BOSTON MA May 17 2013—A Brockton woman and three of her employees were charged with defrauding insurance companies in connection with physical therapy services.
Walkyria Massie, a/k/a Vicky Lopes, 37, of Brockton; Edward Rossi, 53, of Rochester; Deidre Chouinard, 36, of North Attleboro; and Manuela Andrade, 24, of Brockton, were charged in an indictment unsealed yesterday with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and three separate instances of mail fraud.
The indictment alleges that Massie was the owner and operator of Westgate Physical Therapy in Brockton. Patients would seek treatment at Westgate for minor injuries, generally sustained in car accidents. Massie employed Chouinard, a physical therapist; Rossi, a physical therapy assistant; and Andrade, an office manager. The indictment alleges that Massie, Rossi, Chouinard, and Andrade conspired together to falsify patient treatment charts to reflect therapy that was either never given, or was performed by unlicensed personnel, including Massie herself. Massie caused these fraudulent physical therapy claims to be submitted by mail to private insurance companies for payment. Various insurance companies paid more than $400,000 in bodily injury claims to Westgate and its patients during a two-year period, based on these fraudulent submissions.
On the charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Anthony DiPaolo, Vice President/Chief of Investigations of the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shelbey Wright of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
NEWARK, NJ May 15 2013—Federal law enforcement officers with the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation arrested three men at their homes this morning on charges they stole approximately $6.7 million from an investor, in part by claiming special access to shares in the social media company Facebook Inc. prior to the company’s initial public offering, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
One of the men, Eliyahu Weinstein, 37, of Lakewood, New Jersey, faces additional charges for allegedly committing the fraud while under federal indictment in New Jersey for a separate real estate investment scheme.
Weinstein; Alex Schleider, 47, of Lakewood; and Aaron Muschel, 63, of Brooklyn, New York, are expected to appear on the charges this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court.
“According to the charges, the defendants took advantage of the buzz around the Facebook IPO to fleece unsuspecting investors,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “Shamelessly, Eliyahu Weinstein allegedly committed these crimes while under federal indictment for another investment scheme, even using stolen money to pay his legal fees. Today’s arrest should put an end to his brazen conduct.”
“Today’s charged conduct is another example of the cautionary tale that if an opportunity seems to be too good to be true, it probably isn’t,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford. “More than ever, the investing public must exercise the appropriate amount of due diligence before investing with new or unknown entities. This is highlighted by the fact that one of today’s charged individuals is currently awaiting sentencing on a previous fraud conviction.”
According to the complaint in this case and other documents filed in court:
In February 2012, Weinstein and his fellow conspirators offered investors the opportunity to purchase large blocks of Facebook shares prior to the company’s IPO in May 2012. The offer was particularly attractive because large blocks of the shares were extremely difficult to get, and they were expected to increase in value at the time of the IPO. Weinstein, Schleider, and Muschel did not actually have access to the shares.
Based on misrepresentations by Weinstein, Schleider, Muschel, and another conspirator, an investor victim—described in the complaint as “G.C.”—wired millions of dollars between February and March 2012 to an account Weinstein and a conspirator controlled. Weinstein and Schleider convinced G.C. to send the money by, among other things, providing the victim with false documents showing companies owned by various conspirators held assets which would secure G.C.’s investment.
The conspirators did not use any of G.C.’s money to purchase Facebook shares, instead misappropriating it for their own use and benefit by moving it through various accounts. Weinstein used some of the money to pay lawyers and experts representing him in his pending criminal case and in pending civil matters. Weinstein, Schleider, and Muschel also used G.C.’s money to make investments in a number of different businesses unrelated to Facebook and to make loans for their own benefit.
Throughout the scheme, Weinstein was under indictment and on pretrial release and was prohibited from engaging in any monetary transaction for more than $1,000 without the approval of court-appointed special counsel. Weinstein pleaded guilty in January 2013 before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton, New Jersey, to two counts of that indictment, admitting he ran a real estate investment fraud scheme that caused $200 million in losses and then laundered the proceeds of the scheme.
Weinstein, Schleider, and Muschel are variously charged in the 13-count complaint unsealed today. The charges against each and the maximum potential penalty per count are as follows:
Count(s) Charge Charged Defendant(s) Maximum Potential Penalty/Count
One wire fraud conspiracy Weinstein, Schleider, Muschel 20 years in prison; $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense
Two through six wire fraud while on pretrial release Weinstein 30 years in prison (10 years consecutive to 20 years for wire fraud); $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense
Seven through 13 transacting in criminal proceeds Weinstein, Muschel 10 years in prison; $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense
Additionally, the government is seeking the seizure and forfeiture of all funds fraudulently obtained by the defendants, including three pieces of real property allegedly maintained with the proceeds of the scheme.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ford in Newark, for their work leading the investigation of this case. He also credited special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, for their important contributions.
The government is represented by Counsel to the U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gurbir S. Grewal and Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit; and Evan S. Weitz of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
The charges and allegations against the defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit http://www.stopfraud.gov
New Jersey Couple Arrested, Federally Charged with Abusing Their Children in Cruel ‘Training’ Program www.privateofficer.com
NEWARK, NJ May 2 2013—A U.S. Army major surrendered to federal agents following his wife’s arrest at their Mount Holly, New Jersey home this morning on charges that they abused their children through neglectful and cruel acts, including by breaking their bones, denying them medical attention, withholding water, and force-feeding them hot sauce, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Carolyn Jackson, 35, and John E. Jackson, 37, formerly of the Picatinny Arsenal Installation in Morris County, New Jersey, are charged in a 17-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, 13 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and three counts of assault.
The case falls under federal jurisdiction because the crimes were allegedly committed on a military base. The defendants are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court.
“Carolyn and John Jackson are charged with unimaginable cruelty to children they were trusted to protect,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “The crimes alleged should not happen to any child, anywhere, and it is deeply disturbing that they would happen on a military installation. Along with the FBI, we will continue to seek justice for our communities’ most vulnerable victims.”
According to the indictment unsealed today:
From approximately August 2005 until April 23, 2010, Carolyn and John Jackson conspired to engage in a constant course of neglect and cruelty towards three children they fostered and then adopted, one of whom died in May 2008. The Jacksons told their three biological children not to report the physical assaults to others, saying that the punishments and disciplinary techniques were justified, as they were “training” the adopted children how to behave.
After John Jackson was informed by a family friend that one of the children had revealed the abuse in the Jackson household, John Jackson reported the breach to Carolyn Jackson, who retaliated against that child with multiple beatings with a belt.
The Jacksons physically assaulted their children with various objects, causing two children to sustain fractured bones for which the Jacksons failed to seek prompt medical attention.
They also withheld proper medical care for their adopted children, withheld sufficient nourishment and food for two of their children, withheld adequate water from two of their children, and, at times, prohibited them from drinking water altogether. The Jacksons even punished an adopted child they caught sneaking food or water and required one of their biological children to prevent that child from drinking out of sinks and toilets.
As another form of punishment, Carolyn and John Jackson forced two of the children to consume food intended to cause them pain and suffering, variously including red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and raw onion. They also caused one child to ingest excessive sodium or sodium-laden substances while being deprived of water, leading to a life-threatening condition.
All the children are currently in the custody of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
If convicted, Carolyn and John Jackson each face a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison on each of the 17 counts with which they are charged. Each count also carries a maximum $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, under the command of Major General David E. Quantock, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa L. Jampol and Elizabeth M. Harris of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Owner of Brotherly Love Ambulance Charged in $2 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme www.privateofficer.com
The information alleges that, in July 2010, the defendant began operating Brotherly Love Ambulance Inc. with a co-schemer. Kuran, or others acting at her direction, allegedly transported patients by ambulance when those patients could have been transported safely by other means and were, therefore, not eligible for ambulance service under Medicare and Medicaid requirements. It is further alleged that the defendant and others billed ambulance services for patients who were transported by Brotherly Love employees in personal vehicles or who drove themselves or took public transportation to their destinations. In addition, it is alleged that the defendant and other employees paid kickbacks to some patients to induce them to allow Brotherly Love Ambulance Inc. to transport them and paid other patients so that the ambulance company could use those patients’ information to bill for transportation that Brotherly Love Ambulance never actually provided. Finally, it is alleged that the defendant received kickbacks from other ambulance companies to refer patients to the other ambulance companies.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison, six years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, a $200 special assessment, and an order of restitution and forfeiture. The amount of forfeiture is currently estimated at over $2 million.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew J.D. Hogan and Paul W. Kaufman.
Today, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Ogilvie two 78-month sentences for the bank robbery charges to run concurrent. He was further ordered to serve 10 years for the firearm conviction, which must be served consecutively for a total sentence of 198 months. Ogilvie will be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.
On September 9, 2010, Ogilvie and Andrea Steptore, 30, of Houston, both armed with firearms, robbed the Prosperity Bank located on the 2800 block of F.M. 1960 East in Houston. During the robbery, Ogilvie shot two rounds of ammunition into a wall. No one was injured, but behind the wall was a drive-thru teller stand. Zachary Ellis, 48, of Houston, had selected the bank, scouted it prior to the robbery, and shared in the proceeds.
Less than two weeks later, Ogilvie and Steptore attempted to rob the Vista Bank on the 14500 block of Northwest Freeway in Houston. They were both armed with semi-automatic pistols and wore masks. When they approached the bank, an off-duty police officer, who was working security at the bank, saw them and began firing at them. Steptore was able to flee in the getaway vehicle driven by a third individual, but Ogilvie was arrested. Odis Darrell Wheeler, 21, of Houston, stole a car which was used in the robbery and waited around the corner in a switch vehicle. Ellis had again selected the bank, told his co-conspirators he had scouted it prior to the robbery and planned to share in the proceeds.
Wheeler, Steptore, and Ellis have all also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting aggravated bank robbery. Ellis was sentenced last month to 97 months in federal prison. Wheeler and Steptore are set for sentencing April 15, 2013. At that time, they face up to 25 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine. Steptore, who also pleaded guilty to brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, also faces a minimum seven-year term of imprisonment, which must be served consecutively to the other sentences imposed.
The case was investigated by FBI Houston Bank Robbery Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Basile is prosecuting the case.
Georgia middle school teacher arrested after student’s fatal methadone overdose www.privateofficer.com
Emily Smith, 37, teaches sixth-grade math at Winder Barrow Middle School in Winder. The victim was 18.
“Miss Smith conspired with the victim by cellphone in reference to obtaining a controlled substance prior to her death,” said Barrow County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Faye Spaulding.
Spaulding told Channel 2′s Tom Regan that cellphone calls and text messages show the teacher facilitated the sale of Methadone, a synthetic opiate, and Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication.
Investigators said the teen, described as a friend of the teacher, died the day after obtaining the drugs Feb. 14.
“The toxicology report determined there were high levels of a controlled substance in her system. The cause of death has not yet been determined,” said Spaulding.
Parents driving their children home on Thursday were surprised by the arrest of someone they described as a dedicated, popular and effective educator.
“I’m truly shocked. I didn’t know that,” said parent Kim Arrow.
A representative with Barrow County Schools told Regan that the director of human resources has opened an investigation into the teacher’s arrest. Authorities said Smith had posted bond and was released from jail. They said their investigation continues and that there could be additional arrests.
So far, 41 defendants have been charged to date for their involvement with a timeshare resale telemarketing room called Timeshare Mega Media and Marketing Group Inc. (TMMMG). The other cases previously filed include Case Nos. 11-60190-CR-Cohn, 11-60247-Cr-Marra, 11-60268-Cr-Hurley, 12-60019-Cr-Scola, 12-60149- Cr- Scola, and 12-mj-6114-RSR.
According to the indictment, in June 2009, Pappalardo incorporated TMMMG, using defendant Duany and Duany’s mother as nominee owners. Pappalardo was a co-owner of TMMMG, and Ditroia, Agovino, and Duany helped run TMMMG for him. According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendants conspired to unlawfully enrich themselves by making false representations over the telephone to individuals who were trying to sell their time-share units. Among the false statements, the defendants would tell customers, most of whom lived outside of the state of Florida, that the defendants had successfully sold their time-share unit and asked the customer to pay a fee to finalize the sale, a which fee would purportedly be refunded at closing. This fee ranged from at least $1,996 to as much as $10,000.
According to the indictment, the defendants knew that TMMMG never had any buyers for any of the sellers of their timeshare units. In this way, during the 10 months that TMMMG was in business, it fraudulently induced customers to send approximately $5,000,000 to TMMMG, of which Pappalardo received at least $300,000 in checks and hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash from victims.
If convicted, defendants Pappalardo, Agovino, Ditroia, and Duany each face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison. Defendants Bleich, Lovinsky, Al-Dabbas, Scheel,
Harrington, Lowton, Lee, Rockmore, Davis, Oliver, and Ross each face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to twenty years in prison.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. Mr. Ferrer also recognized the assistance provided by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Federal Trade Commission during this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
KANSAS CITY, MO Feb 27 2013—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that the owners and operators of a Kansas City, Missouri firm that promised to help financially strapped clients get out of debt have been indicted by a federal grand jury for defrauding their clients, causing some of them to lose their homes and vehicles.
John Lee Norris, 42, and Julie Tina Hatcher, 37, both of Kansas City, were charged in a 21-count indictment that was returned under seal by a federal grand jury on February 19, 2013. The indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of Norris and Hatcher.
According to the indictment, Norris and Hatcher operated Reaper Investment Partners LLC; in August 2011 they formed Death Productions LP. Between August 2010 and April 2012, the indictment alleges, Norris and Hatcher participated in a conspiracy to defraud homeowners and other debtors who were in financial distress (as well as their victims’ lenders and the Federal Housing Administration).
Norris and Hatcher allegedly recruited and targeted homeowners and others who were in financial difficulties with promises that they would be rescued from their financial problems, including foreclosure. Norris and Hatcher allegedly told victims that Reaper Investment Partners (RIP) would refinance the homeowners’ existing mortgages for a lower amount and at an interest rate of three percent.
As part of their scheme, the indictment says, RIP would control title to the homeowners’ properties. The homeowners would stop making payments to their lenders and instead make their monthly payments to RIP. The homeowners gave Norris and Hatcher power of attorney. Homeowners did not communicate with their lenders, the indictment says, even when they received telephone calls, late notices, and foreclosure notices from their lenders. Instead, homeowners forwarded the notices and other documents to Norris and Hatcher. When homeowners contacted Norris and Hatcher to report that they had received notice that their homes were being foreclosed, the defendants reassured them by telling them not to worry, as that was part of the process.
Norris and Hatcher allegedly told some of their client-victims that one or both of them were lawyers, had legal experience, or were able to practice law. They allegedly said that RIP would draft, serve, file, and record legal forms, pleadings, and other documents and would conduct necessary legal processes, contact the relevant parties, and implement administrative procedures. Norris and Hatcher allegedly mailed documents to the homeowners’ lenders, demanding the lenders “cease and desist” collection activities.
Norris and Hatcher also allegedly told individuals who were in financial difficulties due to credit card debt, vehicle loans, and other debt that they would refinance the debt for a lower amount and interest rate and lower their monthly payments. These clients, likewise, would stop making payments to their lenders and instead make their monthly payments to RIP.
The federal indictment refers to victims from Lee’s Summit, Missouri; St. Joseph, Missouri; Gardner, Kansas; Paducah, Kentucky; and North Wales, Pennsylvania. Victims and lenders suffered losses as a result of the conspiracy, including the loss of homes and vehicles (a specific dollar amount of the total loss is not identified in the indictment).
In addition to the conspiracy, Norris and Hatcher are charged together with nine counts of mail fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud.
Hatcher is also charged with one count of Social Security disability fraud. Hatcher allegedly failed to report her work activities and income while she received Social Security disability insurance benefits from August 2010 through April 2012.
Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Linda Marshall and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Casey. It was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, the Johnson County, Kansas District Attorney’s Office and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available online at http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html.
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.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX Feb 21 2013—Maricella Garza, 37, of Kingsville, has been arrested following the return of an indictment charging her with embezzling funds from the Kingsville Community Federal Credit Union, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Garza was arrested by U.S. Marshals Friday, February 15, 2013, at a residence in Englewood, Ohio. She appeared in federal court that afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington.
The one-count indictment, returned on January 9, 2013, alleges Garza was an employee of the Kingsville Community Federal Credit Union and embezzled approximately $30,555.55. The thefts are alleged to have occurred between August 28, 2009 and July 9, 2010, according to the indictment.
If convicted, Garza faces up to 30 years in prison, as well as a possible $1 million fine. She remains in custody in Dayton pending a bond hearing set for February 20, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. She is expected to appear in Corpus Christi in the near future.
This case is being investigated by the FBI with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sam Brown, IV.
GULFPORT, MS Feb 21 2013—Vonetta Jordan, 37, of Poplarville, Mississippi, pled guilty to bank fraud on February 19, 2013, U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen announced. She will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden on May 23, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. and faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Jordan worked as head teller for Union Planters Bank (later Regions Bank) in Picayune, Mississippi. From April 2004 through February 2005, she and another bank employee, Debra Mitchell, embezzled bank funds in the amount of $117,883.25. Jordan and Mitchell concealed their fraud by keeping a running total of the amount they were stealing from the bank and making false entries into the bank’s accounting system so the vault would appear to be balanced. Mitchell pled guilty to bank fraud on December 18, 2012 and will be sentenced on March 18, 2013.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.
Nashville TN Jan 29 2013 An assistant principal at a North Nashville elementary school was charged with his second DUI on Sunday night.
Shannon D. Hill, 37, of Jones Paideia Magnet School, was convicted of driving under the influence last year. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days, put on probation for all but 48 hours; lost his license for one year; was fined $350; and was ordered to log 24 hours of community service, said Susan Niland of the district attorney’s office.
On Sunday, Hill ran a red light at Tusculum and Blue Hole roads, almost hitting another car, his arrest warrant said. He was charged with DUI, resisting arrest and driving on a revoked license.
He was placed on administrative leave, Metro schools spokeswoman Olivia Brown said.
A message left at Hill’s home was not immediately returned.
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON DC Jan 24 2013– A former Texas state parole officer pleaded guilty today in Dallas for taking bribes from one of her assigned parolees in exchange for not reporting his parole violations, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Nichelle Derricks, 37, of Cedar Hill, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of honest services wire fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Harris Toliver of the Northern District of Texas, who then recommends U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade accept the plea.
According to court documents, while serving as a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) parole officer, Derricks and one of her assigned parolees developed an improper relationship in which Derricks secretly used her official position with TDCJ to enrich herself and others by soliciting and receiving cash payments, gifts, furniture, household goods and items, food and beverages and other things of value from the parolee in exchange for favorable official action benefitting the parolee. The scheme, according to court documents, was conducted without the authorization, knowledge or approval of TDCJ and contrary to TDCJ procedures and requirements.
As part of her plea, Derricks admitted she repeatedly failed to report the parolee for violating the terms of his parole, including, among other things, failing to report him for traveling outside Texas without prior, written approval and for engaging in prohibited financial transactions.
Derricks faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the honest services wire fraud charge. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, 2013.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Edward P. Sullivan and Jeffrey E. Tsai of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the FBI Dallas Field Office, with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service and the TDCJ Office of Inspector General.
CHICAGO IL Dec 19 2012 — Two convicted bank robbers used a knotted rope or bed sheets to escape from a federal prison window high above downtown Chicago early Tuesday, a week after one of them made a courtroom vow of retribution.
The escape occurred sometime between 5 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. when the inmates were discovered missing, Chicago Police Sgt. Mark Lazarro said. Hours later, what appeared to be a rope, knotted at six-foot intervals, could be seen dangling into an alley from a window of the Metropolitan Correctional Center approximately 20 stories above the ground.
Jose Banks, 37, and Kenneth Conley, 38, had been wearing prison-issue orange jumpsuits, but now might be wearing white t-shirts, gray sweat pants and white gym shoes, Lazarro said.
The FBI said in a statement that the men were last seen together in the Tinley Park area, about 25 miles southwest of Chicago, and that they should be considered armed and dangerous. Police SWAT teams stormed a Tinley Park home early in the afternoon, but it was not immediately clear what they found.
Banks is described as a Black man, 5-feet-8, weighing 160 pounds. Conley is described as white, 6 feet tall, weighing 185 pounds.
The men apparently descended from a thin window on the flat south side of the prison into the alley below. The specially designed cell windows are barely half-a-foot wide.
Crowds of people gathered outside the building where the ropes still blew in the breeze, shaking their heads in disbelief that someone could have escaped from a lockup in the heart of downtown Chicago, just a block or two from key federal court and office buildings.
The owners of several small shops across the street from the wall said they didn’t see any police activity until around 8:30 a.m., when a dozen or more police cars and SWAT teams rushed into the area. Some police officers sprinted for a nearby subway entrance.
“It was clearly already too late. They were long gone,” said Randy Cohen, owner of the Royal Jewelry and Loans store 10 or 20 yards from where the inmates scaled down the rope.
Homeland Security and U.S. Marshal’s Service agents questioned him later in the morning and asked if security cameras on his building could have captured the escape or the men fleeing, Cohen said. He said he didn’t think the cameras would have been pointed in the right direction.
Liquor store owner, Baljit Singh, has a clear view of the side of the prison where the men escaped. She said there was no indication anything was amiss when she arrived at work at 7 a.m.
Banks, known as the Second-Hand Bandit because he wore used clothes during his heists, was convicted last week of robbing two banks and attempting to rob two others. Authorities say he stole almost $600,000, but most of that is still missing.
Banks was convicted by a federal jury last week after a trial at which he had to be restrained because he threatened to walk out of the courtroom. He acted as his own attorney and verbally sparred with the judge.
After U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer convicted him, he said he would “be seeking retribution as well as damages,” the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune reported.
When the judge asked how long he needed to submit a filing, Banks replied, “No motion will be filed, but you’ll hear from me,” the newspapers reported.
Conley pleaded guilty last October to robbing a Homewood Bank last year of nearly $4,000.
Michael Salman, 39; his wife, Suzanne Salman, 34; and his brother, Frank Salman, 37, are accused of misrepresenting their income and bilking the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System out of $118,000.
This is the latest legal trouble for the self-styled preacher, whose fight with the city over zoning laws has fueled a debate on conservative news shows and websites over religious freedom.
Authorities say that for four years beginning in 2008, Michael and Suzanne Salman received $73,000 in free health services for themselves and their children.
Frank Salman received $43,000 in coverage for himself and his children.
“It is unacceptable for anyone who does not legitimately need AHCCCS assistance to devise this kind of scheme that ultimately rips off taxpayers and depletes badly-needed resources for the truly needy,” Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in a statement Wednesday.
According to authorities, the Salmans lied about their household income to qualify for state assistance. At the same time the Salmans were receiving state Medicaid, they were employees of a national credit-card-processing company.
Authorities said Suzanne is currently the registered agent for the National Bureau of Merchant Services and that both she and Michael were sole board members of the company when it was formed in 2004.
Horne said the couple earned $6,000 to $8,000 per month while claiming they made $1,600.
Neither Michael nor Suzanne Salman could be reached for comment Wednesday.
The Salmans face multiple individual charges of fraud, theft, forgery and perjury.
Frank Salman said Wednesday that he could not speak about the charges. In a brief interview, he indicated the charges were likely a form of retaliation for Michael’s ongoing legal battle with the city of Phoenix.
“I wish I could tell you. I wish I could speak,” Frank said.
Michael Salman is currently serving a 60-day jail sentence following a 2010 conviction on 67 misdemeanor zoning charges related to his backyard church.
Michael, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship Community Church, fought the city for years, claiming that zoning laws were restricting his First Amendment rights.
The zoning charges stem from the construction of a 2,000-square-foot building behind his house. When seeking a permit from the city of Phoenix, Salman indicated it would be used as a game room. That designation prohibited using the structure to hold church services due to fire-safety and occupancy regulations.
But the city said Michael used the building to conduct services attended by dozens of people who paid tithes to Michael each week. County-assessor records classify the property as a church. Michael Salman and his wife have not paid property taxes since 2008.
Michael Salman’s supporters claim he is being persecuted for attempting to hold Bible study meetings.
Lawyers with the Rutherford Institute, a Virginia civil-liberties organization representing Michael in the case against the city, could not comment on the fraud charges.
They said they are continuing to fight for Michael’s release from the Lower Buckeye Jail on the zoning violations and are waiting for the court to rule on a habeus corpus motion.
In 1993, Michael Salman was convicted of aggravated assault stemming from a drive-by shooting. He served three years.
Frank Salman in 1992 was arrested on second-degree-murder charges after he and his cousin shot and killed an 18-year-old shoplifter who had stolen several six-packs of beer from the family convenience store.
At the time, Frank told police the shoplifter pointed a gun at him inside the store and again during a chase across Camelback Road. Police said there was no evidence the teenager was armed. He was shot in the back of the head.
Frank was acquitted on the charges.
Sand Springks OK Aug 15 2012 Just one week away from the start of school and a substitute teacher in Sand Springs has been arrested after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.
“We are talking about a kid and it’s never appropriate to have inappropriate contact with children and it’s not acceptable,” said Sand Springs School Public Schools Superintendent Lloyd Snow, Ph.D.
The arrest report indicates Steven M. Beard, 37, eventually admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old student multiple times since July 22nd of this year.
Beard was the girl’s substitute teacher a Clyde Boyd Middle School in Sand Springs.
Police are applauding the girl’s mother who didn’t hesitate letting officers know about explicit text messages she found on her daughter’s phone.
Reports show he was known as Mr. Beard but one student called him WonderMan.
“It’s tragic. It breaks my heart,” said Snow.
Police said Beard, who was a full-time Sand Springs teacher at the 9th Grade Center for several years admitted to having sex with the 14-year-old several times.
Reports show, “Beard stated he had in fact had sexual intercourse with the victim approximately ten to twelve times between July 22, 2012 and August 09, 2012.”
“That is something I take extremely personal and that is protecting our children and when one of my children is not, it stresses me, disappoints me and angers me,” said Snow.
Reports show at first Beard denied the relationship, he also denied giving the 14-year-old a ring but admitted to oral sex.
Eventually he admitted what the girl told her mother.
The arrest affidavit states he would secretly pick her up so her parents wouldn’t find out.
“The suspect felt he couldn’t approach the parents and the parents would be understanding,” said Sand Springs Assistant Chief, Mike Carter.
It was the girl’s mother who went straight to police after finding dirty text messages between her daughter and WonderMan on her daughter’s cell phone.
In one conversation both were exchanging explicit text messages with each other.
Police have not been able to confirm but the girl told her mother she thought she was pregnant.
“If this parent wouldn’t have been caring or on the ball where she was this person could have gone on to do other things,” said Carter.
A substitute teacher in Green Country told FOX23 News, she is disappointed to keep hearing these kinds of stories.
“Really, I don’t how many people intend on doing that with a student but I guess just getting too comfortable and letting it go that far,” said Sara Brown. “Take precautions. Act on the side of caution no matter what you are doing.”
This is the second incident this year at Sand Springs schools.
In March, former Charles Page High School teacher, Erin Queen, 27, was accused of having sex with a seventeen-year-old male student in a hotel room.
“Two in the last few months, is awfully horrible,” said Snow. “It alarms me, it troubles me.”
Superintendent Snow said last week he talked with site leaders and today he spoke with custodians about behavior with students.
In May, FOX23 News reported an in-depth story on inappropriate relationships between students and teachers and spoke with Snow on the issue.
The District does not have a social media or exchanging phone number policy but Snow said inappropriate contact using those mediums could be cause for termination.
Child abuse experts recommend you keep a watchful eye on your child. They recommend you ask questions if your child is drawn to their teacher, frequently talks about them and/or spends more time with them.
Snow said Sand Springs was Beard’s first teaching job. He was a teacher with Sand Springs Public Schools from 1999 and 2006.
Snow said Beard left to pursue other things and came back last school year to substitute and passed another background check.
Beard faces Second-Degree Rape involving a minor, lewd molestation involving a minor and lewd proposal to a minor. He is being held on $100,000 bond.
Yuma High School teacher arrested on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of minor www.privateofficer.com
Yuma AZ Aug 9 2012 A Yuma High School teacher and athletic trainer was arrested on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor Tuesday after authorities found alleged child pornography in his home.
Michael Cox, 37, was arrested by members of the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (AZ ICAC), Tucson Police Department, Phoenix Police Department and Yuma Police Department detectives. Cox was found in possession of pornographic images of children on his computer after a search warrant was served at his home.
“During the interview, Cox admitted he was in possession of videos and pictures of young children being sexually abused,” stated YPD officials.
Cox was booked into the Yuma County Adult Detention Facility on Tuesday and his bond was set at $100,000.
According to YPD, the AZ ICAC launched an Internet investigation a month ago. YPD detectives assisted AZ ICAC with the execution of the search warrant to Cox’s home in the 2900 block of S. Palo Verde Lane and also seized several electronic media devices.
Yuma Union High School District Superintendent Toni Badone said that Cox has been reassigned and excluded from school property until further notice. She added that they have also alerted the Arizona Department of Education to the case.
With Wednesday (today) being the first day of school for Yuma High and other district schools, their first order of business is to move forward with classes, but they also plan to make sure that students and staff are supported.
“Yuma High is ready for school to start tomorrow and we’re going to focus on our kids… We will have folks on hand to talk with students or staff who are concerned or upset by this news. Needless to say we were all very, very shocked,” Badone said on Tuesday.
District counselors will be on hand to talk with students and staff and Antelope Union High School District will also be assisting with counseling support.
Sgt. Leanne Worthen, YPD public information officer, noted that authorities plan to collaborate with the school in the event of students or staff having information they would like to share about the case.
Badone said that Yuma High administration held a meeting with all teachers reviewing the mandatory reporting process and procedures to support students and staff as well. Following the teacher meeting, school officials met also met with campus coaches.
“In an earlier meeting, athletic directors and athletic trainers from other schools in the district met to develop a plan to support Yuma High athletes during the fall season,” stated YUHSD officials. “Baseline testing for concussion protocols, helmet fittings, wet bulb readings and other pre-season responsibilities normally performed by the athletic trainer are being shared by Yuma High coaches with support from sister schools.”
District officials added that YUHSD employs over 900 people, all of whom must submit fingerprints and be cleared through the Department of Public Safety. Volunteers, with the exception of parents, are also required to be cleared through DPS.
The case remains under investigation. YPD encourages anyone with information or questions about this case to log on to http://www.AZICAC.org or contact the YPD Investigations Bureau at (928) 373-4670 or 78-Crime to remain anonymous.
DUNDEE, Ore. July 7 2012– Grief counselors were sent to a grade school in Dundee Friday to help friends of two children who were found dead Wednesday along with their mother in a murder-suicide committed by the father.
Randall Engels, 37, Amy Engels, 35, their son Jackson and their daughter Bailey were found shot to death after officers forced their way inside the home just before 5 a.m. on July 4, police said.
Amy Engels, and the two Engels children each died from gunshot wounds to the head, an autopsy showed Friday. Randall Engels died of a single gunshot to the head that was determined to be self-inflicted, according to investigators.
In a May divorce filing, Amy Engels asked for an emergency custody and parenting order, saying her husband had threatened to steal the kids. The order was denied. She had moved out of the home in April.
Counseling support was to be on hand at Dundee Elementary from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday and from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Counselors will also be available during those Monday hours at Chehalem Middle School.
A friend had alerted police after seeing something alarming on social media, according to Newberg-Dundee Police Capt. Jeff Kosmicki.
Police have not released details about that specific message, but KGW did find a comment that was posted on Randall’s Facebook page around 4:30 a.m., Thursday which said, “If she’s gone, I can’t go on.”
The friend requested a welfare check at the home, located near the intersection of 13th and Charles Street, Kosmicki said, and “when the officers arrived, they saw some evidence there had been a crime. That’s what led them to force open the door.”
A former neighbor of the family told KGW that she had witnessed the couple in heated arguments.
“It’s just very sad. It’s terrible. There were two small children,” said former neighbor Rose Stephens. “It was a beautiful family. It’s very heartbreaking,”
The family had lived in the town of Dundee for several years, according to Kosmicki.
Among the people who came by the home to pay their respects Thursday was an 11-year-old boy who said he went to school with Jackson.
“Jackson was a good friend, I will always miss him so much, I’ve known him since second grade,” said Trevor Keely. “He lived a good life. God Bless.”
”It breaks my heart to think that people would do this, It’s very sad,” added Gloria Miller, who also knew the family. “I have four children of my own, I could never ever think of doing something like that.”
Carl Miller, 37, was working at Cactus Moon Bar near Dobson Road and Southern Avenue when a fight broke out in the parking lot around 2:15 a.m., police said.
Miller went outside to break it up when he began arguing with a man and pulled out a knife. He stabbed the man in the chest, and the victim was later transported to the hospital with a punctured lung, police said.
Police found the knife hidden inside the bar, and Miller was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault with a weapon around 3:45 a.m., according to court documents.
Oklahoma City teacher arrested for forcible oral sodomy and possession of obscene materials www.privateofficer.com
OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Oklahoma May 25 2012 - Oklahoma County Sheriff’s deputies arrest a teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage student.
Eric Harris, 37, faces complaints of first degree rape by instrumentation, indecent or lewd acts with a child under 16, two counts of forcible oral sodomy and possession of obscene materials.
Harris teaches at the Millwood Freshman Academy in Oklahoma City and is also the school’s boys basketball coach. The arrest was announced at a news conference on May 23.
According to the sheriff’s department, administrative staff with Millwood Public Schools notified deputies of the alleged abuse after a student reported an inappropriate relationship between Harris and another 15-year old female student. Deputies interviewed Harris on May 23 and arrested him.
“Harris has admitted that he committed the crimes over a six month period with the most recent incident happening within the past few weeks,” said Sheriff John Whetsel with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Millwood Public Schools educates students at its Arts Academy, high school and school for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
“This is a most unfortunate situation for all persons involved,” said Millwood Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gloria Griffin. “While this is an isolated incident that occurred, we pledge to continue to monitor your children’s safety while they are in our care.”
The married teacher and coach is being held in the Oklahoma County Detention Center. Bond has not yet been set in the case.
Three men charged in theft of $2,000 in electronics and merchandise at Walmart www.privateofficer.com
Red Bluff CA May 13 2012 Three men reportedly tried to walk out with some $2,000 in electronics and merchandise in shopping carts at Walmart Sunday morning.
Security officers at the store watched the crime in progress all before 5 a.m. as the three men gathered the merchandise into shopping carts and pushed them to the front of the store, a Red Bluff Police press release said.
Officers nabbed the suspects just outside the front of the store in their getaway car, a 2008 Kia.
Anthony Richard McIntire, 32, and Shane Christopher Phipps, 37, both of Redding, and Tyler Shaver, 20, were arrested at the store.
The three had gathered computers, televisions and other items in the store and headed for the south side emergency doors, logs said.
Shaver stayed inside the store while McIntire and Phipps went for the car, the release said.
License plate numbers on the vehicle were covered with masking tape.
Officers pulled over the Kia in the parking lot as it pulled near the doors, the release said. Phipps and McIntire were arrested without incident.
Shaver was arrested later when he left the store and tried to blend in with store employees who were taking a break outside, the release said.
Phipps and McIntire were each charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and second degree burglary and booked into Tehama County Jail. Bail was set at $100,000 each.
Shaver was released pending further investigation into similar crimes in other jurisdictions, the release said.
Police are looking into connections between the arrested suspects and other similar cases at the Red Bluff Walmart since January, the release said
Source:Red Bluff Daily News
Pleasanton CA May 10 2012 A mother and her 13-year-old daughter were found shot to death in their home Monday night, shocking the quiet suburban neighborhood where they had just moved from the Midwest on Christmas Eve.
Police responded to a 911 call reporting a shooting about 6 p.m. and found Amy Freeman Burton, 37, dead from a gunshot wound at the home in the 3500 block of Stacey Court, near Interstate 580, said Lt. Jeff Bretzing.
Her daughter, Ainsley Freeman, was also wounded by gunfire and was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, Bretzing said. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
After receiving the 911 call from Christopher Burton, Amy Freeman Burton’s husband and Ainsley’s stepfather, officers recovered two handguns in the home, including one found near the victims.
Investigators have not said how many shots were fired or if one of the guns was used in the shooting.
Christopher Burton told police he got the guns, which are not registered, from his brother in Arizona, Bretzing said.
There were no signs of forced entry and no previous incidents reported at the home, police said. Police said they have not been able to determine whether any injuries were self-inflicted.
“We’re still treating it as a homicide” until autopsies, expected to be done Wednesday, and other tests are done, said Bretzing
Christopher Burton is a person of interest in the case, but only because he is the only surviving member of the household,
Bretzing said. “He’s not a suspect,” he said. “He’s cooperating in the investigation and has given a full statement.”
In February, police said they joined the FBI in investigating a report from the Burtons that Ainsley had been communicating over the Internet with a suspicious male. The investigation revealed the suspect was a 16-year-old boy from Kentucky, and no crime had been committed, Bretzing said.
Christopher Burton had described Ainsley’s mother as becoming “paranoid” about the teens’ communication, police said, adding there is no connection between the incident and the shooting deaths. However, Bretzing said police are following up with the boy.
Investigators don’t know the whereabouts of Ainsley’s biological father, police said.
Linda Walp, Amy Freeman Burton’s mother, said she would be shocked if the slaying was a murder-suicide because the victims had a very good relationship.
“Each one would have taken a bullet for the other,” Walp said when reached by phone Tuesday at her Missouri home.
She described Ainsley as “a straight-A student and a sweet, nice little girl.”
Amy Freeman Burton grew up in Chesterfield, Mo. — about 20 miles west of St. Louis — and graduated from the University of Kansas, Walp said.
The Burtons and Ainsley previously lived in O’Fallon, Mo.
Christopher Burton, 28, took a tech job in the Bay Area last year, and his wife and Ainsley moved in December to join him, Walp said.
Before the move, Amy Freeman Burton worked as a compliance officer for a number of companies in the St. Louis area. In January, she began work as an administrative manager for UBS Financial Services in Walnut Creek, but she resigned in mid-March, UBS spokeswoman Karina Byrne said.
Bretzing said Freeman Burton began a new job a week ago but wouldn’t say where.
Walp said she found out about the slayings while watching TV news at home.
“Who would want to murder my daughter?” she said. “She’s only been in the state for six months. What’s the deal here?”
Walp said her daughter and granddaughter grew up in suburban communities like Pleasanton.
Stacey Court is a quiet cul-de-sac of middle-class homes with tidy yards. On Tuesday, there was no police presence outside the home. The only sign anything had happened were the media news vans parked on the street and a simple bouquet of lilies left on the porch.
One neighbor, who did not want to be named, said police said there was no reason to believe other residents are in danger.
“Of course it’s safe here; it’s Pleasanton,” the neighbor said.
At Thomas S. Hart Middle School, where Ainsley attended classes, word spread quickly Tuesday about the deaths.
Erin van der Zee, a language arts teacher, said Ainsley was a standout student, despite the fact that she had just started there in January.
Van der Zee noted she had high grades and within two weeks had been asked to be a teaching assistant. She said the teen had found a good group of friends.
School officials canceled STAR testing Tuesday and will reschedule it later.
Stacy Webb, a language arts and social sciences teacher, said it would be hard for students to concentrate on the tests.
“It’s a really hard day for anyone,” Webb said. “It’s hard to imagine someone losing someone so young.”
School district spokeswoman Nicole Steward said 12 counselors were on hand Tuesday and saw about 100 students. Extra counselors will be on call Wednesday.
Two Cuban brothers arrested in $80-million heist of pharmaceutical drugs from a Connecticut warehouse www.privateofficer.com
Some of the drugs believed stolen in the March 2010 robbery of the Enfield, Conn., building were recovered in a storage facility in Florida, officials said at a news conference from New Haven, Conn. At least 11 people were arrested Thursday in Florida, accused of possessing and selling stolen goods — including some from the Connecticut warehouse.
An errant water bottle played a role in identifying the suspects, officials said.
Amaury Villa, 37, and Amed Villa, 46, citizens of Cuba who have been living in Miami, were arrested in connection with the Connecticut robbery. During the heist, thieves scaled a wall of the Eli Lilly & Co. warehouse, cut a hole in the roof, then lowered themselves with ropes into the interior, officials said. Once inside, the suspects disabled the security system and loaded dozens of pallets of costly anti-depressants and other drugs onto a truck.
The Villa brothers were charged in an indictment unsealed Thursday with conspiracy and theft of interstate shipment, according to U.S. Atty. David B. Fein.
“The charges announced today are the result of a sustained and thorough investigation by the FBI and the Enfield Police Department,” Fein said. “As a result of their efforts, and our counterparts in Florida and across the country, we believe that a prolific cargo theft ring has been dismantled.”
At the televised news conference, Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza praised the spirit of cooperation that led to the arrests; the heist was the biggest in the state’s history and one of the largest thefts of legal drugs in the nation.
“I am extremely happy that the alleged perpetrators in this case have been identified and arrested,” Sferrazza said. “I believe this case shows that collaborative efforts between federal law enforcement officers and local law enforcement officers can yield successful results.”
The robbery reads like the plot of a “Mission Impossible,” movie, complete with an unexpected twist.
According to the indictment emailed to reporters, Amaury Villa flew from Miami to LaGuardia Airport in January 2010, rented a car and drove to Windsor, Conn., where he checked into a hotel. The following day, Eli Lilly surveillance video captured an individual looking through the front door of the warehouse in Enfield.
On the day before the robbery, two individuals purchased a “particular combination of tools” at a Home Depot in Flushing, N.Y., officials allege.
Just before the heist, Amaury Villa again flew from Miami to LaGuardia Airport, arriving in the early morning hours of March 13, according to the indictment. Villa rented a car and, later that morning, checked into a hotel in Windsor, Conn.
Between 10:22 p.m. and 10:32 p.m. on the night of March 13, 2010, surveillance video recorded individuals at the scene. After 10:30 p.m., the individuals using the tools purchased at Home Depot cut a hole in the roof of the warehouse and disabled parts of the facility’s security system, authorities say.
Over the next five hours, Amed Villa and others used a forklift inside the warehouse to load numerous boxes of drugs, including the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, the antidepressant Prozac and the chemotherapy drug Gemzar, into a tractor-trailer truck, officials charge. During that time, they say, Amed Villa touched a water bottle that had been stored within the warehouse; he reportedly left that bottle inside the warehouse when he departed.
Officials did not give further details about the evidence, saying they were waiting for the trial to present it
The tractor-trailer carrying the stolen drugs was on the road by 3:40 a.m. on March 14.
Later that morning, Amaury Villa checked out of the hotel room, and his rental car is logged going through a southbound toll station on the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge at approximately 11:35 a.m. On March 15, he flew from LaGuardia Airport to Miami, according to the charges.
In Connecticut, Amaury Villa and Amed Villa are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an interstate shipment; that charge carries a maximum penalty of five years. They also face four counts of theft from an interstate shipment; each of those counts could bring 10 years in prison.
In Florida, 11 people — including Amaury Villa — face a variety of charges, including attempting to sell some of the medications taken from Enfield. A storage facility in Florida was searched in October 2011, and some of the drugs from Connecticut were recovered, officials said.
As part of the overall investigation, Amed Villa has been charged with the theft of more than 3,500 cases of cigarettes valued at more than $8 million from a warehouse in Tazewell County, Ill., near Peoria, on Jan. 24, 2010, according to an indictment unsealed on Thursday in Illinois.
Manhattan NY April 24 2012 A father-and-son pimp team were busted for running a multimillion-a-year sex ring – branding women with degrading tattoos and employing livery car drivers to shuttle them around, according to an indictment from the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
“This as not your typical father-and-son business,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, whose department partnered with prosecutors to crush the ring.
Vincent George Sr. (“Vee), 55, of Queens taught his son Vincent George Jr. (“King Koby”), 33, of Allentown, Pa., the ways of the flesh trade over the last 10 years, prosecutors charge.
The pimp daddy and his pimp son set up a phony business, Grip Entertainment, to launder their illicit money.
The two ventured out in the city night after night offering business cards to men on the street and in hotels, bars and the back of their livery cars.
The women were kept subservient with degrading tattoos, according to a source. One woman had a bar code inked on her neck; another had a crown with a $ tattooed on her pubic bone.
The women earned $200 to $500 per customer, but were given only enough money a night for food and essentials and were forced to turn all their earnings over to the Georges.
One prostitute earned half a million dollars last year alone, according to court records. Some of the money was transferred to offshore accounts, according to prosecutors.
They were threatened with violence if they failed to bring in big money, according to the district attorney.
“Prostituted women, men and children are often physically abused, psychologically coerced, and fearful of reporting their abuse to authorities,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.
Investigators, using tapped phones at Rikers Island, were able to identify three woman, who agreed to cooperate.
The two men were busted on April 5, driving through Allentown from Buffalo en route to the city with a woman they had recruited.
A joint taskforce of NYPD, prosecutors and the feds seized 10 cars and more than $200,000 cash.
The two Georges were charged with sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and money laundering.
In addition to the father-and-son team, livery car drivers Oabari Gaber, 57, Theo Jones, 52, David Lombardo, 56, Assaf Nahomove, , Sokol Perkaj, 41, and Ausama Ahamad, 37, were also charged with promoting prostitution.
Jones’s lawyer, Bob Walter, said his client was just trying to help his passengers.
“What livery car driver doesn’t know where you can get a girl?”
ALLENTOWN, Pa. April 17 2012
Some are hailing him as a hero — a nightclub bouncer who sprung into action and helped police nab a murder suspect. 69 News spoke to him and his boss Monday night. After a deadly shooting outside Club Horizon on Airport Road, the bouncer jumped in his own car and followed the suspects until State Police caught up to them. The security man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he only did what he hoped anyone else would do after a crime.
“He’s my hero,” said Club Horizons owner Anthony DeLeon.
As a boss, DeLeon wasn’t too happy that one of his security guys followed a fleeing homicide suspect. But as a person, he couldn’t be prouder.
“I believe that’s the only reason they were caught, at that time,” he said.
The shooting happened in the parking lot outside the club early Sunday morning, right at closing time. DeLeon said the victim, Teddy Bell, was there celebrating his birthday when a minor fight broke out.
“At best a small scuffle, pushing and shoving,” said DeLeon.
Security video DeLeon showed 69 News shows everyone leaving the club peacefully. A security person escorted Bell to his car, but wirtnesses told police, when Bell saw the man he’d fought with earlier, he ran toward the man’s car, shouting, “This is the (expletive) here!”
That’s when police say Amos Muir, 37, of Wilkes-Barre, opened fire. After the car Muir was in peeled out of the parking lot, DeLeon’s bouncer jumped into his own vehcile and followed the suspects onto Route 22.
“He followed behind at a safe distance and coordinated along with 911 operator, which also coordinated with State Police,” said DeLeon.
State troopers caught up with Muir and two others in the car just a few miles away.
According to an arrest warrant, they found a stolen Glock handgun and several spent shell casings inside.
Security is typically tight at Club Horizo, with at least 12 security members on site and 16 cameras. DeLeon believes that club is safe.
69 News asked, “Are you worried at all about retalliation?”
“No, not all,” he responded. “It’s not the normal street thing where, ‘Oh you snitched,’ or whatever.”
DeLeon added that while one bouncer was following the suspects, another administered CPR on Bell, keeping him alive for at least a few minutes. He later died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fountain Hill. A second man was also shot in the shoulder, but was treated and released.
Both Bell and Muir have criminal histories, but it does not appear they knew each other. Muir now faces homicide and related charges. He’s in the Lehigh County Prison with no bond. Two alleged accomplices are also in jail under $1 million bond.