FBI: Six Joplin Family Members Among 21 Indicted in an Alleged Meth Conspiracy

August 5, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 5, 2013 released the following:

“KANSAS CITY, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Joplin, Missouri couple and their four adult sons are among 21 defendants who have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine in Jasper County, Missouri.

Gerardo Hernandez Cazares, Sr., 51, his wife, Leticia Cazares, 51, a citizen of Mexico who is a permanent legal resident of the United States, and his four sons, Jose DeLeon Cazares, 28, Gerardo Cazares Jr., 29, Eric Eziquel Cazares, 30, and Abraham Cazares, 24, all of Joplin; Casey Murray, 19, Gilbert Roland, 49, David Roland, 32, Charles Jackson Lee III, 29, James Pickel, 55, Michael Fordyce, 52, Michael Ray Hendrix, 33, Jimmy Don Thompson, 22, Nathan Kent Hernandez, 33, Jorge Ercules, 27, a citizen of Honduras, Henry Gonzalez, 31 and Hugo Rodriguez, 41, both citizens of Mexico, all of Joplin; Daniel Nevarez, 27, (Gerardo Cazares’s son in law), of Carl Junction, Missouri; Gabrielle Sharp, 20, of Springfield, Missouri; and Jose Puente, 41, of Commerce, Oklahoma, were charged in a 34-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield on July 24, 2013. The indictment replaced a federal criminal complaint that was filed on June 13, 2013.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, law enforcement authorities noticed a significant increase in the availability of methamphetamine in the Joplin area beginning in June 2012. A confidential source stated there was a drug trafficking organization in Joplin that was importing very pure methamphetamine from Mexico into the United States, then transporting it by automobile to Joplin.

The federal indictment alleges that all 21 defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from July 16, 2012 to June 14, 2013.

In addition to the conspiracy, Gerardo Cazares, Sr., Gerardo Cazares, Jr., Jose Cazares, Hendrix, Pickel, Ercules, and Gonzalez are variously charged in 22 counts related to distributing methamphetamine.

Gerardo Cazares, Sr., Gerardo Cazares, Jr., Jose Cazares, Eric Cazares, Leticia Cazares, Hendrix, Pickel, Sharp, Thompson, Hernandez, Rodriguez, and Lee are also variously charged in 11 counts related to using a telephone to facilitate the drug trafficking conspiracy.

The federal indictment also contains two forfeiture allegations, which would require Pickel to forfeit to the government $1,600 that was seized by law enforcement officers, and would require Roland to forfeit to the government $4,162 that was seized by law enforcement officers.

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 Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Jasper County Drug Task Force, the Joplin (Missouri) Police Department and the Miami (Oklahoma) Police Department.”

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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

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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.


In the Eastern District of Arkansas Sixteen Defendants Have Been Charged in an Alleged Cocaine Conspiracy

May 15, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 14, 2013 released the following:

“Sixteen Defendants, Including Mexican Drug Cartel Members, Charged in Cocaine Conspiracy

Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Randall C. Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Little Rock Field Office, announce that a 25-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury on May 2, 2013, was unsealed today charging sixteen defendants in Arkansas, Texas, and Mexico with multiple drug offenses. The indictment alleges the lead defendant, Idalia Ramos Rangel, a/k/a La Tia or Big Momma, is a high-ranking member of the Gulf Cartel who directs a drug trafficking organization based in Matamoros, Mexico. That organization is responsible for the distribution of multiple hundreds of kilograms of cocaine in the United States.

The indictment is the result of a large-scale investigation into cocaine and narcotics trafficking from Mexico to Arkansas. Agents determined that Rangel’s drug trafficking organization is responsible for delivery of more than one hundred kilograms of cocaine in Arkansas. The charges in the indictment include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime. All 16 defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. If convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, each defendant will face a sentence of not less than 10 years to life imprisonment.

“The arrests made in this case have dismantled a primary supply of cocaine into the State of Arkansas,” stated Thyer. “From the Gulf Cartel to prison to the streets of Central Arkansas, this was not a typical case to investigate. I want to thank the FBI for their leadership in this investigation. I also want to acknowledge the significant investigative work the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Little Rock Police Department provided. Those who do business with drug cartels should be on notice that law enforcement is investigating and will commit the resources necessary to punish them for their illegal trafficking.”

“Today, a strong group of dedicated federal, state, and local law enforcement officials—from Arkansas to Texas—came together to disrupt a criminal drug enterprise directly linked to the Gulf Cartel,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Randall Coleman. “It was simply a case of outstanding teamwork. In Arkansas, we will continue to work together to disrupt and dismantle those groups who choose to conduct their criminal enterprise activities here.”

According to the indictment, Rangel’s family members are alleged to be involved in the drug distribution conspiracy. Her son, Mohammed Kazam Martinez, a/k/a Mo, a federal inmate in the Bureau of Prisons, recruited inmates in the Federal Correctional Complex at Forrest City, Arkansas, to distribute Rangel’s Gulf Cartel cocaine upon their release from prison. Those inmates included Emmanuel Ilo, a/k/a Chi Chi or Chi, and Mervin Johnson, a/k/a Slim, who the indictment alleges began distributing kilogram and multi-ounce quantities of the cocaine in Central Arkansas upon their release from federal prison. Mohammed Martinez communicated with members of this drug trafficking organization using the prison telephone and e-mail systems to coordinate the distribution of cocaine to, and the collection of drug proceeds from, former federal inmates and others. Another of Rangel’s sons, Homar Martinez, and one of her daughters, Nishme Martinez, are also charged as part of the conspiracy.

The indictment alleges that Ilo distributed Rangel’s Gulf Cartel cocaine to Dwatney Noid; Dwight McLittle, a/k/a D.A.; Lamont Williams, a/k/a Peter Rabbit; Gerard Trice, a/k/a Fly; Tarvars Honorable, a/k/a Pudgy; and others for redistribution to customers in the Eastern District of Arkansas. The FBI made multiple controlled purchases of cocaine in Central Arkansas totaling more than one kilogram during the investigation of this case.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, with substantial assistance from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Little Rock Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Gordon and Chris Givens.

An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney’s Office News Release

Defendants/Charges
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine:

  • Idalia Ramos Rangel, 57, Matamoros, Mexico
  • *Mohammed Kazam Martinez, 31, Beaumount, Texas
  • *Emanuel Ilo, 34, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Mervin Johnson, 37, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Homar Martinez, 31, Brownsville, Texas
  • Manuel Garza, 31, Brownsville, Texas
  • *Jaime Benevides, 27, Austin, Texas
  • *Nishme Martinez, 26, Austin, Texas
  • *Denice Duran Martinez, 34, Brownsville, Texas
  • *Yadira Anahy Martinez, 36, Brownsville, Texas
  • Dwatney Noid, 30, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Dwight McLittle, 27, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Shanieka Tatum, 35, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Lamont Williams, 34, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Gerard Trice, 29, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Tarvars Honorable, 33, Little Rock, Arkansas

* Denotes individual is in custody.

In addition to the conspiracy charges, the following defendants are also charged with the following crimes:

  • Emanuel Ilo: distribution of cocaine (six counts) and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (two counts)
  • Mervin Johnson: distribution of cocaine (one count)
  • Dwatney Noid: distribution of cocaine (two counts) and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (two counts)
  • Dwight McLittle: distribution of cocaine (six counts)
  • Shanieka Tatum: use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (three counts)
  • Lamont Williams: use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (two counts)
  • Gerard Trice: use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (two counts)
  • Tarvars Honorable: distribution of cocaine base (one count) and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (one count).

Statutory Sentences

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine is punishable by not less than 10 years, not more than life, incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $10,000,000, and not less than five years’ supervised release.

Possession with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine or less than 28 grams of cocaine base is punishable by not more than 20 years’ incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $1,000,000 and not less than three years’ supervised release.

Use of a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking crime are not more than four years’ incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000 and not more than one year supervised release.”

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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

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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.


Thirteen Individuals Indicted for Alleged Drug Trafficking in Jackson and Shannon County

August 9, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 9, 2012 released the following:

Part of Operation Eagle Eye

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that 13 individuals have been indicted by a federal grand jury for drug conspiracy and distribution offenses alleged to have occurred in Jackson County and Shannon County at various times October 2008 through July 2012.

The charges are a result of Operation Eagle Eye, a controlled substances investigation conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, whose member agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Pierre Police Department, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe-Department of Public Safety. In addition to task force members, other agencies assisting in the arrests were the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Martin Police Department; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

The individuals charged include the following:

  • Anita Lucine Brown, 58, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. If convicted, Brown could face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Reed Thomas Brown, Jr., a/k/a “Baby Reed,” 37, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. If convicted, Brown could face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Clifford Wayne Richards, Jr., a/k/a “Beaver,” 56, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and three counts of distribution of marijuana. If convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, Richards could face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, or both. If convicted of marijuana distribution, Richards could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Gerald Baker, Sr., 27, of Interior—charged with one count of distributing marijuana in a school zone. In convicted, Baker could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.
  • Casey Bettelyoun, 31, of Wanblee—charged with one count of distributing a substance or mixture containing methamphetamine in a school zone. If convicted, Bettelyoun could face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Roger Bettelyoun, 56, of Wanblee—charged with four counts of distributing marijuana. If convicted, Bettelyoun could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.
  • Royce Gone, 32, of Wanblee—charged with one count of distributing marijuana in a school zone. If convicted, Gone could face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Jordan Long Soldier, 40, of Wanblee—charged with two counts of distributing marijuana. If convicted, Long Solider could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Angel Provincial, 22, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine. If convicted, Provincial could face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Robert Provincial, 32, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine. If convicted, Provincial could face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Howard Red Elk, 45, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in public housing. If convicted, Red Elk could face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, or both.
  • Tyson Red Elk, 22, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in public housing. If convicted, Red Elk could face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, or both.
  • Virgil Red Elk, 30, of Wanblee—charged with one count of distributing marijuana. If convicted, Red Elk could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.

No further details regarding the cases will be available until the individuals have appeared in federal court. The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and all the individuals named in the indictment are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ted McBride.”

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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

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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.


Twenty-Eight Arrested in Alleged Honduran-Based Cocaine Trafficking Ring

May 10, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 10, 2012 released the following:

“ALEXANDRIA, VA— Twenty-eight individuals have been arrested for their alleged roles in a cocaine trafficking ring based in Northern Virginia that uses couriers to regularly import large amounts of cocaine from Honduras hidden in shoes and decorative wooden frames. Members of the trafficking ring have allegedly wired more than $1 million from the United States back to cocaine suppliers in Honduras.

Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the charges became public.

“Through creativity and coordination, this tight network of Honduran immigrants allegedly distributed vast amounts of cocaine throughout Northern Virginia and across the mid-Atlantic,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Thanks to close partnerships among law enforcement, we were able to put together the case that led to today’s charges.”

“These individuals face charges for their alleged involvement in a drug trafficking ring that brought large amounts of cocaine into our communities,” said Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Together with our law enforcement partners, the FBI will continue to target international drug conspiracies as we diligently work to keep our neighborhoods and citizens safe.”

According to a criminal complaint affidavit, since between 2006 and May 2012, a contingent of Honduran immigrants living in and around Fairfax County has coordinated with sources of supply in Honduras to pay couriers to fly cocaine from Honduras to the United States on a regular basis. Much of the couriers’ baggage would contain items that were not contraband, such as clothing, food, and Honduras-related trinkets, so the conspirators would hide cocaine in innocuous items, typically wooden frames and shoes, that would blend in with the couriers’ other cargo.

The affidavit alleges that once the couriers arrived in the United States, members of the conspiracy would pick up the items containing cocaine from the couriers and then distribute it to dealers in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Massachusetts, who, in turn, would send sale proceeds back to Honduras through wire transfers.

Leaders of the conspiracy allegedly supply wholesale quantities of the imported cocaine to co-conspirators, who are themselves street-level dealers or who supply other street-level dealers. It is alleged that the leaders know each other, use the same network of Honduran suppliers, and often retrieve cocaine from couriers intended for another leader to pick up at a later time.

According to the affidavit, the trafficking ring was discovered in autumn 2011 by law enforcement after the investigation and arrest of Lindor Delis Martinez-Guevara, aka Lindo or Genero, 38, of Falls Church, Virginia; and Melcy Yalexsy Guevara-Barrera, aka Pedro or Primo, 35, of Vienna, Virginia, by the Fairfax County Police Department. The affidavit states that Lindor moved from Honduras to Virginia to deal cocaine and that he was the person who came up with the idea to hide cocaine in frames.

Lindor; Melcy; Samuel Benitez-Pineda, aka Wilfredo Benitez or Roque or Chiripa, 34, of Arlington, Virginia; and Jose Fredy Delcid, aka Oscar Salgado or Oscar or Franklin or Chami or Matador, 34, of Falls Church, Virginia, are some of the members of the conspiracy who allegedly worked directly with sources of supply in Honduras to import cocaine into the United States. They, in turn, allegedly worked with a large group of people with and through whom they distributed the cocaine, including the following individuals who were arrested by law enforcement:

  • Hector Mauricio Amaya, aka Conejo or Kaubil, 36, of Falls Church, Virginia
  • Genis Jhesson Amaya-Pena, aka Jenis Yexon Amaya-Pena or Flaco or Juanchope, 25, of Vienna, Virginia
  • Marvin Eduardo Escobar Barrios, aka Catracho or Garrobo, 37, of West Falls Church, Virginia
  • Wilson Reniery Guevara, aka Wilsson R. Guevara, 34, of Manassas, Virginia
  • Joel Lopez, 41, of Springfield, Virginia
  • Annelo Argueta Reyes, aka Nelo, 35, of Falls Church, Virginia
  • Mario Noel Medina-Aguilar, aka Noel, 28, of Falls Church, Virginia
  • Julio Giovanni Nolasco, aka Puma, 18, of Falls Church Virginia
  • Concepcion Benitez-Pineda, aka Conchi or Concha, 38, of Arlington, Virginia
  • Mario Benitez-Pineda, aka Chaparro or Cuzuco, 42, of Falls Church, Virginia
  • Santos Efrain Carbajal Benites, 24, of Arlington, Virginia
  • Angel Zelaya Lizama, aka El Diablo, 29, of Falls Church, Virginia
  • Jose Delores Vanegas, aka Chivito, 40, of Arlington, Virginia
  • Isaias Abrego-Mancia, 28, of Herndon, Virginia
  • Rudy Humberto Tabaro, aka Rudy Humberto Tabara or Colocho, 30, of Lutherville, Maryland
  • Edwin Espana Morales, 38, of Riverdale, Maryland
  • Jose Lorenzo Saravia, aka Jose Saravia-Lozano, 40, of Manassas, Virginia
  • FNU LNU, aka Alex or Gordito, of Falls Church, Virginia
  • Maria Florinda Benitez-Pineda, aka Flor or Loli, 26, of Baltimore, Maryland
  • Jose Maria Benites-Pineda, 32, of Arlington, Virginia
  • Jose Enrique Funez, aka Jose Enrique Funz-Garay or Jose Enrique Funes-Garay or Rick, 40, of Norfolk, Virginia
  • Martin Juarez-Lopez, 19, of Falls Church, Virginia
  • Gloria Elena Olivia Castro, 25, of Springfield, Virginia
  • Joaquin Avila-Rodriguez, aka Pollo, 40, of Herndon, Virginia

Those named in the criminal complaint were charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, which carries a minimum mandatory of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

In addition, the complaint affidavit contains allegations that members of the conspiracy engaged in the distribution of crack cocaine, money laundering, and various firearm offenses.

This ongoing investigation was led by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, in partnership with the Fairfax County, Arlington County, City of Falls Church, and Prince William County Police Departments; Virginia State Police; Northern Virginia Gang Task Force; Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean P. Tonolli and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott B. Nussbum and Emily M. Loeb.

Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

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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 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.


Six Face Federal Criminal Drug Charges in an Alleged Cocaine Selling Bust

April 11, 2012

Daily Herald on April 11, 2012 released the following:

“Cocaine-selling bust nets 14 arrests

By Jake Griffin

Federal prosecutors announced drug charges against 14 suburban residents stemming from a multijurisdictional 1 1/2-year investigation.

Six of the suspects face federal charges and are from Lake County, while another eight face state drug charges and are from Lake and Cook counties, according to U.S. District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office.

Investigators seized nearly three pounds of cocaine and a 2008 Cadillac Escalade as part of the ongoing investigation, federal prosecutors said. The largest seizure occurred nearly a year ago following a traffic stop on I-94 near Deerfield Road in Lake County when more than two pounds of cocaine were found in a car believed to be en route to the group’s alleged ringleader, Jose Luis Chavez, prosecutors said.

The federal court papers claim Chavez, 33, of Round Lake, headed the organization that distributed cocaine throughout the northern suburbs. He is charged federally with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and $5 million fine, prosecutors said. The five other federal defendants face the same charge, according to court papers.

That includes Armando Lopez, 34, of Round Lake Beach, who prosecutors said was Chavez’s chief distributor of cocaine sold in smaller, multi-ounce quantities.

Joseph Garcia, 28, of Algonquin, was arrested Tuesday in Florida and is being extradited back to the Chicago area to be formally charged. Prosecutors said Garcia also distributed cocaine for Chavez.

Amber Learn, 26; Ryon Baldarez, 35; and Agustin Zeta-Marin, 29; all from Round Lake Beach, are also accused of dealing cocaine for either Chavez or Lopez, according to prosecutors. Learn has been freed on bond. The other two remain at large and have had warrants issued for their arrests, prosecutors said.

The eight people facing state charges of criminal drug conspiracy, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy are facing prison sentences up to 60 years, Lake County prosecutors said Wednesday.

The eight facing state charges are 46-year-old Jesus Serrano of the 1600 block of North Lake Shore Drive in Round Lake Beach; Adrian Tellez, 37, of the 1300 block of Oak Street in Round Lake Beach; Mitchell Shannon, 38, of the 3800 block of Glenview Road in Glenview; Eric Juarez, 32, of the 300 block of Kenwood Avenue in Round Lake Beach; Luis Vega, 29, of the 1500 block of Lotus Lane in Round Lake Beach; Gustavo Munoz, 35, of the 1900 block of Karen Lane in Round Lake Beach; Michael Ramirez, 37, of the 300 block of Ricard Court in Island Lake; and Gary Milem, 29, of the 25000 block of West Lakeshore Drive in Ingleside.

The eight facing state charges will appear in bond court later this week, prosecutors there said.

The investigation was conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, prosecutors said. The agencies that assisted in the investigation included the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Illinois State Police, McHenry County Sheriff’s office, Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group and police departments from Round Lake Beach, Rolling Meadows, Palatine and Mundelein.”

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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

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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 C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Owner of downtown Austin clubs, others face drug, money laundering and firearms charges

March 22, 2012

Statesman.com on March 22, 2012 released the following:

“By Gary Dinges

Update: In federal indictments unsealed this afternoon, 11 people reportedly associated with Yassine Enterprises, operator of several downtown nightclubs, are accused of engaging in a variety of crimes, including distributing cocaine, transferring firearms used to commit drug trafficking and money laundering.

Owner and president Hussein Ali Yassine — known as Mike Yassine — is charged with money laundering, according to court documents, as well as conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

Citing federal money-laundering statutes, federal prosecutors are seeking a court order that would require Mike Yassine, as well as two other defendants, to forfeit $214,500.

Others charged include:

  • Marisse Marthe Ruales — known as Madi: conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and money laundering.
  • Hadi Ali Yassine: conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and money laundering.
  • Mohammed Ali Yassine — known as Steve Austin: conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine, transferring a firearm knowing it is to be used in a drug trafficking crime and money laundering.
  • Sami Derder: conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and distribution of cocaine.
  • Edgar Orsini: conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and distribution of cocaine.
  • Amar Thabet Araf: conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine.
  • Alejandro Melendrez — known as Alex and Cueta: distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine.
  • Nizar Hakiki — also known as Nino: conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, distribution of cocaine and transferring a firearm knowing it is to be used in a drug trafficking crime.
  • Karim Faiq: conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute 5 kilos or more of cocaine.
  • An unidentified defendant is also charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine.

All of the alleged crimes, according to court records, occurred in 2008 and 2009.

Earlier: Agents from the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are at the offices of Yassine Enterprises, which operates several downtown nightclubs, this morning collecting documents as part of an investigation.

Agents were spotted hauling boxes into the Yassine offices at 213 W. Fourth St. shortly after 10 a.m.

An FBI spokesman called the investigation “usual and routine,” but said he could provide no additional details, while an IRS spokesman said the agency was conducting “official business.”

Austin police police were also on scene. A spokeswoman confirmed police had been called at the FBI’s request. She referred all other questions to the FBI’s spokesman, as did a spokeswoman for the TABC.

The IRS spokesman said there have been “several” arrests made in connection with the case, but declined to elaborate. A federal hearing was slated to be held on the case this afternoon in Austin, the spokesman said.

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency and state comptroller’s office are also part of the investigation, officials said.

Yassine owns Pure, Spill, Kiss & Fly, Stack Burger Bar, Treasure Island, Hyde, Fuel, Malaia and Roial.

The company is the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed this year that alleges more than 200 employees were paid less than federal law requires.

It was not immediately clear if today’s searches are related to the suit.

Jake Webb, a one-time bartender at Roial, claims in legal documents that Yassine was “generally paying no wages at all to tipped employees,” such as bartenders and waiters.

“When (Webb) went to pick up his check, he was told bartenders don’t get paychecks,” Dan Byrne, one of Webb’s attorneys, told the American-Statesman in January. “After talking with him, we had an inkling this was a bigger deal.”

Yassine’s attorneys released this statement after learning of the suit: “Yassine is cooperating in the class action and is committed to complying with all laws regarding the payment of tipped employees.””

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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

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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 C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Camden Man Charged with Allegedly Leading a Large-Scale Crack Cocaine Network

February 16, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 15, 2012 released the following:

“In Related Case, Enforcer Pleads Guilty in Connection with Killing Man who Organization Members Believed Stole Their Cocaine

CAMDEN, NJ—A Camden, N.J., man who allegedly led a drug organization that distributed at least 150 kilograms of crack cocaine over a period of 17 years has been arrested and charged for his role in the operation, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jeffrey Jones, aka “Jazzy,” 35, was charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine) in Camden between 1990 and 2007. He made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court.

“Keeping Jeffrey Jones behind bars protects the public from a criminal charged with dispensing drugs and gun violence on the streets of Camden,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “As described in the complaint, Jones headed a criminal organization that for nearly two decades distributed large quantities of a deadly and addictive form of cocaine. And the guilty plea we obtained from one of Jones’ violent enforcers, Larry Reddick, removes another dangerous predator from the streets of Camden.”

According to the complaint:

Jones was a leader of a large-scale organization that distributed at least 150 kilograms of cocaine from multiple locations through the city from 1990 through 2007. Jones had recently completed a five-year federal prison sentence for conspiring to possess firearms as a convicted felon in 2007 and was arrested by FBI agents Feb. 3, 2012, in Williamsport, Pa., upon completion of that sentence.

Jones purchased kilogram quantities of cocaine, along with Mack Jones, aka “Bear,” 39, of Camden, from a cocaine dealer in Camden. Jeffrey Jones converted the powder cocaine into crack cocaine and then redistributed it to the organization’s customers from several locations in different neighborhoods in Camden, including Cramer Hill, Centerville, Whitman Park and downtown Camden. Jeffrey Jones employed multiple workers to assist him in distributing the crack cocaine and he and other members of the conspiracy carried firearms while engaged in their drug trafficking activities.

Law enforcement agents received information from at least seven different cooperating witnesses who described Jeffrey Jones’ role in the drug trafficking organization and its operations in the City of Camden. While involved in drug traffcking activities, Jeffrey Jones was previously arrested or stopped by law enforcement on the following occasions:

Jeffrey Jones was arrested in Camden on Aug. 24, 1997, after a foot chase with a Camden Police officer. At the time of his arrest, Jeffrey Jones had over 200 grams of crack cocaine and officers recovered a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun with a defaced serial number that he had discarded during the chase.

On Dec. 16, 2001, Jeffrey Jones and Mack Jones were arrested by Camden police officers after two semi-automatic handguns were recovered from their vehicle.

On June 24, 2004, Jeffrey Jones and another male were arrested by Camden Police at 9th and Central Street in Camden, one block from a drug trafficking location run by Jeffrey Jones at 8th and Central. Jeffrey Jones and the other male were found to be in possession of more than $10,000 in cash and when questioned about the money, Jeffrey Jones stated that everyone had to take losses once in a while and suggested that the officers should treat their families to a vacation on him.

On Nov. 29, 2006, Jeffrey Jones and two other males were stopped by Virginia police officers in a rental car traveling through the Commonwealth of Virginia. The vehicle was ultimately searched and recovered from the vehicle was over $93,000 in cash and nine cell phones.

On Sept. 27, 2007, Jeffrey Jones and three co-conspirators were arrested in Camden after a vehicle they were riding in was stopped by Camden police. All four males were arrested and four handguns were recovered by the police officers. Jeffrey Jones pled guilty to conspiring to possess firearms as a convicted felon and was sentenced to five years in prison.

The conspiracy count with which Jones is charged carries a minimum potential penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $4 million fine.

In a related case, on Feb. 10, 2012, Larry Reddick, 36, a/k/a “Lac,” of Camden, appeared before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler and entered a plea of guilty to a Superseding Information charging Reddick with conspiring to distribute cocaine base in Camden with Jeffrey Jones, Mack Jones, Hashim Johnson, 31, a/k/a “Hash,” of Camden, and others from 1998 through January 2008.

Reddick was also charged with using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in the intentional killing of Brian “Pepe” Parker on Jan. 5, 2000 at the Tioga Tavern in Camden. During the plea hearing, Reddick admitted in response to Judge Kugler’s questions that he and other members of the drug organization planned to kill Parker because they believed he was responsible for stealing a quantity of crack cocaine from a stash house in Camden in the months before his murder. Reddick admitted providing the two handguns used in the murder and waiting with his co-conspirator outside the Tioga Tavern at closing time for Parker to come outside. When Parker left the bar that night at closing time, Reddick and his co-conspirator (an unidentified member of the drug organization) chased Parker back into the bar at gunpoint and Reddick shot Parker multiple times at close range until Parker fell to the ground. Reddick and his co-conspirator then ran from the bar after the shooting.

According to the government, Reddick’s role in the drug conspiracy included acting as an armed “enforcer” for Hashim Johnson, Jeffrey Jones, and Mack Jones.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, it is being recommended to the court that Reddick be sentenced to 246 monhs in prison on each count of the superseding Information and serve 10 years of supervised release upon release from prison. Judge Kugler deferred ruling on whether to accept the plea pending completion of the pre-sentence report.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, Cherry Hill Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George Venizelos of the Philadelphia office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Camden Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, for the investigation which lead to these charges. He also thanked the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Warren Faulk; the Camden Police Department, under the direction of Chief Scott Thompson; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes, Superintendent.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick C. Askin and Howard Wiener of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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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

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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.