News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 11, 2010

ST. MARYS MAN CHARGED WITH STEALING MORE THAN $890,000 FROM HIS MOTHER’S TRUST FUND

TOPEKA, KAN. –Kent Joseph Gockel, 52, St. Marys, Kan., is charged with stealing more than $890,000 from his mother’s trust fund, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today.

Gockel is charged with 11 counts of bank fraud. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in 2008 in Pottawatomie County, Kan.

According to the indictment, a trust was established by Gockel’s father, Francis Gockel, who owned a grocery store he started in 1949 in St. Marys, Kan. When Francis Gockel died in 2002, his trust was changed to a trust for his wife, Wilma Gockel, and a separate family trust for their three children. After Francis Gockel’s death, Kent Joseph Gockel began taking care of Wilma Gockel’s finances.

In July 2007, Wilma Gockel learned that her trust account at Silver Lake Bank was overdrawn. Bank records showed Kent Joseph Gockel had been writing checks to himself or cash from Wilma Gockel’s account without her knowledge. In January 2009, Wilma Gockel learned that another account she had at Kaw Valley State Bank had been almost emptied. Bank records showed that Kent Joseph Gockel had wired money or written checks from the account totaling more than $500,000 without his mother’s knowledge or consent. He made wire transfers to accounts in San Jose, Costa Rica, and St. John’s, Antigua, West Indies.

Investigators also determined that Kent Joseph Gockel made cash withdrawals from Wilma Gockel’s trust account at the First National Bank in St. Marys, Kan., totaling more than $391,000 without her knowledge or consent.

If convicted, Kent Joseph Gockel faces a maximum penalty of 30 years and a fine up to $1 million on each count. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hough is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS



A federal grand jury meeting in Topeka, Kan., also returned the following indictments:

Risheen Daniel Robinson, 31, Manhattan, Kan., is charged with four counts of distributing crack cocaine, one count of distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, and one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school. The crimes were alleged to have occurred in January and February 2010.

According to the indictment, Robinson distributed crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of Woodrow Wilson Grade School and possessed with intent to distribute crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of Bluemont Grade School, both in Manhattan, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million on each charge of possession with intent to distribute, and a maximum penalty of 40 years and a fine up to $2 million on each count of possession with intent to distribute near a school. The Riley County Police Department investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.

Gary Wayne Buskirk, 59, Mayetta, Kan., is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. The crime is alleged to have occurred Nov. 10, 2008, in Jackson County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Hendershot is prosecuting.

Jose Jaime Navarro-Garcia, 62, Phoenix, Ariz., is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The crime is alleged to have occurred from Oct. 2, 2006, to Oct. 25, 2007, in Shawnee County, Kan., and elsewhere.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison and a fine up to $4 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hough is prosecuting.

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

 


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