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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Other Indictments

Indictment: Former Official Made $300,000
In Unauthorized Agriculture Disaster Payments

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A former Farm Service Agency director in Sumner County was indicted Wednesday on a charge of making $306,000 in agriculture disaster payments to applicants who had been denied approval for the money, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
         
Ellen A. Love, 51, Argonia, Kan., was charged with one count of unlawfully conveying federal funds. The indictment alleges the crime occurred while she worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Executive Director of the Sumner County Farm Service Agency (FSA). The Sumner County FSA Service Center is located in Wellington, Kan.

The USDA provides assistance to farm producers who have suffered losses as a result of agricultural disasters. One program USDA administers is the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE). To be approved, applicants must have suffered significant crop losses in a disaster-designated county and they must have had crop insurance through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.

Applications for SURE are reviewed by the FSA County Office Committee. The indictment alleges that in June 2013 Love processed payments to four applicants even though they had been disapproved for failing to meet SURE crop insurance requirements.
She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Ernest Opuku Acheampong, 44, is charged with making false statements in order to obtain U.S. citizenship. The crime is alleged to have occurred Oct. 29, 2004, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

The indictment alleges he falsely stated he had never been deported. In fact, in 1994 he had applied for asylum under another name and been denied.  He was ordered deported, but failed to leave the United States.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000. Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Adina Aguilar-Miranda, 25, Denver, Colo., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Sept. 23, 2014, in Ellis County, Kan.

If convicted, she faces a penalty of not less than 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $4 million on the charge of possession with intent to distribute, and a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the other count. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Justin Russell Bennett, 29, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, one count of unlawfully using a VISA card, one count of unlawfully possessing a machine to make credit cards, and one count of unlawful possession of credit cards. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Sept. 22, 2014, in Sherman County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $2 million on the cocaine charge, a maximum penalty of 10 years and fine up to $250,000 on the charge of unlawful use of a credit card, a maximum penalty of 15 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of unlawfully possessing a machine to make credit cards, and a mandatory two years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of unlawfully using a credit card. The U.S. Secret Service investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Laron Walker, 30, Gladstone, Mo., is charged with one count of escaping from custody from the Grossman Community Corrections Center, a halfway house in Leavenworth, Kan. The crime is alleged to have occurred Sept. 17, 2014.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Marshals Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble is prosecuting.

Jose Luis Hernandez-Hernandez, 37, a citizen of Mexico who has been living in Kansas City, Kan., is charged with four counts of transferring a false identification document and four counts of possessing a false identification document, and one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in May, June, August and September 2014 in Wyandotte County, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Transferring a false identification document: Maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Possessing a false identification document: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Unlawfully re-entering the United States: A maximum penalty of two years and a fine up to $250,000.

Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley is prosecuting.

Manuel Ramirez-Cuevas, 47, Kansas City, Kan., is charged with 10 counts of transferring false identification documents, and 10 counts of making false immigration documents. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in July and August 2014 in Wyandotte County, Kan.

 If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of transferring false documents, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of making false documents.

          Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley is prosecuting

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

Component(s): 
Updated December 15, 2014