Federal Government
Child Molester Loses Citizenship And Will Be Deported After Fraud Conviction PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 15 March 2021 10:52
Saul David Aquino, age 44, a naturalized citizen of the United States, born in Argentina and residing in Franklin County, was sentenced by United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine following a guilty plea to passport fraud. Moreover, Aquino was civilly denaturalized as a United States citizen and ordered judicially removed from the United States.
 
According to an affidavit for a federal search warrant executed on March 4, 2020, Aquino was born in Argentina in 1976, and on August 4, 2003, he was granted permanent resident status in the United States. 
 
On May 28, 2009, in Franklin County, North Carolina, Aquino completed, and submitted, an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The Form N-400 contained a series of questions related to good moral character. Question 15 asked: “Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?”  Aquino answered “No” and signed the Form N-400 under penalty of perjury.
 
On August 26, 2009, Aquino was granted United States citizenship and was issued a naturalization certificate.
 
On June 8, 2015, in the Superior Court of North Carolina in Franklin County, Aquino was convicted of two counts of indecent liberties with a child, in violation of North Carolina General Statute § 14-202.1. Aquino was sentenced to a combined term of imprisonment of between 26 and 32 months and mandated to register as a sex offender.  The offense date listed on the judgment was January 1, 2007, before he applied for naturalization. 
 
Additionally, the affidavit stated that on August 26, 2009, in Franklin County, Aquino signed and submitted an application for a U.S. passport to the United States Department of State. As proof of citizenship and eligibility, AQUINO presented his fraudulently obtained naturalization certificate.
 
G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement.  Agents with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations, assigned to the Document Benefit Fraud Task Force, investigated the case as part of Operation False Haven. Operation False Haven is an ongoing initiative in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation, designed to identify and prosecute child molesters and other egregious felons who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship.
 
Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-00041-FL, Case No. 5:20-cv-00277-FL, and Case No. 5:20-mj-01224-JG-1.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 08:13
 
NC Won $9.5 Billion In Federal Contracts During 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 11 March 2021 17:30
U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) reported that $9.5 billion in federal prime contracts that businesses were  executed in North Carolina in FY2020, a $2.4 billion increase from FY2019. This increase of federal contracts in North Carolina comes as the North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC), a business development component of North Carolina’s community colleges, has worked to expand military and federal business opportunities to help grow North Carolina’s economy. 
 
“We’ve seen major increase in federal investments in North Carolina’s military installations and communities over the last several years, and I want to thank the NCMBC for their role in connecting North Carolina businesses with federal agencies,” said Senator Tillis. “The uptick in federal contracts in 2020 created more job opportunities for the people of our state and has been crucial for North Carolina’s economic recovery from COVID-19. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues in Congress and partners in North Carolina to ensure we keep our status as the most military friendly state in the nation.” 
 
“Each of these prime contracts – and billions more in subcontracts – grows jobs, expands the economy and tax base and improves quality of life for everyone in North Carolina,” said NCMBC Executive Director Scott Dorney. “Although COVID-19 negatively impacted other sectors of our economy, the federal economy in North Carolina boomed during 2020 - with COVID-19 medical and textile requirements and the Hurricane Florence Recovery program driving federal agency and DoD contracting, respectively.”    
 
Fiscal Year 2020 Figures: 
Prime contracts from all federal agencies executed in NC increased by $2.4 billion, from $7.1 billion in 2019 to $9.5 billion in 2020
DoD prime contracts executed in NC increased by $1.5 billion, from $4.6 billion in 2019 to $6.1 billion in 2020
Businesses in 97 NC counties performed work for the federal government as prime contractors
Businesses in 83 NC counties performed work for DoD as prime contractors
Businesses in 36 NC counties performed over $10 million in federal prime contracts
Businesses in 15 NC counties performed over $75 million in federal prime contracts, including:
o Onslow: $2,253,226,271.90
o Cumberland: $1,467,291,825.57
o Durham: $1,364,303,388.88
o Craven: $859,351,519.93 
o Hertford: $428,746,784.42 
o Wake: $413,048,785.24 
o Forsyth: $379,737,400.28
o Hoke: $279,515,967.16
o New Hanover: $255,082,143.46
o Mecklenburg: $242,943,685.20
o Guilford: $231,954,785.74 
o Buncombe: $153,395,625.57
o Pasquotank: $150,162,449.46 
o Rockingham: $101,788,126.23
o Gaston: $101,023,120.47 
 
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 March 2021 17:34
 
Hudson Opposes Anti-Gun Bills, Forces a Vote on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 March 2021 17:52
U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), author of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, went to the House floor to force a vote on his legislation as an amendment to H.R. 1446. The House began to consider H.R. 1446 today, a bill that extends the wait time for a firearm sale from 3 to 10 days and could allow the government to delay a sale indefinitely. The House also began consideration of H.R. 8, a bill that will turn law-abiding citizens into criminals if they store a gun for a friend or loan a gun to a neighbor wanting it for self-protection. Both bills will receive a vote on final passage tomorrow. 
 
"Republicans are serious about ending gun violence and have brought forward policies that protect public safety without eroding our Second Amendment rights," said Rep. Hudson. "However, the left is determined to just take away your rights after voting to defund the police just last week. It’s no wonder gun sales and concealed carry permits are at all-time highs. These law-abiding Americans deserve to have their rights protected. That’s why today, I am calling on my colleagues across the aisle to stand up for law-abiding citizens and adopt H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. We need H.R. 38 more than ever, and if my colleagues are determined to pass gun legislation, then let’s help people protect themselves." 
 
In his remarks, Rep. Hudson discussed his opposition to H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446. H.R. 8 would impose unnecessary and redundant background checks that already occur on all commercial gun sales. This could turn law-abiding citizens into criminals for storing a gun for a friend struggling with mental health, transferring a gun to someone else during a break-in, or loaning a handgun to a neighbor with an abusive ex who wanted to borrow it for self-protection. Its limited and unclear exemptions also threaten the ability to loan a gun to a friend or stepchild to hunt or go to a shooting range.
 
H.R. 1446 would extend the default transfer window for a retail firearm sale from 3 to 10 business days and could allow the FBI to delay a transfer indefinitely. It also fails to address the problem of its so-called “Charleston Loophole” which was a lack of information sharing, not a need for an extended background check period.
 
Rep. Hudson's Motion to Recommit offered today will add H.R. 38 to H.R. 1446 prior to final passage tomorrow. Rep. Hudson introduced H.R. 38 on the first day of this Congress to ensure citizens carrying a legally-owned firearm do not become criminals when crossing an invisible state line. 
 
Earlier this week, Rep. Hudson also introduced the STOP II: Classrooms Over Conference Rooms Act, to double funding for the STOP School Violence Act signed into law in 2018 to harden schools, get more mental health resources in schools and increase active-duty training for law enforcement. Funding for this bill is taken from money set aside for the U.S. Department of Education to rent conference rooms in Washington, D.C. Rep. Hudson introduced the bill as one of several targeted alternatives to H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 that address school safety and root causes of gun violence. 
 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 March 2021 17:54
 
Wilmington Heroin Dealer Gets 10 Years In Federal Prison PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 March 2021 17:40

Jarrin Anthony Clarida, age 27, of Wilmington was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for three counts of distribution of a quantity of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. 

On December 18, 2019 Clarida pled guilty to these charges.  All the counts arose out of acts that occurred in the City of Wilmington. 

According to court documents, in January 2019, investigators with the Wilmington Police Department (WPD) launched an investigation into Clarida’s drug distribution activities.  Using a Confidential Informant, law enforcement conducted three controlled purchases of heroin from Clarida on January 8, 10, & 15, 2019. 

Following the controlled purchases, members of the WPD Gang Unit executed a search warrant at Clarida’s residence.  A search of the residence uncovered heroin packaged in 220 bindles, marijuana, 3 dosage units of MDMA, miscellaneous ammunition, gang related documents, a 9mm magazine, an unloaded EKOL Volga 9mm starter gun and $5,601.00.  Clarida was taken into custody and provided a statement to law enforcement officials admitting that the heroin and a large portion of the currency found in the residence were his. 

Per court documents, Clarida is a validated gang member and has prior state convictions that include, but are not limited to, selling a Schedule I controlled substance, interference with an electronic monitoring device, and possession with the intent to sell or deliver marijuana.

G. Norman Acker, III, 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 Wilmington Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Murphy Averitt  prosecuted the case.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation and the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  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.

 
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