“Dallas County Man Charged in Federal Complaint with Unlawfully Entering Restricted Area of Dallas Love Field Airport”

May 2, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 1, 2013 released the following:

“DALLAS— Ruben Jimenez Martinez, 36, of Garland, Texas, appeared in federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez on a federal criminal complaint stemming from his unauthorized entrance into a restricted area of Dallas Love Field Airport on Sunday evening, April 28, 2013. He was ordered detained. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Specifically, the felony complaint charges Jimenez with entering aircraft or an airport area in violation of security requirements. The offense as charged, upon conviction, carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to the complaint filed, Jimenez, driving a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, pulled onto the Dallas Love Field Airport property where private aircrafts are housed. Jimenez approached the gate of a general aviation aircraft business and began pressing buttons on the gate’s access pad. While an employee opened the gate to engage Jimenez through the vehicle’s window, another employee parked his company SUV on the air operations side of the gate to prevent unauthorized vehicles from entering the restricted area. As that employee began to open the door of his vehicle, Jimenez evaded the vehicle and maneuvered around it at a high rate of speed.

Jimenez proceeded onto and down Taxiway Alpha at speeds estimated to be in excess of 100 miles per hour. The business’ employees were unable to catch up with Jimenez and requested assistance. Jimenez’s Tahoe was ultimately located at Associated Air Hanger 3. Jimenez walked through the hanger and, when officers with the Dallas Police Department arrived and cuffed him, he attempted to break free and additional officers arrived to assist in restraining him. Jimenez was arrested and agreed to speak to law enforcement. He advised that he believed God had directed him to Dallas Love Field and, that while he was in the hanger, he yelled “in the name of Jesus” three times.

A federal criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. The U.S. Attorney’s office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

The matter is being investigated by the FBI, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and the Dallas Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Errin Martin is in charge of the prosecution.”

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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.


Texas: Man Detained at Airport Is a Green Beret

January 3, 2012

The New York Times on January 3, 2012 released the following:

“By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A man arrested Saturday with explosives at Midland International Airport is an Army-trained demolitions expert and member of the elite Green Berets who served in Afghanistan, military officials said Monday. Trey Scott Atwater, 30, was being held on a federal charge of attempting to board an aircraft with an explosive, the F.B.I. said. He is an Army sergeant first class, assigned as an instructor at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Ft. Bragg, N.C. Sergeant Atwater was detained after a routine Transportation Security Administration agent noticed he had explosives in his carry-on luggage while trying to board an American Eagle flight to Dallas, the F.B.I. said. Michael Martinez, an F.B.I. spokesman, declined to say what type of explosive Sergeant Atwater was carrying, or the quantity. It is not known whether he was in uniform at the time.”

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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.


Text messages help expose LAX marijuana smuggling ring

October 18, 2011

Los Angeles Times on October 18, 2011 released the following:

By: Rick Rojas and Richard Winton

“Authorities have revealed text messages used by two people involved in an alleged marijuana smuggling ring at Los Angeles International Airport.

The son of a former Los Angeles fire chief was charged Monday with bribing a federal Transportation Security Administration officer at LAX to help him smuggle about 14 pounds of marijuana past security on nine separate trips.

Millage Peaks IV, 23, admitted to FBI agents that he and his associates made the trips with the aid of a TSA officer, whom they paid nearly $6,000 in bribes to avoid detection, according to an FBI affidavit.

Peaks and TSA Officer Dianne Perez were arrested on bribery charges Sunday after what the FBI said was his most recent attempt. A baggage handler smelled marijuana in the luggage and alerted authorities, who found 14 pounds of marijuana.

Text messages from cellphones Peaks turned over to the FBI show Peaks had sent a number of text messages to Perez. In a message dated Oct. 7, he wrote: “He made it coo. Thanx soo much. U have no clue how clutch u r. Without u none of this would b possible….Ill have ur 700 Monday maybe earlier.”
In another, dated Sept. 30, he wrote: “500$ tom night. Good looks.”

In interviews with authorities, Peaks offered a detailed explanation of the system devised by him and Perez to get drugs aboard planes.

On Sunday, he met Perez outside the terminal and checked in for his American Airlines flight to Boston. He then gave her the two pieces of checked luggage, which Perez took to a TSA screening room, according to an affidavit from federal investigators.

She returned three minutes later and waved, an indication that “everything is good,” he said. He also said that Perez taught him how to pack his bags in order to avoid detection.”

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.


At Logan Airport, a New Office Dedicated to Fighting Terrorism Opens

August 30, 2011

The Boston Globe on August 30, 2011 released the following:

“By Milton J. Valencia and John R. Ellement, Globe Staff

The FBI and Massport today announced the first airport-based office in the nation dedicated to fighting terrorism has opened at Logan Airport, the site of two aircraft hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001.

The on-site office, which formally opened in July, will be used by eight federal, state and local law enforcement agencies which participate in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“It’s one new level of security for this airport and for the country,’’ said Massport official Edward Freni. “It has the physical presence for all agencies here to respond and communicate quickly. ‘’

Freni and other officials said the office will not impact travelers directly, and will not be a visible part of the security procedures at Logan.

Richard DesLauriers, FBI Special agent-in-charge of the Boston office, said that it was “essential to have all our partners here together. No one agency can accomplish this important task alone.’’

The 9/11 hijackings led to massive changes in security procedures in daily life and at airports where a new agency, the Transportation Security Administration was created in its aftermath.

George Niccara, federal security director for the TSA office that covers Logan, said the tragedy of 9/11 identified numerous areas where Americans will vulnerable to attack by terrorists.

Since then, however, Niccara said, “there are multiple vulnerabilities that have been addressed by the agencies’’ participating at the Logan anti-terrorism office.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN 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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Minnetta Walker an Ex-TSA Officer Admits to Aiding Drug Suspects Through the Buffalo Niagara International Airport

August 29, 2011

The Buffalo News on August 26, 2011 released the following:

“By Dan Herbeck

Says she helped them get through security

A former federal security officer admitted Friday that she helped members of a local drug gang smuggle cash through the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Minnetta Walker, who was arrested in March after an 11-month investigation, admitted that she helped an alleged member of the drug ring use a fake name for traveling and helped him bypass security scanners at the airport.

The 43-year-old Buffalo woman also admitted that she once warned two of the man’s alleged drug associates that federal agents were tailing them in the airport.

The case raises disturbing questions:

  • Did Walker, an employee of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, act alone?
  • Is her case an indication of serious security problems at the airport?
  • If Buffalo drug dealers can evade airport security to smuggle cash, could terrorists use the same methods to smuggle dangerous weapons or substances?

Federal officials said they could not provide specific answers to those questions Friday afternoon, but no other officials of the TSA or the airport are charged in the case, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.

Hochul said he hopes the case will cause the TSA to take a close look at security at airports in Buffalo and other cities, to determine whether improvements need to be made.

“It is certainly of concern to the Department of Justice,” said Hochul, the region’s chief federal prosecutor. “I would certainly recommend that there be an ongoing review … There definitely needs to be a learning experience [for] all of us.”

The tactics Walker used are being closely examined to make sure others cannot repeat them, said George W. Gast, who oversees airport security as chief of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police.

Walker was arrested after an investigation by Buffalo agents of the FBI, NFTA Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

In a related case Thursday, a former employee of the Buffalo city clerk’s office pleaded guilty to a felony, admitting that she made up a false birth certificate that an alleged drug dealer, Derek Frank, used for interstate travel.

Regina McCullen, 53, a former customer assistant who was fired by the city in May, pleaded guilty to an identity fraud conspiracy charge.

The Buffalo News learned that at least one other person — an individual who is close to McCullen and works for an airline — is also expected to be charged criminally in the case.

Walker has not been charged with receiving payoffs or gratuities of any kind from the drug traffickers she helped, Hochul said. The prosecutor said he really doesn’t know at this point why Walker did it.

When District Judge Richard J. Arcara asked Walker why she helped the drug dealers, she had little information for him.

“I don’t know … I wasn’t thinking,” she said.

But her court-appointed attorney, James DeMatteo, said Walker told him she did have a reason, and it wasn’t money.

“She told me that Derek Frank is a close friend of her family, and that she did this for one reason — to help a friend,” DeMatteo said. “I know the government doesn’t believe her, but I don’t know of one piece of evidence they have that she got money from any of these guys. She certainly hasn’t been out buying expensive cars or jewelry.”

Walker is sorry for her actions, and after taking her plea, she “burst into tears” in a courthouse elevator and “was almost out of control,” DeMatteo said.

“She’s made a huge mistake. She’s lost an excellent job with a decent paycheck and excellent benefits,” DeMatteo said.

Before the TSA fired her after her arrest, Walker told a judge she made about $40,000 annually as a behavioral detection officer at the airport.

Her job was to walk around the airport, looking for suspicious individuals who might be planning some criminal activity. Instead, she admitted she spent at least some of her working hours accompanying drug suspects as they walked through security checkpoints without undergoing close examination of themselves or their carry-on luggage.

Because Walker was close by Frank’s side, other TSA workers let him slide through the checkpoints with a minimum of scrutiny, authorities said.

According to a TSA spokeswoman, Lisa Farbstein, it would be unfair for Walker’s actions to reflect on more than 47,000 TSA workers who work to ensure the safety of travelers.

TSA worked closely with federal prosecutors and agents on the probe, Farbstein said.

“The agency aggressively investigates all allegations of misconduct,” Farbstein said. She said the agency has a “zero tolerance” approach to illegal actions such as Walker’s.

While Walker is believed to be the first TSA worker to be criminally charged in Buffalo, the agency has had scandals in other cities.

In February, two TSA officers at Kennedy International Airport were charged with stealing $39,000 from a piece of luggage. A TSA supervisor in Newark, N.J., was charged last year with stealing thousands of dollars from foreign passengers, mostly people who could not speak English.

After an internal investigation in June, the TSA announced that it would seek the termination of 30 workers at the Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii. The probe focused on the improper screening of passenger baggage.

Speaking about the Buffalo probe on Friday, Hochul commended the work of the lead prosecutor on the case, Mary Catherine Baumgarten.

Under advisory sentencing guidelines, Walker faces a federal prison term in the probable range of 18 to 24 months. She pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the federal government.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Army Private Charged with Attempting to Board Flight While Possessing Small Amount of Explosive

July 14, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on July 14, 2011 released the following:

“YUMA, AZ—United States Army Private First Class Christopher Eric Wey, 19, was arrested and charged today with Attempt to Carry an Explosive on an Aircraft and Transportation of a Stolen Explosive.

On Wednesday, July 13, Wey attempted to board a United Airlines flight from Yuma, Ariz., to Los Angeles. During a standard Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening at the Yuma International Airport, security officers detected the presence of explosives in Wey’s baggage. TSA personnel subsequently found one-half ounce of C4 explosive hidden in a tobacco can inside one of Wey’s bags. Wey was detained for investigation, and interviewed by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Complaint alleges that Wey stole the C4 while attending a recent explosive training course. Authorities found no evidence to believe that Wey intended any harm with the small amount of explosives in his possession.

A conviction for Attempt to Carry an Explosive on an Aircraft and Transportation of a Stolen Explosive carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. In determining an actual sentence, the sentencing judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by John Boyle, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER: CR-11-9699-M
RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-149(Wey)”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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