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Rome News by Watson | Blog Archive » THIRD ATLANTA POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO CIVIL RIGHTS CONSPIRACY RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF 92-YEAR OLD WOMAN
 
 
 
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THIRD ATLANTA POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO CIVIL RIGHTS CONSPIRACY RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF 92-YEAR OLD WOMAN

FBI Announces Completion of Its Investigation into the Killing of Kathryn Johnston and Other Atlanta Police Misconduct; Will Deliver Report to Police Chief

October 30, 2008

ATLANTA, GA - David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia; Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department Justice; and Gregory Jones, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta Field Division announced that former Atlanta Police Department (APD) Officer ARTHUR BRUCE TESLER, 42, of Acworth, Georgia, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to conspiracy to violate civil rights resulting in death, in connection with the fatal police shooting of Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year old woman, at her home in Atlanta during the execution of an illegal search warrant on November 21, 2006.

“The killing of Kathryn Johnston by Atlanta police officers was a terrible and unnecessary tragedy,” said United States Attorney Nahmias. “The great majority of police officers are brave and honorable public servants who follow and enforce the law. Officers Tesler, Smith, and Junnier, however, repeatedly ignored the requirements of our Constitution and violated the civil rights of the citizens they were sworn to protect, and it was inevitable that one day their illegal ‘shortcuts’ would lead to tragedy. We are glad that today’s guilty plea brings another measure of justice to Ms. Johnston, her family, and our community, and that the cooperation of Junnier and Smith and the dedicated investigation by the FBI have brought other police misconduct to light. We are also hopeful that this tragedy and the conviction of the officers responsible for it will deter similar police misconduct in the future and indeed have led to reforms that provide the City and its citizens with an improved police department.”

On April 26, 2007, two of TESLER’s associates in the APD Narcotics Unit, GREGG JUNNIER and JASON R. SMITH, pleaded guilty to the civil rights conspiracy charge in federal court and to voluntary manslaughter and related charges in state court. They also agreed to cooperate in a broader investigation of APD officer misconduct. TESLER declined to plead guilty at that time and was indicted in state court on charges of violation of oath of office, false statements, and false imprisonment. He went to trial on those state charges in April 2008 and was convicted of the false statement charge but acquitted on the other charges; he was sentenced to serve 4 years in state prison. Following the state trial, federal authorities re-evaluated TESLER’s case, conducted further investigation, and determined that federal prosecution of TESLER was appropriate. Negotiations with TESLER and his counsel then led to today’s guilty plea.

The FBI also announced today that it has completed its investigation of the Kathryn Johnston shooting and other misconduct by APD officers. The United States Attorney’s Office has advised that it does not expect to pursue federal criminal charges against other APD officers as a result of the investigation. The FBI will therefore soon be providing a report on the investigation to APD Chief Richard Pennington for consideration of potential administrative discipline or state charges against other APD officers.

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, “The guilty plea today of former Atlanta Police officer Arthur Tesler in federal court concludes a dark chapter in Atlanta law enforcement that was exposed on the night of November 21, 2006 and resulted in the tragic shooting death of Ms. Kathryn Johnston. This has been an extensive and exhaustive effort to gather the true facts of the case and to hold those involved completely accountable. The FBI applauds Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington in providing the FBI the unprecedented access needed in conducting this type of investigation. We will be presenting Chief Pennington with a report of findings in this matter that we feel will help ensure that this tragedy is not repeated.”

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: On November 21, 2006, APD officers JUNNIER, SMITH, and TESLER participated along with other Narcotics Unit officers in the execution of a search warrant at 933 Neal Street. During the execution of the warrant, the 92-year old owner of the home, Kathryn Johnston, who apparently believed her home was being invaded by criminals, fired her revolver once at those entering her home as the front door was being breached. Her shot did not hit anyone. Six officers, including JUNNIER and SMITH, returned fire. Ms. Johnston was hit by multiple shots and killed. JUNNIER and two other officers were injured by police fire and shrapnel.

The FBI investigation revealed that shortly after TESLER transferred to the Narcotics Unit in January 2006, he joined an ongoing conspiracy between JUNNIER and SMITH to violate the civil rights of Atlanta citizens by obtaining search warrants based upon false information.

Among other things, on numerous occasions the conspirators, including TESLER, falsely stated in affidavits for search warrants presented to state magistrate judges: (1) that the conspirator officer had personal knowledge of the information presented, when in fact the warrant was “traded” or “handed off” and used information gathered, or purportedly gathered, by other Narcotics Unit officers; (2) that the conspirator officer was accompanied by a second APD officer while the conspirator directed a confidential reliable informant (CRI) to purchase illegal drugs; and (3) that the conspirator officer had followed proper procedures to corroborate that the CRI had purchased illegal drugs at the particular location to be searched, including falsely swearing that the officer had searched the CRI before and after the CRI purchased illegal drugs and that he personally observed the CRI make the purchase; and (4) that the conspirator officer had conducted surveillance at a location and had personally confirmed (or re-confirmed) drug-dealing activity.

In addition, on more than one occasion, as defendant TESLER was aware from his participation in the conspiracy, co-conspirators made false statements in search-warrant affidavits claiming that CRIs had purchased illegal drugs at the location to be searched, when, in fact, the co-conspirator knew that no such purchase had been made.

JUNNIER, SMITH, TESLER, and other officers would execute the search warrants, and if drugs or other contraband were found, the occupants would be arrested and charged.

The conspirators would falsify other APD documents to be consistent with the false statements used to obtain the unlawful search warrants. The conspirators were well-aware of the danger posed to innocent citizens during the execution of search warrants, because on September 20, 2006, their narcotics team had executed a search warrant (obtained by an officer who was not a co-conspirator) during which an officer on the team almost shot a 79-year old woman who was holding a lifelike toy gun.

In what they called “extra jobs,” JUNNIER, SMITH, and TESLER also provided numerous businesses in Atlanta with “security” or “consulting” services in exchange for weekly cash payments. The services consisted primarily of providing more police presence and response by on-duty APD officers than was received by citizens who did not make such payments.

The conspirators, normally while on-duty, regularly drove by or parked at the paying businesses, often in a marked patrol car and in police clothing; responded to address alleged criminal activity or to drive away unwanted persons from the paying businesses; or arranged for other officers to do so. This arrangement sometimes included providing the businesses with the cell-phone number of a conspirator, which could be called to obtain a police response faster than calling 911 or for matters that otherwise would not receive prompt police attention.

The conspirators would split the cash received, which generally amounted to several hundred dollars a week. The conspirators spent significant time performing these services and collecting payment while on-duty, detracting from time available to perform the work needed to follow the Constitution, laws, and proper police procedures to gather and truthfully present the evidence needed for lawful search warrants.

On the afternoon of November 21, 2006, SMITH, JUNNIER, and TESLER arrested an individual for drug possession. That individual, who was not a confidential and reliable informant, told the officers that he had purchased crack cocaine from a man named “Sam” at a house that he later identified as 933 Neal Street and claimed that he had seen a kilogram of cocaine in that house earlier that day. JUNNIER contacted a CRI to have the CRI attempt to make a purchase from 933 Neal Street, but the CRI did not have transportation.

The officers did nothing else to corroborate or verify the information provided by the drug-dealer they had arrested.

SMITH, JUNNIER, and TESLER then obtained a search warrant for 933 Neal Street after SMITH submitted a sworn affidavit to a magistrate judge falsely stating, among other things, that SMITH and TESLER had directed a CRI make a purchase of cocaine from 933 Neal Street; that the CRI was searched before the purchase; that the CRI purchased $50 of crack cocaine from a man named “Sam”; and that a no knock warrant should be issued because the CRI stated that “Sam” had electronic surveillance equipment in the house, which “Sam” carefully monitored. With JUNNIER and TESLER present, SMITH then briefed the other members of their narcotics team about the substance of the falsified affidavit, including falsely claiming that a controlled buy of drugs had been made at the residence.

At about 6:49 p.m., JUNNIER, SMITH, TESLER, and the other narcotics officers executed the illegal search warrant. As officers rammed open the front door of 933 Neal Street, Kathryn Johnson, an elderly woman who was the owner and only resident of the house, fired a single shot from a revolver through the door, which hit no one. JUNNIER, SMITH, and four other officers returned fire, hitting Ms. Johnston with five or six shots, one of which was fatal. Ballistics and other forensic analysis are unable to establish which of the officers fired the fatal shot or the other shots. Three officers, including JUNNIER, were injured by shots fired by other officers, or resulting shrapnel or debris, but all were released from the hospital by the following morning. TESLER covered the back of the house and did not fire his gun during the execution of the warrant.

No other occupants were found at 933 Neal Street. After the shooting, TESLER saw SMITH with several small bags of marijuana, which SMITH had seized elsewhere earlier that day; SMITH proceeded to plant those drugs in the basement of the house to be found later by other officers; no other illegal drugs were found in the house. That night TESLER filed an APD incident report containing numerous false statements about the events that day, including falsely stating that a purchase of crack cocaine had been made at 933 Neal Street.

On November 22, 2006, SMITH submitted to APD Property two bags containing crack cocaine that falsely indicated the drugs were bought by an informant at 933 Neal Street, and SMITH and TESLER disposed of the remainder of the marijuana from which SMITH had taken the planted marijuana, by throwing it down a sewer drain. SMITH, JUNNIER and TESLER also met repeatedly to fabricate a story that would explain the events leading to the shooting of Kathryn Johnston, and contacted and paid a CRI to corroborate their false story.

After Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington turned the investigation of the Kathryn Johnston case over to the FBI to lead, JUNNIER was interviewed by FBI agents and admitted the facts about the conspiracy rather than giving the false cover story. SMITH and TESLER continued to cover up the conspiracy by lying in their first interviews with federal agents.

(NOTE: Copies of the Plea Agreement and the 10-page Statement of Facts in support of the guilty plea are available upon request.)

Under TESLER’s plea agreement, the parties and the Court agree that the appropriate sentence for TESLER under the advisory federal sentencing guidelines is 121 months (10 years and 1 month), and that is the sentence the Government will request. TESLER may request a lower sentence under the Court’s discretionary authority to vary from the guidelines. The federal sentence will run concurrently with TESLER’s 4 - year state sentence arising from the same criminal conduct. JUNNIER also faces a guidelines sentence of 121 months, and SMITH faces a guidelines sentence of 151 months; those two defendants may, however, receive sentence reductions based on their cooperation with the Government’s investigation.

The federal investigation also led to guilty pleas by former APD Sergeant WILBERT STALLINGS, the supervisor of the Narcotics Unit, on a charge of conspiracy to violate civil rights relating to another illegal search, and former APD Officer DANIEL BETTS, on a charge of extortion under color of official right relating to his being paid to work “extra jobs” while on duty.

Sentencing for TESLER is tentatively scheduled for early 2009 before United States District Judge Julie E. Carnes. An exact date has not been set by the court.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the FBI.

Assistant United States Attorney Jon-Peter Kelly, United States Attorney David E. Nahmias, and Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Special Litigation Counsel Paige M. Fitzgerald are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-me-us), United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the

Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan

MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD

MORE THAN 500 AUTOMOBILE DEALERSHIPS AND NUMEROUS BANKS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES

October 30, 2008

Atlanta, GA - BENJAMIN WADE ELLIOTT, 26, of Winchester, Tennessee, has pleaded

guilty to charges arising out of a conspiracy to defraud more than 500 automobile dealerships and numerous banks throughout the United States.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said of the case, “This defendant, who was in the business of providing direct-mail advertising services to automobile dealerships, stole millions of dollars from his customers by electronically debiting their bank accounts without authorization. This type of criminal activity represents a threat to our banking system, and the people who think they can get away with this type of electronic fraud face the very real possibility of ending up in a federal prison, where there is no parole.”

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and information presented in court: ELLIOTT and co-defendant CONNIE LEE BUCE were indicted by a federal grand jury on August 26, 2008. The indictment alleged that from July 2006 through January 2007, ELLIOTT owned and operated “300 Up Promotions, Inc.,” (300 UP), a Georgia corporation that sold direct-mail advertising services to automobile dealerships. The dealerships paid 300 UP in full, by check, before any advertising services were provided by 300 UP. Although the dealerships did not authorize 300 UP to debit their bank accounts electronically, ELLIOTT and BUCE stole millions of dollars from the dealerships’ bank accounts through the use of Automated Clearing House (”ACH”) debits. Most of the dealerships promptly reviewed their bank statements and notified their banks of the unauthorized ACH debits. As a result, those banks credited the dealerships’ accounts for the unauthorized debits, but the banks were not able to recover the funds from ELLIOTT and BUCE. The loss to the victim lending institutions is estimated at $9 million plus an attempted theft of an additional $21 million.

ELLIOTT pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Sentencing for ELLIOTT has been set for January 20, 2009, at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Russell Phillips is prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-me-us), United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan.

TEN DEFENDANTS SENTENCED IN BLACK MAFIA FAMILY COCAINE DISTRIBUTION CASE

October 30, 2008

Atlanta, GA — A federal judge has sentenced 10 of the 16 defendants indicted for their participation in the cocaine distribution activities of the “Black Mafia Family” (BMF), a violent drug gang that has been the focus of federal prosecution in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Louisville, Orlando, and elsewhere.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “These sentencings help bring to a close the Justice Department’s successful dismantling of the Black Mafia Family, a coast-to-coast drug empire once so brash and powerful that it purchased freeway billboards proclaiming that the world was theirs. Their ‘world’ – one built on illegal drugs and gun violence – has crumbled, thanks to the hard work of many law enforcement agents and prosecutors. Now all that is left for the BMF criminals is prison time.”

SAC Rodney G. Benson of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said, “The government has successfully dismantled a violent and notorious drug trafficking organization. The Black Mafia Family wreaked havoc from coast to coast by distributing cocaine and leaving a destructive path of violence along the way without regard for public safety. Their bold image once propelled them into the media spotlight. Today they are again in the spotlight, this time for the right reason. These defendants are deserving of the sentences that were handed down today. Through the concerted efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts, we were able to successfully investigate, prosecute and remove these violent criminals from the street.”

The defendants sentenced yesterday and today, and their terms of incarceration, are:

•DIONNE E. BEVERLY, 36, of Hurricane, West Virginia, 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•LAMAR K. FIELDS, 40, of Atlanta, 5 years, 10 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•DERON HALL, 32, of St. Louis, Missouri, 7 years, 6 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•VICTOR D. HAMMONDS, 44, of Conyers, Georgia, 4 years in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•BARIMA P. McKNIGHT, 30, of Las Vegas, Nevada, 5 years, 4 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•JAMAL S. MITCHELL, 39, of East Orange, New Jersey, 5 years, 3 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•FRANKLIN D. NASH, 57, of Decatur, Georgia, 6 months to be served in a halfway house; •DERREK Q. PITTS, 34, of East Orange, New Jersey 16 years, 8 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•BRYANT SHAW, 28, of Atlanta 10 years in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release; and

•DARRYL C. TAYLOR, 48, of Rex, Georgia, 7 years, 3 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.

According to Nahmias, court records, and other publicly-available information: The defendants were members or associates of the Black Mafia Family, a nationwide gang that distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine during 2002-2005. Federal authorities first struck a blow against the BMF in October 2005 with multi-defendant cocaine conspiracy indictments returned in Detroit, Louisville, and Orlando. Dozens of other defendants were subsequently arrested as a result of related BMF investigations in Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Greenville, South Carolina. In the Atlanta case, 16 defendants were indicted in July 2007.

The lone Atlanta defendant who went to trial, FLEMING DANIELS, 36, of Roswell, Georgia, was convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. One defendant in the case, VERNON M. COLEMAN a/k/a “Woo,” 32, of the Atlanta area, remains a fugitive.

At its peak during 2003-2004, the BMF was moving hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into Atlanta, Detroit, and other distribution hubs every month. The drugs would arrive in vehicles – often limousines – with secret compartments or “traps.” These same trap vehicles would then be filled with cash (the proceeds from drug sales) to be sent back to the Mexican sources of supply.

Along with these massive amounts of cocaine, the BMF brought violence to the streets of Atlanta. In one incident, Rashannibal Drummond, 23, was beaten, shot and killed in the parking lot of the Midtown club Velvet Room during the early morning hours of July 25, 2004. The murder was the culmination of a one-sided brawl that was alleged to have been precipitated when the unarmed Drummond slapped one of the BMF’s prized luxury vehicles to alert its driver not to back over him. Defendant FLEMING DANIELS has been indicted in Fulton County for that murder.

DEMETRIUS FLENORY and much of the BMF fled Atlanta in late November 2004 after an expensive BMF drug stash house in northwest Atlanta was raided by Atlanta Police and DEA agents. Although no arrests occurred at the unoccupied house, officers discovered three firearms, fictitious identifications, BMF paraphernalia, and marijuana.

They also confiscated two vehicles, including a 2003 Hummer H2 stretch limousine that was suspected to have been used by the BMF as a drug transport vehicle. A search of the limo produced no contraband; the vehicle was later forfeited and sold at public auction.

Subsequently, agents received a tip that the Hummer limousine contained concealed compartments that had not been discovered during the previous search. In August 2008, agents re-located the limousine, which was then in the possession of its fourth innocent owner since its sale by the government in November 2005. With federal search warrant in hand, agents again searched the limousine, finally discovering the compartments, or “traps,” and removing from them seven semi-automatic firearms and nearly $900,000 in cash, believed to be proceeds from one of the BMF’s last major cocaine transactions.

DEMETRIUS FLENORY and his brother and co-leader of the BMF, TERRY LEE FLENORY, 38, were named in the cocaine and money laundering indictment issued in Detroit. Both were convicted and sentenced last month to 30-year prison terms.

This case was investigated by Special Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, assisted by the United States Marshals Service; the Internal Revenue Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force; the Tennessee Department of

Safety; the Atlanta Police Department; the DeKalb County Police Department; and the Henry County Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Cassandra Schansman and Robert McBurney prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at www.justthinktwice.com.

For further information please contact United States Attorney Nahmias, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan.

THREE ATLANTA INDICTMENTS ANNOUNCED

AS PART OF MULTI-STATE “OPERATION PAY CUT” DRUG TAKEDOWN

ICE, IRS, Other Agencies Seize $22 Million in Cash, Hundreds of Kilograms of Drugs, Arrest Dozens in Bust of Mexican Cartel

 

Atlanta, GA - Three federal indictments unsealed yesterday in Atlanta charge a total of 41 defendants on multiple counts relating to a large-scale drug distribution and money laundering scheme operating in the Northern District of Georgia and the Southern District of Texas.

In a news conference at ICE’s Atlanta office announcing the takedown, United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “This is another case of a major cartel-related Mexican organization that processed huge amounts of illegal drugs and money through metro Atlanta to many other parts of the country. During this long-term investigation, we took away from the organization about $22 million dollars in drug money–a record amount for an Atlanta case–and hundreds of kilograms of the organization’s cocaine and marijuana.

We have now indicted dozens of its alleged members, who face long sentences in federal prison.”

Kenneth Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Atlanta said, “Seizures such as this strike at the heart of the criminal organization by targeting the financial gain that enables their criminal enterprises to flourish. This case is significant and highlights the cooperative effort of law enforcement working together under the David G. Wilhelm Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force to dismantle these dangerous organizations.”

IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Reginael D. McDaniel said, “Operation Pay Cut is confirmation that drug trafficking is all about the money. Seizing the dirty cash and the assets of these illegal organizations hits criminals where it hurts the most. It deprives them of their profits.”

According to the three indictments and information presented in court and other public records: This long-term, multi-agency investigation targeted a group of individuals, indicted and un-indicted, who are a part of a cartel-related drug trafficking organization (“DTO”), which is involved in illegal drug trafficking and money laundering in and around Atlanta, Georgia, South Texas, and other areas.

Since November 2006, law enforcement has seized approximately $22 million of drug proceeds, and approximately 223 kilograms of cocaine and more than 16,000 pounds of marijuana. Two auto sales and auto parts businesses, located in Texas, were allegedly used to launder large amounts of cash proceeds from the unlawful drug sales. In one of the seizures, a former Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputy in Texas, EMMANUEL SANCHEZ, was stopped on Interstate 20 in Georgia in a pickup truck hauling heavy equipment. During the traffic stop, conducted by the Georgia State Patrol, the defendant allegedly showed his law enforcement badge to the troopers in an effort to quickly conclude the traffic stop and questioning. Upon further investigation, law enforcement officers found $950,000 in cash hidden in the door and other areas of the truck.

SANCHEZ immediately left his deputy position. In another traffic stop in Georgia, a large truck hauling livestock was pulled over, and defendants JESUS FLORES Sr., and JESUS FLORES Jr., were questioned. After the livestock was off-loaded, law enforcement officers located a hidden compartment under the livestock, and using the traffickers’ complex pulley system under the floor, police found over $13 million in cash in drug proceeds.

Named in the indictments in Atlanta are the following defendants:

GRACIE PRISCILLA MEDINA, a/k/a “Priscilla Rodriguez,” “Priscilla Garza,”and “Angie Garza,” 25, of Brownsville, Texas;

DANIEL MARILLO, 37, of Brownsville, Texas;

SALVADOR MARILLO, 42, of Cornelia, Georgia;

WALTER SANDERS, Jr., age and address unknown;

DIMAS GONZALEZ a/k/a “El Guerro,” age unknown, of Reynosa, Mexico;

GUSTAVO LOPEZ a/k/a “El Licendiado,” “Tavo,” 35, of Palmview, Texas;

LUIS MIGUEL, 31, of McAllen, Texas;

MARCO ANTONIO GAMBOA a/k/a “El Tigre,” 29, of Pharr, Texas;

GILBERTO ALMANZA a/k/a “El Comandante,” 44, of Lithonia, Georgia;

FNU LNU #1 a/k/a “Boni,” age and address unknown;

JUAN RODRIGUEZ a/k/a “Chayane,” 35, of Atlanta, Georgia;

FNU LNU #2 a/k/a “Gordo,” age and address unknown;

FNU LNU #3 a/k/a “Manas,”and “Eric Ortuno,” age and address unknown;

MARIA CANTU, 22, of Hidalgo, Texas;

MARIA FELIX, age and address unknown;

ZULEY SANCHEZ, age and address unknown;

ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ, age and address unknown;

ROBERTO CIRIACIO, 39, of Lawrenceville, Georgia;

JUAN MANUEL QUESADA a/k/a “Meme,” 40, of Brownsville, Texas;

BRENDA ORTUNO, age and address unknown;

LUZ MARINA, 39, of Auburn, Georgia;

NATALIA BEDOYA, 23, of Lawrenceville, Georgia;

FNU LNU #4 a/k/a “Cejas,” age and address unknown;

FNU LNU #5 a/k/a “Flaco,” age and address unknown;

FNU LNU #6 a/k/a “Trino,” age and address unknown;

FNU LNU #7 a/k/a “Etc,” age and address unknown;

FNU LNU #8 a/k/a “797,” age and address unknown;

FNU LNU #9 a/k/a “Fernando,” age and address unknown;

FNU LNU #10 a/k/a “Lucas,” 40, of Atlanta, Georgia;

EMMANUEL SANCHEZ a/k/a “E. Manuel Sanchez,” “Manuel E. Sanchez,”and “Sheriff,” 48, of Mission, Texas;

FNU LNU #11 a/k/a “Arturo,” age and address unknown;

JAIME GRANILLO, age and address unknown;

JESUS FLORES, Sr., 55, of Mercedes, Texas;

JESUS FLORES, Jr., 28, of Mercedes, Texas;

MIGUEL ANGEL TAPIA, age and address unknown;

FNU LNU #12 a/k/a “TERRY,” age and address unknown;

CHURROT RAMON HERNANDEZ, age and address unknown;

ATANACIO MORALES, age and address unknown;

ROBERTO NOE GARCIA a/k/a “Roberto Robles,” 38, of Lawrenceville, Georgia;

JACK PADILLA, 31, of Brownsville, Texas; and

JUAN PEREZ ANGUIANO, Sr. 59, of Robstown, Texas.

The indictment also contains a provision seeking the forfeiture to the United States of all ill-gotten gains from the drug and money laundering scheme, including properties, currency, bank accounts and a vehicle:

Properties:

1112 Tupelo Chase Court, Auburn, Georgia;

2228 Captain Basler Ave., Brownsville, Texas;

7000 and 7010 El Lucero Lane, Palmview, Texas;

2524 Camellia Ave., McAllen, Texas;

2900-2902 E. U.S. Highway 281, Hidalgo, Texas;

927 W Expressway 83, Donna, Texas;

1807 W. Griffin Parkway Ave., Mission, Texas;

7015 E. 14th Street, Brownsville, Texas;

1807 Gladiola Drive, Mission, Texas;

S FM 1015, Lot 7 & S 25′ - Lot 8, Progresso, Texas; and

3917 Nightingale Ave., McAllen, Texas.

Cash Seizures:

Approximately $11,990 in United States currency seized from JUAN MANUEL QUESADA on or about January 13, 2007;

Approximately $950,455 in United States currency seized from EMMANUEL SANCHEZ on or about January 6, 2007;

Approximately $5,369,270 in United States currency seized from JAIME GRANILLO on or about April 22, 2007;

Approximately $13,694,995 in United States currency seized from JESUS FLORES SR. and JESUS FLORES JR on or about June 3, 3007; and

Approximately $1,874,870 in United States currency seized from MIGUEL ANGEL TAPIA on or about October 10, 2007.

Bank Accounts:

Five accounts of “GLG Enterprises,” GUSTAVO LOPEZ, at Rio Bank;

Four accounts of GUSTAVO LOPEZ, at Texas State Bank;

One account of GUSTAVO LOPEZ and an un-indicted person at Bank of America;

One account of an un-indicted person at Bank of America;

One account of GILBERTO ALMANZA at North Dallas Bank

& Trust Company;

One account of GILBERTO ALMANZA and an un-indicted person at

Bank of America;

One account of EMMANUEL SANCHEZ at International Bank of Commerce;

One account of two un-indicted persons at Bank of America;

One account of an un-indicted person Chapa at Bank of America;

One account of GRACIE PRISCILLA MEDINA at Bank of America; and

One account of GRACIE PRISCILLA MEDINA at Wachovia Bank.

Vehicle

A 1999 Chevrolet C3500 pickup truck, VIN No. 1GBGC34R1XF051115, seized on April 22, 2007.

The penalties for the drug charges are a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years in prison to life in prison, and the money laundering charges range up to 20 years in prison.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at www.justthinktwice.com.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of ICE and IRS-Criminal Investigation, along with the FBI, DEA, ATF, United States Marshal’s Service, Atlanta Police Department, Georgia State Patrol Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, DeKalb County Police Department, Coweta Sheriff’s Office, Kennesaw Police Department, Newnan Police Department, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Clayton County Police Department, and the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit (MCS).

Assistance in this case has been provided by the United States Attorney’s Offices of the Southern District of Texas, and the Northern District of Texas, and the District Attorney’s Offices of Fulton County, DeKalb County, and the Conasauga Judicial Circuit, Dalton, Georgia.

Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa W. Tarvin, Bret R. Williams and Jeffrey Viscomi are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-me-us), United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan


Comments (2)

The BMF story is a real eye opener, isn’t it? I got a kick out of the bit about the Hummer. Several innocent owners, driving around with $900,000 in cash and semi-automatic weapons. The dealers must have thought the money was found in the first search. LOL. That is a lot of money, by anyones standards. That must have hurt.

Dear Room4,

I used to see Hummers as Government sturdiness. Now, it seems like every gangster drives a hummer or an escalade. then, a few weeks ago, the daughter of a friend of mine had an altercation with a deer on a dark road. The Hummer’s airbag DID NOT DEPLOY!

She has a broken hand, and a servely broken nose.

So now when I see a HUmmer, I think “Drug Dealer” and then immediately think, “UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!

tw

ROOM4ONEMORE
October 30th, 2008 at 6:39 pm

I’m curious as to what these officers will get in this case. Almost every case like this I see or hear of I think back to Lorraine Lemming who was sentenced to 90 years in prison for pointing a shotgun at some people even though it wasn’t even loaded. I would like to hear more about that case.

meanman

Dear Meanman -

I love that screenname, LOL!

Well, I will try to keep tabs.

hmmmmm.

tw

meanman
November 22nd, 2008 at 2:04 am

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Details about the post you're currently reading:

  • Title: THIRD ATLANTA POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO CIVIL RIGHTS CONSPIRACY RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF 92-YEAR OLD WOMAN
  • Written on: October 30th, 2008
  • 2 comments
  • 3 trackbacks
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