Federal Government
Craven County Drug Dealer Sentenced To 28-Years In Federal Pen PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 07 September 2021 16:26
NEW BERN, N.C. –A Dover man was sentenced today to 340 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and a quantity of cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. 
 
According to court documents, Terrence Denon Miller, 31, also known as “Wank,” was named in a two-count Indictment filed on October 3, 2018. On August 20, 2020, the Defendant was convicted at trial on both counts. 
 
Beginning in 2014, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office began receiving information regarding the drug trafficking activities of Miller at his residence on Sand Hill Road in Dover. 
 
On August 14, 2014, members of the Craven County Sheriff’s Office executed a search. In the living room, deputies recovered hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, cocaine, electronic scales, drug packaging material, currency, and an empty .45 caliber handgun case. 
 
On August 27, 2014, a second search warrant was executed at the same residence. Deputies seized cocaine and $7,565 in currency. 
 
On September 28, 2016, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office used confidential informants to purchase 27.97 grams of cocaine from Miller at his residence on Harding Avenue in Kinston. 
 
On June 16, 2017, North Carolina Probation and Parole conducted a search of Miller’s residence, and two firearms were seized. Investigators also recovered baggies containing residue that tested positive for illegal drugs. 
 
On June 22, 2017, the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop of Miller’s vehicle as he drove away from a known drug location. Miller consented to a search of the car, but he appeared to be very nervous. In the trunk, deputies found a 9mm handgun in a backpack. Miller admitted that he had purchased and then distributed more than a dozen kilograms of cocaine over the prior year. 
 
In January 2018, the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office used confidential informants to purchase methamphetamine from two individuals who were supplied by Miller. 
 
On April 6, 2018, North Carolina Probation and Parole conducted a search of Miller’s residence on Sweet Amy Lane in La Grange. In the kitchen, officers located a bag containing 81.88 grams of crystal methamphetamine with a purity of 95% and 4.69 grams of heroin. 
 
Deputies then obtained a search warrant and seized cocaine, marijuana, digital scales, $2,039 in currency, a grinder, and a loaded handgun magazine. 
 
Miller agreed to speak with investigators, and he admitted that he had been distributing kilogram quantities of cocaine and more than a kilogram of methamphetamine.  
 
Norman Acker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Craven County Sheriff’s Office, Duplin County Sheriff’s Office, Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement administration (DEA)  investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dena J. King and Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted the case.
This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement
Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 September 2021 16:28
 
Hudson Cosponsors Bill to Award Congressional Gold Medals to Fallen Servicemembers PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 03 September 2021 16:30
U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), Fort Bragg's Congressman, cosponsored legislation introduced today by Congresswoman Lisa McClain (MI-10) to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 U.S. military servicemembers who were killed in Afghanistan last week. 
 
The legislation will award the Congressional Gold Medal to Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole Gee, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan Page, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, Cpl. David Lee Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, Hospitalman Maxton Soviak and Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss.
 
"The brave men and women in uniform lost in Kabul risked their lives to save our fellow citizens and allies. As Fort Bragg’s Congressman, I continue to pray for the family of Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, as well as the families of each of these heroes. This legislation will help ensure our nation will never forget their sacrifices," said Rep. Hudson. 
 
"These heroic men and women are gone far too soon, and we must honor them for their bravery in helping U.S. citizens and Afghan allies safely evacuate Afghanistan," said Rep. McClain. "My heart aches for the families and loved ones of our servicemembers. We will always remember their service and pay tribute to their sacrifice." 
 
Cooper: 180,000 NC Families Are Getting Federal Help To Pay Internet Bills PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 03 September 2021 16:26

More than 180,000 North Carolina households are getting critical assistance affording high-speed internet service thanks to a federal relief program that helps families in need pay internet bills and fully participate in the digital economy.

With 182,473 households enrolled in the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP), North Carolina’s level of enrollment ranks sixth among the 50 states. In April, Governor Roy Cooper sent letters to the state’s internet service providers (ISPs) asking them to participate in this effort to get more North Carolinian’s connected to high-speed internet. A number of ISPs responded to the Governor’s call to participate and enroll their customers in this program.

"Affordability is essential to access the internet and digital equity," Governor Cooper said. "This subscription support empowers North Carolina families to access the online educational, business and healthcare resources they need to compete in today's digital society."

The EBBP, which opened May 12, discounts an eligible household's monthly internet bill by as much as $50 per month. The discount increases to $75 per month for those living on tribal lands. Eligible households can also get a one-time discount of $100 toward the purchase of a laptop, tablet or desktop computer through participating providers.

"The pandemic highlighted digital inequities and the struggle of many families to afford quality internet," Jim Weaver, North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) secretary and state chief information officer, said. “We encourage all eligible North Carolina families to sign up for this benefit."

Households with an income at or less than 135 percent of federal poverty guidelines are eligible for the EBBP. A household also qualifies if at least one member participates in a federal benefits program such as Medicaid, SNAP or Lifeline, receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program, lost a job or a significant amount of income in the past year, received a Federal Pell Grant or is part of an internet service provider’s low-income or COVID-19 program.

The program is slated to continue until the $3.2 billion appropriated by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 runs out or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares the pandemic is over, whichever happens first.

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Las Vegas Man Gets 12 Years In Federal Prison For Defrauding NC Medicaid PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Donna Martinez   
Friday, 03 September 2021 16:21
Timothy Mark Harron, a Las Vegas resident, was sentenced today to 144 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $4,321,590.39 in restitution to the North Carolina Medicaid Program on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud. 
 
The court also sentenced Harron to forfeit various assets as a part of his case.  Court documents reflect that forfeitable items include up to $13,396,921.64 in cash, a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A Aircraft, a 2017 Aston Martin DB 11 sports car; a 2016 Ford F-150 Super-Crew pickup truck; real property held in the name of Assured Healthcare Systems in Hertford County, North Carolina; as well as various other items of designer jewelry and luxury items seized from the defendant’s penthouse condominium in Las Vegas.
 
According to court documents, Timothy Mark Harron, 52, of Las Vegas, Nevada, admitted to conspiring with his wife, Latisha Harron, to carry out a massive fraud upon the North Carolina Medicaid Program (“NC Medicaid”) by billing the government for fictitious home health services.  Harron admitted to working with his wife to launder the proceeds of the fraud into, among other things, a private jet, luxury jewelry and clothing, and properties in Ahoskie and Rich Square, North Carolina.
 
According to the charges, Latisha Harron created, and was operating, Agape Healthcare Systems, Inc. (“Agape”) a Medicaid home health provider, in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.  As charged, to enroll Agape as a Medicaid provider, Latisha Harron fraudulently concealed her prior felony conviction for Identity Theft.  In 2012, she moved out of North Carolina to Maryland.  Despite that move, Latisha Harron continued to bill NC Medicaid as though Agape was providing home health services to North Carolina recipients.
 
In May of 2017, Latisha Harron moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to live with Harron, and the two were married in 2018.  Together they formed Assured Health Care Systems (“Assured”), a company purportedly operated by Harron, its president.  Although Harron publicly portrayed Assured as a successful healthcare company, in reality it was funded entirely by Agape’s fraudulent Medicaid claims. The indictment alleges that the Harrons also registered Assured as a Medicaid provider.  In so doing, it is charged that Harron’s own prior felony fraud conviction was concealed from the NC Medicaid on enrollment documents.  Harron and his wife worked together to expand the Agape fraud upon NC Medicaid -- fraudulently billing the program for more than $10 million, just in the period between 2017 and 2019.  
 
Harron admitted that he and his wife carried out the fraud by exploiting an eligibility tool that was entrusted only to NC Medicaid providers.  Specifically, Harron and his wife searched publicly available sources, such as obituary postings on the internet by North Carolina funeral homes, to locate recently deceased North Carolinians.  Harron admitted that the two would then extract from the obituary postings certain personal information for the deceased, including their name, date of birth, and date of death.  Then, utilizing the extracted information, the defendants would then query the NC Medicaid eligibility tool to determine whether the deceased individual had a Medicaid Identification Number.  If the deceased North Carolinian had a valid Medicaid Identification Number and was otherwise eligible for Medicaid coverage during their life, the defendants would use that individual’s identity to “back-bill” NC Medicaid, through Agape, for up to one year of fictitious home health services that were allegedly rendered prior to the death of the individual.  NC Medicaid then disbursed millions to Agape, all of which flowed into accounts controlled by Harron and her husband.
 
Harron admitted that he and his wife carried out the fraud via the internet from locations around the globe, including their corporate office building in Las Vegas, their penthouse condominium in Las Vegas, a corporate office in North Carolina, and from various hotels and luxury resorts in and outside of the United States.
 
Harron further pled guilty to conspiring with his wife to launder the proceeds of the Agape fraud, often through Assured’s bank accounts, into various luxury items.  These expenses included a $900,000 wire for the purchase of a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A private jet, hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tiffany & Co. and Brioni clothing and jewelry, thousands of dollars on Eastern North Carolina business properties, and thousands of dollars in gym equipment.
 
On May 18, 2021, Latisha Harron was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for her role in the fraud.
 
Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker, III stated, “This case is purely about greed and an insatiable desire to live a life of luxury.   Stealing millions from Medicaid through lies, the defendant and his wife achieved their life of luxury – at least for a while.  But there is a serious price to be paid when you purchase your private jet, resort stays, jewelry, and fine dining on the backs of the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.  The defendant and his wife will pay that price by spending more than a decade of their lives in prison.  I wish to thank our many state and federal counterparts in Las Vegas and beyond for their work in bringing these partners in crime to justice.”
 
The Harrons targeted the Medicaid program in North Carolina which the most vulnerable North Carolinians depend on in their time of need.” Said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Wells. “Our agents and law enforcement partners stand ready to work together to make sure those who attack the most vulnerable pay greatly for their crimes.”
 
G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II announced the sentence.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Investigations Division, all investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney William M. Gilmore served as the prosecutor.  Assistant U.S. Attorney John Harris represented the United States with respect to forfeiture aspects of the case.
 
 
Last Updated on Friday, 03 September 2021 16:23
 
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