DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2007                                      PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                      PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                            CELL: (409) 553-9881

FEDERAL GRAND JURY RETURNS INDICTMENTS
 IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS

Federal Charges Include Bank Robbery, Sexual Abuse and Drug Violations

BEAUMONT, TX—United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced that a federal grand jury has returned indictments this week charging five individuals in separate cases of federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.  The indictments were returned late yesterday afternoon.
 
KIMBERLY MICHELLE KIRKWOOD, 23, of Beaumont, was indicted on charges of bank robbery.  If convicted, she could receive a maximum of 25 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

            The indictment alleges that on September 8, 2007, Kirkwood was involved in the armed robbery of Texas State Bank in Beaumont, Texas.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph R. Batte.

            PAMELA TEZENO, 47, of Port Arthur, was indicted on charges of sexual abuse of a ward.  If convicted, Tezeno could receive up to 15 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

            The indictment alleges that Tezeno, while employed at the federal prison complex, engaged in a sexual act with a prisoner under her control.

This case is being investigated by the Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David H. Henderson.

            TERA OWENS, 27, of Collins, Mississippi, KENNITHA CARNEY, 26, of Collins, MS, and TARUS OWENS, 29, an inmate at the Beaumont federal prison, were indicted on charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin.  If convicted, each could receive up to __ years in federal prison. 

            According to the indictment, on September 9, 2007, Tera Owens and Carney were arrested at the federal penitentiary in Beaumont as they attempted to deliver heroin to Tera Owens' brother, Tarus Owens.

            This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David H. Henderson.
           
            It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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