former DEA pilot sentenced for lying about number of missions flown
DENVER – Jeremy S. Peres, age 44, of Denver, Colorado, and a former DEA pilot, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn to serve 1 years’ probation, and was ordered to pay restitution totaling $4,368 to the federal government for making and using a false document knowing it contains false statements, the Department of Justice announced. Specifically, Peres lied about the number of missions he flew while working for the DEA. Certain missions earn law enforcement pilot hazard pay, which in this case Peres received. Peres no longer works for the DEA.
Peres was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on February 26, 2013. He pled guilty to making and using false documents on August 15, 2013. He was sentenced today, November 27, 2013.
According to court documents, including the stipulated facts in the plea agreement, the defendant was a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) pilot. The DEA maintained aircraft at a Metro Denver airport, and the defendant was a DEA pilot based in Colorado. The DEA paid the defendant a salary, and the defendant was also entitled to receive hazard pay when he flew missions under specified hazardous conditions. In order to receive the supplemental hazard pay, the defendant was required to submit a Flight Hazard Pay Certificate (FHPC) to the DEA for each qualifying flight.
Between November 2011 and July 2012, Peres submitted 44 false and fraudulent FHPCs for missions he did not actually pilot or co-pilot. When he was contacted by his supervisor, he stated that there were discrepancies in the DEA paperwork because he was actually flying a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) plane for those instances. The defendant, in fact as he knew, had not flown a FBI plane in those instances, and in fact had not flown any plane. The defendant’s submission of the false FHPCs caused the DEA to pay the defendant hazard pay equal to approximately 25 percent of his daily salary, totaling $4,368.
This case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. Peres was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Edgar.