Last Updated Friday, June 11, 2021, at 12:07 PM
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, June 11, 2021
I. New Haven Man Charged with Distributing Heroin and Fentanyl
On June 7, 2021, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Leonard C. Boyle, along with Brian D. Boyle, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA for New England, announced that Vincent Clark, a/k/a “Pudge,” 26, of New Haven, Connecticut, had been arrested on a federal criminal complaint charging him with distributing heroin and fentanyl. Clark appeared the same day via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven, where he was ordered detained.
According to court documents, between March and May 2021, law enforcement made six controlled purchases of redistribution quantities of heroin/fentanyl from Clark in New Haven. Clark is currently on state parole for a 2019 narcotics conviction. The complaint charges Clark with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin and fentanyl, which means he faces as much as 20 years in prison.
II. Louisiana Felon Indicted on Charges Related to Guns and Drug Distribution
On June 7, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Duane A. Evans, announced that, the previous Friday, June 4, 2021, a Federal Grand Jury indicted Quintrell Bertholotte, 29, of New Orleans, Louisiana, in a four-count indictment on charges associated with the distribution of controlled substances (drugs) and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
Based on court documents, Bertholotte was previously convicted of a drug trafficking offense in Orleans Parish. He is now alleged to be in possession of multiple firearms and in possession with the intent to distribute a large amount of a narcotic mixture containing fentanyl. Because of that conviction, Bertholotte is prohibited from possessing firearms.
If he is convicted of either charge, Bertholotte faces at least five years and up to life in prison, as well as a fine of up to $5,000,000.00, a minimum of five (5) years of supervised release, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee.
III. Alleged Gang Member Charged with Possession of a Cache of Sophisticated Firearms
On June 7, 2021, it was announced by Juan Antonio Gonzalez, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, that a previously convicted felon from Miami with alleged ties to the national “Bloods” gang, as well as the local Miami “77 Street” gang, had been indicted by a federal grand jury on federal firearms charges, including illegal possession of machine guns.
According to the Indictment, an earlier-filed criminal complaint, and statements made in court, law enforcement officers approached Ty’ree Dixon, 22, on May 17, 2021, as part of an investigation into gang-related violent crime and fraud.
When police confronted him, they discovered that Dixon allegedly was armed with a Glock 20 and a 10mm semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine, it is alleged. While executing a search warrant, police also allegedly located a large amount of ammunition and several firearms inside Dixon’s residence, including several Glock semi-automatic pistols, an AK-style pistol, and two pistols that had been converted into machineguns using “switch” devices.
IV. Jefferson Parish Men Indicted for Violating the Federal Controlled Substances Act
On June 7, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern Louisiana, Duane A. Evans, announced that Eric Rodriguez and Greg Trahan had been charged the previous Friday, June 4, in a four-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury with violations of the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
According to the indictment, Rodriguez has been charged with possession with the intent to distribute meth, while Trahan has been charged with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. If Rodriguez is convicted, he faces at least five years and up to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $5 million.
If Trahan is convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $1 million. Both also face at least three years of supervised release and a $100 mandatory special assessment.
V. Former Scranton Police Officer Faces Federal Bribery Charge
The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Bruce D. Brandler, announced on June 7, 2021, that Thomas McDonald, 47, of Scranton, Pennsylvania had been charged in a criminal information with a federal bribery violation.
According to the Acting U.S. Attorney’s Office, it is alleged in the criminal information that McDonald, while working as an officer with the Scranton Police Department in April 2018, corruptly solicited sex and sexual favors from Person #1, for his own benefit.
The intention was to influence the official actions of the Scranton Police Department and the City of Scranton. The information also alleges that McDonald’s related conduct also included felony bribery violations with respect to Persons #2 through #4.
VI. Ohio Man Indicted for Sending Threatening Text Message to Social Worker
On June 8, 2021, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Nrthern District of Ohio, Bridget M. Brennan, announced that a one-count indictment had been returned by a federal grand jury on May 27, 2021, charging Daniel Devaty, 49, of Elyria, Ohio, with influencing a federal official by threatening one of the federal official’s family members.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on March 24, 2021, it is alleged that Devaty sent a text message to the government-issued cell phone of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Social Worker, through which he threatening to kill the official’s daughters. Law enforcement officials investigated the alleged threat and determined that the VA social worker previously worked with Devaty on a HUD-VA program that offered support services to homeless Veterans and their families to help find and sustain permanent housing.
The affidavit also alleged that Devaty was admitted to the HUD-VA program in March 2014 and was removed in January of 2021 after numerous complaints of physical threats and public intoxication. Devaty stated to law enforcement investigators that he sent the threatening text message to the cell phone of the VA social worker and a non-threatening message to another social worker after learning of his removal from the program.
VII. Man Charged for Alleged Involvement in a 2019 Murder in the Cherokee Nation
On June 9, 2021, it was announced that a Delaware County, Oklahoma man, Cody Buzzard, 27, faces a murder conspiracy charge in federal court. The charges came after Buzzard’s state case was dismissed in March due to lack of jurisdiction. The announcement was made by the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Clint Johnson.
Buzzard was officially charged June 8 by Criminal Complaint with conspiracy to murder in Indian Country. The crime was committed on the Cherokee Nation reservation. In the affidavit, Cody’s brother Dakota Buzzard and father James Buzzard are implicated as being possible participants in the murder conspiracy.
According to charging documents, at 9:30 am the day of the crime, Dakota was located by deputies from the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office while driving a white 4-door Altima matching the victim’s description. Law enforcement also later found four .22 caliber spent casings inside the vehicle and a .22 caliber rifle and bullets located behind a section of drywall in the residence of another person who allegedly hid the firearm for the Buzzards.
During the investigation, the shell casings found at the scene of the crime were identified as having been fired by the .22 caliber rifle.
VIII. Former Postal Employee Charged with Delay of U.S. Mail
On June 9, 2021. the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Duane A. Evans, announced that Miles J. Duperon, 29, of Slidell, LA, had been charged on June 7 in a one-count bill of information regarding the delay of U.S. Mail matter by a postal employee.
According to the bill of information, on or about July 2019 through January 21, 2020, Duperon unlawfully delayed U.S. mail, which was intended to be conveyed by mail. If he is convicted of he charge, Duperon faces as much as five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00 or the greater of twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the victim, up to three years supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
IX. Airline Passenger Charged with Interfering with Flight Crew
On June 8, 2021, Asiel Christian Norton, 43, of Venice, California, made an initial appearance in federal court on a charge of interfering with flight crew members and attendants, after the flight he was on, supposedly from Los Angeles to Nashville, had to be diverted to Albuquerque. The initial hearing determined that Norton shall remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing, scheduled for June 10.
According to the criminal complaint filed in this case, on June 4, Norton was a passenger on a Delta Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Nashville. Almost immediately after the plane took off, Norton allegedly rushed to the front of the plane and began pounding on the door to the flight deck.
When a flight attendant attempted to intervene, Norton allegedly pushed them down, which led other passengers to assist the attendant with subduing Norton. The situation caused the flight to be redirected into Albuquerque, where Norton was arrested.
X. Albuquerque Man Charged with Drug Trafficking, Firearms Possession
On June 10, 2021, it was announced that Orlando “Orly” Roybal, 39, of Albuquerque, was charged in federal court on June 7 with possession with intent to distribute both meth and fentanyl. Roybal was also charged with possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a previously convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. Roybal will remain in custody pending trial.
According to the criminal complaint in this case, on June 2 agents with the FBI’s Albuquerque Violent Crime Gang Task Force (VCGTF) and the New Mexico State Police executed a search warrant on an apartment allegedly used by Roybal. At the time, Roybal was serving a term of supervised release for a prior conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm and had registered a different address with his probation officer.
Among the items allegedly located by agents during the warranted search were 2.9 pounds of meth, 41 fentanyl tablets, a dozen firearms, several ammunition magazines and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. As a previously convicted felon, Roybal cannot legally possess firearms or ammunition.