Charlotte Woman Is Sentenced To Prison For Bank Fraud

Source: United States Attorneys General 10

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charles Morgan Harrell, 58, of Charlotte, was sentenced to five years in prison today for bank fraud, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Harrell was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release.

Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which oversees Charlotte, and Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, from Jan. 2020 to Feb. 2021, Harrell operated a bank fraud scheme in North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and elsewhere. To execute the scheme, Harrell targeted neighborhoods in the Charlotte area and stole mail from residential mailboxes. The stolen mail included individual and business checks, and personal identifying information (PII) of victims, which Harrell used to create fake identification documents in furtherance of the scheme.

As Harrell previously admitted in court, at times, Harrell altered the names of the payees on the stolen checks to the names of the identity theft victims and used the false identification documents to open bank accounts in the identify theft victims’ names and cash the checks. Other times, Harrell obtained blank checks which she fraudulently wrote in her name and then cashed. In addition to the check cashing scheme, Harrell also used the victims’ stolen identities to rent apartments and to buy at least one vehicle. In total, Harrell obtained more than $200,000 through the fraudulent scheme.

Harrell is currently released on bond and will be ordered to report to prison upon designation of a facility by federal Bureau of Prisons.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the USPIS and the FBI for their investigation of the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Caryn Finley, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

Gastonia Man Is Sentenced To Prison For Robbing A Convenience Store At Gunpoint

Source: United States Attorneys General 10

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Davonte Everett, 24, of Gastonia, N.C. was sentenced today to 121 months in prison and five years of supervised release for the armed robbery of a convenience store in Charlotte, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed documents and court proceedings, on July 3, 2020, Everett entered a 7-Eleven convenience store located at 2901 Yorkmont Road in Charlotte. Upon entering the 7-Eleven, Everett, who was wearing a hat and had his face covered, walked to the back of the store, picked up an item, and approached the cash register. When the store clerk opened the register to complete the sale, Everett pulled a black semiautomatic firearm from his pocket and pointed it at the clerk. Everett then reached over the counter and took cash from the register. As he did so, Everett’s head hit the plastic barrier over the counter knocking his hat off, and revealing his hair, eyes, and top of his face. Everett fled the scene with the store’s cash.

According to court records, a CMPD officer investigating the robbery recognized Everett and identified him as the robber. Everett was subsequently arrested on state charges. On March 31, 2022, Everett pleaded guilty to a federal Hobbs Act robbery offense and to brandishing a firearm during and in relation to, and in furtherance of, a crime of violence.

Everett is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI and CMPD for their investigation of the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Taylor G. Stout, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

 

Teenage victim of fatal stabbing in Highbury Fields named by police

Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

Detectives investigating the murder of a teenage boy in Islington have named the victim as they continue to appeal for witnesses.

Fifteen-year-old Deshaun James Tuitt was fatally stabbed at Highbury Fields, N5 shortly before 21:00hrs on Thursday, 4 August.

Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service [LAS] and found Deshaun suffering with knife injuries. He was treated by medics at the scene, but despite their efforts, he sadly died in hospital a short time later.

His next of kin were informed. They continue to be supported by specialist officers.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to have been a stab wound, shock and hemorrhage.

Detective Inspector Ben Dalloway of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: “The investigation team are fully focused on securing justice for Deshaun and his family.

“We are working around the clock and are very keen to hear from anyone who was in the area of Highbury Fields between 8pm and 9pm on Thursday, 4 August.

“Did you see anyone running or behaving suspiciously? Can you help us build a picture of the events that led to Deshaun being stabbed?

“You will continue to see police in the area for the foreseeable future, please approach them with any information you may have.”

Borough Commander for Camden and Islington, Chief Superintendent Andy Carter said: “This is an incredibly tragic case where a young man`s life has been ended prematurely despite the efforts of the police officers and LAS who arrived on scene very quickly.

“Deshaun had his whole life in front of him and that has now been cruelly taken away and our thoughts are with his family and friends who will be devastated by this loss.

“I would like to thank the local community who have contacted the incident room and provided really vital information in the last few days. The willingness of the community to help us in this has been incredibly important in these early stages.

“We know that there were lots of people in the park on Thursday evening, many of whom were young people who may be finding it difficult to come forward. I would urge you to think about Deshaun`s family who are looking for answers. You may hold vital information that enables us to provide those answers; please don`t keep it to yourself. We will support you if you come forward to speak to us in confidence.

“I also appeal to anyone else who was in the park that night who may even have been a victim of another crime themselves to report this to us as it may help this investigation.

“On Thursday evening, a week after Deshaun died, you will see additional officers in the park conducting a witness appeal. Please do feel free to approach them.

“We are committed to tackling violence in all forms and our current summer violence plan, being delivered with partners, is focussed on keeping our open spaces safe as they are used by so many people particularly during this warm weather. We have reviewed the locations where we need to provide extra patrols in the days ahead to ensure our presence deters violent incidents such as this from happening. “

Information or footage can be provided to police at Public Portal (mipp.police.uk).

Alternatively, you can contact police direct on 0208 345 3865, call 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoting 7948/4AUG.

To remain 100% anonymous contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit Crimestoppers-uk.org.

COMUSAFE welcomes F-22s to Poland

Source: United States Air Force

U.S. Air Force Gen. James Hecker, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, and NATO Allied Air Command commander, visited the 32nd Tactical Air Base in Łask, Poland, to welcome 12 U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors forward deploying from the 90th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 5.

As part of NATO’s plan to bolster its collective defense posture, the 90th FS will take over the mission from the Vermont Air National Guard’s 158th Fighter Wing, which has been executing the coalition’s Air Policing mission since their arrival in theater, May 2.

“This F-22 deployment will add significant capabilities to our support of NATO’s collective defense,” Hecker said. “The Raptors ability to perform both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions will exponentially increase the warfighting capability along the eastern flank as this rotation supports NATO’s Air Shielding.”

The Air Shielding mission is designed to increase the air and missile defense posture along the eastern flank of NATO’s alliance and is purely a defensive mission to shield and protect allied territory and populations and is a key component of NATO’s Deterrence and Defense posture.

Six F-15E Strike Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom, are being forward deployed to Łask Air Base, Poland, to temporarily support the U.S. contribution to the NATO Air Shielding mission. The F-22s will ultimately take over that mission.

“Our Airmen are well trained and ready to assist our NATO allies,” Hecker said. “Our Airmen’s ability to adapt, support and integrate with NATO’s Air Shielding mission shows our ability to respond to an ever-changing dynamic warfighting environment and strengthen the alliance.”

The F-22 is a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, and is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances to defeat threats. A combination of sensor capability, integrated avionics, situational awareness, and weapons provides first-kill opportunity against threats. The F-22 possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot to track, identify, shoot, and kill air-to-air and cruise missile threats.

Hecker also met with Gen. Jarosław Mika, commander of Poland’s Armed Forces General Command and discussed the U.S.-Poland Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. The EDCA enhances security cooperation and the long-standing defense partnership between the U.S. and Poland.

Dauphin — Dauphin RCMP looking for suspect in series of arsons

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

On August 1, 2022, at approximately 11:45 pm, Dauphin RCMP responded to an alarm call at a business located on 3rd Avenue NE in Dauphin. Upon arrival, officers observed smoke coming from the building which they were able to quickly extinguish before it could spread.

Throughout the morning, officers responded to three additional fire calls. At 1:10 am, a vehicle was reported on fire on 3rd Avenue SE, a 6:05 am, another vehicle fire in the 500 block of Main Street and at 8:15 am, an attempted arson took place at a business located on 3rd Avenue NW. No injuries were reported.

Surveillance footage obtained captured images of a suspect being sought by the Dauphin RCMP.

Anyone with information in regards to the identity of this individual or in relation to these fires is asked to contact the Dauphin RCMP at 204-622-5050 or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com or text “TIPMAN” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

Dauphin RCMP continue to investigate.

California Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

Source: United States Department of Justice

Gulfport, Miss.  — A Lemon Grove, California man pled guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to court documents, on October 8, 2021, Albert Joseph Jones, 31, was stopped by an agent with the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team for a traffic violation. Jones was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. A K-9 hit on the vehicle for the presence of narcotics. A search of the vehicle produced eighteen (18) heat-sealed packages of cocaine. 

Jones is scheduled to be sentenced on November 16, 2022, at 1:30 p.m., in Gulfport. He faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its FBI Task Force, and the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team.  It is prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones.

St. Louis woman sentenced to 27 months in prison for arson attempts during protests

Source: United States Attorneys General 8

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Clark on Tuesday sentenced a woman who tried to set fires at a St. Louis 7-Eleven during a 2020 protest to 27 months in prison.

On June 1, 2020, Nautica Turner took lighter fluid and began to pour it on the 7-Eleven located at 201 N. 17th Street in St. Louis as the store was being looted by numerous individuals, Turner admitted in a plea agreement in February.

After a man showed Turner a better technique for pouring the lighter fluid, she took the container back and continued trying to set the building on fire.

The man, Justin Cannamore, later set a fire in an aisle of the store, which was soon extinguished when a firework exploded in the same location. Turner took a thin cardboard box and unsuccessfully tried to restart the fire, before trying and failing to light a fire in a concrete trashcan outside the store, her plea agreement says.

A fire started by someone else later burned the store to the ground.

The looting came amid protests over the May 25, 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Turner, now 27, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit arson.

Cannamore, of St. Louis County, was sentenced to three years in prison in September.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ware prosecuted the case.

RM of Alexander — Powerview RCMP locate missing ATV rider

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

On August 6, 2022, at approximately 10:35 pm, Powerview RCMP received a report of an overdue male who had gone out for an ATV ride in the RM of Alexander, near the gravel pits on Highway 11. The 23-year-old male from the RM of East St. Paul was able to send his GPS coordinates to his family before his phone died.

Temperatures were dropping and it was dark outside. The male was not dressed for being out overnight, and he did not have food or water.

Officers from the Powerview RCMP Detachment went by ATV to the male’s last known GPS coordinates and found the ATV stuck on a very muddy trail. However, the male was not there. Officers continued to search on ATV in rough terrain.

Police searched throughout the night and located the male early in the morning. He had been walking all night. He had minor injuries.

Former Investment Adviser Sentenced to Five Years for Defrauding his Clients of More than $7 Million

Source: United States Attorneys General 10

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Lee D. Weiss, 51, of Roslyn, NY, and Newton, MA, was sentenced today to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $7.5 million in restitution and a $250,000 fine for his conviction of investment adviser fraud. The charges arose from Weiss’ multi-year investment scam that targeted his own clients and caused investor losses of more than $7 million.

In March 2022, the defendant pleaded guilty to investment adviser fraud in connection with this scheme to defraud his clients. Weiss was the principal of Family Endowment Partners, LP, an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which had an office in West Chester, PA, before it was closed by order of the SEC. The defendant used his position to fleece his own clients of millions of dollars through purported investments in a now-defunct Florida tobacco company and a series of private securities offerings. Weiss told his clients that their money would be used for investment purposes when, in fact, he diverted it to make Ponzi payments and to fund his lifestyle, and further told his clients that they were making money when their funds had already been misappropriated. Weiss continued to lie to them about the value of their investments to prevent them from learning of his thefts and to convince them to continue paying him fees for “managing” their money.

“Honesty, integrity, and trust all play a critical role in the relationship between a financial advisor and a client; when the advisor corrupts that relationship, the damage done to the financial security of the client can be catastrophic,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “The end result is as devastating and traumatic as if the victim had been robbed at gunpoint, and therefore we take it just as seriously. We will continue to hold accountable those who, like Mr. Weiss, commit life-shattering financial crimes.”

“Lee Weiss’s clients expected him to invest their money responsibly and he had a fiduciary duty to do so. Instead, he misappropriated millions for his and his company’s purposes,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “He used their funds for everything from car payments, to country club fees, to payouts to previous investors. Justice demands that financial fraudsters like Weiss be held accountable for their crimes and today’s sentencing ensures that.”

“The Postal Inspection Service has a long history of investigating investment frauds,” said Damon Wood, Inspector in Charge of the Philadelphia Division of the Postal Inspection Service. “Today, Lee Weiss was sentenced for stealing millions of dollars from his clients, clients who had trusted him to invest their money in safe, blue-chip investments. Through a web of corporate entities, Mr. Weiss hid the reality of his investment strategy and his failing business and stole his clients’ money to cover his own losses and continue living well. Thanks to the hard work of the Postal Inspectors, special agents from the FBI and the Assistant United States Attorneys, Mr. Weiss has been held accountable for his deceitful practices.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Shapiro and Nancy E. Potts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office appreciates the substantial assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in this matter.

Husband & wife sentenced to 60 years & 20 years in prison for sexual exploitation, child pornography crimes

Source: United States Attorneys General 10

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Bexley, Ohio, couple were sentenced in federal court last evening for their crimes related to the sexual abuse of minor children.

Stephen Wilson, 39, was sentenced to 720 months in prison for the sexual exploitation of minors, and Jessica Wilson, 38, was sentenced to 240 months in prison for distributing and receiving child pornography.

Their crimes included creating child pornography videos and pictures of sexual abuse while exchanging text messages discussing the abuse.

According to court documents, from 2016 until 2021, Stephen Wilson sexually abused at least three minors between the ages of 7 and 16. Stephen had video cameras inside his home, including his bedroom, and used those cameras to document and create videos and still images of the abuse. He also filmed and photographed the sexual assault of the minor children with his cell phone.

In one incident, Stephen drugged a minor victim with alcohol and ecstasy and raped the victim while she was semi-conscious-to-unconscious. He created a 22-minute video depicting that sexual assault. In another incident, Stephen used a handheld camera to film his penis near the face of a seven-year-old child while he showed the minor adult pornography of himself and Jessica Wilson. 

Stephen created hundreds of still images from the videos of him sexually assaulting minors. He also possessed hundreds of child pornography images depicting the abuse of children as young as toddler age. Additionally, Stephen possessed at least 25 images in which he had photoshopped his genitalia onto images of minor children, including prepubescent and toddler aged females, to give the effect of those children engaging in sexual activity with him.

Jessica was present for or aware of the sexual assaults that were perpetrated by Stephen. She and Stephen continued to engage in conversations about the sexual assaults of the minor children, exchanging still images of the videos that Stephen had created and fantasizing about them together.

On several occasions, Jessica exchanged numerous files of child pornography with Stephen, discussing those files at length in text conversations and even seeking advice from Stephen on where she could access child pornography online. Thousands of text messages were recovered between the two of them, during which, the Wilsons exchanged pornographic images of victims as young as one to eight months old.

Stephen and Jessica Wilson were both arrested locally in January 2021. A federal grand jury indicted the defendants in April 2021. 

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Bexley Police Chief Gary D. Lewis, Jr. announced the sentences imposed by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Algenon L. Marbley. Assistant United States Attorney Emily Czerniejewski and Senior Litigation Counsel Heather A. Hill are representing the United States in this case.

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