Suspected Serial Robber Hits Wells Fargo Bank in Pennsylvania
The Lower Moreland Township Police Department and the FBI are seeking the public’s assistance to identify and locate the subject responsible for the robbery today of the Wells Fargo Bank branch located at 2560 Huntingdon Pike in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.
At approximately 9:32 a.m., the subject entered the bank and made a verbal demand to a teller. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash, the subject fled the area of the bank on foot, heading west on Fetters Mill Road.
The subject is described as a light-complected black male, approximately 5’6”-5’11” tall, medium build; he wore a gray hooded sweatshirt with the word “Nike” and the “Swoosh” logo in black across the front, black sweatpants, black gloves, and a white mask or scarf across his face.
This subject is believed also to be responsible for the armed robberies of a Sovereign Bank branch in Cheltenham Township on June 13 and May 28; a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Northeast Philadelphia on May 23; and a PNC Bank branch in Philadelphia’s Mayfair section on May 15.
This subject is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about this subject or this robbery is urged to call the Lower Moreland Township Police Department at 215-947-3132 or the FBI at 215-641-8910. There may be a reward for information leading to this subject’s capture; tipsters can remain anonymous.
Treasury Sanctions Mexican Traffickers Tied to Kidnapping, Murder of DEA Agent
The DEA has announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated 18 individuals and 15 entities linked to Rafael Caro Quintero, a Mexican drug trafficker. This action, pursuant to the Kingpin Act, generally prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these designees, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Rafael Caro Quintero is a significant Mexican narcotics trafficker who began his criminal career in the late 1970s when he and others, including Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno (a.k.a. “El Azul”), formed the Guadalajara drug cartel and amassed an illicit fortune.
Caro Quintero was the mastermind behind the kidnapping and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent (SA) Enrique Camarena in 1985. Following his capture in the same year, Caro Quintero was convicted in Mexico for his involvement in SA Camarena’s murder and drug trafficking and is currently serving a 40 year prison sentence there.
Caro Quintero is also wanted in the Central District of California on criminal charges related to the kidnapping and murder of SA Camarena as well as drug trafficking.
Caro Quintero continues his alliance with Esparragoza Moreno’s organization and its key players, such as the previously-designated individual Juvencio Ignacio Gonzalez Parada. Thus, the President identified Caro Quintero and Esparragoza Moreno as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) in 2000 and 2003, respectively.
This action targets six of Rafael Caro Quintero’s family members, including his children — Hector Rafael Caro Elenes, Roxana Elizabeth Caro Elenes, Henoch Emilio Caro Elenes, and Mario Yibran Caro Elenes— his wife, Maria Elizabeth Elenes Lerma, and his daughter-in-law, Denisse Buenrostro Villa. Humberto Vargas Correa, a longtime personal secretary of Caro Quintero, was also designated. These individuals own and/or manage a variety of companies in Guadalajara, which were also designated.
In addition, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted members of the Sanchez Garza family, which is based in Guadalajara and involved in money laundering operations on behalf of Caro Quintero and also linked to Esparragoza Moreno.
Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
DEA Agents Make $8 Million Heroin Bust
NY officials have announced the discovery of a wholesale heroin packaging operation located at 181 W 238th Apt. #25 Bronx, NY , the arrest of three people and the seizure of 11 kilograms of heroin worth $8 million.
On June 12, 2013 a team of heavy hitters from the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force conducted surveillance of a possible drug transaction location. The tax force included DEA special agents, New York Police Department detectives, New York State Police Investigators and investigators from the Special Narcotics Prosecutors Office.
Agents and investigators observed three individuals carrying a white weighted down bag exit 181 W. 238th Street, scanning the area intently as they moved. The surveillance team then observed the men enter a black Acura bearing Pennsylvania license plates and drive southbound on Bailey Avenue.
They’d seen enough. Officers stopped the vehicle and discovered the white bag in the backseat held approximately $130,000.
At that time, agents and officers arrested three individuals in the vehicle; Carlos Castillo, Bladimar Ramirez-Ramirez, and Adalberto Cotts-Perz.
Later that evening, a search warrant was obtained by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and executed at 181 W. 238th St. Apt. #25, Bronx, NY where 11 kilograms (24 pounds) of heroin and wholesale processing equipment seized.
The information was released in a DEA press statement that included the following disclaimer: “Charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
Troy Walker of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, has pleaded guilty to transporting a minor with the intent to engage in prostitution.
The 48-year-old man told the court he met a 17-year-old girl in March 2012 through a friend who worked at parties hosted by Walker through his company, Quest For Fire.
These parties were advertised as sex parties or “gang bangs” on the Internet. Interested individuals would text Walker at the cell phone number listed in the ad, and Walker would text back the party’s location. Guests paid for entry to a residence, which would allow them to engage in sexual acts with girls provided by Walker.
Walker asked the victim to work for him at a party he was hosting. according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, he rented an apartment for the victim and had her engage in sex acts with guests at his parties. The teen worked for Walker at the parties hosted in Prince George’s County from April 1 to Sept. 15 last year.
According to the victim, Walker assaulted her several times.
Walker, a/k/a “Caveman,” of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison at sentencing Aug. 14. He also must register as a sex offender in the place he lives, where he works, and attends school, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
43-year-old Lonne Balog of Wilmington, North Carolina, was obsessed with child pornography. That obsession has now landed him in prison for the next 12 and a half years.
During the course of an investigation of online trafficking in child pornography, law enforcement identified Balog as an individual using peer-to-peer technologies to obtain child pornography and to make such materials available to others.
After an undercover investigator downloaded child pornography images from Balog’s computer, a search warrant was executed at his Wilmington home in June of 2012 by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the FBI.
They had him. Balog admitted to frequent downloading of child pornography, and forensic examiners determined that Balog had accumulated over 4,000 still images and over 600 videos depicting the sexual abuse of children.
Chief Federal District Court Judge James C. Dever sentenced Balog to 151 months’ imprisonment for receipt of child pornography. Once he gets out, Judge Dever further sentenced Balog to 20 years of supervised release.
This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level.
Michigan Pedophile Sentenced to 12 Years
34-year-old Michigan pedophile Ashlee C. Liebert has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release, for traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
Liebert, of Whitmore Lake, Michigan, pleaded guilty in October 2012.
According to court records, beginning in November 2011 and lasting through March 2012, Liebert established a relationship with a 12-year-old minor residing in Putnam County, West Virginia. During that five-month period, Liebert communicated with the minor using e-mail and a cell phone. The defendant had numerous conversations with the minor that were sexual in nature and also exchanged sexually explicit photos with the child.
On March 10, 2012, Liebert traveled from Michigan to meet the minor in West Virginia. During the drive, he and the minor talked via cell phones and Liebert told the child that he wanted to have sex. Sadly, that desire came true. After arriving in Putnam County, Liebert picked the minor up and drove to a location near Cross Creek Road, in Buffalo, West Virginia, and had illegal sexual contact with her.
Law enforcement officers from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department discovered Liebert and the minor inside his parked vehicle near Cross Creek Road in Buffalo.
A Michigan state search warrant was executed on Liebert’s Whitmore Lake residence on March 10, 2012, the same day the defendant was arrested by police in West Virginia. During the execution of the search warrant, officers seized several computers from Liebert’s residence.
A forensic review of Liebert’s computers revealed more than 600 images and videos of child pornography. Liebert previously downloaded the images and videos of child pornography using the Internet.
In announcing the sentenced, U.S. Attorney Goodwin said:
“Pedophiles like Mr. Liebert who target kids and steal their innocence are downright sickening.This kind of crime is infuriating. I will continue to spare no effort to make sure that criminals who exploit children are brought to justice.”
Hustle Boys Gang Member Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison
Photo Credit: FBI
22-year-old Jeron Gaskin has been sentenced in federal court in Detroit to 30 years in federal prison for drug trafficking. Gaskin and nine other members of the conspiracy were indicted for the conspiracy offense for which Gaskin was found guilty on November 30, 2011.
The jury found Gaskin, a member of a violent Detroit street gang known as the Hustle Boys, guilty of one count of participating in a drug conspiracy and two counts of possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs.
At sentencing last week, Gaskin also pleaded guilty to one count of witness tampering, admitting that he had threatened the life of a witness, the witness’s minor child, and the child’s mother before the drug trafficking trial.
Gaskin received a sentence on the witness tampering charge of 46 months in prison concurrent to the 30-year drug trafficking sentence.
The following co-defendants pleaded guilty prior to trial and were previously sentenced in this case.
- Mark Davis was sentenced on January 29, 2013, to 155 months in federal prison. Davis also is serving a three-year sentence in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
- William Crews was sentenced on May 6, 2013, to 50 months in federal prison. Crews also is serving a three-year sentence in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
- Darrell Ewing was sentenced on January 28, 2013, to 180 months in federal prison. Ewing also is serving a life sentence for murder in the Michigan Department of Corrections.
- Deonte Morris was sentenced on January 15, 2013, to 130 months in federal prison. Delmerey Morris was sentenced on February 26, 2013, to 144 months in federal prison.
- Delmerey Morris also is serving a 35 to 60 year sentence for murder in the Michigan Department of Corrections.
- Ashley Sallad was sentenced on January 14, 2013, to one day of imprisonment and three years of supervised release.
- Pinkie Lewis was sentenced on January 23, 2013, to one year plus one day in federal prison.
United States Attorney Danny C. Williams, Sr. announced that four men have been charged in a superseding indictment returned today by a federal grand jury in Tulsa. The superseding indictment is the result of a two-year investigation conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) into the 107 Hoover Crips street gang and its criminal activities of drug dealing, extortion, and violence, including shootings.
Lorell Antonio Battle, 30; Paul Edward Battle, 31; Thomas Layeffetta Jackson, 27; and Gaywone Dekeith Blades, 18, all of Tulsa, are charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine base, commonly known as “crack” cocaine. Lorell Battle and Gaywone Blades are also accused of possessing firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking and maintaining apartments in the 61st Street and Peoria Avenue area of Tulsa to distribute, store, and use cocaine base in other charges of the 11-count superseding indictment.
The charges resulted from an investigation of the Tulsa Police Department’s Special Investigations Division assisted by the DEA, the FBI, and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Robert T. Raley, Allen J. Litchfield, and Catherine Depew are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
A 2011 national Gang Threat Assessment by the FBI found that gangs are expanding, evolving and posing an increasing threat to US communities nationwide. Many gangs are sophisticated criminal networks with members who are violent, distribute wholesale quantities of drugs, and develop and maintain close working relationships with members and associates of transnational criminal/drug trafficking organizations.
The study also found that gangs are becoming more violent while engaging in less typical and lower-risk crime, such as prostitution and white-collar crime. Gangs are more adaptable, organized, sophisticated, and opportunistic, exploiting new and advanced technology as a means to recruit, communicate discretely, target their rivals, and perpetuate their criminal activity.
Homeland Security Launches New and Improved Blue Campaign
Janet Napolitano, the nation’s Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has released the following statement regarding the Blue Campaign, a Homeland Security initiative that serves as the central, unified voice of the government’s efforts to combat human trafficking.
Blue Campaign provides information on training and outreach, how traffickers operate, and victim assistance to help keep the public informed. The foundational belief is that increased awareness and training will lead to more tips to law enforcement, which will result in more victims being identified.
Here’s what Secretary Napolitano said:
Today, I am proud to announce the launch of the redesigned Blue Campaign, the Department of Homeland Security’s unified voice for combating human trafficking.
Human trafficking is often hidden in plain sight, even in our own communities. Everyone has a role to play in combating human trafficking. Increased awareness and training will lead to more tips, which will result in more victims being identified and rescued.
Working together with law enforcement, government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and bring those who exploit human lives to justice. Together, we can take comprehensive action to stop this horrible crime, to rescue its victims, and to put its perpetrators behind bars.
The Blue Campaign is offering new, comprehensive resources for recognizing the indicators of human trafficking and knowing how to report suspected instances of human trafficking to law enforcement, as well as resources for potential victims.
I encourage you to take a moment to learn more about human trafficking and how everyone can join in the fight. Please visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign to learn more, take the training, print the posters, and share the PSA to educate yourself and your community about human trafficking.
Help the FBI Identify Suspects in Three Violent Bank Robberies
The FBI, San Mateo County Sherriff’s Office and San Francisco Police Department are seeking the public’s help in identifying three individuals who have been connected to three violent, takeover-style bank robberies.
It is believed the suspects engaged in two bank robberies Tuesday in Millbrae and San Francisco, respectively, while the third bank robbery occurred in April.
Witnesses describe the suspects as three black males, approximately 20-35 years in age, slim to medium builds, wearing thick jackets, gloves, and clothing that would mask their heads and faces. One of the suspects is between 5’8” and 5’10” tall and the other two are between 6’0” and 6’2” tall.
During each robbery, the suspects held bank employees and customers against their will, jumped behind the tellers’ counters, and took money. Witnesses saw one handgun displayed during the June 3 robberies and multiple handguns displayed during the April 19 robbery. Investigators believe the suspects fled the scene in at least two of the robberies in a light-colored, older model sedan resembling a Ford Taurus.
The suspects should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the suspects is urged to contact their nearest FBI office or dial 911. The FBI can be reached 24 hours a day at 415-553-7400 in the San Francisco area. All calls are confidential. Tips can also be submitted at tips.fib.gov.
This investigation is being conducted jointly by FBI San Francisco agents, San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies, and San Francisco Police inspectors.