Michael Fijal Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Alleged Arson

January 17, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 17, 2012 released the following:

“BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Michael Fijal, 58, of Buffalo, N.Y., with arson. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. McCabe, who is handling the case, in May 2011, Fijal, a local bank employee, conspired with others to burn down a duplex at 179 Mackinaw Street, which is located in Buffalo’s Old First Ward neighborhood. The defendant is specifically accused of withdrawing money from a local bank for the purpose of paying an accomplice to burn the building and paying the accomplice both before and after the fire on May 22, 2011.

The indictment is the result of investigation on the part of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the driection of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Frank Christiano; and investigators from the Buffalo Fire Department, under the direction of Commissioner Garnell Whitfield.

Fijal was arraigned on this charge today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah McCarthy and released. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

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

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Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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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.


Johnny Zavaleta Charged by a Federal Grand Jury with Allegedly Committing Arson and Use of a Destructive Device to Commit the Arson

September 21, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 20, 2011 released the following:

“United States Attorney James L. Santelle announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Wisconsin has returned a two-count indictment against Johnny Zavaleta (age 24), of Kenosha. He is accused of committing the early morning August 11, 2011, arson of a duplex located in the 1700 block of 50th Street in Kenosha.

The specific charges set forth in the indictment include arson (18 USC 844(i)) and use of a destructive device to commit the arson (18 USC 924(c)). The arson is punishable by a minimum mandatory term of five years in prison and a maximum term of 40 years in prison. The second count is punishable by a minimum mandatory 30 years in prison, which must run consecutive to any other sentence.

This indictment is premised upon an investigation conducted by the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha Fire Department, in cooperation with special agents of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth M. Blackwood and Kelly B. Watzka

In announcing today’s charges, United States Attorney Santelle stated: “I commend all of the local law enforcement officers and federal agents involved in the investigation of this case for their highly professional and collaborative work. Their focus on and attention to this matter since the time of the arson—along with the work of federal prosecutors—reflects our commitment to pursue aggressively violent crimes of all types–not only to ensure the safety and well-being of our community but also to discourage those who might otherwise be inclined to engage in highly destructive behaviors of this sort.”

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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.

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David Lawless Indicted on Two Counts of Arson and One Count of Using a Destructive Device During a Crime of Violence

July 14, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Colorado on July 13, 2011 released the following press release:

“DENVER – David Joseph Lawless, age 30, of Denver, was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on charges of arson of a building and use of a destructive device during a crime of violence, the Department of Justice and the Lakewood Police Department announced today. Lawless is currently in state custody in Clear Creek County, where he is being held on unrelated state charges. There is no timetable for when Lawless will be transferred from state custody to federal custody.

According to the indictment, on June 25, 2011, Lawless did maliciously damage and destroy, and attempt to damage and destroy, by means of fire and an explosive, a building or other real property, namely the building and contents of Borders Books and Music located in the Colorado Mills Shopping Center. Further, the indictment also alleges that on June 24, 2011 Lawless did maliciously damage and destroy, and attempt to damage and destroy, by means of fire and an explosive, a building or other real property, namely the building and contents of Urban Sombrero Restaurant, located in Denver. Lawless is also charged with knowingly use and carry, or possess, a destructive device, also known as a homemade bomb, during and in relation to a crime of violence, namely the device placed at Borders Books and Music.

If convicted of counts 1 and 3, arson of a building and other real property in interstate commerce, Lawless faces not less than 5 years, and up to 20 years in federal prison. If convicted of count 2, use of a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence, Lawless faces not less than 30 years, and not more than life imprisonment, consecutive to any other sentence imposed. Both counts also carry a fine of not more than $250,000, plus restitution.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Lakewood Police Department, with assistance from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson County Bomb Squad, the West Metro Fire and Rescue Department, and the Colorado State Patrol.

The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Holloway.

The charges contained in the [indictment] are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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.

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Nearly 130 Alleged Mobsters Arrested in FBI Sweep

January 20, 2011

According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice, ninety-one alleged members and associates of seven organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra (LCN), including the New England LCN family, all five New York-based families and the New Jersey-based Decavalcante family have been charged with federal crimes in 16 indictments returned in four judicial districts. Another 36 individuals also have been charged for their roles in alleged associated criminal activity.

Individuals have been charged in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Newark, and Providence. Most were arrested before 8:00am this morning.

More than 110 of the 127 charged individuals have been arrested, and will appear in federal court in the districts in which they are charged. The charges relate to a wide range of alleged illegal activity, including murder, murder conspiracy, loansharking, arson, narcotics trafficking, extortion, robbery, illegal gambling and labor racketeering, in some cases occurring over decades. The indictments charge alleged leaders of these criminal enterprises, as well as mid-level managers, numerous soldiers and associates, and others alleged to be corrupt union officials.

Among those charged are Luigi Manocchio, 83, the alleged former boss of the New England LCN; Andrew Russo, 76, alleged street boss of the Colombo family; Benjamin Castellazzo, 73, alleged acting underboss of the Colombo family; Richard Fusco, 74, alleged consigliere of the Colombo family; Joseph Corozzo, 69, alleged consigliere of the Gambino family; and Bartolomeo Vernace, 61, an alleged member of the Gambino family administration. In total, more than 30 alleged official members of the LCN were charged in the indictments unsealed today.

The charges carry a variety of maximum penalties, up to life in prison on certain charges.

The indictments are available here.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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.

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