News and Press Releases

Identity Thief Sentenced to 188 Months on Fraud, Narcotics and Weapons Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), and J.D. Patterson, Acting Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, announce today’s sentencing of defendant Travonn Xavier Russell, 28, of Miami. At today’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno sentenced Russell to 188 months in prison on fraud, narcotics and weapons charges. Russell previously pled guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of possession of fifteen or more access devices.

According to documents filed in court, Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on January 18, 2012. During the search, MDPD officers found the following inside the residence: distribution quantities of different types of narcotics (cocaine, MDMA, and marijuana); paraphernalia associated with narcotics distribution; two firearms; approximately 129 debit cards in various names; tax return documents in names other than the defendant’s; and multiple notebooks with personal identifying information (names, dates of birth, and social security numbers) of 442 individuals.

According to documents filed in court, records from the banks that issued the pre-paid debit cards showed that more than $100,000 in direct deposit tax refunds from the Department of Treasury was paid out onto these cards.

Mr. Ferrer commended ICE-HSI, IRS-CID, and MDPD for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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