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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Leeward Islands Native Charged With Lying To Get Workplace Credentials

PHILADELPHIA - Earl R. Russell, a/k/a “Ernest Steve Russell,” a/k/a “Ernest Steve Benders,” 57, a native of Saint Kitts-Nevis, was charged today by superseding indictment with making a materially false statement in a TWIC application regarding his citizenship and gaining entry by false pretense into a secure area of a seaport, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.


If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of five years and six months of imprisonment, a fine of $255,000, and a special assessment of $110 and three years of supervised release.


The case was investigated by the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States Department of Homeland Security and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Floyd J. Miller and Special Assistant United States Attorney Mark T. Sendek.


     An Indictment is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated February 4, 2016