Woman admits harassment and criminal damage

Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

A woman has pleaded guilty to harassment and criminal damage at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Rawan Abdullah (also known as Rawan Bin Hussain) – 24 (30.12.96) of Dubai, was fined £6,500 and banned from contacting the victim and his family under a restraining order on Monday, 25 October.

The court heard that police were called in June 2020 following an argument between Abdullah, who has a large social media following, and the victim at a hotel in Knightsbridge, during which she had cut up one of his shirts with a pair of scissors. The victim also sustained a scratch to his neck.

She was arrested and taken into custody before being bailed; however she then began to post messages to social media about the victim and harassing him via text message and phone.

Abdullah is banned from contacting the victim for the next five years, contacting members of his family, going to his home or posting about him online.

A charge of assault by beating was withdrawn.

Detective Constable Dalila Gomes said: “This conviction and sentencing hopefully brings to a close a very stressful period in the victim’s life and will allow him to move on.

“Harassment is a serious offence; any victims should take note that the MPS will thoroughly investigate any offences and work to bring offenders to justice.”

Fresno Woman Pleads Guilty to Committing $100, 000 in Credit Card Fraud

Source: FBI
Friday, October 22, 2021

Fresno Woman Pleads Guilty to Committing $100,000 in Credit Card Fraud

FRESNO, Calif. — Alena Nicole George, 43, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to access device fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, from February through April 2019, George used a credit card that was fraudulently opened in the identity of a victim with a name similar to her own name to make $100,000 in purchases at national retailers and cash advances at a national bank.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vincente Tennerelli and Joseph Barton are prosecuting the case.

George is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Jan. 21, 2022. George faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Woman Found Guilty for Her Role in Dothan Truck Bombing Targeting a Former Boyfriend

Source: FBI
Friday, October 22, 2021

Woman Found Guilty For Her Role In Dothan Truck Bombing Targeting A Former Boyfriend

           Montgomery, Ala. –    On Thursday, October 21, 2021, Ashley Nicole Haydt, 36, from Taylor, Alabama, was convicted by a federal jury for her role in a Dothan truck bombing that targeted a former boyfriend and father to one of her children, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, in 2017, Haydt worked at Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center in Dothan with Sylvio Joseph King. Testimony presented at trial showed that the two became friends and that Haydt began to tell King about her troubled relationship with her long-time boyfriend and father of her unborn child. Haydt was upset that her boyfriend would not agree to marry her and that he ultimately ended their relationship. In June 2017, the child was born and, soon after, the ex-boyfriend filed for custody. The jury saw numerous texts from Haydt to King during this time where she villainized her ex-boyfriend. She repeatedly expressed concern over losing custody of her infant child and how her life would be better if the ex-boyfriend were out of the picture. Those texts continued for several weeks until, at the suggestion of Haydt, they began using an alternate app to communicate called Snapchat. One of the principal features of Snapchat is that pictures and messages are usually only available for a short time before they become inaccessible to their recipients.

Based on the ongoing encouragement from Haydt to eliminate her ex, King began to purchase materials needed to construct a pipe bomb. Haydt provided King with her ex-boyfriend’s address and in the early morning hours of October 23, 2017, King placed the explosive device in the ex’s work truck that was parked at his home. King detonated the bomb while the victim was driving to work and shrapnel from the device was blasted into the victim’s back and hip area. Thanks to the actions of a passing motorist and first responders, the victim survived. After the explosion, King sent Haydt a message that read, “boom, I felt that from 120 feet away.”

Law enforcement quickly became suspicious of Haydt’s involvement in the crime. Haydt gave numerous conflicting statements during multiple interviews and when agents checked her cell phone, they discovered she had deleted text messages she exchanged with King the day of the bombing and before. She had also deleted the Snapchat app. However, significant evidence of their prior communications remained on King’s phone and he also testified during the trial confirming Haydt’s involvement. After a four-day trial, the jury found Haydt guilty of conspiracy, malicious use of an explosive, and concealing the commission of a felony. King had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and malicious use of an explosive device in October of last year. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled in the next few months for each of them. At that hearing, they will be facing a minimum of 7 years, and a maximum of 40 years, in prison.

Acting U.S. Attorney Stewart would like to thank the following agencies for their diligent work on this case: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, the Dothan Police Department, and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office also assisted. Assistant United States Attorneys Brandon Bates and Chelsea Phillips prosecuted the case.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Criminal Division Delivers Remarks on Operation Dark HunTor

Source: United States Department of Justice

Operation Dark HunTor stands as our most recent victory in the global fight against cyber-enabled drug trafficking.  The online trafficking of opioids, particularly fentanyl, poses a lethal threat to not only the United States, but also to our European and Australian counterparts, and beyond. This is a global threat that requires a global response. Our communities now face the constant threat of relatively easy access to dangerous illicit drugs now being peddled not on a street corner but in cyber space. Operation Dark HunTor highlights both the magnitude of this lethal threat, and the significant efforts we are taking at the Department of Justice to address it. 

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco Delivers Remarks on Operation Dark HunTor

Source: United States Department of Justice

Good morning and thank you for being here today. I am pleased to be joined this morning by the Deputy Executive Director of EUROPOL, Jean-Philippe Lecouff, as well as the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Kenneth Polite Jr., FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, and leaders of several law enforcement partners.

Grand Jury Indicts Lincoln Man for Receiving Child Pornography

Source: FBI
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Grand Jury Indicts Lincoln Man for Receiving Child Pornography

Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that the Grand Jury in the District of Nebraska has returned a two-count indictment against Matt Tibbels, 58, of Lincoln.  The Indictment charges Tibbels with committing child exploitation crimes between August 31, 2020 and October 5, 2021.

The first count of the Indictment charges the receipt of child pornography.  This offense is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of 5 years’ and a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a special assessment of up to $35,000.  After release from any imprisonment, Tibbels would be subject to a term of supervised release of not less than five years and up to life.  The second count charges Tibbels with possession child pornography.  This count is punishable by a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years and up to life, and a special assessment of up to $17,000.

Tibbels’ next court appearance has not yet been scheduled. A preliminary examination will not be held as the Grand Jury has found of probable cause in returning the Indictment.  A finding of probable cause is not a finding of guilt and Tibbels is presumed innocent of these charges.

Acting United States Attorney Sharp expressed his appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their quick actions in obtaining a criminal complaint and search warrant immediately upon receiving notification of the daycare being operated out of Tibbels’s home.

FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel said, “There are few crimes more heinous than the sexual exploitation of children. Protecting vulnerable children from those who traffic in child sexual abuse material will always be a priority for FBI Omaha and our Crimes Against Children Task Force. The FBI will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners to rapidly investigate cases to protect these most innocent of victims.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Police officer charged with theft and perverting course of justice

Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

A serving Met officer has been charged with theft and perverting the course of justice.

PC Mohammad Ghalayini, attached to North Area BCU, was arrested on Wednesday, 24 March following an investigation by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.

He was charged on Monday, 25 October and will appear at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 18 November.

PC Ghalayini has been suspended from duty.

Nebraska Man Sentenced for Cyberstalking

Source: FBI
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Nebraska Man Sentenced for Cyberstalking

Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Dennis Sryniawski, 48, of Bellevue, Nebraska, was sentenced on October 20, 2021 by United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher to twelve months and one day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  There is no parole in the federal system. Sryniawski must also pay a $10,000.00 fine.

A jury convicted Sryniawski of cyberstalking in June 2021, after a three-day jury trial.  This was the first cyberstalking conviction in the District of Nebraska.  The federal cyberstalking statute prohibits using an electronic communication service to engage in a course of conduct with the intent to harass, intimidate or cause substantial emotional distress to a person or immediate family members, where the conduct did cause, attempt to cause or reasonably would be expected to cause such persons to experience substantial emotional distress.

The evidence presented at trial showed that Sryniawski sent six emails on two different days in 2018 to a candidate for the Nebraska Legislature.  The emails were sent from two different accounts.  One email was sent under Sryniawski’s name, but the others were sent under phony names.  Sryniawski had previously been married to the candidate’s wife.  The initial email contained personal details about the candidate’s wife and accusations concerning the candidate’s stepdaughter, and a later email included explicit photos purportedly of each.  The emails asked the candidate to withdraw from the race and conveyed the message that, if he did not, the personal details and explicit photos of his wife and stepdaughter would be released.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the La Vista Police Department.

South Florida Resident Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to Terrorists

Source: FBI
Monday, October 25, 2021

South Florida Resident Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to Terrorists

Miami, Florida – A 29-year-old man has pled guilty in federal district court in Miami to attempting to materially support terrorism, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339A.

According to court documents, Samuel Baptiste attempted to provide material support to a terrorist act through the use of an explosive device by providing information on November 6, 2016 pertaining to the construction of explosive devices by posting internet links and portions of a manual containing specific instructions on the construction of explosives, to persons whom he believed were acting on behalf of ISIS.

At sentencing, Baptiste faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to 15 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.  Sentencing has been scheduled for January 5, 2021 at 1:30pm in front of the Honorable Jose E. Martinez, in Miami, Florida.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami, announced the guilty plea.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marc S. Anton and Michael Thakur.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number: 18-cr-20613.

Bridgeport Gang Member Admits Murder, Role in Courthouse Shooting, Other Violent Acts

Source: FBI
Monday, October 25, 2021

Bridgeport Gang Member Admits Murder, Role in Courthouse Shooting, Other Violent Acts

TYIESE WARREN, also known as “Loose Screw,” 21, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooly in Bridgeport to a racketeering offense stemming from a murder and other violent crimes he committed as a member of a Bridgeport gang.

Today’s announcement was made by Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Joseph T. Corradino, State’s Attorney for the Fairfield Judicial District; Bridgeport Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division; David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Acting U.S. Marshal Lawrence Bobnick.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service and Bridgeport Police have been investigating multiple Bridgeport-based gangs whose members are involved in narcotics trafficking, murder and other acts of violence.  Warren has been a member of the “Original North End” (“O.N.E.”), a gang based in the Trumbull Gardens area of Bridgeport whose members sold narcotics, laundered narcotics proceeds, committed acts of violence against rival gang members, robbed drug dealers, stole cars from inside and outside Connecticut and used them to commit crimes, and tampered with witnesses who might testify against them.  From approximately 2017 until August 2020, O.N.E. members were aligned with the “Greene Homes Boyz” (“GHB/Hotz”), a gang based in the Charles F. Greene Homes Housing Complex in Bridgeport’s North End, against rival groups in Bridgeport, including the East End, East Side and PT Barnum gangs, as well as 150, which is a geographic gang based on the West Side of Bridgeport.

In pleading guilty, Warren admitted that on December 8, 2019, he and others shot and killed Ty’Quess Moore, a member or associate of the East End/P.T. Barnum gang alliance.

Warren also helped plan the retaliation shootings of East End gang members and associates in a brazen afternoon shooting in front of a Bridgeport courthouse.  At 12:11 p.m. on January 27, 2020, Bridgeport Police responded to the area of 172 Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport after a Shot Spotter activation detected approximately 20 shots being fired in front of the state courthouse located there.  Upon arrival, investigators discovered that four victims had been shot while sitting inside a black Chevrolet Impala.  One victim was shot in the side of his chest and was left paralyzed and a second victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his back, shoulder and wrist.  The victims’ vehicle had approximately 23 entry bullet holes in the driver’s side and windshield area.

Warren also admitted that he participated in gang-related drug trafficking.

Further, on March 25, 2020, Warren and an accomplice stole a car that was in front of the Citgo 6M Service Station and Quik Mart located at 2000 Barnum Avenue in Stratford.  During the theft, they dragged the car’s driver, who was trying to stop the theft and was hanging onto the car, several hundred yards before he let go.  Warren and an accomplice then engaged in a carjacking involving a Toyota Corolla in Bridgeport, holding the owner at gunpoint and ultimately driving away in the car.  Minutes later, Warren and an accomplice committed a gunpoint robbery of the Citgo in Stratford, taking cash from the store and a cellphone from a store employee.  Stratford Police arrested Warren later that night after he crashed another stolen car he was driving on an I-95 on-ramp and then ran from police.

Warren pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity.  Judge Dooley scheduled sentencing for January 21, 2022, at which time Warren faces a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

Warren has been detained since March 25, 2020.

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by ATF, the FBI’s Safe Streets and Violent Crimes Task Forces, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the Stratford and Naugatuck Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis, Rahul Kale, Peter D. Markle, Karen L. Peck and Stephanie T. Levick.

This prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Project Longevity and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) programs.

PSN is 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.

Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities.  Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.  If a group member elects to engage in gun violence, the focused attention of federal, state and local law enforcement will be directed at that entire group.

OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.