Charleston man headed to prison for illegally possessing sawed-off shotgun

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: Charleston man headed to prison for illegally possessing sawed-off shotgun

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston man was sentenced today to two years in federal prison for a gun crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Joe Orville Fooce, III, 44, previously pled guilty to possession of a shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches and an overall length less than 26 inches not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the South Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“I support the Second Amendment 100%, but criminals who possess guns are a threat to innocent people, law enforcement, and, ultimately, the Second Amendment,” said U.S. Attorney Stuart. “As United States Attorney, I will make sure that my office continues working with law enforcement to prosecute anyone that cannot respect the Second Amendment and the gun laws that protect it.”

In July 2016, South Charleston police officers found Fooce unresponsive at an intersection. After Fooce was transported by medics, officers discovered the sawed-off shotgun in his backpack. Fooce admitted that he knew the firearm had been modified from its original length.

Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is in charge of the prosecution. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger imposed the sentence.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking with existing local programs targeting gun crime.

Two Violent YNB Stretch Gang Members Admit to Drug and Firearm Charges

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: Two Violent YNB Stretch Gang Members Admit to Drug and Firearm Charges

DALLAS — Kris Landon Green, aka “#5,” 20, and Marcus Jackson, aka “Marty-Mar,” 23, both of Dallas, Texas, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Rebecca Rutherford to their role in a drug distribution group that operated within an area referred to as the “2600 Money Block” (4500 block of Maple Avenue in Dallas, Texas), announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas

Green, a member of the Dallas–based violent criminal street gang known as “YNB Stretchgang,” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance (cocaine base) and one count of possession of a firearm by a user of a controlled substance.  Green faces not less than five years or more than forty years in federal prison and a $5,000,000 fine on the conspiracy count and not more than 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for the firearms count.  Green will remain in custody pending sentencing.

Jackson, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance (cocaine base). Jackson faces up to twenty years in federal prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Jackson will remain in custody pending sentencing.

“Gangs, such as YNB Stretchgang, that spread illegal drugs and wage violence in our community will be held accountable by the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “I commend the many law enforcement officers efforts who have dedicated enormous amounts of time and effort investigating and prosecuting this case.”

A thirty-three count superseding indictment was returned in December 2017 charging fifteen defendants, including Greene and Jackson. The superseding indictment alleges that beginning in January 2016, the defendants used an area in Dallas referred to as “2600 Money Block” to cut, package and distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and ecstasy/OxyContin pills to numerous customers. The proceeds from the sale of drugs were sometimes used to produce music videos glorifying acts of violence and promoting the lifestyle of “YNB Stretchgang” members and associates.  Those videos were often uploaded to YouTube or shared through social media.

According to the plea agreement factual resumes filed in Green’s and Jackson’s case, both defendants admit that beginning in March 2016, they were members of “YNB Stretchgang.” On multiple occasions during 2016 and 2017, Green, Jackson and other “YNB Stretchgang” members and associates produced and appeared in music videos glorifying acts of violence and promoting the lifestyle of “YNB Stretchgang” members. Green and Jackson distributed controlled substances including cocaine base and marijuana as a means to make money within the 4500 block of Maple Avenue in Dallas, Texas.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, United States Marshal’s Service, and Dallas Police Department investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Calvert.

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Detroit drug dealer sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for methamphetamine crime

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: Detroit drug dealer sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for methamphetamine crime

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Detroit man was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison for a drug charge, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Willie McCall, 34, previously pled guilty to distribution of methamphetamine. U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team.

“Let this sentence send a message to any Detroit criminals who want to set up shop in our state – your poison peddling is not welcome, and we’ll make sure you have plenty of time to think about it behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Stuart. “You can be sure that my office is laser focused on keeping our streets safe by targeting drug dealers with aggressive prosecution.”  

McCall admitted that on February 7, 2017, he sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant working with law enforcement. The drug deal took place outside a local business near Nitro. Later that same date, when McCall was arrested, law enforcement found $100 of recorded buy money in his possession that was used in the controlled purchase. At the time McCall committed this offense, he was on parole in Michigan for weapons charges.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of the prosecution. Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentence.

This case was prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

Second Pittsburgh Woman Sentenced for Role in Fraudulent Tax Return Scheme

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: Second Pittsburgh Woman Sentenced for Role in Fraudulent Tax Return Scheme

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to three years probation on her convictions of mail fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak imposed the sentence on Simone Prater, 29, who was incarcerated pending sentencing. Judge Hornak also ordered that Ms. Prater pay $25,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to information presented to the court, Sean Brooks, while incarcerated on other charges, prepared and arranged for the filing of more than one hundred fraudulent tax returns on behalf of fellow inmates and other individuals and generated more than $200,000 in fraudulent refunds. The fraudulent refunds were sent to a number of different addresses, and, after forging the endorsement of the payees, the checks were cashed through federally insured financial institutions and through check-cashing establishments. Simone Prater, among others, assisted the conspiracy in a variety of ways, including sending the Internal Revenue Service the fraudulent tax returns, picking up refund checks and providing them to others to cash; disbursing the proceeds of the fraud amongst the conspirators, and providing the names and addresses of closed businesses for Brooks to use as fake employers for taxpayers on the fraudulent tax returns.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Prater.

Grand Island Man Sentenced For Drug And Money Laundering Charges

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: Grand Island Man Sentenced For Drug And Money Laundering Charges

CONTACT:   Barbara Burns
PHONE:        (716) 843-5817
FAX #:           (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Eric Marshall, 42, of Grand Island, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and money laundering, was sentenced to 65 months imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who handled the case, stated that between 2007 and 2009, Eric Marshall supplied kilogram quantities of cocaine to Glance Ross and others, who were distributing cocaine, in the City of Buffalo.  During that time, Marshall stored the cocaine in suitcases at a home in Buffalo, New York.  In order to disguise his narcotics proceeds, Marshall gave some proceeds to Montique Shelton and had Shelton purchase defendant a home at 341 Hinman Avenue, in Buffalo, New York.  As part of his sentencing, the defendant forfeited 341 Hinman Avenue, other property located in Buffalo, a Toyota Avalon, and a BMW.

The sentencing is a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin P. Lyons, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy.

New York Man Admits Orchestrating $45 Million Dollar Compounding Pharmacy Scheme

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: New York Man Admits Orchestrating $45 Million Dollar Compounding Pharmacy Scheme

NEWARK, N.J. – A North Tonawanda, New York, man today admitted running a large-scale scheme to defraud private and federally-funded health care benefit programs out of millions of dollars by submitting fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary compounded medications, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Steven M. Butcher, 39, a former pharmaceutical sales representative turned owner and operator of MedMax LLC, a marketing company for compounded medications, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and violate the Anti-Kickback Statute.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Butcher admitted that from July 2014 through April 2016, he organized a large-scale scheme to defraud health insurance plans by submitting phony claims for medically unnecessary prescription compounded medications, including scar creams, pain creams, and metabolic supplements marketed by MedMax for certain compounding pharmacies. 

Through MedMax, Butcher and others targeted individuals covered by private and federally-funded insurance plans that paid for compounded medications and convinced these individuals to obtain them regardless of medical necessity. Butcher also admitted that from December 2014 through June 2015, he conspired with others to pay kickbacks to persuade individuals to bill TRICARE – a health care benefit program for members of the military and their families – for medically unnecessary compounded medications.

During the scheme, Butcher would either send prescriptions directly to a compounding pharmacy or to a billing distribution company, which would then refer the prescription to a particular compounding pharmacy and submit a claim to the appropriate health insurance plan on behalf of that pharmacy. In return, Butcher received anywhere between 40 and 53 percent of the reimbursement received for each paid claim. At that time, health insurance plans were reimbursing compounding pharmacies anywhere between $3,000 and $43,000 for each compounded prescription.

To maximize profit in the compounding scheme, Butcher recruited several individuals as “sales representatives” who were paid a certain percentage for each compounded medication that they caused to be billed to a targeted health insurance plan. If a sales representative was a direct beneficiary of a targeted health insurance plan, Butcher paid them to obtain medically unnecessary compounded medications for themselves or their family. In addition, Butcher paid sales representatives for any individual that they recruited to the scheme. 

For instance, Butcher recruited former pharmaceutical employee Peter Pappas, 45, of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. As a MedMax sales representative, Pappas received medically unnecessary prescriptions for himself and also recruited several other individuals, including other former pharmaceutical sales representatives Jason Cerge, 41, of Media, Pennsylvania, and Julie Andresen, 40, of Haddonfield, New Jersey. Cerge recruited an individual identified in the information as “CC-1,” a New Jersey resident who targeted TRICARE beneficiaries.

Butcher paid Pappas for each of his personal compounded prescriptions and for each medically unnecessary medication Cerge, CC-1, and Andresen caused to be billed to a targeted health insurance plan.

Butcher and other conspirators, including Pappas, Cerge, and Andresen, took advantage of their relationships with physicians and other health care professionals to get prescriptions.  For instance, Butcher used his relationship with an individual identified in the information as “Physician Assistant 1,” to request that Physician Assistant 1 prescribe several medically unnecessary compounded medications for TRICARE beneficiaries. Physician Assistant-1 agreed and Butcher and others profited from phony claims to TRICARE.

As part of his plea agreement, Butcher must forfeit $4,584,597.92 in criminal proceeds and pay restitution of at least $45 million.

Of the $45 million loss Butcher caused to health care benefit programs, at least $3 million was attributable to TRICARE. 

For the conspiracy to commit health care fraud charge, Butcher faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. For the conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute charge, Butcher faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison. Each offense is also punishable by a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for May 18, 2018.

Pappas, Andresen and Cerge have all pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme. Pappas and Cerge await sentencing. Andresen was sentenced Feb. 7, 2018 to 15 months in prison.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; and the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Leigh-Alistair Barzey, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erica Liu and Vikas Khanna, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.

To date, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office has prosecuted 19 individuals involved in various compounding pharmacy schemes across New Jersey to defraud health care benefit programs, and has recovered more than $4 million through forfeiture and restitution. These schemes have caused a total loss of more than $70 million to the health care industry, which has affected state, federal and private health care benefit programs. 

The New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office reorganized its health care practice in 2010 and created a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since that time, the office has recovered more than $1.38 billion in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.

Defense counsel: Herbert L. Greenman Esq., Buffalo, New York

MS-13 gang member sentenced in federal court for illegal gun possession

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: MS-13 gang member sentenced in federal court for illegal gun possession

Illegal alien from El Salvador lived on the Westside of Indianapolis

PRESS RELEASE

Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh Minkler today announced the sentencing of an illegal alien and violent gang member found to be in possession of a firearm. Jose Salvador Gonzalez-Campos, age 27, was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

“Protecting our communities from ruthless transnational criminal organizations like MS-13 who exploit our immigration laws and terrorize our communities is a top priority of this office and the Department of Justice,” said Minkler.

Gonzalez-Campos was found in the company of other known MS-13 gang members’ associates in the Columbus, Ohio area. On more than one occasion, investigators observed Gonzalez-Campos wearing a light blue backpack. In addition, photographs posted on a Facebook page associated with Gonzalez-Campos showed him wearing a light blue backpack.

On August 15, 2017, members of an FBI SWAT team executed a search of the defendant’s  residence, 2810 West Ray Street, Indianapolis, and agents took Gonzalez-Campos and three other alleged MS-13 gang members into federal custody. During a subsequent search of the residence, agents located a light blue backpack similar to the one Gonzalez-Campos had been seen wearing. In the backpack, agents discovered an El Salvadorian passport with the defendant’s name listed on it; a stainless steel Taurus .357 caliber revolver and five rounds of .357 ammunition. In the same room with the backpack, agents found a second passport with Gonzalez-Campos’ name and a photograph that depicted the defendant in various poses with family members.

Gonzalez Campos is an illegal alien and cannot legally possess a firearm.

This 18-month investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Immigration Customs Enforcement; the Columbus, Indiana Police Department; and the Franklin County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Office.

“Violent criminal street gangs like MS-13 threaten our communities. Today’s sentence will not only make our neighborhoods safer, but send a message to other gang members that the FBI and its law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue efforts to disrupt and dismantle organized crime groups such as these,” said Robert Middleton, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Barry Glickman, who serves as the Deputy Chief of Gun and Violent Crimes, Gonzalez-Campos will likely be removed to his native country of El Salvador  after serving his sentence.  Judge Barker also imposed a term of three years supervised release.    

In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to utilize and partner with law enforcement agencies to prosecute illegal immigration cases, to prosecute our most violent criminals and focus local prosecutions on illegal gun possession.  See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Section 1.8, 2.2 and 2.9.

South Bend Man Sentenced To 51 Months In Prison

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: South Bend Man Sentenced To 51 Months In Prison

SOUTH BEND – George Harvey, age 64, of South Bend, Indiana, was sentenced before South Bend District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.

Harvey was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment followed by 1 year of supervised release. 

According to documents in this case, in the middle of the night Harvey was driving without a valid license.  Police stopped the car for a traffic violation, found a loaded handgun and a crack pipe.  Harvey has approximately eleven (11) felony convictions and twenty (20) misdemeanor convictions.  Harvey was awaiting sentencing for a crime in state court when he possessed the firearm.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms with the assistance of the South Bend Police Department.  The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Joel Gabrielse.

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South Bend Woman Sentenced To 120 Months In Prison

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: South Bend Woman Sentenced To 120 Months In Prison

SOUTH BEND – Brittany N. Stenberg, age 30, of South Bend, Indiana, was sentenced before South Bend District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio for the crime of transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.

Stenberg was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release. 

According to documents in this case, from September 30, 2014, to October 3, 2014, Stenberg transported a minor from Indiana to Illinois for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.  

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Department.  The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Maciejczyk and Molly Donnelly.

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Tallahassee Woman Convicted of Drug Trafficking

Source: United States Attorneys General

Headline: Tallahassee Woman Convicted of Drug Trafficking

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – After a day and a half trial, Jamila Takiyah Hunter, 32, of Tallahassee, was convicted yesterday afternoon of possession with intent to distribute the controlled substance α-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone or “Alpha-PVP.”  The verdict was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Hunter’s four co-defendants pled guilty in late 2017 and early 2018 as follows:

  • Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance:
    Travis L. Glasco, Charik James, Tyrail Gallman, and Dora Williams;
  • Possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance: Glasco, James, and Williams;
  • Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: Glasco; and
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon: Glasco.

In November 2016, law enforcement officers identified a kilogram package of alpha-PVP destined for delivery to a commercial UPS mailbox rented by Hunter.  Agents conducted a controlled delivery of the drug-laden parcel and arrested Hunter after she signed for and accepted the parcel.  When agents attempted to contact her co-conspirators, Glasco fled from the parking lot and abandoned a vehicle in the middle of Capital Circle during lunch hour traffic.  Subsequent investigation revealed the identity of Hunter’s co-conspirators, who were charged in a superseding indictment.

Glasco, James, Gallman, Williams, and Hunter face a maximum of 20 years in prison for each controlled substance conviction.  Additionally, Glasco faces a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking; and a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The sentencing hearings are scheduled as follows at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee:

  • February 23, 2018: Williams (9:30 a.m.);
  • April 20, 2018: James (9:00 a.m.) and Gallman (10:30 a.m.); and
  • May 10, 2018: Glasco (9:30 a.m.) and Hunter (3:00 p.m.).

This case resulted from investigations by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Leon County Sheriff’s Office; and the Tallahassee Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Harwin.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For mcoore information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.