#AceNewsReport – Apr.13: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Houston, Texas, conducted the joint investigation along with the FBI and Houston Police Department:
7th member of MS-13 criminal enterprise indicted for murder: ‘Carlos Elias Henriquez-Torres, a 20-year-old Salvadoran national who illegally resided in Houston, was indicted on March 31, for conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering. He is scheduled to appear in the Southern District of Texas at 2 p.m. on April 9, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Edison. Henriquez-Torres was previously in state custody on related charges’
Previously indicted for conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering in connection with the same 2018 murder were Salvadoran nationals Wilson Jose Venture-Mejia, 24, Jimmy Villalobos-Gomez, 24, Angel Miguel Aguilar-Ochoa, 35, Walter Antonio Chicas-Garcia, 24 and Marlon Miranda-Moran, 21. Villalobos-Gomez is a lawful permanent resident in the U.S., but the remaining men unlawfully resided in Houston. The charges against all five of these individuals remain pending.
Also named in the indictment is Franklin Trejo-Chavarria, 23, who is currently in custody in El Salvador.
The indictment alleges that they beat the victim to death with machetes in 2018 to further their positions in the MS-13 criminal enterprise. If convicted, they face a potential death sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Britni Cooper and John Michael Lewis are prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorneys Julie A. Finocchiaro, Gerald Collins and Matthew Hoff from the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.10: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers removed a convicted rapist and public safety threat, with multiple sexual assault convictions in Oregon, from the United States to Mexico, Tuesday:
ICE removes convicted rapist from US to Mexico: ‘Juan Cortez-Magdaleno, 53, is a Mexican citizen who was granted legal status in the United States in 1991. On Nov. 10, 2004, Cortez-Magdaleno, came to the attention of ERO officers following convictions for two counts of rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree, for which he was sentenced to 405 months in prison. ERO officers lodged an immigration detainer with the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) the same day’
ICE lodges immigration detainers on individuals, like Cortez-Magdaleno, who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being removable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local custody.
“The immigration detainer allows ICE to take custody of individuals who are deemed public safety threats, like Cortez-Magdaleno, versus releasing them to the streets where they could potentially prey on additional children, said ICE’s acting Seattle Field Office Director Michael Melendez.”
On March 1, 2021, the Oregon DOC transferred Cortez-Magdaleno to ICE custody and on March 31, an immigration judge ordered Cortez-Magdaleno removed to Mexico.
On April 6, Cortez-Magdaleno was removed from the United States via an ICE Air Operations charter flight and transferred to the custody of Mexican authorities.
ICE is now implementing the interim civil immigration enforcement priorities directed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to focus its limited resources on threats to national security, border security and public safety. ICE continues to carry out its duty to enforce the laws of the United States in accordance with the Department’s national security and public safety mission.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.07: Officers and undercover detectives placed ads on websites commonly sought out by individuals seeking to engage in illegal sex acts: HSI Phoenix and the Mesa Police Department routinely join forces to conduct enforcement actions in a continuous effort to reduce the demand that fuels child and human sex trafficking from our community:
‘Operation Leather Mitt targeted the demand for child sex crimes and human trafficking in the area’
‘The suspects solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts with children, and were subsequently arrested and charged with crimes ranging from money laundering and luring to attempted sex conduct with a minor and child sex trafficking’
The suspects arrested in this operation ranged in age from 21 to 56 years. Their names and charges are as follows:
Jonathan Techur — child sex trafficking; attempted sex conduct with a minor; money laundering
Douglas Klingenberg — luring, attempted sexual conduct with a minor
Julio Miranda Arana — child sex trafficking; attempted sex conduct with a minor; money laundering
Zachary Babbitt — luring; attempted sexual conduct with a minor
Ricky Hrubienski — child sex trafficking; attempted sex conduct with a minor; money laundering
Shane Blanton — child sex trafficking; attempted sex conduct with a minor; money laundering
Like all defendants, those accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
HSI is a directorate and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.03: A U.S.-Canada task force dedicated to disrupting and dismantling the illegal movement of firearms, ammunition, and explosive weapons across the U.S.-Canadian border was announced today by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in another step forward to address gun smuggling and trafficking:
US, Canada establish cross-border task force to disrupt gun smuggling and trafficking: ‘The new task force will ensure that law enforcement partners on both sides of the border benefit from shared intelligence and information so that they can detect and intercept the illegal movement of firearms at the border, while ensuring the legal movement of goods and services remains uninterrupted’
The U.S. and Canada partnering agencies include HSI, CBSA, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and various U.S. and Canadian police forces.
“As the primary federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating international smuggling operations, we have full confidence in our ability to identify and prosecute criminal networks and individuals attempting to break these laws,” said HSI Ottawa Attaché Michael Buckley. “Through our strong partnership with Canada and our partnering law enforcement agencies, we will work to prevent the illegal export weapons and ensure they do not end up on the streets where they can be used to commit acts of violence.”
HSI is the primary federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating international smuggling operations and enforcing U.S. export laws. The investigative strategy includes the identification and prosecution of criminal networks and individuals responsible for the acquisition and movement of firearms and other dangerous weapons from the United States, as well as the seizure and forfeiture of money and valuable property derived from or used to facilitate this criminal activity.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s mission is to investigate, disrupt and dismantle terrorist, transnational and other criminal organizations that threaten or seek to exploit the customs and immigration laws of the United States.
HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.02: Noe Garza, 46, from Edinburg, Texas, was sentenced March 24 in U.S. district court to 63 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Garza pleaded guilty Nov. 2, 2020:
HSI Laredo probe results in more than 5-year sentence of convicted felon for harboring noncitizens, possessing firearm: ‘Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case in coordination with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Edinburg Police Department’
At the hearing, the court heard additional information related to his criminal record to include prior convictions for aggravated assault and aggravated robbery. The judge noted Garza had been breaking the law since he was 17. She added that she was particularly troubled Garza committed these crimes while having a pending human smuggling case from 2016 for which he failed to appear for sentencing.
“HSI works closely with its law enforcement partners in pursuit of identifying, arresting and bringing to justice individuals culpable of human smuggling,” said Timothy Tubbs, deputy special agent in charge of HSI Laredo. “We will continue to utilize our broad authorities to target those believed to engage in such crimes and who place personal profit ahead of public safety.”
According to court documents, on Feb. 28, 2020, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on Garza, but he fled the scene. Authorities soon apprehended him, at which time he admitted to being the caretaker of a stash house in Edinburg and helping coordinate transportation of illegal aliens farther north. A search of the residence revealed five noncitizens and two firearms. Law enforcement also found an additional firearm in the area of the traffic stop. Garza took ownership of all three firearms.
As a previously convicted felon, federal law prohibits Garza from possessing firearms or ammunition.
Garza will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility at a later date.
Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Alexis Garcia, with the Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.02: The acting U.S. attorney for the middle district of Tennessee made the announcement March 31 in Nashville:
Multi-year investigation by HSI results in federal indictments for 27 individuals: ‘In total, 37 individuals have been charged in the large-scale conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine that began as early as 2018 and was orchestrated from within the Tennessee state prison system………….Other charges resulting from the investigation include kidnapping, money laundering, making threats by electronic communication, and firearms violations’
“HSI agents worked in collaboration with the numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies involved in this multi-year OCDETF investigation, to bring federal charges against individuals alleged to have ties to MS-13, Sur-13 and other street gangs,” said Jerry C Templet, Jr. special agent in charge, HSI Nashville. “This conspiracy, which was orchestrated by an inmate within the state of Tennessee prison system, involved the large-scale distribution of heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine, all dangerous drugs that threaten the safety of our communities. The organization was also alleged to have participated in numerous other violent crimes.”
This ongoing multi-year Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation is the outcome of a previous request by the Tennessee Department of Correction for federal law enforcement assistance to address criminal activity occurring within their system. The numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies involved include: Homeland Security Investigations; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; IRS Criminal Investigations; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; FBI; TDOC-Office of Investigations & Compliance; and others.
The alleged leader of the organization, Humberto Morales, aka Pelon, 29, of Columbia, Tennessee, has been incarcerated since 2014. Morales routinely obtained contraband cell phones smuggled into the prison facilities where he was housed, which he used, along with encrypted communication services such as WhatsApp, to orchestrate activities of the drug distribution network, order acts of violence against individuals, and direct the flow of cash from drug sales between middle Tennessee and Mexico. Drug proceeds were also used to pay co-conspirators, pay drug shipment expenses, bail and legal services, and purchase firearms.
The resulting indictments and other court documents allege that the organization had ties to MS-13, Sur-13, and other street gangs and distributed tens of thousands of fentanyl-laced pills; multiple kilograms of fentanyl and heroin; over 50 pounds of methamphetamine, which was often 95-99 percent pure (commonly referred to as “ice”); as well as smaller quantities of cocaine and marijuana. It also alleges that this well-orchestrated conspiracy is linked to at least one murder, horrific assaults, and multiple other crimes of violence.
Notable acts of violence associated with the conspiracy include the severing of a woman’s hand in November 2019 as punishment for losing drug proceeds. During this incident, the woman was kidnapped, driven around Nashville, and then a hatchet was used to chop off one of her hands, before leaving her lying on the street. This incident was recorded on video and sent via encrypted communication on a cell phone. Another incident involved a hitman for the organization who, at the direction of Morales, cut off part of his own pinky finger to prove his continued loyalty to the organization after he lost or stole a small quantity of drugs.
The indictment also charges Morales and Kim Birdsong, 49, of Nashville, with using facilities of interstate commerce (cellular telephones and encrypted messaging services) in an effort to murder a person known as “Pancho”/”Mekaniko,” and that cash, drugs, and the cancellation of a pre-existing drug-related debt were to be provided as payment for that murder. In April 2019, that person was shot multiple times in Nashville, but survived.
Many of the defendants were charged by criminal complaint as the investigation progressed and have been in custody awaiting indictment. Others were arrested Friday and are currently in federal custody. Two others are fugitives, including Morales’ girlfriend, Erika Vasquez, 32, aka Chula, of Memphis and Columbia, Tenn., and Magdiel Pina Ramirez, aka Big Show, 28, of Mexico. Ramirez is the person described above who served as a hitman in Mexico and cut off part of his own finger. Both are currently believed to be in Mexico.
In addition to those previously mentioned, others charged in this investigation include Tennessee residents: Jose Juan Alvarado, 44, of Nashville; Oscar Avelar Anguiano, aka Chucky, 33, of Nashville; Grecia Barrios, 33, of Nashville; Kim Lamont Birdsong, aka Bird, 49, of Nashville; Jennifer Cano, 33, of Nashville; Ricardo Davalos-Martinez, 28, of Nashville; Mario Garcia Flores, aka Christhian Colmenares-Ruiz, 33, of Nashville; Jonhy Fernando Jimenez, 38, of Nashville; Antonio Sanchez-Lopez, 23, of Nashville; Jennifer Montejo, 33, of Nashville; Korrine Parker, 43, of Nashville, Tenn; Luis Ramirez Escudero, 27, of Nashville; Phillip Christopher Smith, aka Felipe, 41, of Nashville; Sinquan D. Smith, 27, of Nashville; Avigael Cruz, aka Traviesio, 29, of Smyrna; Billy Cruz, aka Pee Wee 26, of Smyrna; Kevin Oliva-Hernandez, 31, of Smyrna; Jairo Rostran, aka Poffi, 28, of Smyrna; Rico Gross, 38, of Goodlettesville; Armando Lopez, aka Mando, 40, of Goodlettesville; Jesse Sanchez, aka Papi, aka Bori, 31, of Goodlettsville; Jacob Lee, aka Grenas, 25, of Manchester; Justin Blake Lee, aka Chino, 26, of Manchester; Jasmine Tayor, 26, of Manchester; Kevin Tidwell, aka Miklo, 27, of Ashland City; Melinda Tidwell, of Ashland City; Terrance Marquette Bobo, 28, of Memphis; Pearline Neal, 31, of Gallatin; Austin Dodd, 25, aka Chucky, of Chapmansboro; Tiffany Messick, 27, of Shelbyville; and Stacy Owens, 31, of Decaturville. Arizona resident Zenaida Cano, 42, of Phoenix; California resident David Ku, 45, of Inglewood; and Gerson Jimenez-Garcia, 38, of Honduras were also charged.
Jennifer Montejo, who was charged in the conspiracy in December 2019 and pleaded guilty in November 2020, was sentenced on Friday to 25 years in prison. She was arrested at a Nashville bus station as she returned from traveling to Los Angeles days earlier. At the time of her arrest, four kilograms of fentanyl and a kilogram of heroin were found in her luggage.
Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart praised the tremendous efforts of the law enforcement agencies involved in this extensive investigation and noted the unparalleled cooperation between the agencies and the significant resources contributed by TDOC and its desire to reduce criminal activity by its inmates.
If convicted, most defendants face a minimum of 10 years in prison and many face up to life in prison.
All defendants not previously convicted are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.27: With criminal groups producing, distributing and selling fake vaccines, the risks to the public are clear: these can include buying a product which not only does not protect against #COVID19, but poses a serious health hazard if ingested or injected. Such products are not tested, regulated or safety-checked:
Legitimate vaccines are not for sale. They are strictly administered and distributed by national healthcare regulators.“Counterfeit vaccines threaten the health of consumers who are duped by nefarious actors seeking to exploit the pandemic situation for financial gain. HSI and its law enforcement partners will vigorously investigate and seek prosecution for criminals taking advantage of the public’s quest for COVID-19 vaccinations and those who endanger the lives of the very people the vaccines are intended to protect,” said HSI Assistant Director, and Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, Steve Francis.
Anyone buying these products online also runs the risk of potentially giving their money to organized criminals.
“From the very beginning of the pandemic, criminals have preyed on people’s fears in order to make fast cash. Fake vaccines are the latest in these scams, which is why INTERPOL and HSI are warning the public to be extra vigilant,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock. “Anyone ordering a vaccine online rather than obtaining it from their national provider, will be buying a fake product.”
“The networks behind these crimes have global ambitions. No country or region can fight this type of crime alone. INTERPOL is assisting law enforcement around the world to both identify criminal networks and to dismantle them,” added Secretary General Stock.
Following a global alert issued by INTERPOL in late 2020 the world police body recently announced the first internationally linked arrests and seizures in connection with fake vaccines after criminal networks were disrupted in China and South Africa.
INTERPOL has also been receiving additional information on fake vaccine distribution and scam attempts targeting health bodies, including nursing homes.
“HSI will continue to work with INTERPOL to coordinate investigations targeting every level of the transnational criminal organizations trafficking in counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines,” added Francis.
An emerging trend has seen cybercriminals set up illicit websites claiming to be legitimate national and/or world organizations offering pre-orders for vaccines against the COVID-19 virus. These websites offer payments in bitcoins and other payment processing methods.
Using trademark logos of major pharmaceutical companies producing approved COVID-19 vaccines, the fake websites are suspected of being used to conduct phishing attacks and/or dupe victims into giving charitable donations.
In addition to opening up their computer to cyberattacks when attempting to purchase alleged COVID-19 vaccines online, people also run the risk of having their identity stolen.
In December 2020, HSI seized two websites purporting to be those of biotechnology companies developing treatments for the COVID-19 virus. Instead they appeared to have been used to collect the personal information of individuals visiting the sites, in order to use the information for criminal purposes, including fraud, phishing attacks, and/or deployment of malware.
Ransomware attacks have also been conducted against hospitals, laboratories, local governments and other targets, remotely blocking computer systems and demanding a payment to release them.
Given the need for a global response against these types of cyber-enabled fraud and financial crime, INTERPOL created the Global Financial Crime Task Force (IGFCTF) in 2020 with member countries in order to enhance international cooperation and innovation with public and private sector partners.
To report suspected illicit criminal activity or fraudulent schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, email Covid19Fraud@dhs.gov.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.20: Wounded, ill or injured veterans are being trained and hired as computer forensic analysts to assist HSI in those investigations through the HERO Corps Program:
HSI HERO Corps Program: Hiring veterans to assist in investigations: ‘The HERO, or Human Exploitation Rescue Operative corps is an annual initiative managed by the HSI Cyber Crimes Center in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT). Wounded vets and transitioning service members can apply through April 9 for the HERO Corps Program internship for fiscal year 2021’
Wounded, ill or injured vets can help rescue victims of child sexual exploitation
HERO interns work in support roles with HSI special agents to help rescue victims, prosecute predators and prevent crimes of child sexual exploitation. The paid federal program enlists veterans to train and work as computer forensic analysts on child exploitation investigations.
“The HERO Corps represents a unique opportunity for America’s veterans to continue their life of service by contributing to HSI’s critical mission of protecting our nation’s children,” said HSI Cyber Crime Center Deputy Assistant Director Stephanie L. Hampton. “The mission focused skillsets veterans bring from military service are particularly suited to HSI’s fight against child exploitation and are an invaluable asset for our agency.”
The intent of the internship program is to recruit, train and potentially hire qualified candidates to full-time permanent positions as computer forensic analysts assisting special agents in locations around the country. However, full-time employment is not guaranteed.
Interested applicants must go to ice.gov/hero to apply. The website also provides information on eligibility requirements, training, benefits, potential job locations, a timeline of events and frequently asked questions.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.19: HSI, in coordination with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP,) are investigating this case. On March 17, Sebastian Tovar, 24, from Austin appeared in federal court and was charged for his role in a conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants resulting in death.
Austin man charged in connection to the deaths of 8 undocumented immigrants: ‘According to court documents, the federal criminal complaint alleges that on Monday, Tovar was traveling in a maroon pickup truck on FM 2523 near Del Rio when a DPS trooper attempted to stop him for speeding. Tovar failed to stop, and a pursuit ensued. Tovar led the trooper on a chase for approximately 50 miles, at times reaching speeds over 100 miles per hour. Traveling north into the southbound lane on Highway 277, Tovar collided with another vehicle head-on, resulting in the death of eight undocumented immigrants that had been in Tovar’s pickup truck’
The driver and passenger of the vehicle which Tovar collided are hospitalized and in stable condition. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that following the crash, CBP agents on the scene encountered a beige pickup truck stopped in traffic on Highway 277 near the crash site. While agents were directing traffic, multiple occupants jumped out of the beige pickup and fled the scene. Agents subsequently apprehended twelve immigrants who fled that truck. Two of the immigrants both Mexican citizens, confirmed they were part of a failed human smuggling attempt in which the group illegally crossed into the U.S. and were divided between the maroon and beige pickup trucks for transport purposes. Tovar, who remains in federal custody, faces up to life in federal prison upon conviction.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Banister, Western District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.
A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.17: The Departments investigated multiple public claims that one or more foreign governments owned, directed, or controlled election infrastructure used in the 2020 federal elections; implemented a scheme to manipulate election infrastructure; or tallied, changed, or otherwise manipulated vote counts. The Departments found that those claims were not credible.
No Evidence Found that a Foreign Government Manipulated Any Election Results
Last Published Date: March 16, 2021:
These conclusions are part of a classified report to the President prepared by DOJ and DHS pursuant to section 1(b) of Executive Order 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Influence in a United States Election (the EO), issued on Sept. 12, 2018. Although the 1(b) report notes that Russian, Chinese, and Iranian government-affiliated actors materially impacted the security of certain networks during the 2020 federal elections, the Departments found no evidence that any foreign government-affiliated actor manipulated election results or otherwise compromised the integrity of the 2020 federal elections.
The 1(b) report relied on a classified assessment — prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), pursuant to section 1(a) of the EO, about any information indicating that a foreign government acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in the 2020 U.S. federal elections. Whereas the 1(a) report discusses efforts to influence public perceptions and opinion, the scope of the 1(b) report only includes efforts to compromise the security or integrity of election infrastructure or infrastructure pertaining to political organizations, candidates, or campaigns used in the 2020 U.S. federal elections. The 1(b) report does not discuss efforts to sway voters or influence opinion.
During the 2020 election cycle, federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, non-governmental, and private sector partners nationwide worked together in unprecedented ways to combat foreign interference efforts and support election officials, political organizations, campaigns, and candidates in safeguarding their infrastructure. The Departments remain committed to continuously strengthening the nation’s cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, supply chain risk management, public-private partnerships, and public messaging to enhance the resiliency of our democratic institutions.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.11: The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Human Trafficking Unit, Tennessee Human Trafficking Task Force, Obion County Sheriff’s Office, Union City Police Department and the 27th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office.
‘ICE Joint human trafficking operation results in 5 arrests of traffickers use diverse forms of force, fraud and coercion to control and exploit their victims,” said HSI Nashville Special Agent in Charge Jerry C. Templet, Jr. “Early recognition of human trafficking can help save victims’ lives’
Our agents work with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate human trafficking cases, assist the victims and arrest the perpetrators: As a result of our efforts, human trafficking arrests for HSI Nashville, which covers the entire states of Tennessee and Kentucky, increased approximately 23% for fiscal year 2020 from the previous year.”
The five men were booked into the Obion County Jail in Union City on state charges, where a $10,000 bond was set for each. They are:
Lewis R. Harris, 52, of Memphis, Tennessee, charged with two counts of trafficking for commercial sex act and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor;
Kevin L. Jackson, 31, of Paducah, Kentucky, charged with two counts of trafficking for commercial sex act;
Abraham M. Labastida, 28, of Murray, Kentucky, charged with two counts of trafficking for commercial sex act;
Shannon L. Palmer, 44, of Union City, Tennessee, charged with two counts of trafficking for commercial sex act; and
Eddie R. Robbins, 54, of Paris, Tennessee, charged with two counts of trafficking for commercial sex act, introduction of contraband into a penal institution and possession with the intent to manufacture, deliver or sell a schedule VI drug.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.05: “ While this joint operation lasted approximately 30 days, HSI Dallas will continue working relentlessly to identify & recover missing children who become vulnerable to human traffickers across the North Texas region,” said HSI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin. “Our continued collaboration with our local, state and federal law-enforcement partners and non-governmental organizations is vital to combatting this global epidemic.”
North Texas Trafficking Task Force recovers 31 missing children: ‘In early February, the HSI led NTTTF supported by the United States Marshals Service (USMS) for the Northern District of Texas (NDTX) conducted a joint law-enforcement operation to locate the missing children reported through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database and law enforcement partners’
During the month-long operation, NTTTF analysts and special agents discovered that six of the missing children were considered high risk of being sex trafficked, five were runaways located away from their primary residence. The remaining 20 children were returned home or to their juvenile facility of record.
The NTTTF is an HSI Dallas and Northern District of Texas Attorney’s Office-led task force, created to combat human trafficking and rescue trafficking victims. The NTTTF, with assistance from the HSI Dallas Victim Coordinator and DFW area non-government organizations (NGO), assists in rescuing trafficking victims, ensuring their safety by using a victim-centered approach that focuses on the victim’s wellbeing, health and delivery of social services.
The NTTTF provided substantial support and assistance through intelligence analysis and investigative activity, leading to the recovery of all the minors reported missing.
Multiple organizations were comprised of the multi-agency operation to include: The Arlington Police Department, Colleyville Police Department, Dallas Police Department, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Worth Police Department, Grand Prairie Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is one of the top five locations across the nation for criminal arrests for Human Trafficking, validating the priority and urgency in locating the missing children.
HSI Dallas and the NTTTF partners assisted in providing social services to the recovered children, placing special emphasis on those most vulnerable to sex trafficking.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s human trafficking and child exploitation investigations programs are central components of this mission set. HSI is recognized as a global leader in these investigative disciplines, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify and apprehend offenders, prevent human trafficking, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.