U.S. Attorney media releases
By U.S. Department of Justice
May 20, 2007
FORMER JASPER COUNTY CONSTABLE SENTENCED ON DRUG CHARGES
BEAUMONT, TX – United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that FREDDY EARL PETERS, a former Jasper County Constable, has been sentenced to five months in federal prison for methamphetamine-related charges in the Eastern District of Texas.
Peters, 60, of Evadale, was also sentenced to five months home detention with electronic monitoring by United States District Judge Thad Heartfield.
According to information presented in court, Peters, an elected constable covering the Evadale area, was arrested on July 5, 2006 for buying methamphetamine in a Silsbee motel. According to investigators, electronic surveillance recorded the transaction, which was part of a month-long undercover sting operation. Peters resigned as Jasper County Constable for Precinct 6 following his arrest. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute on January 25, 2007.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Beaumont Police Department and the Silsbee Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Rawls.
FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS FIVE BANK ROBBERS
DALLAS — A federal grand jury in Dallas indicted five individuals this week who are each charged with committing at least one bank robbery within the past two months in Dallas.
Quency Eugene Smith, 38, of Dallas, is charged with the April 18, 2007, robbery of Capital One Bank, located at 9728 Greenville, Avenue, Dallas.
A three-count indictment charges Danny Leon Lynch, Jr., 34, of Dallas, with the following three bank robberies:
March 14, 2007 Washington Mutual Bank, Dallas
March 22, 2007 Bank of America, Coppell, Texas
April 20, 2007 Bank of America, Dallas, Texas
John Thomas Calhoun, 37, of Dallas, is charged with robbing Chase Bank, located at 6251 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, on April 20, 2007.
A two-count indictment charges Thomas Joseph Beatty. 46, of Dallas, with robbing First Convenience Bank, located in the Kroger Food Store, at 4142 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, on March 21, 2007 and on April 4, 2007.
Clark Woodruff Cross, 26, is charged with the April 11, 2007, armed bank robbery of Guaranty Bank, located at 10703 Preston Road, Dallas.
An indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise. If convicted, however, each count of bank robbery carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and each count of armed bank robbery carries a maximum statutory sentence of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Dallas Police Department. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Calvert and Kim McCabe.
Amarillo Home Builder Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison
Paul David Gillette Pled Guilty to Structuring Transactions
AMARILLO, Tx. — Paul David Gillette, a home builder in the Amarillo, Texas, area, was sentenced on Friday to 30 months in prison and fined $5000 by U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Gillette pled guilty in March to one count of structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements. Following the sentencing, Judge Robinson remanded Gillette, 44, to the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
According to documents filed in Court, Falcon Club was a home development in rural Randall County that Gillette had planned. Individuals who wished to build homes at Falcon Club would contract with Gillette and make financial arrangements for their homes to be built.
Juan and Aida Rios contracted with Gillette to build a home and large building at Falcon Club. The Rioses partially paid for the property in cash and delivered to Gillette, or his agents, large amounts of cash. In fact, during 2005, the Rioses paid Gillette, or his agents, more than $650,000 in cash. Between June 2005 and November 2005, Gillette made more than 30 deposits totaling more than $200,000 in cash to his various bank accounts at Amarillo National Bank and Western National Bank. Gillette broke up the cash deposits to fall just under the reporting requirement amount of more than $10,000, knowing that the bank was required to file a report if the deposit was more than $10,000. Gillette admitted he specifically did this to avoid the reporting requirement.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Drake of the Amarillo U.S. Attorney’s Office.
PALESTINE MAN SENTENCED FOR FEDERAL GUN VIOLATIONS
TYLER, TX - United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a 45-year-old Palestine, Texas, man has been sentenced to 180 months in prison for federal gun violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
THEODIS LYNN BARRETT was sentenced today by United States District Judge Leonard Davis for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to information presented in court, on May 14, 2006, Barrett backed into a ditch in Palestine. A Palestine Police Officer responded to the scene and discovered a loaded shotgun in the back seat of the car.
Barrett has three prior felony convictions including aggravated assault of a police officer in Anderson County in 1988; delivery of a controlled substance in Anderson County in 1990; and arson in Tarrant County in 1998. These convictions prohibit Barrett from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.
This case was investigated by the Palestine Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregg A. Marchessault.
BAYTOWN WOMAN SENTENCED FOR FORGERY
BEAUMONT, TX --- United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a 33-year-old Baytown woman has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for forgery in the Eastern District of Texas.
CHARITY DAWN GONZALES was sentenced today for forging checks of a business operating in interstate commerce by United States District Judge Thad Heartfield. Gonzales was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $235,543.00.
According to information presented in court, Gonzales embezzled approximately $230,000.00 in funds from her past employer, BBB Tank Services, Inc. BBB Tank Services has a primary office in Beaumont and conducts business in the Eastern District of Texas. Gonzales was indicted on October 5, 2006 and pleaded guilty on January 30, 2007.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Rawls.
PORT ARTHUR MAN SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR GUN & DRUG CHARGES
BEAUMONT, TX – United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a 23-year-old Port Arthur man has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for federal drug and gun crimes in the Eastern District of Texas.
JAMAAL AKEEM BENJAMIN was sentenced for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of crack cocaine today by United States District Judge Thad Heartfield. Judge Heartfield also ordered the forfeiture of the firearm.
According to information presented in court, on October 17, 2005, at approximately 3:30 a.m., the Port Arthur Police Department received a report of a suspicious person in the vicinity of an apartment complex on Williams Avenue, in violation of the post-Hurricane Rita curfew. Officers observed Benjamin standing by a parked automobile, and appeared to be reaching into it. As they made contact with him, the officers found Benjamin to be in possession of a loaded handgun and a small quantity of crack cocaine.
Further investigation revealed that Benjamin had previously been convicted for possession of a controlled substance in Jefferson County in 2005. This felony conviction prohibits Benjamin from owning or possessing any firearm or ammunition.
On November 1, 2006, Benjamin was indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possession of crack cocaine. On January 16, 2007, Benjamin pleaded guilty to the charges.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the City of Port Arthur Police Department, the Jefferson County Crime Laboratory and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Forensic Laboratory, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall L. Fluke.
OWNER OF COUNSELING SERVICE SENTENCED TO NEARLY 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON, WITHOUT PAROLE, AFTER ADMITTING HE DEFRAUDED MEDICAID OF MORE THAN $2 MILLION
DALLAS --- Tommy Clyde Ransom II, of Dallas, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 112 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. He was also ordered to pay $2,084,562 in restitution. Ransom, 36, pled guilty earlier this year to one count of health care fraud. Following the sentencing hearing, Judge Solis remanded Ransom to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Ransom owned and operated a counseling services business in Dallas, called Crossroads Community Outreach Center, and was also an approved Texas Medicaid care provider. Ransom admitted that from March 2002 through May 2004, he and others defrauded Medicaid by submitting fraudulent claims to Medicaid for payment of counseling services allegedly provided to Medicaid beneficiaries through the School Health and Related Services (SHARS) program. Ransom’s fraud caused Medicaid to pay $2,084,562 in fraudulently obtained proceeds to his Crossroad’s account at Resource One Credit Union.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the excellent investigative work of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Office - Medicaid Fraud Unit and said, “This case, and other similar cases that this office is prosecuting, are the culmination of a thorough investigation conducted by General Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Unit. Our cooperative efforts with the Attorney General’s office are crucial to ferreting out and prosecuting these types of cases.” Roper continued, “These prosecutions should serve as a warning to all who would attempt to defraud our state’s Medicaid system that we will find them and they will pay the price.”
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bridget Eyler of the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
GOVERNMENT FILES CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST 15
INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED AT DAIRY FARMS IN AMHERST, TEXAS
LUBBOCK, Tx. — Federal criminal complaints were filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Lubbock charging 15 individuals, who were arrested earlier this week by law enforcement officers executing federal search warrants at two dairy farms in Amherst, Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. The federal search warrants were executed at 5 Star Dairy and Milk Harvest Dairy, in Amherst, which is approximately 45 miles northwest of Lubbock. Official tax records indicate that both 5 Star Dairy and Milk Harvest Dairy are owned by Kornelis and Piertsje Vanderlei.
Twelve individuals have been charged in federal criminal complaints alleging a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a), fraud in connection with an immigration document. The maximum statutory penalty for this offense is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Three individuals were charged in federal criminal complaints alleging a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1325, improper entry by an illegal alien. The maximum statutory penalty for this offense is six months in prison and a $5000 fine.
The 15 defendants, all employees of the dairies, will appear today, May 18, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy M. Koenig in U.S. District Court in Lubbock. No charges have been filed against the dairies’ owners, however, the investigation remains ongoing.
The investigation is being conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Williams of the Lubbock, Texas, U.S. Attorney’s Office.
WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS, MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 11 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON, WITHOUT PAROLE, ON CRACK COCAINE CONVICTION
DALLAS - Entonyo Elijah Jones, of Wichita Falls, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. Senior District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer to 135 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper, of the Northern District of Texas. Jones, 24, pled guilty in February to a one-count indictment charging possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine).
Jones was arrested with a large quantity of crack cocaine on September 21, 2006, by officers of the Wichita Falls Police Department following a routine traffic stop. In papers filed in Court, Jones admitted that he knowingly possessed with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack cocaine).
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Wichita Falls Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Tromblay.
BEAUMONT MAN SENTENCED TO MAXIMUM PENALTY
BEAUMONT, TX --- United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a 30-year-old Beaumont man has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm in the Eastern District of Texas.
RUFUS DELANTE McCLELLAND, JR., was sentenced today for federal firearms violations by United States District Judge Ron Clark.
According to information presented in court, on June 4, 2006, law enforcement officers attempted to McClelland in Beaumont for a traffic violation. Instead of pulling over, McClelland fled from officers through a residential area before abandoning his vehicle and continuing to flee on foot. During this time, McClelland fired three shots in the direction of the police officers. A brief manhunt ensued and McClelland was apprehended. The gun and shell casings were found nearby. An investigation revealed that McClelland had been previously convicted of drug trafficking charges in Beaumont in 2001, thereby prohibiting him from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.
McClelland was indicted on for being a felon in possession of a firearm on September 20, 2006. He pleaded guilty to the charges on January 9, 2007.
This case was investigated by the City of Beaumont Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Jefferson County Crime Lab and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall Fluke.