News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Grand jury returns indictments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2014


MINNEAPOLIS—A federal grand jury in the District of Minnesota, sitting in Minneapolis, recently returned the following indictments. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation, and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Any sentence is determined by a federal district judge.

Minneapolis felon charged with possessing shotgun

James Reedus Berry, age 53, of Minneapolis, is charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of an unregistered firearm. Because he is a felon and three or more of his prior convictions were for violent or drug crimes, Berry is subject to the federal armed career criminal statute, which mandates a minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison upon conviction.

If convicted, Berry faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison on the unregistered firearm count. This case is the result of an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department, and United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie E. Allyn.

Former postal employee charged with theft of mail

Debra Sue Morrow, age 60, of Faribault, was charged with one count of theft of mail by postal employee.

If convicted, Morrow faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison. This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Hudleston.

Minneapolis felon charged with possessing five firearms

James Herman Pegues, age 48, of Minneapolis, was charged via a superseding indictment with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Because he is a felon and three or more of his prior convictions were for violent or drug crimes, Pegues is subject to the federal armed career criminal statute, which mandates a minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison upon conviction.

If convicted, Pegues faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison. This case is the result of an investigation by the Fridley Police Department, and ATF. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney LeeAnn K. Bell.

Minneapolis man charged with receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography

Michael Thomas Schnapp, age 30, of Minneapolis, was charged with one count of receipt of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography, one count of attempted distribution of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.

If convicted, Schnapp faces a potential maximum penalty of 40 years in prison on the receipt, distribution and attempted distribution counts, and 20 years on the possession count. This case is the result of an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department and the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Manda M. Sertich.

Distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography is against the law. In addition to prosecuting these cases, the Justice Department is presently funding a study focused on the correlation between involvement in child pornography and hands-on sexual abuse of children. A 2008 study (The Butner Study) published in the Journal of Family Violence found that up to 80 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for possession, receipt, or distribution of child pornography also admitted to hands-on sexual abuse of children, ranging from touching to rape.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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