U.S. Marshals Service in Jamaica Apprehends Fugitive Wanted in Connection with North Dakota Telemarketing Fraud Lottery Scam
BISMARCK - United States Attorney Chris Myers announced today, that the U.S. Marshals Service, working with Jamaican law enforcement, has located and apprehended another man charged with participating in an international organized crime advance fee “lottery scam” which defrauded at least 90 mostly elderly U.S. residents out of more than $5.8 million.
Federal fugitive Gregory Gooden was arrested earlier this week in Kingston, Jamaica. Gooden, a Jamaican national, is one of 15 defendants charged federally in an international wire/mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy investigation based in North Dakota, dubbed “Operation Hard Copy.” The investigation resulted in federal indictments throughout the United States. In North Dakota, more than 10 defendants have entered guilty pleas in related cases. One of Gooden’s former co-defendants, Sanjay Ashani Williams, was convicted following trial in North Dakota in 2015, and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for selling victim lead lists used in the lottery scam.
Nine other defendants charged in the current case were arrested in Jamaica and have been extradited to the United States, where they await trial. Defendant Tristan Fisher was arrested on December 2, 2016, in Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, and is in custody there while his extradition case is being heard in the Jamaican court system. Another defendant was arrested in Providence, Rhode Island, and also awaits trial. Three individuals charged in this case remain fugitives and are believed to be in Jamaica: Gareth Billings; Akil Gray; and Mario Hines, aka “Buju Ramos.”
The U.S. Marshals Service is the primary federal agency responsible for tracking and extraditing fugitives apprehended in foreign countries and wanted for prosecution in the United States. The Marshals Service sees to it that there is no safe haven for criminals outside of the territorial boundaries of the United States.
U.S. Attorney Myers praised the tireless work of Operation Hard Copy lead investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation - North Dakota office, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Florida office.
An Indictment is merely an accusation, a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity; individuals charged are presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.