U.S. Attorney media releases
By U.S. Department of Justice
May 25, 2007
RANCHER SCHEDULED TO GO ON TRIAL FOR BANK FRAUD
Lubbock, Tx. — A San Angelo, Texas, rancher, Andy Luna, charged with bank fraud, is scheduled to go on trial in U.S. District Court in Lubbock on July 2, 2007, announced US. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Last month a federal grand jury in Lubbock returned an indictment charging Luna with one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344. Luna, 38, has entered a plea of not guilty to the charge, and is currently on bond.
According to the indictment, from May 2004 to February 2006, Luna ran a scheme to defraud the San Angelo Banking Center, San Angelo, Texas, a branch of First National Bank of Eldorado.
Luna borrowed money from the San Angelo Banking Center representing that the proceeds of the loans were going to be used to purchase livestock. He represented that the collateral for the loans would be existing livestock and the livestock he purchased with the loan proceeds.
However, after buying the livestock with the loan proceeds, Luna sold the livestock, and used the proceeds for his own benefit, instead of repaying the San Angelo Banking Center. After the San Angelo Banking Center raised concerns about Luna’s collateral, Luna made more false representations and promises to them, advising that he had not sold any cattle that he had pledged to the bank but had only sold cattle he owned prior to the loans. He also provided a false inventory of his cattle and represented that he had used the money to buy calves that had been placed in a feedlot where Luna was victimized when someone else sold the calves and absconded with the sales proceeds.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the maximum statutory penalty for bank fraud is 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Restitution could be ordered.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger McRoberts of the Lubbock, Texas, U.S. Attorney’s Office.
LaBELLE MAN GUILTY OF FEDERAL METHAMPHETAMINE VIOLATIONS
BEAUMONT, TX – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 24-year-old LaBelle man has pleaded guilty to federal drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
WESLEY RYAN DUPUY admitted to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine today before United States District Judge Marcia Crone.
According to information presented in court, on February 20, 2007, Dupuy was stopped for a traffic violation by officers with the Beaumont Police Department. Officers received consent to search Dupuy and his vehicle and discovered approximately 39 grams of methamphetamine.
Dupuy faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 at sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
This case is being investigated by the Beaumont Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Rawls.
OPERATION ICEBOX DEFENDANTS PLEAD GUILTY
TYLER, TX – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that two Tyler men involved in Operation Icebox have pleaded guilty to federal drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
MICHAEL WRIGHT, 38, admitted to misprision of felony and JOHNNY GOMEZ, 26, admitted to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine today before United States Magistrate Judge Judith K. Guthrie.
According to information presented in court, an investigation began in October 2004 into the distribution of “ice” methamphetamine in east Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. During this time, the investigation resulted in 22 undercover drug purchases, the purchase and seizure of at least 15 handguns and the seizure of at least four pounds of “ice” methamphetamine and amounts of marijuana and pharmaceutical drugs, the seizure of three vehicles and a safe containing approximately $300,000 cash. A 26-count federal indictment was returned in March of 2006 charging 19 co-defendants with federal charges, and an 18-count federal superseding indictment was returned February of 2007 charging 8 additional defendants with federal charges. Thus far in Operation ICEBOX, there have been 19 convictions, over $300,000 cash, cars, firearms, and one house seized, and $1.95 million in forfeiture judgments.
Wright faces up to three years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 at sentencing, while Gomez faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $2 million at sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Tyler Police Department, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, and the Henderson Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William Baldwin and Mary Ann Cozby.
UPSHUR COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DEALING METHAMPHETAMINES
TYLER, TX – Acting United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 41-year-old Upshur County man has pleaded guilty to federal drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
Martin Albarran Lopez admitted to being involved in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine today before United States Magistrate Judge Judith K. Guthrie.
According to information presented in court, on February 15, 2007, law enforcement officers executed a State Search Warrant at a residence on Aspen Trail in Gilmer, Texas, which revealed approximately 300 grams of methamphetamine "ICE" inside the residence. The drugs were packaged in separate plastic bags and containers indicating that they had been prepared for resale. The resident of the home identified Lopez as the person the drugs had been purchased from. Officers were able to arrest Lopez when he arrived at the residence in possession of approximately 50 grams of methamphetamine "ICE" and approximately $610.00 in U.S. Currency.
Lopez faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $2 million at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard L. Moore.