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Federal Government
Burgaw Man Sentenced To 18 Years+ For Child Porn PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 08 February 2019 10:15
Chief United States District Judge Terrence W Boyle sentenced Cheyne Martin Potrafka, 35, of Burgaw to 220 months’ imprisonment, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Potrafka pled guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography on November 1, 2018.
 
The charge arose from a state probation search. On August 9, 2016, Potraeka began a term of state post-release supervision, following a 2013 conviction on two counts of Indecent Liberties with a Child in Pender County Superior Court. Not long after POTRAFKA began post-release supervision, his probation officer became concerned about POTRAFKA’s compliance. Specifically, the officer learned that POTRAFKA admitted during sex-offender treatment to having sexually abused multiple children in the past and that members of POTRAFKA’s church had begun complaining about him lingering near children.
 
On March 1, 2017, probation conducted a warrantless search of POTRAFKA’s residence, pursuant to the terms of his supervision agreement. His computer and
hard drives were examined on site and found to contain over 150 images and a video of child pornography. A later forensic examination revealed additional files that had been deleted. In an interview, POTRAFKA admitted to possessing child pornography. He also admitted to sexually abusing approximately 14 children during his lifetime, describing in detail the multiple incidents of past sexual abuse.
 
Mr. Higdon commented: “Cases like this one are among the most important we handle as federal prosecutors. This case alone revealed how pervasive this problem is and how offenders like this defendant often leave many victims in their wake-here, by the defendant’s own admission, 14 children plus those victimized in the videos and pictures he possessed. The Justice Department remains firmly committed to protecting our most vulnerable citizens-our children, by aggressively investigating and prosecuting these cases wherever we find them.”
 
This case is part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national initiative, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
 
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2019 10:20
 
Rocky Mount Woman Accused Of Hurricane Matthew Recovery Fraud PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 07 February 2019 10:35
Sheila Ruffin, 50, of Rocky Mount, has been charged with 15 counts of Disaster Fraud related to the Hurricane Matthew recovery effort conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
 
According to the allegations in the Indictment, Ruffin knowingly made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, and knowingly made and used false writings and documents knowing the same to contain materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, to FEMA, in an application for benefits authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, and paid with FEMA funds in connection with the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for the State of North Carolina, effective October 10, 2016.
 
Ruffin is alleged to have made false statements and submitted fraudulent documentation in connection with applications for FEMA assistance following Hurricane Matthew. From January 31, 2017 to January 29, 2018, RUFFIN was awarded more than $11,000.00 in rental assistance to which she was not entitled.
 
If convicted of the Disaster Fraud charges, RUFFIN would face a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years, and restitution.The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
 
Investigation of this case was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan is prosecuting the case for the government.
 
Members of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721. The telephone line is staffed by live operators 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Learn more about the National Center for Disaster Fraud at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud and watch a public service announcement here. Tips for the public on how to avoid being victimized of fraud are at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/tips-avoiding-fraudulent-charitable-contribution-schemes.
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News releases are available on the U.S. Attorney’s webpage at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2019 10:39
 
Cooper Calls On EPA to Set Standards For Unregulated Chemicals PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 11:22
Federal environmental experts need to set standards for chemicals that are causing serious concerns about drinking water in North Carolina and across the country, Governor Roy Cooper wrote to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. 
 
Recent reports indicate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is declining to set standards for chemical compounds known as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate). The compounds, which include GenX, have been found in wells and public drinking water in North Carolina, but much is still unknown about their safety.
 
In a letter to Acting Administrator Wheeler, Gov. Cooper wrote, “It is vital to the public trust that all Americans be confident in their access to safe drinking water. The EPA’s failure to act robs them of that peace of mind.”
 
The Environment and Public Works Committee of U.S. Senate is set to vote on advancing Wheeler’s confirmation as EPA Administrator next week.
The letter renews Gov. Cooper’s request first made last year that the EPA establish standards for PFOA and PFOS.
 
The federal agency last year held public meetings in North Carolina and a number of other states to hear concerns about PFOA and PFOS and at the time said the agency would set science-based standards for the currently unregulated compounds.
 
Gov. Cooper today called on the EPA to partner with states to better understand and set standards for PFOA and PFOS.
“It is our shared responsibility to protect drinking water for the people who rely on it,” Gov. Cooper said in the letter. 
 
President Signs Major Disaster Declaration For Hurricane Michael PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 04 February 2019 10:09

President Trump granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of North Carolina. The declaration triggers the release of federal funds to help communities recover from Tropical Storm Michael that occurred October 10-12, 2018. 

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R - N.C.) stated, “I’m pleased that North Carolina’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration was given fair consideration and public assistance will be delivered to Surry, Stokes, Forsyth and Yadkin Counties in North Carolina’s Fifth District. It is my hope that the state recovers fully and quickly, and I am thankful for the work being done on the ground by State Representative Sarah Stevens and others facilitating the assistance delivery. If there are questions about the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs, please reach out to my office for resources and information.”  

Last Updated on Monday, 04 February 2019 10:16
 
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