Last Updated Friday, August 13, 2021, at 11:54 AM
Every Friday, The Criminal Lawyer Group publishes a digest of the latest federal prosecutions nationally. Our goal is to keep the public informed as to recent events in federal courts around the country.
Unless otherwise disclosed, none of the defendants mentioned in these summaries are clients of our firm.
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FRIDAY, August 13, 2021
I. MAN CHARGED WITH SCHEME TO STRAW PURCHASE FIREARM ALLEGEDLY USED TO SHOOT TWO CHICAGO COPS, ONE FATALLY WOUNDED
On August 9, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, which is in Chicago, announced that it had charged an Indiana man with federal firearm violations for allegedly conspiring to straw purchase a semi-automatic handgun that is alleged to have been used to shoot two Chicago Police officers last weekend, including the fatal wounding of Officer Ella French.
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Jamel Danzy, 29, of Hammond, Indiana, purchased the firearm at a federal firearms dealer in Hammond, Indiana., on March 18, 2021, and falsely certified on the required forms that he was the actual buyer.
According to the complaint, however, Danzy was a straw purchaser who bought the gun at the request of someone whom Danzy knew resided in Chicago, Ill., and was not lawfully allowed to purchase a firearm due to a previous felony criminal conviction. Danzy allegedly gave the firearm to the Illinois resident shortly after the purchase. Officer French was shot and killed and another CPD officer was critically wounded last Saturday night during a traffic stop of a vehicle on the South Side of Chicago.
The handgun was allegedly used in the shooting, the complaint states. The Illinois resident to whom Danzy gave the gun was one of the vehicle’s occupants and was arrested by responding officers, the complaint states. At the time of his arrest, the Illinois resident was in possession of the handgun purchased by Danzy, according to the complaint.
II. Six Charged with Crimes Connected to Fraudulent Loan Scheme
Acting United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, John J. Farley announced on August 9, 2021, that six people had been charged in federal court in New Hampshire with participating in a fraudulent loan scheme. The six charged in the indictment fo bank fraud include the following: Solomon Yarteh, 47, and Amara Jalloh, 41, of Sierra Leone; Robesteur St. Felix, 46, of Manchester, New Hampshire; Niurka Lebron, 44, previously of Boston, Massachusetts; and Arthur Beckett, 35, of Covington, Georgia.
In an indictment returned by a federal grand jury, it is alleged that, between January and July of 2019, the defendants executed a scheme to defraud several financial institutions in New Hampshire. They applied for and obtained multiple loans to purchase cars purportedly sold by Allied Imports, a Manchester car wholesaler, and Cap’s Auto Sales, a Manchester car retailer. Solomon Yarteh was the President of Allied Imports and Robesteur St. Felix was the CEO of Cap’s Auto Sales.
According to the indictment, it is alleged that the sales were fraudulent because the defendants either never owned them, or they significantly exaggerated the actual value of the cars. In all, the defendants allegedly defrauded the financial institutions of several hundred thousand dollars. According to the indictment, some defendants then transferred, wired, or withdrew the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws.
III. Fifth Superseding Indictment Unsealed in Oath Keeper Conspiracy Case Related to Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Last week, a Florida man and a Georgia man were indicted for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when it disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
The indictment further charges David Moerschel, 43, of Tampa, Florida, and Brian Ulrich, 43, of Guyton, Georgia, with additional federal crimes, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, and entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds. Moerschel is additionally charged with destruction of government property and aiding and abetting.
Ulrich and Moerschel are the latest of 18 defendants to be charged in this case. As alleged in the indictment, the defendants agreed to plan and participate in an operation to interfere with the certification of the electoral college vote by coordinating in advance with others, using websites and social media to recruit participants, and traveling to Washington, D.C., with paramilitary gear and supplies including firearms, tactical vests with plates, helmets and radio equipment.
IV. Narcotics Traffickers Face Federal Indictment for Supplying Fentanyl, Cocaine, etc. to Baltimore Drug Dealers
A 16-month investigation by a Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force into drug dealing in Baltimore has led to eleven alleged wholesale drug suppliers being charged in a federal indictment for conspiracy, drug distribution, and firearms charges.
The indictment was returned under seal on July 29, 2021 and was unsealed August 10, 2021, upon the arrests of the defendants, including; Rigby Dukes, a/k/a “Panama,” 54, of Baltimore; Kevin Fuller, 55, of Baltimore; Jimmye Howard, 32, of Baltimore; Thomas Jones, a/k/a “Pooda,” 52, of Baltimore; Eugene Link, 40, of Baltimore; Khyle Paige, 30, of Baltimore; Fred Primus, 47, of Washington, D.C.; Keith Smith, a/k/a “Fat Keith,” 39, of Gwynn Oak, Maryland; Phillip Washington, 53, of Windsor Mill, Maryland; Ronald White, a/k/a “Ron,” 53, of Towson, Maryland; and Eric Wilson, a/k/a “E” and “Remy,” 50, of Owings Mills, Maryland.
The indictment was announced Aug. 10 by Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner, along with several law enforcement officials. According to the indictment and information provided to the Court, the defendants distributed heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana to customers, including to each other.
The indictment alleges that members of the conspiracy sold bulk quantities of narcotics to other drug traffickers who, in turn, redistributed the narcotics in and around Baltimore. The conspirators allegedly cut the heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine with other substances to maximize their profits, and used residences in and around Baltimore to process, repackage, and prepare heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana for distribution.
Further, the indictment alleges that the members of the conspiracy possessed firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities, including this conspiracy.
V. Twin Cities Man Indicted for Violent Robbery of a Minneapolis Business
On August 10, 2021, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, W. Anders Folk, announced that a Minneapolis man was indicted by a federal grand jury for a Hobbs Act robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a store clerk.
According to court documents, on April 27, 2021, Marlow Ramsey Carson, 30, of Minneapolis, robbed Blue Sky Wireless and West Bend Furniture, two businesses located in Minneapolis. During the robbery, Carson, who was armed with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun, used force, threats of force, violence, and injury, resulting in the victim’s death. Because Carson has prior felony convictions, he is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.
VI. Two Charged with Participating in Fraudulent Covid-19 Pandemic Schemes
On August 11, 2021, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, John J. Farley, announced that Michael Rosa, 61, of Salem, NH, and George Adyns, 50, of Sandown, NH, have been charged with participating in pandemic-related wire fraud schemes. Both men were arrested Aug. 11, and they have been released pending trial, which is currently scheduled for October 5, 2021.
According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury, the defendants allegedly executed two schemes to defraud government programs intended to provide economic assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is alleged in the indictment that Rosa and Adyns laid off employees from Enviromart and KSC Industrial, two companies they controlled.
However, the indictment alleges that the defendants directed the employees to continue working for the companies while collecting Unemployment Insurance payments from New Hampshire Employment Security. These payments included the additional $600 emergency weekly benefits provided for by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The indictment also alleges that Adyns applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funded through the U.S. Small Business Administration, and a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
Adyns also allegedly made multiple false representations on the loan applications and improperly used the personal identifying information of one of the company’s employees to obtain funds. In addition to the wire fraud charges, Adyns also is charged with aggravated identity theft.
VII. Criminal Complaint Charges California Man with Murdering His Two Young Children in Mexico
A Santa Barbara man was charged August 11, 2021, with taking his two young children to Rosarito, Mexico and killing them. Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, allegedly killed the 2-year-old boy and 10-month-old girl on Aug.6. Coleman is scheduled to make his initial court appearance August 12 in the U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.
An affidavit in support of the criminal complaint outlines the investigation that started last Saturday when Coleman’s wife contacted the Santa Barbara Police to report that her husband had left the couple’s residence in a Sprinter van, and she did not know where they had gone. The next day, Coleman’s wife filed a missing person report. Using a computer application, Coleman’s wife was able to determine that Coleman’s phone had been in Rosarito on Sunday afternoon.
According to the affidavit, the same phone-locating service was used Monday and showed that Coleman’s phone was near the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border. The FBI dispatched colleagues in San Diego to contact Coleman, who entered the United States in the Sprinter van without the children.
When the children were not found, FBI agents contacted law enforcement officials in Rosarito and learned that Mexican authorities that morning had recovered the bodies of two children matching the description of Coleman’s children.
VIII. Grand Jury Indicts Arapahoe Man On Assault With a Firearm Charges
Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray announced on August 12, 2021, that Ronald Blaise Jenkins, 25, of Arapahoe, Wyoming, was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 22, 2021, for assault with a firearm resulting in serious bodily injury. The Indictment alleges that on January 5, 2021, Jenkins did knowingly carry, and discharge a firearm during and in relation to a federal crime of violence, namely, assault, resulting in serious bodily injury to the victim.
Jenkins, appeared on August 10, 2021, before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly H. Rankin, where he pleaded not guilty to the indictment. A jury trial is set for September 27, 2021, in Casper before Chief U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl. If convicted, Jenkins face at least 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to a $250,000 and a $300 special assessment.