General News

James Rutledge Indicted on Meth Trafficking and Gun Charges

Colorado Man, James Rutledge Indicted on Meth Trafficking and Gun Charges (STL.News) United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Boulder, Colorado, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person. James Rutledge, age 49, was indicted on November 10, 2020.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on November 23, 2020, and pled not guilty to the Indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a mandatory minimum 10 years, up to life in federal prison and/or a $10,000,000 fine, at least five years, up to a lifetime of supervised release, and $300 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also...

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Sussex County Woman, Maria Bell Charged with Concealing Terrorist Financing

Sussex County Woman, Maria Bell Charged with Concealing Terrorist Financing to Syrian Al-Nusra Front, a Foreign Terrorist Organization (STL.News) A Sussex County, New Jersey, woman, Maria Bell, a/k/a “Maria Sue Bell,” 53, of Hopatcong, New Jersey, was arrested at her home today and charged with one count of knowingly concealing the provision of material support and resources to a Foreign Terrorist Organization Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey announced. She is scheduled to appear by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor. According to documents filed in Court, beginning at least as early as March of 2017, Bell used mobile applications to communicate with ...

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Lower Brule Man, Philip Battese Sentenced for Meth Trafficking

Lower Brule Man, Philip Battese Sentenced for Meth Trafficking (STL.News) United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Lower Brule, South Dakota, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine was sentenced on November 24, 2020, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court. Philip Battese, a/k/a Philip Anthony Battese, Jr., age 39, was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, a $1,000 fine, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100. Battese was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 9, 2019.  He pled guilty on July 31, 2020. The conviction stemmed from a conspiracy beginning in at least January 2016, continuing to April 9, 2019, wherein Battese was involved with several ot...

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Lawrenceville Man, Lawrence Attisano Charged For Setting Fire

Lawrenceville Man, Lawrence Attisano Charged with Setting Fire to Wilkinsburg Duplex PITTSBURGH, PA (STL.News) A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of Malicious Destruction of Property, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady, announced today. The one-count Indictment returned on November 17, 2020, named Lawrence Attisano, age 34, of Pittsburgh’s Lawrencville neighborhood, as the sole defendant. According to the Indictment, on or about July 16, 2020, Attisano set fire to the duplex located at 421-423 Lamar Avenue in Wilkinsburg.  The occupants of the two residences were able to escape without injury. Attisano faces a maximum sentence of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of $250,000.  Under the Federal Sentencing Gui...

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Donald Dougherty Indicted for multiple charges

Philadelphia Electrical Contractor, Donald Dougherty Indicted for Bank, Tax Fraud and Theft of Union Benefit Funds   The Contracting Company’s Accountant was also Indicted for Tax Fraud Philadelphia, PA (STL.News) First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Donald Dougherty, 54, of Philadelphia, PA, the owner of Dougherty Electric, Inc., (DEI) an electrical contracting business based in Philadelphia, PA, was charged by Indictment with multiple charges of bank fraud, tax fraud and theft from employee benefit plans.  Also charged in the Indictment is Michael McKale, 47, of Warrington, PA, an accountant who worked for Dougherty, with counts related to tax fraud. Specifically, Dougherty was charged with conspiracy to defraud the IRS, six counts of fili...

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Orel Gohar Pleads Guilty for multiple charges

Second Extradited Israeli Fugitive, Orel Gohar Pleads Guilty to Conducting Illegal Gambling Business, Money Laundering, and Failure to Appear Sacramento, CA (STL.News) Orel Gohar, 30, formerly of San Francisco, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conducting an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and failure to appear, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. According to court documents, Gohar participated in operating an organization that installed and maintained illegal video slot machines at businesses open to the public across Northern California.  Gohar also participated in two different conspiracies to launder the proceeds of the lucrative gambling business through co-defendants’ other businesses.  In total, Gohar participated in laundering at least $650,000...

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Edward Matthes Charged With $2.6 Million Wire Fraud

Former Oconomowoc Investment Broker, Edward Matthes Charged With $2.6 Million Wire Fraud Defendant Alleged to Have Defrauded at Least 23 Clients, Many of Whom Are Elderly (STL.News) United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced that, on November 25, 2020, he issued a three-count information charging Edward Matthes (age: 50) with wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, and that Matthes has entered into an agreement to plead guilty to the charges. According to the written plea agreement filed in the case, Matthes, who previously was employed as an independent investment broker for Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc. (MOIS), devised and executed a scheme to defraud his clients and to obtain money by means of materially false and fraudulent pretense...

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Melvin Lee Jackson and Edgar Ramirez sentenced for multiple armed robberies

Two Youngstown men, Melvin Lee Jackson and Edgar Ramirez sentenced to more than 15 years for multiple armed robberies (STL.News) U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced that Melvin Lee Jackson, 18, and Edgar Ramirez, 22, both of Youngstown, were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Benita Y. Pearson after they each pleaded guilty to committing a string of armed robberies at several locations in the Youngstown, Struthers and Boardman areas. “Both of these men will now spend almost two decades behind bars for their actions that terrorized a community,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman.  “The length of these sentences should show that pointing a gun at the head of innocent people simply trying to do their job and demanding money will put you in jail for a very long time.” Melvin Lee Jac...

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Lovell Patterson Sentenced to More Than 10 Years

Baltimore Fentanyl Dealer, Lovell Patterson Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Federal Prison Manager of a Drug Trafficking Organization Operating in West Baltimore Baltimore, MA (STL.News) On November 24, 2020, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Lovell Patterson, age 40, of Baltimore, to 123 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, after Patterson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and with violating his supervised release from a previous federal felony drug conviction by committing these crimes. The guilty plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Spe...

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Arizona Man, Anthony Ward Irving Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy

Arizona Man, Anthony Ward Irving Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy (STL.News) An Arizona man pleaded guilty this morning to conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin and 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. Anthony Ward Irving, 36, pleaded guilty this morning before U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan. “Anthony Irving’s recipe for illegal profit was a combination of methamphetamine, cell phones, drug couriers, and electronic transfers. He lived in Arizona but facilitated meth trafficking in Northeastern Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Thanks to a formidable partnership of state, local, and federal drug agents, Irving’s operation was disrupted and dismantled.” In his plea agreement, Irving admi...

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Akron man, Quentin D. Watson charged with distributing fentanyl

Akron man, Quentin D. Watson charged with distributing fentanyl that caused overdose death (STL.News) U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland returned a four-count indictment charging Quentin D. Watson, age 34, of Akron with the distribution of fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of an Akron woman.  This charge carries a potential sentencing enhancement due to a death resulting from the use of a controlled substance.  The grand jury further charged Watson with additional counts of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. According to court documents, on June 24, 2020, the defendant is accused of distr...

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Sussex County Woman, Maria Bell Charged with Concealing Terrorist Financing

Sussex County Woman, Maria Bell Charged with Concealing Terrorist Financing to Syrian Al-Nusra Front, a Foreign Terrorist Organization NEWARK, N.J (STL.News) A Sussex County, New Jersey, woman, was arrested at her home today in connection with concealing sending money to a Syrian foreign terrorist organization, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. Maria Bell, a/k/a “Maria Sue Bell,” 53, of Hopatcong, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of knowingly concealing the provision of material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. She is scheduled to appear by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: From February of 2017, Bell used encryp...

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Florida Attorney, David Wayne Aring Pleads Guilty To Receiving Child Pornography

Florida Attorney, David Wayne Aring Pleads Guilty To Receiving Child Pornography TALLAHASSEE, FL (STL.News) David Wayne Aring, 49, formerly of Tallahassee, pled guilty on Monday, November 23, to a federal charge of receipt of child pornography.  Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the guilty plea. Between March 26, 2017, and December 2, 2019, from his former Tallahassee apartment, Aring used a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download digital images and videos depicting child pornography.  A search warrant was executed on Aring’s apartment on January 7, 2020, and investigators located a USB storage device and a desktop computer.  Investigators determined the USB device contained thousands of digital files that contained child porno...

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Owner and Employees Charged With Defrauding Illinois Low-Income Daycare Program

Owner and Employees of Chicago-Area Child Care Centers Charged With Defrauding Illinois Low-Income Daycare Program Out of $6.1 Million Chicago (STL.News) The owner of Chicago-area child care centers and several of her employees fraudulently schemed to pocket more than $6.1 million from a State of Illinois program designed to help low-income families afford child care, according to an indictment returned in federal court. ALEESHA McDOWELL owned child care providers A&A Kiddy Kollege Inc. in Calumet City, A&A Kiddy Kollege 2 in Calumet Park, and Kreative Kidz Academy Inc., Kreative Kidz Academy II Inc., and Kreative Kidz Academy III Inc. in Chicago.  From 2012 to 2020, McDowell schemed with four directors of her centers and others to defraud the Illinois Department of Human Servi...

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Rapid City Priest, Marcin Stanislaw Garbacz Sentenced for Wire Fraud, Money Laundering

Rapid City Priest, Marcin Stanislaw Garbacz Sentenced to 7 Years and 9 Months in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, Transportation of Stolen Money, and Filing a False Tax Return (STL.News) United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Marcin Stanislaw Garbacz, age 42, an ordained priest assigned to the Catholic Diocese in Rapid City, South Dakota, was sentenced on November 23, 2020 by Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Judge, on fifty counts of Wire Fraud, nine counts of Money Laundering, one count of Transportation of Stolen Money, and five counts of Making and Subscribing a False Tax Return.  Garbacz was convicted in March 2020 following a week-long jury trial at the federal courthouse in Rapid City. Garbacz was sentenced to 7 years and 9 months in federal prison, to b...

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