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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Indictment: Wichita Man Transported Child Pornography Across State Lines

KANSAS CITY, KAN. - A Wichita truck driver has been charged in federal court with transporting child pornography across state lines, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Joshua David Bellah, 40, Wichita, Kan., is charged with one count of interstate transportation of child pornography. The crime is alleged to have occurred Oct. 11, 2013, when he drove from Oklahoma to Kansas with two laptop computers containing child pornography.
Bellah initially was charged in a criminal complaint filed Oct. 15 in U.S. District Court. An affidavit supporting the complaint alleged the investigation began when Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Dallas Police Department, the FBI and HSI. Investigators learned that Bellah had created various email accounts using free services including Yahoo. He used one or more email accounts to exchange and distribute child pornography for a brief time before abandoning the accounts and creating a new one for the same purpose.

On Oct. 11, 2013, investigators executed a search warrant at his home and seized three laptops, a smartphone, two USB drives and several disks. They found child pornography depicting victims who appeared to be as young as five years old.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 20 years and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS

Hunter R. Wheeler, 23, who is in federal custody, is charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to haveoccurred in September and October 2013, in Douglas County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $8 million on each distribution count, a penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life on the charge of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, and a penalty of not less than five years on the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. The Lawrence Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble is prosecuting.

Michael A. Rehard, 25, is charged with one count of distributing methamphetamine, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in July and October 2013 in Overland Park, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $5 million on the distribution count and on the possession count, and a penalty of not less than five years and not more than life and a fine up to $250,000 on the firearm charge. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Zabel is prosecuting.

Abelardo Fernandez-Casas, 38, Pratt, Kan., is charged with one count of possession of an unlawfully obtained Social Security card, one count of using a false Social Security number, and one count of making false statements in order to obtain a loan from the People’s Bank of Pratt, Kan. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in 2009 and 2012 in Pratt, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of possessing an unlawfully obtained Social Security card, a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of using a false Social Security number, and a maximum penalty of 30 years and a fine up to $1 million on the charge of making false statements to obtain a loan. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.

Raul Marquez-Ramirez-Ramirez, 57, Wichita, Kan.; Angel L. Lopez, 30, Wichita, Kan.; Emma Velo, 32, Wichita, Kan.; and Tyler Sims, 30, Wichita, Kan., are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. In addition, Marquez-Ramirez is charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking; Lopez is charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine; and Velo is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Conspiracy: Not less than 10 years and not more than life and a fine up to $10 million.
Distribution of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine: Not less than 10 years and not more than life and a fine up to $10 million.
Distribution of more than five grams of methamphetamine: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million on each count.
Possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of methamphetamine: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million on each count.
Possession with intent to distribute marijuana: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million on each count.
Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: Not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000.
The Wichita Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Kyle Lennin, 28, who is in custody in the Shawnee County Jail, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of threatening a prospective federal witness. The conspiracy is alleged to have taken place from February to March 2012 in Saline County, Kan., and the threat is alleged to have occurred Aug. 29, 2013.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than 10 years and a fine up to $10 million on the conspiracy count, and a penalty of not less than 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of threatening a prospective witness. The Salina Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Hendershot is prosecuting.

Jason A. Young, 28, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. The crimes are alleged to have occurred July 27, 2013, in Kansas City, Kan.
If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the marijuana charge, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the remaining firearm charge.
The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Tomasic is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.