SACRAMENTO, CA May 1 2013—Ethan George Banaszak, 34, of Cameron Park, was arraigned today on charges of bank embezzlement, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Banaszak pleaded not guilty to the charges; he was released on a $75,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. for a status conference on May 17, 2013.
On Thursday, April 25, 2013, a federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment charging Banaszak with embezzling thousands of dollars from his employer, a federally insured bank. According to court records, Banaszak made more than $660,000 in unauthorized withdrawals from bank customers’ accounts and took $16,000 cash from the bank’s vault.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lee S. Bickley is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Banaszak faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Former Tuscaloosa Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation and Sex Assault www.privateofficer.com
WASHINGTON DC April 19 2013—Jason Glenn Thomas, 34, a former sergeant with the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama Police Department, pleaded guilty today to a criminal civil rights charge for using his authority as a law enforcement officer to sexually assault a woman.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Thomas admitted that while on duty shortly after midnight on March 27, 2011, he stopped and detained a female pedestrian without placing her under arrest. Thomas then transported the woman in his department issued patrol vehicle to a remote area and sexually assaulted her.
“This former officer did the unimaginable when he used his police powers to sexually assault this victim,” said Roy L. Austin, Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those who abuse their position and authority to harm those individuals whom they have sworn to protect.”
“Most police officers work diligently every day to protect the citizens,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce White Vance. “A community must be able to trust its police officers. My office is committed to prosecuting any officers who abuse the authority of the badge to commit a crime. This abuse of the public’s trust will not be permitted.”
“Mr. Thomas dishonored his badge and his fellow officers when he violated the civil rights of a female pedestrian while on duty, in uniform, and in a marked patrol car,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Birmingham, Alabama Field Office Richard D. Schwein, Jr. “Citizens have a right and should expect ethical and proper treatment from all law enforcement officers and we, as civil servants, must never forget that we have sworn an oath to serve and protect them. The public can be assured the FBI will continue to aggressively pursue those rogue officers who violate that trust.”
Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2013, before U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith.
This case was investigated by the Tuscaloosa Resident Agency of the FBI’s Birmingham Field Office and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney George Martin for the Northern District of Alabama.
Clinical Laboratory President and New Jersey Doctor, Others Charged with Company in Multi-Million-Dollarl Scheme www.privateofficer.com
NEWARK, NJ April 11 2013—Federal agents arrested the president and part-owner of Parsippany, New Jersey-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), a New Jersey physician, and two other BLS employees this morning on charges they participated in a long-running scheme to bribe doctors to refer patient blood samples to BLS and to order unnecessary tests, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in profit for the company. The charges were announced today by New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
BLS president David Nicoll, 39, of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey; Scott Nicoll, 32, of Wayne, New Jersey, a senior BLS employee and David Nicoll’s brother; and Craig Nordman, 34, of Whippany, New Jersey, a BLS employee and the CEO of Advantech Sales LLC—an entity used by BLS to make illegal payments—are charged in a federal complaint with conspiring to bribe physicians over a period of several years. BLS is also charged with the conspiracy.
Frank Santangelo, 43, of Boonton, New Jersey, a New Jersey physician with offices in Montville and Wayne, is charged in the complaint for allegedly accepting bribes to refer patients to BLS and violating his duty of fidelity to his patients. Santangelo allegedly received more than $700,000 in bribe payments from BLS and sent the company more than $4.2 million in blood referrals.
The defendants are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court.
“People depend on their doctors to make medical decisions about care based solely on medical need,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “When doctors order extra tests or choose particular labs in exchange for cash, they abandon their obligation to their patients and to all of us who support our nation’s health care system. No patients should have to worry that their doctors’ loyalty and judgment have been bought by a salesman trying to make a buck.”
“The FBI views health care fraud as a severe crime problem that affects every American,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford. “Fraud and abuse take critical resources out of our health care system and contribute to the rising cost of health care for everyone. Today’s arrests are the result of a long term, multi-agency investigation into a complex health care fraud scheme, requiring substantial investigative resources. The FBI, with its law enforcement partners, will continue to provide a significant amount of expert resources to investigate these crimes.”
“Kickbacks have no place in the healthcare industry. Financial inducements only cloud medical judgment. This elaborate kickback scheme had one goal, and that is greed,” said Tom O’Donnell, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Federal and state taxpayers, and vulnerable patients, deserve better.”
According to the complaint unsealed today:
Between 2006 and 2013, BLS and entities it funded paid millions of dollars to physicians to induce them to refer patient blood samples to BLS. From these referrals, BLS received at least tens of millions of dollars from private health insurance companies and Medicare.
Numerous physicians were bribed under the guise of lease, service, and/or consulting agreements. Under the lease and service agreements, between 2006 and 2009, physicians were frequently paid thousands of dollars a month by BLS for space in medical offices that BLS did not need or actually use and to perform routine blood drawing services that had little real dollar value.
In a text message referenced in the complaint, David Nicoll wrote to Santangelo about the status of their referral agreement, stating that BLS “really can’t afford the 40-50,000 [dollars] a month if the girls aren’t going to be drawing any blood,” to which Santangelo responded by stating, “U no u can count on me” and “I never let u down.”
When the state of New Jersey sought to address the problem of laboratories using lease agreements to bribe physicians for referrals—effectively prohibiting all leases between blood laboratories and physicians in 2010—BLS, David Nicoll, Scott Nicoll, and Nordman funded and used at least half a dozen entities to disguise bribe payments to physicians.
In one example from the complaint, a physician was paid $1,500 per month by Nordman—who identified himself as both a BLS employee and the CEO of Advantech—for spending less than two minutes each month filling out a one-page questionnaire asking how often sales representatives visited the physician’s office, which insurance companies were in-network for the physician and which out-of-network insurance companies did the physician bill. In reality, the payments were to refer patients’ blood samples to BLS.
Various recorded conversations are also detailed in the complaint, including one in which Nordman urges another physician to order “more tests,” stating, “That’s where it really is. I mean, if we get 10 bloods for $1,000 as opposed to 10 bloods for $4,000 or five bloods for $4,000, obviously there’s more. We get paid a percentage, obviously.” In a second conversation, Scott Nicoll tells this same physician, “I would like to be able to get you, you know, around 1,500 [dollars] a month if I can, but I need—we would either need more tests or more patients or something along those lines…you’re doing about a $1,000 a bag per patient…if we could, we could somehow get that up in the two’s then I’m looking at making 4,000, and I have no problem paying you know 1,500 [dollars] for it.”
Over the course of the charged conspiracy, BLS has made more than $200 million from the testing of blood specimens and related services. David Nicoll received more than $33 million in distributions from BLS during that same time period, during which he also spent millions on personal items: more than $5 million on high-end and collectible automobiles, including approximately $580,000 for a Yenko Nova and approximately $365,000 for a Yenko Chevelle, approximately $300,000 for a Ferrari, and approximately $291,000 for a Corvette; more than $700,000 to purchase a Manhattan apartment for a female companion; $600,000 on private jet charters; $392,000 on tickets to sporting events; $216,000 at electronics stores; and $154,000 at a gentleman’s club and restaurant.
“It is alleged in today’s complaint that the president and other employees of BLS bribed physicians to refer patients to their lab and order unnecessary lab tests, reaping millions of dollars, all in the name of greed,” stated Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office. “Medical tests should only be run when medically necessary, not so someone can buy exotic cars and charter private jets. This type of health care fraud will not be tolerated and IRS-Criminal Investigation, along with our law enforcement partners, will vigorously investigate these crimes to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
“Postal Inspectors, along with other law enforcement agents, unraveled a sophisticated false billing scheme that resulted in millions of dollars in losses,” said Acting Inspector in Charge Maria Kelokates, Newark Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “Postal Inspectors will continue to aggressively pursue investigations in which the U.S. mail is used to facilitate a crime.”
David Nicoll, Scott Nicoll, and Nordman are charged with one count of conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Federal Travel Act. Santangelo is charged in two counts—with substantive violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Federal Travel Act, for allegedly using the interstate mails in aid of commercial bribery. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison on each of the counts with which they are charged. Each count also carries a maximum $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. BLS is also charged with the conspiracy, and faces a maximum potential penalty of five years of probation and a $500,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ford; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge O’Donnell; IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Kitchen, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Kelokates.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Andrew Leven, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jampol and Deputy Chief Jacob T. Elberg of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Ward of the office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
Detroit MI April 10 2013
U.S. Attorney’s Office April 10, 2013
•Eastern District of Michigan (313) 226-9100
A 45-year-old Fenton man was sentenced today to 13 years in prison in connection with a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.
Joining McQuade in the announcement was Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley, III, head of the Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook, Jr. also sentenced Ronnie Edward Duke to pay a $1 million fine and $94 million in restitution. Duke led the scheme for close to four years, ending in July 2007 when the FBI executed seven search warrants in metropolitan Detroit and Florida.
The scheme involved more than 450 fraudulent mortgage loans, more than 100 straw buyers, and approximately 180 different residential properties in metropolitan Detroit that were used as collateral for the loans. Most of these loans went into default and foreclosure. The loans ranged from roughly $350,000 to $600,000. Lenders were deceived by counterfeit purchase agreements, fake closing documents, and fictitious title companies that were actually controlled by Duke and his co-conspirators. The warranty deeds and mortgages associated with the majority of the loans went unrecorded, leaving the lenders completely unsecured. Such loans were commonly referred to as “ghost” loans by the defendants during the scheme.
“Mortgage fraud not only harms lenders, but it also affects all of us when foreclosures lead to vacant homes, which reduce property values and create havens for criminal activity,” McQuade said.
“Those who orchestrate and conduct mortgage fraud schemes that steal millions of dollars from innocent victims will face severe consequences for their crimes,” Foley said. The FBI remains committed to pursuing and prosecuting anyone who engages in these illegal acts.”
Fifteen of Duke’s co-conspirators were previously sentenced, including:
•Ryan Andrew Zundel, 38, of Brewton, Alabama—10 years
•Nicole Lynn Rothe (formerly Nicole Lynn Turcheck), 34, of Gibraltar—10 years
•William Camsell Wells, III, 42, of Howell—eight-and-a-half years
•Wilinevah Richardson, 35, of Davison—five years
•Donna Marie Walbrook, 50, of Westland—five years
•Anthony Edward Peters, 75, of Monroe—41 months
•Robert Brierley, 46 of Westland—33 months.
Duke spent his fraud proceeds to operate a car racing business called Hardcore Racing Inc. He purchased numerous sports cars, race cars, boats, motorcycles, and a helicopter. Duke’s co-defendants used their proceeds to finance unrelated businesses and to purchase luxury items, including cars, boats, motorcycles, race horses, residential properties, and travel to the Caribbean and other overseas vacation destinations.
Duke’s criminal history includes embezzlement, credit card fraud, receiving and concealing stolen property, escape, aggravated stalking, and disturbing the peace.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Erin Shaw and Stephen Hiyama and investigated by the FBI, with the assistance of the U.S. Secret Service.
TULSA OK April 5 2013 – Seven suspected methamphetamine users are awaiting prosecution after a sting at a Green Country casino led to their arrest.
John Hunt, 68, Gene Miller, 53, Shelley Boothe, 30, Carol Fogelman, 30, Ayla Jones, 20, Charles Yahola, 24, and John Cooper, 34, were busted trying to buy large amounts of meth at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa last week.
Casino security first responded to a smoke alarm in a seventh-floor hotel room, where 31-year-old Raven Holmes was found smoking meth, according to arrest affidavits. The documents go on to state Holmes had more than a pound of meth, scales and other drugs packaged for sale in the room.
Hard Rock officials then reportedly called for police backup, which, with the help of local, county and federal law enforcement, set up a sting that netted the seven suspects.
The suspected buyers were all arrested for charges ranging from possession of a controlled substance to endeavoring to traffic drugs.
All seven, with the exception of Cooper, are listed as Tulsa residents.
Holmes and 35-year-old Gonzalo Ponce-Arturez of Austin, Texas, were indicted on federal drug charges Monday.
According to court documents, Holmes admitted to selling large amounts of meth out of Tulsa hotels on several occasions. She claims to have sold the drugs for a man who is member of a Mexican drug cartel.
“This is a plague in our community,” said Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley. “With the efforts of all the law enforcement involved, we got that off the streets of Rogers County. That’s something we are quite proud of.”
Steidley’s office is expected to prosecute the suspected buyers.
NASHVILLE, TN March 25 2013 A Nashville couple faces charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect after they were accused of routinely putting their 5-year-old inside an oven as a form of punishment.
Source: WSMV .com
Police are searching for the carjacking suspect in the incident that occurred around 8:20 a.m. in the 5000 block of Vienna Drive in Clinton. Police said the off-duty officer’s wife had started the vehicle in their driveway and put her 9-year-old daughter inside when a carjacking suspect approached. The mother rushed inside and notified her husband, who is an off-duty officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, county police said.
JACKSBORO TN Feb 23 2013 – A Campbell County school resource officer and an auxiliary officer have both been fired following accusations of misconduct.
A statement released Thursday morning says Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins received information of possible misconduct by both men.
SRO Roger Todd Hatmaker, 34, who worked at Jacksboro Middle School, and Auxiliary Officer Steven Todd Miller, 38, are accused of exchanging inappropriate electronic photos with the same Campbell County High School female student.
Those allegations were turned over to the Eighth Judicial District Attorney General and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Hatmaker took the job with the school last year and Goins said he was well-liked by everyone at the school.
Steven Miller was a volunteer officer who usually worked one day a week and always with a full-time officer.
Sheriff Goins says he was tipped off to the inappropriate texts by another school resource officer.
“We enforce laws. We know better. We’re going to enforce those laws even on our own people,” he said.
Mary Siler, whose grandson, Devin, is a sixth grader at the middle school was not happy to hear the news.
“They’re hired to protect our children. I think that’s what they should have been doing,” said Siler.
An investigation into the alleged misconduct is continuing.
Neither man has received formal charges yet.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
ALEXANDRIA, VA Feb 23 2013—Matthew James Addy, 34, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to securities fraud charges for running a $3 million Ponzi scheme that involved the fake purchase and resale of wholesale jewelry and loose precious stones.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge James C. Cacheris.
Addy faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 10, 2013.
According to court records, Addy owned Edward J. & Company, which operated a retail jewelry store in Lancaster called La Porte Jewelers. In 2010, Addy began recruiting individuals to invest in promissory notes purportedly linked to transactions involving wholesale jewelry and loose precious stones, which would be purchased through Addy’s businesses and resold to retail jewelers for a profit. Addy ultimately recruited more than 40 investors from throughout the United States, including within the Eastern District of Virginia, and Europe, and obtained more than $3 million in invested funds. Addy recruited many of the victim investors from within religious groups with which he was associated and used the affiliations to gain their trust.
The investment scheme was a fraud. Addy never conducted any of the contemplated wholesale jewelry transactions, and Addy used the vast majority of the invested funds on unrelated business and personal expenses. Approximately $670,000 was paid back out to investors during the course of the fraud as supposed profits on their investments and was designed to conceal the fraud and induce further investments in the scheme. Most of these payouts came directly from funds contributed by new investors, which made them Ponzi payments.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorney Paul J. Nathanson is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
RICHMOND, Va. Feb 22 2013 – A Central Virginia couple is charged with stealing more than $2,000 worth of liquor from nine Central Virginia ABC stores. The suspected shoplifters stole bottles of Cognac, tequila, gin and vodka, according to an email from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Demond Jerome Loney, 35, of Richmond, was charged with 12 counts of grand larceny third offense. Jennifer Patrice Harrell, 34, of Chesterfield County, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit larceny.
The ABC said the pair went on a crime spree from January 23 to February 13 shoplifting from nine stores across Central Virginia. The stores they are accused of stealing from include:
Carytown – Richmond
3100 West Broad St – Richmond
6030 Brook Road- Richmond
7036 Forest Hill Ave. – Richmond
618 West Southside Plaza – Richmond
6504 Hull Street Road – Richmond
4302 South Laburnum Ave. in the Laburnum Park Shopping Center – Henrico County
2610 Buford Road – Chesterfield County
7057 Mechanicsville Turnpike – Hanover County
“Our security system did exactly what it was set up to do,” director of ABC’s bureau of law enforcement Shawn Walker said. “In addition to the enhanced safety and security provided for our customers and employees by the store camera and security systems, valuable footage has been used in the arrest and conviction of shoplifters.”
Both Loney and Harrell are being held without bond in the Richmond jail, according the ABC.
COLUMBUS, Miss. Feb 11 2013 — Columbus police have arrested four woman they say took over $500 from a local business.
Authorities say they were notified the woman took items from K-Mart on Highway 45 North Wednesday night.
The vehicle they were traveling in was stopped a short time later.
Brenda Lee Roby, 43, Labrenda Denise Roby, 21, Sheila Shavon Roby, 36, and Shameka Letrese Roby, 34, all of Columbus, are charged with shoplifting over $250 – third offense.
Shelia Shavon Roby is also charged with speeding and two counts of contempt of court.
Bond has not been set.
Fort Worth TX Jan 24 2013 A former Fort Worth ISD teacher and coach was arrested Tuesday on an indecency with a child charge after having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Chad Hawkins, 34, resigned from his teaching position at Arlington Heights High School last week. Westworth Village police found him making out with a 16-year-old student in a car in front of a fitness center on Jan. 16. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office took over the investigation.
He claimed he was giving the student from his history class a ride home. Police started investigating the relationship before arresting him Tuesday. He was taken to the Tarrant County jail Wednesday and bail was set at $15,000.
Hawkins is a former pitcher in the Texas Rangers minor-league system, our Gerry Fraley reports. He was coaching basketball and baseball at Arlington Heights. He pitched at Grapevine High School and Baylor University.
The club selected him with the 39th overall pick out of Baylor in 2000, and he received a $625,000 signing bonus from the Rangers. He pitched three seasons in the minor-league system before retiring because of arm problems.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that police documents chronicle online flirtation between Hawkins and his student. He created a fake Facebook account using the name Thomas Durdan.
The female student was Durdan’s only friend. They frequently sent flirtatious and often risque messages to each other.
He’s quoted as sending the student a message on Jan. 10 saying, “I want you to walk into my class next period and sit right on my lap ha!”
Source-dallas morning news
Phillipsburg PA Dec 14 2012 Authorities have dropped charges against two hospital security guards that alleged the pair operated a tuition reimbursement scam.
Robert Fulpe, 34, an ex-security director at the former Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg, and Bruce Sutton, 54, a former security guard at the hospital, no longer face allegations that they cashed and split tuition checks meant for courses at LionInvestigation Academyin Freemansburg.
Fulper said he’s waited more than two years for the truth to be realized.
“I don’t consider myself a strong person, but I do believe in the truth,” he said. “I never would have stolen from my WarrenHospital family, never.”
Police arrested Fulper on Sept. 1, 2010, after the alleged scheme was reported to authorities. Sutton told police Fulper solicited his help from July 2007 to September 2008 in collecting nearly $7,450 in tuition checks, according to documents obtained today by The Express-Times.
At the time of his arrest, Fulper was no longer working at what is now St. Luke’s Hospital in Phillipsburg. He was fired in 2009 for unrelated reasons. Hospital officials did not immediately return calls for additional information.
“My client never wavered in his position and hoping that justice would be served,” defense attorney Jeff Russo said.
Police arrested Sutton on Nov. 4, 2011, after he was indicted in connection with the alleged scam. He continued to work for the hospital until at least March 2011, when he was featured in the hospital’s newsletter for receiving an award for helping a patient.
Sutton declined to comment on the charges being dropped and would not indicate if he still works for the hospital.
“While it took time, we respect the prosecutor’s decision,”said Sutton’s attorney, Leonard Artigliere. “They did a complete and thorough investigation.”
The two men had repeatedly rejected plea deals from the prosecutor’s office, most recently in July when both declined offers of no prison time in exchange for reduced charges. Warren County Prosecutor Richard Burke did not return calls for comment.
“I feel vindicated knowing that this fallacy was proven true by the prosecutor’s request to dismiss the charges,” Fulper said in a prepared statement. “I am hopeful that the petty, vindictive actions of those that took part in this calculated attack on my character will someday be held accountable for their irreparable damage.”
Department of Health and Human Services employee sentenced for theft of $114,494 www.privateofficer.com
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.
Reginald Mitchell, 27, a former security employee at the track and casino, pleaded guilty to robbery conspiracy, interfering with commerce, and possession of a firearm resulting in death during a crime of violence, in federal court in Miami.
Another man, Vladimir Louissant, 34, of Pembroke Pines, is charged with firing the fatal shot at the guard, Alvaro Lopez Ramos.
Mitchell and his girlfriend, Victoria Barkley, 27, also of Miami Gardens, have both pleaded guilty to their roles. A third man, Byron Kyler, 24, of Miami, is scheduled for a change of plea hearing later this month.
Louissant and another man, Uri Ammar, 27, of Hollywood, who worked as a security supervisor at the track, have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Los Angeles CA July 31 2012 A Long Beach man has been charged by federal authorities with trying to smuggle more than four pounds of methamphetamine from Los Angeles to Japan in what looked like Snickers bars, officials said Monday.
Rogelio Mauricio Harris, 34, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations while preparing to board a flight to Japan.
Harris faces a charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. If convicted, he faces at least 10 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence penalty of life in prison. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The agents were conducting routine baggage inspections when they noticed a large box labeled as Snickers bars inside Harris’ checked luggage and discovered 45 individually wrapped, full-sized “candy bars.”
Each “was coated in a chocolate-like substance to make the contents of the package appear to be a real candy bar,” officials said. Agents tested the bars and found they contained “a white, crystalline substance” determined to be methamphetamine, the agency said in a statement.
All told, the contraband candies contained four pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of about $250,000 in Japan, the agency said.
Beaumont TX July 31 2012 A BISD employee who was fired in May turned himself into authorities, according to a Jefferson County Correctional Facility personnel.
Daryl Johnson, 42, a former warehouse maintenance supervisor, was charged with two counts of felony theft on $10,000 and $20,000 bonds.
He turned himself into authorities last Friday and bonded out the same day, according to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.
His wife Erin Johnson, 34, also turned herself in the same day and bonded out, according to the jail personnel. She was charged with one felony count of theft on a $20,000 bond.
Beaumont ISD detective Danny Moore confirms that Johnson was investigated for theft for approximately $280,000.
The district released a statement in May that Johnson, who was not named at the time, was fired because he appeared to have paid wages to two persons who did not work for the district.
BLAINE TN July 19 2012 - A Grainger County doctor was held at knifepoint Tuesday by a man in a doctor’s office.
Grainger County sheriff’s deputies and Blaine police ended the hostage situation when they busted down the door and subdued the suspect.
Grainger County sheriff’s deputies say Vern Evart Long, 34, of Morristown, entered the Blaine Medical Center at 11:00 a.m. and barricaded himself with Dr. John Neece, 55, in an exam room.
They say Long threatened to kill the doctor and cut his own throat.
The doctor received superficial injuries. Long was taken to Tennova Medical Center and then to UT Medical Center for treatment.
Long is likely to face a long list of charges, including especially aggravated assault, kidnapping and vandalism.
Blaine Police Chief Jamie Winstead said Long has a history of violence.
Officials have not said what started the incident.
Sheriff Scott Layel says authorities are seeking to enter Long into a mental health facility
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma July 11 2012- A Sequoyah Public Schools music teacher was arrested Monday afternoon for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old student.
Mark Thomas Buchanan, 34, of Claremore, was booked into a Rogers County jail without bond.
Police said Buchanan’s wife spoke with them Monday and told them her husband had admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Kelly Buchanan said he had come forward because the student had told him that she was “late,” and feared that she was pregnant.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Buchanan is accused of having sex with the student in a closet attached to the choir room at a Sequoyah public school on four separate occasions, over the last six months.
Buchanan faces 18 charges total, including four counts of rape in the first degree, six counts of lewd molestation, and eight counts of sodomy.
Sequoyah Public Schools said Tuesday that Buchanan has been suspended with pay.
Jeffrey M. Bell, 34, was one of three members of a special department unit charged in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., after a joint sting operation by the police department and the FBI.
Authorities arrested them in January 2011 after cash and electronics were left in a house that was under audio and video surveillance. According to Bell’s written plea agreement, he took a Nintendo DS game system during the sting and also admitted to taking electronics while serving previous search warrants.
Bell pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to deny civil rights.
His attorney, Scott Toth, asked for probation, but Toth said after the sentencing that Bell was prepared to accept whatever sentence the judge deemed appropriate.
“Mr. Bell is extremely remorseful for the damage his actions caused for the public and the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department,” Toth said.
One of the other officers was sentenced last week to one year and one day in prison. The third is to be sentenced Thursday
Miami Fla June 27 2012 Police and prosecutors arrested four alleged pimps Monday morning as part of an ongoing investigation into a ring of human traffickers who preyed on abused and neglected children in foster care.
The men, police say, were part of an organized conspiracy to lure underage girls into prostitution. The four were charged with conspiracy, racketeering and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Using a teenage foster child as a recruiter, police say, the four men plied underage girls with cash, affection and gifts. Ultimately, the girls became prostitutes who earned the ring about $100 for every man with whom they had sex. The girls, in turn, were paid $30 or $40 of that original $100.
Beginning in January of 2011, members of the ring would call girls on cell phones supplied by the men and arrange for them to have sex at a building in Homestead that the ring used as a kind of brothel, records say.
Charged Monday were Eric George Earle, 29, called “E-Nasty,” Willie Calvin Bivens, 65, called “Tank,” Anturrell Nathaniel Dean, 30, and David Zarifi, 34. A fifth person — a 17-year-old foster child who is identified only by the initials S.S. — is listed in a 13-page sworn statement as a “recruiter” for the ring, though she is not charged with any crimes. As of late Monday, the four men remained in jail: Zarifi on $53,000 bail, Earle on $60,000 bail, Bivens on $35,505 bail, and Dean on $45,000.
The human trafficking investigation also involves a now-suspended child abuse investigator for the agency that oversees child welfare efforts in Florida. Jean LaCroix, a child protective investigator employed by the Department of Children & Families, was placed on paid administrative leave while police and prosecutors investigate allegations he repeatedly had sex with a teenaged foster child whose safety he was assigned to protect.
Sources have told The Miami Herald that LaCroix placed the girl at a group home for dependent children — and turn returned to the home repeatedly to pick the girl up for sexual favors. The girl, sources say, also was working for members of the ring who were arrested Monday.
LaCroix had spearheaded a 2006 child abuse investigation — prompted by a call from worried teachers and administrators — into the welfare of Nubia Barahona, a twin who was adopted from foster care and was killed in 2011, police say by her own adoptive parents, Carmen and Jorge Barahona. LaCroix was named in a lawsuit alleging DCF failed repeatedly to protect Nubia, and her brother, Victor, whom police say also endured years of torment.
LaCroix has not been charged with any crimes.
The investigation began in December 2011 when a foster child disclosed that she had been having consensual sex with a man.
The 17-year-old, identified as M.D., allowed police to search her cellphone. It contained images of the girl both naked and having sex with Zarifi, a sworn statement says. M.D., police say, suffers from cognitive impairments.
M.D. told police that, soon after she went sent to live in a state-operated group home in September 2011, she was recruited by a housemate, S.S., who told her “she could make money by having sex with men,” a warrant states. At first, she was introduced to a man she then knew only as “E-Nasty.” But Earle introduced her to Zarifi, whom she told police was “nice to her.” M.D. liked Zarifi so much that she had sex with him for free after being paid four times.
Eventually, M.D. agreed to have sex with other men, the warrant says. Either Earle or Zarifi would call her on her cellphone, and arrange to pick her up either at school or at her group home. From there, M.D. would be driven to a home operated by Bivens, where she would be paid $40 to have sex with men, the warrant says.
M.D. also had sex with Zarifi in a room at Bivens’ house, the warrant says.
A review of text messages on M.D.’s phone by police recovered several messages from Earle involving johns, including a message that “somebody wanna pay u to [have sex].”
Another resident of the group home, which was operated by Children’s Home Society, told police that she, too, had been recruited into prostitution by S.S. and Earle. The girl, identified only as C.W., said that Earle gave her clothes – at first without asking for sex in return. Later, C.W. had sex with Earle, who then coaxed her into having sex with Bivens, as well, “as a kind of trial run,” the warrant states.
Shortly after that, police say, Earle asked C.W. to meet with his brother, Dean, who had recently been released from jail. Dean gave the girl cash without requiring that she have sex, the warrant says. But by March 2011, C.W. was prostituting herself for Dean. The arrangement lasted until the following August, the warrant says, and then briefly a month later. C.W. told police that Dean charged johns $100 to have sex with the girl. He paid her $30.
Another foster child who lived at the group home, identified as J.D., told police that Earle tried to recruit her, as well, to work for him as a prostitute. “She states that ‘E’ knew that they were minors at the time he recruited them,” the warrant says.
Though child welfare administrators typically try to place foster children in homes with foster parents, some children prove to be more challenging. Older children with developments disabilities, mental illness or behavioral problems end up in group homes, rather than with foster families, because it’s hard to find families willing to take them.
The ease with which ring members had access to the girls showed the “extreme lack of supervision of these girls, said Carole Schauffer, a children’s advocate who is working with DCF to recruit foster parents and improve the quality of foster parenting. “Nobody is looking at them as a parent would,” Schauffer said.
The National Park Service identified the ranger as Nick Hall, 34, from Maine. Rangers said Hall fell from the 13,700 foot level to about 10,000 feet on the mountain’s northeast side while helping the injured climbers evacuate the mountain by helicopter.
One climber remains on the mountain Friday morning, forced to spend the night there with rescue crews following the accident. She will come down the mountian under her own power, unless weather permits another helicopter rescue attempt, said Ranger Kevin Bacher.
The accident that killed Hall happened just before 2 p.m. Thursday. In all, four climbers, two women and two men, were scaling down the mountain along the Emmons Glacier route when the two women slipped and fell into a crevasse.
One of the climbers in the group had a working cell phone and called park rangers. Rrescue crews located the climbing group and began to rescue the women out of the crevasse.
All four climbers were injured, but none of their injuries were life-threatening.
It was reportedly while harnessing one of the injured climbers to a Chinook helicopter that Hall slid to his death.
The helicopter was able to evacuated three of the climbers to safety, but inclement weather and the accident that killed Hall halted the rescue operation. Rescue personnel spent the night with the one remaining climber on the mountain.
The four climbers are from Waco, Texas and successfully summited the mountain before the incident. Their names will be released once all four families have been notified.
Ranger Nick Hall is a 4-year veteran of Mount Rainier National Park’s climbing program and a native of Patten, Maine.
“Nick…has been part of the team that’s been up there on the mountian keeping people safe and bringing people out for a long time. He’s a valued member of our team,” said Ranger Bacher.
Mount Rainier posted a picture of the Climbing Ranger Team on their Flickr page Friday. Nick Hall is pictured at the far left.
Chicago IL June 4 2012 A second Chicago man was arrested in connection with the stabbing of four Guardian Angels last month when he decided to visit the other person charged in the crime in jail.
Julius Price, 23, of the 200 block of South Sacramento Boulevard, was charged at 2 a.m. this morning with four counts of aggravated battery and use of a deadly weapon, according to Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak.
Judge Israel Desierto ordered Price held on $750,000 bond. Prosecutors said Price was arrested yesterday after going to visit his jailed co-defendant.
Price was positively identified by witnesses as one of the individuals “who, while armed with a handgun, robbed, battered and stabbed victims” in the incident on a CTA train and at the CTA station at Division & Clark on May 15, police said.
The other man accused in the incident is Keith Gunn, 34, of the 5800 block of West Midway Park. Gunn is accused of pistol-whipping a 27-year-old Edgewater man aboard a Red Line train on May 15 as it pulled into the Clark and Division stop and stealing his iPhone, prosecutors said in court Saturday. Gunn is charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery and was ordered held in lieu of $600,000 bail Saturday.
The Angels volunteers saw the robbery and were waiting for Gunn as he ran from the train onto the platform, one of the men told the Tribune a day after the incident.
The four witnesses wrestled Gunn to the ground, but his accomplice, whom police believe to be Price, pulled a knife and stabbed them before he and Gunn ran out of the station, officials said.
Photos from surveillance cameras in the station show Gunn and the other suspect then running from the platform, officials said.
Three of the Angels and the man who was robbed of his iPhone were treated and released from hospitals, while the fourth Angel wasn’t hospitalized, according to court records.
FOYIL, Oklahoma May 31 2012 - A Foyil Public Schools employee was arrested for an alleged sex crime against a minor, according to the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department.
Jeffery Loveless Harris, 34, of Chelsea, was booked into the Rogers County Jail last Thursday under three complaints of lewd or indecent proposal/acts to a child. He has since bonded out.
Harris is employed in the alternative education department of Foyil schools.
No other information was immediately available.