glendale, Calif., broke into email, Skype and Facebook accounts.
He then searched for and stole risqué private photos and other information and changed users’ passwords, a Department of Justice statement said.
The statement also said Kazaryn masqueraded as friends of his victims, pretending to be a woman and persuading them to remove their clothes while connected via Skype video chat.
If a victim refused, Kazaryan would allegedly blackmail her into compliance by threatening to post the stolen risqué images online — a classic example of “sextortion.”
Don’t make it easy for the next one
The DOJ press release says Kazaryan “gained unauthorized access to — in other words, hacked into — the victims’ accounts.”
Given the loose definition of hacking under federal criminal code, this could mean Kazaryan simply guessed or reset their passwords.
That’s easy to do when people post personal details on their Facebook pages that are answers to identity-challenge questions such as “What was your mother’s maiden name?”
The press release said Kazaryan has been indicted on 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, he faces up to 105 years in federal prison.
Digital invasion of privacy
There have been many incidents of hackers using webcams to spy on victims.
Last year, several computer-rental companies were caught using webcam images to extort past-due payments from customers.
In 2010, a Santa Ana, Calif., man was busted for a webcam-sextortion scheme similar to Kazaryan’s.
The following year, a Fullerton, Calif., computer technician was caught putting spyware on women’s Apple laptops, then persuading the women to take the laptops into the bathroom while they took showers.
Webcam users can best protect themselves from spyware by making sure they’re behind a secure firewall and using anti-virus software that won’t allow an attacker to clandestinely turn on a user’s webcam.
A lower-tech solution is to simply put black tape over your computer’s webcam when you’re not using it.
It’s also important to remember that not everyone online is always whom they seem to be.
A message that appears to come from a trusted friend could really be from a creep trying to glean information or images that you normally wouldn’t give up to strangers.
Pima County AZ Dec 31 2012 Four people were arrested Friday night after they were accused of stealing alcohol from a Foothills area supermarket, authorities said.
Matthew Edward Mullin, 27, Christopher Michael Comiskey, 29, James Gregory Yohe, 38, and Tamra May Fought, 35, were booked into Pima County jail after they were suspected of shoplifting the liquor from a Safeway supermarket at 4752 E. Sunrise Road, according to a Pima County Sheriff’s Department news release.
According to deputies, the suspects filled a shopping cart with alcohol and left the supermarket without paying for the items.
Patrol deputies found the suspects’ vehicle about two blocks from the store and conducted a high-risk stop before detaining the group.
Supermarket security connected the suspects to another shoplifting incident that occurred at a different Safeway in the city limits a few days ago.
In that incident, Matthew Mullin was suspected of brandishing a weapon.
Detectives learned that the suspects were stealing the liquor and reselling it.
They are all facing charges of trafficking in stolen property, organized retail theft, shoplifting and outstanding warrants.
Mullin is also facing an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge for the previous incident.
Two suspects stole more than $100,000 in electronics from Walmart stores arrested www.privateofficer.com
Harlem Middle school teacher faces 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse of a child www.privateofficer.com
OGDEN Utah Aug 31 2012 — Police arrested several women Tuesday, in separate incidents, for stealing from the Walmart store at 1945 Wall Ave.
Ogden Police Lt. Chad Ledford said security officers witnessed Marshaye Lynn Jones, 22, and Dee Dee Marie Dayton, 24, wandering through the store and putting random items into their separate purses.
“They were going through Walmart taking different items from throughout the store, no rhyme or reason as to why they were taking them,” Ledford said. “They were concealing them in their purses.”
After taking various items, Ledford said, the women took a razor knife from the hardware section and began to open the packages.
Police arrested the suspects as they attempted to leave the store.
In addition to the razor knife, the women are accused of taking numerous items, including a screwdriver, bra inserts, a power converter, key locks, a battery charger and a pair of earphones.
In another incident, during random surveillance, Amanda Elisabeth Saucedo, 27, was caught stealing CDs from the store’s electronics section.
Saucedo had a large number of CDs, with a total value of about $161, Ledford said.
The suspect said she stole the CDs in order to sell them, then use the money to buy food.
The police department does not think the incidents are related. The women happened to be arrested by the same officer that is tasked with patrolling the area.
“I don’t think it’s a ring by any means,” Ledford said.
Police took the women to Weber County Jail.
Jones is charged with retail theft, possession of marijuana and two counts of failure to appear. Dayton is charge with retail theft. Saucedo is charged with retail theft and two counts of failure to appear.
Edward Shane Kiser, 27, of Coeburn, was arrested and charged Friday by the Virginia State Police with using a computer in an attempt to gain sex from a minor.
The charge is considered a Class 5 felony and carries a possible sentence of one to 10 years in prison.
Although Kiser lives in Coeburn, the Scott County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case since the alleged victim is a resident of Scott County.
“The VSP received contact (from the girl’s parents) that there was, at that time, an officer from the town of Coeburn who had been Facebooking their daughter,” Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said. “He had made contact with the girl through his occupation, and he then began what we believe was an inappropriate relationship through Facebook.”
Kiser was employed as a patrol officer with the Coeburn Police Department when he allegedly began sending the messages.
Coeburn Town Manager Loretta Mays confirmed that Kiser submitted his resignation from the force without reason prior to being charged and arrested Friday.
The VSP began investigating Kiser on Aug. 16 after the teenage girl’s parents reported his alleged actions to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
According to McClung and VSP Special Agent Jason Jenkins, Kiser first met the girl — and subsequently learned her identity and age — following a noise complaint involving juveniles at a gas station in Coeburn.
As a result of that incident, authorities said Kiser was able to find the girl’s Facebook profile and began sending her private messages on the social networking site propositioning her for sex.
“We allege that he knew how old she was,” McClung said. “When he stopped her, he had an opportunity to locate her age, and despite that he decided to carry on the inappropriate communication.”
After the girl’s parents discovered the messages and went to authorities, Jenkins was given permission to assume her identity on Facebook and begin carrying on conversations with Kiser.
That portion of the investigation lasted nearly a week before authorities decided to formally charge Kiser.
Jenkins said the cooperation of the girl’s parents was key to the investigation getting under way.
“It’s very important to have the parents involved,” Jenkins said. “Without the parents, a lot of times we wouldn’t know the extent of how bad these situations can be, because without parent involvement we might not find out.”
Following his arrest, state law enforcement executed a search warrant on Kiser’s residence and seized a computer and cell phones.
Kiser was taken before a Scott County magistrate after being taken into custody Friday and was released on his own recognizance.
McClung said anyone with additional information on this, or similar cases, should contact his office at (276) 386-2576.
Watertown NY Aug 27 2012 Two women were jailed Thursday evening after being charged by state police in connection with an alleged shoplifting incident at J.C. Penney, Salmon Run Mall, in which a store employee was injured.
Tiffany F. Merrifield, 27, of 327 W. Kirby St., Dexter, is charged with third-degree robbery and petit larceny, while Desiree L. Smith, 22, of 327 Walker Ave., faces the petit larceny charge. LeRay Town Justice George E. Mead III set bail at $25,000 for Ms. Merrifield, and at $5,000 for Ms. Smith, sending both to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building.
They are charged in an incident Sunday afternoon in which they allegedly placed merchandise priced at $97 in a purse being carried by Ms. Merrifield, and then left the store without paying, police said. When they were confronted by store employee Jennifer Dunn, Ms. Merrifield swung her elbow at Ms. Dunn and gouged her on the chest with her fingernails, police alleged.
The suspects got away, and police obtained warrants. The search for Ms. Merrifield led Watertown police early Thursday to 736 W. Main St., where they found four people possessing heroin. She was not there, however.
Troopers found Ms. Merrifield and Ms. Smith shortly after 2:30 p.m. Thursday in an apartment at 736 W. Main St.
The two were accomplices in a liquor shoplifting incident in May at Arsenal Wine and Liquor, 940 Arsenal St. They pleaded guilty to petit larceny, and neither has paid their $400 in fines and court fees, according to City Court.
Source:Watertwon Daily News
Orland Park IL Aug 22 2012 A substitute teacher from unincorporated Hinsdale pleaded guilty Monday to criminal sexual abuse of a 17-year-old female and was sentenced to 15 days in a work-release program and 30 months of probation.
Steven Reynolds, 27, of the 600 block of 55th Street, was working as a substitute teacher and basketball coach at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park when he was arrested on Feb. 6. The DuPage County State’s Attorney charged him with two counts of criminal sexual abuse after he made sexual contact with a 17-year-old female Sandburg student at his home on Jan. 28.
The prosecution dropped one of those counts in exchange for the guilty plea. In addition to the work-release and probation, Reynolds will have to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years, perform 200 hours of public service, and refrain from all communication with the victim going forward.
Judge George Bakalis said Reynolds’ pre-sentencing evaluation, which provides the subject’s history and background to provide context for their offense, was one of the strongest he’d ever seen and said he was confident Reynolds will abide the terms of the sentence.
“You made a bad decision in this case,” Bakalis said to Reynolds, who did not comment confirming his understanding of and agreement to the sentence.
Reynolds declined to comment after Monday’s hearing.
According to the prosecution’s findings, which were presented at Monday’s hearing, the student had worked as a trainer of Reynolds’ basketball team, and the two had exchanged electronic communications for a period of time before the relationship “turned” in 2012.
It was then that Reynolds and the student planned a Jan. 28 get-together at Reynolds’ home during a weekend his wife was out of town, the prosecution’s finding said. Reynolds picked up the student and brought her to his home, where the two watched TV before going into a back bedroom. There, Reynolds fondled the student. Reynolds drove the student home later that night.
According to the state’s attorney’s office, Reynolds’ arrest came after the victim told her friends about the sexual contact. The friends then informed Carl Sandburg school officials, who immediately passed along the information to the Orland Park Police Department.
An investigation by the DuPage County Children’s Center resulted in February’s charges.
Reynolds’ attorneys and the prosecution announced their agreement to the above plea deal in July, but Bakalis decided to wait for the pre-sentencing evaluation to make it official.
Reynolds originally pleaded not guilty in March. After he was arrested, Reynolds was in the state’s custody for five days, which were credited toward his work-release sentence, meaning it will effectively be a 10-day sentence.
The boy, Kyrell Kyyon McNeill, climbed into a family member’s truck on July 25, found the loaded weapon and shot himself in the head. Jasmine Darnell Matthews, 27, Kyrell’s stepfather, has been charged with cruelty and injuries to children for leaving the loaded gun “in another family member’s unsecured vehicle,” according to a police statement.
Matthews, who authorities say works as a security guard, lives at the house where the death occurred, in the 14800 block of Empire Street.
“It is a tragic accident.. . . I don’t think he could foresee exactly how this would happen,”said Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert. “But he could see that a young child could gain access to a weapon and harm himself. It was a negligent act and that’s the basis of the charge.”
The boy apparently climbed into the bed of the family member’s truck and slid through the cabin window, Ebert said. That’s where he found the loaded handgun on the back seat.
Ebert explained that the charge does not “require or infer intent” and comes with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The boy’s mother was watching him from the home’s front window, Ebert said.
Matthews has been released on a $20,000 unsecured bond and a court date is not yet available.
If convicted, Richard C. Cook II, 27, of Henry County and Timothy G. Gregory, 25, of DeKalb County face up to life in prison and fines of up to $10 million, federal prosecutors said.
Starting in January, Cook allegedly began smuggling what he thought was cocaine and heroin through the Atlanta airport for federal agents posing as drug smugglers. The “drugs” he delivered to undercover agents, however, were fake. He moved the packages past security checkpoints while in uniform and was paid thousands of dollars for his involvement, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Cook quit the TSA in February but allegedly recruited Gregory, another TSA officer, to help keep the drug-smuggling operation going. Cook allegedly introduced Gregory to undercover officers posing as drug traffickers and received a referral fee of $1,000.
In February and May, prosecutors said, undercover agents provided Gregory with fake cocaine to transport to other undercover agents at Hartsfield-Jackson, and he allegedly received cash payments in return.
“The crimes with which Cook and Gregory are charged created a breach in the security of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and betrayed the trust of millions of passengers who travel through this airport each year,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement.
Cook and Gregory were each charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and multiple counts of substantive drug trafficking.
All four were arrested and await prosecution in town of Watertown Court on petit larceny charges. Police said they are accused of stealing sneakers and jeans.
Those cited are:
■ Brandy L. Grenier, 29, of 311 Belmont Courts. She was sentenced in May 2011 in St. Lawrence County Court to a year in jail for violating probation on a conviction for attempted fourth-degree grand larceny.
■ Travis M. Howe, 27, of 703-C Route 37, who is under indictment in St. Lawrence County Court on robbery and grand larceny charges. He was convicted of petit larceny in April in town of Watertown Court for stealing copper in December at Lowe’s, outer Arsenal Street.
■ Lawrence B. Grenier, 35, of 938 County Route 4.
■ Tiffanie N. Timm, 19, of 425 County Route 28-A.