FBI: Fourteen Charged with Alleged Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking in the Bronx and Across the Hudson Valley

October 2, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on October 1, 2013 released the following:

“Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George Venizelos, Assistant Director-In-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and Joseph A. D’Amico, the Superintendent of the New York State Police, announced the arrest of 14 defendants and the unsealing of an Indictment today charging conspiracies to distribute kilogram quantities of heroin and cocaine in Beacon, the Bronx, the City of Middletown, the City of Newburgh, and New Windsor, New York.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Drug traffickers long ago discovered opportunities to peddle their venom way beyond city limits, and fortunately the law enforcement community is there to intercept them. Today’s arrests exemplify our unrelenting efforts to remove drug dealers from our streets and make them safe for law-abiding citizens, city and country.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos stated: “Heroin and cocaine are a scourge on society, often victimizing our cities’ most vulnerable. Today’s arrest and subsequent charges bring us one step closer to cleaning up our streets.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell stated: “Drug abuse claims more young people’s lives annually today than suicides, firearm deaths or school violence and unintentional drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in 17 states, even more than automobile accidents. This case is a fine example of state, local and federal law enforcement to keep our neighborhoods safe from drug traffickers. I commend our law enforcement partners and our men and women who worked shoulder to shoulder on this investigation to make the streets safer for the residents and youth in the Newburgh area.”

NY State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico stated: “A significant amount of drugs will not make it into our communities as a result of the dedication and due diligence of investigators and prosecutors working collaboratively to wipe out these types of drug operations. It is through this cooperative effort among our partners in law enforcement that we will continue to target, and remove from our streets those who choose to engage in this type of illegal and dangerous activity.”

The Indictment charges 14 people, ESMERALDO HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Esmo,” 32, ABNER ALVAREZ, JR., 30, ABNER ALVAREZ, SR., 47, JAMES L. CANELLI III, 36, EMILIO CASTILLO, a/k/a “E,” 28, ANTHONY CESPEDES, a/k/a “Anth,” 27, MICHAEL FIGUEROA, a/k/a “Scooby,” 36, BRADLEY FRIEDLANDER, 30, DARRELL LOPEZ, a/k/a “D,” 32, CARLOS MARTINEZ, 30, RAUL OQUENDO, 32, NYGEL RIVERA, 22, RAMON URIBE, a/k/a “Polo,” 38, and BERNARDO VALENTIN, a/k/a “Chickie,” 42, with conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute kilogram quantities of cocaine and/or heroin. The charges against each defendant and the corresponding maximum potential penalties are outlined in the chart attached to this press release.

Thirteen of the defendants charged in the Indictment unsealed today were arrested today or have previously been taken into custody. One, Darrell Lopez, remains at large as a fugitive. The defendants in custody are to be presented in White Plains federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge George A. Yanthis.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the DEA, the New York State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Beacon Police Department, the City of Middletown Police Department, the City of Newburgh Police Department, the Town of Newburgh Police Department, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. . The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gerber and Ilan Graff are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

UNT CHARGE DEFENDANTS MAXIMUM PENALTIES
1 Narcotics conspiracy (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms and more of cocaine.) ESMERALDO HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Esmo,” ABNER ALVAREZ, JR., MICHAEL FIGUEROA, a/k/a “Scooby,” BRADLEY FRIEDLANDER, CARLOS MARTINEZ, RAUL OQUENDO, NYGEL RIVERA, RAMON URIBE, a/k/a “Polo,” BERNARDO VALENTIN, a/k/a “Chickie” Life in prison Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison
2 Narcotics conspiracy (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin.) ESMERALDO HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Esmo,” JAMES L. CANELLI III, EMILIO CASTILLO, a/k/a “E,” ANTHONY CESPEDES, a/k/a “Anth,” MICHAEL FIGUEROA, a/k/a “Scooby,” DARRELL LOPEZ, a/k/a “D,” a RAMON URIBE, a/k/a “Polo” Life in prison Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison
3 Narcotics conspiracy (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms and more of cocaine.) ABNER ALVAREZ, SR.
ABNER ALVAREZ, JR.
Life in prison Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison

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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

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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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.


“Outside Box, Federal Judges Offer Addicts a Free Path”

May 30, 2013

The New York Times on March 1, 2013 released the following:

By MOSI SECRET

“Federal judges around the country are teaming up with prosecutors to create special treatment programs for drug-addicted defendants who would otherwise face significant prison time, an effort intended to sidestep drug laws widely seen as inflexible and overly punitive.

The Justice Department has tentatively embraced the new approach, allowing United States attorneys to reduce or even dismiss charges in some drug cases.

The effort follows decades of success for “drug courts” at the state level, which legal experts have long cited as a less expensive and more effective alternative to prison for dealing with many low-level repeat offenders.

But it is striking that the model is spreading at the federal level, where judges have increasingly pushed back against rules that restrict their ability to make their own determination of appropriate sentences.

So far, federal judges have instituted programs in California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. About 400 defendants have been involved nationwide.

In Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Thursday, Judge John Gleeson issued an opinion praising the new approach as a way to address swelling prison costs and disproportionate sentences for drug trafficking.

“Presentence programs like ours and those in other districts mean that a growing number of courts are no longer reflexively sentencing federal defendants who do not belong in prison to the costly prison terms recommended by the sentencing guidelines,” Judge Gleeson wrote.

The opinion came a year after Judge Gleeson, with the federal agency known as Pretrial Services, started a program that made achieving sobriety an incentive for drug-addicted defendants to avoid prison. The program had its first graduate this year: Emily Leitch, a Brooklyn woman with a long history of substance abuse who was arrested entering the country at Kennedy International Airport with over 13 kilograms of cocaine, about 30 pounds, in her luggage.

“I want to thank the federal government for giving me a chance,” Ms. Leitch said. “I always wanted to stand up as a sober person.”

The new approach is being prompted in part by the Obama administration, which previously supported legislation that scaled back sentences for crimes involving crack cocaine. The Justice Department has supported additional changes to the federal sentencing guidelines to permit the use of drug or mental health treatment as an alternative to incarceration for certain low-level offenders and changed its own policies to make those options more available.

“We recognize that imprisonment alone is not a complete strategy for reducing crime,” James M. Cole, the deputy attorney general, said in a statement. “Drug courts, re-entry courts and other related programs along with enforcement are all part of the solution.”

For nearly 30 years, the United States Sentencing Commission has established guidelines for sentencing, a role it was given in 1984 after studies found that federal judges were giving defendants widely varying sentences for similar crimes. The commission’s recommendations are approved by Congress, causing judges to bristle at what they consider interference with their judicial independence.

“When you impose a sentence that you believe is unjust, it is a very difficult thing to do,” Stefan R. Underhill, a federal judge in Connecticut, said in an interview. “It feels wrong.”

The development of drug courts may meet resistance from some Republicans in Congress.

“It is important that courts give deference to Congressional authority over sentencing,” Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Republican of Wisconsin, a member and former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. He said sentencing should not depend “on what judge happens to decide the case or what judicial circuit the defendant happens to be in.”

At the state level, pretrial drug courts have benefited from bipartisan support, with liberals supporting the programs as more focused on rehabilitation, and conservatives supporting them as a way to cut spending.

Under the model being used in state and federal courts, defendants must accept responsibility for their crimes and agree to receive drug treatment and other social services and attend regular meetings with judges who monitor their progress. In return for successful participation, they receive a reduced sentence or no jail time at all. If they fail, they are sent to prison.

The drug court option is not available to those facing more serious charges, like people accused of being high-level dealers or traffickers, or accused of a violent crime. (These programs differ from re-entry drug courts, which federal judges have long used to help offenders integrate into society after prison.)

In interviews, the federal judges who run the other programs pointed to a mix of reasons for their involvement.

Judge Ricardo S. Martinez ran a state drug court in Seattle before he was appointed to the federal bench. “People that have a serious addiction, you can put them in custody, but the minute you put them back in the community, they go back to the same thing and lo and behold you see them again,” Judge Martinez said in an interview.

Some of the most pointed criticism of the status quo has come from Judge Gleeson, a former federal prosecutor. The drug court he helped set up is open to defendants who committed a range of nonviolent crimes, like fraud and selling prescription pills, and whose addictions fueled their actions.

In a 35-page opinion he issued this week, he criticized the Justice Department for charging defendants with drug offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences, urged the Sentencing Commission to reduce the guideline range for many drug offenses and called for more programs that divert defendants from prison time.

The opinion chronicled the case of three graduates of the drug court, including Ms. Leitch, 29. The daughter of two addicted parents, she began smoking marijuana daily and later snorting cocaine at a young age, stealing to pay for her drug habit.

After a visit with her children to Guyana, where her father lives, she was paid over $30,000 to transport drugs back to the United States. Customs agents at Kennedy found the cocaine and charged her with importing and possessing the drug, which carried a three-year sentence under federal guidelines.

Though she showed up high at a court hearing, causing her to be jailed for a time, Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold offered her a slot a year ago in the district’s new drug court. She later took parenting courses, earned a general equivalency diploma and got a commercial bus driver’s license — with government subsidies for some of those efforts. She now drives a bus in Nassau County.

Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney in Brooklyn, said she backed the program because drug courts elsewhere had lowered recidivism rates. “Our overall strategy of law enforcement and crime prevention isn’t just incarceration,” Ms. Lynch said.

At a sentencing hearing for Ms. Leitch last month, a prosecutor vacated her guilty plea and agreed to dismiss the charges if she did not use drugs or get arrested for 18 months. After the hearing, Judge Gleeson offered some encouraging words for the defendant, and then a hug.

“I don’t know them as just the judge,” Ms. Leitch said later. “People see judges as the bad guy. They get deeper. They get to know who you are.””

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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.


ICE Leads A Federal Investigation and Arrests 9 in an Alleged Drug Trafficking Ring

May 2, 2013

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on May 1, 2013 released the following:

“9 defendants indicted in far-reaching cocaine and meth distribution scheme

LOS ANGELES — A federal investigation into a drug-trafficking organization led by two brothers who oversaw the distribution of cocaine to Italy and across the United States as well as methamphetamine being trafficked across the U.S. – has led to the indictment of nine defendants, three of whom were arrested Wednesday.

Operation “Family Guy” targeted the Urena family drug-trafficking organization through the use of undercover operatives and wiretaps that led to the interception of telephone calls, text messages, and communications sent through BlackBerry Messenger. The probe was conducted by the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, including the Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; and IRS – Criminal Investigation. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Whittier Police Department also assisted with the case.

The investigation, which culminated with the issuance of a seven-count grand jury indictment April 24, resulted in the seizure of approximately 40 kilograms of cocaine being smuggled into Italy from the Dominican Republic and Mexico. That cocaine was being transported by female drug couriers allegedly recruited by the two Urena brothers, with assistance from their uncle Francisco Javier Vargas-Oseguera and others. The investigation also uncovered a conspiracy to distribute significant quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine throughout the United States using vehicles with hidden compartments.

The indictment also alleges members of the narcotics-trafficking operation laundered drug proceeds from the Dominican Republic through the use of Western Union wire transfers sent to Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga.

Those named in the indictment unsealed Wednesday are:

  • Milton Urena, 29, of the Dominican Republic, who is currently being sought by authorities;
  • Rafael Urena, 27, of Rancho Cucamonga, Milton Urena’s brother, who was arrested Wednesday;
  • Daniel Alejandro Agredano Vazquez, 22, of the Dominican Republic, who allegedly oversaw the distribution of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Italy and conspired to launder drug proceeds. He is currently being sought by authorities;
  • Francisco Javier Vargas-Oseguera, 51, an uncle of the Urena brothers, previously of Seattle and recently of Fontana. He is currently in federal custody in Seattle after being charged in federal court there for allegedly possessing eight pounds of methamphetamine in a case unrelated to Operation Family Guy;
  • Leonel Urena-Partida, 49, of Guadalajara, Mexico, another uncle of the Urena brothers, who allegedly conspired to transport cocaine to Italy. He is being sought by authorities;
  • Carmen Garcia, 35, of San Bernardino, allegedly supplied methamphetamine and assisted with the recruitment of drug couriers, who was arrested Wednesday;
  • Eliseo Carrillo Duarte, 45, of Montebello, who is currently in federal custody in Indianapolis after being arrested there in March on unrelated drug-trafficking charges stemming from the seizure of approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine;
  • Jenna Michelle Martin (also known as Jenna Michelle Smith), 25, of Upland, an alleged drug courier who was arrested Wednesday; and
  • Beth Rene Ford (also known as Beth Rene Florance), 26, formerly of Ontario and now living in the Denver area, a second alleged drug courier, who is expected to self-surrender soon to authorities.

The defendants arrested Wednesday morning are expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

The indictment specifically charges eight defendants (not Duarte) with conspiracy to distribute cocaine to Italy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Six of the defendants (not Agredano Vasquez, Martin or Ford) are charged in another conspiracy involving the domestic distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, a charge that also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Various defendants are also named in a charge that alleges the distribution of approximately one pound of methamphetamine, three counts of use of a communication facility in committing a felony drug offense, and conspiracy to launder money.”

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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

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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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.


12 Arrested in Peoria Federal Gang Indictment Alleging Drug Trafficking and Firearms Possession

October 19, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle on October 19, 2012 released the following:

“PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Peoria have charged a dozen alleged street gang members known as the “Bomb Squad.”

Prosecutors said in a Friday news release that a grand jury returned the indictment this week. The charges are the result of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the city’s “Don’t Shoot” anti-violence program. The defendants face charges including drug trafficking and firearms possession.

Authorities say all 12 defendants are in custody. They are all men from Peoria and range in age from 18 to 25.”

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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.


Eighteen People Indicted for Alleged Roles in Cocaine Conspiracy That Included Firearms, Body Armor, and More Than $180,000

October 3, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 2, 2012 released the following:

“Eighteen people from the Cleveland area were indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent distribute cocaine, law enforcement officials announced today.

“The charges detail a conspiracy that pushed cocaine onto the streets of Cleveland and took the profits back to the suburbs,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “Members of this group were found with body armor, numerous firearms, and piles of cash.”

“The indictment and arrest of these 18 individuals should serve notice to others engaged in illicit drug activity that this behavior will not be tolerated,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland Office. “As evidenced by the results of this investigation, the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force will work tirelessly to target and eliminate the most significant threats to our communities.”

The conduct detailed in the 42-count indictment took place between April 2011 and the present.

Those indicted are (all cities listed are in Ohio):

  • Nedra Battle, 44, of University Heights
  • Samuel Bradford, 49, of Cleveland
  • Clarzel Buckner, 27, of Warrensville Heights
  • Willliam Byrd, 39, of Cleveland
  • George Clements, 48, of Cleveland
  • Richard Eckford, 48, of Mentor
  • Brandt Holly, 45, of Cleveland
  • Anthony Howard, 40, of Euclid
  • Raymond Jackson, 44, of Cleveland
  • Marcus Lane, 48, of Cleveland
  • Albert Martin IV, 59, of University Heights
  • Raymond McCollum, 45, of Cleveland
  • Michael Philpott, 61, of University Heights
  • Donte Smith, 33, of Cleveland
  • Ricardo Thompson, 51, of Cincinnati
  • Derek Williams, 50, of Aurora
  • Nicholas Willoughby, 23, of Cleveland
  • Larnail Wright, 49, of Cleveland

Derek Williams distributed multiple-ounce quantities of cocaine to George Clements, Michael Philpott, William Byrd, Anthony Howard, Brandt Holly, Clarzel Buckner, Samuel Bradford, Larnail Wright, Donald Dial, and others for redistribution, according to the indictment.

Dial also distributed cocaine to Bradford, Wright, Donte Smith, Marcus Lane, Nedra Battle, Raymond Jackson, Richard Eckford, Albert Martin, IV, Ricardo Thompson, Raymond McCollum, and others, according to the indictment.

Dial sometimes sold drugs from his business, Dawn’s Market and Deli in Cleveland. Other deals took place at or near The Meeting Place Bar and Lounge, according to the indictment.

Dial has been charged separately, according to public records.

Williams used stash houses in Cleveland and East Cleveland to hide the drugs, according to the indictment.

He also had his customers use code, such as street numbers, to indicate the amount of cocaine they wanted to buy in an effort to thwart law enforcement, according to the indictment.

Law enforcement agents searched multiple locations in April 2012. They recovered more than $166,000 in cash and a bullet-resistant vest from Williams’ home in Aurora, Ohio, as well as nearly $10,000 in cash and three firearms from stash houses he used, according to the indictment.

Overall, prosecutors are seeking to forfeit more than $180,000 in cash, body armor, four handguns, and a shotgun, according to the indictment, as well as 13 bottles of champagne seized from Williams’ home.

Williams is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was previously convicted of drug trafficking in 1990, according to the indictment.

Donte Smith is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and body armor. He was previously convicted in 2002 of felonious assault with a firearm specification and attempted felonious assault with a firearm specification, according to the indictment.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Teresa L. Dirksen and Joseph P. Schmitz, following an investigation by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force, the FBI, and the Cleveland Division of Police.”

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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.


To Smuggle More Drugs, Traffickers Go Under the Sea

September 10, 2012

The New York Times on September 9, 2012 released the following:

“By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and THOM SHANKER

KEY WEST, Fla. — For more than 24 hours last September, a Coast Guard helicopter and speedboat pursued drug traffickers and their contraband across the Caribbean Sea. Finally they caught up with the improbable vessel, the latest innovation in the decades-old drug war. It was a submarine.

The low-slung, diesel-propelled vessel, painted a dark shade to blend with the water, was believed to be carrying several tons of cocaine. But after the submersible’s crew scuttled the vessel and abandoned ship, the Coast Guard was able to salvage only two 66-pound bales of narcotics.

This is the new challenge faced by the United States and Latin American countries as narcotics organizations bankroll machine shops operating under cover of South America’s triple-canopy jungles to build diesel-powered submarines that would be the envy of all but a few nations.

After years of detecting these craft in the less trafficked Pacific Ocean, officials have seen a spike in their use in the Caribbean over the last year. American authorities have discovered at least three models of a new and sophisticated drug-trafficking submarine capable of traveling completely underwater from South America to the coast of the United States.

The vessel involved in the September chase was an older model that was only semi-submersible. That model presents a silhouette above water barely larger than a kitchen table, but requires a snorkel to bring in air for the diesel engine, which has a range of about 3,000 miles. The three newer, fully submersible vessels already captured were capable of hauling 10 tons of cocaine and, by surfacing at night to charge their batteries off the onboard diesel engine, could sail beneath the surface all the way from Ecuador to Los Angeles.

With the use of these craft on the rise, American officials say they fear that the trafficking networks are moving away from so-called fast boats, the high-powered fishing and leisure boats that can carry about a ton of cocaine and are easier to spot, to semi-submersible and fully submersible vessels that can surreptitiously carry many more tons of drugs, which are unloaded in shallow waters or transported to shore by small boats.

More troubling for American officials is their belief that these vessels could be used by terrorists to transport attackers or weapons, though they emphasize that no use of submersibles by militants has been detected.

Drug networks historically were organized to combine the tasks of production, transportation and distribution, and they have seen little reason to cooperate with terrorists. But these new advanced submarines are built in some cases by independent contractors who may be more willing to sell the vessels to anybody offering the right price.

“These vessels are seaworthy enough that I have no doubt in my mind that if they had enough fuel, they could easily sail into a port in the United States,” said Cmdr. Mark J. Fedor of the Coast Guard, who commands the cutter Mohawk, the 200-foot vessel whose fast boat and helicopter interdicted the submersible in the Caribbean last September.

In addition to the Coast Guard ships and aircraft patrolling the seas, the American effort includes a sophisticated command center that combines intelligence from across the United States government and from nations in the region, which are increasingly cooperating to battle cocaine trafficking.

This growing American counternarcotics effort is part of a larger shift to new missions for the nation’s security and intelligence agencies after a decade spent focused on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That mission to sort and analyze intelligence on drug trafficking and then coordinate the response occurs around the clock behind the walls of an interagency task force in Key West, which sent the intelligence report to Commander Fedor’s ship and coordinated its response.

The intelligence report, based on surveillance from a Coast Guard plane over the Caribbean and intelligence tidbits from nations in Latin America, said the submersible had left Colombia headed for Honduras.

Although the craft was 300 miles away, the Mohawk was the closest American vessel to it. So Commander Fedor immediately ordered his 100 crew members to direct the ship off Honduras to intercept the craft.

Cocaine-filled submarines and semi-submersible crafts “are the Super Bowl of counternarcotics,” Commander Fedor said. “When you hear one is moving, you say: ‘Wow. Game on.’ ”

After a day’s travel, the cutter got within a few miles of the craft and deployed the cutter’s fast boat and a helicopter.

Commander Fedor said that as they approached the submersible he was on the radio with the intelligence task force, getting up-to-the-second information on what the submersible was doing. He had similar conversations two weeks later as his ship was chasing another sophisticated submersible and had to fire on it to stop, a mission also set into motion by the intelligence fusion center in Key West.

Inside the command center, officially known as Joint Interagency Task Force-South, the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State and Defense are joined by intelligence agencies and liaison officers from more than a dozen nations to analyze threads of information on drug trafficking. The 600-person task force is in charge of cuing ships, aircraft and counternarcotics units on the ground for interdiction missions up and down the hemisphere.

The task force’s commander, Rear Adm. Charles D. Michel of the Coast Guard, said that drug interdictions for 2012 are already up more than 50 percent from a year ago. He attributed that to a counternarcotics coalition assembled at Key West that is trying innovative and aggressive measures to cut off drug traffickers leaving South America.

The current mission, called Operation Martillo, focuses on setting up interdiction “boxes” in two zones off the coast of South America where the drugs start their voyage, and two more just offshore of the favored transshipment points in Honduras and Guatemala, where the drugs are divided up into smaller shipments and harder to track.

Admiral Michel said that while the task force consists mostly of Americans, the end game is “getting to prosecution,” which requires working “by, with and through the local partners” in Central and South America.

In 2011, interdiction missions coordinated by the joint task force captured 129 tons of cocaine en route to the United States — more than five times the cocaine seized over the same period by operations in the United States, where agents and officers stopped about 24 tons of the drug.

Even so, three-quarters of potential drug shipments identified by the task force are not interdicted, simply because there are not enough ships and aircraft available for the missions. “My staff watches multi-ton loads go by,” Admiral Michel said.

Joint Interagency Task Force-South has been one of the United States government’s best-kept secrets, although it does exhibit a flair for dramatic symbolism — if you know what to look for.

Whenever the headquarters contributes intelligence to guide a mission that successfully interdicts a large cache of cocaine, a flag is raised in the yard. On the banner is a large image of a cocaine snowflake with a larger red “X” across the center.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

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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.