James Byers Indicted by a Cedar Rapids Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Distributing Child Pornography, Receiving Child Pornography, and Possessing a Computer Containing Child Pornography

October 19, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 18, 2011 released the following:

“Belle Plaine Man Charged with Child Pornography Offenses

James Byers, age 56, from Belle Plaine, Iowa, has been charged with three child pornography offenses. The charges are contained in an indictment unsealed October 11, 2011, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. The indictment alleges that, between May 2007 and February 2009, Byers knowingly distributed child pornography, received child pornography, and possessed a computer containing child pornography.

If convicted, Byers faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 50 years’ imprisonment, $750,000 in fines, $300 in special assessments, and at least five years and up to life on supervised release following any imprisonment.

Byers appeared on October 13, 2011, for a detention hearing in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was held without bond. Byers’ next appearance for trial is set for December 12, 2011.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Belle Plaine Police Department.

This 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is CR 11-149.”

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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.


Madison Federal Grand Jury Returns Indictments

September 29, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 28, 2011 released the following:

“MADISON, WI— A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Eau Claire Man Charged with Child Pornography Crimes

David J. Kmetz, 43, Eau Claire, Wis., is charged with one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing a computer hard drive containing child pornography. The indictment alleges that on July 26, 2010, he distributed computer images and video files containing visual depictions involving the use of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and that he possessed the computer hard drive on January 11, 2011.

If convicted, Kmetz faces a penalty of at least five years and up to 20 years in federal prison on the distribution count, and 10 years on the possession count. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter M. Jarosz.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.

Waterloo Man Charged with Embezzlement

Allen R. Howe, 63, Waterloo, Wis., is charged with embezzling $56,723.74, from the Allen Howe & Son, Inc. Simple Retirement Account Trust. The indictment alleges that from December 2006 through September 2009, he withheld that amount of Allen Howe & Son, Inc. employee contributions, and failed to make payments to any financial institution on behalf of those employees.

If convicted, Howe faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter M. Jarosz.”

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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Richard D. Crisman Arraigned on Federal Child Pornography Charges

September 9, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 8, 2011 released the following:

“Rio Rancho Man Arraigned on Federal Child Pornography Charges

ALBUQUERQUE—This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, Richard D. Crisman, 27, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, was arraigned on a six-count indictment charging him with child pornography offenses. The indictment charges Crisman with three counts of receipt of a visual depiction of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and three counts of possession of a matter containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Crisman allegedly committed all six offenses in September 2010 in Bernalillo County, New Mexico.

The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the receipt offenses is imprisonment for not less than five years and not more than 20 years and a lifetime of supervised release. The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the possession offenses is up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a lifetime of supervised release. If convicted of any count, Crisman also will be required to register as a sex offender. Crisman entered a not guilty plea to the indictment during this morning’s proceedings, and was detained pending trial based on findings that he poses a danger to the community and a risk of flight.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Crisman was arrested as part of Operation Predator. Operation Predator was an investigative effort by state and local law enforcement affiliates of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force aimed at identifying individuals throughout New Mexico involved in the distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography through peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. Twenty-two search warrants were executed and eight defendants were arrested in late September 2010 as a result of Operation Predator.

Crisman was arrested in September 2010 on state charges filed by the District Attorney’s Office for the 13th Judicial District of the State of New Mexico, Sandoval County. The federal indictment charging Crisman was filed under seal on August 23, 2011, and was unsealed on September 7, 2011 after Crisman was arrested on the federal charges.

The case against Crisman was investigated by the Rio Rancho Police Department, the New Mexico State Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney’s Office for the 13th Judicial District. The case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlyn E. Rees, 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.

Charges in indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty 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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William H. Noble Indicted by a Massachusetts Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Transporting Child Pornography and Possessing Child Pornography

August 25, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 24, 2011 released the following:

“Massachusetts Man Arrested and Charged in Child Pornography Case

WASHINGTON—A Lowell, Massachusetts man charged with transportation and possession of child pornography made his initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Boston, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts, and Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers of the FBI Boston Division.

William H. Noble, 46, of Lowell, was charged in an indictment unsealed yesterday with one count of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Noble was arrested yesterday in the District of Massachusetts.

According to the indictment, in April 2009, Noble allegedly transported visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment also alleges that Noble possessed additional images of child pornography.

In a separate indictment unsealed in the District of Massachusetts on Aug. 17, 2011, Steven Saunders, 28, was charged with one count of possession of child pornography. Saunders, a current resident of Chula Vista, Calif., and a former resident of Groton, Mass., was arrested on Aug. 17, 2011, in the Southern District of California. According to the indictment, on April 15, 2009, Saunders allegedly possessed visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

The maximum sentence for each count of possession of child pornography is 10 years in prison, lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for each count of transportation of child pornography is 20 years in prison, lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

These cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Thomas Franzinger of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael I. Yoon of District of Massachusetts Major Crimes Unit. The cases are being investigated by the FBI. The Groton Police Department is also investigating the case against Noble.

These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.”

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.

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Robert L. Hedrick Indicted For Attempted Production, Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

August 17, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on August 16, 2011 released the following:

“BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A Brownsville grand jury has indicted Robert L. Hedrick, 60, for attempted sexual exploitation of children, transfer of obscene materials to a minor, distribution and possession of child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Hedrick is the president of the Brownsville based Pan-American Airways.

The five-count indictment, returned by the grand jury on Aug. 16, 2011, charges Hedrick with attempting to produce images of child pornography and the transfer of obscene materials to a minor between Sept. 14 and Nov. 22, 2010. Hedrick is also accused of two counts of distributing child pornography between March 8 and Sept. 16, 2010, and again between Sept. 14 and Nov. 22, 2010. Hedrick is also charged with possessing child pornography on July 18, 2011, the date of his arrest.

The initial charges, according to the criminal complaint filed in this case in mid-July 2011, arise out of alleged Internet contact between Hedrick and undercover investigators in Louisiana and Wisconsin posing as minors during two separate operations during which Hedrick is alleged to have shared multiple images of child pornography. That information lead to further investigation by special agents of the Brownsville office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) which has resulted in the additional counts of distribution and possession of child pornography.

Hedrick has been in federal custody since his arrest at his home on July 18, 2011. It is expected the court will set a date for Hedrick’s arraignment on the charges next week.

If convicted of attempted production of child pornography, Hedrick faces no less than 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison without parole. Transfer of obscene material to a minor carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison while distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of five years to a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. A conviction for possession of child pornography carries a punishment of up to 10 years in prison. Each count also carries a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of no less than five years up to life during which the court can impose any number of conditions designed to protect children. Additionally, registration as a sex offender is mandatory.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys V. LaTawn Warsaw and Carrie Wirsing are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States 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.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.”

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.

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Pedro Rosales of Houston Indicted by a Houston Federal Grand Jury for Possessing and Distributing Child Pornography

August 6, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on August 5, 2011 released the following:

“32-Year Old Houston Man Indicted for Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography Ordered Held Without Bond

HOUSTON – A 32-year-old Houston resident has been ordered to remain in federal custody without bond pending trial on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Following a detention hearing this morning, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen W. Smith ordered Pedro Rosales, 32, to remain in federal custody pending trial. Indicted on July 26, 2011, by a Houston grand jury, Rosales was transferred on Aug. 2, 2011, from state custody where he has been held since a January 2011 arrest of similar state charges.

The federal charges against Rosales are the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service (USSS) and members of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (Houston Metro ICAC). During today’s hearing, the court heard testimony regarding that investigation. According to that testimony, Rosales was making child pornography available to others through the use of Peer to Peer software over the Internet. A special agent downloaded an image of child pornography from the extensive list Rosales had allegedly made available on line to those using similar Peer to Peer software by Rosales. The images, which included children under the age of 12 being sexually violated by adults, or positioned in poses which exposed their genitalia in a lewd/lascivious manner or being subjected to bondage, were available from a “shared” folder on his computer.

As part of the investigation, agents obtained records identifying the computer, its location and the subscriber information identifying Rosales. In early January 2011, investigating agents executed a warrant at Rosales’ Houston area home and seized a computer which upon forensic examination was found to contain more than 600 digital images and approximately 36 videos of child pornography. The court also heard testimony that Rosales allegedly attempted to persuade a juvenile family member to claim responsibility for the child pornography believing that if the juvenile claimed the images/videos, the family member would not be prosecuted because of age.

If convicted of distributing child pornography, Rosales faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment without parole to be followed by a term of supervised release for any term of years up to life during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children. Statutorily, the penalty for a possession of child pornography conviction carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. Additionally, if convicted, Rosales will be required to register as a sex offender. Trial is presently set before United States District Court Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore on Oct. 11, 2011.

This case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States 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.

Assistant United States Attorney Sherri L. Zack is prosecuting the case.”

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 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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Robert L. Hedrick an Owner of Local Brownsville Airline Charged with Distribution of Child Pornography

July 18, 2011

The U.S. Attorneys Office Southern District of Texas on July 18, 2011 released the following:

“BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Robert L. Hedrick, 60, has been arrested following the filing of a criminal complaint alleging he distributed images of child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Hedrick is president of the Brownsville-based Pan American Airways which provides cargo air service between the United States and Mexico.

According to the complaint filed on Friday, July 15, 2011, Hedrick is alleged to have shared multiple images of child pornography with undercover investigators from Louisiana and Wisconsin in online chat rooms between Sept. 14, 2010, and Nov. 22, 2010. Hedrick was arrested this morning by Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) agents at his home in Brownsville without incident. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio in Brownsville on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. The United States expects to request that the court detain Hendricks in federal custody without bond pending further criminal proceedings.

Distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum punishment of five years incarceration up to 20 years. Fines of up to $250,000 can also be imposed upon conviction for each offense. Additionally, each offense carries a maximum life term of supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and requires registration as a sex offender.

The prosecution is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States 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./

Assistant United States Attorneys V. LaTawn Warsaw and Carrie Wirsing are prosecuting the case.”

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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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.

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Benjamin Barber Charged with Child Pornography Offenses

June 29, 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Iowa on June 28, 2011 released the following press release:

“Benjamin Barber, age 30, from Bronson, Iowa, has been charged with transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography. The charges are contained in an Indictment unsealed today in United States District Court in Sioux City.

The Indictment alleges that, between May 2003 and July 2007, Barber knowingly transported in interstate commerce a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and that he both received and possessed such depictions.

If convicted, Barber faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 50 years’ imprisonment, $750,000 in fines, $300 in special assessments, and at least 5 years and up to life on supervised release following any imprisonment.

Barber appeared today in federal court in Sioux City and was released on bond. Barber’s next appearance for trial is set for September 6, 2011.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

This 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.”

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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Michigan Man Who Operated Residential Facility for Youth in Haiti Indicted for Alleged Sexual Abuse of Minors at the Facility

June 24, 2011

U.S Department of Justice on June 24, 2011 released the following press release:

“WASHINGTON – The operator of Morning Star Center, a residential facility located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that provided food and shelter to minors, has been charged with offenses involving the sexual abuse of minors in Haiti, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida and Director John Morton, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Matthew Andrew Carter, aka “William Charles Harcourt” and “Bill Carter,” 66, of Brighton, Mich., was charged in a superseding indictment filed yesterday in the Southern District of Florida with four counts of traveling in foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors. On May 8, 2011, Carter was arrested in Miami on a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida. He is currently detained.

“The acts that the defendant is charged with committing, quite simply, defy belief. As charged in the indictment, he preyed upon and terrorized impoverished Haitian children who were in dire need of the services offered by the Morning Star Center – the very children he was purporting to help,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “As this indictment shows, we will not allow sexual predators to avoid facing justice by committing their crimes in foreign countries. Together with our law enforcement partners abroad, we are determined to combat the sexual abuse of children no matter where it occurs.”

“This defendant preyed on innocent Haitian children living in severely depressed conditions, making his conduct particularly deplorable,” said U.S. Attorney Ferrer. “Rather than using Morning Star as he promised – to administer aid and provide sanctuary to needy children – he used the center to manipulate, abuse and sexually exploit them. Sexual predators like this defendant cannot act with impunity. We will pursue and prosecute them, no matter where they choose to commit their heinous crimes.”

“Few crimes are as despicable as the ones committed against these children in Haiti. For years, he sexually abused poor and orphaned children who depended upon him for food and shelter – all under the guise of doing noble work,” said ICE Director Morton, “ICE is committed to working with our partners here and abroad to catch individuals, like this man, who engage in child sex tourism.”

According to court documents, prior to his arrest, Carter operated and lived at Morning Star Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Morning Star Center, which Carter operated since the mid-1990s, was a residential facility that provided shelter, food and education to Haitian minors. The minors who lived at the center were orphans or from impoverished families who could not support them. From the mid-1990s to the present, Carter frequently traveled back and forth between the United States and the center in Haiti, often to raise funds for the continued operation of the center. According to court documents, Carter allegedly sexually abused several minors in his care and custody at Morning Star Center during this time period. As alleged in court documents, Carter required the child victims to engage in illicit sexual conduct in exchange for gifts or money or in order to remain at the center and continue receiving food, shelter and schooling.

The case against Carter was investigated by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Miami; the ICE HSI Assistant Attache’s Office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and the ICE HSI Santo Domingo Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit. Substantial assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington and Miami Field Offices, the U.S. Secret Service in Miami, and the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Bonnie L. Kane of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria K. Medetis of the Southern District of Florida.

If convicted, Carter faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for one count of child sex tourism and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each of the other three child sex tourism counts.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

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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