News and Press Releases

August 2009 Press Releases

Aug. 31, 2009 - Leggett
HOUSTON MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR DEFRAUDING FEMA IN CONNECTION WITH HURRICANE RITA

(HOUSTON) - James T. Leggett, 32, of Houston, has been sentenced to seven months imprisonment for filing a fraudulent disaster assistance claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita (Read more)


Aug. 31, 2009 - Stevens
CONROE RESIDENT SENTENCED FOR DISTRIBUTING AND POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) – Josiah Samuel Stevens, 22, of Conroe, Texas, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole for distributing and possessing child pornography to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release (Read more)


Aug. 28, 2009 - Garza-Castañeda
LAREDO JURY CONVICTS LAREDOAN IN TWO TON MARIJUANA CASE

(LAREDO, Texas) – Sergio Garza-Castañeda, 39, of Laredo, Texas, was found guilty yesterday by a jury’s verdict of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana (Read more)


Aug. 28, 2009 - Choudhry
BRYAN RESIDENT SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR BANK FRAUD

(HOUSTON) - Mohammad Ghafrullah Choudhry, aka Muhammad Ullah, a Pakistani national and resident of Bryan, Texas, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for bank fraud (Read more)


Aug. 27, 2009 - Guerra
FORMER SHERIFF SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR PROVIDING PROTECTION TO DRUG TRAFFICKERS IN EXCHANGE FOR CASH

(McALLEN, Texas) – Reymundo Guerra, 52, of Rio Grande City, Texas, has been sentenced to 64 months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons without parole for using his position as Sheriff of Starr County, Texas, to facilitate a drug trafficking organization’s ability to conduct its illicit business in exchange for cash (Read more)


Aug. 27, 2009 - Adkins
HOUSTON MAN SENTENCED TO ALMOST 20 YEARS FOR SEXUALLY EXPLOITING A CHILD ONLINE

(HOUSTON) – Perry Adkins, of Houston, has been sentenced to 19.6 years in federal prison for online sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography (Read more)


Aug. 26, 2009 - Barba de Garza
LAREDO WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF IMPORTING METHAMPHETAMINE

(LAREDO, Texas) – Martha Silvia Barba de Garza, 47, of Laredo, Texas, has been found guilty by a jury’s verdict of possession with intent to distribute and importation of methamphetamine (Read more)


Aug. 26, 2009 - Morris
FORMER TDCJ CORRECTION OFFICER SENTENCED FOR LYING ABOUT HIS ASSAULT ON AN INMATE

(HOUSTON) -  A former Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) corrections officer has been sentenced to prison for filling a false “use-of-force” report regarding the assault of a former inmate (Read more)


Aug. 26, 2009 - Nieto-Vazquez
ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE A SEMI-AUTOMATIC MACHINE GUN RESULTS IN PRISON TERM FOR U. S. CITIZEN

(McALLEN, Texas) - Serjio Agustin Nieto-Vazquez, 31, a United States citizen residing in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, was sentenced to prison for attempting to export a Browning M1919 machine gun converted to a semi-automatic with a tripod and other weapons and ammunition to Mexico (Read more)


Aug. 25, 2009 - Operation Total Exposure
SIX CHARGED IN LARGEST DOMESTIC HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING CASE IN HOUSTON

(HOUSTON) – Five men and one woman have been charged in a 16-count indictment with conspiracy and sex trafficking of children and forcing and coercing adults to engage in commercial sex acts (Read more)


Aug. 24, 2009 - McWashington
REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) - Michael McWashington, 41, a convicted registered sex offender, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole for distributing child pornography followed by a lifetime term of supervised release (Read more)


Aug. 24, 2009 - Pickens
LOCAL TAX RETURN PREPARER PLEADS GUILTY TO FALSIFYING RETURNS

(HOUSTON) – Nathalene Rice Pickens, a local tax return preparer, has pleaded guilty to charges he prepared false tax returns for local clients that inflated their refunds by $234,167 during 2002–2005 (Read more)


Aug. 24, 2009 - Ramon
BELLAIRE RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY IN MULTIMILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT FRAUD

(HOUSTON) – Melissa Marie Ramon, 33, of Bellaire, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with her operation of a fraudulent investment scheme (Read more)


Aug. 24, 2009 - Richarte
FIVE ARRESTED AND CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH ATTEMPTED ARMORED CAR ROBBERY

(HOUSTON) — Five men have been arrested in connection with the attempted robbery of an armored car (Read more)


Aug. 21, 2009 - Borjas
SOUTH TEXAS MEN SENTENCED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING AND FIREARMS CHARGES

(McALLEN, Texas) - Carlos Borjas, 34, of Rio Grande City, Texas; and Juan Jesus Rivera, 31, and Juan Eladio Rivera, 53, both of Roma, Texas, have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their respective convictions involving firearms and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine (Read more)


Aug. 21, 2009 - Juarez
ROMA WOMAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR LYING AND BUYING FIREARMS

(McALLEN, Texas) - Mireya Rivera Juarez, 44, of Roma, Texas, was sentenced to 37 months in federal custody without parole for lying and buying a total of 25 firearms, two of which were recovered in Mexico (Read more)


Aug. 20, 2009 - Aurignac
McALLEN CARDIOLOGIST SENTENCED TO PRISION ON HEALTH CARE FRAUD VIOLATIONS

(McALLEN) – Fabian Aurignac, M.D., the owner and operator of Cardiology Care Center has been sentenced to prison for committing more than $1 million in Health Care Fraud for submitting false and fraudulent claims to both the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs (Read more)


Aug. 20, 2009 - Harris
WACHOVIA BANK EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH BANK FRAUD

(HOUSTON) – A former Wachovia Bank employee has been indicted for bank fraud (Read more)


Aug. 20, 2009 - Morgan
GALVESTON MAN CHARGED WITH FEMA FRAUD IN CONNECTION WITH HURRICANE IKE

(HOUSTON) - David F. Morgan, 51, of Galveston, has been charged with filing a fraudulent claim with FEMA for Hurricane Ike disaster assistance (Read more)


Aug. 20, 2009 - Plata
JURY CONVICTS RIO BRAVO RESIDENT OF CONSPIRING TO TRANSPORT UNDOCUMENT ALIEN 

(LAREDO, Texas) – Legally admitted permanent resident Jose Arturo Plata, 51, born in Jalisco, Mexico, and a resident of Rio Bravo, Texas, has been convicted of transporting, as well as conspiracy to transport for financial gain, an alien who was present in the United States illegally (Read more)


Aug. 20, 2009 - Tovar
MEXICAN CITIZEN INDICTED FOR SEX TRAFFICKING OF A CHILD

(HOUSTON) - A Mexican national illegally in the United States has been indicted for sex trafficking of a child (Read more)


Aug. 19, 2009 - Zamora, Sierra and Sanchez
THREE INDICTED FOR DISTRIBUTING MARIJUANA VIA THE U. S. MAIL

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – An 11-count indictment charging three area residents with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute kilogram quantities of marijuana and the use of a post office to commit the drug trafficking felony offenses has been unsealed and two of three defendants arrested (Read more)


Aug. 19, 2009 - Wittliff, Roberson, Hanna et al
SIX CHARGED FOR OBTAINING FEDERAL FUNDS FOR HUNDREDS OF CATTLE ALLEGEDLY SWEPT INTO GULF OF MEXICO DURING HURRICANE RITA

Brings to 100 charged in SDTX for fraud related to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike

(HOUSTON) – Six gulf coast area residents have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) and filing false claims relating to loss of cattle as a result of Hurricane Rita (Read more)


Aug. 19, 2009 - Martinez
BROWNSVILLE RESIDENT FOUND GUILTY OF CONSPIRACY AND POSSESSION OF COCAINE

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – Brenda Martinez, 19, a U.S. citizen residing in Brownsville, has been found guilty following a two-day federal jury trial of conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute more than 19 kilograms of cocaine (Read more)


Aug. 19, 2009 - Poole, Victor, Murphy et al
FOUR INDICTED FOR FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINING DISASTER RENTAL ASSISTANCE AFTER PURCHASING NEW HOMES THROUGH OPRAH WINFREY’S CHARITY “OPRAH’S ANGEL NETWORK”

(HOUSTON) - Three sealed Indictments charging four Hurricane Katrina evacuees with wrongfully obtaining rental assistance from FEMA after having purchased new, fully-furnished homes that were financed by Oprah Winfrey’s “Oprah’s Angel Network,” were unsealed today (Read more)


Aug. 19, 2009 - Rombado
WACHOVIA BANK EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLEMENT, ID THEFT AND BANK FRAUD

(HOUSTON) – Juan Rombado, a former Wachovia Bank employee, has been indicted with four counts of bank fraud, two counts of embezzlement and four counts of aggravated identity theft (Read more)


Aug. 18, 2009 - Rothey
ATTORNEY CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR VISA FRAUD CONSPIRACY AND MONEY LAUNDERING

(HOUSTON) – Local immigration attorney Kenneth L. Rothey, 70, of Houston, has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 14 months imprisonment for conspiracy to engage in visa fraud, encouraging Chinese aliens to unlawfully enter the United States and money laundering (Read more)


Aug. 17, 2009 - Gonzales
WOMAN CONVICTED IN FAKE FLU VACCINE CASE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR VIOLATING PROBATION

(HOUSTON) – Martha Denise Gonzales, who was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to a five-year-term of probation for her involvement in the distribution of a fake flu vaccine to more than 1000 persons in the Houston area, has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for violating the terms of her probation (Read more)


Aug. 17, 2009 - Sharma and Sharma
GRAND JURY CHARGES TWO HOUSTON AREA DOCTORS WITH 35 MORE COUNTS OF ILLEGALLY DISTRIBUTE NARCOTICS, MEDICARE/MEDICAID FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING

(HOUSTON) - A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment adding 35 more counts to the previously returned 29-count indictment against Dr. Arun Sharma and his wife, Dr. Kiran Sharma, M.D. (Read more)


Aug. 14, 2009 - Gondrezick
FORMER HOUSTON RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

(HOUSTON) – Grant William Gondrezick, 45, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud (Read more)


Aug. 14, 2009 - Juarez
ATTEMPT TO BRIBE CBP OFFICER LEADS TO ARREST OF MEXICAN NATIONAL

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – A Mexican national legally residing in the United States has been arrested and charged with attempting to bribe a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer (Read more)


Aug. 13, 2009 - Wilson and Kincade
CITY OF HEMPSTEAD OFFICIALS CONVICTED OF BRIBERY SENTENCED

(HOUSTON) – Former City of Hempstead Mayor Pro-Tem Larry Wilson and City Alderman Paris Kincade were sentenced to prison terms for accepting bribe money or kickbacks in exchange for awarding city contracts (Read more)


Aug. 12, 2009 - Jones
FORMER GUARD PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL ABUSE OF A PERSON IN OFFICIAL DETENTION

(HOUSTON) - Nathan Jones, 30, of Houston, a former contract guard at the Leidel Comprehensive Sanction Center has pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a person in official detention (Read more)


Aug. 11, 2009 - Yruegas-Pedraza
MEXICAN NATIONAL CONVICTED OF CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE MORE THAN 4,000 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA

(LAREDO, Texas) - A federal jury convicted a Mexican man of conspiring to distribute more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana following a one day trial (Read more)


Aug. 10, 2009 - Bocanegra
MEXICAN CITIZEN SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTED ARMS EXPORTATION

(McALLEN, Texas) - Juan Carlos Bocanegra, 22, a resident of Mexico unlawfully residing in the United States has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for his role in the attempted exportation of firearms and magazines of ammunition from the U.S. into Mexico (Read more)


Aug. 10, 2009 - Brown
HOSPITAL EMPLOYEE CONVICTED OF STEALING PATIENT’S IDENTITY TO APPLY FOR CREDIT CARD

(HOUSTON) - Nakeshia Brown, aka Nakeshia Green, 30, of Rosenberg, has been convicted of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft arising from the theft of personal identifying information from the medical records of patients admitted to a Houston area hospital (Read more)


Aug. 10, 2009 - Ortiz
MEXICAN DRUG TRAFFICKER CONVICTED OF AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT

(LAREDO, Texas) – Mexican citizen Jose Guadalupe Ramirez Ortiz, 33, has been convicted of falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen and committing aggravated identity theft during his attempted illegal entry into the country earlier this year (Read more)


Aug. 7, 2009 - Williams
US CITIZEN TALIBAN SUPPORTER SENTENCED TO PRISON

Kobie Williams tells court actions were inconsistent with Muslim faith

(HOUSTON) – Kobie Diallo Willaims, 36, convicted of conspiring to unlawfully possess firearms by an alien and supporting the Taliban, has been sentenced to prison (Read more)


Aug. 7, 2009 - Shipley
LOCAL DOUGHNUT COMPANY ORDERED TO PAY CRIMINAL FINE AND FORFEIT $1.334 MILLION TO ICE

(HOUSTON) - Shipley Do-Nut Flour and Supply Company Inc. will be under court supervision for a period of three years, pay a criminal fine of $250,000 and forfeit $1.334 million to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for harboring illegal aliens (Read more)


Aug. 6, 2009 - Villarreal-Martinez
UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN AND CONVICTED AGGRAVATED FELON SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 8 YEARS IN PRISON

(LAREDO, Texas) – Jose Luis Villarreal-Martinez, a 46-year-old previously convicted aggravated felon, has been sentenced to a total of 97 months for his illegal reentry into the U.S. following deportation (Read more)


Aug. 4, 2009 - Lopez, Caballero and Vera
SEVERAL AREA RESIDENTS NABBED FOR MAILING DRUGS THROUGH U.S. MAIL CONVICTED

(McALLEN, Texas) – In two separate cases, seven residents of McAllen and Mission, Texas, have been convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana (Read more)


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