Buffalo NY June 8 2013 A federal security officer who works at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport has been busted on drug charges.
Todd Stoddard, 29, of Kingswood Drive in Cheektowaga, was arrested on felony cocaine charges at around 9 p.m. Thursday during a traffic stop on Vicksburg Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda, according to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.
Stoddard has been working as an officer for the Transportation Security Administration at the airport for about a year and a half, sources said.
His arrest on Thursday culminated a month-long, joint investigation by the sheriff’s office, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and police from Cheektowaga and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, a sheriff’s official said.
Stoddard was charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
It is not believed Stoddard used his position at the airport to smuggle drugs, sources said.
HOUSTON TX June 1 2013 –
Four Houston firefighters died Friday while battling a 5-alarm blaze in a motel near the Southwest Freeway at Hillcroft. Three bodies were found in the rubble of the Southwest Inn motel.
A fourth firefighter died after being rushed to Southwest Memorial Hermann Hospital.
The firefighters have been identified as: Captain EMT Matthew Renaud, 35, of Station 51; Firefighter EMT Robert Garner, 29, of Station 68; Probationary Firefighter Anne Sullivan, 24, of Station 68; and Engineer Operator EMT Robert Bebee, 41, of Station 51.
Sullivan just graduated from the academy last month.
“Houston firefighters mourn the loss of our three brothers and our sister and will forever honor their sacrifices,” said Jeff Caynon, president of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association. “This tragedy underscores the inherent dangers of our profession. Please keep Houston firefighters in your thoughts and prayers.”
Fire Chief Terry Garrison confirmed the four were killed when the roof collapsed. Garrison said they risked going inside the burning motel because they thought there were civilians trapped inside.
“They were risking their lives to save the community,” he said. “Unfortunately, the building had much more fire than we originally thought. The structure collapsed.”
In a heartwrenching scene, several firefighters gathered around a flag-draped body in the middle of the burnt-out motel.
The victims were later loaded into ambulances for a procession to the medical examiner’s office. Firefighters at stations along the way lined the street and saluted as they passed by. Some citizens also came out to pay their respects.
“Today is going to go down as the worst day in the history of the Houston Fire Department,” Mayor Parker said. “We ask for every Houstonian to offer their prayers for the families of these fallen firefighters.”
Thirteen firefighters were injured in the blaze. One of them was in very critical condition in the burn ICU unit.
The injured are being treated at: Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center; Memorial Hermann Southwest, just blocks from the fire; and Memorial Hermann Northwest.
HFD Asst. Chief Rick Flanagan said this was the worst day of his life.
“There is nothing we can do that will heal the hurt that we all feel today,” Mayor Parker said.
The fire broke out shortly after noon Friday, blowing thick, black smoke across the Southwest Freeway and slowing traffic in both directions.
The flames spread quickly through the motel in the 6800 block of the Southwest Freeway near Hillcroft. Strong winds challenged the dozens of Houston firefighters who battled the blaze. Many appeared to be struggling as temperatures crept toward 90 degrees with high humidity. They were given wet towels and water as they took breaks.
It took more than three hours to bring the flames under control.
The front sections of the large motel and adjoining restaurant were gutted.
“Pray for our members… those who go to work tomorrow and the next day and the next day,” Garrison said. “And we’ll get through this. We’ll honor the families. We’ll continue to serve you the best we possibly can.”
While HFD is in mourning, there will be others who are working through the night to make sure we’re safe,” Mayor Parker said. “So I ask everyone to think about them and the job that they do.”
Traffic was backed up for miles in the inbound lanes. The feeder road was closed near Bellaire and three mainlanes were shut down to make room for emergency vehicles. Rubberneckers also slowed traffic in the outbound lanes.
PHILADELPHIA PA June 1 2013—Tiffany Roberson, 29, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was charged today by indictment with embezzlement of bank funds by a bank employee, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. According to the indictment, Roberson, an assistant manager at Hyperion Bank, embezzled and misappropriated approximately $20,000 in money, funds, and assets intrusted to the custody and care of Hyperion Bank and its employees.
If convicted, Roberson faces a total maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, five years’ supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Philadelphia and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita Eve.
PHOENIX AZ May 20 2013
A Phoenix police officer and a city firefighter have been killed in two separate incidents, city officials said a news briefing Sunday morning.
Bradley Harper, 23, a two-year veteran of the Phoenix Fire Department, died after being crushed between two fire vehicles at a mulch fire Saturday near Lower Buckeye and 35th Avenue, said Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan.
Darryl Raetz, 29, a six-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, died from injuries suffered in a hit-and-run crash early Sunday morning, said Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia.
Silent Witness is offering a reward for information leading to identity and arrest of the hit-and-run suspect.
“I ask every citizen on this tragic day to pray for the families and the safety of our officers and safety of our firefighters,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said Sunday morning. “The family of the fallen will never be forgotten.”
Khan said his department will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss funeral arrangements for Harper.
“I received a call at 1:30 a.m. (Sunday) that Bradley Harper passed away,” Khan said. “My thoughts are with his family.”
Phoenix police said crews were repositioning several trucks when the firefighter became pinned. It’s still unclear exactly how that happened.
Saturday night firefighters were huddled outside the entrance of the emergency room at the hospital while the young man’s wife and parents waited inside.
Khan described the firefighter as resilient. Khan said the 23-year-old volunteered to be assigned to Phoenix’s busiest fire unit.
Raetz was struck by a vehicle at 51st Avenue and Cambridge.
Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said Raetz was assisting officers processing a DUI scene. Crews were loading a vehicle onto a tow truck when Raetz was hit by another vehicle, Thompson said.
“The Phoenix Police Department will do everything we can to investigate this incident to the fullest extent,” Garcia said.
Anyone with information about any of these fugitives or crimes is asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS OR 480-TESTIGO.
No other information was immediately available.
PHILADELPHIA PA April 11 2013—An indictment was unsealed today charging Penn Choice Ambulance Inc., operating from Philadelphia, Huntington Valley, and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; its owner Anna Mudrova; and operators Yury Gerasyuk, Mikhail Vasserman, Irina Vasserman, Aleksandr Vasserman, Valeriy Davydchik, and Khusen Akhmedov with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The alleged scheme involved more than $3.6 million in fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare. The defendants were also charged with related crimes including making false statements in connection with health care matters, aggravated identity theft, paying kickbacks to patients, and money laundering, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.
Valeriy Davydchik, 58, and Khusen Akhmedov, 22, Mikhail and Irina Vasserman, both 50, and Aleksandr Vasserman, 29, all of Philadelphia, were arrested this morning. Mudrova, 40, Gerasyuk, 41, also of Philadelphia, will make a court appearance tomorrow. According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to defraud Medicare by recruiting patients who were able to walk and could travel safely by means other than ambulance and who therefore were not eligible for ambulance transportation under Medicare requirements. It is alleged that the defendants, and others acting on their behalf, falsified reports to make it appear that the patients needed to be transported by ambulance when the defendants knew that the patients could be transported safely by other means and that many of them walked to the ambulance for transport. It is further alleged that the defendants themselves, or through others, paid illegal kickbacks to the patients as part of scheme. The defendants allegedly billed Medicare for these ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary and, as a result of the allegedly fraudulent billing, the Medicare program sustained losses of more than $1.5 million for this medically unnecessary method of transportation.
If convicted, the defendants face substantial terms of imprisonment and fines. If convicted, Penn Choice Ambulance Inc. faces significant financial penalties, including substantial criminal fines, restitution, and forfeiture obligations. All defendants could also be excluded from participating in federal health care programs.
Bank accounts and other assets were seized which are subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Beth Leahy.
Source: Washington Post
PORTLAND, Oregon Feb 26 2013 — Identical twin brothers who co-own a security business have been accused of impersonating officers, complete with police-style uniforms and cars.
A grand jury indicted Jason Libby, 29, of Medford, Oregon, and his brother Donald Libby last week in connection with incidents that occurred in early January.
Jason Libby handcuffed a 40-year-old man for trespassing because he used the bathroom but did not bring any clothes to the Laundromat that Libby had been hired to watch, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said Monday.
The security guard drove an unmarked Ford Crown Victoria, and had a gun, a baton, a black uniform and a badge. A video of the arrest shows Libby shoving the handcuffed man, Budreau said, and he also used force against a woman who told the handcuffed man that Libby is not a policeman.
The following day, police say, Donald Libby conducted a traffic stop on an 18-year-old driver. Libby wore a uniform and had been driving an unmarked Ford Crown Victoria with a spotlight.
The teenager stopped his vehicle because he thought Libby was a cop, Budreau said. Libby questioned the driver about his alcohol use and had him step out of the car. Libby then performed field sobriety tests on the young man and warned him he could be arrested for drunken driving and trespassing.
A Medford police officer patrolling the area arrived during the security officer’s traffic stop.
“That person who was stopped for the DUI was legitimately thinking this was police officer conducting a DUI investigation, and was rather upset to learn it was a security officer,” Budreau said.
Budreau said Jason Libby was initially indicted for both incidents before the authorities learned his identical twin was the phony officer in the traffic stop.
“It’s hard to tell the difference,” Budreau said.
Jason Libby was charged with assault and harassment and Donald Libby was charged with criminal impersonation. Both were released from jail after posting bail.
Donald Libby referred questions to his attorney Monday, but said to “remember there are always two sides to the story. Don’t hammer us like everybody else has been doing.”
The attorney, Nathan Wente, said he could not comment because he has only been provided with limited information.
“I don’t know what evidence, if any, the state has,” he said.
This is not the first time Medford authorities have accused the brothers of leading people to believe they were police.
In 2010, the brothers were cited for harassment after tackling a suspect at a lot they were contracted to watch. The case was dismissed because the witnesses could not be found. The following year, the brothers were accused of pulling a baton and pointing a Taser stun gun at patrons involved in a disturbance at a restaurant, Budreau said. Nothing became of that case, either.
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.
Bensalem investigation leads to arrest of 20 people in theft of more than $1.5 million www.privateofficer.com
Bensalem PA Feb 14 2013 A year-long corruption investigation culminated in the arrest of 20 people associated with the theft of more than $1.5 million from the Bensalem School District, police announced Tuesday morning.
Bensalem investigators made the arrests after they launched two separate investigations into alleged misdoings involving district staff. One investigation focused on “ghost employees,” the other on theft and illegal distribution of vehicles and related parts, township Public Safety Director Fred Harran said.
District Attorney David Heckler and Harran both said the investigation is not finished and more arrests are possible.
Jack Myers, the retired Bensalem School District business manager, was among those arrested in the corruption probe. He is charged with misapplication of entrusted property. Law enforcement said the 63-year-old Philadelphia resident knew of the many thefts occurring in the district and even participated in some of the activity.
The district’s current facilities manager, Robert Moseley, 61, of Bensalem was arrested and charged with misapplication of entrusted property for his part in the ghost employee investigation. In that case, police said multiple ground crew workers were getting paid for shifts they did not work. One employee did not report for work for up to three years, police said.
Head mechanic Fred Lange, 68, of Croydon was charged in August after it was uncovered he led the theft scheme being operated out of the bus garage, police said. Authorities called Lange the operations mastermind.
District mechanics Martin Chappell and Patrick Hammond were also arrested along with Lange.
Detectives told Patch that Chappell’s home garage was found to have a large surplus of vehicle parts suspected of being purchased with taxpayer money. One box of headlights was even addressed to the school district.
Hammond is suspected to have played a smaller role in the thefts. A search of his personal garage uncovered several small items believed to have been purchased using district funds.
One aspect of the crime involved ordering equipment through the district’s discounted consortium rates and then selling them out the figurative back door for less, keeping all the profits. Between nearly 7,000 bus tires and close to 2,200 batteries, the thieves are said to have swindled the district of over $1 million, police said. More money is alleged to have been spent on windshield wipers, oil filters and engine fluids, Harran explained during a late morning press conference.
Another angle involved Myers and Lange turning over the titles of 30 district buses, vans and pick-up trucks to Joel Zober, who owns a junkyard in Pipersville, police said. The vehicles were given to the junkyard and a group of classic car enthusiasts were able to pick other vehicles at the junkyard for free. Police called the group “The Breakfast Club,” due to their regular breakfast trips.
“All their people, their friends got to go to that junkyard and get parts free of charge,” Harran said. “There was a definite monetary value back.”
Harran called the group “very organized.”
Joseph Bound, owner of Bound Beverages on Bristol Pike in Bensalem, told police he bought items to maintain his vehicle fleet from Lange for the past 10 years. He said he paid cash for tires, synthetic transmission oil and transmission filters order by the school district, according to an affidavit.
“When gone unchecked for years, [the suspects] continued to do it. Those days are over,” Harran told reporters.
All of the suspects arrested on Wednesday were lead from the police station to District Justice Leonard Brown’s courthouse where they were arraigned.
Below is a list of the people arrested by authorities on Wednesday:
Current and Former District Employees
Former 28-year district business manager Jack Myers, 63, Hendrix Street, Philadelphia: misapplication of entrusted property
Facilities manager Robert Moseley, 61, Byberry Road, Bensalem: misapplication of entrusted property.
District bus mechanic Patrick Hammon, 53, of West Bensalem Avenue, Bensalem: theft and receiving stolen property
Mechanic Roland “Tex” Angle, 72, of Mildred Avenue, Bensalem: conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Former Groundskeeper Supervisor Joseph Dyer, 43, of West Bensalem Avenue, Bensalem: theft and criminal conspiracy
Former Groundskeeper Shannon Dyer, 39, of West Bensalem Avenue, Bensalem: theft and criminal conspiracy
Groundskeeper Anthony Ruggiero, 38, of Ogden Avenue, Bensalem: theft and criminal conspiracy
Stolen Property Receivers and Distributors
William “Gill” Slowe, 73, of Crescent Avenue, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Alfred Venturino, 59, of Fourth Avenue, Croydon: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Robert Lord Sr., 64, of Dunksferry Road, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Bound Beverages owner Joseph Bound, 65, of Ford Avenue, Middletown: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Smith’s Auto Repair owner Elwyn Smith, 56, of Ritter Avenue, Bristol: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Classic car club member William Klosz, 63, of Hawthorne Avenue, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Classic car club member Leo Cannon, 65, of Hampton Court, Newtown: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Classic car club member Wiliam O’Hara, 56, of Ash Avenue, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Classic car club member Ronald Stoud, 69, of Cliff Road, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Upper Bucks County junkyard owner Joel Zober, 70, of Magnolia Drive, Croydon: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Tow truck operator Wilson Lopez, 29, of Lincoln Avenue, Bristol: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Source: Bensalem Patch
Eleven South Florida Residents Charged in $34 Million Stolen Identity Tax Refund Scheme www.privateofficer.com
U.S. Attorney’s Office /FBI
Miami Fla Feb 13 2013
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, announced the unsealing of a 43-count indictment charging defendants 11 South Florida residents with stolen identity tax refund fraud.
Charged in the indictment are Henry Dorvil, aka “D,” 35, of Hollywood; Herve Wilmore Jr., 29, of Aventura; Dukens Eleazard, aka “DK,” 33, of Pembroke Pines; Marie Eleazard, aka “Fanfan,” 32, of Miami; Jesse Lamar Harrell, 26, of Miramar; Luckner St Fleur, aka “Nene,” 32, of Miami; Ruth Cartwright, aka “Princess,” 30, formerly of Plantation; Miguel Patterson, 35, of Miami; Brandon Johnson, 29, of Miami Gardens; John Similien, 24, of Plantation; and Marc Leroy Saint Juste, 26, of Tamarac. Defendants Dorvil, Harrell, Patterson, Johnson, and Saint Juste made their initial appearances in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow in Fort Lauderdale at 1:00 p.m. today. Defendant Cartwright was arrested in the Northern District of Georgia and will make her initial appearance there. Defendants Wilmore, both Eleazards, St Fleur, and Similien remain at large.
Specifically, each defendant is charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, commit wire fraud, and commit aggravated identity theft, all in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 371; as well as two counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C., §§ 1343 and 2. In addition, defendants Dorvil, Wilmore, Dukens Eleazard, Marie Eleazard, Harrell, St Fleur, Cartwright, Patterson, Johnson, and Similien are charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. §§ 1028A(a)(1) and 2. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $443,449.07 seized from a bank account; a 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT Premium Sport and 2010 Nissan Maxima registered to defendant Dukens Eleazard; a 2011 Infiniti M37 registered to defendant Marie Eleazard; and a 2010 Porsche purchased by defendant Wilmore.
According to the indictment, the defendants recruited knowing participants and unknowing victims to put businesses, bank accounts, and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) in the defendants’ names. The defendants used this information to execute their fraud scheme, including tax refund fraud. The defendants also used the personal identification information of real people, including some deceased, to file false income tax returns with the IRS. In this way, the defendants received IRS refund checks [U.S. Treasury checks and Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) checks] at addresses and bank accounts that they controlled. To avoid having the fraud discovered, the defendants negotiated the fraudulently obtained income tax refund checks at each other’s businesses.
According to the indictment, from about January 2009 through March 2012, the defendants filed with the IRS approximately 6,961 federal income tax returns, requesting refunds totaling approximately $34,096,321. Of the 6,961 field tax returns, 2,763 used the identities of deceased individuals.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer, “Stolen identity refund fraud is spreading in South Florida like an out of control wildfire. Two days ago, we announced charges against 14 individuals in six separate cases on charges of stolen identity refund fraud. Today, in just one case, we are charging another 11 individuals who used stolen identities, including that of almost 3,000 deceased persons, to file fraudulent returns seeking close to $35 million in tax refunds. My office, in conjunction with the members of the South Florida Identity Theft Tax Fraud Strike Force, will continue to prosecute these thieves, not just to punish them, but also to deter others from thinking they can get away with stealing honest taxpayers’ hard-earned refunds.”
Special Agent in Charge Jose A. Gonzalez stated, “These defendants conspired to use the personal identification information of taxpayers, including deceased individuals, to file false income tax returns with the IRS. These actions not only pose a serious problem for taxpayers but adversely affect the integrity of our tax system. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to remain vigilant in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting those individuals who seek to willfully defraud the United States Treasury and have a blatant disregard for the victims of their schemes.”
“Unfortunately, this is another example of the rapidly growing wave of stolen identity tax refund fraud,” said Xanthie C. Mangum, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Miami Division. “The FBI continues to actively target these fraudsters who seek illicit gains by victimizing hard-working taxpayers.”
Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Paula Reid stated, “The existence of identity theft in the South Florida region is an unfortunate criminal epidemic. At any time, anyone is subject to being a victim. The investigative efforts of the law enforcement community must remain strong and unwavering as the offenders’ continuous success and harm with this stealthy crime cannot prevail.”
If convicted, the defendants face a possible maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count, 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and two years consecutive in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, FBI, and USSS. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Labor, and the Social Security Administration for their help on this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil.
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 http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.
LAS VEGAS NV Feb 13 2013– A Las Vegas man has been arrested and suspected of using his position as a volunteer Bible study leader to assault children.
In December, Sexual Assault Detectives from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department completed an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of a child by David James, 29, a Bible study leader.
In January, James was remanded into custody after appearing in court to face 10 counts of sexual assault with a victim under 14, two counts of sexual assault with a victim under 16, and 10 counts of lewdness with a minor under 14.
Shortly after James’ arrest in January, Henderson Police Detectives received allegations of similar crimes. As a result of that investigation, James was rebooked by Henderson Police on charges of 10 counts of Lewdness with a minor under 14 and four counts of sexual assault.
It is believed James used Bible study classes and volunteered to lead Bible study classes at several different religious centers in the Las Vegas valley to gain access to the victims.
This investigation remains ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone who has concerns their child may have been a victim of James to call the LVMPD Sexual Assault Section at (702) 828-3421 or the Henderson Police Department at (702) 267-4750.
Anyone with any information about these cases may contact Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555 or at http://www.crimestoppersofnv.com.
U.S. Attorney’s Office January 25, 2013 Eastern District of Michigan (313) 226-9100
FBI PRESS RELEASE
Highland Park IL Jan 28 2013
A federal criminal complaint was unsealed today charging four Highland Park Police officers with accepting bribes, conspiring to distribute six kilograms of cocaine, and carrying firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley, III, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief of Police Kevin Coney, Highland Park Police Department; and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
The four Highland Park Police officers charged are: Anthony Bynum, 29, of Highland Park, Michigan; Price Montgomery, 38, of Highland Park, Michigan; Shawn Williams, 33, of Detroit, Michigan; and Craig Clayton, 55, of Highland Park, Michigan. Bynum and Montgomery are both police officers with the Highland Park Police Department. Bynum is also a police officer for Detroit Public Schools. Williams and Clayton are both auxiliary (reserve) officers for Highland Park. Chief Coney was instrumental in assisting the FBI in its investigation of the four officers from his department.
The criminal complaint charges the four police officers with accepting cash bribes and with conspiring to deliver six kilograms of cocaine. According to the criminal complaint, Bynum and Montgomery arrested a man in August 2012 in Highland Park on a firearms offense. The officers beat the man after arresting him. While in the hospital, the man offered to pay the officers if they would dismiss the charges against him. The officers were willing to accept money in exchange for failing to appear for trial. Subsequently, the man who had been arrested by Montgomery and Bynum began working undercover for the FBI as an unpaid confidential source. During the course of the investigation, Montgomery and Bynum were captured on videotape accepting $10,000 in cash from the confidential source, in return for failing to appear at the man’s trial in the Wayne County Circuit Court. On the date set for the man’s trial in Circuit Court, Officers Montgomery and Bynum failed to appear as witnesses as required by subpoena, and the case was dismissed.
Later, Officers Mongtomery and Bynum agreed to transport and deliver two kilograms of cocaine for the FBI confidential source, whom the officers believed to be a drug trafficker. On November 15, 2012, Officers Montgomery and Bynum protected and delivered a shipment of what they believed to be two kilograms of cocaine from the Oakland Mall in Troy, Michigan, to a location in Taylor, Michigan. Each officer was paid $1,500 for his role in the delivery of sham cocaine. Subsequently, Officers Montgomery and Bynum recruited two additional Highland Park officers, Williams and Clayton, to help with the delivery of a second, larger shipment of cocaine. On January 23, 2013, the four Highland Park police officers delivered four kilograms of what they believed to be cocaine, again from the Oakland Mall. Each officer was paid either $1,000 or $1,500 by the confidential source for his work in protecting and transporting the sham cocaine. The four police officers each carried a firearm, and some carried their police badges, while protecting the loads of sham cocaine.
Upon conviction, each of the four defendants faces a maximum of up to 40 years in prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine. In addition, the officers face a maximum of 10 years in prison on the bribery charges and an additional five year consecutive sentence for carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.
United States Attorney McQuade said, “We applaud Highland Park Police Chief Coney for initiating a federal investigation into misconduct by his officers. We want to emphasize that the misconduct is limited to these four officers. Our community deserves to be served and protected by police officers who perform their jobs with integrity. Police officers who take bribes and participate in criminal activities will be discovered and prosecuted.”
Special Agent in Charge Foley of the FBI said, “Police officers swear an oath to protect and serve and are held to the highest standards of ethics and conduct. The FBI-led Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force is committed to ensuring illegal acts on the part of law enforcement officers are thoroughly investigated and those officers face harsh penalties for their crimes.”
Highland Park Police Chief Coney stated, “”The illegal actions of these officers do not represent or reflect the ethical standards and values consistent with the Highland Park Police Department. We remain committed to providing our citizens with first class public safety and ensuring our officers display integrity at all times.”
“Public corruption scandals damage the public’s trust in government and harm our state’s reputation,” said Attorney General Schuette. “We will continue to work with U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, the FBI, state, and local law enforcement agencies to eliminate corruption wherever it is found.”
DPS Emergency Financial Manager Roy S. Roberts stated, “There are a corps of extremely dedicated law enforcement officers who selflessly work day and night to protect our students, teachers, staff, and DPS property, and the arrest and prosecution of this one individual will ensure that their professionalism and dedication will be preserved and maintained in the public eye. While relieved that none of this activity occurred on Detroit Public Schools grounds or involved any of our students, I applaud the leadership of our police department for cooperating fully and am highly appreciative of the efforts of the agencies in the FBI-led Public Corruption Task Force who brought this matter to justice.”
The case was investigated by the FBI led Public Corruption Task Force which includes Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Environmental Protection Agency-Office of Inspector General, Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General, Michigan State Police, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, and the Detroit Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David A. Gardey.
Baltimore MD Jan 25 22013 A federal judge sentenced two partners in an armored-car stick up crew to 32 years and a day each in prison.
Erick Wilson, 28 from Columbia and David Marquise Howard, 29, from Baltimore held up employees of Dunbar Armored at gunpoint, stealing cash from them. The robberies, carried out in Maryland and Washington, D.C., took place between 2008 and 2011, earning the pair and their crew $765,000.
Wilson was sentenced Wednesday and Howard Tuesday. Both pleaded guilty to six robberies.
Wilson’s mother Regina McCullom, 49, and Howard’s girlfriend Gloria Martino, 29, have also pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and are awaiting sentencing.
Prosecutors said the crew was highly organized, wearing disguises, purchasing cars specifically for each job and using disposable cell phones to communicate during the robberies. Sometimes they would rent hotel rooms to use as a base and a place to divide up the stolen cash.
But other parts of the plot were less sophisticated. When investigators caught up with the crew and arrested Howard, he took them to a spot in Baltimore where he had buried a bag containing $10,000.
Schaumburg IL Jan 18 2013 Three Schaumburg police officers conspired to steal drugs they had seized during legitimate busts, then split the profits after their informant put the drugs back on the streets, with one of the officers later admitting he did it for “the thrill of it,” according to prosecutors.
John Cichy, 30, Matthew Hudak, 29, and Terrance O’Brien, 47, were captured on video surveillance and audio recordings stealing money and drugs from the dealers, and all three have made incriminating statements, prosecutor Audriana Anderson said in court this morning.
“Everything you have on tape, I did. You got me on that,” Anderson quoted Hudak as telling authorities. O’Brien told investigators they did “it all for the thrill of it,” she said.
Authorities said they began investigating the officers more than two weeks ago after a search warrant was executed on a storage locker in Carol Stream and 275 grams of cocaine were recovered.
The person who had control of the locker told authorities the officers had been using him since the middle of 2012 to buy and sell cocaine and marijuana from the cash and drugs they stole while executing search warrants. Investigators then set up a sting, with the informant wearing a wire, authorities said. The officers were arrested Wednesday.
“What began as a routine narcotics investigation quickly evolved into something far more sinister,” DuPage State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said after the court hearing.
Defense attorney Thomas Glasgow, who represents Hudak, said his client was falsely accused by an unreliable “snitch” set up the officers. “In order to collar the bad guy, you have to look like the bad guy,” Glasgow said.
Judge Elizabeth Sexton set a cash bail of $750,000 for each of the officers. Sexton granted a prosecution request requiring the officers to remain in custody until a hearing is held to ensure any money posted as bail was not obtained through illegal means.
“I believe these guys have nothing to lose,” the judge said. “And they are a flight risk.”
Defense attorneys had sought to lower the bonds, arguing the officers could not come up with that much money.
A girlfriend of one of the officers was also charged with drug conspiracy, accused of allowing her Hoffman Estates home to be used as a “stash house,” Anderson said.
Anderson said authorities recovered six pounds of marijuana and some cocaine from the garage of Nicole Brehm, 44. She was ordered held on $150,000 bail.
Cichy and Hudak were each charged with manufacturing or delivering between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine, armed violence, criminal drug conspiracy, conspiracy to manufacture or deliver between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine, official misconduct, theft between $10,000 and $100,000 in a school or place of worship, and burglary.
O’Brien was charged with manufacturing or delivering between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine, armed violence, drug conspiracy, official misconduct, theft of stolen property between $10,000 and $100,000 from a school or place of worship, and burglary.
Authorities said Schaumburg police officials have fully cooperated in the investigation. About 20 search warrants were executed Wednesday at the police station, the officers’ homes and their cars.
Officials said the investigation is ongoing, but authorities do not believe any other officers were involved in the scheme.
“This is not a good day for the good guys,” said Jack Riley, special agent-in-charge of the DEA’s Chicago field division. “No matter who you are — federal, state, or local law enforcement — your badge took a ding and, for me quite frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach.”
“I really do believe we have successfully removed the cancer within that (Schaumburg police) department,” he added.
Berlin said dealers were arrested under lesser charges under the scheme so the charged officers could steal part of the confiscated drugs for their own profit.
Berlin said there is only one case in DuPage County in which the officers were involved, and he has spoken with Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to determine how many criminal prosecutions may have been compromised there.
Criminal defense experts said prosecutions could be tainted because of questions about the officers’ credibility and their unavailability to testify in cases.
To that end, a representative of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office said the office has already begin assembling an inventory of cases involving the officers to determine if those cases were compromised and, if so, to seek the dismissal of charges.
“We’re getting a list of pending cases together. We’re working on an inventory of our clients who are in the predicament they are in because of these three officers,” said Assistant Public Defender Scott Slonim, a supervisor in the Rolling Meadows branch courthouse, where most criminal cases out of Schaumburg are heard.
Slonim said one defendant in a pending case, whom he did not name, has an upcoming hearing at which “I’m confident that the State’s Attorney’s Office will do the right thing. The credibility of those officers will not stand up in court.”
Also today, Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz released a new statement the village is disappointed in the officers and reiterating that the village will cooperate with authorities.
“The Village of Schaumburg fully supports efforts to prosecute these officers to the fullest extent under the law,” the statement said. It added that the village took immediate steps to place the men on leave when officials learned Wednesday of their arrests and will seek to have them terminated if the allegations prove true.
Relatives and neighbors of Hudak expressed shock at his arrests.
Hudak’s uncle, Michael Magazzine of Ohio, said he didn’t believe his nephew would be capable of the crimes prosecutors are alleging. Magazzine said Hudak grew up in the Cleveland-area and the uncle said he still sometimes sees his nephews at holidays.
“He’s a good kid. I changed his diaper,” Magazzine said.“I can’t see him selling (drugs). … That’s not the man I know.”
Howard Bean, Hudak’s neighbor in Algonquin, said he had “nothing but good things to say about” Hudak and his wife. “He’s a good man, a good father, he’s been a good neighbor.”
Howard’s wife Arlene said she has baby sat for the Hudaks’ two young children.
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.
The two then went to a self-checkout register, scanned a few of the items and left the store with the goods, valued at $2,000.
Police stopped the suspects’ car as it was leaving the parking lot just before 5:30 p.m.
The four people in the car were arrested and all face at least one felony charge. They all remained in the county jail yesterday evening.
Tiffany Harrison, 24, of Brooklyn is charged with felony willful concealment and false report to law enforcement.
Pierre Louis, 28, of Philadelphia and Rodrigue Domingue, 29, of Brooklyn both face felony charges of criminal liability for conduct of another.
Kenton Ames, 34, of Brooklyn faces a felony charge of theft by deception and possession of false identification.
Harrison, Domingue and Ames all refused the services of a bail commission and were taken to the county jail pending their arraignment in 10th Circuit Court in Salem.
Lous had cash bail set at $5,000, but did not post it and also remains in jail.
SMITHFIELD, N.C. Sept 6 2012– A teacher assistant with the Johnston County school system is accused of selling heroin on a high school campus.
Winston Antonio Evans, 29, of Smithfield, was arrested Tuesday night following an indictment by a federal grand jury.
Evans faces four counts of distributing heroin, one count of distributing heroin within 1000 feet of a school, and one count of possession of a gun during a drug trafficking crime. The indictments allege the offenses took place between February 22 and March 15.
The arrest is the result of a joint investigation by the Smithfield Police Department, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Department said Evans sold heroin to an undercover officer on the Smithfield Selma High School campus. On another occasion, Evans was at a home near the school when he allegedly sold heroin again to the officer.
Evans was hired as a teacher assistant at Smithfield Selma High on April 10, 2008. He is currently suspended with pay.
Rome GA Sept 5 2012 Three Rome residents are facing felony drug related charges after they were initially arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting. The incident occurred on Saturday at the Wal-Mart in Rockmart when the asset protection security team noticed suspicious activity related to shoplifting.
Three suspects were apprehended and upon further investigation it was determined that they had shoplifted $72.70 worth of merchandise and passed off forged prescriptions for narcotics. The trio communicated by using a walkie-talkie device to coordinate their criminal activity.
Michael Charles Livingston, 43, Theresa Marie Livingston, 39, and Misti Ann Smith, 29, all of Rome were arrested by Rockmart police and charged with shoplifting, prescription fraud, possession of hydrocodone, possession of hydrocodone with intent to distribute.
According to Rockmart Police Chief Keith Sorrells, when responding officers arrived on the scene, Smith fled on foot and was apprehended at a nearby Wendy’s. Smith had in her possession a bag that contained the stolen merchandise, a forged prescription and a walkie-talkie.
The Livingston couple was found in a van along with a prescription that had been filled earlier that day at the Wal-Mart pharmacy. They also had two other prescriptions in the van (one blank and one forged) as well as a walkie-talkie.
Michael and Theresa Livingston were both released on 8/17 after each posted four property bonds totaling $16,100
Smith remains in custody at the time of this publication with a $16,100 property bond.
The three have been arrested before on similar charges, Smith was arrested in Rome last year at the Redmond Circle Wal-Mart and charged with three felonies after passing off a fake prescription for hydrocodone using a phony name. She was also arrested at the East Rome Wal-Mart on Cartersville Highway in December of 2011 at the East Rome Wal-Mart after she allegedly opened and drank a Redbull energy drink, discarded the empty container into a trashcan and then attempted to leave the store without paying.
Michael and Theresa Livingston were both arrested in November 2009 in Polk County; Theresa was charged with first degree conspiracy to commit forgery and Michael was charged with first degree forgery.
Arrest reports do not reflect the guilt or innocence of the individuals listed. All parties are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Not every arrest/charge leads to a conviction. A conviction or acquittal is determined by the court system.
Kyle Strong, 29, of Wasilla, and Cody Parry, 26, of Trapper Creek, were staying in a cabin owned by Parry’s family about a half-mile off the Parks Highway at the Alaska Railroad crossing, around Mile 169 near Denali State Park. They had scouted around on Saturday and planned to go moose hunting Sunday, troopers said.
Strong cleaned his 30.06 rifle and was still working with it when a round discharged around 10:30 p.m., troopers said. Parry was on the couch and the round entered and exited his leg, inflicting a lot of damage, troopers said.
Strong called 911 on his cellphone and the call went first to Palmer police then was patched through to troopers.
An off-duty trooper based in Cantwell headed to the scene, as did medics from Trapper Creek.
In the meantime, Strong tried CPR and take Parry to the highway. They got on a four-wheeler but it overturned on the narrow trail to the road, trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said, adding the trail was bumpy and ran through a swamp.
“He ran out to the road and flagged someone down to help him right the four-wheeler so he could bring his friend out,” Ipsen said. Strong and the motorist who stopped were able to turn over the four-wheeler and the group made it to the highway, she said.
Medics from Trapper Creek pronounced Parry dead.
His body was sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy, but troopers said they don’t suspect foul play.
Orange County high school teacher had sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl www.privateofficer.com
WINTER GARDEN, Fla.Aug 30 2012 - A former Orange County high school teacher was arrested Monday on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
Andrew Parker Flavell, 29, who taught at West Orange High School but resigned in May, was arrested by Winter Garden police on a charge of lewd or lascivious battery.
According to an arrest affidavit, the girl’s parents contacted police on Monday to discuss her relationship with Flavell, who previously disclosed to authorities that he had kissed the teen.
The girl’s father said Flavell continued to contact his daughter, who admitted to having sex with Flavell about 25 times, the arrest report stated. The girl said the sex occurred at her home and Flavell’s home, according to the report.
Flavell also sent sexually explicit text messages to the teen. He had been teaching biology at West Orange High for 9 months, according to Orange County Public Schools.
Flavell was arrested and said he wanted an attorney present when detectives attempted to interview him, according to police.
Eugene Ballantyne, 29, of Running Springs, affixed his signature to a 23-page plea agreement on July 3, consenting to a long list of conditions that will include his registering as a sex offender in whatever state he may live or work.
This newspaper obtained a copy of that agreement on Tuesday.
Jerry Yang, the assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting Ballantyne, said the former teacher will be sentenced Oct. 29 by Los Angeles Federal Judge George King.
The agreement notes that though the maximum penalty for violating Section 2422(b) of Title 18 of the United States Code can include life imprisonment, lifetime supervised probation, a $250,000 fine, Yang will recommend that Ballantyne get the statutory minimum, which is 10 years in prison.
On the final page of the agreement, titled “Certification of Defendant,” Ballantyne acknowledges that “no one has threatened or forced me in any way to enter into this agreement,” adding that “I am pleading guilty because I am guilty of the charges and wish to take advantage of the promises set forth in this agreement, and not for any other reason.”
Under terms of the plea agreement, Ballantyne will be required to participate in psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment or a sex-offender treatment program and pay all or part of the costs.
NO CHILD PORN
The conditions of his probation, which will take effect after his prison term ends, will also include a prohibition on the possession of child pornography. He may also not have a post office box without his probation officer’s approval.
Ballantyne will also be forbidden to contact his victims—who include, according to the agreement, 13-year-old girls in New Jersey and Blythe, Calif.—and must come no closer than 100 yards to them.
He is also forbidden from frequenting places where minors are likely to be found, like school yards, parks, public swimming pools, playgrounds and video arcades.
In addition, he is barred from owning or working for a business that sells materials depicting sexual contact and may not possess computers, computer equipment, passwords or e-mail addresses not approved by his probation officer.
Ballantyne will also be required to pay up to $32 a month for federal monitoring of his computer and, should he gain monetarily from the images he obtained on the Internet, he must submit the funds to the government and turn over ownership of those images to authorities.
According to the plea agreement, Ballantyne will also give up basic rights of citizenship, including the rights to vote, own a firearm, hold public office and serve on a jury.
Ballantyne taught at Rim High beginning in 2007 until his release as part of a 2010 budget cut. He subsequently found a teaching job at Arrowview Middle School in San Bernardino.
At that school, Yang said following his arrest, Ballantyne continued sexually preying on teenage girls, including one in his own class. He allegedly contacted the girl online, posing as a 15-year-old boy, and cultivated a relationship with her over two years.
Ballantyne persuaded that girl to send him nude photos by e-mail, Yang said.
NO NEW CHARGES
But Ballantyne was not charged with any of the alleged violations at Arrowview. Instead, the charges against him included those uncovered in a two-state investigation. Outlined in an FBI special agent’s affidavit, they resulted from the New Jersey girl’s disclosure of her Internet relationship with a man called John Baldwin.
That man was later found to be Ballantyne, who, the affidavit said, told the girl he loved her, got her to masturbate during phone conversations and persuaded her to e-mail him sexually explicit images of herself.
The plea agreement also notes that Ballantyne knowingly induced the New Jersey teen to engage in activities for which he could have been charged, under California law, with lewd acts with a child.
The complaint against Ballantyne says he had also obtained sexual images from a 15-year-old girl he’d met online, while the plea agreement outlined how, at age 29, he had traveled about 180 miles to have sex with a 13-year-old girl who lives in Blythe.
Asked Tuesday about the length of Ballantyne’s post-prison probation, Yang said, “supervised release can be up to life.”
For Ballantyne there could be an element of chance in signing the agreement, which he said in his declaration he had done after conferring with his attorney.
In its first paragraph, the document says the agreement is limited to the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) and “cannot bind any other federal, state, local or foreign prosecuting, enforcement, administrative or regulatory authorities.”
In another section it states the defendant understands that the court and the United States Probation Office are not parties to this agreement and need not accept any of the USAO’s sentencing recommendations.
The agreement is signed by Yang, Ballantyne and Stephen D. Demik, Ballantyne’s attorney.
DECATUR, Alabama Aug 3 2012- Police charged a Huntsville man with robbery Tuesday after he hit a Belk employee after he was caught stealing items from the store, a Decatur police news release said.
Asa Cody Whisenant, 29, of Huntsville was arrested Tuesday on a third-degree robbery charge after the incident at Belk on Beltline Road, the release said.
A store security officer detained Whisenant after seeing him leave the store shortly before 4 p.m. with store items hidden on himself,, police said. Police said that Whisenant struck the security employee during a struggle in the parking lot.
Whisenant will be transferred to the Morgan County Jail with bond set at $2,500, police said.
Anthony Williams, 29, was also charged with flight to prevent a law enforcement officer from arresting him, Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik said.
The incident occurred around 12:49 p.m. at the probation office at 55 Dale Ave. Williams allegedly pushed security officer Issam Kozrosh as he tried to run out of the office. Kozrosh suffered minor injuries.
Williams was being held in the Passaic County Jail Thursday.
Police said Tyler Wells, 29, had an inappropriate relationship with a student at Fermi High School.
Police started investigating Wells in June. He turned himself in to Enfield Police on Tuesday.
“I didn’t see it coming. It was pretty surprising. He’s a good guy,” Eric Adamczyk, a student, said.
Adamczyk was one of many of Wells’ students who were stunned by the accusations.
Wells had been a popular teacher and coach for several years and they never noticed any suspicious behavior, students said.
“In the hallways he’s always so nice and says ‘Hi’ to everyone. I would never think this would happen,” Emily Wiecek said.
NBC Connecticut went to Wells’ home to get his side of the story since he bonded out of jail, but no one answered the door.
Police said Wells was having an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl inside Fermi High School, but they would not say how long the relationship lasted.
Police said they didn’t have any reason to believe Wells targeted other students at the school, but they were keeping this investigation open just in case other students came forward.
“I don’t fully believe it all,” Adamczyk said.
Some students questioned if the claims against their teacher were even true.
“It’s really mind boggling I guess,” Emily Wiecek said.
NBC tried getting in touch with Wells, his attorney and officials at Fermi High School, but no one returned phone calls or emails.
Two TSA Screeners Agree to Plead Guilty to Conspiracy Charges in Scheme to Smuggle Narcotics Through Security Checkpoints at LAX www.privateofficer.com
LOS ANGELES CA July 25 2012—Two people who were employed as transportation security officers at Los Angeles International Airport—and a third person who allegedly smuggled marijuana to Boston—were charged today with conspiring to pay bribes to the employees of the Transportation Security Administration.
The three defendants have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in plea agreements that were also filed this morning in United States District Court. Two other drug couriers previously agreed to plead guilty in this case, meaning that five defendants have now been charged and agreed to plead guilty in this investigation.
The three defendants charged today are:
■Dianna Perez, 28, of Inglewood, who was terminated as a TSA employee last October;
■Randy Littlefield, 29, of Paramount, who resigned from TSA last October; and
■Millage Peaks, 24, of Los Angeles, who initiated the bribery scheme when he offered Perez money to allow narcotics-laden luggage to be passed through security checkpoints.
The other two defendants who agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in plea agreements filed July 2 are:
■Charles Hicks, also known as “Smoke,” 24, of Culver City; and
■Andrew Russel Welter, also known as “Drew,” 25, of Fontana.
All five defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances in federal court on August 14.
According to court documents, the conspiracy between the drug couriers and the TSA employees began November 2010. “Peaks offered to pay coconspirator Perez a bribe fee of approximately $500 for each bag containing marijuana that coconspirator Perez cleared through airport security for the drug couriers,” according to the statement of facts contained in the five plea agreements.
“Over the course of the next year, conspirator Perez used her position with TSA to help the drug couriers circumvent airport security on approximately nine occasions,” the statement of facts continues. “She did this a number of ways. First, she would instruct the drug couriers how to pack the marijuana so it would not trigger alarms on TSA’s explosive detection system. Coconspirator Perez would also personally screen the bags using TSA’s explosive detection system. Finally, if a bag did alarm, co-conspirator Perez would manually screen the bag and then clear it.”
Littlefield “cleared” bags on at least two occasions in exchange for $200 that was to be paid by Perez, according to the plea agreements.
The charge of conspiracy carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
The case against Perez, Littlefield, and the drug couriers is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received assistance from the Los Angeles Airport Police and the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General.
In an unrelated case filed by the United States Attorney’s Office in April, two then-TSA screeners who worked at LAX, two former TSA screeners and three alleged drug couriers were indicted on narcotics trafficking and bribery charges for allegedly taking cash payments to allow large shipments of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana to pass through the X-ray machines at security checkpoints (see: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/Pressroom/2012/051.html). The seven defendants in this case are currently scheduled to go on trial on February 12, 2013.
Source:Federal Bureau of Investigation
Westchester IL July 24 2012 A 31-year-old off-duty Illinois State Police officer was charged Sunday with murdering a woman in Westchester.
Brian Himber, of Chicago was charged with the first degree murder of Tracy Mays, 29.
Himber, who is accused of shooting Mays multiple times, was in critical condition with gunshot wounds from an attempted suicide, police said.
Neighbors said the shooting happened during a graduation party hosted by the homeowners. The people shot were guests, they said.
Several neighbors — who would not give their names — said they heard gunshots at about 12:15 or 12:30 a.m. on the quiet street of brick homes. One woman thought it was fireworks going off, her husband said, adding that he saw shell casings and blood on the driveway.
By Sunday afternoon, the driveway smelled of bleach; a yellow striped party tent remained in the backyard. Allowed back into their tidy blonde brick house Sunday afternoon, the homeowners declined to comment. So did friends picking up party detritus from the front yard and street.
Source:Chicago Sun Times
Two Lakeland women , accused of shoplifting more than $70,000 worth of merchandise www.privateofficer.com
LAKELAND Fla July 10 2012
Two Lakeland women were arrested late Thursday, accused of shoplifting more than $70,000 worth of merchandise from stores in Hillsborough and Polk counties, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Nadia Blackburn, 29, of 6546 Evergreen Park Drive, and Stephanie Couture, 31, of 3120 Bonnybrook Drive South, were charged with grand theft following an investigation by Polk detectives that began in 2011.
The charges against the two women were filed by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution on Thursday. The two were arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail on Thursday night and released early Friday after posting $1,000 bail each, according to jail records.
Blackburn, who is a nurse with Bartow Regional Medical Center, and Couture, who operates Coupon Cutters Co., are accused of shoplifting from numerous stores and selling the items on eBay, according to sheriff’s detectives.
Blackburn operated under the eBay account name of NVBNautica and Couture operated the Always28smiling account.
Blackburn did not return a call for comment and attempts to reach Couture were unsuccessful.
“The women independently and together removed merchandise from stores using various concealment methods,” PCSO spokeswoman Donna Wood wrote in a press release. “Both women admitted to taking their children along during their shoplifting outings.”
While detectives were conducting an ongoing investigation of Blackburn, she was arrested by Hillsborough County deputies March 6, 2011, for shoplifting at J.C. Penney’s at the Brandon Town Center, according to reports. At the time, her son was with her, the press release said.
Wood said Polk detectives took the opportunity to question Blackburn about her activities. She told them she had been shoplifting for about 11 years and would sell the items on eBay for extra money, reports said.
Through research, Polk detectives learned her eBay account had been opened in July 2002, reports said.
At the time of her 2011 arrest, Polk detectives also questioned Blackburn’s husband, Paul Blackburn, Wood said. He first denied knowing about the alleged shoplifting, but in later interviews with detectives he said “he knew his wife routinely stole items, but he said he disapproved of the behavior.”
During the time of Paul Blackburn’s questioning, Couture arrived to help with the children, detectives wrote.
She initially denied knowing about her friend’s shoplifting, but later told detectives after learning of the ongoing investigation that Blackburn had taught her how to shoplift, according to reports.
After obtaining a search warrant for Blackburn’s Lakeland home, detectives found about $70,000 of merchandise from area stores. Some of the merchandise still had the price tag attached, reports said.
Racheal St. Romain, 29, of Opelousas, was arrested and charged Monday with three counts of theft (less than $500 each), 11 counts of felony theft (more than $500 each), monetary instrument abuse and malfeasance in office.
“The bank alerted us about some irregularities with the
account. And then, we of course, call the police, and it was found that an employee was indeed misappropriating funds,” Mayor Don Cravins said.
OPD was alerted and began investigating last week, OPD spokesman Sgt. Jody White said. The total of all checks allegedly illegally deposited was $11,941.60, according to a news release.
St. Romain has been placed on paid administrative leave until her employment status can go before the Opelousas Board of Aldermen. The next regular meeting is set for July 10.
Alderman Reggie Tatum found the fact that St. Romain allegedly had been stealing from the city for a year the most
disturbing. It appeared that she began taking checks in May 2011, Cravins said.
Tatum said he understood that at least some of the checks were written for vendors, and Romain signed them over to herself. He questioned why no one noticed what was happening.
“It shouldn’t have been possible,” Tatum said. “If we’re talking a period of a week or two weeks, maybe, but we’re talking about over a year. So, vendors had to be complaining that they weren’t receiving their checks. My next question is, did we just write another check? Because that’s what I think happened.”
St. Romain has been employed in the city’s accounts payable department, part of the executive department, for five and a half years, according to OPD.
She was a clerk, Cravins said. Her supervisor was City Clerk Karen Frank, who did not return a phone call requesting comment. Cravins was unsure whether anyone else would be reprimanded
We don’t have all of the information, yet. If we find that someone else should have caught it, or should have known, we’ll do whatever’s necessary,” Cravins said.
The news comes a year after an investigation by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor showed that two other city employees allegedly were stealing from the city for years.
Then-city employee and Opelousas Housing Authority board member Mike Levier allegedly was paid for time he did not work, and Supervisor of Public Works Leonard Hammond allegedly held onto cash collected from the city’s sale of scrap metal.
“As we find it, we deal with it. We’re going to deal with it in whatever manner is appropriate,” Cravins said. “The only way we can deal with that is we catch them, we try to prosecute them and we fire them. That’s the process. It is what it is.”
The city also has been criticized in legislative and independent audits for poor internal controls, not having a full-time qualified accountant on staff, failing to properly document receipts, deposits and purchase orders. It had plans to tighten its controls and improve record keeping, but that does not appear to have happened.
“There’s no checks and balances,” Tatum said. “If this is happening, how can we trust anything else? What else is wrong? We should go through this stuff with a fine-toothed comb, because it’s very possible that this is only the tip of the iceberg.”