(SAVANNAH, Ga.) District Court Report: A member of a violent Chicago street gang, two Ghost Face Gangsters and a conduit for Mexican drug cartels have been sentenced to decades in federal prison for their roles in a major drug trafficking conspiracy that funneled large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs into coastal and South Georgia #AceNewsDesk report

#AceDailyNews reports that violent gang members of a cartel conduit have been sentenced to prison for their roles in major drug trafficking conspiracy: Leroy Bozarth, a/k/a “Jack Turtlehead,” 38, of Springfield, Ill., was sentenced to 235 months in prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker also ordered Bozarth to serve three years of supervised release after completion of his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

ATFE

“Making our communities safer means removing the violent criminals who endanger our neighborhoods, especially those affiliated with street gangs,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “As an enforcer for such a gang, Leroy Bozarth used violence, fear and intimidation as tools of his drug trade. Our streets will be safer with him and his co-conspirators behind bars.”

Bozarth was one of 35 defendants indicted as part of Operation Stranded Bandit, as described in the indictment unsealed in December 2020 in USA v. Baker et al. Other key figures sentenced in U.S. District Court include:

  • Dustin Lax, a/k/a “Wing Nut,” a/k/a “Tyrone White,” 45, of Garden City, Ga., sentenced to 188 months in federal prison and ordered to serve three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and To Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine. Lax, a captain in the violent, white supremacist Ghost Face Gangsters criminal street gang, has 34 prior felony convictions and currently faces state charges related to a murder during a home invasion, and an aggravated assault case in which he is accused of dragging a woman from a car so his partner could shoot her in the back.
  • Victor Lopez-Blanco, a/k/a “Victoriano,” 51, of Jonesboro, Ga., sentenced to 292 months in prison and ordered to serve five years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine. Lopez-Blanco, a resident of Mexico and illegal alien who first entered the United States in 2003, served as a conduit for methamphetamine shipped from violent Mexican cartels through the Atlanta area and into Savannah.
  • Heather Sloan, a/k/a “Penny,” a/k/a “Honey,” 35, of East Dublin, Ga., sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to serve five years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 5 Grams or More of Methamphetamine. Sloan, an affiliate of the Ghost Face Gangsters, facilitated meth distribution throughout middle and coastal Georgia.

The investigation and indictments grew from other major gang-related drug trafficking prosecutions in Operation Vanilla Gorilla and Operation Who’s Laughing Now. The investigations and prosecutions, under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, targeted widespread, gang-related drug trafficking organizations in the Southern District and beyond.

An occasional resident of Port Wentworth, Ga., Bozarth is a previously convicted felon with decades-long criminal history that started when he sold crack cocaine as a pre-teen. As a member and “muscle” for the Almighty Simon City Royals – a violent Chicago street gang – Bozarth was part of a conspiracy that transported illegal drugs into the Southern District from Mexico and Atlanta, aided by multiple criminal street gangs including the Ghost Face Gangsters, La Raza/SUR 13, Bloods, Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, and Aryan Brotherhood.

The conspirators operated inside and outside Georgia’s prison system, using drones and other means to smuggle cell phones into prisons so that incarcerated conspirators could continue to coordinate the trafficking operations from Mexico to Georgia. 

Of the 35 defendants charged in Operation Stranded Bandit, at least 24 have entered guilty pleas with many of them sentenced, while seven are awaiting trail and are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

“ATF will continue to dedicate federal resources in conjunction with those crucial law enforcement contributions of other federal, state and local agencies to the pursuit of eradicating and forestalling criminal gang activity,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“This notorious drug trafficking organization distributed poison (methamphetamine) to the coastal and south Georgia community while causing fear through means of violence and intimidation,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Atlanta Field Division. “Through law enforcement partnerships, these defendants will spend well-deserved time in prison.”

“Illegal drugs and criminal street gangs have no place in Georgia. These defendants have been threatening the safety of communities for years,” said Vic Reynolds, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). “We will continue to work diligently along with our local and federal partners to investigate and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.”

The case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

The case is being investigated by agencies including the ATF, DEA, GBI, and the Savannah-Chatham Counter Narcotics Team, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys E. Greg Gilluly Jr. and Jennifer J. Kirkland.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Sept.12: 2021:

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#drug-cartels, #georgia-court-report, #ocdetf

(SEATTLE) DEA REPORT: Career Criminal & Leader of a Drug Distribution Network Sentenced to 13yrs in Prison #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.28: The case stemmed from a 6-month investigation in 2017 by the Seattle Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration, of significant drug trafficking in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly ordered McKnight to also pay a $36,000 fine and serve five years of supervised release following prison.

#AceDailyNews reports that 51-year-old Seattle man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 13 years in prison for drug and gun crimes. Clyde McKnight was convicted May 21, 2021, of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, and two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms, following a 5-day jury trial. This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF….

“This defendant was a significant drug dealer in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, spreading addiction, despair, and potentially deadly fentanyl throughout our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman. “He has been involved with crime for decades, and did significant state prison time for attempted murder.  This federal sentence is necessary to protect the public from the defendant’s callous disregard for community safety.”

According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, Clyde McKnight was arrested outside a Portland, Oregon motel in January 2018.  The arrest followed the seizure of 2.6 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 kilograms of heroin, 607 grams of crack cocaine, 42 grams of methamphetamine and 180 grams of fentanyl from McKnight’s vehicle in Seattle.  At the time of his arrest, McKnight had $36,000 and a handgun with him.   

McKnight had been observed by law enforcement using a Chrysler 300 sedan as a storage location for drugs – crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.  McKnight parked the vehicle in various locations in the Mount Baker neighborhood.  On the night of January 2, 2018, the Seattle Police Department impounded the car and obtained a search warrant.  In the early morning of January 3, 2018, McKnight made numerous panicked calls to 9-1-1 to report the vehicle stolen.  Ultimately, he was informed the vehicle had been impounded and was in the police evidence yard.  McKnight immediately tried to flee the state, traveling to Portland, Oregon where he was arrested.

A search of McKnight’s apartment in downtown Seattle turned up another firearm – a loaded Glock.  McKnight is prohibited from possessing firearms due to prior convictions – including one for attempted murder.  The jury reached separate verdicts following the drug conviction, finding that McKnight was also guilty of being a felon in possession of the two firearms.

Four other conspirators were charged, convicted, and sentenced as part of the case:

Patrick Tables, 56, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Jonathon Rushing, 42, was sentenced to 8 and a half years in prison.

Michael Turner, 52, was sentenced to 5 years in prison

Marvin Traylor, 52, was sentenced to one year in prison.

After multiple requests by the defendant for delays in the trial, McKnight’s trial was scheduled for April 2020.  The pandemic closure of the U.S. District Courthouse to in-person appearances delayed the trial further.  The case was the first one scheduled for trial as the courthouse returned to limited jury trials. 

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Port of Seattle Police Department and the FBI crime lab at Quantico, VA.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Casey Conzatti.

#AceNewsDesk report ……..Published: Aug.28: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#dea, #ocdetf, #seattle

(PENNYSYLVANIA) Justice Dept Report: Israeli National pleaded guilty today for his role in ‘DeepDotWeb’ administrator pleads guilty to ‘Money Laundering Conspiracy’ #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.01: An Israeli national pleaded guilty today for his role in operating DeepDotWeb (DDW), a website that connected internet users with Darknet marketplaces, where they purchased illegal firearms, malware and hacking tools, stolen financial data, heroin and fentanyl, and other contraband.

Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation: ‘DeepDotWeb received over $8 million in kickbacks from purchases of fentanyl, firearms, and other contraband on Darknet marketplaces: ‘According to court documents, Tal Prihar, 37, an Israeli citizen residing in Brazil, owned and operated DDW along with co-defendant Michael Phan, 34, of Israel, beginning in October 2013. In addition to providing general information about the Darknet, DDW provided users with direct links to illegal Darknet marketplaces, which are not accessible through traditional search engines’

For providing these links, Prihar and Phan received kickback payments from the marketplaces in the form of virtual currency, including approximately 8,155 bitcoins (worth approximately $8.4 million based on the bitcoin trading value at the time of the transactions). To conceal the nature and source of these illegal kickback payments, Prihar transferred the payments from his DDW bitcoin wallet to other bitcoin accounts and to bank accounts he controlled in the names of shell companies. DDW was seized by federal authorities in April 2019, and Prihar has agreed to forfeit $8,414,173.

“Tal Prihar served as a broker for illegal Darknet marketplaces — helping such marketplaces find customers for fentanyl, firearms, and other dangerous contraband — and profited from the illegal business that ensued,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This prosecution, seizure of the broker website, and forfeiture send a clear message that we are not only prosecuting the administrators of Darknet marketplaces offering illegal goods and services, but we will also bring to justice those that aim to facilitate and profit from them.” 

“Tal Prihar today acknowledged his leadership role in operating a web site that served as a gateway to numerous dark web marketplaces selling fentanyl, heroin, firearms, hacking tools and other illegal goods,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman for the Western District of Pennsylvania. “Mr. Prihar and his codefendant extracted a fee from each customer routed to these illegal sites, profiting in the millions of dollars.”

“For six years, DeepDotWeb was a gateway to facilitate the illegal purchase of items to include dangerous drugs, weapons, and malicious software,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Carlton Peeples of the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office. “Prihar profited as a byproduct from other people’s dangerous transactions and today’s guilty plea sends a message to other cyber actors across the globe who think the dark web is a safe haven. The FBI works with our local, state, federal and international partners regularly to dismantle illicit websites and go after those responsible for them.”

Prihar pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 2, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office is investigating the case:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorneys C. Alden Pelker of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Alexander Gottfried of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.

The department thanks the French authorities as well as its law enforcement colleagues at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS, Brazilian Federal Police Cyber Division, Israeli National Police, Dutch National Police, Europol Darkweb Team, Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, and National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom. Significant assistance was provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

This case was brought in conjunction with the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) Team. Established within the FBI’s Hi-Tech Organized Crime Unit, J-CODE is a U.S. Government initiative announced in January 2018, aimed at targeting drug trafficking, especially fentanyl and other opioids, on the Darknet. The J-CODE team brings together agents, analysts and professional staff with expertise in drugs, gangs, health care fraud and more. J-CODE entities, including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Defense, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Department of Justice focus on disrupting the sale of drugs via the Darknet and dismantling criminal enterprises that facilitate this trafficking.

This prosecution also is a result of an Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Apr.01: 2021:

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#brazil, #darknet, #israeli, #ocdetf, #organised-crime, #pennysylvania