DOJ – Maryland

DOJ - Department of Justice
DOJ - Department of Justice
  • Twenty Defendants Indicted on Federal Racketeering and Related Charges at Maryland Correctional Institute Jessup
    Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted 20 defendants on federal racketeering and related charges at the Maryland Correctional Institute Jessup (MCIJ), including correctional officers, employees, contractors, inmates, and outside “facilitators,” for allegedly paying bribes to correctional officers and other staff members to smuggle contraband, including narcotics, unauthorized flash drives, tobacco, and cell phones into the prison.  The indictment was returned on March 28, 2019, and made public today upon the arrest of the defendants. The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Acting Secretary J. Michael Zeigler, of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. “Our public officials—including correctional officers and prison staff—must conduct their duties with integrity and professionalism,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “The indictment alleges that prison officials took bribes to smuggle contraband for inmates, and assaulted inmates.  Corrupt correctional officers and staff endanger the lives of their co-workers and of the inmates entrusted to their care and supervision, and undermine everyone’s faith in the administration of justice.” “One of the FBI’s top priorities continues to focus on the detection of corruption,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Nadeau.  “Today’s arrests are the result of the seriousness the FBI takes regarding unlawful actions conducted by public servants who use their position to enrich themselves.” “Today’s action brings the number of officers, inmates and ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-15
    3 days ago
  • Cardiac Associates, P.C. Agrees to Pay the United States Over $399,000 to Settle False Claims Act Allegations Relating to Improper Billing Practices
    Baltimore, Maryland – Cardiac Associates, P.C. has agreed to pay $399,230.35 to settle claims that they submitted false claims to the United States for services not rendered.  Cardiac Associates, P.C. is a medical practice with offices located in Rockville, Olney, Laurel and Germantown, Maryland. The settlement agreement was announced today by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the settlement agreement, the United States contends that from January 1, 2012 through December 21, 2016, Cardiac Associates billed for two similar procedures on the same date for the same patient, when only one of the procedures was actually performed. Specifically, Cardiac Associates, P.C. administered tests to patients to assess the venous sufficiency in the lower extremities.  As part of this process, they performed a venous Doppler duplex examination to determine if there were blood flow issues, including deep vein thromboses, in the patient’s legs.  They billed Medicare under CPT 93970 for this work. Billing records showed that Cardiac Associates, P.C. billed for an additional test using CPT 93965, which references an older, different technology, one that has generally been replaced by the CPT 93970 technology.  The United States contends that billing both CPT codes 93965 and 93970 was improper and led to the submission of false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only.  The settlement ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-14
    4 days ago
  • Laurel Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm today sentenced Charles Bertsch, age 60, of Laurel, Maryland, to nine years in federal prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release, for distribution of child pornography.  Judge Grimm also ordered that, upon his release from prison, Bertsch must register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department; Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore; and Worcester County Sheriff Matthew Crisafulli. According to Bertsch’s plea agreement, FBI Task Force agents in Maryland began an investigation into Bertsch after various law enforcement agencies downloaded child pornography via a file-sharing network from IP addresses that led back to Bertsch.  In a subsequent interview with law enforcement, Bertsch acknowledged that by connecting his computer and downloading such images, he was simultaneously enabling others to download child pornography from his hard drive. A forensic examination of Bertsch’s electronic devices, seized pursuant to a search warrant, revealed more than 99,000 image files and more than 2,000 video files of child pornography. 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 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-14
    4 days ago
  • Six Remaining Cherry Hill Hillside Gang Members Plead Guilty to Federal Racketeering Conspiracy Charges
    Baltimore, Maryland – On Thursday, April 11, 2019, six Baltimore men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise related to their activities as members of the violent Hillside gang that operated in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore.  As part of their plea agreements, the defendants admitted to participating in murders; attempted murders, robberies; and the distribution of narcotics.  The following defendants pleaded guilty:             Keenan Lawson, a/k/a BlackFace, age 27;            Michael Evans, a/k/a Pee Wee, age 25;            Kevin Horsey, a/k/a What What, age 26;            Stevie Lawson, a/k/a GB, age 28;            Terrell Luster, a/k/a Relly, age 31; and            Caesar Rice, a/k/a Stinky, age 27.      Thirteen other Hillside gang members have previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the racketeering conspiracy.  Of those, eight have been sentenced to between 10 and 30 years in federal prison.  The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby. “These gang members brought terror and death to Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood with guns and drugs.  Federal, state, and local law enforcement are committed to working together to target those responsible for the most violence in Baltimore City,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “These defendants admitted that they were part of an organized criminal enterprise with leaders and members ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-11
    7 days ago
  • Twenty-Two Defendants Charged with Federal Drug Conspiracy and Related Crimes
    Defendants Allegedly Knew the Drugs They Sold Were Causing Overdoses Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging 22 defendants with participating in a drug conspiracy that allegedly distributed heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine in Maryland and surrounding states, resulting in multiple overdoses, including five overdose deaths.  According to the superseding indictment, the defendants possessed firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking and purchased guns from customers in exchange for drugs.  The superseding indictment was returned late on April 10, 2019, and unsealed yesterday. The superseding indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill, III of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department. “A supply chain that distributed opioids--including deadly fentanyl—throughout Maryland and in Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, has been dismantled, and those charged with trafficking these poisons are now in federal custody,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Drugs—especially opioids—are killing thousands of Marylanders a year.  Federal, state, and local law enforcement are working together to reduce overdose deaths from fentanyl and from all opioids.  Drug traffickers are on notice that dealing in fentanyl increases their odds of federal prosecution and federal time.” "The FBI worked side-by-side with the Montgomery ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-11
    7 days ago
  • Thai National Sentenced to Over Two Years in Federal Prison for Conspiring to Unlawfully Export Firearms Parts from the United States to Thailand
    Greenbelt, Maryland – Thai national Apichart Srivaranon, 34 years old, was sentenced to 26 months in federal prison for a conspiracy to export arms and munitions, and for unlawfully exporting arms and munitions, specifically for exporting firearms parts from the United States to Thailand.  U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel imposed the sentence on April 11, 2019, and also ordered Srivaranon to forfeit $10,000.  Today, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton for the District of Columbia sentenced Srivaranon to the same sentence for conspiracy to defraud the United States and to export defense articles from the United States to Thailand.  The sentences will be served concurrently.  Upon his release from prison, Srivaranon will be deported from the United States and returned to Thailand. The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore. Srivaranon pleaded guilty to charges in both Maryland and the District of Columbia in January and March 2019, respectively, as required by his plea agreement in each District. Srivaranon admitted that between 2012 and 2014, he conspired with individuals in the United States and Thailand to obtain firearms parts in the United States that were listed on the United States Munitions List (USML) and then exported, and attempted to export, the firearm parts to Thailand without having first obtained ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-11
    7 days ago
  • Fraudster and Identity Thief who Used the Personal and Account Information of AT&T Customers to Purchase Apple iPhones Sentenced to Four Years in Federal Prison
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis today sentenced Alonia Anderson Perkins, age 42, of Tampa, Florida, to four years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and for aggravated identity theft, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain and charge the costs of upgraded Apple iPhones against true AT&T customers.  Judge Xinis also ordered Perkins to pay restitution of $6,500. Co-defendant Toni Ann Bobet, age 30, of New York, New York, pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme on April 11, 2019, just a few days before she was scheduled to go to trial. The sentence and guilty plea were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Matthew S. Miller of the United States Secret Service - Washington Field Office; and Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill, III of the Montgomery County Police Department. According to their plea agreements, Perkins, Bobet, and co-defendant Celeste Nyleen Carmona, age 23, of New York, New York, conspired to obtain, charge, and finance the costs of upgraded Apple iPhones against true AT&T customers’ accounts.  The defendants admitted that they used stolen account information, telephone upgrade eligibility, and personal identifying information of actual AT&T Mobility customers to obtain the iPhones, which Bobet then provided to her co-conspirators in New York City. Specifically, in July 2015 and April 2016, respectively, Bobet recruited Carmona and Perkins into the scheme.  In May 2016, Bobet drove Perkins ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-11
    7 days ago
  • Towson Woman Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Obtaining More Than $4.3 Million in an Advance Fee Fraud Scheme and for Evading Taxes
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett today sentenced Lauren Montillo, age 47, of Towson, Maryland, to eight years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and for tax evasion.   Judge Bennett also ordered Montillo to pay restitution of $4,060,284.79 to the victims of the scheme, and $276,240 to the Internal Revenue Service.  Montillo admitted that from 2010 through 2015, she and her co-conspirators sought at least $8.7 million in advance fees from foreign and United States victims, purporting to offer access to exotic bank financial instruments.  Victims paid $4,342,540 in advance fees into Hong Kong bank accounts or attorney escrow accounts and received nothing in return.  For tax years 2012 through 2014, Montillo reported no income other than $100, evading a substantial amount of income taxes.   The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office. According to her plea agreement and other court documents, Montillo and her co-conspirators created shell companies, with associated websites, email addresses, and bank accounts, which they used to perpetrate the fraud.   Specifically, in February 2010, Montillo opened an account with GoDaddy, which provides web-hosting services.  From 2010 to 2015, Montillo and other co-conspirators used GoDaddy to host websites for ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-11
    7 days ago
  • Maryland MS-13 Gang Member Sentenced to 33 Years in Federal Prison for a Violent Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Murder and Extortion
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis today sentenced Noe Coreas-Mejia, a/k/a “Tsunami,” age 22, of Hyattsville, Maryland, today to 33 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.  The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill, III of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. “We will not tolerate the violence perpetrated by MS-13 in Maryland,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Today’s sentence sends a strong message to MS-13 gang members that federal, state, and local law enforcement will continue to work together to find and bring to justice MS-13 members who commit these heinous crimes.” MS-13 is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick County, and throughout the United States.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13 often work together cooperatively as “Programs,” with the purpose of increasing the gang’s levels of organization, violence, extortion, and ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-10
    1 week ago
  • Anne Arundel County Restaurant Owner Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison for Stalking his Estranged Wife
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Khalil Ahmad, age 51, of Hanover, Maryland, today to two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for stalking his estranged wife.  Ahmad solicited another individual to have his wife killed after he violated protective orders she had obtained against him, but instead, ultimately paid that individual to set her up to appear to be a terrorist and have her arrested.  Ahmad paid the same individual to burn down the restaurant Ahmad owned in order for him to collect the insurance.  The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare. According to his plea agreement, Ahmad and the victim were married in July 2015.  Before and after their marriage, the victim lived in Howard County, Maryland, and Ahmad lived separately in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  During their marriage, Ahmad threatened to kill the victim by shooting her.  In April 2018, the victim informed Ahmad that she wanted a divorce. On April 24, 2018, Ahmad drove to the victim’s residence, and in the presence of the victim and her children, poured gasoline over his body, produced a lighter, and threatened to light himself on fire if the victim did not take him back.  The next day, the victim obtained a temporary protective order in Howard ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-09
    1 week ago
  • Laurel Man Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Federal Prison for Committing Five Armed Robberies Of Pharmacies in Howard, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s Counties
    Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Arthur Raymond Prince, age 20, of Laurel Maryland, to 15 years and a month in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for robbery of controlled substances, and for carrying and brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in connection with the armed robbery or attempted armed robbery of five pharmacies.  The sentence was imposed on April 9, 2019. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Acting Annapolis Police Chief Paul Herman; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill, III of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Lisa Myers of the Howard County Police Department; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “Prince and his co-defendant used guns to threaten pharmacy employees and steal tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of opioids and other prescription drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Today’s sentence sends a strong message that if you use a gun to commit a federal crime, you will serve federal time, where there is no parole—ever.” According their plea agreements, between May 5, and November 29, 2017, Prince and his co-conspirator, Jawanza Carter, participated in five armed robberies of pharmacies.  In each robbery, ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-09
    1 week ago
  • Former Army Contractor Sentenced To 30 Months In Federal Prison For Bribery Scheme Involving Contracts At Aberdeen Proving Ground
    Baltimore, Maryland – United States District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Matthew Barrow, age 45, of Toledo, Ohio, today to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, on bribery charges related to contracting at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), in Harford County, Maryland.  Co-defendants John Kays, age 45, of Pinehurst, North Carolina (formerly of Bel Air, Maryland), and his wife, Danielle Kays, age 44, are currently serving federal prison sentences of six years and 18 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in the scheme.  The court previously issued an order that the defendants forfeit $1,487,135.52, as well as vehicles and a boat. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig, Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office; Special Agent in Charge L. Scott Moreland, Mid-Atlantic Fraud Field Office, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office. According to court documents, John Kays, Danielle Kays, and Barrow all graduated together from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  In 2008, John Kays and Danielle Kays held leadership positions as civilian employees in the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), representing the Army in multi-year contracts.  CECOM was headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  Barrow worked for a glass manufacturer in Toledo, ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-09
    1 week ago
  • Former Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office Employee Sentenced to Federal Prison for Providing Information to the Target of a Drug Trafficking Investigation
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Chanel Holland, age 36, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, today to a year and a day in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for obstructing an official proceeding.  The charges were a result of an investigation showing that Holland provided information regarding law enforcement activity, including sealed indictments and investigative information, to the target of a drug trafficking investigation.  At the time, Holland was employed as the Human Resource Administrator in the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Department.  The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess; and Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt. “Chanel Holland betrayed the trust of the citizens of Maryland and of the law enforcement officers who fight every day to keep our streets safe from drug dealers and other criminals who endanger our communities,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “In doing so, she not only broke the law, but also put lives at risk.  This federal prosecution and sentence to federal prison time holds her accountable for those actions.” According to Holland’s plea ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-09
    1 week ago
  • Two Cherry Hill Hillside Gang Members Plead Guilty To Federal Racketeering Conspiracy Charges
    Eight Co-Defendants Previously Pleaded Guilty and Were Sentenced to Between 10 and 30 Years In Federal Prison  Baltimore, Maryland – On Friday, April 5, 2019, Christopher Dukes, age 27; and Marcus Johnson, age 28, both of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise related to their activities as members of the Hillside gang that operated in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore.  As part of Dukes’ plea agreement, he admitted to participating in two murders; two attempted murders, including of a law enforcement officer; and the distribution of narcotics.  Ten other Hillside gang members have previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the racketeering conspiracy.  Of those, eight have been sentenced to between 10 and 30 years in federal prison.  Seven defendants are scheduled to go to trial on May 6, 2019.  Two defendants remain at large and are being sought by law enforcement. The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby. “The most important thing that law enforcement officers can do to stop violence is to make clear that killers will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “The Hillside gang is responsible for murders and other acts of violence throughout their community.  All of the members of ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-07
    2 weeks ago
  • Maryland Man Charged with Interstate Transportation of a Stolen Vehicle
    Greenbelt, Maryland – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has charged Rondell Henry, age 28, of Germantown, Maryland, by criminal complaint with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle.  Today, the government filed a motion arguing for Henry to be detained pending trial as a flight risk and a danger to the community.  Specifically, the government’s detention memo alleges that Henry, who claimed to be inspired by the ISIS terrorist organization, stole a U-Haul van with the intention of using it as a weapon against pedestrians on sidewalks within the National Harbor complex along the Potomac River in Maryland.  A detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2019, at 12:45 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas M. DiGirolamo. The criminal complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill, III of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Chief Michael L. Brown of the City of Alexandria (Virginia) Police Department. U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur stated, “We continue to gather evidence, as well as review evidence already obtained as part of this ongoing investigation.” According to the criminal complaint and other court documents, on March 26, 2019, the Alexandria Police Department was contacted concerning a leased U-Haul vehicle that had been ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-07
    2 weeks ago
  • Laurel Man Pleads Guilty to Committing Five Armed Robberies of Pharmacies in Howard, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s Counties
    Baltimore, Maryland – Jawanza Kevin Carter, age 22, of Laurel Maryland, pleaded guilty on April 3, 2019, to robbery involving controlled substances, and to carrying and brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in connection with the armed robbery or attempted armed robbery of five pharmacies and the theft of tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of opioids.   The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Acting Chief Paul Herman of the Annapolis Police Department; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill, III of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Lisa D. Myers of the Howard County Police Department; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. According to Carter’s plea agreement, between May 5 and November 29, 2017, Carter and his co-conspirator Arthur Prince participated in five armed robberies of pharmacies.  In each robbery, Carter pointed a gun at the clerk, and Carter and Prince demanded opioid narcotics such as Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, and Codeine.  In most of the robberies, Carter and Prince also stole money from the cash register and/or robbed the clerk. Specifically, Carter admitted that he robbed: the Howard Pharmacy in Columbia, Maryland on May 5, 2017; the Lorven Pharmacy in Laurel Maryland on June 19, ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-03
    2 weeks ago
  • Social Security Employee Facing Federal Indictment for a Scheme to Obtain Over $236,000 in Social Security Benefits by Allegedly Submitting Fictitious Claims
    Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Cheikh Ahmet Tidiane Cisse, age 43, of Baltimore, Maryland, on federal charges in connection with a scheme in which Cisse allegedly filed fraudulent claims for Social Security benefits using fictitious identities and the identities of actual individuals, and attempted to collected over $236,000.  The indictment was returned on April 3, 2019.  The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division. Cisse was employed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a Claims Specialist.  The 14-count indictment alleges that between July 2018 and March 2019, Cisse used his position at SSA to create fictitious identities within the SSA’s social security number database in order to file fictitious claims for benefits.  The indictment alleges that Cisse used both fictitious identities and the identities of actual individuals to file the fraudulent claims and stole or attempted to steal over $236,000 from SSA. The indictment alleges that Cisse would input false information into SSA systems indicating that he had witnessed original documents, such as birth certificates, and marriage and divorce decrees, when in fact he had not.  In one instance, when SSA withheld payment due to suspected fraud, the indictment alleges that Cisse contacted SSA’s payment center and falsely relayed that the purported beneficiary had called inquiring about the whereabouts of the payment, which caused the payment center ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-03
    2 weeks ago
  • Baltimore Heroin Dealer Pleads Guilty To Distribution Of Heroin
    Greenbelt, Maryland – Coron Demon Johnson, a/k/a Savage, age 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty on April 2, 2019, to distribution of heroin.  As part of his plea agreement, Johnson admitted that death resulted from use of the heroin that he distributed.  The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Chief John Nesky of the Bowie Police Department. According to his plea agreement, on August 11, 2017, Johnson sold heroin to an individual in Annapolis, Maryland.  The customer returned to her home in Bowie, Maryland, and went to her bedroom.  The next day, the individual was found in her bedroom, unresponsive.  The victim was holding her cell phone.  First responders administered CPR, but the victim was pronounced dead a few minutes later.  Law enforcement officers recovered a paper fold containing .025 grams of heroin and the victim’s cell phone, which were located next to her body.  The medical examiner performed an autopsy and determined that the victim’s cause of death was heroin intoxication. Law enforcement officers took possession of the victim’s phone following the fatal overdose.  A short time later, Johnson texted the phone, asking if the victim was “coming get some this fire today.”  A law enforcement officer, posing as the victim, responded to Johnson.  Johnson, via text, arranged to meet ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-02
    2 weeks ago
  • MS-13 Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Federal Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Participating in a Murder
    Baltimore, Maryland – Daniel Flores-Ventura, a/k/a Necio, age 26, of Aspen Hill, Maryland, pleaded guilty on April 2, 2019, to conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, including participating in a murder.  Co-defendants Vilas Sail Argueta-Bermudez, a/k/a Happy, Little Happy, and Enchilada, age 32; Michael Campos-Lemus, a/k/a Humilde, age 25, both of Aspen Hill; and Wilians Ernesto Lovos-Ayala, a/k/a Tigre, age 26, of Woodbridge, Virginia, previously pleaded guilty to the same charge. The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Edward Hargis of the Frederick Police Department; and Chief Barry M. Barnard of Prince William County, Virginia Police. “The convictions of these four defendants, and our ongoing work with our law enforcement partners to bring other gang members to justice, demonstrate our unflagging commitment to remove MS-13 and its associated violence from our communities,” said United States Attorney Hur.  “We simply will not tolerate the wonton violence that MS-13 promotes.” MS-13 is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick County, and throughout the United States.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13 often work together cooperatively to ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-02
    2 weeks ago
  • Baltimore Business Owner Indicted on Federal Charges for a Conspiracy to Set Fire to His Business In Order to Obtain Insurance Proceeds
    Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Demetrios Stavrakis, a/k/a Jimmy, age 53, of Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland, for an arson conspiracy to allegedly damage his business by setting it on fire in order to obtain insurance proceeds.  The indictment was returned on March 28, 2019 and unsealed today.  Stavrakis was arrested and had his initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.  Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner ordered Stavrakis to be released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services pending trial. The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department. The four-count indictment alleges that beginning in July 2015, Stavrakis engaged in a conspiracy to set fire to commercial property he owned in the 200 block of Haven Street in Baltimore, in order to collect insurance proceeds on the property.  According to the indictment, on July 28, 2015, just before 6 p.m., Stavrakis used adhesive tape to defeat one of the security features on the front door of the building so that the person or persons setting the fire could enter the building. According to the indictment, very early the next morning, someone disarmed the alarms inside the building by entering the four-digit codes for the alarms.  Between 12:25 a.m. and 1:30 a.m., the office ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-04-02
    2 weeks ago
  • Chevy Chase Man Who Secretly Videotaped Children in His Home Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Production and Possession of Child Pornography
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Jonathan Mark Oldale, age 55, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, today to 20 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, on charges of production and possession of child pornography, arising from Oldale secretly filming children using hidden cameras in the bathrooms of his home.  As a result of his conviction, Oldale must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  In addition, Oldale must pay a $400,000 money judgment in lieu of forfeiture of Oldale’s interest in his residence, which Oldale used to facilitate his crimes. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. “Jonathan Oldale invited children into his home in order to surreptitiously photograph them while they were changing clothes or using the bathroom, and attempted to do the same thing in public facilities that catered to children,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “This sentence sends a clear message that we will bring to justice those who would victimize innocent children.” According to Oldale’s plea agreement, on May 5, 2017, the Montgomery County Police Department received a complaint from an employee at ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-31
    3 weeks ago
  • Beltsville Man Sentenced to 87 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing Over $4.2 Million in a Business E-Mail Compromise Scheme
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Nkeng Amin, a/k/a “Rapone,” a/k/a “Arnold,” age 31, of Beltsville, Maryland, today to 87 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for a large-scale business e-mail compromise scheme during which Amin and his co-conspirators obtained over $4.2 million from at least 13 individual and business victims.  Judge Grimm also ordered Amin to forfeit and to pay restitution in the amount of $1,021,474. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of Homeland Security Investigations; and Special Agent in Charge Brian Ebert of the United States Secret Service, Washington Field Office. According to his plea agreement, and to evidence presented at today’s sentencing hearing, between February 2016 and July 2017, Amin and his co-conspirators gained access to e-mail accounts associated with the victims.  Then, posing as an entity with whom the victims were associated, they sent false wiring instructions to the victims, who wired millions of dollars into “drop accounts” set up by Amin and his co-defendants, in the names of fictitious businesses they registered.  Drop accounts were bank accounts opened or controlled by Amin and his co-conspirators that were used to receive fraudulently obtained money from victims.  Amin and others then disbursed the money in the drop accounts that were received from the victims by, among other things: electronically transferring money to other accounts; transferring funds to other accounts at the ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-31
    3 weeks ago
  • Two Baltimore Men Sentenced to at Least 12 Years in Federal Prison for Attempting to Rob Undercover ATF Special Agents at Gunpoint
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III today sentenced Menard Hazelwood, age 29, and Donte Smith, age 34, both of Baltimore, to 13 years in federal prison and 12 years in federal prison, respectively, each followed by three years of supervised release, for assaulting a federal officer and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, in connection with the May 26, 2017, assault on two undercover Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the ATF Baltimore Field Division. “These brave agents, like all law enforcement officers, put their lives on the line every day to identify and disrupt the drug dealers that bring violence to our streets.  We are grateful that they were able to return home safely,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “These defendants thought they were robbing drug customers, which happens all often in Baltimore.  Hopefully the sentences imposed today send a message to those who would commit violence that gun crime will lead to federal time, which has no parole – ever.”  “We are glad to see justice served today and are grateful that our dedicated Special Agents were unharmed,” said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada. “ATF’s top priority in Baltimore is to identify and target the criminal organizations responsible for gun violence.  Special Agents risk their personal safety ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-28
    3 weeks ago
  • MS-13 Member Sentenced to 26 Years in Federal Prison for His Participation in a Violent Racketeering Conspiracy, Including a Murder and Attempted Murder
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Kevin Soriana-Hernandez, a/k/a “Brocha,” age 19, of Riverdale, Maryland, today to 26 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his participation in the racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, including a murder and attempted murder. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur for the District of Maryland, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Safe Streets/HIDTA Task Force, Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Washington Field Division, Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department, Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department, Chief Amal Awad of the Hyattsville Police Department, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. “This sentence sends a message that the violence perpetrated by MS-13 members and associates will not be tolerated,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Our ongoing work with our law enforcement partners to bring other gang members to justice, demonstrates our unflagging commitment to eliminate MS-13 and its campaign of wanton violence.” “MS-13’s stock-in-trade is violence and intimidation, as shown by the brutal and premeditated murder that Kevin Soriana-Hernandez and his ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-28
    3 weeks ago
  • Rockville Man Who Posed as a Modeling Agent to Obtain Sexually Explicit Images of Minor Female Victims Sentenced to 22 Years in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Charges
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Stephen McGrath, age 44, of Rockville, Maryland, today to 22 years in federal prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release, for federal charges of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity in order to produce child pornography, and possession of child pornography.  Upon his release from prison, McGrath will be required to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. According to McGrath’s plea agreement, between June 16 and October 9, 2017, McGrath used Internet-based chat applications “MeetMe” and “KIK” to communicate with six minor female victims, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old.  In his communications with the victims, McGrath, posing as a female modeling agent, confirmed the ages of the victims and requested photographs, including nude and sexually explicit images, which the victims then sent to McGrath as part of their “modeling evaluation.”  McGrath also admitted that he distributed sexually explicit images of Victim 6, a 14-year-old girl, to two of her male friends, whose account information he had requested from Victim ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-28
    3 weeks ago
  • Leader of Old York Money Gang Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison and Gang Member Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Charges Related to Their Gang Activities, Including Racketeering Murder, Drug Conspiracy, Drug Dealing, and Gun Crimes
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III today sentenced Trevon Beasley, a/k/a Tre, age 25, of Baltimore, to life in federal prison and on March 28, 2019, sentenced Darrin Mosley, a/k/a Legs and Scoop, age 25, also of Baltimore, to 30 years in federal prison, each followed by five years of supervised release.  Beasley was convicted after a 12-day jury trial on federal racketeering charges, including murders he committed, related to his membership in the Old York Money Gang (OYMG); a federal drug distribution conspiracy; conspiracy to use and carry a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime; and eight counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and/or heroin.  Just prior to trial, Mosley pleaded guilty to the racketeering and drug conspiracies, and to conspiracy to use and carry a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime.  While Mosley did not admit to any violent acts committed by himself or other gang members, the sentencing Court held that the evidence – including evidence presented by the government at Beasley’s trial, court documents, and other evidence – proved that as part of his gang activities, Mosley participated in and knew about murders committed by OYMG gang members.  The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-28
    3 weeks ago
  • Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa Sentenced to Federal Prison for Failing to File Tax Returns
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa, age 54, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 10 months in federal prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for three counts of failing to file individual federal tax returns.  Judge Blake also ordered DeSousa to perform 100 hours of community service, and ordered him to pay restitution in the full amount of the government’s loss, which is $67,587.72.  Counting payments already made, the amount still owed is $60,645.11. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office. “As a law enforcement officer, Darryl DeSousa knew that he had a duty to file tax returns.  His failure to file was a crime – not an oversight,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Corrupt public employees rip off the taxpayers and undermine everyone’s faith in government.” “This investigation confirms the principle that no one is above the law,” said Acting FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore. “The FBI will continue to work tirelessly to make sure those in a position of power uphold the law and are held to the highest standards.” “IRS-CI works hard to ensure faith in our tax laws,” said Kelly Jackson, IRS-CI Special ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-28
    3 weeks ago
  • Former Government Contractor Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge Of Willful Retention Of National Defense Information
    Baltimore, Maryland – Harold Thomas Martin, III, age 54, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to the federal charge of willful retention of national defense information. The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.  “Harold Martin was entrusted with highly classified national defense information.  Today, Martin admitted that he betrayed that trust and for more than 20 years he stole and retained a vast quantity of highly classified government information,” stated U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “We will prosecute government employees and contractors who flagrantly violate their duty to protect classified materials.” “The American people entrusted Harold Martin with some of the nation’s most sensitive classified secrets,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.  “In turn, Martin owed them a duty to safeguard this information.  He has admitted to violating their trust and putting our nation’s security at risk.  With today’s plea, we are one step closer to holding Mr. Martin accountable for his dangerous and unlawful actions.”  “Security clearance holders bear a profound public trust - to safeguard classified information in secure settings with strict adherence to law and policy,” said Acting FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore. “When this trust is broken, as with Mr. Martin, the FBI will be tireless and comprehensive in its investigation to hold wrongdoers accountable.  ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-27
    3 weeks ago
  • Maryland Sex Offender Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Possession of Child Pornography
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander today sentenced Freddie Emerson Crockett, age 40, of Earleville, Maryland, to 10 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release for possession of child pornography.  In imposing this sentence, the Court also found that Crockett had transported child pornography. Crockett will also pay $500 in restitution to one of the victims depicted in the images of child pornography that he possessed and transported.  In addition, upon his release from prison, Crockett must continue to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. According to his plea agreement, Crockett used two accounts on a social networking account to store, transport, and possess child pornography.  Specifically, between October 20, 2016 and October 24, 2017, Crockett used several email addresses to upload child pornography to his social networking accounts.  On October 3, 2017, Yahoo deactivated one of Crockett’s accounts, and the associated email address, for possession of child pornography.  The next day, Yahoo reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that someone using that email address had uploaded 133 files containing ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-25
    3 weeks ago
  • Two Baltimore Drug Traffickers Sentenced to Over 9 ½ Years in Federal Prison
    Baltimore, Maryland – On March 25, 2019, Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced James Hair, a/k/a “Mook,” age 28, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 117 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least two kilograms of cocaine.  In another case yesterday, U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Stancil McNair, age 22, of Baltimore, Maryland to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute heroin, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and fentanyl. The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Baltimore District Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department. “Drug traffickers must know that gun crime will lead to federal time, which has no parole - ever,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to remove those who would commit violence from our community.” According to Hair’s guilty plea, between late 2016 and early 2017, Hair was captured on federal wiretaps discussing drug trafficking with a heroin distributor, who was also a member of the Black ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-25
    3 weeks ago
  • Maryland MS-13 Leader Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for a Violent Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Planning a Murder
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis today sentenced Kevin Henriquez-Chavez, a/k/a “Loco” and “Crazy,” age 24, of Washington Grove, Maryland, to 30 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13; and conspiring to use and carry a firearm during a crime of violence.  The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. “Federal, state, and local law enforcement will continue to work together to eradicate the violence perpetrated by MS-13 in Maryland,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Today’s sentence sends a strong message to MS-13 gang members that their criminal actions cannot, and will not, be tolerated.” MS-13 is a gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador, with members operating in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick County, and throughout the United States.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13 often work together cooperatively to engage in criminal activity and to assist ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-24
    4 weeks ago
  • Alleged Dark Web Child Pornography Facilitator Extradited to the United States to Face Federal Charges
    Greenbelt, Maryland – Irish authorities extradited Eric Eoin Marques, age 33, to the United States to face federal charges that he allegedly conspired to advertise and distribute child pornography on the dark web.  Marques, a dual national citizen of the United States and Ireland, arrived in the United States on March 23, 2019, and had his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.  An amended criminal complaint was filed on August 8, 2013, and unsealed today at Marques’ initial appearance.  At that hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sullivan ordered that Marques be detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. The extradition and federal charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Assistant Director Robert Johnson of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.. “Criminals cannot hide on the dark web or in foreign countries,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “We will find them and bring them to justice.  We are grateful to Irish authorities for their assistance to bring Eric Marques to the United States to face these charges.” “Child exploitation sites on the dark web present a grave danger to children and unprecedented challenges to the world’s law enforcement agencies,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.  “The complaint unsealed today demonstrates the Department’s commitment to pursuing those accused of serious ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-24
    4 weeks ago
  • Eleventh and Final Defendant in Baltimore Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Eric Adams, age 43, of Odenton, Maryland today to 12 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute a kilogram or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Baltimore District Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department. “This case removed 11 drug dealers, a significant quantity of narcotics, and guns from the streets of Baltimore,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Disputes between rival drug gangs often lead to shootings and murders in Baltimore City.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to remove violent drug dealers from our communities.”  According to his plea agreement, Adams and co-conspirators Claudis Lassiter and Kevin Murchison stored and processed wholesale quantities of cocaine in an apartment on Whetstone Way in the McHenry Row complex in Baltimore.  Adams and his co-defendants supplied narcotics to others, including co-defendants DeAngelo Keith, Stanley Dunham., and others.  Law enforcement located the apartment after a GPS tracking device was placed on one of Lassiter’s vehicles. As detailed in Adams’ plea agreement, on May 5, 2017, investigators installed two cameras within the Whetstone apartment.  From May 4, 2017 through May 13, 2017, Adams was captured on video processing narcotics inside the kitchen of ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-24
    4 weeks ago
  • Hagerstown Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison for Managing a Fentanyl Distribution Conspiracy that Resulted in at Least Two Fatal Overdoses
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Antoine Jamel Henderson age 35, of Hagerstown, Maryland, today to 14 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute 40 or more grams of fentanyl—as little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose.  As detailed in his plea agreement, Henderson and others distributed at least 280 grams of fentanyl in the area of Washington County, Maryland—enough fentanyl to kill most of the residents of Washington County.  Further, Henderson admitted that the drug trafficking organization that he supervised sold fentanyl that resulted in both fatal and non-fatal overdoses, including the fatal overdoses of two Pennsylvania men. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; the Washington County Narcotics Task Force, led by Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore; and Washington County State’s Attorney Charles P. Strong, Jr. “Antoine Henderson supervised an organization that distributed fentanyl in Washington County and the surrounding area, leading to at least two overdose deaths,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Henderson will now spend 14 years in federal prison, where there is no parole—ever.  Drug traffickers are on notice that dealing in fentanyl increases their odds of federal prosecution and federal prison.” According to his plea agreement, from at least 2017 through January 2018, Henderson conspired with others to distribute at least 280 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-20
    4 weeks ago
  • Baltimore Man Indicted on Federal Charges for Five Bank Robberies, Five Armed Robberies of Liquor Stores, and Related Firearms Charges
    Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Anthony Eugene Wiggins, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland, for a string of robberies, including five bank robberies and five armed robberies at liquor stores, allegedly committed between September 24, 2018 and November 15, 2018, as well as an attempted robbery on November 15, 2018.  The indictment was returned on March 20, 2019.  Wiggins’ initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore has not yet been scheduled and he is currently detained on related state charges. The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Chief Charles Moore of the Bel Air Police Department. The 16-count indictment alleges that between September 24 and October 18, 2018, Wiggins committed robberies at five separate Maryland banks, including two banks in Baltimore, and one each in White Marsh, Bel Air, and Arbutus. Further, the indictment alleges that between November 2 and November 15, 2018, Wiggins committed five armed robberies at four liquor stores in Dundalk, Middle River, and Baltimore, Maryland.  According to the indictment, Wiggins discharged a firearm in two of those robberies, specifically, a robbery in Dundalk on November 2, 2018 and a robbery in Baltimore on November 13, 2018, and brandished a firearm in the other three robberies.  Finally, the ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-20
    4 weeks ago
  • Medstar Health to Pay U.S. $35 Million to Resolve Allegations that it Paid Kickbacks to a Cardiology Group in Exchange for Referrals
    Baltimore, Maryland – MedStar Health, Inc. (MedStar) in Columbia, Md., MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, both in Baltimore, have agreed to pay the United States $35 million to settle allegations under the False Claims Act that it paid kickbacks to MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates (MACVA), a cardiology group based in Pikesville, Maryland, in exchange for referrals, through a series of professional services contracts at Union Memorial and Franklin Square Hospitals in Baltimore. The settlement was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Justice Department’s Civil Division; and Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General - Office of Investigations. “Kickbacks give doctors an incentive to pursue unnecessary treatments that are costly and sometimes even dangerous to patients,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We will not tolerate medical care providers who put their patients at risk and waste taxpayers’ dollars in order to line their own pockets.” “Kickbacks made in connection with the provision of medical services undermine the integrity of our health care system,” said Jody Hunt, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “We will take action against medical service providers who through unlawful conduct put their own financial interests ahead of the best interests of patients, we will take action.” “Patients rightly expect their doctors will make recommendations based on sound medical practice -- not ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-20
    4 weeks ago
  • Baltimore Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for an Armed Carjacking
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced DeAndre Spencer, age 27, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 12 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for committing an armed carjacking.  The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department. “DeAndre Spencer used a gun to commit a carjacking in broad daylight,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Hopefully criminals who are not deterred from carrying guns by the threat of prison time can be deterred by the reality of years spent in a federal prison far from home—where there is no parole. Ever.” According to Spencer’s plea agreement, on October 26, 2017, the victim was stopped in his car at the intersection of North Duncan Street and East Fairmount Avenue in Baltimore, when Spencer approached and requested a ride.  The victim refused and Spencer pointed a loaded handgun at the victim and demanded that the victim get out of the car.  Spencer then stole the victim’s wallet and cell phone and drove away in the victim’s car.  The victim walked to a nearby school and called 911.  Police arrived and began an investigation into the carjacking. Later that day, a detective with the Baltimore County Police Department saw Spencer ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-19
    4 weeks ago
  • Anne Arundel County Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Sexually Abusing a Minor to Produce Child Pornography
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett today sentenced Glenn Ranger, age 56, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, to 40 years in federal prison, followed by 40 years of supervised release, for two counts of production of child pornography in connection with his sexual abuse of a young boy.  At today’s sentencing hearing, the government also presented evidence to the Court that Ranger sexually abused a young girl in the 1990’s, beginning when the girl was approximately 5 years old.  Judge Bennett found that Ranger sexually abused the minor girl and took that into consideration in imposing the sentence.  Judge Bennett ordered that upon his release from prison, Ranger must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief David A. Spencer of the Easton Police Department; Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “Glenn Ranger is a predator and our communities are safer because he will now serve 40 years in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “This is an especially egregious case because it involves ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-19
    4 weeks ago
  • Maryland Law Firm Meyers, Rodbell & Rosenbaum, P.A., Agrees to Pay the United States $250,000 to Settle Claims that it Did Not Reimburse Medicare for Payments Made on Behalf of a Firm Client
    Baltimore, Maryland – United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur announced that Meyers, Rodbell & Rosenbaum, P.A., a law firm with offices in Riverdale Park and Gaithersburg, has entered into a settlement agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that it failed to reimburse the United States for certain Medicare payments made to medical providers on behalf of a firm client.  “Attorneys typically receive settlement proceeds for and disburse settlement proceeds to their clients, so they are often in the best position to ensure that Medicare’s conditional payments are repaid,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “We intend to hold attorneys accountable for failing to make good on their obligations to repay Medicare for its conditional payments.” According to the settlement agreement, in and prior to 2012, Medicare made conditional payments to healthcare providers to satisfy medical bills for a client of the firm.  Under the Medicare statute and regulations, Medicare is authorized to make conditional payments for medical items or services under certain circumstances, with the requirement that when an injured person receives a tort settlement or judgment, those receiving the proceeds of the settlement or judgment, including the injured person’s attorney, are required to repay Medicare for the conditional payments. In December 2015, with the firm’s assistance and representation, the client received a $1,150,000 settlement in a medical malpractice action stemming from the client’s injuries.  After Medicare was notified of the settlement, Medicare demanded repayment of the Medicare debts incurred from those conditional ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-17
    1 month ago
  • Third and Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Pawn Shop Scheme to Sell Stolen Goods
    Baltimore, Maryland – On Friday, March 15, 2019, David Gutman, age 55, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty to a wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a scheme to accept and sell stolen goods from the Chesapeake Pawn Brokers, in Edgewood, Maryland.  Two co-defendants, Marina Gelfen, age 55 of Reisterstown, Maryland and Dmitry Babich, age 48, of Owings Mills, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to the same charge.  Gelfen and Babich owned and managed Chesapeake Pawn, where Gutman was an employee. The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Sung “Jimmy” Yi of the United States Secret Service - Baltimore Field Office; and Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler. According to their plea agreements, between January 1, 2015, and July 8, 2018, Gelfen, Babich, and Gutman paid cash to “boosters,” a common term for shoplifters, in exchange for merchandise stolen from Home Depot.  The products include exclusive brands sold only through the Home Depot, such as Makita, Ryobi, Ridgid, and other brand power tools, to include drills, wrenches, saws, and lithium batteries.  The products were frequently new and still in the original store box. The conspirators sold the items on eBay, with the payments being made through PayPal. As detailed in their plea agreements, the conspirators bought these items from boosters at Chesapeake Pawn, at far less than their retail value, knowing that the boosters stole them directly from Home Depot.  Gelfen and Gutman admitted that they paid boosters ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-17
    1 month ago
  • Silver Spring Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Federal Prison for Firebombing
    Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel today sentenced Darius Eric Wilder, age 41, of Silver Spring, Maryland, to 35 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for committing arson, and for using, carrying and possessing a destructive device during and in furtherance of a crime of violence, related to the firebombing of his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.  A federal jury convicted Wilder of those charges on August 16, 2018. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Baltimore Field Division; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department, and Fire Chief Scott Goldstein of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. “The evidence at trial proved that Darius Wilder attempted to firebomb his ex-girlfriend’s apartment,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “This kind of violence will not be tolerated.  If he had been successful in starting the fire, Wilder could have killed all of the residents of the apartment complex where the victim resided, including the woman and her three children. We are all safer with Darius Wilder removed from the community for 35 years in federal prison, where there is no parole – ever.” “Darius Wilder is a violent criminal who used Molotov cocktails to commit arson in an attempt to seriously injure his ex-girlfriend, her children, and endanger the surrounding community,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-17
    1 month ago
  • Felon Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges of Unlicensed Dealing in Firearms and Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition
    Baltimore, Maryland – Terrel Edward Elliott, Jr., age 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty late on March 15, 2019, to unlicensed dealing in firearms and to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  According to his plea agreement, Elliott was dealing in firearms less than two months after his release from prison and on a first-degree assault conviction in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Howard County. The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department. “Gun violence in our communities is fueled by those possessing and selling firearms illegally,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Through his actions, Terrel Elliott contributed to this alarming problem of gun violence by putting firearms in the hands of people intent on violence.”      According to his plea agreement, Elliott was convicted of first-degree assault in Howard County and was sentenced to eight years in prison, with six years and a half years suspended sentence and one year six months unsupervised probation. Elliott was also given a supervised probation period of five years.  Elliott was released after serving his sentence on September 24, 2016.  Elliott was arrested on April 14, 2017 in possession of drugs, 14 .22-caliber bullets and a handgun with an obliterated serial number.  On November 13, 2017, Elliott pleaded guilty in Howard County to ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-17
    1 month ago
  • Two Members of Violent West Baltimore Gang Sentenced to Life and 30 Years in Prison, Respectively, for Federal Racketeering and Drug Conspiracies
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake today sentenced John Harrison, a/k/a Binkie, age 28, from Baltimore, to life in prison, and sentenced Linton Broughton, a/k/a Marty, age 25, also from Baltimore, to 30 years in federal prison, each followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a drug distribution conspiracy and a violent racketeering enterprise known as Trained To Go (TTG).  The racketeering conspiracy included eight murders, as well as drug trafficking; and witness intimidation.  Broughton, Harrison, and their co-defendants were also convicted of a drug distribution conspiracy involving heroin, marijuana, and cocaine.  Harrison participated in the murder of five individuals and a firearm recovered from Broughton was found to be used in four of those murders. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby. “Violent gang members must know that gun crime leads to federal time.  As this case demonstrates, all too often, guns and drugs go ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-14
    1 month ago
  • Baltimore County Felon Sentenced to 57 Months in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, and an Improvised Explosive Device
    Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Christopher Dean Taggart, age 52, of Hampstead, Maryland, today to 57 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, as well as illegal possession of a destructive device.  The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department. According to his plea agreement, on October 14, 2017, a 911 call was made for medical assistance to a residence in Hampstead, Maryland.  Baltimore County Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) personnel went to the residence and discovered Taggart unresponsive on the floor in the basement area.  The EMS personnel saw lines of a white powdery substance on a surface close to where Taggart was lying, and several baggies containing powdery substances were also in plain view.  EMS personnel administered Narcan, a medication that blocks or reverses the effects of opioids, and Taggart was transported to the hospital.  Baltimore County Police officers obtained a search warrant for the residence, based upon observations of the contraband in plain view, and a federal search warrant was subsequently obtained for the property.  Taggart had lived in the basement area of the residence for approximately 15 years, and a detached shed was built on the property in approximately ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-14
    1 month ago
  • Fugitive Loan Broker Extradited from South Korea Pleads Guilty to Federal Bank Fraud Conspiracy to Fraudulently Obtain Over $100 Million in SBA-Backed Business Loans
    Baltimore, Maryland – Loren Young Park, age 52, formerly of Falls Church, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain business loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), with resulting losses of over $100 million.  Loren Park was a fugitive for eight years and was extradited from South Korea to face these charges.  The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Small Business Administration Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware; Postal Inspector in Charge Peter R. Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Our financial system is based on trust,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Loren Park and his co-conspirators lied during every aspect of the loan process, cheating taxpayers and lenders, causing more than $100 million in losses, and hurting the chances of future small business owners to obtain loans.  I am grateful for the patience and diligence of our law enforcement partners to get Loren Park back from South Korea and bring him to justice.” According to his plea agreement and other court documents, Loren Park and his brother, Joon Park, owned and operated Jade Capital.  Jade Capital brokered small business loans, among other services, for clients and on behalf of Loren Park, Joon Park and their family.  According to the plea agreement, Loren and Joon Park and others under ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-13
    1 month ago
  • Princess Anne Man Convicted after Federal Trial for Brandishing a Firearm During and in Furtherance of the Armed Robbery of an Armored Vehicle In Salisbury, Maryland
    Baltimore, Maryland – A federal jury today convicted Ryan Shevin Smith, age 39, of Princess Anne, Maryland, for brandishing a firearm during and in furtherance of a crime of violence, specifically, the robbery of an armored vehicle in Salisbury, Maryland on January 22, 2018.  Smith had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit the robbery and to participating in the robbery. The guilty verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan. According to the evidence presented at his two-day trial and court documents, at approximately 7:15 a.m. on January 22, 2018, Smith and his co-defendants, Michael Watts and Orneth South, approached the driver of the armored vehicle as he was removing cash cassettes from an ATM machine at a credit union on Mt. Hebron Road in Salisbury, Maryland.  Co-defendant Michael Watts placed a .40-caliber handgun to the driver’s head and disarmed him of his service weapon.  Watts testified that he got the .40-caliber handgun from Smith, which was named “Big Nasty,” and that Smith took the gun back after the robbery.  Watts then grabbed the driver by the hair and order him to open the door of the armored vehicle.  After the driver opened the door, Smith and South removed several bags of money from the vehicle, as well as ATM cassettes filled with cash.  Watts then forced the driver ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-12
    1 month ago
  • Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Enticing a Minor to Produce Child Pornography
    Baltimore, Maryland – Antonio Wright, age 42, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to coercing and enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct and to two counts of production of child pornography.  The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department. Wright admitted that he used an online social network to induce the victim, Jane Doe, to engage in sexually explicit conduct, and to produce images of that conduct.  According to his plea agreement, Wright was in a relationship with the victim’s mother from at least 2009, when Jane Doe was four years old, and lived with the family intermittently until the Spring of 2017.  Beginning in at least August 2017, Wright and the victim, who was living with a foster family in Baltimore, began communicating by text messages, audio messages and images, using an online social network.  The messages frequently included Wright’s love for Jane Doe, who told Jane Doe that they should eventually get married.  Jane Doe was approximately 13 years old at this time.  Wright instructed the victim not to tell others that she has “an older man for a boyfriend,” and that he would get in trouble if anyone found out. On January 4, 2018, Wright spent time with Jane Doe at his residence when Baltimore City schools were closed ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-12
    1 month ago
  • Silver Spring Man Convicted After Five-Day Federal Trial of Bank Fraud Conspiracy and Aggravated Identity Theft with Losses of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
    Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal jury today convicted Emmanuel Kusi Appiah, a/k/a Manny, age 47, of Silver Spring, Maryland, today for a years-long bank fraud conspiracy with losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The jury’s guilty verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Chief Robert D. MacLean of the U.S. Park Police; and Postal Inspector in Charge Peter R. Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. According to the evidence presented at his five-day trial, from June 2013 through March 2018, Appiah committed a bank fraud scheme that defrauded individuals and financial institution victims of several hundred thousand dollars. Specifically, the trial evidence proved that Appiah conspired with others to open bank accounts at 10 different financial institutions using the stolen identities of at least five individual victims, and under the business names of five shell corporations, including Global Tax Services Incorporated, Merchandise Services Incorporated, Imperial Pipe Incorporated, SJ Metal Incorporated, and Morgan Incorporated.  Appiah and his conspirators then used those fraudulent accounts to deposit stolen and altered business checks, convenience checks, and tax refunds.  Witnesses testified that Appiah then withdrew the fraudulent proceeds in cash, transferred the proceeds to other fraudulent accounts, or laundered the proceeds through the purchase of money orders, which Appiah and others used for their personal benefit.   The government is also seeking restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses. Appiah faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-11
    1 month ago
  • Employee of Federal Contractor Facing Federal Charges for Allegedly Accepting Cash to Falsify Urinalysis Results to U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services
    Greenbelt, Maryland – Michael Andre Brown, age 47, of Waldorf, Maryland, was arrested today on federal charges alleging that Brown accepted bribes and illegal gratuities, in connection with his employment with a federal contractor in which he administered urinalysis tests to individuals on federal probation, supervised release and pre-trial supervision.  The criminal complaint was filed on March 11, 2019, and unsealed at Brown’s initial appearance today. The federal charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department. According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Brown was an employee at a company in Camp Springs, Maryland, which was a federally contracted business tasked with, among other things, administering urinalysis tests to individuals on federal probation, supervised release, and pre-trial supervision on behalf of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office of the District of Maryland.   Brown was a urinalysis technician for the company.  According to the affidavit, on December 26, 2018, an FBI undercover task force officer (UC) posing as a federal probationer who had been ordered to submit to urine analysis as part of his/her probation, met with Brown at the company in Camp Springs.  The UC indicated to Brown that he/she expected to have a positive urinalysis result.  Brown allegedly told the UC that he was willing to work ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-11
    1 month ago
  • Leader In The Black Guerilla Family Gang Sentenced To 35 Years In Federal Prison For Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Authorizing Murder
    Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Shawn Thomas, a/k/a Bucky, age 38, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 35 years in federal prison for participating in a racketeering conspiracy, as a leader in the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang.  The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby. United States Attorney Robert K. Hur stated, “All too often, guns and drugs go hand in hand—and both are killers.  Shawn Thomas’ sentencing today ensures that he will not be able to bring either to the Greenmount Avenue community he once controlled for a very long time.  We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to get guns and drugs off of our streets and to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods.” According to his plea agreement, from prior to 2010 through February 22, 2018, Thomas was employed by and associated with the BGF gang.  BGF is a nationwide gang operating in prisons and in cities throughout the United States, including in Baltimore.  BGF is involved in criminal activity including murder, robbery, extortion, drug trafficking, obstruction of justice, and witness intimidation. BGF organizes its members into “regimes” ... read more
    Source: DOJ – MarylandPublished on 2019-03-11
    1 month ago