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Press Releases for the U.S. attorney's Office during the government shutdown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2013

During the government shutdown, press releases for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Louisiana, were limited.  Today, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announces the following results from matters occurring from October 1, 2013 through October 17, 2013.    

MOTHER, DAUGHTER SENTENCED FOR CONSPIRACY
TO COMMIT BANK ROBBERIES

LAKE CHARLES, La. – Evie Bowin Herrin, 58, of Kirbyville, Texas, and her daughter Amelia Darci Crew, 31, of Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced on October 3, 2013 by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi for conspiracy to commit bank robbery.  Herrin received 86 months in prison, and Crew received 51 months in prison.  They both received three years of supervised release.  Herrin was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $17,730 restitution.  They pleaded guilty June 27, 2013.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, the defendants admitted to stealing $17,730 from banks in Louisiana and Texas.  Herrin admitted to entering three banks wearing a disguise.  After entering the banks, Herrin would point what looked like a handgun at a teller and present the teller with a note saying to hand over strapped bundles of 100 and 20 dollar bills or she would shoot the bank employees.  Herrin left each bank in a car driven by Crew.  The robberies occurred on February 13, 2012 at an Iberia Bank in Kinder, La., February 28, 2012 at a Citizens National Bank in Henderson, Texas, and March 15, 2012 at a MidSouth Bank in Sulphur, La.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kinder, Sulphur, and Henderson, Texas police departments investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph T. Mickel prosecuted the case.

FORT POLK MAN SENTENCED FOR
ABUSIVE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A MINOR

LAKE CHARLES, La. Antwon M. Sewell, 20, of Fort Polk, La., was sentenced on October 3, 2013, by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi, to 15 months in prison with five years of supervised release for committing abusive sexual contact with two minors.  Sewell pleaded guilty June 13, 2013.

 According to evidence presented in court, Sewell was at a party taking place at an unoccupied residence on the Fort Polk Military base on July 18, 2012.  While at the party, he had sexual contact with a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old girl at different times that night.  He admitted to providing alcohol to the minors attending the party.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. McCoy prosecuted the case.

MEXICAN NATIONAL SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL RE-ENTRY, FAILURE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER

SHREVEPORT, La. Carlos Galvan-Lopez, 43, of Mexico, was sentenced on October 3, 2013 by U.S. District Judge Maurice Hicks, Jr., to 50 months in prison for illegally re-entering the United States and failing to register as a sex offender.  The defendant is subject to deportation upon release.  He pleaded guilty on June 3, 2013.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, the Hidalgo, Texas, Sheriff’s Office arrested Galvan-Lopez on December 18, 1995 for aggravated sexual assault.  He served time in prison and was deported on December 21, 2010.  He was arrested in Shreveport at his place of employment on April 19, 2013, after it was discovered that he had illegally returned to the United States and had not registered as a sex offender.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Marshals Service conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg prosecuted the case.

FORMER MONROE RESIDENT SENTENCED TO
15 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR STEALING MORE THAN
$100,000 FROM CREDIT CARD COMPANY

MONROE, La. Durar Mohammed Judeh, 48, of Tupelo, Miss., was sentenced on October 7, 2013 by U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. James, to 15 months in prison and five years of supervised release for bank fraud.  He was also ordered to pay $101,280 in restitution.  He pleaded guilty May 29, 2013.

In April 2008, Chase Bankcard Services alerted the U.S. Postal Inspection Service that nine credit cards listed for addresses in Monroe had been opened fraudulently.  Judeh admitted to using a relative’s personal information to open the accounts and deposited money into an account he controlled, using the cards to steal more than $101,280.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl M. Campbell prosecuted the case.

MOREHOUSE PARISH WOMAN SENTENCED TO 12 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR STEALING FROM BANK CUSTOMERS

MONROE, La. Vickie Lenoir, 48, of Mer Rouge, La., was sentenced on October 7, 2013, by U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. James, to 12 months in prison and five years of supervised release for embezzling money from customers at the Capital One bank where she worked.  She was also ordered to pay $95,673 in restitution.  Lenoir pleaded guilty May 14, 2013.

According to evidence presented in court, from December 2008 until October 2012, Lenoir admitted to embezzling more than $95,673 from seven customer accounts at a Bastrop, La., Capital One Bank where she was employed.  The missing money was reported after customers began noticing unusual activity in their accounts.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Cytheria Jernigan prosecuted the case.

FORT POLK MAN SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN PRISON FOR
SECOND DEGREE MURDER, ATTEMPTED MURDER

LAKE CHARLES, La. Marcus Patterson Carey, 28, of Canton, Ohio, was sentenced on October 8, 2013 by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi, to 30 years in prison for second degree murder and 20 years in prison for attempted second degree murder with both sentences to be served concurrently.  He was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release.  Carey pleaded guilty on June 12, 2013.

Carey admitted that on June 19, 2010, he killed a Fort Polk soldier by striking him with a hammer and stabbing him multiple times.  He also admitted to attempting to kill a former soldier by striking that person with a hammer and stabbing that person multiple times as well.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation.  United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. McCoy prosecuted the case.

JURY CONVICTS OPELOUSAS MAN FOR POSSESSING AND RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Defendant was a former child psychiatrist

LAFAYETTE, La. A federal jury found former child psychiatrist Gary Jefferson Byrd, 71, of Opelousas, La., guilty on October 8, 2013 of possessing and receiving child pornography.  United States District Judge Richard T. Haik presided over the trial.

Following a two-day trial, a jury found Byrd guilty of one count of possession of child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography after deliberating for 40 minutes.  Based on witness testimony and documents admitted into evidence, from February 2008 to April 2011, Byrd ordered 44 compact discs containing videos of child pornography from a Canadian company.  United States Postal Inspectors executed a search warrant on Byrd’s home and found stacks of compact discs containing thousands of images of child pornography that Byrd had downloaded from the Internet.  He also printed hundreds of images of child pornography that he kept in files next to his bed.

Byrd was previously convicted in 1992 by a federal jury of possessing child pornography and served 10 years in prison for that crime.  Prior to his conviction, his employment was as a child psychiatrist.

Because of Byrd’s prior child pornography conviction, he faces 5 years to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of child pornography, and he also faces 15 years to 40 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for receiving child pornography.  A sentencing date has not been set.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice launched nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) DHS-2ICE.  Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.  Tips may be submitted anonymously.

The U.S. Postal Service Investigations conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker is prosecuting the case.


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