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Federal Government
ICE Picks Up Foreign Nationals PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:15

 Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces the results of a recently completed enforcement operation in Wake County by Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE). 

ICE began a targeted enforcement operation on February 8 and concluded today.  However, it should be noted that ICE conducts targeted enforcement activities on a daily basis, and will continue to do so.  This most recent operation targeted at-large criminal aliens who have been identified based on encounters – that is, criminal arrests – with local law enforcement. 

The Raleigh area ICE Team made sixteen arrests of foreign nationals with a variety of criminal arrests and convictions, including: Driving While Intoxicated; Burglary; Assault; Assault on Child; Robbery; Drug Possession; and, Resisting a Public Officer.  One individual has been confirmed to be a member of the transnational criminal street gang Sureño 13 (SUR 13). 

Of those arrested by ICE, eight were previously deported and are now pending federal prosecution for violations of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326 (Reentry of a Removed Alien).  Seven of those eight have been charged here in the Eastern District; one has been charged in the Middle District of North Carolina.

Additionally, four of the individuals arrested were identified while in the custody of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.  One individual was released despite a detainer having been placed on that subject and in spite of charges involving the assault of two young children.  Three individuals were released before ICE could respond. 

 

Names of individuals pending federal charges in the Eastern District:

 

MONTIEL, Jose Isaias

CONTRERAS VILLAVERDE, Francisco Javier

AGUILAR SOTO, Luis Gerardo

BENLES-OCAMPOS, Marden Giovanny

CHAPOL-AMBROS, Victor

REYES-MORENO, Manuel Antonio

CRUZ-AQUINO, Nelson

 

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.

 

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations are investigating the cases.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:17
 
Former Raleigh Law Enforcement Officer Sentenced To 10 Years In Federal Prison For Fraud PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:34

GREENVILLE– United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced Gregory Anthony Christos, 62, of Raleigh to 120 months imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.  The Court also ordered Christos to pay $3,760,890 in restitution to various individual and corporate victims, as well as the Internal Revenue Service.

Christos was named in a Superseding Indictment filed on October 18, 2017 charging him with wire fraud, money laundering, and failure to file federal income tax returns.  On January 7, 2019, CHRISTOS pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of failure to file tax returns. 

According to the charging instrument, statements made in court, and other public information, CHRISTOS started his career as a law enforcement for the Raleigh Police Department and Wake County Sheriff’s Office and later became the self-described managing partner of Cambridge Global Consultancy (“CGC”), a purported consulting firm through which CHRISTOS fraudulently marketed and sold various investment schemes to victims. 

As part of one scheme, CHRISTOS defrauded multiple victims through his affiliation with Green Energy Corporation (“Green Energy”), a software company with prior operations in Raleigh.  For example, CHRISTOS solicited one victim to invest $200,000 into Green Energy.  CHRISTOS forwarded $100,000 of the victim’s funds to Green Energy and used the remaining $100,000 to pay for personal expenses.  Later, CHRISTOS convinced a local engineering firm to invest $2 million into a purported startup business associated with Green Energy.  CHRISTOS used $1.4 million of the victim’s funds to purchase a luxury residence in an upscale development in Youngsville, NC.  As part of another scheme, CHRISTOS sold Green Energy shares owned by victims to pay approximately $194,000 in criminal restitution; the restitution was ordered following CHRISTOS’s felony conviction in Wake County for embezzling from a former employer while serving as chief operating officer.

Additionally, CHRISTOS worked as a purported consultant for a victim business based in eastern North Carolina and used his position to defraud the business out of more than $200,000.  CHRISTOS induced the business to provide his sham consulting firm with funds that CHRISTOS falsely and fraudulently represented would be used to provide interest-bearing loans to distressed companies in need.  In truth, CHRISTOS converted the victim’s funds for his own use, including for the purchase of a $28,000 show horse.

“The defendant’s greed knew no limits.  His investment schemes targeted both individuals and companies throughout this district, all in order to line his pockets and fund his lifestyle;” stated U.S. Attorney Higdon.  “Meanwhile, the victims of his fraud were left with nothing but his empty promises.  Given his background as an officer, the defendant should have known better than anyone that the reach of the law is long, and the day would come when he would have to answer for his crimes. Prosecuting those who peddle fraudulent investments to our citizens will always remain a top priority of this office.”

Although CHRISTOS grossed millions of dollars throughout the offense period, he willfully failed to file federal income tax returns.  According to the investigation, CHRISTOS has not filed tax returns since 2002.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation in this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Adam F. Hulbig represented the government.

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:39
 
Raleigh Man Gets 20 Years In Federal Prison For Child Porn Conviction PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 07 February 2020 12:05
United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced Jeremy Dwight Lane, 38, of Raleigh to 240 months’ imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release.  Lane  was named in an 11-count Indictment on August 14, 2019, charging him with 10 counts of receipt of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.  On November 7, 2019, he pled guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography.  
 
According to the investigation, beginning in April 2017, local law enforcement in South Carolina identified an IP address engaged in the downloading and sharing of child exploitation material on a peer to peer network.  After the IP address was traced to LANE at an address in La Grange, North Carolina, South Carolina law enforcement referred the case to North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI).
 
On June 12, 2017, the NCSBI and Greene County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the address.  LANE agreed to be interviewed and admitted that he had been downloading child pornography from the internet for about a year.  LANE, also admitted to having previously molested two students who had been under his care.  A forensic examination of LANE’s laptop and other electronic devices uncovered over 50 images and 100 videos that he had collected from the internet depicting the sexual abuse of minors.  
 
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 North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI) conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.
 
 
U.S. Corps Of Engineers Will Direct $281.5 Million To Eastern NC Projects PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 07 February 2020 09:07

The US Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will direct $281.5 million to complete two significant projects in eastern North Carolina.

“These substantial investments by the Army Corps of Engineers will help make North Carolina safer and more resilient against future storms. North Carolinians have been hit hard by recent storms, and I appreciate the efforts of our federal partners as we work to rebuild smarter and stronger than ever,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

The Army Corps of Engineers will construct two flood and storm damage reduction projects, one in Surf City and North Topsail Beach and another in Carteret County. The projects are in addition to last week’s announcement of $39.6 million for design and construction of a new levee in Princeville.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2020 09:13
 
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