General News

Border Patrol Seizes more than $450K Worth of Drugs in the Rio Grande Valley, TX

FRONTON, Texas (STL.News) In the early morning hours, Rio Grande City (RGC) agents foiled a drug smuggling attempt that led to the discovery of more than 575 pounds of marijuana.Yesterday morning, RGC agents working near Fronton, Texas, witnessed a Ford Ranger leaving the Rio Grande at a high rate of speed.  Agents lost sight of the pickup for a short while until locating it abandoned on a private property along with a utility terrain vehicle, which was reported stolen out of Houston, Texas.  An inspection of the Ranger revealed more than 576 pounds of marijuana worth more than $461K in the bed of the truck.  An intensive search for the driver yielded negative results.Border Patrol turned the drugs over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, huma

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Bergen County Postal Employee Juan Torres Arrested for Bank Fraud

Newark, N.J: Bergen County Postal Employee Juan Torres Arrested for Bank Fraud and Mail Theft(STL.News) – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee was arrested today for stealing mail and committing bank fraud, including stealing checks sent through the mail and fraudulently depositing those checks without authorization, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.Juan Torres, 27, of Hackensack, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of bank fraud and one count of mail theft.  He is scheduled to appear/appeared this afternoon via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor.According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:From November 2019 to Jan. 11, 2020, certain checks addressed to third-party victims and mailed to addresses on postal routes i

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Remarks by Assistant AG for National Security John C. Demers on ISIS Militants Charged

Virginia: Remarks by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers on ISIS Militants Charged with Deaths of Americans in Syria(STL.News) – Good morning. I’m joined today by FBI Director Chris Wray, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Zach Terwilliger, and the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, James Dawson.  We are here to announce the indictment of Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh.  Kotey and Elsheikh were members of the notoriously brutal ISIS hostage-taking cell that became known as “the Beatles” — a name their captives gave to them because of their British accents.  The defendants are charged with terrorism offenses relating to the hostage-taking and killing of four Americans, as well as nationals of the Un

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Utah Receiving $994,943 In Department Of Justice Funding

Salt Lake City: Utah Receiving $994,943 In Department Of Justice Funding To Enhance State Victim Assistance Programs | USAO-UT(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney John W. Huber announced Wednesday morning that Utah is receiving almost $1 million in Department of Justice grant awards to support crime victims in Utah.  The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of more than $144 million distributed nationwide to enhance the response to victims of crime throughout the United States.“The Department of Justice is steadfast in its commitment to protecting public safety and bringing justice to those who have been victimized,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “The investments we are making today will support service providers as they work to secure the legal rights o

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month featured grant and organization

Domestic Violence Awareness Month featured grant and organization(STL.News) – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today’s Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women featured grant and grant recipient.“We know that the sooner we can assist survivors in finding housing in combination with supportive case management, we increase their sustainability for a violence free future,” said Lisa Shafran, President, Turning Point Domestic Violence Services.  “We are thrilled to have received a renewal of this grant which will only increase our capacity to serve those in need.”Transitional Housing Assistance Grant for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault ProgramThe Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domes

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General News

DOJ Charges 500 Plus Domestic Violence Firearm Related Cases In FY 20

(STL.News) – Today, the Department of Justice announced it has charged more than 500 domestic violence cases involving firearms during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.  A Department priority since 2019 when Attorney General William P. Barr created the Department of Justice’s first ever-Domestic Violence Working Group, these charges are the result of the critical law enforcement partnership between United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, led by Acting Director Regina Lombardo, who has made domestic violence firearms-related investigations a priority.“Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminal offenders is one of the Department of Justice’s top priorities,” said Attorney General Barr.  “This is especially important when it comes to ind...

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U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow Announces $900,000

San Juan, Puerto Rico: U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow Announces $900,000 To Support Offenders Returning To Communities In Puerto Rico(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow today announced $900,000 in Department of Justice grants to reduce recidivism among adults and juvenile offenders returning to their communities in Puerto Rico after confinement.  The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of more than $92 million in funding to support reentry efforts throughout the United States.These awards represent President Trump’s commitment to assisting people in America’s prisons and detention facilities who have earned the opportunity to take their places back in society.“Former offenders are ultimately responsible for their own successes and failures,

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U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme Announces $1,894,452 To Improve Services

Billings: U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme Announces $1,894,452 To Improve Services For Crime Victims In Montana(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme today announced $1,894,452 in Department of Justice grants to improve services for crime victims in Montana.  The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of over $144 million distributed to enhance the district’s response to victims of crime throughout the United States.“The Department of Justice is steadfast in its commitment to protecting public safety and bringing justice to those who have been victimized,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “The investments we are making today will support service providers as they work to secure the legal rights of victims and put survivors of criminal acts on the road to reco

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Chinese Company’s SoCal Subsidiary Agrees to Pay More Than $1 Million

Los Angeles: Chinese Company’s SoCal Subsidiary Agrees to Pay More Than $1 Million to Resolve Criminal Investigation into Bribe Payments to Jose Huizar and Illegal Contributions to Other Political Figures(STL.News) – A Chinese company’s Arcadia subsidiary, established to redevelop a downtown Los Angeles hotel, has agreed to pay $1,050,000 to resolve an investigation into the company’s conduct with public officials in the City of Los Angeles, including bribery, honest services fraud, and foreign and conduit campaign contributions.A three-year non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with Jia Yuan USA Co., Inc. is the latest development in the ongoing investigation into a wide-ranging “pay-to-play” scheme in which developers bribed Los Angeles city officials to secure official acts to benefit their r

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Duquesne Man Donte Taylor Gets 22-Year Federal Prison Sentence

Pittsburgh: Duquesne Man Donte Taylor Gets 22-Year Federal Prison Sentence for Fifth Drug Trafficking Conviction(STL.News) – A resident of Duquesne, PA, has been sentenced to 22 years’ (264 months’) imprisonment and eight years of supervised release after his conviction for violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.Senior United States District Judge David Stewart Cercone imposed the sentence on Donte Taylor, 37, of 825 Catherine Street, Duquesne, Pennsylvania who was found guilty of possessing with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and quantities of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana.The evidence introduced during the trial established that on May 10, 2018, Taylor was on parole for a previous drug trafficking convicti

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U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe Hosts Law Enforcement Roundtable

Tallahassee, Florida: U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe Hosts Law Enforcement Roundtable With Top Drug Enforcement Administration Officials(STL.News) – Seeking to build on the success of a multi-agency effort to stanch the distribution of methamphetamine and related violent crime in Franklin County, Florida, United States Attorney Lawrence Keefe of the Northern District of Florida hosted Timothy Shea, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), for a law enforcement roundtable discussion with sheriffs from throughout the District to identify additional partnership opportunities. The Honorable Ashley Moody, Florida Attorney General, and Keith Weis, Acting Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Miami Division, also participated in the event.“The United States Attorney’s Office was honore

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Former Torrington Resident Henly Feliz Santiago Sentenced to 4 Years

Connecticut: Former Torrington Resident Henly Feliz Santiago Sentenced to 4 Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Heroin and Cocaine(STL.News) – John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Henly Feliz Santiago, 43, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in Torrington, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 48 months of imprisonment for trafficking heroin and cocaineAccording to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2018, law enforcement in Indiana seized approximately three kilograms of heroin that was being transported to Santiago, and investigators subsequently learned that Santiago was involved in the cross-country transportation of heroin and cocaine to Connecticut.  On Janu

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Jury Convicts Valdez Williams, Three Time Felon Of Illegally Possessing

Orlando, Florida: Jury Convicts Valdez Williams, Three Time Felon Of Illegally Possessing A Firearm And Ammunition(STL.News) – A federal jury has found Valdez Williams (61, Altamonte Springs) guilty of one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Williams faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison.  His sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 28, 2020.Williams had been indicted on November 20, 2019.According to evidence presented at trial, during the execution of a search warrant at his apartment, law enforcement officers recovered a .380 caliber firearm and ammunition from a safe in Williams’s bedroom.  The officers also found a plate of cocaine base and stolen property in the apartment.  Williams admitted that he sol

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Azusena Maribel Sierra and Twenty-Two others Indicted In Large-Scale Heroin Ring

Denver: Azusena Maribel Sierra and Twenty-Two others Indicted In Large-Scale Heroin Ring(STL.News) – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn today announced that 23 individuals have been indicted with 37 counts for their role in running a large-scale, Denver-based heroin trafficking organization.  The Denver Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration joined in today’s announcement.According to allegations contained in the indictment as well as information from detention hearings, defendants Azusena Maribel Sierra and her husband Juan Antonio Amaya-Nunez were at the center of the organization.  Sierra was the heroin dispatcher and money collector who, on a daily basis, received calls and texts from dozens of street-level customers.  Sierra took heroin orders, dispatched multiple run

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ISIS Militants Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh Charged

Virginia: ISIS Militants Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh Charged With Deaths Of Americans In Syria(STL.News) – Two militant fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization, are expected to arrive in the United States today in FBI custody on charges related to their participation in a brutal hostage-taking scheme that resulted in the deaths of four American citizens, as well as the deaths of British and Japanese nationals, in Syria.Former British citizens Alexanda Amon Kotey, 36, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 32, are expected to make their initial appearances in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia this afternoon.“These charges are the product of many years of hard work in pursuit of justice for our citizens slain by ISIS.  Although we canno

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