Tag Archives: Federal Bureau of Investigation

‘Cop Killer’ Manhunt Goes Nationwide

29 Dec

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The manhunt for a “cop killer” was expanded today to a nationwide dragnet to find the suspected bank robber who fatally shot a Mississippi police officer two days before Christmas, according to the FBI. Tupelo Police Department officer Gale Stauffer and another officer were hit by gunfire Monday when they confronted suspected bank robbers during their getaway in the city. As the officers approached suspects in a vehicle, which was stuck in traffic at a railroad crossing, at least one of the suspects opened fire at close range, according to an account posted online at the Officer Down Memorial Page. The suspects fled, leaving Stauffer fatally shot and another officer critically wounded Stauffer “has made the ultimate sacrifice for his community,” Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said, urging the public to help “so that the criminal or criminals responsible for this horrendous act can be brought to justice.” After reviewing bank surveillance video from the robbery of a BancorpSouth bank in Tupelo, authorities are looking for a thin, possibly African-American man with light complexion, standing between 5-feet-9 and 6-feet tall, according to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. The suspect seen in the surveillance video was wearing khaki or cargo-style pants, white Converse tennis shoes, a long-sleeved jacket and a blue ski mask, the state public safety department said. A charcoal-colored, medium-sized sedan might have been used as a getaway car. As part of the investigation, authorities also released a photo (shown below) of a “person of interest” standing in what appears to be a convenience store minutes before the robbery at the bank. Police did not discuss any possible connection to the bank shooting.More than 100 agents, officers, deputies and marshals worked through Christmas to track down the suspects, an FBI official said. The FBI, BancorpSouth and others are offering more than $152,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
Stauffer was a combat veteran of the Louisiana Army National Guard, and he had served with the Tupelo Police Department for eight years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
He was married with two young children.

State Police Warn of Phone Scam Targeting Grandparents !

5 Dec

Gazette Staff

The Indiana State Police would like to warn the public about a phone scam that has
been reported recently in central Indiana, but happens annually all across the
state. Recently some elderly residents have been swindled out of money by out of
country con artists that are calling from phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada.

The scam targets grandparents with the subject calling the victim stating he is a
grandson and is in trouble, usually in Canada, and needs cash wired right away. The
“trouble” calls have ranged from the grandson being arrested to being hurt in a car
crash and needing money for treatment.

The caller is quick to ask grandparents NOT to call mom or dad and let them know, so
investigators warn would be victims to always call relatives to check up on the
situation-even when the caller tells you not to.

Remember, never wire money without verifying the situation with relatives. In
addition, never give out personal information like dates of birth, social security
numbers or bank account numbers over the phone. Victims have lost funds ranging from
the hundreds to thousands of dollars to this scam.

If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, let it go to voicemail. If they
don’t leave a message, it was probably a scam call generated by computerized
automatic dialer set to dial thousands of numbers, looking for a victim who will
answer and believe their phone story. If you feel you’ve been a victim, the FBI
website for filing a complaint is http://www.ic3.gov, or you can call your local State
Police Post.

Pence Makes Multiple Board Appointments

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

Indianapolis, IN – Governor Mike Pence today named appointees to the Commission on Higher Education, the Horse Racing Commission, the State Ethics Commission, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Commission on Ports, and the Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors.

Commission on Higher Education

Caren B. Whitehouse of Vanderburgh County has been named to the Commission on Higher Education. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Vanderburgh County Medical Society. Whitehouse serves on the Pulmonary Fibrosis Board of Directors, the Healthy Evansville Steering Committee and the Vanderburgh County Perinatal Task Force. She is a graduate of the University of Evansville and Oakland City University. She will serve through June 30, 2015, effective immediately.

Horse Racing Commission

President and Chief Executive Officer of Pillow Logistics George E. Pillow Jr. will serve on the Horse Racing Commission. Previously, Pillow, of Marion County, served as Assistant Executive Administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services. Pillow was a 1984 recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash and has been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Indiana State University Hall of Fame. A graduate of Indiana State University, he will serve through September 1, 2015, effective immediately.

State Ethics Commission

Bob Jamison, retired from the New Albany Office of the FBI, Daryl Yost, Director of the Certified Technology Park of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, and James Clevenger, Partner at Wyland, Humphrey, Wagner & Cleveland have been reappointed to the State Ethics Commission. Clevenger will continue to serve in his role as Chairman, and the appointees will serve four-year terms through October 31, 2017, effective immediately.

Indiana Arts Commission

Allen C. Platt III, of Floyd County, will serve on the Indiana Arts Commission through June 30, 2017, effective immediately. Currently Counsel at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Platt is the 2004 recipient of the Arts Council of Southern Indiana’s Heartbeat Award. He is a graduate of Indiana University and Valparaiso University School of Law.

Jonathan Ford, of Vigo County, and Linda S. Levell, of Knox County, have been reappointed to the board and will serve through June 30, 2017.

Commission on Ports

Ramon Arredondo has been named to the Commission on Ports. Arredondo, of Lake County, retired in 2005 as Assistant to the Chairman at NiSource and has extensive experience working in both local and federal government positions. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida. Arredondo will serve through June 30, 2017, effective immediately.

Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors

Patricia Gamble-Moore, of Herron’s Fiduciary Committee, Thomas McGowan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Kite Realty Group Trust, and Lula Porter, Executive Director of the Evansville African American Museum have been reappointed to the Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Former EC Library Director Gets 4 Months Home Detention in Tax Fraud Case

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

Manuel Montalvo, 39, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to 24 months of probation, with home detention of 4 months, and a $1000.00 fine after pleading guilty to the felony offense of filing a false tax return for the tax year 2009. According to documents filed in this case, Montalvo admitted that he provided false information about deductions including that he had $23,382 in business expenses and $17,063 in medical expenses. In fact, both figures were made up. Montalvo filed the false returns while employed as the Director of East Chicago Public Library. This case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gary Bell.

Sources Say LS Mayor, Wife Targets of FBI Probe

16 Nov

by Ken Davidson

 

On Friday FBI agents walked into the offices of Lake Station, Indiana at 1969 Central Avenue and ordered all employees to step away from their computers according to sources close to the investigation.  Although the Gazette has confirmed no computers were seized, the FBI reportedly got all the information it needed by using high tech equipment to download from the City servers.  This represents a significant step in an ongoing investigation.  You will recall that the indictment and arrest of George VanTil, the most recent indicted politician in Lake County, was preceded by a similar public FBI raid.  Not only is judicial review in the form of  a warrant required before FBI agents can take such action, the US Department of Justice has strict guidelines dealing with public corruption cases.

Sources say that the crux of the investigation centers around two incidents.   The first relates to using campaign funds for personal use.  Sources tell me this aspect of the case is unclear.  Several point to various expenses which appear to be personal but there is none that stands out when viewing reports of similar local politicians.

The second investigation is related to an “add-on” charge by a street contractor.  According to a source close to the investigation, the Mayor suggested he would get an additional charge approved on a construction project that was in progress.  In exchange, the contractor would pay the Mayor’s wife a sum of money.  Such charges are often scrutinized by the State Board of Accounts as well as Federal Prosecutors because they can be used to award bids to friendly contractors.  In many cases, the bid comes in low and the contractor then submits additional charges which are approved by the municipality.  Other contractors have no opportunity to compete because they are not assured of having additional charges approved later.  In this case, however, sources say the contract was awarded prior to the time of Soderquist’s election.

Soderquist is also on the governing board of the Lake County Democratic Organization.  If indicted, Soderquist would be the second current sitting member who is under federal indictment.

Lake Station Indiana FBI raid

A Lake Station construction contract appears to be at the center of a recent FBI raid on city offices.

FBI Visits LakeStation IN.

15 Nov

FBI agents arrived at the office of Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist on Friday. Federal investigators had subpoenaed documents from Lake Station’s Board of Works. Sources say the computers were removed from the building and at least Three FBI agents were seen going into City Hall and talking to the Mayor.
In February, the State Board of Accounts audit ordered Soderquist’s stepdaughter Miranda Brakley , former court employee, To repay the city $13,130, money she wrongly received after she was fired in 2012. Miranda Brakey was a deputy court clerk responsible for collecting bond payments for the Lake Station. In 39 cases she neglicted to deposit The Funds totaling $16,464. A week after she was fired, the Lake Station City Council, moved two deputy positions from City Court Judge Christopher Anderson’s budget to the Clerk-Treasurer’s purview and Brakley was rehired. She received $468 for seven days vacation and $12,661 for unused compensatory and sick time even thought she only had 30 minutes of vacation remaining . Two weeks later, Lake County Superior Court Judge Calvin Hawkins issued a temporary restraining order against the Brakley’s rehiring…. more to follow later.

$14M in LG G2 Phones Stolen In Gary, Could Delay Launch

7 Nov

by Ken Davidson

Gary, Indiana is once again making national news. A truck containing 22,500 yet to be released LG G2 for Sprint. The phones were worth an estimated $14M at retail price. As reported by CNET, the truck was stolen at 6:30 p.m. on October 24. The Indiana and Illinois State Police as well as the FBI were notified. The thief was eventually caught in Louisville, Kentucky after he crashed the truck. Kentucky State Police report that they arrested 40 year old Juan Perez-Gonzalez after being contacted by the FBI about the heist. The FBI is now investigating and believes the theft may be a part of a theft ring.

The theft could delay the launch of the popular smartphone on the Sprint network. Other carriers have already launched the phone, but this shipment was destined to be a part of Sprint’s nationwide launch this month.

gary indiana cell phone theft

Man who stole $14M worth of LG G2 phones crashed in Kentucky

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FBI Week in Review 10/25/2013

28 Oct

Gazette Staff

 

HAMMOND, IN—The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in federal court:

Dispositions:

Joshua Robinson, 23, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 33 months’ imprisonment and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. According to documents filed in this case, Robinson, who has an extensive criminal history consisting of juvenile adjudications and adult criminal convictions, burglarized a residence where a .20 gauge shotgun and a .223 caliber rifle were taken. After the firearms were stolen, Robinson and a co-defendant proceeded to take the serial number off one of the firearms in preparation of selling the firearms in Chicago, Illinois. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Tippecanoe County Police Department, and the Lafayette Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Che Williams, Jr., 21, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 30 months’ imprisonment and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean Lanter.

Ramon Salinas, Jr., 37, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 210 months’ imprisonment and 25 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of distribution of child pornography. According to documents filed in this case, law enforcement conducted an online Internet investigation to identify those possessing and sharing child pornography. The investigation identified an IP address belonging to the Salinas residence sharing files containing material depicting minors under the age of 16 engaged in sexual acts or poses. A search warrant was executed at this residence where law enforcement found that Salinas possessed at least 60 videos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Salinas also has a prior conviction for possession of child pornography in Marion County in 2005. This case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Indiana State Police, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, and the Highland Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Koster.

James Urschel, 47, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to three years of probation after pleading guilty to the felony offense of false impersonation of a federal officer. According to documents filed in this case, Urschel impersonated a Deputy United States Marshal while buying numerous firearms at Gander Mountain in Lafayette, Indiana. He would then pawn the guns at a local pawn shop for cash. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Charles E. Johnson, Jr., 33, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 37 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of distribution of crack cocaine. According to documents filed in this case, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence and found 17.9 grams of crack cocaine in a safe. Johnson had a felony conviction for dealing in cocaine in 2008 and was on probation for that offense when he was charged in this case. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation GRIT Task Force. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang-Adiga.

Daryl V. Johnson, 40, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 180 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to documents filed in this case, Johnson has 15 prior felony convictions and nine misdemeanor convictions over a period of 18 years. Johnson was in a motor vehicle that was pursued by Hammond Police Department due to the occupants violating the seat belt law. After the vehicle fled from police, Johnson exited the vehicle and fled on foot. The police recovered a handgun from the route on which Johnson fled. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives HIDTA Task Force and the Hammond Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Regina Cabell, 39, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 18 months’ imprisonment and $79,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to the felony offense of health care fraud—submitting a claim to Indiana Medicaid for providing a service to an Indiana Medicaid recipient to whom she did not actually provide the claimed service—and failing to file a federal income tax return for her gross income of $297,567 in the 2011 tax year. According to documents filed in this case, Cabell, d/b/a L&G Transportation, submitted approximately $96,600 in false claims to Indiana Medicaid for providing transportation services that did not actually occur. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the Internal Revenue Service. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diane Berkowitz.