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Federal Government
Clinton NC Drug Kingpin Sentenced To 30 Years In Federal Prison PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 09:57
United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced Tony Chevallier, 40, from Clinton, North Carolina, to 360 months in prison, to be followed by 10 years of Federal Supervised Release. CHEVALLIER was part of a regional drug trafficking organization (DTO) that was rooted in Sampson County, North Carolina, but operated throughout the Southeastern United States. In October, 2016, CHEVALLIER and twenty-four other co-defendants were federally indicted and charged with a myriad of drug trafficking, firearm and financial crimes rooted within the DTO. CHEVALLIER was charged with Conspiring to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine – the most severe drug charge one can receive at the federal level.
 
Of the twenty-five co-defendants named in the indictment, four entered pleas of not guilty and proceeded to a jury trial in May, 2018. After nearly two weeks of evidence presentation that included multiple community witnesses, local and federal law enforcement testimony, forensic, financial and narcotic experts, testimony fromco-defendants, and a myriad of other evidentiary sources, the jury found CHEVALLIER and his codefendants guilty of the crimes charged.
 
At sentencing, CHEVALLIER moved the Court for leniency, arguing for a low-end sentence through contesting estimated drug quantities associated with CHEVALLIER’s drug trafficking activity and the leadership CHEVALLIER maintained throughout the conspiracy. The Court ultimately agreed with the United States, relying upon the extensive criminal history built by CHEVALLIER and the deluge of evidence implicating him in what was described as one of the most significant DTO’s the Court has ever seen. The Court cited the dozens of previous convictions ranging from violent crimes, property crimes, and drug
trafficking crimes when fashioning the imposed sentence. The Court further credited witnesses who came forward to assist in the prosecution of CHEVALLIER, whose information assisted law enforcement in better understanding the regional nature in which CHEVALLIER operated. By the end of the investigation, it was determined that CHEVALLIER trafficked large quantities of drugs throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Highlighting the commitment to criminal activity as demonstrated by CHEVALLIER, the Court noted one example, citing that CHEVALLIER was released from prison in Georgia on February 20, 2016 after being convicted of a Felony Cocaine Trafficking charge in November, 2013. Evidence gathered in this current case showed CHEVALLIER returned immediately to large scale drug trafficking upon his release from custody until he was arrested federally in late 2016.
 
The investigation relied on multiple agencies and offices at both the federal and state levels. Initially, the investigation into this DTO began with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division. As the scale of this DTO became clearer, other state and federal agencies joined the investigation, including the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Police Department, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), all assuming various roles throughout the multi-year investigation. Ultimately, the investigation was primarily led by ATF, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division, and the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Unit.
 
The investigation utilized confidential informants, undercover officers, constant physical surveillance, a Title III wiretap and a myriad of other investigative techniques to uncover the depth and breadth of crimes furthered by the DTO. The investigation determined that CHEVALLIER was ultimately accountable for the distribution of significant quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and cocaine base (crack).
 
This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets. Assistant United States Attorneys Brad Knott and Toby Lathan prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:00
 
Senator Tillis Applauds Passage of Criminal Justice Reform Legislation PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 09:52
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded passage of the First Step Act, once in a generation bipartisan legislation that reforms America’s criminal justice system. Senator Tillis worked hand in hand with Chairman Grassley, his Senate colleagues, and federal, state and local law enforcement on changes that would build additional support for the bipartisan legislation. 
 
“The First Step Act is the most significant reform to our broken criminal justice system in a generation,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “I was proud to work with Chairman Grassley and my Senate colleagues to help improve this legislation and build the support needed to get it across the finish line. Passing criminal justice reform produced historic results in North Carolina, and I look forward to those benefits being replicated on the federal level.”
 
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley praised Senator Tillis for his work to improve the First Step Act:
 
“Sen. Tillis has been instrumental in advancing bipartisan criminal justice reform. His continued engagement has helped to promote policy that reduces crime and recidivism, saves tax dollars, improves fairness in sentencing and supports law enforcement,” said Chairman Chuck Grassley.
 
The comprehensive package aims to reduce crime by helping low-risk inmates prepare to successfully rejoin society through participation in proven recidivism reduction and professional development programs.  It also improves fairness in prison sentences by recalibrating certain mandatory minimum sentences, granting greater discretion for judges in sentencing of low-level, nonviolent drug crimes and clarifying congressional intent on sentencing enhancements for certain crimes involving firearms. It also preserves the maximum potential sentences for violent and career criminals. The legislation also allows petitions for retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act to be considered on an individual basis to reduce sentence disparities between crack and powder cocaine offenses.
 
Senator Tillis has been a longtime advocate of criminal justice reform, recognizing that it can strike the balance between reducing crime and making our justice system more equitable, when done right. As North Carolina Speaker of the House in 2011, he spearheaded the passage of the Justice Reinvestment Act, sweeping criminal justice reform legislation. The law places an emphasis on rehabilitation and reducing the likelihood of returning to prison, requiring those incarcerated on felony charges to be supervised for 9 to 12 months following their release. The law has resulted in a reduction in North Carolina’s prison population and a significant, double-digit decrease in the recidivism rate. The N.C. Department of Public Safety estimates that the law has also saved hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars over the last several years.
 
Five Foreign National Indicted On Murder For Hire, Money Laundering And Immigration Charges PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Donna Martinez   
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 11:37
 Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that a federal grand jury in Raleigh has returned a superseding indictment charging five foreign nationals with various federal crimes stemming from a bribery and kickback scheme, including money laundering, immigration fraud, and a subsequent murder for hire plot.
 
Leonid Teyf, 57, currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, is charged with bribing a public official, planning a murder-for-hire, and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and unlawful use of a visa procured through false claims.
 
Teyf is also charged with multiple counts of money laundering in conspiracy with his wife, Tatyana Teyf, 41, a Russian citizen, and Alexsy Timofeev, 37, also a Russian citizen currently residing in Darien, Illinois. Teyf, Tatyana Teyf, and Timofeev are additionally charged with Timofeev’s wife, Olesya Yuryevna Timofeeva, 41, for conspiring, and aiding and abetting one another to encourage and induce an alien to come to, enter, or reside in
 
the United States, knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law. Alexei Polyakov, 40, currently residing in Raleigh, North Carolina, is also charged in the indictment with attempting to obtain naturalization through false statements.
 
The superseding indictment alleges that between 2010 and 2012, Leonid Teyf was the Deputy Director of Voentorg, a company which contracted with Russia’s Ministry of Defense to provide the Russian military with goods and services. Leonid Teyf arranged for subcontractors in Russia to fill the various services required by Voentorg’s contract. Leonid Teyf and others devised a scheme requiring the subcontractor to agree that a certain percentage of the government funds it would receive for completion of the work would be paid back to Leonid Teyf and others involved in the scheme. These kickbacks of government funds were paid in cash and amounted to more than $150 million over an approximate two-year span. Some of the money was paid to others involved in the scheme, and some of the money was placed in accounts under Leonid Teyf’s control – accounts within Russia, and, ultimately accounts located in the United States.
 
The superseding indictment additionally alleges that since at least December 2010, Leonid and Tatyana Teyf and others have opened at least 70 financial accounts at four financial institutions in their own names and in the names of businesses under their control. Leonid Teyf and others received at least 294 wires totaling approximately $39.5 million into four accounts held in Leonid Teyf’s name and the names of the co-conspirators at an American banking institution. Foreign corporations and bank accounts in countries commonly known to be used for money laundering are the source of 293 of the wires. Timofeev assisted Leonid Teyf in the formation of companies in the United States, including the creation of CTK Transportation Incorporated in Illinois, a business used in the money laundering scheme. Timofeev was involved in multiple financial transactions involving the kickbacks from Russia.
 
The superseding indictment also alleges that in July of 2018, Teyf knowingly used and possessed a U.S. immigrant visa at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which he had procured through false claims made in his I-140 application. To obtain that visa Teyf falsely claimed that he was entering the U.S. for the purpose of being an executive employee of a multinational company, and for whom he would earn an annual salary of $110,000.
 
Similarly, in 2016, an associate of Teyf, Alexei Polyakov, also made false statements in an effort to obtain immigration benefits. Polyakov falsely completed the Form N-400, application for naturalization, by failing to assert under penalty of perjury 1) that he had previously use the name “Alex Norka,” 2) that he had been arrested on at least 12 occasions in addition to the five reported occasions, and 3) by falsely underreporting the time he had spent in jail prior to the application.
 
As alleged in publicly available documents filed in federal court by the Government, during the course of the investigation into the money laundering charges, a Confidential Source utilized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation learned that Leonid Teyf came to believe that his wife, Tatyana Teyf, was having an affair with another man. Leonid Teyf recruited the Confidential Source to assist in planning for the man’s murder. The murder was to take place here in the United States or in Russia after they conspired to have the man deported. Leonid Teyf paid an employee with the United States Department of Homeland Security, who was working undercover, $10,000 to have the man deported from the United States. When the deportation plan was taking a longer period of time than he expected, Leonid Teyf returned to his murder-for-hire plan and paid the Confidential Source $25,000 to kill the man before the end of 2018. Leonid Teyf also supplied the Confidential Source with a firearm to commit the murder with the serial number removed from the weapon.
 
If convicted, Leonid Teyf would face maximum penalties of 20 years in prison. Tatyana Teyf, Alexsy Timofeev, Olesya Timofeeva, and Alexei Polyakov would face maximum penalties of 10 years in prison. The government will also seek to seize over $39 million in assets from the defendants. Each defendant will likely face the prospect of removal from the United States after their terms of imprisonment.
 
The charges and allegations contained in the superseding indictment, and related documents filed by the Government, are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Immigration and Custom Enforcement and the Raleigh Police Department. The case is being
prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Kellhofer and Barbara Kocher.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2019 09:23
 
Feds Declare NC Fishery Disaster In The Wake Of Hurricane Florence PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 10:43
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that a commercial fishery failure occurred in North Carolina as a result of Hurricane Florence, which caused severe damage throughout the state in September of 2018.
 
“The Trump Administration and Department of Commerce stand ready to support all Americans who were struck by devastating hurricanes and other natural disasters in the past year,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “As communities rebound and rebuild throughout the country, we will continue to work closely with our partners in Congress, as well as state and local officials across North Carolina, to aid in the recovery effort.”
 
This determination provides the basis for Congress to appropriate fishery disaster assistance. In 2018, Secretary Ross has declared fishery disasters in the Southeast, Texas, and Caribbean following multiple hurricanes, and in states along the West Coast. 
 
In order to further assist the recovery of North Carolina and other regions harmed by disasters, affected communities can call upon programs within the Department of Commerce, such as the Economic Development Administration which spearheads the Federal government’s efforts to deliver economic assistance and support long-term growth after natural disasters.
 
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