Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
GRAND JURY RETURNS MULTIPLE INDICTMENTS
IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
PLANO, Texas –A federal grand jury returned multiple indictments last week charging individuals with separate federal crimes in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
David Gonzalez, 31, of Denton, Texas, was indicted on charges of transporting child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison. This case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mandy Griffith.
Norman Varner, 29, who briefly resided in Cooper, Texas, was indicted on charges of attempted receipt and possession of child pornography. If convicted, and because of his previous history requiring him to register as a sex offender, Varner faces up to 40 years in federal prison for the attempted receipt charge and up to 20 years for the possession charge. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Texas Rangers and the Delta County Sheriff's Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mandy Griffith.
These two cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States 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.
Charles E. Stewart, Jr., 31, and Jahann E. Stewart, 29, of Denton, Texas and Darlene R. Smith, 51, of Violet, LA, have been indicted for conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency funds, fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency funds, and theft of government money or property. If convicted, the Stewarts each face up to 30 years in federal prison and Smith faces up to five years in federal prison. This case is being investigated by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miriam E. Rea.
This case was brought as part of this District's partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the recent Gulf oil spill. If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, you can contact the NCDF by either calling the hotline at (866) 720-5721, faxing the hotline at (225) 334-4707, emailing at email@example.com or in writing to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.
Kara Lanita Johnson, 32, of Little Elm, Texas, has been indicted on three counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. According to the indictment, in May 2008, Johnson is alleged to have obtained stolen checkbooks to retrieve bank routing numbers and account numbers. After obtaining the identities of other individuals without their authorization, Johnson is then alleged to have formatted and printed new checks using computer software. Johnson then used false identification with the counterfeit checks to purchase goods and merchandise in the Eastern District of Texas. If convicted, Johnson faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the4 wire fraud counts and up to 2 years for each of the identity theft counts. This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Andrew Stover.
Margie Marie Young, 40, of Denton, has been indicted for theft of government money or property and false statements for use in determining supplemental security income benefits. If convicted, Young faces up to 10 years in federal prison. This case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miriam E. Rea.
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.