Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2007                                                        PHONE: (409) 839-2538
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                    CELL: (409) 553-9881
                                                                                                    

GRAND JURY RETURNS INDICTMENTS
AGAINST ELEVEN IN EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS

 

            TYLER, TX – A federal grand jury returned several indictments this week naming eleven individuals in separate cases of federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
 
MARLON DESHUNN BRYAN, 30, of Garrison, Texas, and WINTER DEANN WHITTENBERG, 24, of Henderson, Texas, were indicted for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  If convicted, each could receive between five and 40 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $2 million. 

Information presented in Court stated that the Defendants were arrested by Rusk County deputies on March 15, 2007 and approximately 220 grams of methamphetamine was recovered.

This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Jim Middleton is prosecuting the case.

OSCAR WADE SMITH, 37, of Harrison County, was indicted for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of less than 50 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; use and carrying of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm.  If convicted, Smith could receive up to ten years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million on the conspiracy count.  He could also receive up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million for the drug possession count.  On the possession of firearm during a drug trafficking crime, he could receive up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  On the unlawful user in possession of a firearm, he could receive up to ten years and a fine of up to $250,000.

            Information presented in Court stated that Smith had been arrested on three separate occasions prior to the execution of a state search warrant.  On each occasion, a handgun and controlled substances were found to be in Smith’s possession.  The first arrest occurred on September 4, 2006, where a search of Smith’s vehicle recovered a pistol along with 10 pills believed to be hydrocodone, and a substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine.  The second arrest occurred on November 8, 2006 and involved a Harrison County Sherriff’s Office Deputy responding to a subject trespassing at an oil well location.  A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in officers recovering a substance containing methamphetamine, narcotics packaging supplies, scales and a revolver.  The third arrest occurred on March 14, 2007.  This incident occurred after Harrison County Sheriff’s Deputies were responding to a burglar alarm and observed and stopped a vehicle leaving the area where the burglar alarm was located.  The driver was identified as Smith.  Smith refused to give consent to search the vehicle which prompted the deputy to request a K-9 unit to the scene.  The K-9 alerted on the truck and a search ensued.  Deputies recovered a firearm and yellow tablets packaged in a manner consistent with sale or distribution.  Smith was arrested and transported to the Harrison County Jail where 6.1 grams of methamphetamine were discovered on Smith’s person.

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard Moore.

JUAN MANUEL VINAJA-QUISTIAN, 23, and LUIS MIGUEL BENITEZ-LARA, 22, both citizens of Mexico, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens; transporting illegal aliens, aiding and abetting and alien present without inspection in United States.  If convicted, each could receive a fine of up to $250,000 and up to ten years in federal prison on the conspiracy count and the transportation count.  On the present without inspection count, each could receive a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months in federal prison.

            Information presented in Court stated that the Defendants were stopped in Canton and were found to be transporting 21 aliens within the United States in a van for commercial and financial gain.  The aliens were being moved from Dallas and were on their way to Tennessee.

            This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen Hurst.

            CARLOS MARQUEZ-GONSALEZ, 30, of Mexico, was indicted on charges of transporting illegal aliens and alien present without inspection in United States.    If convicted, he could receive could receive a fine of not more than $250,000, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, and supervised release of not more than 3 years on the transportation count.  On the present without inspection count, each could receive a fine of not more than $5,000, imprisonment of not more than six months, or both and supervised release of not more than one year.
           
            On March 30, 2007, a Smith County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped Defendant who was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe eastbound on I-20 for speeding and an obstructed license plate.  The deputy became suspicious when he discovered 10 passengers in the Tahoe who were suspected to be illegal aliens.  The Tyler Resident ICE agent responded to the scene.  All 10 passengers were determined to be nationals and citizens of Mexico unlawfully present in the United States by recent entries without inspection.

            This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen Hurst.

            EMMANUEL GROVER DAVIS, 38, of Texarkana, Arkansas, was indicted on charges of attempted bank robbery.  If convicted, he could receive up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

            According to information presented in court, on April 20, 2007, Davis entered the Century Bank in Texarkana, Texas, and gave a bank employee a note stating this was a robbery.  Davis then told the bank employee he wanted $2,000.  When a bank customer entered the front door of the bank, Davis fled.  He was found by law enforcement a short time later and taken into custody.

            The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating this case.  Assistant United States Attorney Allen Hurst is prosecuting this case.

            JEFFREY SCOTT RAYBORN, 35, of Rusk, was indicted on charges of possession of a firearm while subject to a restraining order.  If convicted, he could receive up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

            According to prosecutors, on November 16, 2006, a protective order was entered by a state district court in Titus County, Texas, prohibiting Rayborn from possessing a firearm.  The Titus County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with Rusk County Police Department determined that Rayborn possessed a pistol on April 12, 2007.

            This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen Hurst.

            LISA DEFORREST, aka LISA KIPER, 32, of Carthage, Texas, was indicted for theft of government property, concealing information from the Social Security Administration, and for making false statements to federal agents.  The indictment alleges that from December 18, 1997 through December 14, 2006, in Panola County, Texas, Deforrest stole Young Wife Survivor Benefit payments totaling $79,489.00 by concealing the fact that she married was on December 18, 1997.  The indictment further alleges that she made false statements to federal agents on December 6, 2006, in Gregg County, Texas when she was questioned about the marriage.

            If convicted, Deforrest faces up to ten years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. 

This case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Noble.

ASHLEY DAWN ERVIN, aka ASHLEY McCALL, 26, of Murphy, was indicted for conspiracy to commit access fraud and for the actual commission of access device fraud.  The indictment alleges that from January 14, 2007 through January 28, 2007, Ervin and others conspired and agreed to present fraudulently obtained credit card numbers to approximately nine different Smith County retailers.  The scheme resulted in the loss of over $5,000.00 in goods and services.

If convicted, Ervin is faces up to ten years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Noble.

JOSE LUIS PEREZ-RODRIGUEZ, 39, was indicted on charges of possession of counterfeit Alien Registration Receipt Card.  If convicted, he could receive up to ten years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Information presented in Court stated that the Defendant was in possession of fraudulent alien registration cards on June 28, 2005 and again on April 11, 2007 when he was arrested.

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Middleton.

            A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

####