Wilmot — Missing youth: Help the RCMP find Isabelle Whynot

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Annapolis District RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 15-year-old Isabelle Whynot, who was last seen on Danny St. in Wilmot on July 2.

Whynot is described as 5-foot-3, 90lbs, has black hair and brown eyes. Whynot was last seen wearing white/black/grey pyjama pants and a black hoodie. It is believed that Whynot had with her a camouflage backpack at the time of her disappearance.

When someone goes missing, it has deep and far-reaching impacts for the person and those that know them. We ask that people spread the word through social media respectfully.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Isabelle Whynot is asked to contact Annapolis District RCMP at 902-825-2000. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

File: 2022-917196

Note: Photos of Isabelle Whynot are attached.

Wilmot — Missing youth: Help the RCMP find Isabelle Whynot

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Annapolis District RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 15-year-old Isabelle Whynot, who was last seen on Danny St. in Wilmot on July 2.

Whynot is described as 5-foot-3, 90lbs, has black hair and brown eyes. Whynot was last seen wearing white/black/grey pyjama pants and a black hoodie. It is believed that Whynot had with her a camouflage backpack at the time of her disappearance.

When someone goes missing, it has deep and far-reaching impacts for the person and those that know them. We ask that people spread the word through social media respectfully.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Isabelle Whynot is asked to contact Annapolis District RCMP at 902-825-2000. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

File: 2022-917196

Note: Photos of Isabelle Whynot are attached.

Rapid City Business Owner Sentenced for Not Paying Employee Taxes

Source: United States Department of Justice

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, man convicted of Failure to Withhold, Properly Account for, and Pay Over Tax was sentenced on June 30, 2022, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Frank Morrison, age 72, was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $200,000 fine, $684,927.56 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund

Morrison was charged on March 18, 2022, and pleaded guilty on April 1, 2022. The conviction stems from Morrison, while the owner of Thirsty’s Bar and Restaurant in Rapid City, failing to pay over taxes to the IRS after he withheld those taxes from his employees from 2008 through 2020. Morrison then used a large portion of those funds for his own personal use.

The investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson prosecuted the case.

Morrison was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Rapid City Business Owner Sentenced for Not Paying Employee Taxes

Source: United States Department of Justice

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, man convicted of Failure to Withhold, Properly Account for, and Pay Over Tax was sentenced on June 30, 2022, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Frank Morrison, age 72, was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $200,000 fine, $684,927.56 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund

Morrison was charged on March 18, 2022, and pleaded guilty on April 1, 2022. The conviction stems from Morrison, while the owner of Thirsty’s Bar and Restaurant in Rapid City, failing to pay over taxes to the IRS after he withheld those taxes from his employees from 2008 through 2020. Morrison then used a large portion of those funds for his own personal use.

The investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson prosecuted the case.

Morrison was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Allen Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Second Degree Murder

Source: United States Attorneys General 11

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that an Allen, South Dakota, woman convicted of Second Degree Murder was sentenced on June 30, 2022, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Jonnie Fineran, age 20, was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Fineran was indicted by a federal grand jury in August of 2020 and pleaded guilty on April 8, 2022. The murder charge stemmed from Fineran, acting with a juvenile cohort, killing a man by stabbing him repeatedly with a knife in July 2020 in Manderson, South Dakota.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson prosecuted the case.

Fineran was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

New Orleans Man Indicted for Violations of the Federal Gun Control Act

Source: United States Attorneys General 7

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – COREY HALE, age 32, a resident of New Orleans, was charged on June 30, 2022 in a four-count indictment by a federal grand jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

If convicted, HALE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a fine of up to $250,000.00, up to three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.  

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

U. S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police, and the New Orleans Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Trummel.

Bellevue Man Sentenced to 48 Months for Distributing Fentanyl

Source: United States Attorneys General 6

BOISE – On Friday, July 1, 2022, Dakota James Hoffman, 29, of Bellevue, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for distribution of fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced. 

According to court records, Hoffman distributed oxycodone pills to a man with the initials A.K. who overdosed on fentanyl on April 2, 2020.  A review of A.K.’s digital communications revealed that Hoffman had distributed oxycodone pills to A.K. approximately two weeks prior to the overdose.  A subsequent investigation revealed that the oxycodone pills contained fentanyl.  Additional investigation into Hoffman uncovered a separate incident where he distributed a fake oxycodone pill containing fentanyl to another individual that resulted in a non-fatal overdose.  For his distribution, Hoffman was charged with distributing fentanyl, and he pleaded guilty on March 1, 2022.

U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson of the Eastern District of Arkansas, sitting by designation, imposed the sentence and ordered Hoffman to serve three years of supervised release to follow his incarceration.  Hoffman was further ordered to pay restitution to the family of A.K. 

U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bellevue Marshals Office.  Their investigation of this matter led to the successful prosecution of this case.

“Fentanyl is unlike any other drug threat we have faced,” Hurwit said.  “No part of our nation has been able to escape from the spread of this poison.  We must continue to speak out to make sure all Idahoans know about the threat of fentanyl-related overdose and poisoning.  And we will hold accountable those who risk the lives of others by distributing this deadly drug.”   

Only two milligrams of fentanyl is considered a potentially lethal dose, and it’s particularly dangerous for someone who does not have a tolerance to opioids.

According to the CDC, 107,375 people in the United States died of drug overdoses and drug poisonings in the 12-month period ending in January 2022.  Such deaths are now the leading cause of death for adults aged 18-45, and a staggering 67 percent of those deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.  Some of these deaths were attributed to fentanyl mixed with other illicit drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, with many users unaware they were actually taking fentanyl.  

For more information about fentanyl and counterfeit pills, visit https://www.dea.gov/onepill

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Owasso Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder After Fatal Methamphetamine Fueled Auto Collision

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) State Crime Alerts (c)

An Owasso man who drove under the influence of methamphetamine and caused a crash that killed another driver pleaded guilty in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Bradley Wade Wofford, 35, pleaded guilty to second degree felony murder in Indian Country on June 15, 2022.

On June 10, 2019, Wofford was driving a Ford F-150 on U.S. 412 near County Road 4180 when an accident further down the road caused traffic to slow. Wofford failed to follow suit and rear-ended victim Scotty Dilbeck’s Volkswagon, killing him. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol calculated that Wofford had been driving approximately 66 mph when he struck Dilbeck, who was driving 11 mph.

Prior to the collision, Wofford had also been convicted of driving under the influence.

The FBI and Oklahoma Highway Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Buscemi is prosecuting the case.

New Orleans Woman Pleads Guilty to Misprision of Felony

Source: United States Attorneys General 7

NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that ASHLEY OVERTON, age 36, of New Orleans, pled guilty on June 30, 2022 to misprision of felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 4.

According to court documents, as a part of a narcotics drug trafficking investigation, OVERTON failed to notify law enforcement authorities of criminal activity and performed acts to conceal a crime.

OVERTON faces a maximum sentence of 3 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to 1 year of supervised release and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”). OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Privitera and Jonathan L. Shih are in charge of the prosecution.

U.S. Attorney Announces Two Additional Indictments as Part of COVID-19 Relief Fraud Strike Force

Source: United States Attorneys General 12

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, has announced two new indictments resulting from the COVID-19 Relief Fraud Strike Force launched by the U.S. Attorney’s Office earlier this year. The Indictments were recently unsealed.

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. The CARES Act provided a number of programs through which eligible small businesses could request and obtain relief funding intended to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic for small and local businesses. One such program, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provided government-backed loans to small businesses which could be forgiven so long as the proceeds were used for payroll and other eligible expenses. Another program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, provided low interest loans that could be deferred until the conclusion of the pandemic to provide “bridge” funding for small businesses to maintain their operations during shutdowns and other economic circumstances caused by the pandemic. The PPP and EIDL programs have provided billions of dollars in aid, the vast majority of which have not been paid back, including hundreds of millions of dollars disbursed within Eastern Washington.

“COVID-19 relief programs quickly ran out of money due to the number of people and businesses that requested funding, which meant that some deserving small businesses were not able to obtain funding to keep their businesses in operation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref. “We created the COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force because it is critical to the strength and safety of our community in Eastern Washington that we all work together to combat pandemic-related fraud. The Strike Force is one way to ensure that limited resources are provided to deserving local businesses that provide vital services for our communities. I greatly appreciate the hard work and esprit de corps of so many talented agents and agencies that are contributing to our collective efforts.”

In February 2022, U.S. Attorney Waldref and the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) began working with federal law enforcement agencies to create and launch a COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force that would leverage partnerships between different agencies to aggressively investigate and prosecute fraud against COVID-19 relief programs in Eastern Washington. The Strike Force consists of agency representatives from the USAO, Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs OIG, General Services Administration OIG, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Energy OIG, and others. Cases investigated and prosecuted by the Strike Force have resulted in numerous indictments, criminal prosecutions, and civil penalties, including these two most recent indictments.

On May 3, a federal grand jury returned an Indictment charging Natasha Opsal, age 40, a former Spokane resident now residing in Great Falls, Montana, with nine counts of fraud in connection with several COVID-19 relief loans. The Indictment charges that Opsal fraudulently sought over $600,000 through the PPP and EIDL programs for fictitious businesses, over $50,000 of which she received. The Indictment was unsealed today following Opsal’s arrest and arraignment on the charges.

The same day, May 3, a federal grand jury returned an Indictment charging Yuriy P. Anishchenko, age 34, a former Spokane resident last known to be residing in Kent, Washington, with three counts of fraud in connection with two EIDL loans sought and obtained by Anishchenko. The Indictment charges that Anishchenko fraudulently obtained over $300,000 for non-qualifying and ineligible businesses. The fraud charges in both cases carry maximum sentences of up to 20 years in federal prison.

“I commend the stellar investigative work on these cases performed by the Strike Force and especially by the U.S. Secret Service, SBA, FBI, and TIGTA” said U.S. Attorney Waldref. “We will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to vigorously prosecute those who abuse and misuse COVID-19 relief funding.”

Assistant United States Attorney Dominique Park is prosecuting United States v. Anishchenko, while Special Assistant United States Attorney Frieda Zimmerman and Assistant United States Attorney Tyler H.L. Tornabene are prosecuting United States v. Opsal. Both cases were investigated by the COVID-19 Relief Fraud Strike Force.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

United States v. Opsal, Case No: 2:22-CR-0053-TOR

United States v. Anishchenko, Case No: 2-22-CR-0057-TOR