DOJ – East LA

DOJ - Department of Justice
DOJ - Department of Justice
  • Gretna Woman Charged With Filing False Tax Return
    NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that PATRICIA HARGIS, age 70, of Gretna was charged Tuesday, April 9. 2019 with filing a false tax return, a crime punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment. According to the bill of information, HARGIS intentionally understated her income and taxes owed in her 2015 federal income tax return. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that a bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Chandra Menon and Andre J. Lagarde are in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-04-10
    2 weeks ago
  • New Orleans Man Charged With Embezzlement of Union Funds
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – MARK DOUGLAS, age 71, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was charged in a one-count bill of information for embezzlement of union funds, announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser. According to court documents, between November 11, 2011 and January 17, 2015, DOUGLAS acted as President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1101. DOUGLAS was responsible for the local’s grievances with the Domino Sugar Company and running the day to day operations of the union.  Union officers were permitted to file “lost time” claims to be reimbursed for conducting union business. Lost time is generally taken for arbitrations, attorney visits, accountant visits, or negotiations with Domino Sugar Company. During his time as President, DOUGLAS filed fraudulent “lost time” claims with the union, totaling approximately $7,078.35. If convicted, DOUGLAS faces 5 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the bill of information is merely a charge, and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the U.S Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, in investigating this matter.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney G. Dall Kammer, Supervisor, General Crimes.                                                                     *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-04-08
    2 weeks ago
  • Arizona Woman Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements to a Financial Institution
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that VALERIE SCHONES, age 54, of Tucson, Arizona, a former employee of an undisclosed entity, XYZ Financial, LLC, also located in Tucson, Arizona, has pleaded guilty yesterday to a Bill of Information charging her with Making False Statements to a Financial Institution. According to court documents, beginning in or around October 2008 and continuing to on or about May 2009, SCHONES, along with co-defendants PATRICK HEALEY and JARED CASTELLAW made false statements to the Federal Housing Administration “FHA” in order to assist low-income borrowers wishing to purchase homes in St. Bernard in qualifying for FHA insured loans that they would not otherwise have qualified for. In total, due to the acts of the defendants, the FHA suffered a loss in excess of $852,415. SCHONES faces a maximum of 30 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $1,000,000, supervised release of up to 5 years, and a special assessment of $100. The Court set sentencing in this matter for July 10, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharan E. Lieberman and Edward J. Rivera.                                                                       *     *     * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-04-03
    3 weeks ago
  • Members of Fraudulent Prescription Drug Ring in St. John The Baptist Parish Plead Guilty
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that SHALLON DAVIS DUNMILES, together with LASHONDA MELANCON, DANYELLE TUCO, ANDREA STALKS, EBONY STEWART, CORTAZ WILLIAMS, and DANIELLE ANDERSON, have pled guilty on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 to charges stemming from their arrest in St. John the Baptist Parish last year. WILFRED PERRILLOUX pled separately on an earlier date. According to Court documents, DUNMILES, a former employee at a medical clinic in Laplace, Louisiana and MELANCON pled guilty to conspiracy to possess and possess with the intent to distribute illicitly obtained prescription medications, including dextroamphetamine/Adderall, a Schedule II drug controlled substance, and promethazine with codeine, a Schedule V drug controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846. The investigation revealed that during the course of the conspiracy, DUNMILES wrote approximately 148 fraudulent prescriptions using her former employer’s prescription pad. Together with MELANCON, DUNMILES distributed the prescriptions, often in exchange for money. The maximum penalty that DUNMILES and MELANCON face for the conspiracy to distribute is twenty years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. PERRILLOUX, STALKS, STEWART, TUCO, WILLIAMS, and ANDERSON all pled guilty to conspiracy to acquire or obtain possession of the prescription medication by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 843(a) and 846.  The investigation revealed that these individuals were all involved with obtaining the fraudulent prescriptions from DUNMILES and ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-27
    4 weeks ago
  • Guatemalan National Pleads Guilty To Illegal Reentry
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JORGE AGUILAR-PEREZ, age 25, a citizen of Guatemala, pleaded guilty Tuesday, March 26, 2019 to a one-count bill of information charging him with illegal reentry of a removed alien, in violation of 8 U.S.C. ' 1326(a). According to the bill of information, JORGE AGUILAR-PEREZ reentered the United States on or about December 20, 2018, after having been previously removed therefrom on or about May 25, 2006. If convicted, JORGE AGUILAR-PEREZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of two years, a fine of up to $250,000.00, one year supervised release after imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment.  U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown set sentencing for May 2, 2019. The United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement in investigated this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Irene González is in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-27
    4 weeks ago
  • Metairie Man Charged With Violations of the Federal Gun Control and National Firearms Acts
    NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced Thursday, March 21, 2019 that a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against defendant DAVID HUNTER, of Metairie, for possession of stolen firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j) (Count 1), being a prohibited person under indictment in possession of firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C.§ 922(n) (Count 2); and possession of a suppressor not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record in violation to 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).  For Count 1, HUNTER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years and a $250,000 fine.  For Count 2, HUNTER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a $250,000 fine. For Count 3, HUNTER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years and a $10,000 fine.  For each of the charged counts, HUNTER faces up to three years supervised release following any term of imprisonment and a $100 special assessment fee. The indictment alleges that in December of 2016, HUNTER stole a gun safe containing various firearms from a location in Tylertown, Mississippi and transported the firearms to the Eastern District of Louisiana. An indictment is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (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 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-24
    1 month ago
  • Former Delgado Community College Financial Aid Officer Sentenced To Probation after Previously Pleading Guilty To Solicitation and Receipt of Bribes
    NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that DAVIN D. THOMAS (“THOMAS”), age 32, of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, a former Delgado Community College ("DCC") Financial Aid Officer, was sentenced Thursday, March 21, 2019 to four years probation and ordered to pay $6,700 in restitution by United States District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon.  THOMAS was also ordered to perform 150 hours of unpaid community service. THOMAS previously pleaded guilty to a one count Bill of Information charging him with soliciting money from students in exchange for awarding students financial aid. According to court documents, THOMAS was responsible for the verification of student financial aid applications and for identifying the students who were eligible for financial aid funds. From April 2014 through August 2016, THOMAS solicited funds from three DCC students in exchanged for awarding the students financial aid. THOMAS admitted to federal law enforcement that he accepted $6,700 in exchange for awarding the students financial aid. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Department of Education, Office of Inspector General.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Julia K. Evans. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-24
    1 month ago
  • Optician Charged With Identity Theft
    NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that a Bill of Information was filed Tuesday, March 19, 2019 against a Georgia optician charging him with identity theft in connection with the submission of fraudulent claims to health care benefit programs.  Specifically, JOHN ANTHONY MARSH, age 55, of the Atlanta, Georgia region was charged with one count of identity theft.  MARSH operated Magazine Medical Group & Associates, LLC in New Orleans.  MARSH is charged with submitting claims for reimbursement for medical services using a misappropriated National Provider Identifier of another physician to submit the claims.  If convicted, MARSH faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine as to Count 1 of the Information.  U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services for their work investigating the case.  U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  The case is being prosecuted by Jared Hasten of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrice Harris Sullivan.                                                                            # # # ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-20
    1 month ago
  • Independence Man Sentenced to 108 Months Imprisonment after Previously Pleading Guilty to Receiving Child Pornography
    NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that ROY DAVID MELANCON, age 40, a resident of Independence, Louisiana, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Carl J. Barbier to 108 months after previously pleading guilty to a one-count Indictment charging him with receipt of images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children.  Judge Barbier also sentenced MELANCON to a period of 5 years of supervised release after he is released from prison and ordered him to pay $10,000 in restitution to those victims who sought restitution.  MELANCON will also have to register as a sex offender. According to court documents, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at MELANCON’S residence on February 20, 2018.  Probable cause for the search warrant came from information developed in the March 2016 arrest of an individual in Canada who had traded images and videos containing depictions of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct via a cellular phone application with an individual utilizing username “makemehappy74,” who law enforcement authorities determined to be MELANCON.  During the execution of the search warrant, special agents with the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation seized electronic items including one cellular telephone and one Amazon Kindle Fire tablet that contained images and videos depicting the sexual victimization of children.  A forensic examination of the devices revealed that MELANCON used them to search for, download, and save images and videos of child pornography.  Some of the child victims depicted in the materials possessed by MELANCON were less than ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-20
    1 month ago
  • Gulfport Man Charged with Drug Trafficking Offense
    NEW ORLEANS U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that HECTOR EFRAIN LOBOS-CERNA, age 42, of Gulfport, Mississippi, was indicted Thursday, March 14, 2019 by a federal grand jury on one count of possessing with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B). If convicted, LOBOS-CERNA faces a terms of imprisonment of 5-40 years, a fine of up to $5 million, and at least four years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the indictment is merely an allegation and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Border Patrol, and the Kenner Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Sandman is in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-17
    1 month ago
  • New Orleans Man Sentenced For Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Hydrochloride
    NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JAYVONNE JOHNSON, age 49, of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced on March 7, 2019 after having pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride.    United States District Judge Carl J. Barbier sentenced JOHNSON to 120 months’ imprisonment and a supervised release period of 4 years. According to court documents, on June 25, 2017, JOHNSON was stopped by law enforcement officers as he disembarked from an Amtrak train arriving in New Orleans from Houston, Texas and was found to be in possession of 1.3 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Amtrak Rail Police, the Kenner Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharon D. Smith and Brandon S. Long are in charge of the prosecution.                                                                           *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-10
    1 month ago
  • Gretna Man Charged With Stalking
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that ALFRED HUMBLES, age 48, was charged Thursday, February 28, 2019 in a one-count indictment with Stalking, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2261A(2)(B). According to the indictment, from November 2018 – January 28, 2019, HUMBLES sent harassing and intimidating texts and emails to a former girlfriend. On November 29, 2018, the former girlfriend sent an email to HUMBLES indicating to him that the relationship was over, to stop having contact with her, that law enforcement had been notified and that she felt that her life was being threatened. On December 11, 2018, HUMBLES sent black roses to her place of employment. Approximately 25 texts and emails are quoted in the indictment. Among them, on January 9, 2019, HUMBLES emailed the victim and stated “I can’t think of one reason why you should be walking around breathing.” On January 15, 2019, HUMBLES emailed the victim and stated “I’m tired of playing…..pick one, either your face gets pistol whipped, house burns...” On January 23, 2019, HUMBLES emailed the victim and stated “…you don’t know what I’m capable of and you’re not untouchable.” On January 25, 2019, HUMBLES emailed the victim and stated “when my pistol is in your mouth…” If convicted, HUMBLES faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment fee. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that an indictment is ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-03-03
    2 months ago
  • Two Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Deputies Plead Guilty for their Roles in Kickback and Bribery Scheme Involving Contract for Privatization of Work Release Program in St. Tammany Parish
    NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that DAVID HANSON, age 61, from Abita Springs, Louisiana, and CLIFFORD “SKIP” KEEN, age 50, from Covington, Louisiana,  pleaded guilty Wednesday, February 27, 2019 before United States District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle to conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and soliciting a bribe, in violation of 18 U.S.C. '' 371, 1343, 1346, and 666(a)(1)(B), for their roles in the privatization of a work release program in Slidell, Louisiana that operated between 2013 and 2016. According to court documents, HANSON and KEEN, each of whom worked most recently as Captains with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office (STPSO) discussed with the then-Sheriff (“Public Official 1”) about becoming owners of a work release program in Slidell, Louisiana that Public Official 1 decided to privatize.  The Sheriff of STPSO had authority, among other things, to enter into certain contracts binding STPSO, including professional service contracts, unilaterally.  Because STPSO rules prohibited employees from “participating in a transaction in which he has a personal substantial economic interest of which he may be reasonably expected to know involving the governmental entity,” HANSON and KEEN would have had to resign from STPSO—thereby losing their salaries and future pension increases—if they wanted to assume ownership and control of the Slidell work release program.  HANSON, KEEN, and Public Official 1 discussed ways to allow HANSON and KEEN to maintain their employment and still profit from the Slidell work release program.  Ultimately, HANSON, KEEN, and Public Official 1 agreed to make ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-28
    2 months ago
  • Former Postal Employee Pleads Guilty To Theft of Mail
    NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that COURTNEY C. DUPLESSIS (“DUPLESSIS”), age 30, of New Orleans, Louisiana, entered a plea of guilty on Thursday, February 21, 2019 to Theft of Mail, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1709. According to court records, DUPLESSIS was employed by the United States Postal Service as a Letter Carrier originally assigned to the Carrolton Station Post Office and then to the Elmwood Station Post Office.  After an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service, it was determined that on various dates from October 2017 to June 2018, DUPLESSIS stole several pieces of mail containing gift cards and cash. On June 19, 2018, special agents with U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (“USPS-OIG”) determined DUPLESSIS opened an envelope and removed cash from the envelope. The USPS-OIG agents confronted DUPLESSIS and advised her of her Miranda rights. During an interview, DUPLESSIS admitted to opening several articles of mail and removing cash and gift cards. Agents discovered an additional 54 articles of mail during a subsequent search of DUPLESSIS’s personal vehicle. DUPLESSIS faces a maximum penalty of five (5) years imprisonment, a $100.00 special assessment fee and/or a fine of $250,000 or the greater of twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to any person under Title 18, United States Code, Section 3571.  Sentencing is scheduled for May 2, 2019 at 2:00pm. U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser praised the ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-24
    2 months ago
  • Nicaraguan Man Charged With Illegal Re-Entry
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that HERVIN ADOLFO PINEDA, age 44, a native of Nicaragua, was charged Thursday, February 21, 2019 in a one-count indictment with illegal reentry of a removed alien, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1326(a). According to the indictment, PINEDA was previously removed from the United States on May 11, 2011. He was later found in the Eastern District of Louisiana on January 31, 2019 and had not received permission from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to reenter. If convicted, PINEDA faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 2 years, a fine of $250,000, one year of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment fee. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that an indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Carter K.D. Guice, Jr. is in charge of the prosecution.                                                                       *   *   *   ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-24
    2 months ago
  • Two Louisiana Tax Preparers Charged With Filing False IRS Returns
    WASHINGTON – Two St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, residents were arrested today on an indictment charging them with conspiring to defraud the United States and aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser of the Eastern District of Louisiana. As charged in the indictment, Michegel Butler and Brittany Riquel Patterson prepared false tax returns in 2013 for clients of Crown Tax Service in Kenner, Louisiana. Butler is the alleged owner of Crown Tax Service, and Patterson is a return preparer at Crown. As part of the scheme, Butler and Patterson allegedly falsified returns by including fraudulent business income and expenses, dependents, and dependent care expenses. They allegedly sought to substantiate these false items by having clients sign blank declarations of business income and expenses, and false receipts. The indictment charges that some clients also were encouraged to buy or sell the personal identification information of others to facilitate the false reporting of dependents on returns. An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Butler and Patterson face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge, and three years for each count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return.  They also face substantial monetary penalties, supervised release, and restitution. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-21
    2 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Sentenced To 105 Months for Felon in Possession of a Firearm Charge
    NEW ORLEANS –U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that United States District Court Judge, Lance M. Africk, sentenced RODNEY LAVALAIS, age 33, of New Orleans, to 105 months of imprisonment, to be served in the United States Bureau of Prisons.  The sentence will run concurrent with January 10, 2019 state court convictions in which LAVALAIS was sentenced to 5 years in the Louisiana Department of Corrections. Following his term of imprisonment, LAVALAIS will be placed on 3 years of supervised release.  On March 22, 2018, LAVALAIS pled guilty to possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony offense. LAVALAIS’ case has been designated as a Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) case.  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. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Kenner Police Department in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Brittany L. Reed is in charge of the prosecution.     ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-21
    2 months ago
  • Houma Man Sentenced To 105 Months for Possession of Child Pornography
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that NICHOLAS GARCIA (“GARCIA”), age 33, of Houma, Louisiana, was sentenced today for possession of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B). According to documents filed in federal court, special agents with the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation (“LBI”) obtained a search warrant for GARCIA’s residence in Houma, Louisiana.  On February 21, 2018, agents with LBI, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) executed the search warrant and arrested GARCIA after finding GARCIA in possession of a Samsung Galaxy tablet containing images and videos of child pornography.  A subsequent computer forensic examination by HSI revealed over 350 images and 3 videos depicting the sexual victimization of pre-pubescent children on GARCIA’s Samsung device. GARCIA was sentenced to 105 months by United States District Judge Barry W. Ashe. GARCIA was also sentenced to a period of five years of supervised release after his term of imprisonment. Judge Ashe also ordered GARCIA to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000.00, a $100.00 special assessment fee and ordered him to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-20
    2 months ago
  • Pain Clinic Owner Sentenced for Illegally Dispensing Schedule II and Schedule III Controlled Substances
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announces that KENNETH KNIGHT, age 69, was sentenced today pursuant to his plea of guilty to a one count bill of information charging him with conspiring with others to dispense quantities of Schedule II and Schedule III drug controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purposes.  KNIGHT admitted in a factual basis that he owned and operated the Axcess Medical Clinic in New Orleans.  He acknowledged that during the operation of the clinic, he directed a physician Dr. Barbara Bruce, to write prescriptions that were provided to patients without conducting medical examinations of the patients.  KNIGHT split 50 percent of the profits received with co-conspirator Dr. Bruce through her medical practice.    KNIGHT was sentenced to 60 months incarceration, a period of supervised release of at least 3 years, and a $15,000.00 fine.  The Honorable Barry W. Ashe sentenced the defendant. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Orleans Field Office Tactical Diversion Squad Task Force consisting of Harahan Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, New Orleans Police Department, Westwego Police Department, Louisiana State Police, New Orleans District Attorney’s Office, and the Internal Revenue Service, Gulfport, Mississippi. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John F. Murphy and Bill McSherry. *     *     * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-20
    2 months ago
  • Hammond Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of More than $240,000.00 in Social Security Funds
    NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that DANNY L. LETARD (“LETARD”), age 57, of Hammond, Louisiana, entered a plea of guilty to Theft of Government Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. According to documents filed in federal court, beginning in 1989, LETARD filed for and later became eligible for Social Security Administration (“SSA”) disability benefits of approximately $2,177.30 per month. During this period, LETARD formed a number of businesses including, but not limited to, Excavation/Dozer Company, Virginia Shop Site Cleaning Services, Virginia’s Job Site Cleaning, Virginia Cleaning Services, and R & D Dozer Excavation & Pipe Fabr.  LETARD’s businesses were registered in the names of LETARD’s family members rather than in his name to conceal his employment. LETARD’s businesses performed demolition work and the cleaning of job sites according to occupational license applications filed with Tangipahoa Parish. LETARD also operated heavy construction equipment as part of his businesses.  On October 24, 2017, LETARD was interviewed by agents with the SSA Office of Inspector General and the Louisiana State Police. In his post-Miranda interview, LETARD told the agents he concealed his SSA benefits through third party companies “so y’all wouldn’t find out about it.” Accordingly, LETARD fraudulently received approximately $242,000.00 in Social Security Administration disability benefits he was not entitled to due to his employment. LETARD faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-20
    2 months ago
  • LaPlace Man Charged With Making False Statement to the Small Business Administration
    You are here FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, February 21, 2019 NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that KEITH CRAIG, age 57, a resident of LaPlace, Louisiana, was charged yesterday in a one-count Bill of Information with making a false statement to the Small Business Administration, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ' 1001. If convicted, CRAIG faces a term of imprisonment of up to five (5) years imprisonment, followed by a term of supervised release of up to three (3) years, and a $250,000 fine. U. S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that a Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Duane A. Evans is in charge of the prosecution. Attachment(s):  Topic(s):  Disaster Fraud Component(s):  Updated February 21, 2019 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-20
    2 months ago
  • Corpus Christi, Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JESSE MARCUS ESTES, age 44, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk. ESTES faces a term of imprisonment of up to twenty (20) years imprisonment, a maximum $250,000.00 fine, and up to three (3) years of supervised release.  Judge Africk scheduled sentencing for May 22, 2019. According to court documents, ESTES conspired to commit wire fraud while employed by Texas Steam & Instrumentation Company (Texas Steam), a corporation related to Louisiana Steam Equipment Company, a Louisiana company located in New Orleans. As Executive Vice President, ESTES conspired with two Texas companies to defraud Texas Steam through a scheme to have Texas Steam or Louisiana Steam pay false invoices generated by the two Texas companies. The Texas companies then kicked back funds to ESTES by paying for fraudulent invoices from Industrial Sales, a company operated by ESTES. ESTES also used another company he owned and operated, Tru-Line Builders, to pass fraudulent invoices through Texas Steam. The scheme spanned from 2007 until 2014 and the defendant stole approximately $374,626 from Louisiana Steam and related subsidiary companies through a fraudulent “pay to play” scheme.  U.S. Attorney Strasser thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its investigation in this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Patrice Harris Sullivan and Duane A. Evans are in charge of the prosecution.   *      *      * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-19
    2 months ago
  • Baton Rouge Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking More than 500 Grams of Methamphetamine
    NEW ORLEANS U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that DEVONTA DUNN, age 24, of Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty Friday, February 15, 2019 to a one-count indictment charging him with trafficking 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A). According to court documents, Dunn was arrested at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport after he arrived from Los Angeles with nearly four kilograms of methamphetamine hidden inside snack food boxes in his checked bag. DUNN pleaded guilty to possessing with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, for which he faces a term of imprisonment of at least ten years and up to life, a fine of up to $10,000,000, and at least five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Judge Milazzo set sentencing for Wednesday, May 15, 2019. United States Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Kenner Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sandman is in charge of the prosecution.   ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-18
    2 months ago
  • Baton Rouge Man Indicted For Wire and Tax Fraud
    NEW ORLEANS –U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced yesterday that WAYNE TRICHE, age 75, of Baton Rouge, was charged in a 38-count Indictment with wire fraud and tax fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1), respectively. The indictment alleges that TRICHE, a certified public accountant, embezzled over $2,000,000.00 from the New Orleans Firefighters Pension and Relief Fund (“the Fund”).   TRICHE was responsible for investing a portion of the Fund’s investments.  Rather than return the profits earned to the Fund, TRICHE stole in excess of $2,000,000.00 and used those funds for personal expenses.  The tax fraud charges stem from TRICHE’s failure to claim the embezzled funds on his personal income tax returns, resulting in a significant loss to the Internal Revenue Service. If convicted of the violations, TRICHE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000.00, a period of up to 3 years supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $3800.00. U. S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser reiterated that an Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Tracey N. Knight is in charge of the prosecution.   ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-14
    2 months ago
  • Indictment Unsealed Charging Three with Operating a Fictitious Immigration Law Firm That Targeted and Defrauded Undocumented Aliens, Family Members, and Other Victims
    NEW ORLEANS –  United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced the unsealing of an Indictment dated February 7, 2019, charging ESTEBAN RAMIREZ, III (“RAMIREZ”), age 26, HEATHER TOLSON (“TOLSON”), age 26, JOSE FERNANDEZ MOREL, a/k/a Benny Veintitres, a/k/a Robert McCane, a/k/a Domi (“FERNANDEZ”), age 28, with one (1) count of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 and three (3) counts of Wire Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. RAMIREZ and TOLSON are residents of Lorain, OH and FERNANDEZ, formerly a resident of Lorain, OH, now lives in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic after he was ordered removed from the United States by immigration officials in 2016. Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud carries a maximum sentence of five (5) years and Wire Fraud carries a maximum sentence of twenty (20) years.  Upon release from prison, all defendants also face a term of supervised release up to (3) three years, and/or a fine of $250,000 or the greater of twice the gross gain to each defendant or twice the gross loss to any person under Title 18, United States Code, Section 3571.    According to the Indictment, in the beginning of February 2017, FERNANDEZ devised a scheme to defraud by fraudulently representing himself as an immigration attorney.  Specifically, FERNANDEZ and other coconspirators acting at his direction, created the fictitious law firm of “Micheal (sic) Browns Immigration Attorneys” with an address of 4207 Parliament Drive, Alexandria, LA 71303.  FERNANDEZ ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-13
    2 months ago
  • Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Failing To Declare More Than $700,000 In Stolen Money On Tax Return. Admits To Stealing Over Five Million from New Orleans Law Firm and Real Estate Company
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that PEGGY NAGELE, age 65 of Thibodeaux, Louisiana pleaded guilty January 24, 2019 to a one count bill of information, charging her with  violating Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206, making false statements on an income tax return. The bill of information, filed in November 2018, charged NAGELE with failing to declare on her 2011 Federal tax form 1040 more than $727,847.80 in funds she had stolen. NAGELE was employed as a bookkeeper with Law Firm A, a New Orleans law firm.  In documents filed in open court in connection with her guilty plea. NAGELE admitted to theft of $5,083,601 from Firm “A” and Business “A”, a real estate management company.  She admitted to failing to declare $727,847 in illicit income on her 2011 federal income tax return, as charged in the Bill of Information. NAGELE further admitted to having unfettered access to both entities checkbooks and financial assets.  She wrote checks to herself from operating accounts at Firm “A”.  She disguised her thefts by making the checks payable to routine vendors, or simply did not record the checks in the check register.  The checks were then deposited into either Mortgage Lending Group, a business NAGELE and her family controlled or Nagele Corporation, another business controlled by the defendant. The maximum penalty NAGELE faces is 3 years incarceration, a $250,000 fine, the cost of the investigation, as well as restitution to the IRS.  NAGELE is set for sentencing ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-13
    2 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Sentenced For Hate Crime in Shooting of Three African-American Men Attempting To Evacuate After Hurricane Katrina
    WASHINGTON – Roland J. Bourgeois Jr., 55, of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release on charges that, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he shot at three young African-American men because of their race as the men attempted to evacuate New Orleans, announced Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Peter G. Strasser; and FBI New Orleans Division Special Agent in Charge Eric J. Rommal. “Today’s sentencing brings closure to this race-motivated shooting that occurred over 13 years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband.  “This sentence sends a clear message to those who attempt to divide our community with violence and fear that the Department of Justice will work tirelessly to prosecute perpetrators of hate-motivated violence.”  “Upholding the civil rights of our citizens is one of the most important duties of the Department of Justice.  This sentencing clearly demonstrates the tenacity of law enforcement to hold individuals responsible for their actions, despite the passage of time,” said U.S. Attorney Strasser. “Hurricane Katrina was a tragic chapter in the history of our city.  Hopefully this plea brings some measure of finality to those directly affected by this crime and to this great city that endured so much in the days following this calamity.” Eric Rommal, FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge stated: “Justice is blind, but she is also patient.  Mr. Bourgeois’ ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-13
    2 months ago
  • Kenner Man Pleads Guilty To Violating the Federal Gun Control Act
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – Garrett Roth, age 26, a resident of Kenner, pleaded guilty Tuesday, February 12, 2019 before United States District Judge Susie Morgan to an indictment charging him with being an unlawful user/drug addict in possession of a firearm, in violation of the Federal Gun Control Act announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser. Garrett Roth was charged on August 13, 2018 in a one-count bill of information with possessing a Taurus, 9 mm semi-automatic pistol while being an unlawful user of and addicted to heroin. ROTH faces up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.  The sentencing is set for May 21, 2019 at 2 pm.  This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which 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. U. S. Attorney Peter Strasser praised the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney David Haller. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-13
    2 months ago
  • Jefferson Parish Building Inspector Charged With Using Facility of Interstate Commerce to Promote Illegal Activity
    NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that ALTON MCCLINTON, age 54, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was charged yesterday in a one-count bill of information with using a facility of interstate commerce with the intent to promote unlawful activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ' 1952(a)(3). According to the bill of information, between at least January 2014, and August 18, 2017, MCCLINTON, a building inspector for the Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement, used the Internet to promote, manage, establish, carry on, and facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, and carrying on of an unlawful activity, that is, public bribery, in violation of Title 14, Louisiana Revised Statutes, Section 118, and thereafter performed and attempted to perform an act to promote, manage, establish, carry on, and facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, and carrying on of such unlawful activity.  Specifically, MCCLINTON, solicited and accepted bribe money from individuals seeking inspection reports in exchange for issuing either (1) a report reflecting that no zoning violation had occurred when, in fact, one had occurred or (2) an inspection report reflecting that MCCLINTON had inspected a particular building and that the building complied with parish building code regulations MCCLINTON when, in fact, MCCLINTON had not actually inspected the building. If convicted, MCCLINTON faces a maximum term of five (5) years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, up to three (3) years of supervised release after imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment. U. S. Attorney Strasser ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-12
    2 months ago
  • North Shore Pastor Sentenced for Fraudulently Obtaining Over $200,000 in Social Security Benefits
    NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that OTHO SCHILLING (“SCHILLING”), age 59, of Mt. Hermon, Louisiana, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Jay C. Zainey to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $202,632.00 for Theft of Government Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. According to court records, SCHILLING, while he was the pastor of a church in Bush, LA beginning in 2005 up until 2016,  required the church to pay his personal expenses, such as his health and car insurance premiums, car payments, and personal land note in lieu of the church paying him a salary directly. During this period, SCHILLING was receiving Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (“RSDI”) from the Social Security Administration in the amount of $1,728 a month.  SCHILLING concealed both his earnings and employment from the Social Security Administration. Accordingly, SCHILLING fraudulently received over $200,000 in RSDI benefits he was not entitled to due to his employment with the church. U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Supervisor of the Financial Crimes Unit.   *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-11
    2 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking in $193,980 worth of Counterfeit Goods
    NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that MAHER SALIM, age 41, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Jay A. Zainey after previously being charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2320(a)(1). According to court documents, SALIM owned and operated BRANDS 4 LESS, a business located at 4200 Washington Avenue, Unit A, in New Orleans.  On about November 9, 2016, agents with the United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) conducted a cargo inspection of a suspicious package addressed to SALIM at the DHL Express facility in Kenner, Louisiana.  The package contained 32 pairs of Nike shoes that were determined to be counterfeit.  Thereafter, a Nike representative entered BRANDS 4 LESS during its business hours and purchased another pair of counterfeit Nike shoes.  Based on this information, HSI agents executed a federal search warrant on BRANDS 4 LESS on January 19, 2017.  During the search, agents seized numerous counterfeit goods SALIM was selling that bore the false marks of makers of clothing and luxury goods, including True Religion, Rock Revival, Michael Kors, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Polo, Timberland, New Era, Nike, Adidas, Dolce & Gabbana, Mitchell & Ness, and North Face.  The collective fair market value of all the items was approximately $193,980. SALIM faces a maximum term of ten (10) years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000,000.00, up to three (3) years of supervised release after ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-11
    2 months ago
  • Northshore Mortgage Broker Sentenced To Making False Statements to the Social Security Administration
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JAMES BRIANT, age 68, a resident of Covington, Louisiana and mortgage broker and senior loan officer at Alpha Mortgage, LLC was sentenced Thursday, February 7, 2019 to three years probation for making false statements to the Social Security Administration  (SSA) in order to obtain Social Security Disability Payments. BRIANT was also ordered to pay approximately $134,000 in restitution to the Social Security Administration. According to court documents, from on or about June 10, 2010, the defendant, BRIANT, applied for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, a department and agency of the United States, for a back disorder and heart disease. Thereafter, in December of 2011, he began receiving monthly disability benefits of approximately $2,370, based on the representation that he was unable to work. During the time he received disability payments, the defendant, BRIANT, had an obligation to report any income he made to the SSA. At a time unknown, but prior to September 2012, the defendant, BRIANT, began working as a loan officer and mortgage broker at Alpha Mortgage, L.L.C, earning a salary. He worked there through in or around June 2017 and never reported to the SSA that he was working or earned any income. On or about December 15, 2015, BRIANT completed a Social Security Disability form specifically, an SSA-Form 795, “Statement of Claimant” and submitted it to the SSA.  In this statement, he signed and certified, under penalty of perjury that he had not worked since 2011, ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-10
    2 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Sentenced For Narcotics Charges
    NEW ORLEANS–U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that MARVIN ARMSTRONG, age 32, of New Orleans, was sentenced for heroin charges. According to court documents, ARMSTRONG conspired with others to distribute between 100 and 400 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, and distributed approximately 7 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin.  U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon sentenced ARMSTRONG to 68 months incarceration, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.  ARMSTRONG was also ordered to pay a $100.000 special assessment. Project Safe Neighborhoods (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. U. S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the New Orleans Police Department, and the Louisiana State Police in investigating this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Maria M. Carboni and Matthew R. Payne.                                                                         *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-10
    2 months ago
  • Honduran National Charged With Misuse of a Social Security Number and Illegal Re-Entry of a Deported Alien
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced yesterday that ORLIN DANERI SUAZO-SUAZO, age 29, was charged in a two-count indictment for misuse of a Social Security number and reentry of deported alien, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(7)(B) and 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a), respectively. According to the indictment, ORLIN DANERI SUAZO-SUAZO (“Suazo”), used a Social Security number that did not belong to him to illegally obtain a Louisiana’s Driver’s License.  The indictment also indicated Suazo reentered the United States after he was previously deported on November 3, 2006.     If convicted, SUAZO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum fine of $250,000, a maximum term of supervised release of three years, and a mandatory $100 special assessment. U. S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that an Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Department of Homeland Security in investigating this matter.  Assistant U. S. Attorney Spiro G. Latsis is in charge of the prosecution.                                                                             *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-07
    3 months ago
  • Honduran National Charged With Illegal Re-Entry of a Deported Alien
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced yesterday that EDWIN RAMON HERNANDEZ-ELVIR, age 39, was charged in a one-count indictment for reentry of deported alien, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a). According to the indictment, EDWIN RAMON HERNANDEZ-ELVIR reentered the United States after he was previously deported on January 2, 2003.     If convicted, EDWIN RAMON HERNANDEZ-ELVIR faces a maximum term of imprisonment of two years, a maximum fine of $250,000, a maximum term of supervised release of one year, and a mandatory $100 special assessment. U. S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that an Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Department of Homeland Security in investigating this matter.  Assistant U. S. Attorney Irene Gonzalez is in charge of the prosecution.                                                                             *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-07
    3 months ago
  • Felon Pleads Guilty To Possession of a Firearm
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that PHILLIP GUIDRY, age 49, of Loranger, Louisiana, yesterday pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm before the Honorable Barry W. Ashe. According to court documents, a March 2, 2018 search of GUIDRY’s home revealed that he possessed five (5) firearms, including shotguns and pistols.  GUIDRY faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) which 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. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Louisiana State Police.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Howard Sinkman. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-07
    3 months ago
  • Former Postal Employee Pleads Guilty to Misappropriation of Postal Funds
    NEW ORLEANS –  United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced yesterday that JACQUELINE M. BATISTE a/k/a Jacqueline Batiste Francois, age 48, of New Orleans, Louisiana, entered a plea of guilty to misappropriation of postal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1711. According to documents filed in federal court, BATISTE was employed by the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) as a City Letter Carrier/Supervisor working in the New Orleans Bywater Station (“Bywater”) Post Office. One of BATISTE’s responsibilities was to prepare and dispatch the Bywater Station’s daily remittances for deposit with the New Orleans Process and Delivery Center Registry Section (“PDCRS”). The case against BATISTE began when the PDCRS contacted the USPS Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) because the Bywater Post Office failed to submit remittances. The USPS OIG’s investigation revealed that Bywater employees gave deposit money to BATISTE for remittance to the Registry Section. On March 29, 2018, Batiste agreed to meet with special agents of the USPS OIG. BATISTE was advised of her Miranda rights and was told that the agents wanted to discuss financial issues in the Bywater Post Office. BATISTE told the agents that she had a gambling issue and liked to play the slot machines at Boomtown Casino. BATISTE said, on the date in question, she notified a fellow postal employee that she was going to place the deposit money in the safe. Special agents asked BATISTE if that happened and BATISTE replied, “No, I had the urge.” BATISTE admitted to taking ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2019-02-06
    3 months ago
  • Jerome Kieffer and Armstead Kieffer Found Guilty of Felony Murder Related to May 2017 Loomis Armored Car Robbery, a Separate Robbery of a Brinks Armored Car in October 2015, Lying to Federal Grand Jury, and Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
    U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JEROME KIEFFER, age 24, and JEROME’s father, ARMSTEAD KIEFFER, age 53, of New Orleans were found guilty today after a jury trial before United States District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle to charges of conspiracy to commit bank robbery, armed bank robbery, use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, armed bank robbery resulting in death, murder, making false statements to federal grand jury and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  JEROME KIEFFER and ARMSTEAD KIEFFER, who are father and son, were found guilty of committing two armored car robberies, a 2015 robbery at the Chase Bank on N. Board and a 2017 attempted robbery at the Campus Federal Credit Union on Tulane.  JEROME KIEFFER spent several days planning the 2015 robbery and the getaway.  JEROME KIEFFER and DELTOINE SCOTT, a co-defendant who pled guilty, waited behind a hole they had cut in a wooden fence and jumped out with guns when they saw the guard move away from the armored car.  They then fled back through the hole and down an alley to where they had previously parked a getaway vehicle. They got the guns they used in the robbery from ARMSTEAD KIEFFER and  they returned to ARMSTEAD KIEFFER’s house immediately after the robbery to count the proceeds.  JEROME KIEFFER and ARMSTEAD KIEFFER were also found guilty for their participation in the 2017 attempted robbery that resulted in the death of Loomis guard James McBride.  JEROME KIEFFER had ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-10-28
    6 months ago
  • Man Charged With Violations of Federal Gun Control Act, Federal Narcotics Laws, and Obstruction of Justice
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that KENDALL BARNES, age 22, of Chalmette, was charged in a five-count indictment on September 27, 2018 by a federal grand jury. The Indictment charges BARNES, a convicted felon, with two counts of felon in possession of a firearm.  If convicted of these charges, BARNES faces a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The Indictment charges BARNES with possession with intent to distribute heroin.  If convicted of this count, BARNES faces a term of imprisonment of 20 years, a fine of up to $1 million, and at least three years of supervised release. The Indictment also charges that BARNES was in possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  If convicted of this count, BARNES faces a term of imprisonment of 5 years to life, a fine of $250,000, and up to five years of supervised release. Additionally, the Indictment charges BARNES with obstruction of justice.  If convicted of this count, BARNES could face up to 10 years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. 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 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-09-27
    7 months ago
  • Third Brazilian National Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Identity Theft in Card-Skimming Scheme
    U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Andre Lion Goncalves Pereira (“PEREIRA”), age 29, a citizen of Brazil, pleaded guilty on June 14 before U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance to aggravated identity theft. According to the court documents, Pereira and three other Brazilian nationals were arrested by members of the Louisiana Financial Crimes Task Force at a hotel in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans on August 3, 2017.  Federal and state law enforcement officers found the defendants in possession of re-encoded credit cards that contained stolen debit card information from actual customers.  These individuals also possessed embossers, encoders, ATM skimmers, false identification, and other contraband.  In a coordinated investigation in Oklahoma City, U.S. Secret Service agents arrested another Brazilian national who had been mailing skimmers, pinhole cameras, and other tools for credit card fraud to the four New Orleans-based members of this conspiracy. Pereira pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.  He faces a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $250,000.00 fine or a fine equal to the greater of twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss caused by this offense.  Judge Vance scheduled the sentencing for September 12. 2018. U.S. Attorney Evans praised the agencies that contributed to this investigation, which was a coordinated effort among federal and state law enforcement authorities within the Louisiana Financial Crimes Task Force.  The Task Force includes representatives from ... read more
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-06-18
    10 months ago
  • Louisiana Woman Sentenced in Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud Scheme
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-29
    11 months ago
  • Guatemala National Charged with Illegal Reentry
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-29
    11 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-28
    11 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-24
    11 months ago
  • Two Maryland Men Charged in EB-5 Visa Scheme to Defraud Investors
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-24
    11 months ago
  • Ponchatoula Man Indicted for Receipt of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-23
    11 months ago
  • New Orleans East Resident Indicted in Heroin-Trafficking Conspiracy
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-23
    11 months ago
  • Luling Man Pleads Guilty to Violating the Federal Gun Control Act
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-21
    11 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Charged with Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-17
    11 months ago
  • Salvadoran National Charged with Illegal Reentry
    Source: DOJ – East LAPublished on 2018-05-17
    11 months ago