2 Ky. men acquitted of hate crimes in 1st prosecution under US law expanded to protect gays

October 25, 2012

The Washington Post on October 24, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press,

LONDON, Ky. — The first U.S. prosecution under a new federal law against anti-gay violence ended with a Kentucky jury acquitting two cousins of hate-crime charges while finding them guilty of kidnapping in a 2011 attack on a gay man.

Prosecutors had argued that Anthony Ray Jenkins and his cousin David Jason Jenkins attacked 29-year-old Kevin Pennington at a rural state park because of Pennington’s sexual orientation, violating a hate crime law that was expanded in 2009 to cover assaults motivated by bias against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

It was not clear why jurors late Wednesday rejected that argument. They were whisked away immediately after delivering the verdicts and did not make any comments.

Anthony Jenkins’ attorney, Willis Coffey, said after the trial that jurors didn’t find Pennington’s account of the events credible.

“You’d like to have an acquittal on all counts, but he’s happy he was found not guilty of a hate crime,” Coffey said of his client. “So am I.”

Prosecutors said they would issue a statement later.

Government attorneys have said this is the first U.S. prosecution charging a violation of the sexual orientation section of the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in 2009.

Pennington held hands with family members and let out an audible sigh when the not-guilty verdicts on the hate-crimes charges were announced. He left the courtroom without talking to news reporters.

Jimmy Jenkins, an uncle who raised Anthony Jenkins, dropped his head into his hands and cried when the cousins were found guilty on the charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to a kidnapping. They are scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 21.

Throughout the trial, the defense argued that any dispute between the Jenkinses and Pennington was over a drug deal gone sour.

Andrew Stephens, the attorney for David Jason Jenkins, argued that his client had at least 21 beers on the day of the assault and was too drunk to have formulated a plan for such an attack.

“These people who were stoned and drunk were going to form a plan? When this event took place, they were all about drugs,” Stephens said.

Coffee argued that Anthony Jenkins has an IQ of roughly 75 and was merely a follower who does not hate gay people. He called the allegations “the nearest thing to nothing I have ever seen.”

Coffey said Pennington pushed the idea that he was attacked for being gay to serve his own political agenda. Coffey invoked the name of President Barack Obama, who is unpopular in Kentucky and lost badly in the state four years ago.

“If the government and President Obama want to bow to the special-interest groups, that’s their business, but they picked the wrong case,” Coffey said.

U.S. Justice Department civil rights attorney AeJean Cha told jurors that the Jenkins cousins and two women planned to kidnap, beat and kill Pennington because of his sexual orientation.

“This is not about drugs, this is about the fact that Kevin is gay,” Cha said.

Hawkins also played a tape of Pennington’s 911 call after the attack. On the tape, Pennington’s voice can be heard cracking as he tries to describe the attack and relay information about the Jenkinses.

“They’re trying to kill me,” Pennington told the 911 operator on April 4, 2011. “I didn’t know what they were going to do. I think it’s because I’m gay.””

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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

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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.


FBI raids Glenville apartment

June 6, 2012

TimesUnion.com on June 6, 2012 released the following:

“By Paul Nelson

GLENVILLE — A fugitive wanted for his alleged role in a 2009 drug-related killing in South Florida was among three people nabbed by FBI agents during a Tuesday morning raid of an apartment not far from the local police department, according to authorities and court documents.

Gilberto Santiesteban Jr. faces federal charges of kidnapping resulting in a death and aiding and abetting in the abduction and slaying of a man named Fidel Ruz Moreno, according to the criminal complaint and affidavits.

The legal documents states that Moreno, 35, was among of group that allegedly forced their way into and stole a large amount of pot from one of the places in Miami Dade County that Santiesteban and members of his family had been running a major hydroponic marijuana growing operation.

In June 2009, several members of the drug syndicate are accused of carjacking, kidnapping, and killing Moreno, who they identified through surveillance footage of being involved in the home invasion and robbery, the criminal complaint indicates.

Santiesteban and two others identified as Alejandro Pimentel, 46, and Estrella Mijares, 29, were nabbed at an apartment on Glenridge Road Tuesday morning. It’s unclear how the trio ended up in Glenville.

Pimentel and Mijares, are charged with federal conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants and aiding and abetting, for their alleged role in the drug operation from January of 2004 to May 2012. Mijares is described in court papers as Santiesteban’s “paramour.”

In all, five defendants face federal kidnapping with death resulting charges while a total of 11 face narcotics offenses for their part in the pot growing business.

The FBI Office in Albany confirmed Tuesday that they conducted an “operation” in Glenville but declined to elaborate, citing the investigation is ongoing. FBI agents were assisted by Glenville 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

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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.


Chicago fugitive added to FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list

June 6, 2012

Chicago Tribune on June 6, 2012 released the following:

“Suspect charged with 1998 murder, sex assaults

By Ryan Haggerty, Chicago Tribune reporter

Fidel Urbina, a former Chicagoan who faces charges he sexually assaulted two women and killed one of them, purportedly has used false identities to elude a global manhunt for 14 years.

On Tuesday, the FBI added Urbina to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, hoping the national attention it generates will produce new leads in a case that has been cold for years. The FBI is also offering up to $100,000 for information leading to his discovery and arrest.

“We have no idea since he’s been gone… how many other things he may be involved in,” Robert Grant, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office, said during a news conference. “… If he’s in Mexico, if he’s in Texas, if he’s in Arizona, he’s a threat to any individual down there, and the sooner we can apprehend him, the better off everybody will be.”

Urbina takes the place on the most-wanted list of Adam Christopher Mayes, who was wanted in the murder of a woman and her daughter and the kidnapping of the woman’s two small children from their home in Tennessee, Grant said. Mayes killed himself last month when he was confronted by authorities.

Urbina was briefly in custody in 1998 after he was charged with kidnapping, beating and raping a Chicago woman, Grant said. But he was released after one of his girlfriends posted a bond of only $7,000, according to court records. He then allegedly assaulted and murdered another woman — Gabriella Torres, 22 — while awaiting trial.

Torres’ body was found in the trunk of a burned Chevrolet Lumina in the Gage Park neighborhood in October 1998. A week later, Urbina failed to appear for a court date on the first sexual assault charges.

Urbina was charged in Torres’ murder in 2006. Federal authorities relied on family informants to trace him to his hometown in Durango, Mexico, and a Mexican magistrate signed a provisional arrest warrant for him in 2006. But for reasons that are not clear, Urbina was never captured.

His last known address was in the 2100 block of South Fairfield Avenue in the Little Village neighborhood.

Even before he became a fugitive, Urbina, who never became a U.S. citizen, was adept at sliding between aliases. He used names such as Lorenzo Maes, Fidel Urbina Aquirre and Fernando Ramos, along with birth dates in 1975 and 1980, authorities said.

Urbina has been featured on local and national television shows, including “America’s Most Wanted,” Grant said. Viewers reported seeing him in various locations in the U.S. and Mexico, Grant said, but none of the leads panned out.

Now the FBI hopes that by adding his name to its most-wanted list — the 497th fugitive added since it was established in 1950 — people who know where he is will come forward, Grant said.

“We will keep hunting for him until he’s either confirmed dead or he’s in somebody’s hands,” he said.”

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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.


119 Individuals Charged in Three Countywide Law Enforcement Operations

January 26, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 25, 2012 released the following:

“Two Mexican Mafia Members and 117 San Diego County, California Street Gang Members and Associates with Ties to the Mexican Mafia Charged with Racketeering Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking Violations, and Firearms Offenses

119 Individuals Charged in Three Countywide Law Enforcement Operations

SAN DIEGO—A federal grand jury in San Diego has handed up 17 indictments and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California has filed eight criminal complaints charging a total of 119 defendants with federal racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking violations, and federal firearm offenses, announced U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura E. Duffy.

U.S. Attorney Duffy said, “The cases unsealed today make communities stronger and safer. The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to an anti-gang, anti-violence strategy built on close coordination between federal, state and local officials. This coordination provides better intelligence about street gangs and violent crime within our communities. And better intelligence means better law enforcement and prosecutions.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Keith Slotter commented, “Today’s arrests mark one of the largest single takedowns in San Diego FBI history. The FBI and our law enforcement partners stand unified in our efforts to protect this county from the violence, drug trafficking and extortion schemes employed by the Mexican Mafia and its affiliates. San Diego is inherently safer today because of the cooperation between our agencies working together to disrupt and dismantle the criminal activities of these dangerous individuals.”

“This is a traditional case of dishonor amongst thieves,” commented San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. “Gangs were made to pay ‘taxes’ in order to facilitate their trafficking and violent behavior. We answered with a one-two punch: a strong and experienced multi-agency investigation, armed with the RICO statute. The results speak for themselves.”

The charges stem from three investigations entitled, “Operation Notorious County,” “Operation Carnalismo,” and “Operation 12-Step.”

“Operation Notorious County”

The indictments are the result of an 18-month-long investigation entitled, “Operation Notorious County,” led by the North County Regional Gang Task force. Eight indictments charging 51 individuals, including one charging 40 defendants with participating in a federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) conspiracy were unsealed today. All five indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury sitting in San Diego on Jan. 19, 2012. The RICO conspiracy alleged in the indictment involves the commission of both state and federal crimes, including attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, money laundering, and drug trafficking violations. As set forth in the indictment, the defendants are members, associates and facilitators of violent street gangs operating primarily in north San Diego County under the auspices of the Mexican Mafia or “La Eme.” The gangs named in the indictment include the Diablos and West Side gangs, based in Escondido, Calif., as well as the Varrio San Marcos and the Varrio Fallbrook Locos. The individuals named in the indictment were involved in a long-standing criminal enterprise used to extort money by threat or violence. The money was then sent on to high-ranking members of the Mexican Mafia, including defendant Rudy Espudo. The indictment alleges that Espudo is a validated member of the Mexican Mafia who oversees their activities throughout much of northern San Diego County.

“Operation Carnalismo”

In “Operation Carnalismo,” led by the Violent Crime Task Force-Gang Group, a group of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents led by the FBI, five indictments charging 36 individuals were unsealed today. Eight defendants are charged in one indictment with a conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO), violent crime in aid of racketeering (VCAR), distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin and criminal forfeiture. Four additional indictments, charging 28 defendants were also unsealed. These related indictments charge distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and criminal forfeiture. All five indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury sitting in San Diego on Jan. 24, 2012, and unsealed today. The RICO indictment charges the criminal enterprise was run by Mexican Mafia member Salvador Colabella. Colabella and his associates conspired to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, extorted and robbed others, and laundered drug-trafficking proceeds. Colabella and his associates collected the extortion payments through the threat of violence and the commission of violence. According to the indictment, the Mexican Mafia has about 200 members, but its reach extends to thousands of Hispanic street-gang members in Southern California. A Mexican Mafia member is the highest level one can attain in the Mexican Mafia. A member, also called “Brother” or “Carnal” or “Tio,” controls, exploits and profits from the criminal activity conducted by street-gang members and others. This control over the criminal activity is enforced through acts of violence or the threat of violence.

“Operation 12-Step”

This year-long investigation, known as “Operation 12-Step,” was led by the East County Regional Gang Task Force, a group of federal and state law enforcement led by the FBI and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Operation 12-Step focused on gang-related methamphetamine distribution activities in San Diego County. Today four indictments and eight complaints were unsealed charging 32 individuals with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to court records, individuals charged in this investigation belong to nine different criminal street gangs including Varrio Chula Vista, East Side Piru, Old Town National City, Shelltown, National City Locos, Imperial Beach Imperials, Paradise Hills, Varrio Encanto Locos and National City Block Boys. Between Feb. 22, 2011, and Dec. 13, 2011, law enforcement made more than 20 methamphetamine and heroin seizures in connection with this investigation. In addition, search warrants were executed at eight residences in San Diego; Spring Valley, Calif.; National City, Calif.; Imperial Beach, Calif.; and Chula Vista, Calif..

U.S. Attorney Duffy praised the coordinated effort of the law enforcement agencies of the Violent Crimes Task Force-Gang Group, the East County and North County Regional Gang Task Forces under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the coordinated team effort culminating in the charges filed in these cases. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against major drug trafficking.

The cases are being investigated by the FBI, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the National City, Calif., Police Department; the San Diego Police Department; the Escondido, Calif., Police Department; the Carlsbad, Calif., Police Department; the U.S. Marshals Service; the La Mesa, Calif., Police Department; the El Cajon, Calif., Police Department; the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Bureau of Prisons; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; the San Diego County Probation Department; Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations; and Customs and Border Protection-United States Border Patrol.

The cases are being prosecuted in San Diego federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Mazza, Jaime Parks, Fred Sheppard and Tara McGrath.

An indictment or a complaint are not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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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 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.


Six Arrested in Connection with Alleged Kidnapping and Death of Atlantic City Woman

October 19, 2011

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

“CAMDEN, NJ— Six South Jersey residents charged by complaint in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a 20-year-old Atlantic City woman last March were arrested today, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

A team of more than 50 federal, state, county, and local law enforcement officers executed a series of federal arrest warrants early this morning in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Nadirah Ruffin.

According to the complaints, the victim was with four other women in a private residence in Atlantic City on March 26, 2011, when a number of intruders wearing masks and dark hooded sweatshirts and armed with handguns entered the residence. The intruders bound and blindfolded the women, then searched the residence for drugs and money. At least two of the women were pistol-whipped by the intruders, who remained for 30 to 40 minutes before leaving, taking Nadirah Ruffin with them. Her body was found in the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia on April 19, 2011. An autopsy revealed she died from a gunshot wound.

Three Atlantic City residents—a woman and two men—were taken into custody this morning on federal warrants in connection with Nadirah Ruffin’s death. They were charged with kidnapping resulting in the victim’s death, robbery, and weapons offenses. Shamerria Smith, 24, Aziz Sanders, 18, and Deshawn Hicks, 19, will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider this afternoon.

Two other men were arrested and charged with tampering with a potential witness in connection with the investigation. Henry Ruffin, 40, of Williamstown, and Ronnie Ruffin, 42, of Lindenwold (neither of whom are related to Nadirah Ruffin), are accused of using physical force and threats of physical force to prevent a witness from providing information to the FBI and other investigating officers. Ronnie Ruffin is defendant Smith’s father. Henry Ruffin is an uncle to defendants Smith, Sanders, and Isiah Ruffin.

Isiah Ruffin (no relation to Nadirah Ruffin), 20, of Atlantic City, was arrested and charged with giving false information to FBI special agents who were investigating the disappearance and death of Nadirah Ruffin.

“The kidnapping and murder allegations in the complaint detail an indifference to human life that is shocking,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “The complaint describes how associates of those responsible attempted to use threats, violence, and lies to prevent us from finding and arresting the suspects. We are grateful for the tireless and cooperative investigative work of the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the FBI, which ultimately led to the arrests of all of those involved.”

“This investigation is of utmost importance to the FBI Safe Street Task Force due to aspects of home invasion, robbery, kidnapping, and the senseless murder of a young woman and mother,” Michael B. Ward, Special Agent In Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division, said. “Such acts of violence will not be tolerated and will be met forcefully by the united efforts of law enforcement. Today’s arrests of six subjects believed to be responsible for this extreme violence are an example of that commitment, and would not have been possible without close coordination and partnership with the Atlantic City Police Department, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Philadelphia Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. We also would like to recognize the Philadelphia Division of the FBI for their assistance in today’s arrests.”

“I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI for their supercession of this investigation at the federal level,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel said. “Our agency is pleased to have partnered with federal authorities in this interstate cooperative endeavor not only so as to pool resources in this complicated investigation, but additionally to be able to potentially seek more serious penalties, which a federal prosecution can result in under the appropriate circumstances.”

“This is a very significant arrest,” Deputy Chief Ernest Jubilee, Commander of the Atlantic City Police Department, said. “This is the most significant series of arrests made in one case this year. It was a tragic occurrence and I’m glad that the collaborative effort put forth by all agencies has resulted in these arrests.”

The arrests were the culmination of an intensive investigation by the Atlantic City office of the FBI, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Atlantic City Police Department. Members of FBI SWAT – Newark and Philadelphia; FBI Evidence Response Team; N.J. State Police TEAMS;” Atlantic City Police Department SWAT Team and detectives; the Philadelphia office of the FBI; and the N.J. State Police participated in today’s arrest operation.

The defendants, charges, and potential maximum sentences are as follows:

Defendant Charges Maximum potential penalty
Shamerria Smith (1)  

Count 1—Hobbs Act Robbery

 

Count 2—Kidnapping

 

Count 3—Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence

 

 

20 years in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Death penalty eligible; $250,000 fine

 

Mandatory minimum five years in prison; Maximum, life in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Aziz Sanders (2)  

Count 1—Hobbs Act Robbery

 

Count 2—Kidnapping

 

Count 3—Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence

 

 

20 years in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Death penalty eligible; $250,000 fine

 

Mandatory minimum five years in prison; Maximum, life in prison; $250,000 fine

 

DeShawn Hicks (3)  

Count 1—Hobbs Act Robbery

 

Count 2—Kidnapping

 

Count 3—Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence

 

 

20 years in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Death penalty eligible; $250,000 fine

 

Mandatory minimum five years in prison; Maximum, life in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Isiah Ruffin (4) Count 4—False Statements Five years prison; $250,000 fine
Henry Ruffin (5) Count 5—Witness Tampering 20 years in prison; $250,000 fine
Ronnie Ruffin (6) Count 5—Witness Tampering 20 years in prison; $250,000 fine

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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

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.


More than 2,900 convicted criminal immigrants arrested, ICE says

September 29, 2011

CNN on September 29, 2011 released the following:

“By the CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) — In a huge, seven-day operation covering all 50 states and four U.S. territories, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 2,901 convicted criminal immigrants as part of the “Cross Check” enforcement operation, ICE officials announced Wednesday.

ICE officials trumpeted the arrests at a news conference designed to highlight “the Obama administration’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators.”

ICE Director John Morton said all those arrested had prior criminal convictions, including 1,282 who had multiple convictions. More than 1,600 of those arrested had felony convictions including manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors and aggravated assault. Forty-two of them were gang members and 151 were convicted sex offenders, officials said.

ICE officials acknowledged that despite the large number of arrests, there were still an estimated 1 million convicted criminal aliens in the United States. Morton said one of the issues ICE is trying to deal with is the lack of notification to immigration authorities when offenders are released from jail.

Most of the people detained — 2,642 — were men. Those arrested came from 115 countries, with immigration fugitives accounting for 681 of those detained in the operation, Morton said. Of the people arrested, 386 were illegal re-entrants.

“The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE’s ongoing commitment and focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and those that game our nation’s immigration system,” Morton in a statement released before the news conference. “Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents in tracking down at large criminal aliens and fugitives, there are 2,901 fewer criminal aliens in our neighborhoods across the country.”

ICE began conducting large-scale operations to target convicted criminal aliens in December 2009 and since then, nine regional and national Cross Check operations — including last week’s — have resulted in the arrest of more than 7,400 convicted criminal aliens.”

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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Ricky L. Wedgeworth and Darian “Drake” Pierce Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Alleged Kidnapping, Carjacking Conspiracy

September 10, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 9, 2011 released the following:

“Two Men Indicted for Kidnapping, Carjacking Conspiracy

JACKSON, MS— Ricky L. Wedgeworth, 36, of Memphis, Tennessee, and Darian “Drake” Pierce, 34, of Bogalusa, Louisiana, have been indicted by a federal grand jury, U.S. Attorney John Dowdy and Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today. The two men are charged with kidnapping, carjacking, interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, carjacking, and the interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle. If convicted, they could each be eligible for the death penalty.

According to the indictment, on or about March 7, 2011, Wedgeworth and Pierce went to the Fairfield Inn in Vicksburg, Mississippi, for the purpose of stealing a motor vehicle. The two physically assaulted and forcibly detained the victim, David Cupps, and placed him in a red 2011 Buick Enclave. After Wedgeworth and Pierce carjacked and kidnapped the victim, they brought about the death of the victim and drove the victim in the red 2011 Buick Enclave from Warren County, Mississippi to Jefferson County, Alabama.

The charges are the result of a joint investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police, Vicksburg Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Bessemer Police Department, and other state and local law enforcement agencies.

Dowdy noted that, as in any criminal case, a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The charges filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.”

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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