DOJ – ND

DOJ - Department of Justice
DOJ - Department of Justice
  • New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bank Robbery
    U.S.  Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that AARON RUDOLPH, age 26, of New Orleans, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank robbery in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. According to the court documents, RUDOLPH conspired with his co-defendant, JOHN RUDOLPH, to rob the First Bank and Trust, in Hammond, Louisiana, of approximately $10,490.96. RUDOLPH faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, and/or a fine of up to $250,000.  Following any term of imprisonment, RUDOLPH may be placed on supervised release for a period of up to three years.  In addition, a mandatory $100 special assessment will be assessed.  U.S. District Court Judge Barry W. Ashe set sentencing for RUDOLPH for July 25, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria M. Carboni is in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-18
    1 day ago
  • Metairie Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery
    U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced that KEITH ANTHONY RAMIREZ, age 34, pled guilty before the United States District Court to a one-count Indictment charging him with bank robbery in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a). According to court documents, RAMIREZ robbed the Capital One Bank at 830 North Highway 190 in Covington on December 4, 2018.  RAMIREZ faces a sentence of up to twenty years in prison, a period of up to three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and a mandatory $100 special assessment. U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Barbier set sentencing for RAMIREZ for July 11, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter.  Assistant U. S. Attorney Spiro G. Latsis is in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-18
    1 day ago
  • Mexican National Indicted for Illegal Re-Entry
    U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced today that JESUS RUIZ-MADRIGAL, age 37, was charged yesterday in a one-count indictment for illegal reentry of a removed alien in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326(a). According to the indictment, RUIZ-MADRIGAL, reentered the United States after he was previously deported on March 11, 2016.  If convicted, RUIZ-MADRIGAL 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 Spiro G. Latsis is in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-18
    1 day ago
  • Physician Charged with Conspiracy to Unlawfully Dispense Controlled Substances and Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud
    U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that a two-count bill of information was filed against a neurologist charging him with conspiracy to unlawfully dispense controlled substances and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  Specifically, ANIL PRASAD, age 62, of Mandeville was charged with one count of prescribing controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and for no legitimate purpose and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  According to court documents, between November 2016 and July 2018, PRASAD worked at a pain management clinic in Slidell, and during the course of his employment, PRASAD pre-signed prescriptions for controlled substances, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, without performing patient examinations to determine medical necessity.  Additionally, PRASAD knew that certain of those patients used their Medicare and Medicaid benefits to fill those prescriptions.  In total, Medicare and Medicaid paid approximately $1,657,461.15 for those prescriptions.  If convicted, PRASAD faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine as to Count 1 of the Information, and a possible maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine as to Count 2 of the Information.  U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs 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 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-17
    2 days ago
  • Boothville Man Pleads Guilty in Cocaine-Trafficking Conspiracy
    U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that defendant JERRELL ENCALADE, age 35, of Boothville, LA, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiring to traffic cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base (“crack”), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B), and 846.  ENCALADE is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison, a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, a possible fine up to $5,000,000, and a period of supervised release of at least four years.  U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman is scheduled to sentence ENCALADE on July 10, 2019. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office (PPSO), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), Kenner Police Department (KPD), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Houston Police Department (HPD) in their investigation of this case.  Assistant United States Attorney Brandon S. Long is in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-17
    2 days ago
  • Men Charged In Ten Count Indictment with Obstruction Of Justice and Violations of Federal Firearms and Narcotics Laws
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that KENDALL BARNES, age 23, of New Orleans, and DERRICK GROVES, age 21, of New Orleans, were charged in a ten-count superseding indictment on April 11, 2019 by a federal grand jury. The Indictment charges KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin.  If convicted of these counts, KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES face a term of imprisonment of up to 30 years, a fine of up to $2 million, and at least six years of supervised release. The Indictment also charges KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES with conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  If convicted of this count, KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES face a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years, a fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The Indictment charges KENDALL BARNES, a convicted felon, with one count of felon in possession of a firearm.  If convicted of this charge, KENDALL 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 KENDALL BARNES with one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and DERRICK GROVES with two counts of possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.  If convicted of these counts, KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES face a minimum term of imprisonment ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-16
    3 days ago
  • Men Charged In Ten Count Indictment with Obstruction Of Justice and Violations of Federal Firearms and Narcotics Laws
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that KENDALL BARNES, age 23, of New Orleans, and DERRICK GROVES, age 21, of New Orleans, were charged in a ten-count superseding indictment on April 11, 2019 by a federal grand jury. The Indictment charges KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin.  If convicted of these counts, KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES face a term of imprisonment of up to 30 years, a fine of up to $2 million, and at least six years of supervised release. The Indictment also charges KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES with conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  If convicted of this count, KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES face a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years, a fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The Indictment charges KENDALL BARNES, a convicted felon, with one count of felon in possession of a firearm.  If convicted of this charge, KENDALL 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 KENDALL BARNES with one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and DERRICK GROVES with two counts of possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.  If convicted of these counts, KENDALL BARNES and DERRICK GROVES face a minimum term of imprisonment ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-16
    3 days ago
  • Restaurant and Owner Sentenced for Harboring and Employing Illegal Aliens
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that THAI THAI, LLC. d/b/a Sticky Rice Thai Cuisine and SOMPHON CHIWABANDIT, age 47, a native of Thailand, were sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to harboring and unlawfully employing illegal aliens, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324a(a)(1)(A). United States District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle sentenced THAI THAI, LLC. d/b/a Sticky Rice Thai Cuisine to a 1 year term of probation, a $400 special assessment fee and also ordered the forfeiture of $24,640. CHIWABANDIT was sentenced to time served (4 months) and a $100 special assessment fee. CHIWABANDIT will be surrendered to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal proceedings. According to court records, Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations conducted surveillance on the restaurant as well as on a home owned, and an apartment rented by CHIWABANDIT. The defendant admitted in court that he provided housing, transportation, and employment to two illegal aliens. The defendant also acknowledged that he had been in the United States illegally for the past seven years, by overstaying a business visitor visa. CHIWABANDIT also admitted to failing to list the illegal aliens on a Form I-9, which is used to verify employment eligibility for a business’s employees. By law, employers are required to maintain Form I-9s for all employees. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-16
    3 days ago
  • Restaurant and Owner Sentenced for Harboring and Employing Illegal Aliens
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that THAI THAI, LLC. d/b/a Sticky Rice Thai Cuisine and SOMPHON CHIWABANDIT, age 47, a native of Thailand, were sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to harboring and unlawfully employing illegal aliens, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324a(a)(1)(A). United States District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle sentenced THAI THAI, LLC. d/b/a Sticky Rice Thai Cuisine to a 1 year term of probation, a $400 special assessment fee and also ordered the forfeiture of $24,640. CHIWABANDIT was sentenced to time served (4 months) and a $100 special assessment fee. CHIWABANDIT will be surrendered to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal proceedings. According to court records, Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations conducted surveillance on the restaurant as well as on a home owned, and an apartment rented by CHIWABANDIT. The defendant admitted in court that he provided housing, transportation, and employment to two illegal aliens. The defendant also acknowledged that he had been in the United States illegally for the past seven years, by overstaying a business visitor visa. CHIWABANDIT also admitted to failing to list the illegal aliens on a Form I-9, which is used to verify employment eligibility for a business’s employees. By law, employers are required to maintain Form I-9s for all employees. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-16
    3 days ago
  • Georgia Man Charged With Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
    NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced that JAMES A. MOORE, age 31, of Atlanta, Georgia was charged yesterday by grand jury indictment with one count of failure to register as a sex offender under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). If convicted, MOORE faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine.  He also would have to be sentenced to a term of supervised release of between 5 years and life. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the 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 Marshals Service, the New Orleans Police Department, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office of Atlanta, Georgia in this matter.  He also extended his thanks to the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office for their assistance.  Assistant United States Attorney Spiro G. Latsis is in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-11
    1 week ago
  • Honduran National Pleads Guilty To Illegal Re-Entry
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced today that FRANKI NOEL ORTIZ-BERNARDEZ, age 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday, April 9, 2019 to a one-count indictment for illegal reentry of a removed alien in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326(a). According to the indictment, FRANKI NOEL ORTIZ-BERNARDEZ (“BERNARDEZ”), reentered the United States after he was previously deported on September 14, 2014 and May 11, 2016. BERNARDEZ 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. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle set sentencing for July 10, 2019.    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 – NDPublished on 2019-04-10
    1 week ago
  • Georgia Inmate Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud for His Role in Grand Jury Scam
    NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that NICHOLAS ROTUNDA ALLEN, age 39, an inmate in Jimmy Autry State Prison in Pelham, Georgia, was charged yesterday in a one-count bill of information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ' 371, for his role in perpetrating a grand jury fraud scam and victimizing a resident of the Eastern District of Louisiana. According to the bill of information, on November 6, 2017, ALLEN used a contraband cellular telephone to contact Victim A from inside the state prison.  ALLEN obtained the phone from a non-incarcerated co-conspirator.  ALLEN pretended to be a Deputy United States Marshal and informed Victim A that he had unlawfully failed to report for jury duty service for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  ALLEN further told Victim A that because he had failed to appear for jury duty, a warrant had been issued out of the Eastern District of Louisiana for Victim A’s arrest.  The individual said that Victim A had the choice of either being arrested on the warrant or paying a $5,500 fine to have the arrest warrant dismissed. Victim A paid the fine by buying a series of pre-paid cash cards and giving the account numbers to ALLEN.  Thereafter, Victim A paid ALLEN by buying a total of eleven (11) pre-paid cash cards and giving the cards’ account numbers to ALLEN.  If convicted, ALLEN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-10
    1 week ago
  • Laplace Woman Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – SANDRA RAVEN, age 53, a resident of Laplace, Louisiana, pled guilty Thursday, April 4, 2019 to one count of wire fraud before the Honorable Barry W. Ashe. Sentencing is scheduled for July 11, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. According to Court documents, RAVEN owned and operated S & R Tax Service out of her home in LaPlace, Louisiana. Beginning in 2012, RAVEN filed fraudulent tax returns with the IRS in the names of others. The tax returns claimed false wages, and RAVEN directed the tax refunds and tax preparation fees to her custody and control.    RAVEN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a maximum period of (3) three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division for its work in investigating this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney G. Dall Kammer, Supervisor, General Crimes.                                                                         *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-08
    2 weeks ago
  • Mexican Man Pleads Guilty To Illegal Use of a Social Security Number And Submitting False Information in an Attempt to Secure a U.S. Passport
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – FRANCISCO JAVIER NUNEZ-ALEMAN, age 32, a citizen of Mexico pled guilty to a two-count indictment Wednesday, April 3, 2019 for illegal use of a Social Security Number in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(7)(B) and using a false social security number in attempting to secure a U.S. Passport, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1542.  He is set for sentencing on July 10, 2019. NUNEZ-ALEMAN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than ten (10) years, a fine of $250,000.00, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00 on the false passport application and five (5) years imprisonment on the illegal use of a social security number.  Additionally, NUNEZ-ALEMAN is subject to a period of supervised release after imprisonment of up to three years on both counts. Papers filed in open court revealed that NUNEZ-ALEMAN applied for a U.S. Passport at the Bourg, La Post Office and affixed his actual signature thereto.  However, the State Department determined that the Social Security number he used in the application belonged to another individual.  He had also purchased a Puerto Rican birth certificate for fraudulent use.  Additionally, NUNEZ-ALEMAN used the fraudulently obtained social security number in applying for a job at a Houma, La employer. U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser praised the work of the United States Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service in investigating this matter.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Carter K.D. Guice, Jr. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-08
    2 weeks ago
  • Raceland Man Convicted Of Firearm Offense by Federal Jury
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that SAMUEL RAY LUCK, age 41, a resident of Raceland, Louisiana, was convicted yesterday by a Federal Jury for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. According to evidence presented at trial, LUCK possessed a firearm on June 13, 2018 after having previously been convicted in McLean County, Kentucky for a violation of Kentucky Revised Statue (KRS) 508.030, Assault in the Fourth Degree, a misdemeanor crime of domestic abuse violence. LUCK faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a fine of $250,000.00, and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.   “The conviction of Mr. Luck highlights the collaborative efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement in keeping our citizens safe, which is a top priority,” stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Peter G. Strasser. “The focus on investigating and prosecuting violent offenders in the possession of firearms remains to be our frontline tactic in combating violent crime.” “Firearms in the hands of criminals is a recipe for disaster,” said ATF New Orleans Field Division Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols. “ATF is committed to preventing and reducing firearms related crime in our communities. Samuel Ray Luck’s conviction and pending sentence should serve as a reminder to individuals who have a conviction for domestic violence or felony convictions, you can not possess firearms.” This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-08
    2 weeks ago
  • Westbank Gunman Pleads Guilty To Two Attempted Robberies in Orleans Parish and One Robbery in Jefferson Parish
    NEW ORLEANS –U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that DARRYL HENRY, age 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 3, 2019 to committing three Hobbs Act Robberies and Brandishing a Firearm During a Crime of Violence. On August 24, 2018, HENRY entered the Walmart Supercenter at 4001 Behrman Place in Algiers, New Orleans, Louisiana, and passed the teller a demand note and displayed a firearm.  The teller was unable to open the safe, and HENRY left the business empty-handed.   HENRY then went to the Winn-Dixie Supermarket at 3008 Holiday Drive, in Algiers, New Orleans, Louisiana, and unsuccessfully attempted to rob a clerk at that location.  HENRY then drove to the Walmart Neighborhood Market located 3265 Manhattan Boulevard, Harvey, Louisiana, and passed a demand note to a cashier while holding a gun in his right hand.  HENRY ultimately fled the store with $6,992.00 in United States currency. HENRY will be sentenced by the Honorable Lance M. Africk on July 10, 2019.  He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison as to the three robberies and minimum of seven years in prison as to the charge of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the diligent work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Orleans Violent Crime Task Force, the New Orleans Police Department, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Myles Ranier is handling the prosecution. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-08
    2 weeks ago
  • New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Gun Control Act
    NEW ORLEANS –U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that CHARLES BROWN, age 30, of New Orleans, pled guilty Thursday, April 4, 2019 to felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, BROWN had another individual purchase a firearm for him from the Jefferson Gun Outlet on or about July 27, 2018.  That same day, BROWN was stopped in a vehicle while he was in possession of that firearm.  BROWN was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a felony conviction.  BROWN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release after imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment.  U.S. District Court Judge Ashe set sentencing for July 11, 2019. 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 and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in investigating this matter.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Maria M. Carboni.                                                                           *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-08
    2 weeks ago
  • Slidell Man Indicted and Arrested For Theft of Government Funds and Making False Statements in an Application for a Passport
    NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that DARRYL SANDERS, a/k/a Daryl Saunders (“SANDERS”), age 61, of Slidell, Louisiana, was indicted on March 28, 2019, by a federal grand jury for Theft of Government Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641 and for False Statements in an Application for a Passport, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1542. The Indictment was unsealed Wednesday, April 3, 2019 after SANDERS was arrested by federal agents at the New Orleans Passport Office. According to Count One of the Indictment, beginning in December 2013, and continuing until March 2019, SANDERS, did knowingly embezzle, steal, purloin, and convert to his use, money belonging to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), to which he knew he was not entitled, when he submitted a fraudulent application for SSA benefits that contained a false name, false date of birth, and a fraudulently obtained Social Security number, and as a result, he was paid approximately $44,838.00 in SSA SSID benefits. According to Count Two of the Indictment, on March 27, 2018, SANDERS, knowingly made false statements in an application for a 2018 U.S. Passport when he falsely claimed his name was Daryl Saunders, with a date of birth of 09/03/XXXX. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, SANDERS faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-04
    2 weeks ago
  • Gretna Preacher Sentenced To Serve 19 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing Over $320,000 from Church
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JOSEPH R. ALEXANDER, age 60, a resident of Gretna, Louisiana, was sentenced yesterday to 19 months in federal prison for bank fraud.  He was indicted in December 2017 and pled guilty in December 2018. According to papers filed with the court and signed by ALEXANDER, ALEXANDER was the minister at a Church of Christ congregation in Gretna, Louisiana.  Starting in 2006 and continuing until December 2013, ALEXANDER stole $321,491 from the church in three different schemes.  The first involved his writing church checks to himself, but creating false entries in church ledgers which indicated the checks were being written to legitimate church vendors, when in reality ALEXANDER was paying his bills and funding family vacations to Alaska and Las Vegas, among other places.  He also bought gifts for parishioners, shopping at the Apple Store and Victoria’s Secret.  He also paid his son’s college tuition with church funds.  The second method involved his opening of an online bank account without church permission and paying personal expenses from the online account.  Finally, he forged a church elder’s signature on checks which required two signatures.  He used these funds for personal expenses.  JOSEPH R. ALEXANDER faced a maximum term of imprisonment of thirty (30) years, a fine of $250,000.00 and five (5) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.  He was ordered to report to federal prison on July 3, 2019 to begin serving his sentence.  He was also ordered to pay $321,491 restitution.      The case was ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-03
    2 weeks ago
  • Honduran National Sentenced For Illegal Re-entry
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that RICARDO MACHADA-BACA age 25, a citizen of Honduras, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk after previously pleading guilty to a one-count Bill of Information for illegally re-entering the United States in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326(a). According to the Bill of Information, MACHADA-BACA was found in the United States on or about November 13, 2018, after having been previously removed therefrom on or about March 10, 2017. RICARDO MACHADA-BACA was sentenced to 14 months incarceration, and three years of supervised release.  U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Irene González is in charge of the prosecution.   *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-03
    2 weeks ago
  • Company Charged with Harboring Illegal Aliens
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that AA STUCCO AND MASONRY, LLC., a company that does business within the Eastern District of Louisiana, was charged yesterday in a one-count bill of information with harboring two illegal aliens, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii). If convicted of the felony, the company faces up to 5 years of probation, a fine of $500,000, and a $400 special assessment fee. 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 Homeland Security Investigations and the Louisiana State Police in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jon Maestri is in charge of the prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-04-03
    2 weeks ago
  • New Orleans Man Charged With Wire Fraud
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JASON PICK, age 38, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was charged yesterday in a one-count bill of information for wire fraud announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser. According to court documents, PICK was employed as an accountant for Company A between August 2016 and June 2018. Part of PICK’s duties was handling the credit card accounts of Company A. Without authorization, PICK used Company A’s credit cards for his own personal expenses. In total, PICK stole approximately $129,741.40 from Company A.   If convicted, PICK faces 20 years of imprisonment followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release and a fine up to $250,000. 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 United States Secret Service 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 – NDPublished on 2019-04-03
    2 weeks ago
  • Two Louisiana Residents Charged With Conspiring To Harbor Aliens and Tax Crimes
    WASHINGTON –A federal grand jury sitting in New Orleans, Louisiana, returned an indictment against two Louisiana residents, charging each with one count of conspiracy to harbor an alien, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, 48 counts of failure to withhold and pay over employment tax, and 12 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return, 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 alleged in the indictment, Imad “Eddie” Hamdan and Ziad “Z” Mousa owned and operated over 30 locations of Brothers Food Mart. Hamdan and Mousa are alleged to have hired undocumented workers to work in their stores and paid them in cash. To further conceal these undocumented workers, Hamdan and Mousa allegedly filed false employment tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that did not report the cash wages paid to the undocumented workers. In addition, the indictment charges that Hamdan and Mousa paid the salaries of the managers of the Brothers Food Mart stores partially in cash. Allegedly, employment taxes were also not withheld or reported in connection with these cash wages. Finally, according to the indictment, Hamdan and Mousa issued and filed false Forms W-2 that underreported their wages. The indictment further alleges that Hamdan and Mousa aided in the filing of fraudulent tax returns for the managers of Brothers Food Mart stores. An indictment merely alleges ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-28
    3 weeks ago
  • Atlanta-Area Men Plead Guilty To Drug Trafficking and Related Offenses
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that AARON SPRIGGS, age 42, TERBEN POUMIAN-RAMIREZ, age 31, RAFAEL MARTINEZ, age 28, and LUIS MARTINEZ-VEGA, age 28, all of the Atlanta, Georgia area, pled guilty Tuesday, March 26, 2019 to a Bill of Information charging drug trafficking and related offenses. SPRIGGS, POUMIAN-RAMIREZ, and MARTINEZ pled guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), and 846. MARTINEZ-VEGA pled guilty to actively concealing that felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 4.  According to the Bill of Information and an earlier-filed complaint, the men traveled to New Orleans intending to purchase several kilograms of cocaine from a man whom they believed to be a Colombian source of supply importing narcotics via the Port of New Orleans. SPRIGGS, who arrived with a gun and more than $100,000 in cash, was to purchase the narcotics; POUMIAN-RAMIREZ and MARTINEZ acted as middlemen brokering the deal between SPRIGGS and the source of supply; and MARTINEZ-VEGA was the driver of one of the two vehicles that made the trip. For the narcotics offense, SPRIGGS, POUMIAN-RAMIREZ, and MARTINEZ face up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1 million, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. For the misprision of a felony offense, MARTINEZ-VEGA faces a term of imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-27
    3 weeks ago
  • Laplace Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing Federal Student Aid Funds and Identity Theft
    NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that KENDRA GRAVES, age 31, pled guilty yesterday to a two-count bill of information charging her with theft of government funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641 and identity theft in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(7). According to court documents, GRAVES falsified federal student loan applications and used the stolen student aid monies in the amount of $195,432 for her own personal use.  As part of her scheme to defraud, GRAVES applied for federal financial aid at Delgado Community College in the name of 15 individuals without their knowledge or consent. GRAVES faces a possible sentence up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to Count 1 and 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to Count 2. GRAVES also faces three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment and a $200 special assessment fee.  United States District Court Judge Lance M. Africk set sentencing for June 26, 2019. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Julia K. Evans is in charge of the prosecution.                                                                             *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-27
    3 weeks ago
  • Bank General Counsel Charged With Conspiracy to Defraud First NBC Bank
    NEW ORLEANS – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that GREGORY ST. ANGELO (“ST ANGELO”), age 54, a resident of St. Tammany Parish, was charged today with conspiracy to defraud First NBC Bank, the New Orleans-based bank that failed in April 2017. According to the Bill of Information, from in or around 2006 through the fall of 2016, ST. ANGELO was the general counsel of First NBC Bank. During this time, he and several businesses owned or controlled by him (the “Entities”) were First NBC Bank borrowers. Bank President A was a founder of First NBC Bank and acted as its president and Chief Executive Officer from in or around May 2006, until in or around December 2016. From in or around 2006 through April 2017, Bank Officer B was employed by First NBC Bank as its Chief Credit Officer, and was responsible for, among other things, the overall quality of the bank’s lending function. Beginning at a time unknown, but at least in or around 2006, through in and around April 2017, in the Eastern District of Louisiana and elsewhere, the defendant, ST. ANGELO, and others known and unknown conspired to defraud First NBC Bank by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, relating to a material fact. The purpose of the conspiracy was for the defendant, ST. ANGELO, Bank President A, Bank Officer B, and others to enrich themselves unjustly by disguising the true financial status of ST. ANGELO, the Entities, and other borrowers, concealing the ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-21
    4 weeks ago
  • Slidell Postal Service Employee Pleads Guilty To Theft of Mail
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that BRIA DAVIS, age 25, of New Orleans, Louisiana, entered a plea of guilty yesterday before United States District Judge Carl J. Barbier to Theft of Mail by an Officer or Employee of the U.S. Postal Service. According to court documents, DAVIS was a U.S. Postal Service Postal Support Employee/Sales Distribution Clerk at the Slidell Post Office, and worked at the retail window counter and performed a variety of tasks including Postal sales, delivering mail to customer P.O. Boxes, and assisting customers with P.O. Box related business.  After an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service, it was determined that on various dates from September 2016 to January 2017, DAVIS stole several pieces of mail containing checkbooks, gift cards, cash, and checks.  Postal agents also discovered approximately ten additional articles of stolen mail in DAVIS’s personal vehicle. DAVIS faces a maximum penalty of five (5) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, and a $250,000.00 fine.  Sentencing before Judge Barbier has been scheduled for June 27, 2019. The case was investigated by special agents from the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (“USPS-OIG”).  Additionally, the Slidell Police Department assisted the USPS-OIG in the DAVIS matter.  The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Supervisor of the Financial Crimes Unit.                                                                           *   *   *   ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-21
    4 weeks ago
  • New Orleans Woman Sentenced In Methamphetamine-Trafficking Conspiracy
    NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that DAWN CONRAVEY, age 38, of New Orleans, was sentenced yesterday after previously pleading guilty to participating in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy throughout the New Orleans area.  Specifically CONRAVEY pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. '' 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B) and 846. U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle sentenced CONRAVEY to time served, followed by 3 years of supervised release, with year one served as home confinement. According to court documents, during the timeframe of this conspiracy, codefendant Steven LYONS was a major methamphetamine distributor in the New Orleans area.  LYONS obtained methamphetamine by U.S. Mail and other means from several sources, including codefendants Carlos Mario CANTU-COX and Christopher CANTU-COX in Texas (who also supplied Anna THOMPSON); Eric WILLIS in Texas; Trung PHAM in California; and Garret TEMPLETON in Louisiana.   Codefendants Tommy WELLS, Clark McALPIN, Dwayne CLAUSE, and CONRAVEY acted as sellers or brokers of methamphetamine for LYONS in the New Orleans area.  U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Louisiana State Police, Amtrak Police, and St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Long is in charge of the prosecution.                                                                           *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-20
    1 month ago
  • Port Sulphur Man Pleads Guilty In Cocaine-Trafficking Conspiracy
    NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that defendant ALBERT VEREEN, JR., age 37, of Port Sulphur, LA, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiring to traffic cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base (“crack”), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B), and 846.  VEREEN is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison, a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, a possible fine up to $5,000,000, and a period of supervised release of at least four years.  U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman is scheduled to sentence VEREEN on June 12, 2019. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office (PPSO), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), Kenner Police Department (KPD), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Houston Police Department (HPD) in their investigation of this case.  Assistant United States Attorney Brandon S. Long is in charge of the prosecution.                                                                                                                                                   *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-20
    1 month ago
  • New Orleans Man Sentenced for Possession of Stolen Firearms
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that STEVEN RE, age 41, was sentenced Tuesday, March 12, 2019 for possession of stolen firearms in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(j) and 924(a)(2). According to court documents, RE pawned a stolen 20-gauge Remington shotgun on or about September 8, 2017, in Hammond, Louisiana.  On or about September 15, 2017, RE also pawned a stolen .22 caliber Marlin rifle, and attempted to pawn a stolen .410 gauge shotgun, in Harvey, Louisiana.  RE admitted that he knew these firearms were stolen because he stole them during home burglaries. United States District Court Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced RE to serve a term of imprisonment of 108 months, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.  The court also imposed a $200.00 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 in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Maria Carboni and Ryan McLaren and are ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-19
    1 month ago
  • Armstead and Jerome Kieffer, Father and Son, Sentenced To Life in Prison for Felony Murder Related To May 2017 Loomis Armored Car Robbery
    NEW ORLEANS – United States District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle sentenced JEROME KIEFFER, age 25, and his father, ARMSTEAD KIEFFER, age 54, both of New Orleans, to spend the rest of their lives in federal prison for their roles in a 2015 armored car robbery and a 2017 attempted armored car robbery in which Loomis guard James McBride was killed, announced U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser. Following a week-long trial in October 2018, a jury convicted JEROME KIEFFER and ARMSTEAD KIEFFER, who are father and son, of charges related to 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.  During the 2015 robbery, JEROME KIEFFER and co-defendant DELTOINE SCOTT, who pleaded guilty and testified against the KIEFFERs, approached a Brinks truck while it was servicing ATMs at the Chase Bank.  JEROME KIEFFER forced a guard back onto the truck at gunpoint, and the two robbers made off with approximately $160,000.  About a year and a half later, the pair attempted another armored car robbery at the Campus Federal, this time enlisting JEROME KIEFFER’s father, ARMSTEAD KIEFFER as a lookout.  During the second robbery, gunfire broke out between the robbers and the guards, and Loomis guard James McBride was shot and later died of his wounds.  Both of the KIEFFERs were convicted on all counts at trial. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-19
    1 month ago
  • Mexican National Indicted For Illegal Re-Entry
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced today that OMAR ORTIZ-HERNANDEZ, age 26, was charged Thursday, March 14, 2019 in a one-count indictment for illegal reentry of a removed alien in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326(a). According to the indictment, OMAR ORTIZ-HERNANDEZ (“HERNANDEZ”), reentered the United States after he was previously deported on November 26, 2017.  If convicted, HERNANDEZ 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 Spiro G. Latsis is in charge of the prosecution.                                                                             *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-18
    1 month ago
  • Honduran Man Charged With Illegal Re-Entry
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that ELVIN FRANCISCO ALVAREZ-IZAGIRREZ, age 37, a native of Honduras, was charged Thursday, March 14, 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, ALVAREZ-IZAGIRREZ was previously removed from the United States on June 6, 2013. He was later found in the Eastern District of Louisiana on February 16, 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, ALVAREZ-IZAGIRREZ 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 – NDPublished on 2019-03-18
    1 month ago
  • Former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Employee Sentenced
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that CIBONEY PARKER, age 25, of New Orleans, was sentenced Thursday, March 14, 2019 by Chief United States District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown, to  (3) years of probation with (8) months home detention and location monitoring for her role in attempting to introduce controlled substances into the Orleans Justice Center. According to court documents, PARKER pleaded guilty to one count of violating Title 21, United States Code, Section 843(b), using a telephone in the commission of a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.   Elton Williams, an inmate at the Orleans Justice Center jail, solicited the assistance of his relative, PARKER (a civilian employee of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office), and two friends, Brittany Theophile and Rachelle Kelson, to smuggle drugs into the jail.  Theophile and Kelson provided the drugs, including marijuana, heroin, and Tramadol, to PARKER during her work shift.  The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Intelligence Division became aware of the plan through audio and visual surveillance and detained PARKER before she could gain access to Williams.   All co-defendants have pleaded guilty; only Williams awaits sentencing.  U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser praised the work of the FBI and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigative Service Bureau.  Assistant United States Attorney Tracey Knight is in charge of this prosecution.                                                                                                                         *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-18
    1 month ago
  • Ponchatoula Man Sentenced For Receipt of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors and For Violation of the Federal Gun Control Act
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that DANIEL JUSTIN MAHAN, age 43, a resident of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, was sentenced Thursday, March 14, 2019 by United States District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon to 151 months imprisonment, having pleaded guilty to receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors and violation of the Federal Gun Control Act.  Upon release from imprisonment, he will serve a 5 year term of supervised release. According to previously filed court documents, MAHAN was arrested on March 15, 2018, by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) subsequent to the execution of a search warrant at his home.  MAHAN was found to be in possession twenty-four (24) weapons and over 26,000 rounds of ammunition.  MAHAN has a prior felony conviction for bank robbery which prohibits him from possessing firearms and ammunition.  The FBI’s investigation further revealed that MAHAN was also in possession of a laptop computer which contained images depicting the sexual victimization of prepubescent children.  This case, which was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tracey N. Knight, 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 and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-17
    1 month ago
  • Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than Half A Million Dollars from Metairie Architect
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced Thursday, March 14, 2019 the guilty plea of CHRISTELLE SCHMIDT, age 65 of Thibodeaux, Louisiana to one count of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(b), Bank larceny. The indictment returned in November of 2018 alleged that SCHMIDT stole more than $550,000 from a local architectural firm while employed as a bookkeeper there. The indictment alleged that starting in 2007 and continuing through 2017 through a series of fraudulent activities SCHMIDT committed the offense. The indictment further alleged that she used two different schemes to purloin the funds, which were in the care, custody of and control of several federally insured banks in the New Orleans area. The indictment further alleged that her second scheme involved charging personal expenses on company credit cards issued to her. She paid the credit cards using the automated clearing house (ACH) accounts of the firm, without the permission of the firm. SCHMIDT faces up to 10 years incarceration, a $250,000 fine and restitution and 3 years supervised release. Sentencing is set for June 13, 2019. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Secret Service in investigating the matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carter K.D. Guice Jr.   *      *      *   ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-17
    1 month ago
  • Restaurant and Owner Guilty of Harboring and Employing Illegal Aliens
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that THAI THAI, LLC. d/b/a Sticky Rice Thai Cuisine and SOMPHON CHIWABANDIT, age 47, a native of Thailand, entered guilty pleas yesterday to harboring and unlawfully employing illegal aliens, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324a(a)(1)(A). According to court records, Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations conducted surveillance on the restaurant as well as on a home owned, and an apartment rented by CHIWABANDIT. The defendant admitted in court that he provided housing, transportation, and employment to two illegal aliens. The defendant also acknowledged that he had been in the United States illegally for the past seven years, as he had overstayed a business visitor visa. CHIWABANDIT also admitted to failing to list the illegal aliens on a Form I-9. By law, employers are required to maintain Form I-9’s for all employees, as it is a way to verify employment eligibility for a business’s employees. THAI THAI, LLC. d/b/a Sticky Rice Thai Cuisine, which pleaded guilty to a felony charge of harboring illegal aliens, faces up to 5 years of probation, a fine of $500,000, and a $400 special assessment fee. CHIWABANDIT, the restaurant owner, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge of hiring and employing illegal aliens, and faces up to 6 months of imprisonment, and/or a fine of $5,000, and a special assessment fee of $10. United States District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle set ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-13
    1 month ago
  • New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty To Bank Robbery
    NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that yesterday TROYNELL COOKS, age 39, of New Orleans, pled guilty to bank robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a). According to court documents, on October 29, 2018, COOKS entered the Hancock Bank located at 2421 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana, and robbed it of money.  After a brief chase, law enforcement officials successfully apprehended COOKS not far from the bank’s location and recovered the stolen money. The Court set sentencing in this matter for June 19, 2019.  COOKS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, a maximum $250,000 fine, up to three (3) years supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment fee. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police Department in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Duane A. Evans is prosecuting the case.    ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-13
    1 month ago
  • Walmart Bandit Sentenced
    NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that TERRY MADISON, age 22, was sentenced yesterday for committing robbery of a Walmart Money Center located in Hammond, Louisiana, on April 14, 2018. Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced MADISON to a sentence of 151 months in the Bureau of Prisons, three (3) years of Supervised Release following prison, and a $100 mandatory special assessment.  The Court also ordered MADISON to repay Walmart $3,448.10 taken in the robbery. MADISON admitted that he entered the Walmart and passed a demand note to the cashier in the Money Center, and also reached to his waistband, implying that he was armed with a firearm.  The teller complied with the demand, and MADISON escaped with over $3,000 in cash. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the hard work of the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crime Unit and the Hammond Police Depart in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Myles Ranier was in charge of the prosecution.                                                                           *   *   *   ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-12
    1 month ago
  • New Orleans Man Sentenced for Heroin Conspiracy and Firearm Possession Charges
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that PATRICK SCHEXNAYDER, age 28, of New Orleans, was sentenced yesterday for heroin conspiracy and firearm possession charges. According to court documents, SCHEXNAYDER conspired with others to possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.  In addition, on February 23, 2018, SCHEXNAYDER, a convicted felon, was in possession of a firearm. U. S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon sentenced SCHEXNAYDER to serve 60 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Judge Fallon also imposed a $200 dollar 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 and the New Orleans Police Department Multi-Agency Gang Unit 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 – NDPublished on 2019-03-11
    1 month ago
  • Bill of Information Filed Against Tax Preparer for Fraudulent Tax Returns
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DANA ALVAREZ, age 49, a resident of Holden, Louisiana, was charged Friday, March 1, 2019 in a one count bill of information for conspiracy to defraud the United States with regard to tax returns announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser. According to court documents, ALVAREZ worked for Crown Tax Service, LLC, located in Kenner, Louisiana. ALVAREZ and others conspired to defraud the United States by fraudulently minimizing tax liability and fraudulently inflating tax refunds claimed on the tax returns of Crown Tax Service’s clients, and for personal enrichment. If convicted, the defendant faces 5 years of imprisonment as to Count 1, and a possible $250,000 fine.   U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division for its work in investigating this case. 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.   The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Lauren Castaldi, Department of Justice Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Dall Kammer, Supervisor, General Crimes.   *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-03
    2 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty To False Statements to H.U.D. Program
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – ANDREA HARRISON, age 57, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty Thursday, February 28, 2019 before Chief United States District Judge Nanette Jolivette Brown to a one-count indictment for false statements in relation to programs under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser. According to court documents, a property owned by HARRISON received HUD grant funds as long as it was rented to low-income families. HARRISON submitted false documentation to make it appear that the property was being rented as required, when in truth and in fact, he was living in the property. HARRISON faces 5 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.     U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 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 – NDPublished on 2019-03-03
    2 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Indicted For Hancock Whitney Bank Robbery
    NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JOHN L. MURRAY, age 65, was charged Thursday, February 28, 2019 in a one-count indictment for bank robbery in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a). According to the indictment, MURRAY robbed the Hancock Whitney Bank located in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 13, 2019. If convicted, MURRAY faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years, a fine of up to $250,000.00, three years supervised release after imprisonment, and a $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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police Department in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Julia K. Evans is in charge of the prosecution.                                                                             *   *   * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-03-03
    2 months ago
  • Mexican Man Pleads Guilty To Illegal Re-Entry
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that BENITO ORBE-SANTANA, age 43, a native of Mexico, pleaded guilty Thursday, February 21, 2019 to a one-count indictment, which charged him with illegal reentry of a removed alien, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1326(a). According to the indictment, ORBE-SANTANA was previously removed from the United States on July 9, 2008. He was later found in the Eastern District of Louisiana on December 10, 2018 and had not received permission from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to reenter. According to documents filed in court, ORBE-SANTANA, was arrested in Tangipahoa Parish for DWI in December 2018. ORBE-SANTANA 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. His sentencing is set for March 14, 2019. 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 – NDPublished on 2019-02-25
    2 months ago
  • Mexican Man Charged With Being Illegal Alien in Possession of a Firearm
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that ANTONIO OSORIO DIAZ, age 41, a native of Mexico, was charged Thursday, February 21, 2019 in a one-count indictment with illegal alien in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(5)(A). According to the indictment, DIAZ was an illegal alien in possession of a firearm on February 3, 2019 who was found in the Eastern District of Louisiana.  He is an illegal alien from Mexico and has never been previously deported.  The indictment alleges he illegally possessed a Ruger. 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. If convicted, DIAZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release and a $100.00 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 – NDPublished on 2019-02-25
    2 months ago
  • Former Manager of North Kenner Post Office Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than $630,000 in Postal Stamps
    NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that RYAN S. CORTEZ, age 46, of Des Allemands, Louisiana, entered a plea of guilty Friday, February 22, 2019 to Misappropriation of Postal Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1711. According to court records, special agents with the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (“USPS-OIG”) were notified by PayPal and eBay regarding significant quantities of U.S. Postal stamps being sold by CORTEZ on eBay.  A subsequent investigation by Postal OIG revealed that, as manager, Cortez had increased the North Kenner Post Office’s reserve stamp stock by more than $600,000.  Subpoenaed records from Cortez’s Regions Bank account revealed substantial deposits, including more than $58,000 in a one-month period in the summer of 2018.  During their investigation, Postal OIG agents determined CORTEZ withdrew thousands of dollars on a regular basis at the Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans.  Harrah’s records revealed CORTEZ lost over $667,000 since 2011 and lost over $220,000 in 2017.  Postal records indicate CORTEZ earned an annual salary of $70,818.   On October 10, 2018, Postal OIG special agents executed a federal search warrant issued by a federal magistrate judge at CORTEZ’s residence in Des Allemands. Agents found evidence linking CORTEZ to the ordering of the stamps from the Stamp Fulfillment Center thus increasing the reserve stamp stock for the North Kenner Post Office.  During the search of the Post Office, Postal OIG special agents advised CORTEZ of his Miranda rights and advised him that they ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2019-02-25
    2 months ago
  • Man Pleads Guilty to Robbery of Metairie Bank
    NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced yesterday that STEPHEN J. SCOTT, age 31, of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty as charged to committing the robbery of the First American Bank & Trust at 1800 Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie, Louisiana, on April 9, 2018, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a). Bank robbery carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in the Bureau of Prisons, a $250,000 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.  The Court will sentence SCOTT on January 31, 2019. On that date, SCOTT entered the bank, passed a demand note to the teller, and implied that he was in a possession of a weapon.  The teller handed over $3,400 to SCOTT, who fled the location.  Members of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office were able to match a fingerprint taken from the bank to SCOTT.  Sheriff’s Office members then compared the surveillance footage from the robbery to other known photos of SCOTT to confirm his identity. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crime Task Force and officers with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Myles Ranier is handling the prosecution.                                                                           *   *   *   ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2018-11-01
    6 months ago
  • Reserve Man Sentenced To 4 Years in Prison for Cocaine Conspiracy
    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that GARRICK JONES, age 39, of Reserve, was sentenced yesterday for charges relating to narcotics trafficking, retaliation against a witness, and firearm possession.  JONES pled guilty on October 12, 2017, to conspiring with others to distribute at least 28 grams of cocaine base (“crack”), and to retaliating against a witness for information provided to law enforcement relating to the commission of a federal offense. JONES, who was previously convicted of a felony, also pled guilty to illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. JONES possessed a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber pistol. Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced JONES to 48 months in the Bureau of Prisons, as well as 4 years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment. U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas D. Moses and Edward Rivera are in charge of the prosecution. *      *      * ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2018-11-01
    6 months ago
  • New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charge
    U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that ELTON WILLIAMS, age 28, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown, to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin, cocaine hydrochloride, marijuana, and Tramadol.  According to court documents, ELTON WILLIAMS, an inmate at the Orleans Justice Center jail, solicited the assistance of his relative, Ciboney Parker (a civilian employee of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office), and two friends, Brittany Theophile and Rachelle Kelson, to smuggle drugs into the jail.  Theophile and Kelson provided the drugs, including marijuana, heroin, and Tramadol, to Parker during her work shift.  The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Intelligence Division became aware of the plan through audio and visual surveillance and detained Parker before she could gain access to WILLIAMS.   Theophile and Kelson pleaded guilty and await sentencing.  Parker is scheduled to plead guilty on December 4, 2018. WILLIAMS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, is subject to a fine of up to $1,000,000, and, upon release, will serve a three (3) year term of supervised release.  Sentencing before Judge Brown is scheduled for February 7, 2019. U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser praised the work of the FBI and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigative Service Bureau.  Assistant United States Attorney Tracey Knight is in charge of this prosecution. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2018-10-31
    6 months ago
  • Former Investigator with District Attorney’s Office for the 22nd Judicial District Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to Federal Authorities
    U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JEFFERY B. MONTALBANO, age 58, a resident of Mandeville, Louisiana, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Susie Morgan to a one-count bill of information with making false statements to federal authorities, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ' 1001(a)(2). According to court documents, MONTALBANO was the president of an entity called “JBM OIL SALES” and from about February 2013 to April 2018 worked for the Office of the District Attorney for the 22nd Judicial District as an investigator in the domestic violence unit.  While employed as an investigator, MONTALBANO was responsible for collecting and preparing evidence in domestic violence investigations and trials and coordinating witness and victim testimony.  On January 23, 2018, MONTALBANO met with a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 3601 Highway 190, Mandeville, Louisiana, within the Eastern District of Louisiana. This meeting was part of an investigation the FBI was conducting into approximately $20,000 paid by a defendant in a criminal matter pending in the 22nd Judicial District (“Defendant A”) to MONTALBANO’S associate (“Person 1”).  The investigation concerned the nature of the payment and whether MONTALBANO took official action to benefit Defendant A in an ongoing criminal matter in exchange for receiving the payment.    During the interview, MONTALBANO made numerous materially false statements and omissions related to the investigation in response to questions posed to him by FBI Special Agents.  In particular, MONTALBANO said that neither he nor Person 1 had ever received money from Defendant ... read more
    Source: DOJ – NDPublished on 2018-10-31
    6 months ago