#AceNewsReport – Jan.10: A federal grand jury in Virginia returned a superseding indictment yesterday charging 12 members and associates of La Mara Salvatrucha, aka MS-13, with a variety of offenses based on their alleged involvement in a series of murders, racketeering and drug trafficking crimes.
#AceDailyNews DOJ Court Report: The indictment also charges eight of the defendants with several offenses stemming from their alleged involvement in four murders that occurred in Eastern Prince William County between June 22, 2019, and Sept. 24, 2019. Specifically, the indictment charges:
According to the indictment, the defendants were members/associates of the Sitios Locos Salvatrucha clique (STLS) of MS-13.The indictment alleges that since at least in and around 2017, MS-13 members and associates regularly travelled to and from Long Island, New York, for the purpose of obtaining cocaine and transporting it to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, where they and other gang members would sell it primarily, in restaurants and night clubs:
Guevara, Arevalo and Turcios with the June 2019 double-murder of M.B.L. and J.G.M., and Vasquez with helping them after they committed the murders;
Canales and Andrade with the August 2019 murder of E.L.T.; and
Guevara, Molina and Aguilera with the September 2019 murder of A.K.S.
Defendants in this case are charged with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, accessory after the fact to murder in aid of racketeering, witness tampering, using a firearm during a crime of violence causing death, possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and violations of the Controlled Substances Act, among other crimes. The statutory penalties for the charged offenses range from a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison to capital punishment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia; Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Chief Peter Newsham of Prince William County Police Department made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Blanchard, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Roberts and Trial Attorney Matthew Hoff from the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.
This prosecution is supported by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
#AceNewsReport – Dec.12: According to court documents, Mohammed Khalifa, aka Abu Ridwan Al-Kanadi and Abu Muthanna Al-Muhajir, 38, served in prominent roles within ISIS starting in 2013 and continuing until his capture by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in January 2019, following a firefight between ISIS fighters and the SDF. In addition to serving as a fighter and executing two Syrian soldiers on behalf of ISIS, Khalifa served as a lead translator in ISIS’s propaganda production and the English-speaking narrator on multiple ISIS videos.
#AceDailyNews DOJ Court Report: A Saudi-born Canadian citizen pleaded guilty today to conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization #IslamicState(ISIS), resulting in death
Khalifa traveled to Syria in the spring of 2013 with the intent of becoming a foreign fighter and ultimately joining ISIS. He joined ISIS in or around November 2013 and swore allegiance to then-ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In early 2014, he was recruited to join ISIS’s media department due in part to his language abilities as a fluent English and Arabic speaker. Starting in 2016, Khalifa directed various supporter networks that assisted in the translation, production and dissemination of propaganda released under various ISIS media brands in order to reach Western audiences. He worked within the ISIS media operation until late 2018.
Khalifa provided the narration and translation for approximately 15 videos created and distributed by ISIS. The productions narrated by Khalifa include two of the most influential and exceedingly violent ISIS propaganda videos: “Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun,” distributed on Sept. 19, 2014, and “Flames of War II: Until the Final Hour,” distributed on Nov. 29, 2017. The videos depict glamorized portrayals of ISIS and its fighters as well as scenes of violence, including depictions of unarmed prisoners being executed, footage of ISIS attacks and fighting, and depictions of ISIS attacks in the United States.
The ISIS “Flames of War” videos include scenes of Khalifa executing a different Syrian soldier in each of the two videos. In the final scenes of both videos, a masked Khalifa speaks to the camera and is then seen executing a kneeling Syrian soldier while other masked ISIS members also shoot the prisoners kneeling in front of each of them.
During the time Khalifa was a prominent member of ISIS, the terrorist organization was conducting a hostage-taking and ransom demand campaign involving American, British, and European journalists and aid workers. Between Aug. 19, 2014 and Feb. 6, 2015, ISIS killed eight American, British or Japanese citizens in Syria as part of the hostage scheme.
In January 2019, Khalifa engaged in fighting on behalf of ISIS and attacked an SDF position in Abu Badran, Syria. Khalifa, alone and armed with three grenades and an AK-47, threw a grenade on the roof of a house where SDF soldiers were standing. The grenade detonated and Khalifa ran into the house and attempted to go to the roof, but an SDF soldier was firing from the stairs. Khalifa began firing at the SDF soldier and attempted to use all three of his grenades during the attack. Khalifa fired most of his ammunition during the assault before his AK-47 jammed. Khalifa surrendered to the SDF on or about Jan. 13, 2019 and was detained by the SDF. Earlier this year, he was transferred to the custody of the FBI and brought to the Eastern District of Virginia, where he had his initial appearance on Oct. 4, 2021.
Khalifa pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, resulting in death and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15, 2022. Khalifa faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia; Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division; and Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement after U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis III accepted the plea.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dennis M. Fitzpatrick, John T. Gibbs and Aidan Taft Grano-Mickelson for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Trial Attorney Alicia H. Cook of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.30: According to allegations in an indictment, Farhia Hassan, 38, was involved with a group of women from more than a dozen countries around the world who ran a fundraising ring to provide financial support to al-Shabaab from in or about February 2011 through in or about July 2014.
#AceDailyNews DOJ Court Report: After more than seven years of extradition proceedings in the Netherlands, a Dutch woman brought by the FBI to the United States yesterday made her initial appearance today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to face charges stemming from her alleged participation in a terrorist financing ring in support of the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab.
Through conduits in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hargeisa, Somalia, the group of women allegedly funneled cash payments via money remitters directly to members of the terrorist group. According to members of the conspiracy, the money was used to fund safehouses and to purchase trucks and weaponry in support of al-Shabaab. The women allegedly coordinated the payments using online chatrooms.
Hassan, in particular, was allegedly involved in fundraising in the Netherlands under false pretenses by representing to donors that money was being collected to fund charitable ventures, such as schools for orphans, when it was in fact being funneled to terrorists. Two U.S.-based members of the fundraising ring, Muna Osman Jama, 41, of Reston, and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 51, of Kent, Washington, were convicted in 2016 for their participation and were sentenced to 12- and 11-years imprisonment, respectively.
Hassan is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko for the Justice Department’s National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys James P. Gillis and Danya E. Atiyeh for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Kathleen Campbell of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.
The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing the arrest and extradition from the Netherlands.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.18: Around 12:30 a.m., Police were called to Riverside Regional Medical Center, located in the 500 block of J. Clyde Morris Boulevard. Responding officers found the victim, a 65-year-old Hayes, Virginia man who was suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim is a nurse at the hospital….
#AceDailyNews according to a Breaking911 report on Thursday a nurse was stabbed multiple times inside an emergency room at Virginia Hospital his injuries are serious but he is currently in stable condition a man was later arrested as an investigation is underway …..
The suspect, 40-year-old Ricky Beachum of Chesapeake, Virginia was taken into custody at the scene and charged with assault counts and battery on health care provider.
The Riverside Health System issued this statement:“We are thankful for the quick response of our ER team, the Newport News police and others during this event. We are currently focused on supporting our ER team as they process the events that occurred last night, and ensuring the ongoing safety and welfare of our patients and team members.”
Police didn’t reveal a possible motive or what led up to the stabbing.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.16: As part of our commitment to the people of Afghanistan, the United States is providing nearly $64 million in new humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. This brings total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $4 billion since 2002.
#AceDailyNews reports that the United States has announced additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan but this has led to denial of care to Americans: “a hospital near the Dulles Expo Center that federal officials designated as a go-to spot for medical treatment began running out of available beds, forcing the hospital to turn away non-Afghan patients who weren’t in need of critical care, said Nickerson, who also directs the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance and declined to name the hospital.”
STATE DEPT: This assistance from the United States will flow through independent humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and provide support directly to the more than 18.4 million vulnerable Afghans in the region including Afghan refugees. This funding will allow our partners to provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihoods support, essential health care, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services to respond to the needs generated by recent conflict and compounded by the severe drought and other natural disasters, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic….
The Washington Postreported Tuesday that “[t]he mass arrival of Afghan evacuees last month, many in need of medical care, wreaked havoc on Northern Virginia’s hospital system — prompting a regional emergency response group to assume oversight after one hospital became overwhelmed with patients and federal officials lost track of where some Afghans were hospitalized, officials said.”
Kristin Nickerson, executive director of the Northern Virginia Emergency Response System, said: “Our hospitals are already almost at capacity. It’s not like they have tons of free beds available. We are still in the middle of a pandemic.” Oh yeah, that’s right, that pandemic for which Biden’s handlers are mandating vaccinations, except for migrants crossing the Southern border. Will the Afghan evacuees have to get the vaccine while they’re in hospitals for their free taxpayer-funded health care? The Post didn’t deign to say…..
#AceNewsReport – Aug.24: National Airlines flew in close to 270 refugees in the afternoon after the U.S. government contracted them to help aid in the evacuation…..
#AceDailyNews says with thousands of Americans still trapped in Afghanistan, hundreds of Afghan ‘refugees’ arrive in Virginia Afghan evacuees face confusion, separated families as they land in Northern Virginia,” by Jess Arnold, WUSA, August 21, 2021:
One man, Zamir Sultani, said his sister was stuck on that very plane for hours with no information about when she and other passengers would disembark.
“My sister is a type I diabetic, and she’s not feeling that good. They’ve been sitting there hours and waiting to get out. and my dad is a dialysis patient, and he’s also stuck there,” Sultani said. “All of them are sitting in the plane, and nobody is even telling them what’s going on.”
Sultani said he worked as an interpreter for the U.S. in Afghanistan for years before immigrating to the states in 2010.
As of 9:30 p.m., he said his family had reached the customs line but still expected more processing afterwards.
Another woman, whose sister was on a plane from Qatar after working on the air base there, said refugees were lined up in a separate part of customs….
#AceNewsReport – May.24: The city of Richmond, Petersburg, Chesterfield, and Hopewell were focal points of the operation. During this operation, eight non-compliant sex offenders were arrested, closing 24 outstanding warrants. Four of the arrestees were Virginia Department of Corrections most wanted fugitives. U.S. Marshals are still actively working other cases and will continue to generate leads that will assist in the apprehension of other non-compliant sex offenders:
U.S. Marshals and Virginia State Police Conduct Operation ‘River City Sweep’ I am proud of the Deputy Marshals, task force officers, and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners for the work they did this week with these sex offender investigations, and for what they do each day: The results of this operation speak for themselves and are indicative of the strength of the law enforcement cooperation we enjoy here in Eastern Virginia:
It is my hope that the efforts will demonstrate to our citizens that we are committed to keeping our communities safe, and free from those with the intent to cause harm. I am honored and humbled that the Marshals Service is a part of this team of professional, dedicated, public servants”, stated U.S. Marshal Nick Proffitt of the Eastern District of Virginia.
The U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force in Richmond consists of investigators from the U.S. Marshals Service, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Corrections, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Richmond, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell Police Departments.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.28: According to court documents, Hall managed the town of Matewan’s Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW), a facility designed to collect and remove domestic sewage sludge from wastewater and then properly treat the wastewater:
Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crime: Christopher Hall, 43, of Pikeville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty today to violating the Clean Water Act.
Southern District of West Virginia:
After the water is treated and tested, the water can be safely discharged into the Tug Fork River. The removed sludge is to be dried and then properly disposed in a landfill designated to receive dried sewage sludge.
It is a requirement of the Clean Water Act that the sludge removal process and disposal must be reported every month to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to ensure proper operation of the treatment facility: As manager of the POTW, Hall was responsible for monitoring the sludge removal and accurately reporting its monthly removal to a landfill:
On August 20, 2018, Hall falsely reported in a sludge management report that five tons of sludge had been removed from the Matewan POTW, properly dried, and then disposed at a permitted landfill. In fact, no sludge had been removed from the facility. Hall admitted to submitting a total of ten false sludge management reports indicating that a total of 55 tons of sludge had been removed from the facility and disposed in the landfill from July 2017 to June 2018. Hall further admitted that he knew all ten reports were false and that no sludge was disposed of at a landfill when he submitted the false reports.
Hall pleaded guilty to making a false statement on a sludge management report and faces a maximum possible sentence of two years in prison, a $250,000 fine, one year of supervised release, and an order of restitution when he is sentenced on July 22, 2021.
Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-Criminal Investigations Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over the hearing. EPA Attorney Perry McDaniel and Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-cr-00048.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.08: Khan allegedly led a global human smuggling operation that used fraudulent documents and international travel routes to facilitate the entry of unauthorized individuals into the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We are committed to holding accountable those who seek personal monetary gain by compromising and undermining the integrity of the immigration process.”
Pakistani National Indicted & Sanctioned for Human Smuggling Conspiracy: ‘ According to court documents, between January 2015 and December 2020, Abid Ali Khan, 40, allegedly organized, led, and worked, with others in his Pakistan-based smuggling network to facilitate the travel of undocumented individuals to the United States.
Khan allegedly disregarded the fact that the individuals did not have prior authorization to enter the United States and that their entry into the United States would be illegal. Khan also allegedly encouraged, induced, and brought undocumented individuals to the United States for commercial advantage and financial gain’
“Abid Ali Khan is alleged to have organized and led an international organization that, in exchange for monetary payment, facilitated the illegal smuggling of individuals through various countries to the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “As this case demonstrates, the department continues to identify and prosecute those who seek to profit from conduct that undermines our system of legal immigration and imperils the lives of those being smuggled, often under dangerous conditions.”
Treasury Sanctions Pakistan-based Transnational Human Smuggling Organization Involved in Smuggling Migrants to the United States
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Pakistani national Abid Ali Khan and the Abid Ali Khan Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13581, “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations,” as amended. The Abid Ali Khan TCO is a human smuggling organization based in Nowshera, Pakistan, that has facilitated the unlawful smuggling of foreign nationals, including foreign nationals who may pose a national security risk to the United States or its interests, into the United States using various travel routes through Latin America since at least 2015. Additionally, OFAC designated three individuals and one entity associated with the Abid Ali Khan TCO.
“Treasury’s designation of this human smuggling organization as a significant Transnational Criminal Organization is an important step, taken alongside our partners, towards disrupting Abid Ali Khan operations based in Pakistan and around the world,” said Andrea Gacki, Director of the Office of the Foreign Assets Control. “The Abid Ali Khan TCO should not be allowed to prey on the vulnerable and take advantage of the U.S. financial system.”
Today’s action was conducted in close coordination with Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Miami Field Office, the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the HSI Human Smuggling Unit, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center, under the Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force program, along with the U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Southern Command, and other U.S. government partners.
“Abid Ali Kahn allegedly organized and leads a widespread smuggling organization that facilitates the illegal smuggling of individuals through various countries and to the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This case is another example of the department’s continued work to prosecute those who seek to profit from thwarting our system of legal immigration, jeopardizing our national security, and imperiling the lives of the persons being smuggled under dangerous conditions.”
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami is committed to prosecuting individuals who pose a threat to national security and our critical infrastructure, including exploiting our global financial systems through their smuggling networks,” said HSI Miami Special Agent in Charge Anthony Salisbury. “A recent HSI-led investigation revealed the Pakistani-based Abid Khan human smuggling network, operating in the Middle East and South America, is exploiting systemic vulnerabilities in order to move people with nefarious motivations into the United States and elsewhere.”
Human smuggling is a profitable business. Based on migrants’ accounts of how much they paid smugglers, media reports have estimated Latin American smuggling networks generate at least $150 million and as much as $350 million a year — not counting payments to corrupt officials, local agents, or others on the U.S.–Mexico border who exploit the desperation of migrants. For the individuals who engage in this business, the safety and security of their clients matter far less than the profit they can make, and an untold number of migrants make the dangerous decision to embark on an irregular migration journey based on smugglers’ misrepresentations about U.S. border policy.
Pakistani national Abid Ali Khan (Khan) is the leader of the Abid Ali Khan TCO, a prolific human smuggling organization based in Nowshera, Pakistan. Khan and members of his TCO operate a global network of human smugglers that are responsible for the international smuggling of migrants into the United States. Khan and members of his TCO coordinate the smuggling of foreign nationals to the United States for an average cost of approximately the equivalent of $20,000 USD per individual; this sum includes, but is not limited to, fees to procure fraudulent or counterfeit documents, make payoffs to corrupt officials, secure lodging along smuggling route, and provide payments to facilitators in various countries. Abid Ali Khan TCO often provides travelers with fraudulently obtained passports from different countries to facilitate his clients’ global movement and smuggling to the United States. The Abid Ali Khan TCO frequently utilizes a common route of travel that begins in Pakistan or Afghanistan, transiting through certain South and Central American countries before arriving at the southern border of the United States.
OFAC is also designating three Khan associates for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, or for having acted or having purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Abid Ali Khan TCO. Afghan national Redi Hussein Khal Gul serves as Khan’s secretary, performing functions that include, but are not limited to, initial contact with clients, travel facilitation, and obtaining fraudulent documents for the migrants. Pakistani national Shakeel Karim is an employee of Khan and uses Friends Travel Inn PVT LTD to coordinate travel for migrants. Pakistani national Mohammed Choudry Ikram Waraich serves as Khan’s contact in the Middle East and facilitates travel into the United States. All three individuals are linked to the procurement or use of fraudulent documents for travel or asylum applications, which can significantly impair appropriate immigration vetting processes.
In addition to the national security concerns, the practice of smuggling-for-profit and the facilitation of fraudulent documentation undermines the credibility of the U.S. asylum system, damaging public confidence in the vetting process, and jeopardizing access to protection for vulnerable persons fleeing conflict, famine, and persecution.
As a result of today’s action, all assets of Abid Ali Khan the Abid Ali Khan TCO, and the three individuals named above, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of Abid Ali Khan, the Abid Ali Khan TCO, or any other blocked or designated persons.
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami is committed to prosecuting individuals who pose a threat to national security and our critical infrastructure, including exploiting our global financial systems through their smuggling networks,” said Special Agent in Charge Anthony Salisbury of HSI Miami. “A recent HSI-led investigation revealed the Pakistani-based Abid Khan human smuggling network, operating in the Middle East and southwest Asia, is allegedly exploiting systemic vulnerabilities in order to move people into the United States and elsewhere.”
“This outcome is a result of the outstanding dedication and commitment by case agents and the effective partnership between HSI and the Justice Department’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, including significant contributions made by CBP’s Counter Networks Division, members of the HSI Human Smuggling Unit and other partners,” said Chief Ramon Romo of the HSI Human Smuggling Unit. “Their collaborative efforts make our country a safer place.”
Khan allegedly accepted payment in exchange for planning and coordinating the international travel for foreign nationals to travel from Pakistan through multiple countries, to include Brazil and the United States, allegedly offered or provided false documents for foreign nationals to use for travel through multiple countries, and allegedly instructed foreign nationals that his co-conspirators would facilitate various parts of the travel between Pakistan and the United States.
In addition to the criminal charges filed against Khan, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced today that it has designated Khan, the Khan Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO), and several other members of his smuggling network in connection with their involvement in a global network of human smugglers and the smuggling of undocumented noncitizens to the United States. The Treasury Department’s sanctions require the blocking and reporting of all assets held by Khan, his associates, and the Khan TCO in the U.S., or in the possession and control of U.S. persons. The sanctions also prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons, or persons within (or transiting) the United States, that involve any property or interests of Khan, his associates or the Khan TCO.
The Department of Justice recognizes OFAC’s efforts to help stop Khan and his network from allegedly continuing to smuggle persons to the United States.
The case is being investigated by HSI Miami, with assistance from the HSI Human Smuggling Unit; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Department of Homeland Security Homeland Identities, Targeting, and Exploitation Center (HITEC); HSI Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program; HSI Attaché Panama; and HSI Attaché Brasilia.
The investigation is being conducted under the Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force (ECT) program, a joint partnership between the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and HSI. The ECT program focuses on human smuggling networks that may present national security or public safety risks, or present grave humanitarian concerns. ECT has dedicated investigative, intelligence, and prosecutorial resources. ECT coordinates and receives assistance from other U.S. government agencies and foreign law enforcement authorities.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jay A. Bauer of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Walutes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.20: After she did so, he posted the explicit photographs to another social media application and demanded that she produce and send him additional explicit images if she wanted them removed. Despite the victim blocking him on social media and reporting the crimes to law enforcement, the defendant continued to contact her with demands for sexually explicit images over the course of three years:
A Virginia man was sentenced today to 31 years in prison for a years-long sextortion scheme in which he coerced numerous preteen and teenage victims to create and send him images of themselves engaged in sexually explicit conduct: ‘The defendant was further sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution to the victims: Filippo Parlagreco, 36, of Warrenton, pleaded guilty to production, distribution, and possession of child pornography on Nov. 5, 2020’
According to court documents, the defendant — posing as a teenage girl on social media — began communicating with a 14-year-old girl and persuaded her to send him sexually explicit photographs of herself.
Once law enforcement was able to identify the defendant, further investigation revealed that the defendant sexually exploited at least 13 other minor victims nationwide in a similar manner, including some as young as 11 years old; that he traded child sexual abuse material with other offenders online; and that he possessed hundreds of images and videos of child sexual abuse material in an encrypted portion of his phone.
“This case demonstrates the grave dangers that children face online, where predators can pretend to be anyone and use sophisticated tactics to exploit the most vulnerable among us,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The defendant used an array of technology to target and manipulate children for his own perverse pleasure. As this prosecution shows, the Department will continue to marshal its resources to pursue child predators and hold them accountable for victimizing children.”
“The defendant manipulated, coerced, and tormented children across the country by using an arsenal of repulsive tactics, which subjected these vulnerable minors to trauma that will painfully stay with them and their families forever,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “While no amount of jail time can ever undo the devastating physical and emotional damage the defendant has caused, we hope that today’s sentence will provide some measure of justice for the victims.”
“The FBI and its local, state, and federal partners work tirelessly on a daily basis to investigate and bring to justice individuals engaged in the exploitation and sexual abuse of children,” said Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “With this sentencing, we have removed a dangerous child predator from the community and sent a clear message that acts of sextortion against minors over the internet are taken seriously and will be investigated and brought to justice.”
This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is composed of FBI Agents, along with task force officers from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Significant assistance was provided from local law enforcement throughout the country.
Trial Attorneys Jessica Urban and Gwendelynn Bills of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Keim of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES – October 26 – USCIS is always looking for ways to support jobs in the United States. Also at the same check your immigration records and qualification for work.
‘ MyEVerify Checking Your Records and Data Online ‘
They have call it myE-Verify. It’s a free and secure way to be part of the E-Verify process for confirming employment eligibility.
MyE-Verify was launched on Oct. 6 in five states and the District of Columbia, and will be rolling it out nationally in future releases.
With myE-Verify, anyone in Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia and Washington, D.C., can:
Create a personal account to manage how their information is used in E-Verify and easily access Self Check, where any U.S. workers can confirm their employment eligibility themselves;
Use Self Lock, a feature we created just for myE-Verify that lets users lock their Social Security numbers in E-Verify, preventing fraudulent use in the system in the future;
Get resources explaining employee rights in the employment eligibility process.
While myE-Verify is currently only available to a limited audience, all workers and job seekers in the U.S. can still use the Self Check system and check out helpful materials in the myResources section.
More than half a million U.S. employers already use E-Verify to check that their new hires are authorized to work in the United States. Almost 1,400 more employers are joining this free on-line service each week.
If you get a job anywhere in the country, it’s more and more likely your employer will use E-Verify to quickly confirm your employment eligibility.
Ace News Services – USCIS – Department of Homeland Security
#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES (Norfolk) – Self-guided unmanned patrol boats that can leave warships they’re protecting and swarm and attack potential threats on the water could join the Navy’s fleet within a year, defence officials say, adding the new technology could one day help stop attacks like the deadly2000 bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen.
The Arlington-based Office of Naval Research demonstrated the autonomous swarm boat technology over two weeks in August on the James River near Fort Eustis in Virginia – not far from one of the Navy’s largest fleet concentration areas.
It said the Navy simulated a transit through a strait, just like the routine passage of U.S. warships through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
#AceWorldNews – MICHIGAN – March 21 – A federal judge struck down on Friday Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law passed by voters a decade ago is unconstitutional. US district court Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling, however, does not make clear whether the state can file an appeal.
Nor is it clear whether marriages can begin immediately, given the timing of the decision came after most county clerk offices in the state were closed.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.
Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia, though appeals to those decisions have put the cases on hold.
#AceWorldNews says that a federal judge ruled late Thursday that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The state’s “marriage laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia’s gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry,” the ruling states, according to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.
The “laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the 14th Amendment” of the US Constitution,” the judge wrote. Herring said the court has stayed the execution of the injunction pending an appeal. Prior to the ruling, 17 states, plus the District of Columbia, had legalized same-sex marriage in the US.
Former US Navy sailorRobert Hoffman, 40, was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison for attempted espionage.
A federal court inVirginia said Hoffman, a former cryptologist technician on US submarines, passed secret information to undercover FBI agents he thought were Russian spies.
Hoffman believed he was passing along secret files about tracking ships, prosecutors said. “Hoffman attempted to spy on behalf of the Russian Federation and betrayed the trust this country placed in him. He was willing to place American lives at risk for personal gain,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente. Hoffman was arrested in December 2012 and found guilty in August 2013.
English: Warning Banner for Operation Protect Our Children (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A 16-year-old Virginia girl was charged with a child porn felony for tweeting her own naked pictures.
The girl, whose name has not been revealed, was charged as a juvenile with“possession, reproduction, distribution, solicitation and facilitation of child pornography,” Stephanie Williams-Ortery of James City County Police told the Huffington Post.
“The young lady acknowledged that she had posted the pictures of herself [and] the mother acknowledged that the photos were of her daughter,” the officer said.
It’s not clear how many lewd pictures are involved in the case, but they were posted sometime around January 30. The police were warned by an anonymous tip.
Being a juvenile, the girl is not required to register as a sex offender under Virginia law. But she would have to comply with a court order, which is likely to tell her and her parents to take a sexting education program.
Some people in the community don’t agree with the harsh charge brought against the teen, according to local broadcaster WAVY.
“I don’t think she should be charged with child pornography, because she is a child herself, but if she was 18 or older of course,” said one local parent, Emily Altman.
“That is distributing,child pornography?” said another parent, Dometre Mobley.“She is a child, I don’t know what to think of that really.”
The records in the case, which is now being argued at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, were unsealed today by a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. They confirm much of what had been suspected about the conflict between the pro-privacy e-mail company and the federal government, which led to Lavabit voluntarily closing in August rather than compromise the security it promised users.
The filings show that Lavabit was served on June 28 with a so-called “pen register” order requiring it to record, and provide the government with, the e-mail “from” and “to” lines on every e-mail, as well as the IP address used to access the mailbox. Because they provide only metadata, pen register orders can be obtained without “probable cause” that the target has committed a crime.