News and Press Releases

Two Indicted On Federal Charges
Of Unlawful Sale Of Eagle Feathers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

March 6, 2013

TOPEKA, KAN. – Ruben Dean Littlehead, 38, Lawrence, Kan., and Brian K. Stoner, 32, Ponca City, Okla., are charged with unlawfully selling feathers from eagles and hawks covered by a federal law protecting migratory birds, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in Douglas County, Kan.

Federal law (Title 16, United States Code, Section 703) prohibits taking, killing or possessing migratory birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a National Eagle Repository in Colorado for the purpose of providing Eagle feathers to Native Americans for use in Indian religious and cultural ceremonies. For more information, see:

http://www.fws.gov/le/national-eagle-repository.html

The indictment alleges:

On Sept. 15, 2008, Littlehead sold a bustle made with 68 feathers from a Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).

On Nov. 22, 2008, Littlehead sold 11 tail feathers and a wing from a Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).

On Feb. 26, 2009, Littlehead and Stoner offered for sale parts of a Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and a Crested Caracara (Mexican Eagle, Caracara cheriway). They sold a tail feather fan made from feathers of a Bald eagle.

On Feb. 26, 2009, they sold a bustle made of feathers of a rough-legged hawk and ferruginous hawk (Bueto lagopus and Buteo regalis).

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Hendershot is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS

Robert Eugene Gibson, 26, who is being held in the Shawnee County Jail, is charged with one count of bank robbery. The indictment alleges that on Feb. 22, 2013, he robbed the Lyndon State Bank at 1535 S.W. Fairlawn Road in Topeka.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.

John Duncan, 52, Topeka, Kan., is charged with one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in Douglas County, Kan. in April 2008. The indictment alleges that Duncan, who at the time was the Chief Financial Officer of Schmidt Builders Supply, Inc., and a member in Blue Jay Properties L.L.C., provided false information to University National Bank of Lawrence, Kan., to support a $15.2 million construction loan to Blue Jay Properties. Blue Jay properties was formed to develop the Quinton Pointe Apartments project in Junction City, Kan., and the loan was for the purpose of funding the apartment project. It is alleged that Duncan and the members in Blue Jay Properties needed to provide $1.225 million in collateral and that Duncan wrote a letter to UNB falsely representing that all the lumber for the project, representing collateral for the loan, was prepaid in full and being held by Schmidt Builders. The money laundering charge alleges Duncan made a wire transfer of the money obtained through the bank fraud.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years and a fine up to $1 million on the bank fraud count; and a maximum penalty of 10 years on the wire fraud count. The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General; Federal Reserve Board, Office of Inspector General; and U.S. Department of Labor, investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard is prosecuting.

Taron Alonzo Huggins, 24, who is being held in the Shawnee County Jail, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. The crime is alleged to have occurred Jan. 25, 2013, in Shawnee County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.

John T. Arlett, 43, Florissant, Mo., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. The crime is alleged to have occurred Dec. 19, 2012, in Wabaunsee County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $5 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard is prosecuting.

Juan D. Morales, 26, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction and one count of knowingly possessing a stolen firearm. The crimes are alleged to have occurred March 7, 2010, in Ford County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The Ford County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Carlos Gonzalez-Gonzalez, 55, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Feb. 4, 2013, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Alfredo Cruz-Nino, 24, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Feb. 13, 2013, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Unlawful possession of a firearm by an illegal alien: A maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Possession with intent to distribute marijuana: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Unlawful re-entry: A maximum penalty of two years and a fine up to $250,000.

ICE’s Fugitive Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Rosendo Lopez-Rojas, 32, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Feb. 27, 2013, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson 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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