News and Press Releases

Indictment: Cherokee County Man
Knocked Radio Station Off the Air

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Nov. 9, 2011

WICHITA, KAN. – A Cherokee County man has been indicted on federal charges he knocked a radio station off the air by cutting copper wiring from a transmission tower, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Jeffrey L. Blake, 39, Scammon, Kan., is charged with one count of attempted damage to a communications system and one count of attempted damage to an energy facility.

The indictment alleges that on Sept. 7, 2011, Blake damaged equipment used by radio station KKOW of Pittsburg, Kan., which serves as part of the Emergency Alert System, a national public warning system. The indictment also alleges that on Sept. 7 Blake damaged equipment belonging to Heartland Rural Electric Company of Girard, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of attempting to damage an energy facility and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of attempting to damage a communications facility.

The FBI and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.


OTHER INDICTMENTS

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

Timothy David Seifert, 67, Bethlehem, Pa., is charged with one count of bank robbery. The indictment alleges on Oct. 28, 2011, he robbed the Farmers & Merchants Bank at 240 W. 4th in Colby, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Jacob W. Schrock, 27, Lyons, Kan., is charged with one count of bank armed robbery, one count of attempted bank burglary, one count of brandishing a sawed off shotgun during a bank robbery and one count of unlawful possession of a sawed off shotgun.

Schrock initially was charged in a criminal complaint filed Sept. 14, 2011, in U.S. District Court in Wichita.

The indictment alleges on Sept. 13, 2011, Schrock robbed the Citizen’s Bank of Arlington, Kan., and on the same day he attempted to burglarize the Hutchinson Credit Union at 900 E. 23rd in Hutchinson.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the bank robbery charge, not less than 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of brandishing a gun during a bank robbery, a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $10,000 on the charge of unlawful possession of a sawed-off shotgun, and a maximum penalty of 25 years and a fine up to $250,000 on attempted bank burglary charge. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Brandon W. Dennis, 25, Wichita, Kan., is charged with two counts of attempted sex trafficking of children.

Dennis initially was charged in a criminal complaint filed Sept. 27 in U.S. District Court in Wichita.

In one count, the victim is identified as Jane Doe, a 17-year-old Wichita girl. In the other case, the victim is identified as “Rissa,” a name used by a detective with the Wichita Police Department who was posing as a 15-year-old girl.

If convicted, Dennis faces a penalty of not less than 15 years and not more than life and a fine up to $250,000 on the first count and not less than 10 years and not more than life and a fine up to $250,000 on the second count. The Wichita/Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Child Unit - Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.

Daniel L. Branstetter, 42, Wichita, Kan., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. The crimes are alleged to have occurred July 23, 2010, in Sedgwick 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 $5 million on the methamphetamine charge, a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $10,000 on the other firearms charge. The Wichita Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Blair Watson is prosecuting.

Kip Elmer Mason, 46, Hutchinson, Kan., is charged with failing to register as a sex offender as required by federal law. The crime is alleged to have occurred August to October 2011.

The indictment alleges he was convicted in 2006 in Wisconsin on a charge of sexual assault against a child.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Marshals Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.

Rafael Aldofo-Gomez, 27, a citizen of El Salvador, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Oct. 24, 2011, in Meade County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two 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.

Misael Gonzalez-Ramirez, 33, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully transporting 12 illegal aliens from Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico within the United States. He also is charged with one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Oct. 24, 2011, in Meade County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty five years in federal prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000 on the transportation charge and a maximum penalty of two years without parole and a fine up to $250,000 on the re-entry charge. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Levardo Castillo-Gonzales, 32, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony and deported. He was found Oct. 21, 2011, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Blair Watson is prosecuting.

Jesus Olivas-Zea, 35, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being convicted of a felony and deported. He was found Oct. 21, 2011, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 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 Blair Watson is prosecuting.

Juan Manuel Araujo-Gutierrez, 26, Hutchinson, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, one count of possession of false documents, three counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of making a false written statement to the government and one count of misusing a Social Security number. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in 2009 and 2011 in Hutchinson, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Unlawful possession of a firearm by an illegal alien: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Possession of false documents: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Aggravated identity theft: A mandatory two years consecutive to other sentences and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Making a false written statement to the government: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.
Misusing a Social Security number: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Blair Watson is prosecuting.

Manuel Saenz-Licon, 42, Salina, Kan., is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Oct. 28, 2011, in Saline County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations 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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