FBI: “Former Sandia Corporation Scientist Pleads Guilty to Taking Government Property to China”

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 25, 2014 released the following:

“ALBUQUERQUE— Jianyu Huang, a scientist formerly employed by Sandia Corporation (Sandia) at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), pleaded guilty this afternoon to making a false statement and unlawfully transporting converted government property in interstate and foreign commerce. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

Huang, 46, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the People’s Republic of China who resides in Albuquerque, N.M., was arrested in June 2012, on a six-count indictment charging him with misusing U.S. government resources and equipment to conduct research for Chinese research institutions and with falsely stating that he did not intend to take U.S. government equipment with him on a trip to China. The indictment subsequently was superseded to add an interstate transportation of converted property charge and a theft of government property charge. Huang was employed by Sandia until his employment was terminated in late April 2012.

SNL is a government-owned research facility operated by Sandia Corporation for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that is responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s nuclear stockpile; enhancing the security of energy and other critical resources; reducing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; addressing threats to national security; and protecting the nation against terrorism. The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CiNT) is a DOE user facility and science research center devoted to establishing scientific principles that govern the design, performance, and integration of materials on the atomic and molecular scale, located at SNL.

In light of the sensitivity of SNL’s work, all Sandia employees are required to report to the Sandia Office of Counterintelligence (SOC) any substantive relationship with foreign nationals, including associations that involve meeting and sharing work-related information. Sandia employees also are required to submit to interviews with SOC before international travel on official business, and are prohibited from bringing government-owned equipment on international travel without prior approval.

Huang was employed by Sandia at CiNT, where he worked in an unclassified open science facility without access to classified national security information. As a Sandia employee, Huang was prohibited from bringing government-owned equipment on international travel without prior approval.

Counts 1 through 5 of the second superseding indictment charged Huang with federal program fraud and alleged that between Jan. 2009 and Jan. 2012, Huang unlawfully and without authority used DOE equipment, materials and property to conduct research for businesses and universities in the People’s Republic of China. Count 6 charged Huang with making a false statement charge to a federal officer and alleged that, in June 2011, Huang falsely represented to a counterintelligence officer that he would not take any U.S. government electronic equipment with him on an upcoming trip to the People’s Republic of China. The statement was false because Huang knew that he intended to take a U.S. government computer and hard-drive to the People’s Republic of China on that trip, and did in fact take that equipment with him. Count 7 charged Huang with the interstate transportation of converted property charge and alleged that between June 30, 2011 and July 18, 2011, Huang unlawfully transported a DOE-owned laptop computer and computer-related media in interstate and foreign commerce. Count 8 charged Huang with an embezzlement charge and alleged that between April 25, 2012 and June 2, 2012, Huang embezzled electronic files and documents, including research proposals, belonging to DOE that came into his possession by virtue of his employment with SNL.

During his plea hearing this afternoon, Huang pled guilty to Counts 6 and 7 of the second superseding indictment. In his plea agreement, Huang admitted taking a trip to China in July 2011, for the purpose of attending and making a presentation at a research conference. Huang acknowledged that in seeking and obtaining Sandia’s permission to participate in the conference, he represented that he would not take any DOE-owned equipment with him. Huang also admitted deliberately lying to a counterintelligence office when he made the representation because he intended to take his DOE-owned laptop on the trip.

Huang admitted taking a DOE-owned laptop computer with him when he traveled to China on June 30 and July 1, 2011, even though he knew that he did not have permission to do so. In so doing, Huang unlawfully converted the laptop computer to his own use. According to Huang’s plea agreement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized the DOE-owned laptop from Huang’s baggage when he returned to the United States on July 18, 2011, after Huang admitted that he did not have permission to take the laptop computer out of the country.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Huang will be sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Huang’s sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon M. Gerson.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal Indictment Charges 15 Men from Albuquerque and Edgewood with Alleged Drug Trafficking and Financial Crimes

January 29, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 27, 2012 released the following:

“ALBUQUERQUE—A 29—count federal indictment charging 15 men from Albuquerque and Edgewood, N.M., with drug trafficking, money laundering, and currency structuring charges was unsealed late yesterday afternoon, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales; Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the El Paso Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Dawn Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Division of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS).

The indictment is the result of a multi-agency investigation into a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization operating out of the Albuquerque metropolitan area that was designated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) program. OCDETF is a nationwide Department of Justice program that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated effort to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations.

Yesterday, a team of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers arrested nine of the 15 defendants named in the indictment, and executed 10 search warrants at residences in Albuquerque and a ranch in Edgewood. Those arrested include Steve Chavez, 32, a fireman with the Albuquerque Fire Department. Two other defendants, Jesus Ramos Castillo, 29, and Gabriel Guerra-Gonzalez, 27, both Mexican nationals, are in state custody on pending local charges; they will be transferred to federal custody to face the charges in the indictment. The defendants arrested yesterday are scheduled to make their initial appearances in federal court in Albuquerque this morning.

Four defendants, Homero Varela, 29, Manuel Villa-Mayorquin, 23, and Procoro Noberto-Alvarez, 28, Mexican nationals, and Ramon Gonzalez, Jr., 25, of Edgewood, have yet to be arrested and are considered fugitives.

The indictment alleges that, between May 2011 and January 2012, all 15 defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Each defendant also is charged with using communication devices to facilitate drug trafficking crimes (sometimes referred to as “phone counts”), and Homero Varela is charged with distributing methamphetamine on three separate occasions over a three month period. The maximum penalties for a conviction on the conspiracy charge and each of the three methamphetamine distribution charges is a minimum 10 years’ to a maximum of life imprisonment and a $10 million fine, and the maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the phone counts is four years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment also charges Homero Varela, Roy Madrid, 21, of Albuquerque, and Manuel Villa-Mayorquin with conspiracy to launder money. Homero Varela is further charged with an additional count of money laundering involving drug proceeds. A conviction on the money laundering conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment, and a conviction on the substantive money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of ten years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Ramon Gonzalez, Jr., is charged with seven counts of structuring financial transactions to avoid certain reporting requirements for an aggregate of $166,300 through 24 transactions between April 2009 and August 2011. Steve Chavez is charged with structuring an aggregate of $348,500 in 37 transactions between July 1, 2011 and August 25, 2011. The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of these counts is five years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment also seeks forfeiture of property constituting, or derived from proceeds obtained directly, or indirectly, from the defendants’ illegal drug trafficking and financial crimes, including three Albuquerque residences owned, occupied or in the possession of Homero Varela, Ramon Gonzalez, Sr., and Steve Chavez, respectively, and a ranch in Edgewood owned by Ramon Gonzalez, Sr. It also seeks forfeiture of funds in numerous bank accounts in the names of Homero Varela, Ramon Gonzales, Sr., Ramon Gonzalez, Jr., Andres Gonzalez and Steve Chavez, as well as a money judgment of at least $15,000,000, the amount of money allegedly derived or involved in the offenses alleged in the indictment.

During yesterday’s law enforcement operation, officers seized a half kilogram of cocaine, more than 10 pounds of high grade marijuana, approximately $25,000 in cash, 20 vehicles, seven handguns, nine rifles, and two shotguns.

In announcing yesterday’s arrests, U.S. Attorney Gonzales said, “The charges in this indictment are some of the most significant drug and money laundering charges ever filed in the District of New Mexico. The investigation that led to this indictment exemplifies the law enforcement cooperation that we are fortunate to experience here in New Mexico. Federal, state and local officers worked long and hard and side-by-side in a coordinated effort to arrest numerous individuals charged in the indictment. We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone involved in the investigation. Their efforts have made our streets and communities much safer.”

“The Varela organization has been responsible for distributing multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine in central and north central New Mexico,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Arabit. “DEA and our federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement partners have worked hand-in-hand to disrupt this organization from its roots, culminating in the indictment of 15 of its members of which 11 are in custody and the seizure of their drugs and assets, including 20 vehicles, 18 weapons, cash, and real property. Through these enforcement actions, we are making our communities safer.”

“These significant investigations and arrests would not have been possible without the joint efforts of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, led by the DEA, the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Forces in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and numerous other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the region, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Lee. “We all share the same goal: stop criminal enterprises that profit from the illegal trade of dangerous drugs and take away any financial benefit they receive from their crimes. The Albuquerque FBI will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement and community partners to rid our rural and urban areas of drug traffickers and other criminals and help make New Mexico and our nation a safer place to live.”

IRS Special Agent in Charge Mertz stated, “This indictment once again reflects the successful merging of law enforcement personnel, who work together through the task force, providing their specific skills, with the common purpose of ferreting out potential nefarious narcotics and related financial crimes. IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to work alongside our law enforcement partners to investigate those individuals who ignore the laws of our country for financial gain.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Reeve Swainston and Samuel L. Hurtado, and was investigated by DEA, FBI, and IRS with support from the New Mexico State Police, the Albuquerque Police Department, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, and the Corrales Police Department. Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, the Air Branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Motor Transportation Police Division, and the Region II HIDTA Task Force participated in yesterday’s law enforcement operation.

Charges in indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Manuel Garcia Pleads Guilty to a Federal Indictment Charging Him With Federal Bank Fraud Charges

October 17, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 14, 2011 released the following:

“California Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Bank Fraud Charges

ALBUQUERQUE— This morning in Albuquerque federal court, Manuel Garcia, 69, who now resides in Los Angeles, California, entered a guilty plea to an indictment charging him with six counts of bank fraud. At sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled, Garcia faces a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, five years of supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Garcia will pay restitution in the amount of $585,243.59 to US Bank of Albuquerque, formerly known as First Community Bank (FCB). Garcia remains on conditions of release under pretrial supervision pending his sentencing hearing.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Garcia was indicted and charged with six counts of bank fraud on June 7, 2011. At the time of the offenses charged in the indictment, Garcia was president of Keyworth Mortgage Funding Group (Keyworth), a business incorporated in New Mexico and Arizona that originated residential mortgage loans and sold them to investors such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). The indictment generally alleged that, between August 2009 and May 2010, Garcia, fraudulently obtained money from FCB by falsely representing that the funds were to be used to finance new residential mortgage loans. According to the indictment, Garcia actually used the funds to pay Keyworth’s debt to Fannie Mae.

In his plea agreement, Garcia acknowledged that Keyworth maintained a line of credit with FCB from which it would obtain money advances to finance the origination of mortgage loans. Garcia admitted that he devised a scheme pursuant to which he submitted requests to FCB for advances for non-existent mortgages, using property addresses of prior clients. Specifically, Garcia submitted the names, addresses, and requested loan amounts of Keyworth’s prior residential mortgage clients to support his requests for advances. By falsely representing the properties as new mortgages, Garcia caused FCB to wire transfer the requested advances to Keyworth’s bank account in Arizona. Garcia admitted receiving six advances in the aggregate amount of $1,279,650 by submitting fraudulent requests. Because Garcia repaid $535,450 with interest to FCB as if they had been legitimate loans, that sum is not included in the restitution that Garcia will have to pay.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara C. Neda.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


James Aley White Arrested by the FBI for Allegedly Committing Bank Robbery in Albuquerque Will Appear in Houston Federal Court for his Initial Appearance

August 29, 2011

Houston Chronicle on August 28, 2011 released the following:

“FBI: Suspect arrested in Albuquerque bank robbery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say they’ve arrested a man suspected in an Albuquerque bank robbery last week.

The FBI says 29-year-old James Aley White, of Albuquerque, is expected to have an initial appearance Monday in U.S. District Court.

FBI special agents and officers with the Albuquerque Police Department’s Repeat Offender Project unit arrested White at an Albuquerque motel on Friday.

Authorities say a Bank of America branch inside a Smith’s grocery store was robbed Aug. 19.

A man entered the store at about 6:15 p.m. and handed the teller a note demanding money. The note implied the robber had a gun, but no weapon was seen.

Authorities say the suspect left with an undisclosed amount of money.

The FBI announced White’s arrest Sunday but didn’t immediately say what led them to suspect him.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Bookmark and Share


Thirteen Facing Federal Criminal Charges by Criminal Complaint and Indictments for Trafficking Heroin in Albuquerque

July 22, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of New Mexico on July 21, 2011 released the following:

“THIRTEEN FACING FEDERAL CHARGES FOR TRAFFICKING HEROIN IN NORTHEAST HEIGHTS OF ALBUQUERQUE

ALBUQUERQUE – United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that thirteen defendants have been charged with federal heroin trafficking offenses based on an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the New Mexico State Police (NMSP), the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) that targeted heroin traffickers operating in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights.

The defendants, who are charged in individual criminal complaints and indictments, were arrested following an investigation led by the DEA and pursued under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, a Department of Justice nationwide initiative that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The investigation was initiated in March 2011 in response to reports that young adults in Albuquerque, including students enrolled in high schools in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights, are becoming addicted to expensive prescription painkillers like “OxyContin,” and then transitioning to heroin, a drug that provides a similar high for less money, sometimes with tragic consequences. In 2010 and earlier this year, Haley Paternoster, Michael Duran, Jr., and other Albuquerque teens reportedly died from overdoses after they transitioned from OxyContin to heroin, and statistics from the New Mexico Department of Health reflect that heroin overdose deaths among New Mexicans between 17 and 24 have increased steadily over the past few years. The investigation specifically targeted local heroin dealers who allegedly supplied heroin to young adults, teenagers and other high school aged children in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights neighborhoods.

The following Albuquerque residents are charged in individual indictments: Michael Nafe, 21, Nathaniel Paul, 26, Jose Torres, 25, and David Witt, 25. Rebecca Corral, 27, Isaac Ortiz, 21, Jordan Padilla, 23, and Raelynn Sanchez, 26, all residents of Albuquerque, individually are charged in criminal complaints. Anthony Martinez, 20, and Fernando Trujillo, 19, both residents of Espanola, also are charged in criminal complaints. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20- years of imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.

Corral, Ortiz, Padilla, Sanchez, and Witt were arrested on July 21, 2011, and made their initial appearances in Albuquerque federal court this morning. Martinez and Trujillo were arrested this morning and are scheduled to make their initial appearances on July 22, 2011. Nafe and Torres currently are detained in the Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting transfer to federal custody. Torres’s initial appearance is scheduled for July 28, 2011 while Nafe’s initial appearance has yet to be scheduled. Paul has yet to be apprehended and is considered a fugitive.

Three other defendants previously were arrested as part of this investigation. Mexican national Pedro Enrique Torres-Mier, 29, was arrested on March 9, 2011 on heroin trafficking charges in a criminal complaint, and was indicted on March 22, 2011. Torres-Mier, who has been in federal custody since his arrest, entered a guilty plea to count one of a three-count indictment earlier today. On May 19, 2011, Adam Anthony Vallejos, 20, and Eddie Travis Centeno, 21, both Albuquerque residents, were arrested on an indictment charging them with, heroin trafficking offenses. Centeno is detained pending trial while Vallejos was released under pretrial supervision. If convicted, each of these three defendants faces a maximum penalty of 20-years of imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.

In announcing the results of this investigation, United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said, “Teenage prescription drug abuse and the concomitanttransition to heroin is a scourge that is sneaking into far too many of our families. This scourge does not discriminate, but instead is impacting all families, including those with no history of prior abuse.

Investigation and prosecution of those who prey on our children is not enough to defeat this scourge. All of us need to get the word out on the perils of prescription drug abuse, especially those confronting our children. To prevent teenage drug abuse, we need to get the word out not only to our children, but also to their parents, teachers and coaches and we need to learn to recognize the warning signs of drug addiction. And we need to do this before yet another child dies as a result of an overdose.”

“In this investigation, DEA targeted drug dealers who were preying on the youth of New Mexico. The resulting indictments and arrests further our efforts to prevent heroin trafficking from taking hold in our community. Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our community, especially our young people.” said Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-El Paso Division.

These cases were investigated by the DEA, NMSP, APD and the USMS, and are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Charges in complaints and indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Bookmark and Share


John A. Crowe, a TSA Screener, Arraigned on Federal Child Pornography Charges

June 30, 2011

U.S. Attorneys Office District of New Mexico on June 30, 2011 released the following press release:

“ALBUQUERQUE – This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, John A. Crowe, 51, was arraigned on a five-count indictment charging him with child pornography offenses. The indictment charges Crowe with (1) advertising a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; (2) transporting a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; (3 & 4) distribution and attempted distribution of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on two separate dates; and (5) possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Crowe faces a maximum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years and will be required to register as a sex offender. Crowe entered a not guilty plea to the indictment during this morning’s proceedings. Crowe has been in federal custody since his arrest on a criminal complaint on May 28, 2011; he remains detained pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.

Crowe was employed as a screener by the United States Transportation Security Administration and recently had relocated to Albuquerque from Ohio when he was arrested on child pornography charges on May 28, 2011. United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Crowe was arrested in Albuquerque based on an investigation by the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The criminal complaint alleges that, based on investigation in March and April of 2011, the NMSP and HSI learned that an IP address subscribed to by Crow at an Albuquerque address was being used to distribute child pornography. On May 26, 2011, officers and agents of the NMSP and HSI executed a search warrant at Crowe’s apartment and seized a computer and computer-related media. According to the complaint, Forensic investigation revealed that the computer contained images and videos of child pornography, including images and videos that appeared to have been taken with a hidden camera in a bedroom and bathroom in an unidentified residence. Several images that appeared to be taken with a hidden camera were of young females, both clothed and unclothed, who appeared to be under the age of 18.

According to the complaint, on May 28, 2011, after being advised of his Miranda rights, Crowe participated in a consensual interview during which he allegedly stated that he had obtained certain images and videos containing child pornography in Ohio, Alabama and Georgia by use of a hidden camera. Crowe allegedly stated that some of the minors in the images and videos were daughters of his past girlfriends, and that, when he moved from Ohio to Albuquerque in November 2010, he brought his computer, which contained the images and videos of child pornography, with him. Crowe also allegedly stated that he continued to have contact with three of the minors depicted in the images and videos that contained the child pornography.

Charges in indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlyn E. Rees, and was investigated by the NMSP and HSI. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The case also was brought as part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force whose mission it is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 61 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Bookmark and Share


Benjamin Natonabah Pleads Guilty to Federal Sexual Abuse Offense in Albuquerque Federal Court

June 14, 2011

District of New Mexico U.S. Attorney’s Office on June 13, 2011 released the following press release:

FORMER CROWNPOINT HIGH SCHOOL CUSTODIAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL SEXUAL ABUSE OFFENSE

ALBUQUERQUE – Today in federal court in Albuquerque, Benjamin Natonabah, 41, entered a guilty plea to sexually abusing a female who was incapable of understanding the nature of the sexual conduct under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Natonabah will be sentenced to a thirty-month term of imprisonment to be followed by at least five years of supervised release. Natonabah also will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence. Natonabah, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was released to a half-way house after his arrest on January 26, 2011. He will remain at the half-way house pending his sentencing hearing, which
has yet to be scheduled.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Natonabah was charged with sexually abusing a female student at the Tohatchi High School in Tohatchi, New Mexico, at a time when he was employed as a custodian at the school. According to the indictment, which was filed on January 12, 2011, Natonabah sexually abused the student on or about January 12, 2010. In his plea agreement, Natonabah admitted engaging in sexual intercourse with a high school student despite knowing that the student was incapable of understanding the nature of the conduct.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, Crownpoint Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jack E. Burkhead”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Bookmark and Share