News and Press Releases

Wichita Grocery Owner Indicted On Charges of Harboring Illegal Alien

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 30, 2011

WICHITA, KAN. – The owner of a small grocery store in Wichita has been indicted on federal charges of harboring an illegal alien who worked in the store, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Ahmed Ajami Al-Maleki, 40, Wichita, Kan., was indicted last month on charges of food stamp fraud. The new indictment charges him with knowingly employing an alien who was unlawfully residing in the United States.

The indictment alleges that starting in October 2010, Al-Maleki hired an employee whose initials are PVC to work at the Kansas Food Market, 2600 N. Arkansas Avenue in Wichita, and paid her in cash. The indictment alleges Al-Maleki knew that PVC was an alien who was not lawfully present in the United States. After Al-Maleki was charged with food stamp fraud, he stopped paying her in cash and began paying her by check. The checks had no withholdings for state income taxes, federal income taxes or Social Security payments. When PVC told Al-Maleki she could not cash the first check because she did not have proper identification, he cashed it for her and gave her the money.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years without parole in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General and Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS

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

Douglas W. McComb, 64, Wichita, Kan., is charged with three counts of making false inspection reports while he was working for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in September 2009, October 2009 and March 2010 in Sedgwick and Johnson counties in Kansas.

The indictment alleges McComb was employed as a Compliance Safety and Health Officer for OSHA. The indictment alleges that on three occasions McComb filed false reports including the following:
– On Sept. 11, 2009, reporting he conducted an inspection at Cornejo & Sons Construction's work site at 10333 E. 21st in Wichita. In fact, he had not conducted an inspection.
– On Oct. 6, 2009, reporting he conducted an inspection at Donlinger & Sons Construction's work site at I-135 and 47th in Wichita. In fact, he had not conducted an inspection.
– On March 10, 2010, reporting he conducted an inspection at Weigel Construction's work site at 19945 W. 161st in Olathe, Kan. In fact, he had not conducted an inspection.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Jose Luis Ramirez-Rico, 31, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with one count of using a dangerous weapon to attack a deportation officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The crime is alleged to have occurred March 17, 2011, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

Ramirez-Rico initially was charged in a criminal complaint filed March 24. The complaint alleged he picked up a box cutter and lunged at an officer who came to his home looking for another man.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years without parole in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Joel Ruelas-Rios, 47, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported, one count of using false documents to be employed, and one count of making a false statement on an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form submitted to his employer, Drywall Systems, Inc., in Wichita. The crimes are alleged have occurred in November 2010 and February 2011 in Sedgwick County, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Unlawful re-entry after deportation: A maximum penalty of two years without parole in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Using false documents to be employed: A maximum penalty of 10 years without parole and a fine up to $250,000.
Making a false statement on an I-9 form: A maximum penalty of five years without parole and a fine up to $250,000.
Immigration and Custom Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigation investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Edilberto Figueroa-Cruz, 42, San Jose, Calif., and Abraham Moreno-Ceron, 24, Vancouver, Wash., are charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The crime is alleged to have occurred March 16, 2011, in Thomas County, Kan.

If convicted, they face a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $2 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Blair Watson is prosecuting.

Juvenal Saenz-Ramirez, 36, Wichita, Kan., Miguel Angel Ramirez, 39, Wichita, Kan., Lorenzo Olivas-Cervantes, 40, and Saul Galvan-Estrada, 41, Wichita, Kan., are charged with drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in October 2008 in Sedgwick County, Kan.

Saul Galvan-Estrada is charged with one count of using a cellular phone in furtherance of drug trafficking and one count of distributing methamphetamine.
Juvenal Saenz-Ramirez is charged with three counts of using a cellular phone in furtherance of drug trafficking and one count of distributing methamphetamine.
Lorenzo Olivas-Cervantes is charged with one count of distributing methamphetamine.
Miguel Angel Ramirez is charged with three counts of using a cellular phone in furtherance of drug trafficking and one count of distributing methamphetamine.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Using a cellular phone in furtherance of drug trafficking: A maximum penalty of four years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Distributing methamphetamine: Not less than 10 years and not more than life and a fine up to $4 million.

The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Blair Watson is prosecuting.

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

 

 

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