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Thursday, May 31, 2018

FOUNDER OF NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION CONVICTED OF STEALING UNITED NATIONS GRANT FUNDS SENTENCED

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Steve S. Jabar, of Tonawanda, NY, who was convicted following a jury trial of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and making false statements, was sentenced to time served by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marie P. Grisanti and MaryEllen Kresse, who prosecuted the case, stated that Jabar, and co-defendant Deborah Bowers, founded a not for profit organization OKI, Opportunities for Kids International, Inc. In June 2004, Jabar and Bowers, through OKI, applied for and received a $500,000 grant from United Nations to create, maintain and operate a radio station in Iraq. The mission of the radio station was to further women’s rights issues in Iraq.

Within 24 hours of receiving a portion of the grant money, the defendants began to divert some of the funding for their own personal use. Jabar and Bowers diverted more than $65,000 for their own personal use. Jabar used some of the funding to pay off personal debts, including the payment of property taxes owed on his residence and business, as well as mortgage, utility, credit card payments and personal loan payments. Bowers also utilized some of the funding to pay personal credit card debt and make mortgage payments.

During the investigation, the defendants made false statement to investigator with the Internal Revenue Service in order to conceal with criminal behavior.    

Deborah Bowers is awaiting sentencing.

“Following a five-week trial, a jury returned a verdict convicting defendant Jabar of conspiring to commit wire fraud, engaging in wire fraud, and making materially false statements,” said U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Notwithstanding that verdict, the trial judge found that the government’s evidence regarding harm to be lacking such that defendant’s wire fraud convictions could not be sustained. Notably, however, the Court found no infirmity in the defendant’s conviction for making a materially false statement to Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That statement came when the defendant falsely told agents that the entire $350,000 grant from the United Nations was sent to Iraq for the radio station, with the exception of expenses totaling no more than $10,000. In truth and in fact, however, the defendant used tens of thousands of dollars of the UNIFEM grant money to pay his personal loans and expenses.  Such monies were not sent to Iraq for purposes of the radio station. Despite the defendant’s criticism of the government, his anger is misplaced. The only person he has to be mad at is himself. The job of the prosecutors in my Office and the job of our law enforcement partners is impartially to enforce the law. That is precisely what happened here—nothing more and nothing less. I commend Assistant United States Attorneys Marie Grisanti and Mary Ellen Kresse and the fine men and women of the IRS and the FBI for their efforts in this case. The defendant could have avoided this entire ordeal simply by being completely honest, forthright, and transparent in all of his dealings with the government. His refusal to do that is precisely what landed him before a federal judge for sentencing today.”

Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin P. Lyons.

JAMESTOWN BROTHERS PLEAD GUILTY TO DRUG CHARGES



BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced  that Matthew S. Jones, 33, and Beau K.C. Jones, 31, both of Jamestown, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, methamphetamine. Matthew S. Jones pleaded guilty to a conspiracy involving five grams or more of methamphetamine and faces a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine. His brother, Beau K.C. Jones, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy involving 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and faces a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that the defendants were arrested on December 1, 2016, after a shipment of more than 360 grams of methamphetamine was delivered, via the U.S. mail, to the brothers at Matthew S. Jones’ residence at 70 Colfax in Jamestown. Shortly after the delivery, Beau K.C. Jones was arrested during a car stop by police and the parcel containing the methamphetamine was discovered in the backseat of his vehicle. Matthew S. Jones was arrested later that day during a separate car stop. A safe was found in the trunk of his car containing an additional quantity of approximately 80 grams of methamphetamine.

The pleas are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Division; and the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Snellings.  



Sentencing for Matthew S. Jones is scheduled for July 30, 2018. Sentencing for Beau K.C. Jones is schedule for August 7, 2018.

FOUNDER OF NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION CONVICTED OF STEALING UNITED NATIONS GRANT FUNDS SENTENCED

FOUNDER OF NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION CONVICTED OF STEALING UNITED NATIONS GRANT FUNDS SENTENCED

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Steve S. Jabar, of Tonawanda, NY, who was convicted following a jury trial of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and making false statements, was sentenced to time served by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marie P. Grisanti and MaryEllen Kresse, who prosecuted the case, stated that Jabar, and co-defendant Deborah Bowers, founded a not for profit organization OKI, Opportunities for Kids International, Inc. In June 2004, Jabar and Bowers, through OKI, applied for and received a $500,000 grant from United Nations to create, maintain and operate a radio station in Iraq. The mission of the radio station was to further women’s rights issues in Iraq.

Within 24 hours of receiving a portion of the grant money, the defendants began to divert some of the funding for their own personal use. Jabar and Bowers diverted more than $65,000 for their own personal use. Jabar used some of the funding to pay off personal debts, including the payment of property taxes owed on his residence and business, as well as mortgage, utility, credit card payments and personal loan payments. Bowers also utilized some of the funding to pay personal credit card debt and make mortgage payments.

During the investigation, the defendants made false statement to investigator with the Internal Revenue Service in order to conceal with criminal behavior.    

Deborah Bowers is awaiting sentencing.

“Following a five-week trial, a jury returned a verdict convicting defendant Jabar of conspiring to commit wire fraud, engaging in wire fraud, and making materially false statements,” said U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Notwithstanding that verdict, the trial judge found that the government’s evidence regarding harm to be lacking such that defendant’s wire fraud convictions could not be sustained. Notably, however, the Court found no infirmity in the defendant’s conviction for making a materially false statement to Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That statement came when the defendant falsely told agents that the entire $350,000 grant from the United Nations was sent to Iraq for the radio station, with the exception of expenses totaling no more than $10,000. In truth and in fact, however, the defendant used tens of thousands of dollars of the UNIFEM grant money to pay his personal loans and expenses.  Such monies were not sent to Iraq for purposes of the radio station. Despite the defendant’s criticism of the government, his anger is misplaced. The only person he has to be mad at is himself. The job of the prosecutors in my Office and the job of our law enforcement partners is impartially to enforce the law. That is precisely what happened here—nothing more and nothing less. I commend Assistant United States Attorneys Marie Grisanti and Mary Ellen Kresse and the fine men and women of the IRS and the FBI for their efforts in this case. The defendant could have avoided this entire ordeal simply by being completely honest, forthright, and transparent in all of his dealings with the government. His refusal to do that is precisely what landed him before a federal judge for sentencing today.”

Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin P. Lyons.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

MICHIGAN MAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING XEROX TONER

MICHIGAN MAN SENTENCE D FOR STEALINGMICHIGAN MAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING XEROX TONER

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that David Miedel, 42, of Michigan, who was convicted of conspiracy to transfer stolen property in interstate commerce, was sentenced to 12 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to Xerox in the amount of $1,031,680.24. 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that the Xerox Company provides branded printing toner to customers who have entered into lease contracts for office equipment.  As part of a lease, the customer is invoiced a flat rate per month for office equipment, including printers, copiers, scanners, multifunction devices, and graphic arts production equipment. In order to operate each piece of equipment, supplies are required, including toner. The supplies can be expensive to buy individually, so Xerox offers an “all-inclusive” contract. Xerox provides the supplies and the customer pays the company based on the number of prints made with the supplies. The supplies must be consumed by the customer and at all times remain the property of Xerox until consumed in the leased equipment. 
In August 2015, Miedel contacted employees of a logistics company who worked at the company’s warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina where Xerox supplies, which had been returned by customers, were being stored. The defendant told employees that he wanted to purchase the returned supplies. On September 11, 2015, Miedel traveled to North Carolina to purchase the supplies for himself and his partner, who also resided in Michigan. Miedel purchased 92 units of Xerox supplies for which he paid the warehouse employees $1,800 in cash.  The defendant then drove the stolen supplies to Michigan where they were sold. 
In September 2015, Miedel began purchasing stolen Xerox supplies from a person he believed was a logistics company employee in Webster, NY. Between September 15, 2015, and March 2016, the defendant traveled to Webster several times to purchase what he believed were stolen Xerox supplies worth approximately $200,000. The total loss to Xerox from Miedel’s conduct was $1,031,680.24.
Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly. XEROX TONER

Monday, May 28, 2018

Exotic animal encounters in the Rio Grande Valley


Release Date: 
May 1, 2018
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – On Monday, April 30, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol Agents experienced two unusual encounters in separate incidents.
Tiger cub abandoned by smuggler
Tiger cub abandoned by smuggler
Brownsville agents working near the Rio Grande observed an alligator on a boat ramp as they were conducting line watch operations. Riverine agents regularly utilize the boat ramp.
Later in the day, agents observed three subjects attempting to enter the United States illegally. Responding agents noticed the aliens were carrying a black duffel bag. Inside, agents discovered a male tiger which was left abandoned as the aliens returned to Mexico.
The three to four month old cub was turned over to the Gladys Porter Zoo.
The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.
Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection. Follow us on Twitter at @CBPRGV.
NIAGARA FALLS WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN
DEBT COLLECTION SCHEME

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today Debbie Seright, 52, of Niagara Falls, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

  Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O’Donnell, who is handling the case, stated that Seright managed supposed debt collection agencies, which operated under various names, including Lakeside Mediations, Lincoln Mediation, Valentine Legal Mediation, First Point Mediation, State Filing and Legal Services and Elite Services. As a manager, the defendant directed and trained other employees to engage in fraudulent debt collection practices.  Specifically, Seright and the employees she managed placed telephone calls to "debtors" throughout the United States and, in an effort to induce the "debtors" to make payments, used various fraudulent tactics, including falsely representing their identities, falsely threatening to arrest them, and claiming the existence of criminal charges against the "debtors.” The defendant and employees also routinely collected on debts which they knew had already been satisfied, and collected money from "debtors" from whom they had already collected payment, deemed to be "easy targets." "Debtors" were instructed to make payment to the various debt collection businesses through various means, including MoneyGram payments, bank wire transfers, and debit/credit card payments.

Between July 2015 and December 2016, the section of the debt collection operation Seright participated in collected approximately $1,154,213.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special-Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James D. Robnett; and the United States Postal Service Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector-in-Charge Raymond Moss.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 24, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

TONAWANDA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTING FENTANYL



BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dominique McDowell, 26, of Tonawanda, NY, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of butyryl fentanyl and U-47700, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul C. Parisi, who is handling the case, stated that the investigation began with the overdose death of an individual in the Town of Amherst. Subsequent investigation determined that between March 30, 2017, and April 18, 2017, the defendant sold butyryl fentanyl and U-47700 to undercover law enforcement officers on five separate occasions in the Town of Amherst and Tonawanda. In addition, between December 2016 and April 18, 2017, McDowell sold heroin to confidential sources on multiple occasions.   

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Division; the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John C. Askey; the Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jerome Uschold; and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 28, 2018, before Judge Arcara.  

Saturday, May 26, 2018

WILLIAMSVILLE COUPLE SENTENCED

WILLIAMSVILLE COUPLE SENTENCED 

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Shaheen Hassanali, 45, and her husband, Riyaz Hassanali, 57, both of Williamsville, NY, were each sentenced to one year probation by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Shaneen Hassanali, who was convicted filing a false tax return, was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $248,606 to the Internal Revenue Service. Riyaz Hassanali was convicted of receiving and delivering misbranded drugs.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O’Donnell, who handled the case, stated that for the tax years 2006-2009, Shaheen Hassanali filed false joint income tax returns for herself and her husband. The defendant substantially under-reported the income earned from her husband’s medical practice.

In addition, between 2009 and 2011, Riyaz Hassanali ordered, and administered to patients, a misbranded, and non-FDA approved, foreign market product, similar to the prescription drug Dysport, a prescription drug commonly used in cosmetic procedures.

The sentencings are the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, under the direction of Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent-in-New York Field Office.

Friday, May 25, 2018

BUFFALO MAN SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS ON COCAINE CHARGE



BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced  that Clarence Adams, 35, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine, was sentenced to 250 months in prison and 10 years supervised release by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who handled the case, stated that on May 13, 2016, law enforcement officers seized three packages containing cocaine that were shipped from Texas to Buffalo. The cocaine was hidden inside air purifiers. Officers seized two of the packages before they were delivered and set-up controlled deliveries to addresses on Tyler and Custer Streets in Buffalo. The packages contained a total of five kilograms of cocaine. Adams recruited five individuals to receive the packages. He and co-defendant Robert Hall paid those receiving the packages in money or crack cocaine. A total of 19 packages were shipped from Texas to Buffalo, and each package contained at least one kilogram of cocaine. 

Robert Hall was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police, under the direction of Chief George Gast; and the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

NEWARK PHYSICIAN ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

NEWARK PHYSICIAN ARRESTED ON
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today Dr. David Blasczak, 69, of Newark, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with receipt and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years and a $1,000,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant is a physician at the Clyde Family Health Center in Clyde, NY. According to the complaint, in 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations in Phoenix, Arizona began an investigation into a fee based child pornography website. In September, 2017, investigators determined that the defendant made 10 purchases from this website. Each file purchased by Blasczak contained thousands of images of child pornography.

On January 18, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home on Jason Drive in Newark. Officers seized several digital devices including a laptop, a digital camera, multiple SD cards, multiple thumb drives, and two memory sticks. Officers estimate that they have already discovered in excess of 1,000 images and multiple videos of child pornography on the thumb drive. 

Members of the public who have specific information related to this case are urged to contact the HSI Buffalo Office at 716-464-5931. HSI victim-witness specialists will be available to assist any parent or guardian should they need victim-related resources. If any members of the public have general questions or concerns regarding sexual abuse of children or would like guidance on how to discuss this issue with children, please call the Bivona Child Advocacy Center at 1-585-935-7800. 

The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman and is being detained.  

The complaint is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.   

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

CITIZEN OF ECUADOR CHARGED WITH HARBORING ILLEGAL ALIENS

CITIZEN OF ECUADOR CHARGED WITH HARBORING ILLEGAL ALIENS CITIZEN OF ECUADOR CHARGED WITH HARBORING ILLEGAL ALIENS 

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Segundo Francisco Caguana, a citizen of Ecuador, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with harboring aliens, encouraging illegal aliens to reside in the United States, and hiring or recruiting unauthorized aliens for employment. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on October 5, 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), received information from the Caledonia Police Department regarding possible illegal aliens residing at 246 North Street in Caledonia, NY, and working for Sunset Roofing Corp. Surveillance operations were conducted between October 30 and November 9, 2017. Special agents observed Caguana arrive at the residence in a brown Toyota Tundra at approximately 6:30 a.m. each morning and enter the residence, before departing approximately a half hour later. Thereafter, multiple Hispanic adult males would depart the residence in two work vans parked in the driveway.    

            On November 14, 2017, ICE-HSI agents and ICE Enforcement Removal Officers (ERO) conducted a joint enforcement operation in an attempt to encounter illegal aliens residing at the 246 North Street residence. ICE-HSI agents and ERO officers identified themselves and conducted interviews with the individuals. Seven of the individuals admitted to being illegally present and illegally working within the United States. Six of the undocumented aliens were arrested for entry without inspection, and one was arrested for visa waiver overstay. All seven were transported to the Batavia Detention Facility for processing.

            The complaint states that all seven of the illegal aliens worked for Caguana and paid him rent to stay at the 246 North Street residence. 

            A records check found that Caguana and his wife are citizens and nationals of Ecuador, currently involved in immigration proceedings, but authorized to work within the United States.

            The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman and was released on conditions.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations, under the direction of Field Office Director Thomas E. Feeley.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

FEDERAL JURY CONVICTS ELMIRA MAN OF DRUG TRAFFICKING AND GUN CHARGES


ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal jury has convicted Devaughn Salazar, a/k/a “Snake,” 41, of Elmira, NY, of knowingly possessing with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean Eldridge and Charles Moynihan, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on October 21, 2012, members of the Elmira Police Department recovered a Taurus .40 caliber pistol during a robbery investigation. Further investigation revealed that, in June of 2012, the owner of the handgun reported it stolen to the Addison Police Department. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives followed up and determined that the defendant acquired the handgun from Kevin Krowiak, the person who stole it, by trading cocaine for the gun.  After acquiring the gun but prior to its recovery by the Elmira Police Department, defendant sold the gun to a third person.

The defendant, having been previously convicted on May 6, 2009, in Steuben County Court of a felony offense, was legally prohibited from possessing any firearm.  

The trial verdict is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge, Ashan Benedict; as well as members of the Elmira Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Kane.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 27, 2018, at 9:15 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa, who presided over the trial of the case.

Monday, May 21, 2018

MICHIGAN MAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING XEROX TONER



ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that David Miedel, 42, of Michigan, who was convicted of conspiracy to transfer stolen property in interstate commerce, was sentenced to 12 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to Xerox in the amount of $1,031,680.24. 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that the Xerox Company provides branded printing toner to customers who have entered into lease contracts for office equipment.  As part of a lease, the customer is invoiced a flat rate per month for office equipment, including printers, copiers, scanners, multifunction devices, and graphic arts production equipment. In order to operate each piece of equipment, supplies are required, including toner. The supplies can be expensive to buy individually, so Xerox offers an “all-inclusive” contract. Xerox provides the supplies and the customer pays the company based on the number of prints made with the supplies. The supplies must be consumed by the customer and at all times remain the property of Xerox until consumed in the leased equipment. 
In August 2015, Miedel contacted employees of a logistics company who worked at the company’s warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina where Xerox supplies, which had been returned by customers, were being stored. The defendant told employees that he wanted to purchase the returned supplies. On September 11, 2015, Miedel traveled to North Carolina to purchase the supplies for himself and his partner, who also resided in Michigan. Miedel purchased 92 units of Xerox supplies for which he paid the warehouse employees $1,800 in cash.  The defendant then drove the stolen supplies to Michigan where they were sold. 
In September 2015, Miedel began purchasing stolen Xerox supplies from a person he believed was a logistics company employee in Webster, NY. Between September 15, 2015, and March 2016, the defendant traveled to Webster several times to purchase what he believed were stolen Xerox supplies worth approximately $200,000. The total loss to Xerox from Miedel’s conduct was $1,031,680.24.
Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

TONAWANDA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY



BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dakkar Young, 23, of Tonawanda, NY, pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charge carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Lamarque, who is handling the case, stated that in May 2017, the defendant uploaded eight pictures containing child pornography onto a social networking site. In December 2017, a search warrant was executed at the Young’s home and various electronics were seized. A forensic examination of the defendant’s cell phone revealed images of child pornography as well as videos of Young sexually abusing a child under the age of 16. As part of the plea, the defendant admitted to producing child pornography of the child.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the New York State Police ICAC Task Force, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy, and Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin P. Lyons.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 27, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

BUFFALO MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO COCAINE CONSPIRACY WHICH OPERATED NEAR A BUFFALO SCHOOL



BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Cleophus Dentmond, aka “Face,” 28, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $1,000,000 fine, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant conspired with Stevie Alejandro who operated the Barberians Barber Shop at 1132 East Lovejoy Street, which is located directly across from Buffalo Public School #43, the Lovejoy Discovery School. Between May 2017 and October 18, 2017, the defendant participated in the cocaine conspiracy with co-defendants Alejandro, Aaron Hill, Gilbert Guzman, Catherine Ramos, and others, to distribute cocaine in the Lovejoy District. 

During the conspiracy, Alejandro conducted negotiations with an undercover law enforcement officer regarding the sale, cost, amount, and delivery of cocaine. Then, Dentmond, or one of his co-conspirators, would conduct the drug transaction with the undercover officer. All proceeds went back to Alejandro. A total of 14 cocaine sales took place with the undercover officer.

Charges are pending against defendants Hill, Guzman, and Ramos. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Division; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood; the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zak; and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 25, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

WILLIAMSVILLE COUPLE SENTENCED



BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that Shaheen Hassanali, 45, and her husband, Riyaz Hassanali, 57, both of Williamsville, NY, were each sentenced to one year probation by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Shaneen Hassanali, who was convicted filing a false tax return, was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $248,606 to the Internal Revenue Service. Riyaz Hassanali was convicted of receiving and delivering misbranded drugs.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O’Donnell, who handled the case, stated that for the tax years 2006-2009, Shaheen Hassanali filed false joint income tax returns for herself and her husband. The defendant substantially under-reported the income earned from her husband’s medical practice.

In addition, between 2009 and 2011, Riyaz Hassanali ordered, and administered to patients, a misbranded, and non-FDA approved, foreign market product, similar to the prescription drug Dysport, a prescription drug commonly used in cosmetic procedures.

The sentencings are the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, under the direction of Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent-in-New York Field Office.

Friday, May 18, 2018

MICHIGAN MAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING XEROX TONER



ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that David Miedel, 42, of Michigan, who was convicted of conspiracy to transfer stolen property in interstate commerce, was sentenced to 12 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to Xerox in the amount of $1,031,680.24. 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that the Xerox Company provides branded printing toner to customers who have entered into lease contracts for office equipment.  As part of a lease, the customer is invoiced a flat rate per month for office equipment, including printers, copiers, scanners, multifunction devices, and graphic arts production equipment. In order to operate each piece of equipment, supplies are required, including toner. The supplies can be expensive to buy individually, so Xerox offers an “all-inclusive” contract. Xerox provides the supplies and the customer pays the company based on the number of prints made with the supplies. The supplies must be consumed by the customer and at all times remain the property of Xerox until consumed in the leased equipment. 
In August 2015, Miedel contacted employees of a logistics company who worked at the company’s warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina where Xerox supplies, which had been returned by customers, were being stored. The defendant told employees that he wanted to purchase the returned supplies. On September 11, 2015, Miedel traveled to North Carolina to purchase the supplies for himself and his partner, who also resided in Michigan. Miedel purchased 92 units of Xerox supplies for which he paid the warehouse employees $1,800 in cash.  The defendant then drove the stolen supplies to Michigan where they were sold. 
In September 2015, Miedel began purchasing stolen Xerox supplies from a person he believed was a logistics company employee in Webster, NY. Between September 15, 2015, and March 2016, the defendant traveled to Webster several times to purchase what he believed were stolen Xerox supplies worth approximately $200,000. The total loss to Xerox from Miedel’s conduct was $1,031,680.24.
Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

NEWARK PHYSICIAN ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES


ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today Dr. David Blasczak, 69, of Newark, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with receipt and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years and a $1,000,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant is a physician at the Clyde Family Health Center in Clyde, NY. According to the complaint, in 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations in Phoenix, Arizona began an investigation into a fee based child pornography website. In September, 2017, investigators determined that the defendant made 10 purchases from this website. Each file purchased by Blasczak contained thousands of images of child pornography.

On January 18, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home on Jason Drive in Newark. Officers seized several digital devices including a laptop, a digital camera, multiple SD cards, multiple thumb drives, and two memory sticks. Officers estimate that they have already discovered in excess of 1,000 images and multiple videos of child pornography on the thumb drive. 

Members of the public who have specific information related to this case are urged to contact the HSI Buffalo Office at 716-464-5931. HSI victim-witness specialists will be available to assist any parent or guardian should they need victim-related resources. If any members of the public have general questions or concerns regarding sexual abuse of children or would like guidance on how to discuss this issue with children, please call the Bivona Child Advocacy Center at 1-585-935-7800. 

The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman and is being detained.  

The complaint is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.   

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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