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  • News Blog - Previous 2023 Entries - August through September https://www.fbi.gov/news/blog-previous-2023-entries-august-onwards The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. <![CDATA[
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    News Blog

    2023 Entries - August through September


    September 2023 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    September 29, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    FBI Dedicates Additional Investigative and Victim Specialist Resources to Indigenous Women and Children in Indian Country
    The FBI announced the results of Operation Not Forgotten, which dedicated over 40 FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, staff operational specialists, and victim specialists to 10 FBI field offices whose designated regions support women and children in indigenous communities. 

    • Investigative personnel and victim specialists collectively deployed to tribal areas to examine cases and focus resources on seeking justice for women and children who have been victims of crime. 
    • During Operation Not Forgotten, over 220 cases were handled by investigators during the resource surge. 
    • "Operation Not Forgotten reflects the FBI’s relentless and continued commitment to ensuring the safety and security of women and children in indigenous communities," said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. "By expanding our presence in Indian Country and working closely with tribal law enforcement agencies and community advocates, the FBI aims to achieve meaningful and impactful progress in solving these cases and bringing justice for victims and their families and loved ones."
    • Full press release

    Trinitarios Gang Member Charged in Connection With Two Shootings in Queens and Brooklyn on the Same Day
    Abel Mora, a member of the Trinitarios—a violent street gang—was charge with being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition related to two separate shootings Mora allegedly committed in Queens and Brooklyn on August 13, 2023.  

    • If convicted, Mora faces up to 15 years in prison on each of the two counts.
    • "Gang members like Mora continue to plague our city with his blatant disregard for the safety of our community and his reckless indifference to human life. It is only through our local and federal partnerships that we are able to put a stop to these violent repeat offenders," stated FBI New York Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith. "This case is another example of how the FBI and our law enforcement partners are dedicated to keeping the streets of New York City safe for everyone in our community."
    • Full press release

    Twelve Charged in Connection with Violent Motorcycle Gang Assault
    A dozen members of the Homietos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang are now in custody on racketeering and firearms charges related to a violent assault of another motorcycle club in Houston.

    • All 12 are charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to do so and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
    • "The arrests of 12 alleged Homieto outlaw motorcycle gang members are the result of a multi-year FBI Houston-led interagency investigation and are the first significant indictments against these types of criminal groups in the Houston area," said FBI Houston Acting Special Agent in Charge David Martinez. "This criminal organization is accused of crimes that keep victims, community members and rivals in a perpetual state of fear through intimidation and violence. Law enforcement and the public have had enough of the violence, ruthlessness and disregard for law and order that this gang is alleged to have perpetrated."
    • Full press release

    Northern Nevada Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering Pregnant Indigenous Woman on Reservation
    Michael Burciaga stabbed his pregnant girlfriend, a registered member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, multiple times, causing her death and the death of their unborn child. 

    • Burciaga has prior convictions for domestic assault in Becker County, Minn.; domestic battery in Fernley; and battery and domestic battery in Sparks.
    • "Today’s sentencing ends a tragic story of cold-blooded murder," said FBI Las Vegas Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans. "While life in prison will not undo the crime committed by Mr. Burciaga, it will prevent him from victimizing anyone on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation again. I appreciate the work of our investigators and tribal partners ensuring violent offenders such as this are held accountable, and residents can feel safe in their homes."
    • Full press release

    San Francisco Daycare Worker Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Using Access to Children to Produce, Possess, and Distribute Child Pornography
    Jace Wong was sentenced to serve 300 months in prison for production, attempted production, distribution, and possession of child pornography in connection with a scheme to take pictures and videos of four- to six-year-olds that he could share on child pornography sites online.

    • Wong has been in custody since his arrest in April of 2021. He will begin serving his prison term immediately, and in addition to the prison term, Wong was ordered to serve 15 years of supervised release which will begin after his term of imprisonment.
    • "Wong's actions were shocking. Instead of attending to their safety, Wong exploited children of tender years for his own gratification. His sentence makes clear child predators will be held accountable," said FBI San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Robert K.Tripp. "The FBI is committed to protecting our most vulnerable citizens and apprehending sexual offenders."
    • Full press release

    Former State Trooper Gets 43 Years for Sexually Assaulting Women
    Lee Ray Boykin, a former state trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), deprived two separate victims of their right to bodily integrity when he committed aggravated sexual abuse to one victim and kidnapped the other victim.

    • Boykin was also found guilty of two counts of destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation.
    • "Lee Ray Boykin turned traffic stops into sexual assaults,” said U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani for the Southern District of Texas. "He used his badge and all the power it afforded to force himself onto two vulnerable women. Boykin targeted victims he believed would not report him and even thought he got away with it. He was wrong. This sentence sends a message that we will pursue anyone that poses a threat to our citizens, no matter what position they hold. And thanks to the hard work of law enforcement, the position Boykin now holds is inmate."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    International Podcast Day is September 30    

    September 27, 2023

    Did you know the FBI has a podcast? 

    On Inside the FBI, we share stories about the Bureau's people, programs, and processes in audio form. 

    In honor of International Podcast Day on September 30, we've curated a selection of Inside the FBI episodes—from art crime to UFOs—to share with you.

    You can listen to all our episodes of Inside the FBI on your favorite podcast player, including Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, and at fbi.gov/podcasts.


    Top Ten Fugitive Donald Eugene Fields II

    The most recent addition to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, Donald Eugene Fields II is wanted for the alleged sex trafficking of at least one child in Missouri.

    The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist

    Learn about a historic art heist, including why the stolen pieces matter to the museum, the art world at large, and the FBI.

    Oasis Ponzi Scheme

    Hear the story of how the Bureau and our partners took down an $80 million Ponzi scheme.

    Hanging Up on Tech Support Scams

    Learn how to protect yourself from tech support scammers trying to get access to your wallet and your computer.

    UFOs

    Uncover the truth about some of our noteworthy cases involving unidentified aerial phenomena.


    Seeking Victim Information   

    September 25, 2023

    The FBI is seeking information from victims in relation to two current investigations. All responses are voluntary, and victim identities will be kept confidential.

    In Nevada, the FBI’s resident agency in Reno is looking for info related to the investigation of Dr. Samuel Chacon, a licensed obstetrician-gynecologist who saw patients at the Women’s Health Center of Reno and at local hospitals, including Renown Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. No criminal charges have been brought against Dr. Chacon.

    If you believe that you were victimized by Dr. Samuel Chacon or that you have information pertinent to this investigation, please fill out this short form.

    The FBI is also seeking info from victims of the Tongi Tupe investment program, a scheme orchestrated to defraud investors in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Tilila Siola’a Walker Sumchai of Richmond, Virginia, has been charged with allegedly taking investors’ money and using it for personal expenses, including gambling, and to pay back and lull earlier investors.

    If you believe you are a victim of the Tongi Tupe investment program, please complete this questionnaire.

    The FBI is legally mandated to identify victims of federal crimes it investigates. Victims may be eligible for certain services, restitution, and rights under federal and/or state law.

    There are other investigations in which we're currently seeking victim information.

    Additional resources:

    FBI Victim Services Division

    DOJ Office for Victims of Crime—Help for Victims

    National Safe Place Network


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    September 22, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    2023 Summer Violent Crime Wrap-up
    The following information compiled from May 29 to September 4, 2023, reflect the FBI's collective actions against violent criminals, transnational criminal organizations, gang members, and child predators. 

    Statistics

    • Number of Arrests: 4,195
    • Number of Indictments: 2,188
    • Number of Children Identified: 719
    • Number of Children Located: 595
    • Number of Weapons Seized: 1,604
    • Number of Disruptions: 422
    • Number of Dismantlements: 51
    • Number of Drug Seizures: 2,512

    Bronx Man Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison for 2018 Murder During Which He Shot the Victim’s Five-Year-Old Son
    Joshua Rodriguez was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Jaquan Millien on October 23, 2018. 

    • Rodriguez shot and killed Millien in the Butler Houses in the Bronx, New York, in connection with a drug dispute.
    • During the shooting, Rodriguez shot Millien’s five-year-old son, who was with his father at the time. Millien's son survived.
    • "Inside of a residential building in the Bronx, Joshua Rodriguez targeted, ambushed, and callously murdered Jaquan Millien over a drug dispute," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "Worse still, Rodriguez shot and wounded Millien’s five-year-old son who was standing next to his father. Millien’s son’s gunshot wound has healed, but the scars from witnessing the brutal murder of his father will last a lifetime. Today’s lengthy sentence is yet another example of this Office’s promise to remain relentless in its prosecution of violent drug dealers."
    • Full press release

    Kissimmee Man Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Over One Million Files of Child Sexual Abuse Material
    Edward Nicholas Carney was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material.

    • As of the date of Carney’s sentencing hearing, more than 2 terabytes of child sexual abuse material, including 137 known series of child sex abuse, have been located on Carney’s electronic devices.
    • "This investigation is yet another example of the dedication and determination of the FBI and its law enforcement partners in unmasking child predators and keeping our children safe," said FBI Tampa Special Agent in Charge David Walker.
    • Full press release

    Gang Member Convicted of Assaulting FBI Agent in 2022 Shooting
    Joshuia Johnathon Luke Brown and co-defendent Jarvis Smith, shot multiple rounds at an FBI agent in Columbus last year was found guilty of assault on a federal officer along with additional charges for armed drug trafficking.

    • Brown is a member of US World, a hybrid criminal street gang based out of Columbus, Georgia, that is affiliated with other national criminal gangs. Smith is a confirmed member of the Bloods criminal street gang and has a prior conviction of aggravated assault, burglary and robbery.
    • "Anyone who assaults a law enforcement officer is dangerous and an extreme threat to public safety. Stopping violent criminals, like Brown, is one of the most important things we can do to protect our communities," said FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley. "Thankfully, no one—including our Special Agent—was injured during Brown's act of terror. Columbus is a safer community with him off the streets."
    • Full press release

    Savannah Woman Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison for Violent Armed Robbery
    Shannan Barnwell has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to the violent armed robbery of a vendor stocking an automatic teller machine.

    • In 2022, a vendor was restocking an automatic teller machine when Barnwell brandished a handgun and declared a robbery. As Barnwell took containers of cash from the vendor, Barnwell ran away, firing two shots with one striking the ATM.
    • At the time of the robbery, Barnwell was on parole from a previous conviction for armed robbery and carjacking.
    • "Barnwell terrorized and threatened her innocent victim," said FBI Savannah (Atlanta) Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Will Clarke. “This lengthy prison sentence hopefully provides some peace to the victim by ensuring Barnwell cannot terrorize anyone for decades to come."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    Inside the FBI: Defending Against AI Threats  

    September 20, 2023

    Artificial intelligence, or AI, is one of the newest technologies the world is exploring on a massive scale. The FBI is also examining AI to anticipate and defend against threats and, ultimately, to help keep the American people safe.

    “One aspect of AI we at the FBI are most concerned about is that this technology doesn’t just exist in cyberspace. It touches more and more of the physical world, too,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

    In this episode of Inside the FBI, hear from Director Wray and Bryan Vorndran, head of the FBI’s Cyber Division, about the Bureau’s stance on AI and other key priorities.


    Apply Today for Our Honors Internship Program  

    September 18, 2023

    Get an inside look at the FBI’s Honors Internship Program from members of this summer’s intern class.

    Calling all undergraduate and graduate college students! Applications are due on September 20 for the FBI’s 2024 Honors Internship Program (HIP).

    The HIP is a 10-week, paid summer internship that gives participants the opportunity to work alongside FBI employees at our headquarters in Washington, D.C., or at one of our 56 field offices across the United States.

    For undergraduate students between their junior and senior years—as well as graduate students pursuing a master’s degree, JD, or PhD—the HIP can be a direct pipeline to full-time employment with the FBI after graduation. 

    We’re looking for applicants from a wide range of academic backgrounds, including but not limited to accounting, foreign languages, information technology, criminal justice, journalism, law, and all STEM programs. 

    Applicants must be U.S. citizens, attend a U.S. accredited college full-time, maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, pass all FBI background investigation requirements, and meet additional requirements.

    Are you interested? Visit fbijobs.gov to apply no later than September 20.

    Start Your Career With Impact

    Behind the Scenes With Our Summer Interns


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    September 15, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    Twenty-Six Defendants Charged for Drug Trafficking in Multi-State Operation
    An indictment was unsealed charging 26 defendants of drug trafficking, possessing a firearm during drug trafficking, money laundering, and other charges.

    • These charges were brought as the result of Operation Lights Out, an FBI-led investigation in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
    • If convicted, the defendants each face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
    • "The arrests made in this operation are the culmination of years of investigative work between the FBI and our law enforcement partners," said FBI Norfolk Special Agent in Charge Brian Dugan. "Today, I want to sincerely thank those partners for their teamwork and patience as we gathered the evidence needed for this investigation to come to a logical conclusion, as our law enforcement partners have been dealing with some of these offenders for over a decade. I hope that this operation gives them a return on investment for all the officers and resources they dedicated to assisting the investigation. This operation is a testament to the strong partnership the FBI has with local and state police, as well as sheriff’s offices, and how that partnership better protects our communities."
    • Full press release

    Kidnapping and Murder of Osage Nation Citizen Results in Nine Convictions
    Tre Robert Allen Ackerson pleaded guilty to second degree murder for the killing of Osage citizen Jolene Walker Campbell. Ackerson faces up to life in federal prison with no possibility of parole.

    • Ackerson admitted that he intentionally shot the victim multiple times, cut her throat, and hit her head several times with a tire jack until she died from the injuries.  He further admitted to conspiring with the other codefendants to obstruct, threaten, and tamper with witnesses that had information relating to the kidnapping and murder.
    • "Jolene Campbell was only 35 when she was brutally murdered, a young woman with a long life ahead of her. She left behind a grieving family that deserves justice, and after three long years and nine convictions, we hope they can finally begin to heal from this tragic loss," said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. "Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the FBI and our law enforcement partners, the defendants are now facing decades in prison for their involvement in this horrific crime."
    • Full press release

    Manager of Sex Trafficking and Prostitution Ring Indicted on Racketeering and Related Charges Along With Two of the Organization’s Enforcers
    A 31-count superseding indictment charges additional assaults and three new defendants in connection with Queens-based criminal enterprise that committed violence against women across the United States.

    • The charges relate to the defendants’ alleged participation in a Queens-based criminal organization that engaged in sex trafficking, beatings, and robberies of dozens of women across the United States.  
    • "These defendants allegedly engaged in the heinous crime of forced labor and chose to brutally exploit their fellow human beings for profit," stated FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge James Smith. "The FBI is committed to working with our partners to pursue justice on behalf of victims of human trafficking and prosecuting perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law."
    • Full press release

    St. Louis Man Admits Involvement in Armed Carjackings, Jail Escape and Fatal Shooting of De Smet High School Football Coach
    Kurt Wallace pleaded guilty to four counts of carjacking, two counts of discharging a firearm in furtherance of carjacking, one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of carjacking resulting in death and one count of escape.

    • In 2017, Wallace carjacked two vehicles, shooting the driver in both instances. 
    • The next day, Wallace was involved in an additional armed carjacking of a Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by Jaz Granderson, a football coach, who Wallace fatally shot during the carjacking.
    • Wallace was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2017 and detained in jail pending trial.  While in custody, Wallace escaped from a jail on July 15, 2019.  After escaping, Wallace and a fellow inmate carjacked a vehicle and led police on a multi-jurisdiction pursuit until Wallace crashed and flipped the vehicle.
    • Full press release

    Former Alabama Department of Corrections Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights and Obstruction Offenses for Assaulting a Restrained Inmate and Lying to Cover It Up
    A former Alabama Department of Corrections lieutenant pleaded guilty to using excessive force on an inmate and lying afterwards in an official report to cover up his abuse.

    • Former William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility Lieutenant and Shift Commander Mohammad Shahid Jenkins, who had more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement, used excessive force on inmate V.R. 
    • "The civil rights of all must be protected, including those who are in the trusted custody of law enforcement officials," said FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples. "To willfully deprive any individual without due process or subject the same to cruel and unusual punishment can’t be tolerated or perceived to be so commonplace it’s considered normal inside of our institutions. The FBI will remain committed to holding those who swore an oath to protect and serve, but instead willfully abused their privileges and abandon their responsibilities as law enforcement officers, accountable."
    • Full press release

    Las Vegas Resident Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison for Child Sexual Exploitation
    Mohamed Muhina was sentenced to 21 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for recording himself sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

    • In 2017, Muhina began communicating with a 14-year-old girl on Facebook messenger. Shortly thereafter, he drove to the victim’s residence and  sexually assaulted her.
    • He assaulted her three more times between 2017 and 2018.
    • "I am extremely proud of the collaborative effort put forth to ensure this defendant was brought to justice," said FBI Las Vegas Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans. "Knowing that the defendant will serve the next 21 years in federal prison, ensures there is one less predator victimizing the most innocent and vulnerable members of our community. This sentencing is a success in the fight against those who exploit the vulnerable and illustrates our dedication to bring these criminals to justice."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Help Identify John Doe 47 

    September 13, 2023

    Photo of John Doe 47

    Photo of John Doe 47

    Can you help identify this man? Known only as John Doe 47, he may have critical information about a child victim in an ongoing sexual exploitation investigation. Additional photos and an informational poster can be found at fbi.gov/wanted/ecap.  

    John Doe 47 is described as a Black male between the ages of 18 and 25. In a video obtained by the Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP), he can be heard speaking English.

    The search for John Doe 47 falls under the FBI’s ECAP and Operation Rescue Me initiatives. Both are partnerships between the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. ECAP seeks national and international media exposure of unknown adults (referred to as John/Jane Does) who visibly display their faces and/or other distinguishing characteristics in association with child pornography images. Operation Rescue Me uses clues obtained through in-depth image analysis to identify the child victims depicted in child exploitation material.

    No charges have been filed in this case, and John Doe 47 is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. 

    If you have any information about John Doe 47, please call the FBI’s toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.                                                                            

    Press release


    Remembering 9/11 

    September 11, 2023

    ADD Turner, AD Glasheen Lay Wreath at TSC 9/11 Memorial

    Associate Deputy Director Brian Turner and Assistant Director Michael Glasheen lay a wreath in front of the Terrorist Screening Center's Trident Memorial. The towering structure is one of a few tridents, or steel support columns, recovered from the north tower of the World Trade Center after 9/11.

    Members of the FBI gathered this morning at the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) in Vienna, VA, to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The TSC opened in 2003 as a direct result of 9/11.

    Associate Deputy Director Brian Turner spoke at the event, reflecting on his experiences that day and the legacy that 9/11 created for the FBI: “That day was more than just a point in time. It changed the way we do our jobs, the way we work with partners, and the way we counter threats. In some ways, it’s made us at the FBI who we are today. And it’s why many of us are here, in public service.”

    The FBI honors all who lost their lives on 9/11—including two of our own, Special Agents Leonard Hatton and John O’Neill—and all who have died or are currently being treated for illnesses resulting from exposure to toxic air during 9/11 recovery efforts.

    FBI Wall of Honor

    Ground Zero Flag

    Why We Do the Job: Lessons from 9/11 for New Agents and Intelligence Analysts

    Hard-Earned Lessons from 9/11 Offer a Playbook for Combating Today’s Threats


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    September 8, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    Dozens Arrested as Part of Houston Violent Crime Initiative
    The charges brought against 39 individuals are the newest brought in the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Houston Violent Crime Initiative, conducted in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas and local, state, and federal law enforcement.

    • The defendants are each alleged to be part of larger organizations involved in large-scale drug trafficking or violent robberies.
    • During the investigations and arrests, law enforcement seized 79 firearms, approximately 248 kilograms of meth, over 1.7 kilograms of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and PCP, as well as four pill presses and over $110,000 in cash.
    • Full press release

    Proud Boys Leader Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Seditious Conspiracy and Other Charges Related to U.S. Capitol Breach
    The former national chairman of the Proud Boys, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, was sentenced for seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

    • "Today’s sentencing demonstrates that those who attempted to undermine the workings of American democracy will be held criminally accountable," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "The FBI will always protect those who peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. But we will never condone the actions of those who break our laws, and we will continue to work with federal prosecutors to ensure those perpetrators are held responsible."
    • Full press release

    Man in Walker County Sentenced for Cyberstalking via Social Media
    Kody Nicholas Bohac has been ordered to serve 121 months in federal prison for receiving child pornography as well as multiple counts of cyberstalking.

    • "Bohac used social media accounts, smart phones and laptops as weapons to terrorize and humiliate young women, all for his sick amusement. Sextortion is ruining young people’s lives at an alarming rate, pushing some to suicide; deaths that are wholly preventable and completely tragic," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar S. Hamdani.  
    • "This is your typical sextortion case," said FBI Houston Acting Special Agent in Charge David Martinez. "The individual behind this cyberstalking case took advantage of his young victims by tricking them into sending him compromising content of themselves. He then took pleasure in terrorizing them and shaming them personally. Unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more of these types of cases and too many victims of sextortion who succumb to the shame and take their own lives."
    • Full press release

    St. Paul Woman Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Role in Child Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
    Gisela Castro Medina conspired with co-defendant Anton Joseph Lazzaro, to recruit and solicit six minor victims to engage in commercial sex acts.

    • Medina admitted that, at the time of recruitment, she knew that the victims were minors and that Lazzaro paid the minor victims money in exchange for sex acts.
      For her role of identifying, recruiting, and introducing minors, Lazzaro compensated Castro Medina with money, as well as rent and utility payments for her apartment, tuition payments, car payments, travel expenses, and other items.
    • "Anton Lazzaro and Gisela Castro Medina have been held accountable for their crimes," said Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Minnesota Melinda Williams, Laura Provinzino, and Emily Polachek. "This case has shown the reality of modern-day sex trafficking: wealth, privilege, and social media used as weapons to target and manipulate vulnerable youth. It’s been a long road and we are grateful to the victims for their strength and resilience throughout."
    • Full press release

    Fifteen Plus Years' Prison Sentence for Georgia Man in Dog Fighting, Drug Conspiracy Case
    Armard Davis previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to participate in an animal fighting venture.

    • Davis’ sentence holds him accountable for his criminal conduct spanning both investigations.  
    • "Dogfighting is a brutal crime often tied with drug trafficking organizations, as seen in this case," said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. "These crimes destroy lives and place enormous burdens on communities. We appreciate the collaborative and extensive effort shared by federal, state and local law enforcement entities to investigate and prosecute this case."
    • Full press release

    Chicago Gang Member Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison for Retaliating Against Witnesses in Criminal Investigation
    Javion Bush pleaded guilty earlier this year to an obstruction of justice charge. 

    • The two cooperators had previously testified before a federal grand jury that was investigating a Chicago street gang faction known as the Goonie Boss/Goonie Gang, of which Bush was a member.
    • Bush learned the identities of the cooperators after viewing a law enforcement report that had been provided to another Goonie member who was being prosecuted by the State of Illinois for murder.
    • "Without witnesses, the truth about an incident will never be found," Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Albert Berry III argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. "Witnesses should be protected at all costs and threatening them should be sanctioned swiftly and severely."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    "Machine Gun" Kelly and the G-Men 

    September 6, 2023

    Did you know that FBI agents were once known as “G-Men?”

    The nickname was reputedly coined 90 years ago—in September 1933—by gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly, who allegedly shouted "Don't shoot, G-men! Don't shoot!" during his arrest. 

    Short for “Government Men,” the nickname originally applied to all federal investigators. And even though it's doubtful Kelly actually uttered those words, the term became synonymous in the public’s imagination with the FBI’s special agents.

    George Kelly and his wife Kathryn—who had given George the nickname “Machine Gun”—were arrested in 1933 for their involvement in kidnapping Charles Urschel, one of Oklahoma’s wealthiest oil magnates at that time. Both were sentenced to life in prison.

    Read the full story.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    September 1, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    More Than a Dozen Charged in a Violent Crime Conspiracy That Includes Armed Carjacking, Armed Robbery
    A superseding indictment was unsealed charging 16 alleged members of a violent crime ring that committed multiple armed carjackings, armed robberies, money laundering, and firearms offenses.

    • Charges include conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce (known as Hobbs Act) robbery, interference with interstate commerce by robbery, using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, conspiracy to commit carjacking, and conspiracy to engage in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
    • "We allege these suspects took part in take-over style armed robberies meant to terrify and overwhelm store owners and employees," said FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James Dennehy. "Many of the victim businesses are family owned and operated and lost large sums of inventory. The alleged violent and reckless actions of the subjects are astounding; they gave no thought to the people who could have been seriously injured or even killed. We have a message for criminals out there right now who believe these smash and grab robberies work in their favor because they mistakenly believe no one will hold them accountable. That’s not the case here – and it won’t be the case in the future. FBI Newark and our law enforcement partners will make sure if we can charge something federally, we will make that happen."
    • Full press release

    Six People Charged with Kidnapping and Carjacking
    Desmond Evans, Ramel Henderson, Kevon Jackson, Delonte Mundaray, Marquette Jackson, and Malik Terrell, all of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are each charged with two counts of aiding and abetting kidnapping and one count of aiding and abetting carjacking.

    • Melvin Green, also of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is charged with being an accessory after the fact to these offenses.
    • According to the indictment, on June 9, 2023, the defendants kidnapped Victim 1, and willfully transported the victim from the District of Columbia to Maryland.The indictment further alleges that the six defendants kidnapped Victim 2 on that same date.
    • The defendants are also charged with carjacking a black Mercedes SUV from Victim 1 by force, violence and intimidation, with the intent to cause death and serious bodily harm during the kidnappings.
    • Full press release

    Federal Grand Jury in Louisville Returns Four Indictments Charging 34 Defendants
    A federal grand jury in Louisville charged 34 Louisville and Southern Indiana residents in four indictments involving methamphetamine, fentanyl, and firearms offenses.    

    • Twenty-six of the 34 defendants have been arrested.
    • If convicted, the defendants each face minimum sentences ranging from 10 to 35 years, and all each face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
    • A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 
    • Full press release

    Task Force Targets Bandidos Motorcycle Club in Joint Enforcement Operation
    A coordinated, multiagency enforcement operation targeted alleged members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

    • Over the past four years, law enforcement officials in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma have observed a sharp increase in violence between the Bandidos and the Mongols Motorcycle Club.
    • “Today, we joined forces to take significant law enforcement action to disrupt an outlaw motorcycle gang trying to establish a foothold in our communities,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda.  “Along with our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners, our efforts to combat organized violent crime will continue to be waged each and every day.  I am grateful for the dedicated law enforcement professionals who work tirelessly to disrupt such criminal activity and fight for justice on behalf of the citizens we serve and protect.”
    • Full press release

    All 20 Members of Fentanyl and Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization Sentenced to a Total of More Than 265 Years in Federal Prison
    Richard A. Wells has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl. Wells was the final of 20 defendants to be sentenced in this conspiracy.

    • The investigation resulted in the indictment and conviction of twenty total defendants for their roles in the organization’s drug trafficking activity. The organization distributed approximately 350 pounds of methamphetamine and 15 kilograms of fentanyl during its operation.
    • "Due to extraordinary investigative work by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, a significant drug trafficking organization has been dismantled, and 20 of its members have been brought to justice," said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. "These criminals profited from peddling illegal drugs that destroy lives and families. The sentencing of the final defendant in this case closes the book on this criminal enterprise, preventing them from bringing further harm to the community."
    • Full press release

    Three Kokomo Men Sentenced to Federal Prison After Heist of Over $200,000 from Armored Truck Aided by Inside Man
    Keith Martin, Edwin Sims, and James Alexander, have all been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to a coordinated bank theft of $204,918. Sims also pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

    • Martin was sentenced in July 2023 to seven months in federal prison; Sims was sentenced in March 2023 to 12.5 years’ imprisonment; Alexander was sentenced in August 2023 to 27 months’ imprisonment. The three defendants were each ordered to pay $135,792.85 in restitution.
    • “The FBI is committed to investigating violent crime and pursuing those who commit these offenses which this sentence clearly demonstrates,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “The rapid response and outstanding investigative work by the FBI, the Kokomo Police Department, and the DEA ensured these three defendants are behind bars where they belong.”
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    August 2023 


    FBI Hate Crime Statistics Symposium   

    August 30, 2023

    The FBI's Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS) recently met in Clarksburg, West Virginia, with more than 100 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) programs from over 40 states and the District of Columbia to discuss aspects of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting hate crime data.

    UCR programs generate reliable statistics on hate crime data for use in law enforcement. More than 18,000 city, university/college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participate and submit their crime data either through a state UCR program or directly to the FBI’s UCR program. 

    The Hate Crime Statistics Symposium at CJIS was part of an ongoing effort by the FBI to improve hate crimes reporting and data collection. Participants—which also included the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, the Office of Justice Programs, and DOJ leadership—explored ways to improve reporting mechanisms, better support victims, and implement preventive measures to counter hate-motivated actions. The event helped foster a deeper understanding of the importance of hate crimes data collection for communities and for law enforcement. 

    Learn more about DOJ’s response to hate crimes.


    Inside the FBI: Top Ten Fugitive Donald Eugene Fields II  

    August 28, 2023

    Donald Eugene Fields II was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for the alleged sex trafficking of at least one child in Missouri—and the FBI is offering a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to his arrest.

    Although Fields has been charged in Missouri with sexually abusing several minor females, his federal crimes center on one victim: a young woman he began abusing as early as age 11 and subjected to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, including rape.

    On this episode of Inside the FBI, hear from the special agent in the FBI’s St. Louis Field Office who has been investigating Fields and learn how you can help us catch this fugitive.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    August 25, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    Lawrence Rudolph Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison for Murdering His Wife in Zambia
    Lawrence Rudolph was sentenced to life in prison for murder, and will also serve a concurrent sentence of 20 years for defrauding multiple life insurance companies.

    • On October 11, 2016, Rudolph murdered his wife Bianca while the two were on a hunting trip in Zambia.
    • Rudolph shot his wife through the heart with a 12-gauge shotgun that was enclosed in a soft-shell case on the last day of a scheduled hunt, scheming to make the murder look like an accident.
    • Upon his return to the United States, Rudolph filed fraudulent claims on nine separate life insurance policies issued by seven different companies to obtain $4,877,744.93.
    • "The defendant in this case thought he could murder his wife overseas and get away with it. He was wrong and will now be held accountable for his actions thanks to the relentless pursuit of justice by the dedicated men and women of the FBI, DOJ, and the family of Bianca Rudolph, who never lost faith in the judicial system," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek.
    • Full press release

    Blythewood Man Sentenced to 25 Years, Barnwell Man to More Than Three Years, in Federal Prison for Human Trafficking and Drug Offenses
    Between 2016 and 2020, Brian Leroy Watson trafficked at least nine victims—eight adults and one minor— into the commercial sex trade. Watson also distributed heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack cocaine.

    • Watson targeted victims with particular vulnerabilities, including heroin and methamphetamine addictions and physical and mental impairments. He physically and sexually abused them.
    • Grover lived with Watson for a portion of time between 2016 and 2020, and assisted Watson by driving victims to commercial sex acts, negotiating with customers, and distributing drugs.
    • "Watson’s heinous actions have caused long-lasting trauma to his victims," said FBI Columbia Special Agent in Charge Steve Jensen. "No sentence will erase the damage that he has caused, but it is our hope that victims find solace in knowing he can no longer cause them harm. The FBI, along with our partners at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, stand firm in our determination to protect vulnerable citizens from dangerous predators."
    • Full press release

    South Carolina Man and Woman Plead Guilty to Hate Crime and Conspiracy for Bias-Motivated Armed Robberies Targeting Hispanic Victims
    Gabriel Brunson and Sierra Fletcher, both of Columbia, South Carolina, conspired to target defendants identified as Mexican or Hispanic at places of public accommodation, including gas stations and grocery stores—and then robbed the victims at gunpoint.

    • Both defendants admitted their involvement in a January 2021 armed robbery in which the defendants followed their victims from a grocery store and restaurant to their home, and then robbed the victims at gunpoint, stealing cash and a cellphone. Fletcher admitted to being involved in several other robberies, including a carjacking and a home invasion robbery of other Hispanic victims. 
    • "These were not crimes of opportunity. The defendants systematically robbed at gunpoint people whom they identified as Mexican or Hispanic," said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. "Hate-motived violence has no place in our country. The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate these crimes and promote a culture of safety and inclusivity in all the communities we serve."
    • Full press release

    Former Federal Correctional Officer Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Abuse of an Inmate
    Between October 2021 and August 2022, Lenton Jerome Hatten engaged in repeated sexual acts with an inmate while employed as a sports specialist for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee (FCI Tallahassee). 

    • Immediately after being reported, a forensic examination was conducted of the victim by a sexual assault nurse examiner. DNA evidence confirmed a likely link between Hatten and the victim.
    • "Without exception, all people, including those serving sentences in correctional facilities, are entitled to protection of their physical safety and civil rights," said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. "This defendant repeatedly sexually abused an inmate in his care and thanks to the victim’s bravery in coming forward, future abuse has been prevented. Today’s case shows that the FBI will investigate anyone who violates federal law, regardless of their position, and hold those responsible for enforcing it to the highest standard."
    • Full press release

    Members of Charlotte-Based Auto Theft Ring Are Charged In Federal Court
    The defendants allegedly stole high-end automobiles worth millions of dollars from dealerships across the United States from 2021 to 2023.

    • According to allegations, the defendants executed the thefts in a number of ways, such as "smash and grab" thefts, where they would break into dealerships and locate keys to the high-end models, or break open lockboxes containing keys to luxury vehicles, and then drive the vehicles off the lot.
    • Once the stolen vehicles were taken off the dealership lots, the defendants avoided law enforcement detection by removing the GPS navigation and tracking systems from the stolen vehicles, attaching fictitious dealer tags or stolen license plates on the vehicles, and replacing the vehicles’ authentic Vehicle Identification Numbers, among other things.
    • "No matter how complicated an interstate theft ring may seem, the FBI is poised to uncover, dissect, and dismantle the scheme," said FBI Charlotte Special Agent in Charge Robert M. DeWitt. "We are committed to working with our partners to ensure justice is served."
    • Full press release

    Bluff Man Sentenced to 300 Months Imprisonment for Indian Country Murder
    Perry Maryboy unlawfully shot and killed another man on April 13, 2018. 

    • Maryboy, who was parked on the side of the road, escalated an argument with the victim, after being told to leave the area by the victim. Maryboy exited his truck, retrieved a revolver from the backseat, loaded the revolver, and shot the victim in the back of the head as the victim was walking away. 
    • The victim died on scene in front of his common law wife and her 7-year-old child. Maryboy then fled the scene in his truck. 
    • "Mr. Maryboy’s violent act took the life of another person, causing great loss to his family and friends, who will bear the burden of this crime. That harm cannot be undone,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah Trina A. Higgins. "We appreciate the work of law enforcement, victim service providers, and the prosecutors in this case who worked hard to ensure justice for the victim’s family and the community."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    FBI San Francisco's 2023 Teen Academy 

    August 23, 2023

    San Francisco 2023 Teen Academy

    A group of Bay Area teenagers had a unique experience on board the USS Hornet Sea, Air, and Space Museum in Alameda, California, where the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office hosted its Summer 2023 Teen Academy.

    The FBI’s Teen Academy—hosted by field offices across the country—offers high school students an interactive view into the FBI’s investigative programs and operational capabilities.

    For this year’s participants in San Francisco, the opportunity to learn onboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier was an added bonus. On the historic Pier 3, students assessed a mock crime scene with the FBI’s Evidence Response Team and Hazardous Evidence Response Team. Back on the ship, they learned from agents and analysts about the FBI’s criminal, cyber, terrorism, and counterintelligence investigative programs; SWAT operations; crimes against children; and intelligence analysis. 

    “By providing Bay Area students with an immersive look at the FBI, we are giving them an opportunity to shape their education and careers to become the future leaders in law enforcement,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp.

    Full story.

    Learn more about Teen Academy and other outreach programs by visiting your local FBI field office's website.


    Operation Cross Country XIII  

    August 21, 2023

    This is a still image from b-roll video of the 2023 iteration of the FBI's Operation Cross Country. The video shows a woman holding a walkie talkie while looking at video that's being projected onto a screen.

    For thirteen years, a nationwide law enforcement initiative called Operation Cross Country has brought the FBI, other federal agencies, state and local police, and social service agencies together to find and assist victims of human trafficking, particularly children.

    In 2023, Operation Cross Country XIII resulted in 200 sex trafficking victims being identified and located. 26 suspects of child sexual exploitation and 68 suspects of trafficking were identified or arrested.

    "Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable members of our society, and their crimes scar victims—many of them children—for life. The FBI's commitment to combatting this threat will never waver, and we will continue to send our message that these atrocities will not be tolerated," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. 

    Full story.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    August 18, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    Final Defendant Sentenced in South Carolina's Largest RICO Conspiracy
    The 40th and final defendant prosecuted as part of the District of South Carolina's case against the Insane Gangster Disciples (IGD), a branch of the nationwide Folk Nation gang, was sentenced.

    • The IGD was a sprawling criminal enterprise that included inmates within the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) who were gang leaders and used contraband cell phones to orchestrate murders, kidnappings, gun trafficking, and an international drug operation.
    • "This sentence marks the end of an era for a violent organization responsible for a multitude of criminal activities across South Carolina that negatively impacted the way of life for many communities," said FBI Columbia Special Agent in Charge Steve Jensen. "The FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to dismantling complex criminal enterprises and ensuring that our communities are safe and secure."
    • Full press release

    Two Nigerian Men Extradited To The United States After Being Indicted For International Sexual Extortion Ring
    Samuel Ogoshi and Samson Ogoshi, of Lagos, Nigeria, have been extradited to the United States from Nigeria to face prosecution after being indicted in May 2023, for sexually extorting numerous young men and teenage boys in the Western District of Michigan and across the United States. 

    • Samuel Ogoshi was also charged with causing the death of 17-year-old Jordan DeMay, of Marquette, Michigan, who was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March 2022.
    • “Financial sextortion is a global crisis that impacts teens in our country and around the world,” said FBI Detroit Acting Special Agent in Charge Devin J. Kowalski. “As this case demonstrates, the FBI is committed to working closely with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to prevent young men and women from becoming victims of this tragic crime.”
    • Full press release

    Self-Professed "Shot Caller" Sentenced for Retaliation Plots
    Johnny Dolph, originally of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was sentenced in Omaha, Nebraska to an overall cumulative sentence of 150 months’ imprisonment.

    • Dolph is a self-professed "shot caller" for the Irish Mob Gang, which is a gang that originated in the Oklahoma state prison system.
    • He has been imprisoned for 10 counts: Felon in Possession of a Firearm; Possession of a Firearm Following a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence; 2 counts of False Statement During the Purchase of a Firearm; Conspiracy to Tamper with Documents or Proceedings; Tampering with Documents or Proceedings; 2 counts of Conspiracy to Assault a Witness; and 2 counts for Attempted Assault of a Witness. 
    • "Today’s sentencing of John Dolph is a message to criminals who think threatening a witness and destroying evidence will keep them out of prison," said FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel. "The FBI will find you. Intimidation and threats of violence will never be tolerated.”
    • Full press release

    Bronx Man Sentenced to 98 Months in Prison for Committing Multiple Shootings
    Thomas Disla was sentenced to 98 months in prison in connection with a shooting spree he committed on June 3 and 4, 2022. 

    • Over the course of 12 hours, Disla shot an acquaintance in the groin, shot at a stranger who was driving a car, and brandished a firearm in the middle of crowded bar before striking a patron and shooting the firearm at the ceiling.
    • Disla previously pled guilty to one count of possessing ammunition after conviction for a felony.
    • “Last summer, Thomas Disla committed multiple terrifying shootings in the Bronx," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "He severely injured two people, one of whom he had never even met. And he could have killed a third. As today’s sentence demonstrates, our office is determined to keeping New York City safe by vigorously prosecuting perpetrators of gun violence.”
    • Full press release

    Fourteen Minneapolis Gang Members Charged with Possession of Machine Guns, Fentanyl Trafficking, and Firearms Violations
    Fourteen members of Minneapolis-based street gangs have been charged in federal court for various crimes including illegal possession of firearms, possession of machine guns, and fentanyl trafficking.

    • The charges include two high-ranking members of the Minneapolis Lows street gang
    • "These charges present a chilling picture of the violence inflicted by the Highs, the Lows, the Bloods and other gangs on our city’s streets," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger. "Violent crime levels in Minneapolis have begun to come down and I believe our strategy is playing a role in the reduction, but we still have more work to do, and we will continue to charge violent offenders."
    • Full press release

    Kansas City Chiefs "Superfan" Indicted for Bank Theft, Money Laundering
    Xaviar Michael Babudar, popularly known as Kansas City Chiefs superfan "ChiefsAholic," was indicted by a federal grand jury for robbing several financial institutions and laundering the proceeds through area casinos.

    • Babudar purchased and redeemed more than $1 million in chips from various casinos in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois between April and December 2022.
    • Investigators also reviewed previously unsolved bank robberies throughout the Midwest during that time frame. Babudar’s cell phone was placed in the same cities and locations for these previously unsolved bank robberies and attempted robberies.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    Inside the FBI: Top Ten Fugitive Arnoldo Jimenez 

    August 16, 2023

    On May 11, 2012, Arnoldo Jimenez married 26-year-old Estrella Carrera. The next day, police found Carrera's body in her apartment in Burbank, Illinois, still wearing her silver-sequined wedding dress.

    Burbank police and the FBI believe that the couple argued during the drive home from their wedding celebration, and Jimenez stabbed Carrera 18 times before dragging her inside the home and leaving her bleeding in the bathtub. 

    Jimenez was charged with first-degree murder, and a state warrant was issued for his arrest. After he fled to avoid prosecution, a federal arrest warrant was issued.

    In 2019, Jimenez was added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. In this episode, learn more about Jimenez and how you can help us catch this fugitive.


    Seeking Potential Assault Victims in Multiple States 

    August 14, 2023

    The FBI’s Portland Field Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying potential victims of an alleged violent sex assault offender who has lived in at least 10 states. 

    Negasi Zuberi, 29, is in federal custody for interstate kidnapping after a Washington woman escaped his home in Klamath Falls, Oregon, claiming she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and locked in a cinderblock cell. 

    This is a photo of Negasi Zuberi (a.k.a. Sakima, Justin Hyche and Justin Kouassi).

    Negasi Zuberi

    Zuberi lived in multiple states over the last 10 years—including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, and Nevada—and the FBI believes there could be additional sexual assault victims in those areas. 

    Victims may know Zuberi by the names Sakima, Justin Hyche, or Justin Kouassi. It’s believed he may have used several different methods to gain control of his victims, including drugging their drinks and impersonating a police officer.  

    If you believe you have been a victim or have any information concerning Zuberi (aka Sakima) visit fbi.gov/ZuberiVictims or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You can also contact the FBI Portland Field Office at (503) 224-4181, your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

    Full story.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    August 11, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    Former Leader of Clan Del Golfo Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison for Operating a Continuing Criminal Enterprise and Related Charges 
    A citizen of Colombia, Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, was sentenced to 45 years in prison for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise as a leader of the multibillion-dollar paramilitary and drug trafficking organization known as the Clan del Golfo (CDG). 

    • David was also sentenced to 45 years in prison for engaging in a maritime narcotics conspiracy and 45 years in prison for engaging in a narcotics importation conspiracy.  
    • The sentences will run concurrently. 
    • "The FBI’s goal is to save lives by stopping the supply of deadly narcotics before they reach our borders and targeting the leadership of these criminal enterprises," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "The success of this case is due to the collaborative efforts of partners who work to dismantle these dangerous drug trafficking organizations and stop these criminals from harming our communities." 
    • Full press release

    Anton "Tony" Lazzaro Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison for Child Sex Trafficking
    Anton "Tony" Lazzaro, has been sentenced to 252 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for orchestrating a sex trafficking conspiracy in which he trafficked multiple minor girls. 

    • Lazzaro conspired with Gisela Castro Medina to recruit young girls—15-year-olds and 16-year-olds—to have sex with him in exchange for cash and other items of value.
    • Lazzaro often sent cars to transport the minor girls to his luxury condo in downtown Minneapolis. When minor girls came to his condo, Lazzaro would give them alcohol, flash stacks of cash, and offer the girls precise sums of money to perform various sex acts.
    • Lazzaro carried out this trafficking scheme from May 2020 through December 2020.
    • "Mr. Lazzaro targeted, manipulated, and sexually exploited young and vulnerable girls for his own gain without regard for their age or safety," said FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge Alvin M. Winston Sr. "Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that those who commit such heinous crimes will be held accountable. The FBI prioritizes crimes of victimization and will leave no stone unturned to protect the vulnerable and bring every perpetrator to justice."
    • Full press release

    Fountain Valley Man Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison for Murdering Man Who Was Shot on Boat and Dumped into Ocean 
    Hoang Xuan Le was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a man he dumped into the Pacific Ocean. 

    • On October 15, 2019, Le lured the victim onto a boat owned by Sheila Marie Ritze. Ritze drove the boat into the Pacific Ocean and Le proceeded to shoot the victim. The victim fell overboard and drowned while Le and Ritze returned to the harbor. 
    • Le was found guilty of first-degree murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, conspiracy to commit murder, and using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. 
    • Ritze was sentenced to almost 22 years for her role in the murder. 
    • "Le committed murder, and, as a result, [the victim's] family will never see him again," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. "Le's crime has left a grieving mother, grieving widow, grieving brothers, a grieving sister and two fatherless small children."
    • Full press release 

    Two Charged in Drug-Related Shooting on Bronx Street That Hit an 11-Month-Old Baby in the Face 
    Ahmed Altorei and Samuel Bautista were charged with distributing narcotics and carrying firearms in connection with a drug trafficking operation in the Bronx, New York. 

    • In connection with those crimes, Altorei and Bautista were involved in a street shooting on January 19, 2022, that targeted a rival drug dealer but resulted in an 11-month-old baby being shot in the face. 
    • "As alleged, the defendants possessed firearms as part of a narcotics trafficking operation that directly led to the shooting of an 11-month-old infant," said FBI New York Acting Assistant Director in Charge Christie M. Curtis. "This is yet another unfortunate example of an innocent bystander being harmed as a result of drugs and guns. The FBI is committed to making our communities safer by removing violent drug traffickers from the streets." 
    • Full press release 

    Federal Prosecutors, FBI, and Port of Seattle Detail Disturbing Increase of Sexual Assaults on Aircraft 
    With four federal criminal cases filed since the first of the year, and numerous sexual assault reports under investigation, federal law enforcement wants the traveling public to be alert and informed of the increasing number of reports of sexual assault and misconduct on aircraft. 

    • "Since the first of the year, we have seen an increase in reports of sexual assaults on aircraft. It is quite unusual for us to have four filed cases as well as multiple active, but as yet uncharged, investigations in our office at one time," said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Tessa M. Gorman. "We take these cases seriously and work with the FBI to investigate and prosecute them. Federal prison is the destination for those convicted of sexual abuse on an aircraft."
    • "It is imperative for people to understand those who commit these types of crimes aboard aircraft will be held accountable," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "I'm concerned at the increase of these incidents and assure the traveling public the FBI and our partners will continue to investigate and prosecute any offender who victimizes someone on a plane." 
    • Full press release

    Utah Man Sentenced for Hate Crime Attack of Three Men 
    Alan Covington was sentenced to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release for attacking three men at a family-owned business. 

    • In November 2018, Covington entered a family-owned tire shop with a metal pole and hatchet. When entering, he demanded to know if the men were Mexican and shouted that he wanted to "kill Mexicans." 
    • Covington swung the metal pole at the business owner, his brother, and teenage son. He hit the teenage son with a metal pole, sending him to the ground and causing serious injury to his face. Covington also struck the father multiple times in the back. The brother was able to escape without injury. 
    • "We hope the sentencing provides some measure of justice for the victims, whose lives will never be the same because of Mr. Covington’s heinous actions," said FBI Salt Lake City Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha. "Our country is rich in diversity and violence motivated by hate—like all violence—has no place here. The FBI will vigorously defend the civil rights of all in the communities we serve."
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:



    Remembering Three Agents Killed in 1979    

    August 9, 2023

    Charles Elmore, J. Robert Porter, Johnnie L. Oliver -- three agents killed on August 9, 1979

    FBI Special Agents Charles W. Elmore, J. Robert Porter, and Johnnie L. Oliver

    On August 9, 1979, Special Agents Charles W. Elmore, J. Robert Porter, and Johnnie L. Oliver were shot to death in two separate incidents in California and Ohio. It was the first time in the FBI’s history that three agents lost their lives in a single day.

    In El Centro, California, Elmore and Porter were killed in their office by a social worker, James Maloney, who shot the two agents then turned the gun on himself.

    Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Ohio, Oliver was pursuing a fugitive on foot and had just entered the suspect’s home when he was shot in the chest. The shooter, Melvin Guyon, was a 19-year-old male wanted for kidnapping, rape, and armed robbery. That day, Guyon was added to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and later arrested in Youngstown, Ohio. He received a life sentence for Oliver’s murder.

    Special Agents Elmore, Porter, and Oliver are memorialized on the FBI’s Wall of Honor, along with other FBI personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.


    Large-Scale Drug and Gun Bust in Texas   

    August 8, 2023


    The FBI’s Dallas Field Office conducted a large-scale gun and drug bust on July 27 in partnership with Dallas PD, the Dallas Sheriff’s Office, Irving PD, Carrollton PD, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s OIG.

    Fifteen people were arrested and charged with various drug and gun crimes. If convicted, they could face up to 40 years in federal prison. Law enforcement officers seized substantial amounts of cocaine, meth, and fentanyl, as well as firearms and cash.

    "It's not our goal to just put individuals in jail for a few days but to build cases that cut into the capabilities of these gangs and criminal enterprises, putting the most violent offenders and facilitators behind bars for as long as we possibly can," said Chad Yarbrough, special agent in charge of the FBI Dallas Field Office.

    Full story.


    25 Years Since East African Embassy Bombings  

    August 7, 2023

    Bomb site of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Africa, on August 7, 1998 by al Qaeda operatives.

    On August 7, 1998, bombs went off nearly simultaneously in front of the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    More than 200 were killed, including 12 Americans, and 4,500 were wounded in the attacks, which were soon linked directly to al Qaeda.

    The FBI sent more than 900 agents and other personnel to Africa to assist with recovering evidence, identifying victims, and apprehending the perpetrators. These investigations represented the largest deployment in FBI history at that time.

    Full story.

    Interested in learning more about the FBI’s history? Visit http://www.fbi.gov/history.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    August 4, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    Operation Cross Country XIII Leads to Identification/Location of Adolescent Victims
    During the 2-week nationwide enforcement campaign, known as "Operation Cross Country," the FBI and its partners were successful in recovering victims, apprehending offenders, and raising public awareness about these crimes.

    • The FBI and its partners located 59 minor victims of child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation offenses and located 59 actively missing children. 
    • The operation also led to identification or arrest of 126 suspects of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking offenses and 68 suspects of trafficking were identified or arrested. 
    • "Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable members of our society, and their crimes scar victims—many of them children—for life. The FBI’s commitment to combatting this threat will never waver, and we will continue to send out message that these atrocities will not be tolerated," said FBI Director Christopher Wray.
    • Full press release 

    Klamath Falls Man Indicted for Kidnapping and Sexually Assaulting Seattle Woman, Additional Victims Sought
    Negasi Zuberi, also known as Sakima, Justin Hyche, and Justin Kouassi, has been charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Seattle woman and forcing her into a makeshift cell he constructed in his garage.

    • On July 15, 2023, Zuberi was in Seattle when he posed as a police officer, pointed a taser at an adult woman, placed her in handcuffs, and forced her into the backseat of his vehicle. Zuberi then transported the woman approximately 450 miles back to his home in Klamath Falls, stopping along the way to sexually assault her and cover her face with a sweatshirt.
    • When Zuberi arrived at his residence, he moved the woman into a makeshift cell he had constructed in his garage. The woman repeatedly banged on the cell door until it broke open and she escaped.
    • Full press release

    Jury Recommends Sentence of Death for Pennsylvania Man Convicted for Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting 
    Robert Bowers was sentenced to death after killing 11 and injuring two congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018. 

    • Bowers was found guilty on 63 counts, including hate crimes resulting in death and obstruction of the free exercise of religion resulting in death. 
    • In October 2018, Bowers entered the synagogue with multiple firearms and opened fire on the members inside. He also injured five police officers responding to the scene. 
    • Evidence showed that Bowers meticulously planned his attack based on his antisemitic beliefs, reflected in dozens of online posts admitted into evidence. 
    • "The men and women of the FBI hold the Tree of Life Synagogue victims and the Pittsburgh community in our hearts as we continue to protect communities of faith from violent acts of hate," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "The damage caused by antisemitism cannot be understated, just as the tragic loss of the eleven victims cannot be measured. Healing will be a life-long journey for the survivors, families, and communities affected by this vile attack, and the FBI will be there to support them throughout that journey."
    • Full press release 

    Federal Judge Sentences Belleville Man to Over 21 Years in Prison for Producing, Distributing Explicit Images of Minors 
    Brandon Lepper pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of distribution of child pornography. 

    • Child sexual abuse material (CSAM) was found in Lepper’s camera roll, an online folder drive, and in chats sent from his device.  
    • Agents also discovered Lepper produced and distributed explicit images of an unsuspecting minor he knew personally while the child was undressing. In total, Lepper’s collection of CSAM included nearly 3,000 images.
      "The actions of the defendant are deserving of this significant sentence as it reflects the serious nature of the crime," said FBI Springfield Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. "Offenders, like Lepper, believe they are invisible to law enforcement from behind their computer screens, but the FBI will use every legal authority to identify, investigate, and hold accountable those intent on harming children.”
    • Full press release 

    Virginia Veterinary Technician Sentenced for Dogfighting and Promoting Animal Fighting Ventures
    Carlos Warren was sentenced to 20 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiring to fight dogs and promote dogfighting using interstate publications.

    • Warren published and distributed nationally a magazine called the "Connector," which contained dogfighting content. He also hosted dogfights on his property and attended other dogfights.
    • Warren’s work as a veterinary technician enabled him to steal or otherwise obtain medications and other supplies to treat dogs during fights until they lost or refused to fight. When that happened, Warren executed the dogs through brutal means including electrocution.
    • "This prosecution highlights the department’s continued commitment to holding accountable those who participate in and promote the blood sport of dogfighting," said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "The defendant’s certification and work as a veterinary technician, which he used to further these fights and promote the barbarous treatment of dogs, makes his crimes even more reprehensible."
    • Full press release

    Resident of Tacoma Hotel Indicted for Drug and Gun Crimes 
    Cesar Leonel Contreras-Arias was indicted for three federal felonies: unlawful possession of firearms, possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

    • Contreras-Arias lived in the Tacoma Clarion Inn where he sold drugs and illegally possessed firearms.  When approached at the hotel by law enforcement, he attempted to flee which resulted in him crashing his truck into a police vehicle. 
    • Law enforcement found two cell phones, $7,000 cash, and three hotel room keys on Contreras-Arias’ person and a handgun in his truck. After searching the hotel rooms, officers found 90 pounds of methamphetamine, five pounds of fentanyl powder, and four firearms. 
    • "This defendant was being sought on a Washington Department of Corrections warrant for escape, when he was found to have multi-pound quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine," said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Tessa M. Gorman. "Equally concerning was his possession of firearms—many of them reported stolen from across the Puget Sound region. Prosecuting armed drug traffickers remains a top priority for federal law enforcement."
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:



    Director Wray Addresses Artificial Intelligence 

    August 3, 2023

    Speaking at the FBI Atlanta Cyber Threat Summit on July 26, Director Wray warned about the weaponization of artificial intelligence—or AI—by bad actors.

    “Hostile nation-state spy and hacking services, terrorists, cybercriminals, child predators, and others all want to exploit AI, and nowhere is that trend more apparent than in the realm of cybercrime,” he said.

    Cybercriminals can use AI technologies to generate deepfakes and malicious code, and they’re teaching each other how to do it.

    “And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” the Director said. “We asses that AI is going to enable threat actors to develop increasingly powerful, sophisticated, customizable, and scalable capabilities—and it's not going to take them long."

    Director Wray also underscored why Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—which grants the FBI authority to collect information only on foreign targets of intelligence surveillance, not on U.S. citizens—is critical to the fight against global cybercrime.

    "We can connect the dots between foreign threats and targets here in the U.S., searching information already lawfully within the government's holdings so that we can notify victims who may not even know they've been compromised, sometimes warning them even before they get hit," said Director Wray.

    Full story
    Full remarks
    Inside the FBI Podcast


    Happy Anniversary, Director Wray 

    August 2, 2023

    The official portrait of Christopher Wray, who became the Director of the FBI on August 2, 2017.

    Today, Christopher Wray celebrates six years as FBI Director.

    Directors, Then and Now


    Phone Scam Spoofs FBI Phone Number 

    August 1, 2023

    Photo of hand holding a mobile phone with a "Scam Alert" warning

    The FBI’s Denver Field Office is warning people about a phone scam where callers falsely present themselves as an FBI special agent and tell victims that their identity or bank accounts have been compromised.

    The scammers have “spoofed” the FBI Colorado Springs’ main phone number to make it appear as though they are calling from that office. Telling victims to immediately transfer their money, they ask for verification information then use it to steal those funds.

    Victims of this scam – who do not live within FBI Denver’s area of responsibility in Colorado or Wyoming – have reported losing amounts ranging from $940 to $13,000.

    If you think you have been a victim of this scam or a similar one, report it to 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.

    Full story.


    ]]>
    No publisher 2023-12-19T02:00:00Z Document
    Russian National Arrested and Charged with Conspiring to Commit LockBit Ransomware Attacks Against U.S. and Foreign Businesses https://www.fbi.gov/news/russian-national-arrested-and-charged-with-conspiring-to-commit-lockbit-ransomware-attacks-against-us-and-foreign-businesses The Justice Department announced charges against Ruslan Magomedovich Astamirov for his involvement in deploying numerous LockBit ransomware and other cyberattacks against victim computer systems in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Africa. <![CDATA[
    June 15, 2023

    Russian National Arrested and Charged with Conspiring to Commit LockBit Ransomware Attacks Against U.S. and Foreign Businesses

    ]]>
    No publisher Cyber Crime Newark National 2023-06-15T15:30:00Z PressRelease
    News Blog https://www.fbi.gov/news/blog The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. <![CDATA[
    Violent Crime

    News Blog

    June 2024 

    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    June 21, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Former Colorado Resident Sentenced to Life in Prison for Federal Hate Crimes and Firearm Offenses Related to Mass Shooting at Club Q
    Anderson Lee Aldrich was sentenced to 55 concurrent life sentences to run consecutive to 190 years in prison after pleading guilty to 74 hate crimes and firearms charges related to the Nov. 19, 2022, mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQIA+ establishment in Colorado Springs.  

    • Aldrich admitted to murdering five people, injuring 19, and attempting to murder 26 more in a willful, deliberate, malicious, and pre-mediated attack at Club Q. According to the plea, Aldrich entered Club Q armed with a loaded, privately manufactured assault weapon and began firing. Aldrich continued firing until subdued by patrons of the Club.
    • "The 2022 mass shooting at Club Q is one of the most violent crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community in history," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "The FBI and our partners have worked tirelessly towards this sentencing, but the true heroes are the patrons of the Club who selflessly acted to subdue the defendant. This Pride Month and every month, the FBI stands with the survivors, victims, and families of homophobic violence and hate."
    • Full press release

    Fort Hall Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Causing the Death of Her Seven-Week-Old Baby by Methamphetamine Exposure
    Keisha Cody was sentenced to five years in federal prison for felony injury to a child, following the death of her seven-week-old baby boy on December 10, 2019.

    • Cody admitted to recklessly causing the health of her child to be injured by willfully exposing the child to methamphetamine and causing the child to become malnourished, which resulted in the child’s death.
    • "This case painfully demonstrates the deadly consequences of substance abuse and drug addiction,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Josh Hurwit. "We stand with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, as well as the law enforcement officers and emergency personnel who responded to this tragedy, in mourning this loss of life."
    • "The loss of her innocent newborn is something this mother will now have to live with for the rest of her life," said FBI Salt Lake City Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha. "This case shows the unintended and devastating consequences of drug addiction. The FBI and our partners are continuously working to combat this problem which has resulted in so much pain and destruction in our communities."
    • Full press release

    Three Hells Angels Sentenced to Life in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy and Related Crimes
    Jonathan Nelson, Brian Wayne Wendt, and Russell Taylor Ott, were all sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

    • A jury concluded in June of 2022 that the defendants participated in an enterprise that engaged in a broad array of violent crimes, including murder, assault, robbery, extortion, and witness intimidation.
    • "These three Hells Angels members were the most violent of the dozens convicted in this investigation. They used violence and fear to intimidate our community, but their brutality and disregard for human life have now earned them life in prison,” said FBI San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp. "Today’s announcement is the direct result of years of persistence, dedication, and collaboration with our partners at the California Highway Patrol and Santa Rosa Police Department. Today, these individuals have faced the consequences of their actions, and today, we are a step closer in fulfilling our mission of eradicating organized criminal activity and keeping our neighborhoods safe."
    • Full press release

    Ten Minneapolis Gang Members Charged with Illegal Possession of Firearms and Drug Trafficking
    Ten members of a south Minneapolis street gang have been charged in federal court for various crimes including illegal possession of firearms, possession of a machine gun, and drug trafficking.

    • The Minneapolis street gang known as the 10z are involved in narcotics and firearms trafficking in south Minneapolis, as well as violent crime throughout the Minneapolis metropolitan area.
    • "Violent criminals who carry guns pose a deadly threat to communities and, as recent tragedies show, to the law enforcement officers and first responders who are sworn to protect us all," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger. "Our federal resources are focused on holding accountable those who threaten the safety of our communities. My message to the community: We are working for you, for your families and your children, to make sure violent crime continues to drop and we can all enjoy our beautiful cities this summer."
    • Full press release

    U.S. Attorney Announces Extradition of Indian National Charged in Connection with Foiled Plot to Assassinate U.S. Citizen in New York City
    At the direction of an Indian government employee, Nikhil Gupta, an Indian National, worked to carry out a plot to murder U.S.-based leader of Sikh separatist movement.

    • Gupta has been charged with murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
    • "As alleged, the defendant conspired from India with an Indian government employee in an unsuccessful assassination plot to assassinate, right here in New York City, a U.S. citizen of Indian origin who has publicly advocated for the establishment of a sovereign state for Sikhs, an ethno-religious minority group in India," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "Today’s extradition makes clear our unwavering resolve to investigate, thwart, and prosecute those who seek to harm and silence U.S. citizens here and elsewhere. We thank our Czech government counterparts for their close cooperation in this extradition."
    • "This defendant has been extradited for his alleged role in a plot to assassinate a U.S. citizen on American soil," said FBI Director Christopher A. Wray. "The FBI will not tolerate attempts by foreign nationals, or anyone else for that matter, to repress constitutionally-protected freedoms in the U.S.  We will continue to work with our partners at home and abroad to protect our citizens and these sacred rights."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Global Partnerships: FBI Director Visits Kenya, Nigeria

    June 14, 2024

    Director Wray at August 7 Memorial Park

    FBI Director Christopher Wray visits the August 7 Memorial Park, which commemorates the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing, during a June 2024 visit to Kenya.

    This week, FBI Director Christopher Wray made his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as Director.

    There, he met with top law enforcement and security officials in Kenya and Nigeria—as well as the Nigerian president—to underscore the Bureau’s dedication to partnerships in the region and to showcase our collaboration in countering various threats, including public corruption, terrorism, violent crime, cybercrime, and sextortion.

    While in Kenya, specifically, Director Wray also attended the first commander’s meeting of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Kenya (or JTTF-K, for short).

    “I know of no more effective way than a JTTF to bring all of a government’s resources to bear in a rule of law-based framework,” Wray said of the task force. “Collaboration, both within a country’s national security apparatus and among like-minded countries, is the only way to successfully fight the scourge of terrorism while protecting human rights. As we learned in the U.S. in the aftermath of September 11, no single agency has all the tools, knowledge, or resources to fight this battle alone.”

    You can visit this resource page to learn more about FBI JTTFs.

    You can read this press release to learn more about the Director’s trip.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    June 14, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Sureno Gang Member Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Murder on Yakama Nation Indian Reservation
    Jaime Herrera was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of second-degree murder in Indian Country and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in Indian Country.

    • On July 19, 2017, Herrera, who is a Sureno gang member and not affiliated with the Yakama Nation, accused two men of being traitors to the gang. Herrera pulled out a rifle and killed one of the men—an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation. The second man—who survived the shooting—is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe.
    • Herrera also committed a second, unrelated homicide in the Yakima Valley—arranging an ambush and ultimately shooting the victim. Herrera was arrested shortly after the second murder, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment in that case.
    • "Senseless is the only word to describe this crime," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "The violence Mr. Herrera displayed in this case, and subsequently in a separate case, indicates prison is where he belongs. I applaud the work of our investigators and partners who work so hard to make our state’s reservations safe for the people who live on them."
    • Full press release

    Former Police Officer Sentenced to Four Consecutive Life Sentences for 2016 Quadruple Murder
    Nicholas Tartaglione was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences for his role in the 2016 murders of Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez.  

    • Tartaglione who is a former police officer, orchestrated the kidnapping and murders of all four victims.
    • "Nicholas Tartaglione brutally and senselessly murdered Martin Luna over money, and then ruthlessly executed Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time," sad U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "He tried to cover up his crimes by burying all four victims in a shallow grave on his property...Today’s sentence of four consecutive life terms justly reflects the pain and suffering each victim underwent at Tartaglione’s hands. I hope that this outcome brings some measure of closure to the victims’ families and to their community."
    • Full press release

    Carmel Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Federal Prison for Sexual Exploitation and Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material
    Thomas Cade Martin has been sentenced to 275 months in federal prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possession of child sexual abuse material.

    • Martin also admitted to sexually exploiting a minor victim in Carmel, Indiana. Martin asked Minor Victim 1 (MV1), a 15-year-old male, to meet in-person after being introduced through Grindr, an online dating application. Martin continued conversations with MV1 through Instagram and Snapchat, initially lying about his identity and age in order to groom MV1.
    • "Martin sexually abused and exploited a 15-year-old boy, having gained his adoration and trust online. Taking advantage of vulnerable teens for sexual gain is a despicable crime that merits significant prison time," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers. "The sentence imposed today should serve as a warning to would-be groomers and offenders: if you solicit and exploit minors for sex, you will spend many years in federal prison."
    • Full press release

    Member of Violent New Haven Gang Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Federal Prison
    Jaedyn Rivera, also known as "Jae Honcho," was sentenced to 182 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his involvement in a violent New Haven street gang, Exit 8. 

    • The Exit 8 gang is named after the geographic area accessed by exiting Interstate 91 at Exit 8 in New Haven.
    • Rivera and other members of the Exit 8 gang engaged in drug trafficking, used and shared firearms—and since June 2018, have committed at least three murders and 16 attempted murders.
    • Exit 8 members and associates also stole vehicles, at times from outside of the state, and used those stolen vehicles when committing acts of violence. Gang members also promoted, coordinated, facilitated, and celebrated their narcotics distribution and acts of violence through text messaging and the use of social media applications and websites.
    • Full press release

    Yakima Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Federal Prison on Drug Trafficking Charges
    An investigation into stolen skis for sale on Craigslist, led investigators to Jacob Rodney Penny, who was sentenced on drug trafficking charges and possession of a firearm. 

    • The victim of a residential burglary saw a Craigslist ad for ski equipment that matched items that had been stolen. Law enforcement contacted the seller, Penny, and asked to purchase the skis. Law enforcement detained Penny and executed a search warrant on Penny's Tahoe.
    • The Tahoe held four large bags that contained hundreds of fentanyl pills, two smaller bags containing between 100 and 200 fentanyl pills each, a small quantity of methamphetamine, a scale with drug residue, two 9mm pistols, and $2,600 in cash.
    • "Sometimes an unexpected break leads to success," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "In this case, a property crime led to sending a drug trafficker to federal prison. The FBI and our partners will continue working to keep these dangerous drugs off the streets and out of our communities."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 

    June 13, 2024

    June 15 marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The observance aims to educate the public about the dangers of elder fraud—crime intended to separate older Americans from their money or cryptocurrency.  

    Elder fraud can take many forms. This year, however, the FBI and our partners are drawing attention to government impersonation scams.  

    In these scams, fraudsters pretend to be government employees. Then, they threaten to arrest victims or charge them with crimes unless they agree to pay up.  

    You can read a 2022 public service announcement from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to learn more about this risk.  

    You can also listen to a recent episode of our Inside the FBI podcast to learn about the Phantom Hacker scam—a hybrid tech-support/government-impersonation scam that's growing in popularity—and how to avoid becoming its next victim. 

    If you suspect that you or a loved one may have been targeted by a government impersonation scam (or any other type of elder fraud), you can report it to the FBI by: 

    • Contacting your nearest FBI field office; 
    • Submitting a tip online at tips.fbi.gov; or 
    • Filing a complaint with IC3 online at ic3.gov

    Resources: 


    Reported Violent Crime Fell By 15.2% from Q1 2023 to Q1 2024, New FBI Data Release Shows

    June 12, 2024

    Reported violent crime fell by 15.2% between the first quarter of calendar year 2023 (January 1-March 31) and the first quarter of this year, according to the FBI’s first Quarterly Uniform Crime Report data release for calendar year 2024. 

    Additional highlights from the release, which was based on data that law enforcement agencies voluntarily shared with the Bureau, included: 

    • A 26.4% decrease in reported murders; 
    • A 25.7% decrease in reported rapes; 
    • A 17.8% decrease in reported robberies; 
    • A 12.5% decrease in reported aggravated assaults; and 
    • A 15.1% decrease in reported property crime within the same time period. 

    “This continued historic decline in homicides does not represent abstract statistics,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a statement about the data release. “It represents people whose lives were saved—people who are still here to see their children grow up, to work toward fulfilling their dreams, and to contribute to their communities.” 

    Garland’s statement also stressed the ongoing nature of the Justice Department’s quest to quell violent crime. 

    “Our work will not be done until all Americans feel safe in their communities,” he said. 

    You can read an FBI press release to learn more about the data release and how it was compiled. You can visit the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer to dig into the data more deeply. 

    The FBI Quarterly Uniform Crime Report data releases, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, include data on violent crimes (including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crimes (including burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). The data releases provide a nationwide overview, data breakdowns by population group size or region, and data reported by cities with 100,000 and over in population. They also show how data points changed from the previous year. 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    June 7, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Former U.S. Soldier Turned Foreign Fighter Extradited from Ukraine to the U.S. for 2018 Double Homicide, Armed Robbery, Immigration Document Offenses, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Other Charges
    Craig Austin Lang faces criminal charges in the Middle District of Florida, the Eastern District of North Carolina, and the District of Arizona.

    • "As alleged in the indictments, Craig Austin Lang went on an international crime spree that included a double murder in Florida, attempts to travel internationally to engage in other acts of violence outside the United States, and a plot to evade law enforcement detection by trading guns, a grenade, and cash to use another person’s identifying information to apply for a U.S. passport under an assumed name," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. 
    • "The alleged conduct of Craig Austin Lang, which includes homicide and armed robbery, will not be tolerated by the FBI," said Executive Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. "Individuals that engage in such activity must face the consequences of their actions. We would like to thank our partner law enforcement agencies for their efforts in ensuring that criminals face justice. If you cause harm to the American public, we will relentlessly pursue you even if you are located beyond our borders."
    • Full press release

    Ex-Husband of 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Star Convicted of Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering and Obstruction of Justice
    Thomas Manzo was convicted on one count of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, one count of conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of falsifying and concealing documents related to a federal investigation.

    • In the spring of 2015, Manzo hired Lucchese crime family soldier John Perna to assault his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend in exchange for a free wedding reception for Perna held at an upscale venue Manzo owned. Perna, who is a "made man" in the Lucchese crime family with his own crew, worked with his associates to plan and carry out the violent assault, which took place on July 18, 2015.
    • "Manzo now faces a lengthy federal prison sentence because he chose to hire a 'made man' to carry out an assault on his ex-wife’s boyfriend," said FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy. "He then gave away a free wedding and hid the documents to cover it up. The facts and circumstances in this case read like something from a bad TV crime drama, but the evidence and testimony presented in court prove it was reality. We truly hope the victims in this investigation are able to move on with their lives and forget about Manzo and his criminal mafia bedfellows."
    • Full press release

    Bloods Gang Member Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Violent and Extortionate Takeover of the New York City Fire Mitigation Industry
    Jatiek Smith was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role as the leader of a violent and extortionate racketeering enterprise that terrorized the fire restoration industry in New York City.

    • The fire restoration industry refers to the businesses that repair properties that have suffered damage from fires or exposures to fires.  Within this industry, fire restoration companies (sometimes referred to as emergency mitigation services companies) provide emergency mitigation services, demolition, and construction services to properties that have suffered such damages. First Response Cleaning Corp. ("First Response") was one such EMS company.
    • In 2019, Smith joined First Response and quickly assumed control over its operations. Smith, a member of the Bloods, the violent street gang, recruited other gang members and associates to join him at First Response. As the leader of this crew, Smith and his associates used violence, threats of violence, and extortion to terrorize and dominate the fire restoration industry in New York City.
    • Full press release

    Illinois Predator Sentenced to 42 Years in Federal Prison for Years of Sexual Abuse of a Young Child he Drugged with Methamphetamine
    Zachary Nichols has been sentenced to 42 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of permitting or assisting by a parent or guardian in the sexual exploitation of a child.

    • Nichols had been in a romantic relationship with a relative of an eleven-year-old child. Beginning in at least 2016, Nichols began sexually abusing the child and recording the abuse.
    • Nichols was an active user of methamphetamine and supplied the child with the drug to facilitate some of the sexual abuse. The child is nearly incapacitated because of drug use in some of the child sex abuse material that Nichols created. Nichols continued supplying methamphetamine to the child well into the victim’s teenage years.
    • "This sentence clearly demonstrates the gravity of the defendant’s heinous actions and ensures he will be behind bars for years to come and unable to perpetrate such depravity on another child," said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. "The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue and hold accountable those who engage in these crimes."
    • Full press release

    Meridian Man Sentenced for Destruction of an Energy Facility After Shooting at Two Idaho Power Hydroelectric Power Plants
    Randy Scott Vail was sentenced to five years of probation for destruction of an energy facility.

    • On June 8, 2023, and continuing into June 9, 2023, Vail shot at the Hells Canyon Dam hydroelectric power station and the Brownlee Dam hydroelectric power station causing power loss and substantial damage to both. The dams are essential to electricity production, transmission, and storage in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.
    • "The citizens of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington rely on this infrastructure, and the damage potentially could have been catastrophic," said FBI Salt Lake City Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha. "The FBI and our partners will work diligently to identify, arrest, and hold accountable those who use violence to further ideology."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Updates to List of Native Americans Verified as Missing Throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation   

    June 6, 2024

    On May 28, FBI Albuquerque released an updated list of Native Americans it has verified as missing throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. This list is part of an effort to improve the reporting and recovery of missing persons in Indian Country

    The FBI is seeking public assistance and information on the cases. If you have information concerning any of these cases, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov (tips can remain anonymous). 

    Since May 28, 2024, 13 people have been removed from the list, and 11 people have been added. 

    Below is a list of those who were added:  

    • Kiowa Benally 
    • Emy Bennett 
    • Nathan Boone 
    • Latisha Clark 
    • Lyle Clarke 
    • Tomacina Etcitty 
    • Galeeyia Holiday 
    • Star Nez 
    • Angel Ricotta 
    • Roy Sampson 
    • Harmony Yslas 



    FBI Cyber Lead Keynotes 2024 Boston Conference on Cyber Security

    June 5, 2024

    FBI Cyber Lead Addresses Boston Conference on Cyber Security

    FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran delivers a keynote address at the 2024 Boston Conference on Cyber Security on June 5, 2024.

    FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran discussed how the Bureau executes our cyber strategy, relevant authorities that allow us to do this important work, recent cyber disruptions made possible by domestic and international partnerships, and more during a June 5 keynote address at the 2024 Boston Conference on Cyber Security

    “Not one of our past—or future—disruptions is possible without exceptional partnerships,” he said. “We have to realize, and execute upon, this theme: that we are in this together. We are stronger together.” 

    Vorndran also encouraged potential victims of LockBit ransomware to contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center so that we can potentially help them regain access to their stolen data. 

    FBI Boston Division Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen also spoke at the event. 

    The annual conference is co-hosted by the Bureau and Boston College. You can read this FBI Boston press release to learn more about this year’s event. 


    Medicare Fraud Prevention Week

    June 3, 2024

    Each June, the FBI and our partners mark Medicare Fraud Prevention Week to raise awareness about health care fraud targeting older Americans. 

    In this type of fraud, scammers—who can include doctors, patients, and others—intentionally deceive the health care system to get illegal benefits or payments. Innocent Americans are then left to pay the price, in the form of higher taxes and insurance premiums. 

    Fortunately, the FBI is on the case. We work with government and insurance-industry partners to investigate crimes that impact both federal and private insurance programs. You can report suspected health care fraud to us by visiting tips.fbi.gov. You can also report it to your health insurance provider directly. 

    Visit fbi.gov/healthcarefraud to learn about the different forms this crime can take and red flags to watch out for. 


    May 2024   

    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    May 31, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    FBI Director Wray's Full Statement on Extradition of Alleged Sinaloa Cartel Leader and Lead Assassin from Mexico to the U.S.
    Néstor Isidro Pérez Salas was known as the primary enforcer of the Sinaloa Cartel’s ruthless security apparatus.

    • In addition to his alleged role in importing massive quantities of lethal narcotics into the U.S., he is accused of leading a group of enforcers who committed brutal acts of violence to maintain control and protect the cartel’s leadership and operations, including the murder of law enforcement officers, a witness and informant, and even a 13 year-old boy.
    • The Sinaloa Cartel causes immense harm to the American public by importing lethal narcotics and illegal firearms which terrorizes our communities, and the FBI thanks our partners who share a relentless commitment to going after the leadership of these cartels and holding those individuals to account.
    • Full press release

    Operation "Clean House" Nets Dozens of Arrests by Multi-Agency Teams in Ventura County
    Dozens of alleged felons wanted in Ventura County were arrested by teams of FBI Agents, police officers, and deputy sheriffs as part of "Operation Clean House," an FBI initiative to conduct pre-planned, concentrated enforcement operations targeting fugitives with outstanding felony arrest warrants with an emphasis on warrants related to violent crimes and unlawful firearm possession. 

    • Over the past several months, the joint agencies conducted records checks on existing felony warrant entries. Working with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI researched and assessed approximately 2,600 felony warrants from Ventura County issued over the past ten years. The research flagged nearly 100 warrants for individuals who were either deceased or were candidates for removal from warrant databases.
    • The joint agencies also carried out a week-long surveillance and arrest operation, focusing on the most violent fugitives at large within Ventura County. In total, 26 individuals were arrested on outstanding felony warrants for alleged violations including assault with a deadly weapon, crimes against children, corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant, and various firearms-related felony crimes. An additional nine people were arrested based on probable cause.
    • Full press release

    Twenty-Four Members and Associates of Jersey City Street Gang Charged with Gang-Related Offenses, Including Drug Distribution, Armed Robbery, and Financial Fraud
    Twenty-four people have been charged for their respective roles in gang-related offenses, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud; conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine; Hobbs Act robbery; and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

    • Several defendants are members and associates of a neighborhood-based street gang that operates in the area of the Booker T. Washington Housing Complex in Jersey City. The "Booker T" street gang is responsible for multiple acts of gang-motivated violence in Jersey City, including homicides and shootings.
    • The investigation revealed that the gang runs a drug trafficking operation in and around the housing complex and distributes large quantities of controlled substances, including heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.
    • Eleven members and associates of the organization are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, more than 40 grams of fentanyl, and a quantity of cocaine.
    • Full press release

    South Carolina Man Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison for Transporting Arizona Minor with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct
    Timothy Mikell Schultheis was sentenced to 27 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release.

    • Schultheis transported a 12-year-old minor from Arizona to South Carolina with the intent to engage in sexual activity. After using social media to meet and groom the minor, Schultheis drove from South Carolina to Safford, Arizona, to pick up the minor and drive her back to his South Carolina residence.
    • "This sentencing puts a stop to Timothy Schulthies and his repeated offenses. He can no longer hurt children or their families across the country," said FBI Phoenix Special Agent in Charge Akil Davis. "This case demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to follow the evidence wherever it leads. We will use all tools available to bring to justice those who seek to harm children. We are extremely grateful for the swift actions of our law enforcement partners who worked nonstop to locate and apprehend Schultheis."
    • Full press release

    Gangster Disciple Leader Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Three Shootings in 2020 and Related Firearms Offenses
    Jean Fremont was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his participation in three shootings occurring on November 7 and 9, 2020, committed by members and associates of the No Love City (NLC) gang, a subset of the Flatbush-based Folk Nation Gangster Disciples gang.

    • Fremont was convicted by a jury in November 2022 on eight counts of a superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to murder rival gang members in-aid-of racketeering, two counts of attempted murder in-aid-of racketeering, two counts of assault in-aid-of racketeering, one count of attempted assault in-aid-of racketeering, and two counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence in connection with multiple shootings in Brooklyn in November 2020. 
    • "Fremont will spend decades in prison for attempting to murder individuals for the sole purpose of defending his gang’s reputation,” stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace. "Incarcerating Fremont and his co-defendants for a long period of time for their ruthless acts of violence and complete disregard for human life will serve to protect the community while sending a message of deterrence to others who foolishly seek status by choosing to join violent gangs."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Staying Safe at ATMs and in Stores 

    May 20, 2024

    Did you know that scammers can steal your debit, credit, or Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card information and PIN when you pay for gas, take out cash, or use a point-of-sale (or POS) terminal?  

    This crime, called skimming, uses devices that are illegally installed onto or inside ATMs, fuel pumps, or POS terminals to steal and store the data from customers’ cards during legitimate transactions. Some “skimmers” fit over a terminal’s card reader, though many ATM devices are installed inside the machines and outside customers’ view.

    ATM “skimmers” are often accompanied by hidden cameras that film you entering your PIN on a keypad, or by keypad overlays that record which keys you tap. POS “skimmers,” such as those capturing EBT card data, typically include a keypad overlay.

    Scammers then use that hijacked information to create an impostor card they can use to run up credit-card charges or clean out your bank or benefits account.

    EBT cards have become a particular target for card-skimming criminals and groups. This is because EBT cards lack an embedded microchip to protect customer data. This feature is standard to most other payment cards, though.

    Visit our resource page about skimming to learn more about this threat, how to protect your financial information, and how—and where—to report suspected skimming. 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    May 17, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Ten District Men Arrested in Fentanyl and Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy
    Law enforcement arrested 10 members of a District-area drug trafficking crew charged in a 17-count indictment with participating in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, as well as multiple firearms counts.

    • Law enforcement executed search warrants for 21 residences, nine vehicles, and 14 individuals in the District and Maryland, and seized nearly two dozen firearms as part of the operation.
    • Each defendant has been charged in a conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and cocaine base within 1,000 feet of a protected location, specifically Phelps ACE High School and AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School in Northeast Washington, D.C.
    • Two of the defendants, Charles Manson and Damien Jenkins, were also charged in connection with a shooting that occurred on March 7, 2024, near 19th and I Streets NE. For that incident, Manson was additionally charged with possession of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence and unlawful possession of ammunition.
    • Full press release

    Thirteen People Indicted in Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Involving Fentanyl, Methamphetamine, and Cocaine
    Thirteen people who were indicted in a significant drug trafficking investigation are being sought by law enforcement. Ten of them are in custody.

    • The lead indictment names ten members of the conspiracy who distributed controlled substances, including fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and alprazolam.
    • In the investigation prior to the arrests, law enforcement seized: 59 kilograms of fentanyl pills, 81 kilograms of methamphetamine, 21 kilos of cocaine, and 11 firearms.
    • "Today’s enforcement action demonstrates the strength of partnerships around the region in keeping our communities safe,” said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "It’s satisfying to know the illegal drugs and weapons seized are now off the streets. The FBI and our partners will continue investigating these cases and holding those responsible accountable."
    • "These defendants were brazenly bringing large loads of drugs to western Washington and didn’t hesitate to arm themselves with high-powered firearms," said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Tessa M. Gorman. "Even after law enforcement seized the drugs in various traffic stops in Oregon and Washington, they were not deterred."
    • Full press release

    Former Bryant High School Teacher Sentenced to 13 Years in Federal Prison for Transportation of a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity
    Heather Hare was sentenced to serve the next 13 years in federal prison for transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of unlawful sexual activity.

    • Hare taught Family Consumer Science classes at Bryant High School and met the minor victim on their first day of their senior year. Hare began one-on-one counseling sessions with the minor victim, eventually giving them her personal phone number and primarily communicating with them through Instagram and Snapchat.
    • In addition to engaging in sexual activity between 20 to 30 times during the school term, in April 2022, during a field trip to Washington, D.C., in which Hare was the sponsor and chaperone, Hare and the minor victim engaged in the unlawful sexual activity to which she pleaded guilty.
    • "The FBI takes crimes against children very seriously,” said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge Alicia D. Corder. "Today’s sentencing shows that the federal government will continuously work to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals who abuse their position of trust and authority to exploit children in our community."
    • Full press release

    Four Imprisoned in Mexican Mafia Murder-for-Hire Plot
    Several California residents have received significant sentences for their roles in a South Texas murder-for-hire scheme.

    • In 2018, Mexican Mafia gang members arranged for the murder of a male residing in Mission, California.
    • Viola Elizabeth Garcia and Christopher Andrade, a mother and son duo, were convicted in July 2023. Two others—Noah Solis and Ronaldo Gallegos—had previously pleaded guilty. Diego Morales was incarcerated at the time, but also pleaded guilty to his role in the crime.
    • "The Mexican Mafia, a deadly criminal enterprise that traffics in fear and terror, imported a mother and son duo—Garcia and Andrade—from California to murder a local man for $20,000," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar S. Hamdani. "Garcia and Andrade thought the scheme would raise their family’s fortunes, but thanks to the work of law enforcement, there won’t be any family reunions for years to come."
    • Full press release

    Former Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, Resident Sentenced to Three Decades in Prison for Sexual Exploitation and Extortion of Several Minors
    Kuang Myat Kyaw has been sentenced in federal court to 30 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release, in addition to being ordered to pay a restitution of $27,826.57 on his conviction of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, and distribution of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor.

    • Between August 2020 and September 2021, Kyaw used the Internet to entice and coerce five female minor victims ranging in age from 12 to 17 years old to produce photographs and videos depicting their sexual exploitation and engaging in sadistic and masochistic sexual acts.
    • Kyaw initially tricked the minors into providing him with photographs showing themselves naked, and then used the threat of disseminating those images to their family and friends to extort the minors to engage in what he referred to as a "seven-day challenge," during which he would demand that the victims produce increasingly depraved sexual imagery.
    • "Preying on children, tricking them into producing child sexual abuse material, and extorting them into ever-escalating behavior ranks among the most sadistic crimes the FBI investigates," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Kevin Rojek. "We will never stop working to serve justice for the victims of predators like this individual. Today’s sentencing reflects the unyielding resolve of the FBI and our partners to protect the most vulnerable members of our community."
    • Full press release

    Five Defendants Sentenced Following the Robberies of Two Cell Phone Stores in Montgomery, Alabama
    Five individuals were sentenced for their roles in robbing two cell phone stores at gunpoint. 

    • According to the plea agreements and other court records, on April 25, 2023, members of the group entered a cell phone store located on the Eastern Boulevard in Montgomery. One of the members pointed a gun at store employees and demanded to be taken to the store’s safe. After gaining access to the safe, the defendants took assorted electronic devices.
    • The group repeated the same actions on May 18, 2023, this time at a cell phone store on Ann Street in Montgomery. Again, the defendants used a firearm to threaten store employees and gain access to the safe.
    • "The sentences imposed on these defendants should send a strong message to anyone contemplating other violent criminal acts," said FBI Mobile Special Agent in Charge Paul W. Brown. "Those who work and live in Montgomery deserve to feel safe and secure in their community."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Updates to List of Native Americans Verified as Missing Throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation  

    May 17, 2024

    On May 15, FBI Albuquerque released an updated list of Native Americans it has verified as missing throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. This list is part of an effort to improve the reporting and recovery of missing persons in Indian Country

    The FBI is seeking public assistance and information on the cases. If you have information concerning any of these cases, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov (tips can remain anonymous). 

    Since May 13, 2024, 13 people have been removed from the list, and 7 people have been added.  

    Below is a list of those who were added: 

    • Carl Bergen 
    • Shanna Happy 
    • Leslie Mitchell 
    • Candice Pinto 
    • Omneya Skywater 
    • Chanda Villa 
    • Tyson Woods 

    National Senior Fraud Awareness Day 

    May 15, 2024

    Every day, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) receives thousands of complaints reporting a wide array of scams, many targeting older Americans.   

    According to the FBI’s most recent report on elder abuse in 2023, total losses reported to the IC3 by those over the age of 60 topped $3.4 billion, an almost 11% increase in reported losses from 2022.   

    Protect Yourself  

    • Recognize scam attempts and end all communication with the perpetrator.
    • Search online for the contact information (name, email, phone number, addresses) and the proposed offer. Other people have likely posted information online about individuals and businesses trying to run scams.
    • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Scammers create a sense of urgency to produce fear and lure victims into immediate action. Call the police immediately if you feel there is a danger to yourself or a loved one.
    • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door services offers.
    • Never give or send any personally identifiable information, money, jewelry, gift cards, checks, or wire information to unverified people or businesses.
    • Make sure all computer anti-virus and security software and malware protections are up to date. Use reputable anti-virus software and firewalls.
    • Disconnect from the internet and shut down your device if you see a pop-up message or locked screen. Pop-ups are regularly used by perpetrators to spread malicious software. Enable pop-up blockers to avoid accidentally clicking on a pop-up.
    • Be careful what you download. Never open an email attachment from someone you don't know, and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you.
    • Take precautions to protect your identity if a criminal gains access to your device or account. Immediately contact your financial institutions to place protections on your accounts, and monitor your accounts and personal information for suspicious activity.

    How to Report 

    If you believe you or someone you know may have been a victim of elder fraud, contact your local FBI field office or submit a tip online. You can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.

    When reporting a scam—regardless of dollar amount—include as many of the following details as possible:

    • Names of the scammer and/or company
    • Dates of contact
    • Methods of communication
    • Phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, and websites used by the perpetrator
    • Methods of payment
    • Where you sent funds, including wire transfers and prepaid cards (provide financial institution names, account names, and account numbers)
    • Descriptions of your interactions with the scammer and the instructions you were given

    Whenever possible, you should keep original documentation, emails, faxes, and logs of communications.

    Resources  

    FBI Director Condemns Threats to Election Workers

    May 13, 2024

    FBI Director Christopher Wray underscored the Bureau’s dedication to protecting election workers—including volunteers—from harm during a May 13 meeting of the Department of Justice’s Election Threats Task Force in Washington, D.C. 

    “Let me be clear: Any threat of violence to an election official, volunteer, or staff is completely unacceptable and something the FBI takes very seriously,” Director Wray said. “And we’re committed to ensuring threats to election workers receive the swift and thorough response they deserve, whether that’s through federal investigation and prosecution or a referral to our state and local partners.” 

    The Justice Department established the Election Threats Task Force in June 2021 to combat threats against election workers. Members include the FBI, various DOJ components, and other federal agency partners. 

    You can read the Director’s full remarks from the meeting to learn how the Bureau is using preparation and collaboration to safeguard U.S. elections. 

    You can also visit fbi.gov/ProtectedVoices to learn about the FBI's Protected Voices initiative, which equips political campaigns, companies, and individuals with tools and resources to guard against online foreign influence operations, cyber threats, and federal election crimes. The initiative also offers resources for election officials and campaign staff members


    Driver, Beware: Don't Get Scammed Out of Fake Toll Payments

    May 13, 2024

    The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recently issued a public service announcement warning that scammers are using text-message-based phishing—also known as “smishing”—attacks to get drivers to pay for tolls they don’t actually owe. 

    The scam text messages alert their targets to an allegedly outstanding toll and direct them to click on a link—which is designed to look like the actual name of their state’s toll service—to pay up. 

    But if a target clicks the malicious link and shares their personal or financial information in an attempt to pay off the fake tolls, that information ends up in scammers’ hands. 

    Read the full IC3 public service announcement to learn more about this scam and what you should do if you receive one of these fraudulent text messages. 

    Resources: 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    May 10, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Justice Department Strengthens Efforts, Builds Partnerships to Address Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons
    The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Dakota joined its partners across the federal government, as well as people throughout American Indian and Alaska Native communities, in recognizing May 5 as National Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Awareness Day.

    • In recognition of MMIP Awareness Day, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland highlighted ongoing efforts to tackle the MMIP and human trafficking crises in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and other pressing public safety challenges, like the fentanyl crisis, in Tribal communities.
    • "There is still so much more to do in the face of persistently high levels of violence that Tribal communities have endured for generations, and that women and girls, particularly, have endured," said U.S. Attorney General Garland. "In carrying out our work, we seek to honor those who are still missing, those who were stolen from their communities, and their loved ones who are left with unimaginable pain. Tribal communities deserve safety, and they deserve justice. This day challenges all of us at the Justice Department to double down on our efforts, and to be true partners with Tribal communities as we seek to end this crisis."
    • Full press release

    Man Who Carried Out Machete Attack on NYPD Officers in Times Square on New Year’s Eve 2022 Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison
    Trevor Bickford was sentenced to 324 months in prison for attempting to kill officers and employees of the U.S. government and persons assisting them during his brazen attack using a machete-style knife against three New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers in Times Square on Dec. 31, 2022.

    • "Today’s sentence holds Trevor Bickford accountable for his premeditated 2022 terrorist attack in Times Square during which he attempted to kill three NYPD officers in a violent rampage," said U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. "The Justice Department is deeply grateful to the NYPD for its quick actions and bravery in disrupting this New Year’s Eve attack, and for the work it does every day to keep New Yorkers safe. The Justice Department will always stand by its state and local law enforcement partners as we work together to counter the threat of terrorism, and that includes being relentless in prosecuting those who seek to harm officers."
    • "The defendant’s brutal ambush of three New York City police officers keeping watch over New Year’s Eve celebrations was a premeditated act of terrorism," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "Police officers work tirelessly to protect the communities they serve and assaults on them are reprehensible. He planned, prepared, and travelled to conduct a savage attack in support of his violent ideology and now he is being held accountable for his actions."
    • Full press release

    Trinitarios Gang Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering a Confidential Informant
    William Jones was sentenced to life in prison for the December 2019 murder of Frederick Delacruz. 

    • Jones was a high-ranking member of the Trinitarios, a racketeering enterprise that has engaged in a pattern of murder, attempted murder, drug trafficking, fraud, and witness tampering and retaliation.
    • On December 28, 2019, Jones and other Trinitarios lured Frederick Delacruz from the Bronx, New York, to Suffolk County, New York, where Jones shot and killed Delacruz because Delacruz was acting as a confidential informant for law enforcement.
    • "William Jones executed Frederick Delacruz in cold blood because Delacruz had the courage to cooperate with law enforcement," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "Now, Jones will spend the rest of his life in a federal prison."
    • Full press release

    Grant Man Charged with Transporting Explosive and Possessing a Destructive Device
    Luke Isaac Terpstra has been charged with transporting an explosive with the intent to kill, injure, or intimidate individuals or to unlawfully damage or destroy a building. 

    • Terpstra also faces a separate charge that he illegally possessed a destructive device. The indictment charges that Terpstra built several devices that he characterized as “bombs” and then transported those devices, along with multiple firearms and ammunition, from Michigan to the site of The Satanic Temple (TST) in Massachusetts in September 2023.
    • "Today's indictment is a sobering reminder of the threats we face as a society and a true testament to the FBI's mission of protecting the American people," said FBI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson. "We stand united with our partners to combat all forms of violence and will take all necessary measures to ensure the public's safety."
    • Full press release

    Tanner Washington Sentenced to Life for Murder of Girlfriend
    Tanner Dean Washington was sentenced to life in prison for the 2019 murder of his girlfriend, Faith Lindsey.

    • In August 2022, Washington pleaded guilty to one count of Murder in Indian Country—Second Degree. As part of the plea, Washington admitted to murdering 17-year-old Faith Lindsey on October 27, 2019.  
    • Despite an extensive investigation and exhaustive search efforts, Lindsey’s body has yet to be found.
    • "The defendant’s life sentence is part of our effort to seek justice and accountability for the tragic murder of an innocent young woman, who had a long and vibrant life ahead of her," said FBI Oklahoma City Acting Special Agent in Charge Sonia Garcia."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    May 3, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Newberry Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking Conspiracy, Firearm Possession and Witness Tampering
    Eric Rashun Jones was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to human trafficking conspiracy, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and witness tampering.

    • From August 2018 through November 2022, Jones violently exploited women in the commercial sex trade for his financial gain. He did so by means of physical violence and force, including beating victims with a pistol and other objects and hitting victims with closed fists causing victims multiple surgeries, hospitalizations, broken bones and teeth, permanent injuries, and scarring.
    • Jones also abducted two of his victims and restrained them for multiple days, introduced drugs to some victims and promoted the drug addictions of others, and engaged in sexual violence. 
    • "Jones’ crimes revealed the depth of human depravity and outright evil he casually and continuously imposed upon his victims," said FBI Columbia Special Agent in Charge Steve Jensen. "His heinous crimes yielded lifelong trauma that will be hard to reverse. This stiff sentence of justice removes him from the innocent victims’ lives and places him where he will no longer be able to inflict harm. The FBI is grateful for our local law enforcement partners for conducting this joint comprehensive investigation to hold this violent offender accountable. We also recognize the diligent work of the Victim Specialists who supported and continue to support the victims with valuable resources."
    • Full press release

    South L.A. Gang Member Who Led Meth and Cocaine Trafficking Ring from His Storefront Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison
    A member of the Hoover Criminals Gang, Andrew Tate, was sentenced today to 144 months in federal prison for leading a drug trafficking enterprise that distributed narcotics, including crack cocaine and methamphetamine, which were sold from his storefront in South Los Angeles.

    • Tate is the lead defendant in an indictment targeting the gang's members and associates as part of an investigation dubbed "Operation Hoover Dam." He also is the final defendant to be sentenced in this case. In total, federal prosecutors secured 10 convictions in this matter.
    • "Tate participated in an extensive and long-running drug conspiracy to sell drugs, including methamphetamine and crack cocaine, in South Los Angeles," prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. "Tate’s role in the drug conspiracy was significant; he was the head of the entire drug trafficking enterprise pumping drugs into a vulnerable area of Los Angeles."
    • Full press release

    Former Oregon Department of Human Services Employee Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Violating the Civil Rights of a Developmentally Disabled Woman in his Care
    A former Oregon Department of Human Services employee, Zakary Edward Glover, was sentenced to 25 years in federal today for violating the civil rights of a woman with developmental disabilities in his care by engaging in sexual misconduct with her.

    • The victim, who has severe autism and cognitive deficits, was one of the individuals under Glover’s care.
    • In November 2021, while on an outing with the victim, Glover drove down a dead-end road near a cemetery in Aumsville, Oregon. Upon reaching the dead-end, he parked the van near the cemetery’s gate and proceeded to engage in sexual acts with the victim without her consent. 
    • "Zakary Glover's actions are inexcusable and appalling," said FBI Portland Special Agent in Charge Douglas A. Olson. "The FBI will not stand by when people in positions of trust violate and victimize vulnerable community members. Mr. Glover abused his power and today’s sentence sends the message that the FBI and our partners will hold accountable anyone in a position of power who fails the citizens of their community."
    • Full press release

    Three Aryan Brotherhood Prison Gang Members Convicted of Murder in Aid of Racketeering, RICO Conspiracy, and Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering
    Three members of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, Ronald Yandell, Danny Troxell, and Billy Sylvester, were found guilty of racketeering activity that included murder and drug trafficking.

    • "Today’s convictions further our effort to dismantle a violent criminal enterprise run from inside California prisons," said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California Phillip A. Talbert. "The Aryan Brotherhood controlled its members, associates, and others both inside and outside prison walls, ordering multiple murders and running a drug trafficking operation that spanned counties and states. We will continue to use every law enforcement tool to protect the communities plagued by the violence and criminal activities of the Aryan Brotherhood."
    • "Prior convictions and lengthy prison sentences didn’t alter the defendants’ disrespect for the law and public safety. They continued to commit brutal murders and other heinous crimes from behind bars, all while coordinating the distribution of drugs into the community for financial gain," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian M. Clark. "These convictions deal a significant blow to the Aryan Brotherhood leadership and underscores our commitment to tackle violent criminal enterprises from the top down."
    • Full press release

    Repeat Bank Robber Sentenced to Federal Prison for Waycross Heist
    Matthew McCloskey, who had previous robbery convictions, has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for robbing a Waycross bank.

    • McCloskey’s sentence will run concurrently with his state sentence on a kidnapping conviction related to the bank robbery. McCloskey has also been ordered to pay $877 in restitution, and to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.
    • In 2022, McCloskey entered the Ameris Bank in Waycross, and handed a note to the teller demanding money. After receiving cash, he ran to a waiting vehicle and fled the scene.
    • Investigators learned that McCloskey and his girlfriend took a taxi to a local motel and used cash from the robbery to pay for the taxi. Officers took McCloskey into custody at the motel after a struggle that resulted in the kidnapping conviction on state charges when McCloskey refused to allow his girlfriend to leave their room.
    • "By now, Matthew McCloskey should realize robbing a bank is not a winning proposition," said Savannah Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Will Clarke of FBI Atlanta. "Those who choose to become involved in such a lifestyle should know that law enforcement at every level will work together tirelessly to bring them to justice."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Updates to List of Native Americans Verified as Missing Throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation  

    May 1, 2024

    On April 15, FBI Albuquerque released an updated list of Native Americans it has verified as missing throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. This list is part of an effort to improve the reporting and recovery of missing persons in Indian Country

    The FBI is seeking public assistance and information on the cases. If you have information concerning any of these cases, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov (tips can remain anonymous). 

    Since April 15, 2024, 14 people have been removed from the list, and 10 people have been added.

     Below is a list of those who were added: 

    • Yvonne Benally
    • Leianah Bennett
    • Shane Chee
    • Begay Dejuan
    • Judith Garcia
    • Letoya Hobson
    • Alana Jackson
    • Joycelynn Miller
    • Lambert Nathaniel
    • Keith Yazzie Jr.

    April 2024  

    Elder Fraud Losses Grew by Nearly 11% in 2023, New FBI Report Finds

    April 30, 2024

    This infographic shows how many complaints the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received about different types of elder fraud in 2023.

    This infographic shows how many complaints the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received about different types of elder fraud in 2023.

    Financial losses caused by elder fraud—or illegal efforts to scam older adults out of cash or cryptocurrency assets—rose by almost 11% in 2023 and exceeded $3.4 billion, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2023 Elder Fraud Report.  

    This annual report identifies trends concerning frauds and scams that targeted victims aged 60 and over in that given year. The data is derived from reports the public submits to IC3. 

    Tech scams were the most widely reported form of elder fraud in 2023, though investment scams conned older Americans out of the most money, leading to over $1.2 billion in losses.

    Read our story about the report for a summary of its biggest takeaways or explore the full report on ic3.gov.  

    Resources: 


    Protecting Americans from Internet Crime, One PSA at a Time

    April 29, 2024

    The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (also known as IC3) regularly publishes public service announcements, or PSAs, to help the American public stay in-the-know about scams, cyber threats, and other internet-facilitated risks to their safety and wallet. 

    These PSAs provide an overview of a given threat in a way that non-experts can understand. They also explain how people can report suspected internet-based scams or crimes to the FBI, and provide tips for how they can protect themselves. 

    View IC3’s full library of PSAs to increase your scam-prevention savvy. 

    And visit this resource page to learn what kinds of suspected crimes should be reported to IC3. 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    April 26, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Burlington County Couple Convicted of Forced Labor and Other Federal Crimes
    Bolaji Bolarinwa and Isiaka Bolarinwa were convicted of forced labor and other crimes related to their coercive scheme to compel two victims to perform domestic labor and childcare in their home, harbor the victims knowing that they were unlawfully present in the U.S., and unlawfully confiscate the victims’ passports.

    • "Imagine showing up in a foreign land, hoping for a better life, and ending up trapped with no place to go and no one to turn to for help," said FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy. "The victims in this investigation suffered in unimaginable ways at the hands of their captors, enduring years of physical and mental abuse. Human trafficking often takes on many different forms and can hide in plain sight. I want to commend the agents and victim specialists who worked on this case, alongside our partners at the U.S. Attorney's Office. We want everyone to know if you or anyone you know is a victim – you can come to us for help. We will bring your tormentors to justice."
    • The defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each forced labor count. The defendants also face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the alien harboring count and Bolaji faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each unlawful document conduct count. 
    • Full press release

    Beretta Bandit Serial Robber Convicted at Trial
    A federal jury has found Richard Allen Randolph guilty of Hobbs Act robberies—namely three counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, three counts of brandishing a firearm, and one count of discharging a firearm during the commission of the robberies.

    • Randolph faces a minimum statutory penalty of 100 years in federal prison on the firearm counts and a maximum of 20 years on each of the robbery counts.
    • Randolph entered four Tampa commercial businesses between January 27 and February 26, 2020, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and facial covering. During each of the robberies, Randolph brandished and threatened the victims with a Beretta Pico pistol and removed cash from the registers. During the attempted robbery on February 26, 2020, Randolph again concealed his identity, entered the store, and threatened the clerk with the firearm.
    • Randolph faces a minimum statutory penalty of 100 years in federal prison on the firearm counts and a maximum of 20 years on each of the robbery counts.
    • Full press release

    Louisville Father Sentenced to 17 Years in Federal Prison for Enticing Two Indiana Children to Obtain Sexually Explicit Material via Facebook
    Anthony Michael Bentley has been sentenced to seventeen years in federal prison, followed by fifteen years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of making false statements to the FBI. 

    • "This supposed family man posed as an attractive teen boy on Facebook to win the trust of underage girls and entice them to send him sexually explicit material—exploiting children as young as just twelve years old for his own gratification,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers. "Making his crimes worse, Bentley distributed nude images of the minor boy whose pictures he stole to create his alias, casting suspicion on an innocent person. He then lied to the FBI when he was discovered and confronted. Unfortunately, sexual predators know that social media platforms like Facebook are a fertile hunting ground. We urge caring adults to talk to their children about staying safe online..."
    • Full press release

    White Supremacist Leader Sentenced to 44 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Make Death Threats Against Brooklyn Journalist
    Nicholas Welker was sentenced to 44 months’ imprisonment for conspiring to make death threats. 

    • Welker, the leader of Feuerkrieg Division ("FKD"), an international racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist group, which translates to "War Fire," posted death threats against a Brooklyn-based journalist so that the journalist would stop reporting on the Neo-Nazi group.
    • "Welker tried to silence a journalist from reporting on his white supremacist group so that his fellow extremists could continue to commit violence against racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community," stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace. "There were real victims of this crime—the journalist and his news media organization. Today’s sentence demonstrates that we will stand up for them and other journalists who bravely report on these violent hate groups."
    • Full press release

    Woman Pleads Guilty to Transporting Stolen Human Body Parts Out of the State of Arkansas
    Candace Chapman Scott, a former employee of a mortuary services provider, pleaded guilty to transporting stolen body parts across state lines and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. 

    • The investigation revealed that Scott, while an employee at a mortuary services provider between October 2021 through approximately July 15, 2022, stole human body parts and fetal remains.
    • Scott would then sell the stolen human body parts and fetal remains, arranging for them to be transported across a state line to the purchaser.
    • Full press release

    Waukesha Man Sentenced to 30 Years’s Imprisonment for Sex Trafficking
    Cornelius M. Jackson was sentenced to a term of 30 years’ imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, after being convicted of four counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion, and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

    • In announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig emphasized that it is "hard to overstate the seriousness" of Jackson’s conduct, describing how Jackson had "manipulated, used violence, and coerced many young women to sell their bodies for the sexual gratification of others" over a period of six years.
    • Judge Ludwig recounted the "mental and physical torture" that Jackson to which subjected his victims, including strangling several of his victims on multiple occasions. He also noted that Jackson’s "real failure to come to grips" with the gravity of his crimes or to take any meaningful responsibility, even at the sentencing hearing, impacted the court’s sentencing decision.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Director Warns of Chinese Government Threat to U.S. Critical Infrastructure at Vanderbilt   
    April 25, 2024

    Director Wray and Vanderbilt University Chancellor Daniel Diermeier during the Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats in Nashville on April 18, 2024.
    FBI Director Christopher Wray (at right) speaks with Vanderbilt University Chancellor Daniel Diermeier during the Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats in Nashville on April 18, 2024.

    FBI Director Christopher Wray, during recent remarks to the Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats, cautioned students and experts that the Chinese government is targeting U.S. critical infrastructure.

    “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] has made it clear that it considers every sector that makes our society run as fair game in its bid to dominate on the world stage, and that its plan is to land low blows against civilian infrastructure to try to induce panic and break America’s will to resist,” he said at the April 18 event in Nashville.

    He also discussed how the FBI responded to cyber incidents that aimed to target our nation’s critical infrastructure, such as our recent Volt Typhoon case—in which, Wray said, “we found persistent PRC access in our critical telecommunications, energy, water, and other infrastructure sectors.”


    The FBI Commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week   
    April 24, 2024

    Every year, the FBI and our partners mark National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW).

    “Through NCVRW we honor crime victims and survivors, recognize the professionals and volunteers who provide critical services to victims of crime, and raise awareness about crime victims’ rights and services,” states an announcement from the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, which is based out of DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs.

    This year, the Bureau is underscoring the observance by launching its new Trauma Notification Training program.  

    The FBI first launched an online death notification for first responders in 2015. This new program expands the scope to a range of trauma notifications, adds eight new instructional videos, and opens participation in the training to the general public.  

    “Victims are at the heart of the FBI's mission, and the Trauma Notification Training offers resources, support, and hope to anyone who needs it," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "We are proud to announce the launch of this training during National Crime Victims' Rights Week and its expanded availability—a call to action for everyone to help crime victims." 


    Ensuring Justice for All: FBI Director Talks Civil Rights in Birmingham  
    April 23, 2024

    Director Wray speaks at 16th Street Baptist Church on April 15, 2024, opening the annual Birmingham Civil Rights Conference.
    FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks at 16th Street Baptist Church on April 15, 2024, opening the annual Birmingham Civil Rights Conference.

    In an April 15 keynote address at the Birmingham Civil Rights Conference, FBI Director Christopher Wray encouraged civil rights activists and law enforcement leaders to forge ahead in their fight for justice despite the persistence of violent, bias-motivated hate crimes.  

    Director Wray also reflected upon the FBI’s investigation into a deadly 1963 bombing at the very setting of the conference—the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama—which culminated in the sentencing of the final two conspirators in the early 2000s.

    "Looking back across the 61 years since this church—and the ideas and the movement it stood for—were attacked by four men with hate in their hearts, I see progress towards a better present and a more hopeful future," Wray said. "I see that your work, and the work of many before us, has changed society—has bent the arc—so that when hateful acts occur, rather than obscuring that ugliness and protecting those who inflicted it, people instead shine a light on it, and we can move more swiftly to get justice." 

    He also discussed the Bureau’s contemporary work investigating hate crimes and color-of-law violations, as well as FBI efforts to "to bend the world towards justice” in the future—including training initiatives, community outreach, and strategic partnerships. 


    Protecting Communities, Together: Director Wray Honors 2023 DCLA Recipients   
    April 22, 2024

    FBI Director Wray and the 2023 Director's Community Leadership Award recipients pose for a group photo at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 2024.
    FBI Director Wray and the 2023 Director's Community Leadership Award recipients pose for a group photo at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 2024.

    FBI Director Christopher Wray on April 19 honored people and organizations from across the United States who help strengthen communities and reduce crime and violence with Director’s Community Leadership Awards (DCLA). 

    Since 1990, FBI field offices have chosen award recipients on behalf of the current Director. 

    This year’s recipients were recognized for a broad range of efforts, including building bridges between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, combatting human trafficking and providing resources to victims, and supporting local youth programs. 

    View the full list of 2023 award recipients and learn more about them and the organizations they represent. 

    You can also learn more about FBI Oklahoma City’s 2023 honoree, prisoner-turned-pastor Thaddeus Black, in our profile of him.  


    The Oklahoma City Bombing, 29 Years Later   
    April 19, 2024

    On April 19, 1995, an ex-Army soldier and security guard named Timothy McVeigh parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.  

    The truck contained a powerful bomb made out of a deadly cocktail of agricultural fertilizer, diesel fuel, and other chemicals. When the bomb went off, it took the lives of 168 people, including 19 children, with several hundred more injured.  

    This devastating event was the worst act of homegrown terrorism in the nation’s history. The Oklahoma City bombing case would go on to shape the FBI’s approach to investigating terrorism. 

    Resources 

    Videos 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    April 19, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Investigating Torture: FBI-HSI Investigation Leads to U.S. Citizen’s Conviction for Human Rights Violations in Iraq
    A U.S. Army veteran, Ross Roggio, who established an illegal weapons facility in the Kurdistan region of Iraq—and who proceeded to both direct and engage in the torture of one of his employees—has been sentenced to 70 years in federal prison for those crimes and for additional crimes linked to his role at the facility.

    • Roggio directed Kurdish soldiers to kidnap an employee and hold him hostage at one of their military compounds for 39 days. There, Roggio and the Kurdish military personnel under his corrupt command physically and mentally abused the victim.
    • "Torture is among the grievous crimes the FBI investigates and this is the second time we have been able to bring justice under the federal torture statute," said Executive Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch in a DOJ release about the sentencing. "Our investigation into Roggio’s abominable crimes and today’s sentencing would not be possible without the sheer courage of the victim to tell his story. The FBI and our international partners stand with victims by standing up to human rights violations wherever they occur."
    • On April 15, 2024, Roggio became the second-ever person to be convicted under the U.S. torture statute since it took effect in 1994. 
    • Full story

    Florida Man Charged with Sex Trafficking Multiple Women and Sexually Assaulting a Minor in New York
    Joel David Forney was charged with sex trafficking, interstate transportation for purposes of prostitution, and coercion and enticement of a minor.

    • Forney allegedly trafficked women to work in commercial sex in New York, including at an open-air sex trafficking market along a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn known as the Penn Track, as well as the defendant’s transportation of women from New York to multiple other states with the intent that they engage in commercial sex for his financial benefit.
    • According to the indictment, for years, Forney preyed on vulnerable women in tough financial circumstances by sex trafficking them, violently assaulting them, and subjecting them to constant threats of violence.
    • Full press release

    Former Private Prisoner Transport Officer Sentenced for Federal Civil Rights Offenses for Sexually Assaulting Multiple Female Pretrial Detainees
    A former private prisoner transport officer, Marquet Johnson, was sentenced to 30 years in prison and five years of supervised release and required to register as a sex offender for violating the civil rights of multiple female pretrial detainees by sexually assaulting them during prisoner transports.

    • "Law enforcement officers and other officials receive certain powers from the government so they can defend the rights of the people and prevent wrongdoing," said FBI Albuquerque Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda. "When individuals working in an official capacity violate the trust of their communities by abusing that power, they undermine the hard work of all officials. The despicable actions perpetuated by Johnson, against those he was entrusted to protect, have no place in society. When you break the trust you’re given as a member of law enforcement and ultimately break the law, there are consequences. Today’s sentence is a resounding reminder that the FBI is committed to restoring trust in law enforcement by holding those who abuse their privileges and abandon their responsibilities accountable. We encourage survivors to find the courage to come forward and report these crimes to the FBI…"
    • Full press release

    Former Marine Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Molotov Cocktail Attack Against Planned Parenthood Clinic in Orange County
    Chance Brannon, who firebombed a Planned Parenthood clinic in Costa Mesa and plotted other attacks—including an attack on the Orange County power grid in furtherance of a race war, an attack at Dodger Stadium during an LGBTQ+ pride night celebration, and the home invasions of Jewish homes in Los Angeles—was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison.

    • According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, Brannon used racial slurs for various minority groups, "made hateful comments towards all non-white individuals," and discussed "cleans[ing]" the United States of particular ethnic groups.
    • "Mr. Brannon’s deep-rooted hatred and extremist views inspired him to target individuals or groups who did not conform to his neo-Nazi worldview and, in one case, led him to carry out a violent attack which could have killed innocent people," said FBI Los Angeles Acting Assistant Director in Charge Mehtab Syed.
    • Full press release

    Lumberton Gang Member Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison After Conviction for Possessing a Firearm as a Felon
    Quillan Inman was sentenced to 100 months in prison and three years of supervised release for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

    • Inman was previously convicted in North Carolina state court of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of second-degree kidnapping as well as multiple breaking and entering charges. He has a lengthy criminal history spanning back to 2010.
    • "This defendant’s long history of violence has finally caught up to him, now getting...years in federal prison after a high-speed chase exceeding 90 miles per hour in Robeson County," said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up

    April 12, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.

    Principal Drug and Weapons Supplier for MS-13 in Honduras Arrested and Extradited for Racketeering, Narcotics, and Firearms Offenses
    David Campbell, one of the principal narcotics and weapons suppliers to MS-13 in Honduras, was charged with racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses.

    • In addition to Campbell, the superseding indictment unsealed also charged Yulan Andony Archaga Carías, the leader of MS-13 in Honduras and one of FBI’s, DEA’s, and HSI’s Most Wanted Fugitives.
    • "The FBI and our partners remain committed to the combating the violent criminal activity related to MS-13 occurring in communities across America," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "Criminals that engage in illegal activity targeting the American people should take today's announcement as a warning—they cannot hide beyond our borders. We are proud of the close collaboration with our partners which resulted in David Campbell having to face the consequences of his actions."
    • "Over the course of decades, MS-13 has sowed unspeakable violence in communities here in the United States and abroad," said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. "With the arrest and extradition of the alleged principal MS-13 drug and weapons supplier, the Justice Department is making clear that those responsible for flooding our communities with violence and deadly drugs will be held accountable in an American courtroom."
    • Full press release

    Spokane Tribal Member Found Guilty of Assaulting His Partner with a Knife and Attempting to Suffocate Her
    Marvin Samson Butterfly was found guilty of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Indian Country, Assault of an Intimate Partner and Dating Partner by Suffocating and Attempting to Suffocate in Indian Country, and Attempted Witness Tampering.

    • Butterfly was upset with the victim because the victim had let another woman shelter in her home because of the cold weather. Butterfly began shouting, took out a long knife and began stabbing the floors, doors, and furniture, then assaulted the victim by holding the knife against her throat.
    • He then attempted to suffocate the victim, then fled the home in the victim’s vehicle.
    • "Everyone deserves to live in a safe home free of violence. Native Americans experience some of the highest rates of violence in the country, a situation that is more tragic in light of the generations of trauma already suffered by Indigenous people, especially Native American women," stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington Vanessa R. Waldref. "By working with our tribal and federal law enforcement partners, we can continue to build trust and foster safer and stronger communities on Tribal lands and throughout Eastern Washington."
    • Press Release

    Decatur Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Sexually Exploiting Minors
    Kevin Dial was sentenced on April 5, 2024, to 50 years imprisonment for sexual exploitation of minors, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

    • At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Dial directed the sexual abuse of three minors, including a two-year-old child, and ordered that the abuse be recorded.
    • During the hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Colin S. Bruce described Dial’s actions as “horrific,” noting the defendant had destroyed the lives of his victims.
    • "From Decatur, Illinois, to the Philippines, the FBI’s extensive reach delivered justice to children who were victims of one of the worst child sexual abuse cases we have seen in some time,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. "The investigation, which resulted in a significant sentence, demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to use the full strength of our authority to protect children."
    • Full press release

    Man Who Bound and Raped Au Pair Pleads No Contest
    Arisknight Arkin-Everett Winfree plead no contest to the five counts against him; kidnapping, coercing and enticing someone to travel for the purposes of illegal sexual activity, attempted coercion and enticement, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

    • Winfree used the website AuPair.com to create a fake listing to lure au pairs to his home, where he intended to sexually assault them. A woman from Kansas came and escaped after her parents called the police. An Italian au pair came, and Winfree handcuffed, bound, and raped her. He then spoke with his friend Paul Heiselman, indicating to Heiselman he intended to kill the Italian woman and dispose of her body. 
    • Winfree faces a potential maximum sentence of life in prison.
    • "The collective investigative efforts of the FBI and East Lansing Police Department prevented Mr. Winfree from potentially victimizing countless other young women," said FBI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson. "We remain grateful for the bravery of the victims for coming forward to law enforcement. This case is stark reminder of the dangers and reach predators have through online methods, and how vigilant we must be while using the internet."
    • Full press release

    Mother-Daughter Duo Sentenced to a Total of Twelve Years in Federal Prison for Robberies of Six Indianapolis Banks
    Sierra Hunt has been sentenced to 68 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to bank robbery.

    • Between April 9 and April 15, 2022, Sierra Hunt robbed four Chase Banks in the Indianapolis area. In each robbery, she approached the teller, gave a note demanding the teller put money in the bag and no one would get hurt, and left with cash. As a result of the four bank robberies committed by Sierra, the banks suffered a loss of $26,655.
    • In October of 2023, Sierra’s daughter, Shamiya Hunt, was sentenced to 76 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to bank robbery and attempted bank robbery while on supervised release for a previous heroin trafficking conviction.
    • "It is incredibly disheartening to see a mother and daughter working together to victimize so many folks who were just going about their day working at and patronizing the bank," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers. "Thanks to the quick investigative work of the FBI, these defendants have been held accountable for their actions. The serious federal prison sentence imposed here demonstrates that these crimes carry serious consequences."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    FBI Director Christopher Wray Testifies Before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Fiscal Year 2025 Funding 

    April 11, 2024

    On April 11, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies to discuss FBI funding for fiscal year 2025. 

    Director Wray stressed the importance of the FBI’s work, the impacts our personnel have, and the threats and challenges faced by the nation and the FBI.  

    “Each day, Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel are making a real difference in communities across the nation, tackling some of the most complex national security and criminal threats with perseverance, professionalism, and integrity—sometimes at the greatest of costs. I am extremely proud of their service and commitment,” Director Wray said in a statement for the record. 

    Director Wray highlighted some of the significant issues the FBI is working to address, including:

    • Homegrown violent extremists   
    • Sophisticated cyber attacks 
    • Internet-facilitated sexual exploitation of children  
    • Human trafficking 
    • Violent gangs  
    • Criminal organizations  
    • Public corruption 
    • Corporate fraud 

    Resources:


    FBI's Section 702 Authorities Take Center Stage During Director's Remarks in Washington   

    April 9, 2024

    FBI Director Christopher Wray addresses the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security on April 9, 2024, in Washington, D.C.
    FBI Director Christopher Wray addresses the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security on April 9, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

    FBI Director Christopher Wray on April 9 said requiring the FBI to obtain a warrant to query its database of information collected under its Section 702 surveillance authorities would impede investigations, hinder the Bureau's ability to combat cyberattacks and terrorism, and hamper our ability to contact victims of cyber incidents in a timely manner. 

    “If there’s no constitutional, legal, or compliance necessity for a warrant requirement, then Congress would be making a policy choice to require us to blind ourselves to intelligence in our holdings,” Wray told the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Law and National Security in Washington, D.C.

    During his remarks, he also addressed legal and compliance questions surrounding a potential warrant requirement and highlighted the Bureau's recent progress in improving Section 702 query compliance.

    You can read more about his discussion of Section 702 here and view his full remarks from the event here.


    Updates to List of Native Americans Verified as Missing Throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation  

    April 8, 2024

    On April 1, the FBI released an updated list of Native Americans it has verified as missing throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. This list is part of an effort to improve the reporting and recovery of missing persons in Indian Country

    The FBI is seeking public assistance and information on the cases. If you have information concerning any of these cases, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov (tips can remain anonymous). 

    Since April 1, 2024, 14 people have been removed from the list, and 10 people have been added. 

    Below is a list of those who were added: 

    • Shawntell Billy 
    • Vinson Dennison 
    • Tom Jim Jr. 
    • Ferlando Nez 
    • Justin Norberto 
    • Hailey Pacheco 
    • Deandrea Provencio 
    • Hunter Ricotta 
    • Augustine Secatero 
    • Monica Wilson 

    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    April 5, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Former Fugitive Sentenced to Six Years for Role in 2012 Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
    Oliver Jaramillo Brown was sentenced to six years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.  

    • Brown was involved in a Nogales, Sonora-based drug trafficking conspiracy that used Tucson as a staging ground for distribution into the U.S.
    • Over the course of the government investigation, the U.S. seized more than 140 kilograms of cocaine, more than 60 kilograms of “ice” methamphetamine, over $1 million in bulk cash, and two firearms. 
    • In March 2012, Brown fled to Mexico while the government was making arrests of the U.S.-based members of the conspiracy. Brown lived in Mexico for more than a decade before he attempted to return to the U.S. in late 2022 and was apprehended on the fugitive warrant in this case.
    • Full press release

    Thirteen Members of a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Involving Louisiana State Penitentiary Inmates, Former Angola Guards, and Others Sentenced to Federal Prison
    Thirteen individuals were sentenced in connection with an extensive federal, state, and local investigation aimed at a large-scale cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine trafficking network based in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, with suppliers in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and Colton, California.

    • Between February 2017 and May 2019, the defendants worked in concert with each other to obtain and distribute controlled substances in the Louisiana State Penitentiary and elsewhere through the use of correctional officers and other non-incarcerated individuals, and with the intent to profit from the distribution of these controlled substances.
    • "The FBI’s goal is to identify and target criminal enterprises and other groups engaged in drug trafficking. Today, justice was served to those who chose to traffic and distribute illicit narcotics in Angola State Penitentiary..." said the FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Lyonel Myrthil. "I assure you, the FBI will continue to enforce the laws and intervene when drug traffickers distribute narcotics on the streets or in the prison system."
    • Full press release

    Texas Man Sentenced for Hate Crimes Following Mass Shooting Targeting Muslims at Car Repair Shop
    Anthony Paz Torres was sentenced to 37 years in prison following his guilty plea to hate crime charges arising out of a fatal shooting at a car repair shop.

    • Torres pleaded guilty to five federal hate crime counts for killing one individual and attempting to kill four others during a mass shooting at Omar’s Wheels and Tires in Dallas on December 24, 2015. Torres also pleaded guilty to one count of using a firearm to commit the murder.
    • "The defendant attempted to commit a mass shooting and intentionally targeted victims at a Muslim-owned business," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "This case is an abhorrent example of how deadly Islamophobia can be in our own country and the severe consequences that wait for anyone who commits acts of hateful violence. The FBI places civil rights investigations as one of our highest priorities because everyone deserves to practice their religion without fear."
    • Full press release

    Alabama Man Arrested on Federal Dog Fighting and Firearms Charges; Seventy-Eight Dogs Rescued and "Destructive Device" Recovered
    A federal grand jury indicted Carlton Lenard Adams on charges of illegally possessing dogs for fighting purposes and illegally possessing three firearms subsequent to a felony conviction.

    • Adams maintained a stock of 78 fighting dogs at three properties—two in Bessemer and one in Adger.
    • Agents also recovered tools and supplies used in the training and keeping of dogs used for fighting. This included modified treadmills to hold dogs in place for dog fight conditioning, injectable veterinary steroids, suture materials and syringes, skin staplers, a homemade breeding stand used to immobilize female dogs who are too aggressive to mate naturally, and a break stick device used to break the bite hold of a dog during specified intervals in a dog fight.
    • The defendant was further found to possess two pistols and a semi-automatic shotgun known colloquially as a "Street Sweeper." The latter is not just a firearm but a "destructive device" under federal law.
    • The dogs were rescued and cared for by a program administered by the U.S. Marshals Service.
    • Full press release

    Bronx Man Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison for Sexually Exploiting Minor
    Markell Greene was sentenced in federal court for coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography, as well as traveling with the intent to engage in illicit conduct with the minor victim.

    • Through social media, Greene targeted a 12-year-old girl and then he proceeded to entice her to send him sexually explicit photos and videos. He then traveled from New York to Massachusetts where he raped the child while he was recording his deviant behavior on Snapchat.
    • "Markell Greene is a monster, and no sentence will ever wipe away the untold heartache, pain, anxiety, and fear that he inflicted upon this young child and her family," said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen. "That said, today’s sentence does remove a dangerous predator from our community for a significant amount of time, and highlights the FBI’s ongoing commitment to ensure that sexual predators are held accountable for their crimes. Our Child Exploitation-Human Trafficking Task Force will continue to do what it can to prevent children from being sexually abused and exploited."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Director Unveils New Kansas City Field Office, Talks Cyber During Midwest Visit  

    April 4, 2024

    (From left to right) David Rumsey, acting regional commissioner for the  General Services Administration; Stephen Cyrus, special agent in charge of the FBI Kansas City Field Office; FBI Director Christopher Wray; and Ruth Noah, granddaughter of former Kansas City Police Chief and FBI Director Clarence Kelley cut the ribbon on the new FBI Kansas City Field Office headquarters building in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 3, 2024.
    (From left to right) David Rumsey, acting regional commissioner for the General Services Administration; Stephen Cyrus, special agent in charge of the FBI Kansas City Field Office; FBI Director Christopher Wray; and Ruth Noah, granddaughter of former Kansas City Police Chief and FBI Director Clarence Kelley cut the ribbon on the new FBI Kansas City Field Office headquarters building in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 3, 2024.

    This week, FBI Director Christopher Wray visited the Midwest to help usher in a “new beginning” at our Kansas City Field Office and to address a cybersecurity conference co-hosted by the Bureau. 

    On April 3, Director Wray delivered keynote remarks at the Kansas City Division’s ribbon cutting ceremony for its new field office, located in Kansas City, Missouri.  

    "Today is a big day—not just for this field office, but for the entire FBI and for the communities we serve here—because today, as we officially open the doors of this new facility, we renew our commitment to the people of Kansas and Western Missouri: that the FBI here is working hard for you to support your communities and keep you safe," he said. 

    Wray also paid homage to how the Kansas City Division’s operational successes and role in molding Bureau history—noting that the new building is named for Kansas City Police Chief-turned-FBI Director Clarence Kelley.

    He also expressed gratitude for the Bureau’s partners in the Kansas City area of responsibility.  

    "I’m especially grateful to the agencies that have sent their agents, officers, and deputies to work on our FBI task forces," he said. "More than half of them are with us full-time, and I know it’s not easy to entrust your personnel to us like that, especially at a time when we’re all in need of additional resources. It’s a testament to the close and fruitful partnerships we’ve built, and to the trust we share, and I can promise you that none of us takes that trust lightly."

    He also challenged the FBI personnel to continue to brainstorm ways to be of service to the agencies they work with. 

    You can read his remarks from the ceremony in full here.

    On April 4, Wray addressed the FBI and University of Kansas Cybersecurity Conference in Lawrence, Kansas.  

    There, he painted a picture of today’s cyber threat ecosystem, explained how the Bureau is leveraging "joint, sequenced operations" with stateside and international partners to combat these risks, explained the FBI’s strategy for neutralizing cybercriminal groups, and encouraged students to consider careers at the FBI.  

    You can read more about the Director’s appearance at the conference here, and view his full remarks here


    The FBI Laboratory  

    April 3, 2024

    At the FBI, science and technology professionals work in a variety of roles where their contributions can crack cases and prevent crime. 

    The FBI’s Laboratory Division—one of the largest and most comprehensive crime labs in the world— collects, analyzes, and shared scientific and technical information. And it’s not just scientists at work: Electronics engineers, crime-scene-response experts, photographers, and so many more all perform the essential functions that the FBI Lab provides. 
     
    The FBI is constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to employing science and technology to conduct investigations, and the work done at the FBI Laboratory—including providing expertise and resources to law enforcement partners—furthers the FBI’s commitment to protecting the public. 


    March Updates Made to List of Native Americans Verified as Missing Throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation  

    April 1, 2024

    On March 18, the FBI released an updated list of Native Americans it has verified as missing throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. This list is part of an effort to improve the reporting and recovery of missing persons in Indian Country

    The FBI is seeking public assistance and information on the cases. If you have information concerning any of these cases, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov (tips can remain anonymous). 

    Since March 18, 2024, 16 people have been removed from the list, and 25 people have been added. 

    Below is a list of those who were added: 

    • Lance Armstrong  
    • Ashley Austin  
    • Kenneth Barbone 
    • Delilah Begay  
    • Angel Begaye  
    • Kevin Belinte  
    • Patricia Bennett 
    • Antoinette Bileen 
    • Lawrence Casias 
    • Joshua Daugherty 
    • Ty Furcap 
    • Matthew Haudley  
    • Richard Hosteen  
    • Ariel Martinez 
    • Miah Martinez  
    • Joycelynn Miller  
    • Andrew Nathaniel  
    • Jackie Padilla  
    • Delphine Paul 
    • Natesha Paul 
    • Cordell Shay  
    • Tommy Smith 
    • Belinda Sotelo 
    • Shawn Tsosie 

    March 2024  

    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    March 29, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Jumbotron Hacker and Prolific Child Molester Sentenced to 220 Years in Federal Prison
    Samuel Arthur Thompson was sentenced to 220 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for producing, receiving, and possessing child sex abuse material (CSAM), producing CSAM while required to register as a sex offender, violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), sending unauthorized damaging commands to a protected computer, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

    • The court also ordered Thompson to forfeit computers and a firearm that were used in the offenses.
    • "This case exemplifies the unrelenting tenacity of investigators who pursue justice for innocent victims of crime," said FBI Jacksonville Acting Special Agent in Charge Coult Markovsky. "Samuel Thompson repeatedly abused and exploited innocent children, inflicting immeasurable hurt on his victims. He also abused and exploited his employer by installing malicious software to manipulate their systems, which could have caused significantly more damage if not detected. Let this sentence serve as a pledge to all victims of crime that the FBI and our partners will doggedly pursue those who prey on them."
    • Full press release

    Human Smuggling Family Admits to Over $2 Million Money Laundering Conspiracy
    Four Mission residents have entered guilty pleas for their roles in a conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and a related conspiracy to transport aliens within the U.S.

    • An investigation began in November 2019 and revealed the smuggling organization brought approximately 300 undocumented migrants from the Southwest border regions further into the northern parts of the U.S. The network spanned from Honduras to as far north as Boston, Massachusetts, with a heavy emphasis on smuggling Brazilian nationals.
    • On March 9, 2023, Authorities executed multiple search warrants at the properties of the defendants, at which time they seized over $1.5 million in cash. The locations included their residence and a purported car dealership they operated as a front business. Throughout the investigation, law enforcement also seized approximately $2.69 million in assets and several luxury vehicles, jewelry, and several pieces of real property.
    • Full press release

    White Swan, Washington, Couple Sentenced to Federal Prison for Carjacking and Violent Assault on the Yakama Nation
    Sundron Larsell Miller was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison; Miller’s codefendant, Paula Eulojia Cantu-Lopez, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison.

    • On December 28, 2021, the victim was with both Miller and Cantu-Lopez driving in the area of Fort Simcoe Road on the Yakama Reservation. The victim was driving her pickup, and Miller began assaulting Cantu-Lopez. When the victim tried to intervene, both Miller and Cantu-Lopez turned and assaulted the victim, who is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation.
    • During the assault, Miller attempted to shoot the victim with her own rifle, but the rifle was unloaded. 
    • Ultimately, the victim was able to break away and run for her life. Law enforcement quickly responded.
    • Full press release

    Seventh Correctional Officer at Federal Facility in Dublin California Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Abuse of Female Prisoners
    Nakie Nunley was ordered to serve six years in prison after admitting he engaged in sexual acts, sexual contacts, and other inappropriate conduct with multiple women who were serving prison terms.

    • In addition to admitting he engaged in illegal and improper conduct towards prisoners, Nunley also admitted in his plea agreement that he lied to federal investigators about sexually abusing his victims and about sending one of his victims sexually explicit notes.
    • "This sentence is the result of the tireless efforts by the FBI and our partners to bring to justice Dublin FCI corrections officers and personnel who abused their positions to commit deplorable crimes,” said FBI San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp. "We continue to work with our partners to protect the safety and civil rights of all individuals and hold public servants accountable when they violate the law and betray public trust."
    • Full press release

    Charlotte Man Convicted of Robbing Two Businesses is Sentenced to Life in Prison
    John Henry Moore was sentenced to life in prison for the armed robbery of two businesses.

    • In October 2022, a federal jury convicted Moore of two counts of Hobbs Act robbery, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
    • On March 26, 2024, Moore received an enhanced sentence under the provision of the “Three Strikes” statute, which mandates a sentence of life in prison for defendants previously convicted, on separate occasions, of two or more serious violent felonies.
    • Full press release

    New York Man Who Traveled to Lynchburg to Meet 14-year-old for Sex Pleads Guilty
    Derrick Loi of New York drove 8 hours, crossing state lines, to attempt to have sex with a 14-year-old Lynchburg, Virginia girl, with whom he had been chatting online.

    • In February 2023, Loi met a 14-year-old girl from Lynchburg on Twitter (now known as X), and began chatting with her on Discord. Loi told the young girl not only was he was interested in buying sexually explicit images and videos of her, but also wanted to meet her in person to have sex.
    • Loi and the victim made plans for Loi to travel to meet the victim in Lynchburg.
    • Just as Loi arrived at the pre-arranged location, an officer from the Lynchburg Police Department drove up and began questioning Loi. Initially, Loi provided a false name and lied to law enforcement about why he was in Lynchburg.
    • A subsequent search of Loi’s vehicle revealed that the trunk of the car contained a large yellow plastic storage bag and was lined with a vinyl or rubber shower liner, on top of which sat a flattened cardboard box.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Addresses Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse  

    March 26, 2024

    This photo shows FBI Evidence Response Team members working at the scene of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse on March 26, 2024, in Baltimore.
    FBI Evidence Response Team members work at the site of the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in Baltimore on March 26, 2024.


    On March 26, FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge William J. DelBagno took part in an interagency press conference about the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge the same day. 

    "Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy, especially to the victims and their families," he said at the engagement. "On behalf of the FBI, I would like to say we are with you and with the families involved.” 

    You can read FBI Baltimore’s full statement about the situation here

    The bridge collapsed in the early hours of March 26 after being struck by a cargo ship that was departing the Port of Baltimore, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).  


    Violent Crime Decreased in 2023, New FBI Quarterly Uniform Crime Report Shows 

    March 25, 2024

    The FBI on March 18 released its final Quarterly Uniform Crime Report for calendar year 2023, which indicated a decrease in violent crime across the country that year.  
     
    These reports, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, include data on violent crimes (including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crimes (including burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). The reports provide both a nationwide overview and data breakdowns by city, size, or region. They also show how data points changed from the previous year. 
     
    The overall nationwide decline in violent crime in 2023 was demonstrated across all violent crime categories, including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. 
     
    “We are encouraged by this data indicating a decrease in violent crime in communities across the country in 2023 compared to the prior year, including an over 13% decline in homicides,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a statement about the report’s release. 
     
    Garland also emphasized that “the Justice Department will continue to remain laser-focused on working with our law enforcement and community partners to drive down violent crime. We will not rest until every community in our country is safe.” 
     
    The Q4 2023 report was based on data from over 15,000 law enforcement agencies across the country.  
     
    The FBI's Crime Data Explorer, the interactive online tool that hosts the report, aims to provide transparency, create easier access, and expand awareness of criminal, and noncriminal, law enforcement data sharing; improve accountability for law enforcement; and provide a foundation to help shape public policy with the result of a safer nation.  
     
    Additional Resources:


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    March 22, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Father and Two Sons Indicted and Arrested for Conspiracy to Transport Stolen Catalytic Converters and Money Laundering
    According to court documents, the three men conspired to purchase stolen catalytic converters and transport them in interstate commerce to sell them—all in order to enrich themselves.

    • The defendants allegedly used Facebook to advertise the purchase of catalytic convertors from the public in Puerto Rico, and used their two metal recycling companies to purchase stolen catalytic convertors.
    • After amassing catalytic convertors, they allegedly used private commercial shipping companies to transport and sell them to various catalytic convertor extraction companies in the continental United States, earning more than $3,000,000 from the sales.
    • "The theft and resale of catalytic converters is a serious crime that not only harms the environment but also undermines the safety and security of our communities," said FBI San Juan Special Agent in Charge Joseph González. "This coordinated effort spanned multiple states and involved numerous law enforcement agencies. I am proud of the tireless efforts of our agents and law enforcement partners in bringing these criminals to justice."
    • Full press release

    U.S. Citizen Sentenced to More Than 16 Years in Federal Prison for the Murder of His Mother, a Department of Defense Employee Working in Bahrain
    After pleading guilty to second degree murder, Giovanni Pope was sentenced to prison for the fatal stabbing of his mother.

    • While living as a dependent with his mother, a Department of Defense employee assigned to Bahrain, Pope fatally stabbed his mother with a knife he obtained from the kitchen and subsequently cleaned her body and removed evidence of the crime from the apartment.
    • Pope was apprehended by Bahraini authorities the next day; he admitted to the crime and his plans to return to the United States the following day.
    • Pope was ordered detained and removed from Bahrain to the United States and was charged by indictment with one count of Murder while Employed by or Accompanying the Armed Forces Outside the United States.
    • Full press release

    Maine Man Pleads Guilty to Sending Racist Death Threats to Black Family in His Apartment Complex
    According to court documents, Charles Allen Barnes recorded and transmitted a racial-slur-laden voice message in which he threatened, in graphic and violent terms, to kill his neighbor.

    • In the message, Barnes made repeated derogatory references to the neighbor’s race and stated he was waiting in his car outside the neighbor’s apartment, and would kill the next person who emerged from it. Barnes then sent the recording to an acquaintance, whom he knew to be close personal friends with the neighbor.
    • "Charles Barnes admitted today to using his words as a weapon and making violent, racist threats against his neighbor," said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen. "Threats to life are most certainly not protected speech, and the FBI will continue to work with our partners to bring to justice anyone who crosses the line and commits this type of crime."
    • Full press release

    Toppenish Man Sentenced to Prison for Strangling and Threatening His Partner with a Firearm
    Tyler Jonas Senator was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty.

    • While driving in the victim’s vehicle, Senator assaulted the victim by grabbing her neck and strangling her. Later that day, Senator resumed the assault, hitting, kicking, and biting the victim.
    • Senator also hit the victim in the head with the butt of a rifle, then pointed the firearm at the victim and threatened her.
    • "While no sentence will take away the horror of being assaulted by a trusted partner, we hope this case shows our continued commitment to fighting back against violent crime on our state’s reservations," said FBI Seattle Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kelly M. Smith.
    • Full press release 

    St. Augustine Convicted Child Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Producing a Video of Sexually Abusing a Minor
    Christopher Lee Smith faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 25 years in federal prison.

    • Smith, a registered child sex offender, was previously convicted in 2012 of traveling to meet a child to commit a sex offense
    • According to court documents, in 2021, Smith engaged in online conversation with an undercover FBI agent, who was posing as the parent of a minor child. Smith advised the undercover agent that he wanted to have sex with the "child" and discussed, in detail, the sexual acts that he wished to perform on the child.
    • Smith told the undercover agent that he had previously abused a child and sent a video that depicted the child being sexually abused by an adult male. FBI agents identified Smith as the man in the video.
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:


    ‘The Right Thing in the Right Way’: Director Talks Government Accountability at UGA  

    March 21, 2024

    FBI Director Christopher Wray visited the University of Georgia’s Athens campus on March 19 to deliver the school’s annual Getzen Lecture on Government Accountability.  

    “While there will always be people out there looking to exploit their positions of public trust by serving themselves rather than the American people, with an agency like the FBI on the job—and with institutions like UGA shining a light on why government accountability is so important in the first place—I like our chances,” Wray said.   

    During his talk, Director Wray discussed three ways in which the FBI works to further the lecture’s central topic: by investigating law enforcement officers who abuse their power, by investigating public corruption, and by ensuring the Bureau does “the right thing in the right way.”  

    He also discussed internal and external oversight the Bureau’s efforts receive and how those extra pairs of eyes help keep us accountable to our mission. 

    Finally, he spoke to how lessons learned from the Bureau’s past missteps have been incorporated into training for new special agents and intelligence analysts. 

    You can learn more about the lecture here and read his full remarks here


    Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the FBI’s Forensic Accountant Program  

    March 20, 2024

    Fifteen years ago this month, the FBI launched our Forensic Accountant Program to support the ever-increasing complexity of financial investigations.   

    The financial landscape abruptly changed in the early 2000s after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and large-scale corporate frauds like Enron. This transformation highlighted the need for a standardized professional financial investigation position: the FBI forensic accountant. 

    The Forensic Accountant Program—created, in their own words, “by agents, for agents”—sees forensic accountants digging into financial records, following the money to unravel cases and bring criminals to justice. FBI forensic accountants have worked as financial experts on thousands of cases over the years. 

    At the FBI, forensic accountants provide expert insight and rigorous financial analysis into Bureau investigations into everything from white collar crime to counterterrorism. Any FBI investigation with a nexus to financial crime might leverage their private sector experience and investigative techniques to analyze and track money laundered by terrorists, spies, and criminals. 

    When discussing the program’s anniversary, one FBI forensic accountant recalled the many cases that they’ve worked on throughout their career, including the Lafarge S.A. case—which marked the first time a corporation was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, providing material support to a terrorist organization.  

    Another forensic accountant emphasized the variety of the work that the Forensic Accountant Program entails and said the job “is always evolving” since “criminals are getting smarter and finding new ways to commit fraud, and we need to be a step ahead.” 

    You can learn more about how FBI forensic accountants support the Bureau’s mission here (informational PDF)



    Returning the Ruby Slippers 

    March 19, 2024

    This is a close-up photo of the so-called "traveling pair" of iconic sequined shoes—one of at least four pairs used in "The Wizard of Oz" that are still in existence—that were recently returned to their owner, Michael Shaw, in an emotional reunion.

    FBI Minneapolis and the Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Police Department announced the return of a pair of ruby slippers featured in the classic 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" and stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids in 2005.

    The sequined shoes, known as the "traveling pair," are one of at least four pairs used in the film that are still in existence. They were returned to owner Michael Shaw at a ceremony held at the Judy Garland Museum.

    "We are incredibly honored to return the ruby slippers to their rightful owner," said Alvin Winston Sr., special agent in charge. "Beyond the glittering allure of the shoes lies a testament to the FBI’s unyielding commitment to preserving the everlasting legacy of cherished memorabilia. This piece of cinematic history has been returned to Mr. Shaw through the diligent efforts of our dedicated agents, professional staff, and invaluable partners."

    Resources:



    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    March 15, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Fairbanks Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Enticing, Trafficking Two Minors
    Leveron Moore enticed two minors for the purpose of coercive sexual exploitation.

    • Moore used his cell phone to produce and possess photos of sexually explicit conduct involving both minor victims.
    • "Mr. Moore deliberately exploited and abused minors, the most vulnerable members of our community," said FBI Anchorage Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Vorndran. "The FBI will continue to work collaboratively with law enforcement partners and service providers to seek justice for these horrific crimes against children."
    • Moore was arrested by the FBI in 2023 after one of the minor victims reported the abuse to a local health official.
    • Full press release 

    Six Former Kentucky State Corrections Officers Sentenced for Violating the Civil Rights of an Inmate and Obstruction of Justice
    The six former officers were sentenced for their roles in the assault of an inmate and the subsequent cover-up.

    • Three of the officers assaulted a non-violent inmate who was lying face-down, wearing handcuffs and leg shackles, and isolated in a prison shower cell.
    • Within hours of the abuse being reported, an investigation was opened. Three additional officers joined the cover-up scheme, writing false reports and lying to state investigators.
    • "When several officers took part in beating an inmate who was unable to defend himself, a blatant violation of the individual’s civil rights occurred. But the injustice did not stop there as evidence of a cover-up also emerged," said FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge Michael Stansbury. "As in this case, FBI personnel will always take allegations of police misconduct seriously and will leave no stone unturned when it comes to identifying perpetrators who violate federal law."
    • Full press release 

    Pine Ridge Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison
    Stacey Bissonette was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

    • Bissonette was convicted for stabbing a man with whom she had a romantic relationship; he later succumbed to his injuries.
    • Along with being sentenced to 70 months in federal prison, Bissonette was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
    • Full press release 

    Portland Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Murder Committed Amid Violent Robbery Spree
    Keandre Dshawn LaMarcus Brown was sentenced to prison for murdering a man in his home amid a violent robbery spree that spanned several months and targeted at least six local businesses.

    • After several days of planning, Brown and multiple accomplices carried out a home invasion robbery targeting a Milwaukie man they believed possessed large quantities of cocaine and cash.
    • The group forcibly entered the residence and confronted the homeowner, who quickly retreated into a bathroom and called 911. Brown and an accomplice, each armed with semi-automatic firearms, positioned themselves outside the bathroom door and fired their respective handguns multiple times at the bathroom door, penetrating the door and killing the homeowner.
    • "Within months of completing a five-year prison sentence for attempted robbery, Keandre Brown went on a three-month crime spree, affecting over 20 victims, and brutally killing one. He used weapons, drugs, and fear to wreak havoc on our streets," said FBI Portland Acting Special Agent in Charge Aubree Schwartz. "Today’s significant sentence removes this dangerous individual from our community and highlights the tenacity of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to identify and apprehend criminals like him who threaten public safety."
    • Full press release 

    Philadelphia Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison in Connection with Two Violent Carjackings
    Dashawn Pringle pled guilty to two counts of carjacking and possession of ammunition by a felon.

    • While a driver was pulled over to the side of the road, Pringle and an accomplice entered the vehicle, assaulted the driver, and stole his wallet, car keys, and vehicle.
    • In the second carjacking, Pringle approached a victim in his vehicle and pointed a gun at the victim while an accomplice took the victim’s keys and stole their vehicle.
    • "Sentences like this are a product of the diligent work done by the FBI Philadelphia Violent Crimes Task Force, who leverages the resources of our local law enforcement partners to remove violent offenders from our streets," said FBI Philadelphia Special Agent in Charge Wayne Jacobs. "This serves as a reminder that brazen acts of violence will be not tolerated in this city and reinforces our commitment to fostering a safe community for the citizens of Philadelphia."
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:


    On This Day in FBI History: FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Program  

    March 14, 2024

    On March 14, 1950, the FBI started the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program. In the 74 years following the list’s creation, over 500 fugitives have been added to the list—many of whom have been caught thanks to the public’s assistance.

    The first fugitive placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list was Thomas James Holden, wanted for the murder of his wife, her brother, and her stepbrother. Holden was later arrested after a citizen contacted the FBI with a tip. 

    There are two main criteria for adding individuals to the list—they must be considered dangerous based on crimes already committed or must be considered likely to continue committing crimes. Additionally, investigators must determine that public awareness can assist in the subject’s apprehension. 

    Take a look at today’s Top Ten list—and if you have any information concerning the individuals listed, contact 1-800-CALL-FBI, your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

    For more on the list’s history, see the Top Ten Most Wanted archive for historical photos of each fugitive added to the list. You can also listen to our Inside the FBI episode Top Ten List Turns 70.



    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    March 8, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Jefferson County Man Sentenced for Interstate Domestic Violence and Firearms Charges
    Paul Richard Tomlinson was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for interstate violation of a protective order and possession of a firearm.

    • Law enforcement officers discovered a firearm in Tomlinson’s vehicle while investigating a domestic incident; because of a prior felony conviction, Tomlinson is prohibited from possessing firearms.
    • Tomlinson’s girlfriend told investigators that Tomlinson had sexually and physically abused her, and was granted a Domestic Violence Emergency Protective Order.
    • While being held on the firearms charge, Tomlinson asked his mother to contact his girlfriend on his behalf to encourage her to drop the charges against him.
    • Full press release

    Queens Man Convicted of Murdering and Dismembering Woman in Fraudulent Scheme to Collect Life Insurance Benefits
    Cory Martin was found guilty on all counts and faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

    • Martin and a co-conspirator fraudulently obtained two life insurance policies in the name of victim Brandy Odom before strangling her in her bedroom, dismembering her corpse, and disposing her body parts in Canarsie Park in Brooklyn, New York.
    • At trial, Martin’s co-conspirator testified that, prior to the murder, Martin watched "The First 48," a true-crime program, and "Dexter," a TV show about a serial killer who dismembered victims, and discussed ways to commit the crime without being caught by police.
    • After her murder, Martin and his co-conspirator made several unsuccessful attempt to claim benefits under Odom’s life insurance policies. 
    • "Today’s guilty verdict is a message to anyone who, without fear of being held accountable, commits heinous acts of criminality in New York City," stated NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. "The NYPD will continue to collaborate with the FBI and the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York to conduct meticulous investigations that lead to successful prosecutions, and ultimately deliver justice to victims."
    • Full press release

    Lake St. Louis Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Recording Sexual Abuse of Young Girl
    Steve G. Flores produced hundreds of pictures and videos of the victim, and pled guilty to production of child pornography in December.

    • Authorities were alerted by a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from a cloud storage company after Flores stored hundreds of photos and videos of the victim on electronic devices and online.
    • This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
    • Full press release

    U.S. Attorney’s Office Prosecuted 85 Firearm Offenders, while Seizing and Forfeiting 163 Illegal Firearms in 2023
    The Eastern District of Washington announced the prosecution of firearms offenders, resulting in the seizure and forfeiture of illegally owned, possessed, used, or obtained firearms.

    • The 85 defendants were charged with various federal offenses, including Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, First-Degree Murder, Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Person Convicted of Domestic Violence, and more.
    • "The FBI works alongside our law enforcement partners to keep our communities and neighborhoods safe," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "The FBI’s goal is to build cases which disrupt and dismantle the capabilities of criminal enterprises, putting the worst offenders behind bars to keep communities safer. The impact of firearms violations highlighted from 2023 represent a step forward in achieving that aim. These results would not be possible without the strong partnerships within the public safety community."
    • Full press release

    Federal Jury Convicts Mescalero Man of Domestic Assault
    Theodore Ian Chavez, IV, was found guilty for assault of an intimate partner by strangling.

    • Chavez strangled and assaulted his intimate partner, Jane Doe, multiple times. Doe sought medical attention after assaults resulted in the loss of consciousness, visible bruises, and a head injury.
    • FBI Albuquerque investigated the case with the assistance of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
    • At sentencing, Chavez faces ten years in prison.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    FBI Releases 2023 Internet Crime Report  

    March 6, 2024

    Stock image depicting distressed man in front of computer monitors displaying ransomware lock screens.

    The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center released its annual report, the 2023 Internet Crime Report, which includes information from over 880,000 complaints of suspected internet crime.  
     
    Nationwide, there was a near 10% increase in complaints compared to 2022, and victims' reported losses exceed $12.5 billion—a 22% increase from last year. The FBI also releases state-specific statistics, which are included in the 2023 Internet Crime Report and in separate 2023 State Reports.  
     
    One of the most concerning trends this year was the rise in ransomware incidents, with reported losses in 2023 totaling $59.6 million. Ransomware can impact individuals and businesses, regardless of their size and industry—and many instances aren’t reported. When victims report instances of ransomware—or any cybercrime incident—the FBI can gain insight on the crime and the tactics used by the criminals to help bring the perpetrators to justice.  
     
    If you believe you may have fallen victim to cybercrime, visit ic3.gov to file a complaint and help aid in the fight against cybercrime.  

    Resources:

    • On Inside the FBI, we discuss the Phantom Hacker scam, in which different scammers work together, misrepresenting themselves as tech support, financial institutions, and government agencies, to try and convince victims to transfer money. 
    • On Inside the FBI, we discuss romance schemes, common online scams in which criminals adopt fake online identities to gain a victim’s affection and trust.  


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    March 1, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Florida Resident Sentenced to 60 Months for Smuggling Firearms from U.S. to Violent Haitian Gang That Kidnapped 19 Americans 
    Jocelyn Dor, a Haitian citizen affiliated with the 400 Mawozo Criminal Organization, was sentenced to 60 months in prison for participating in a sophisticated weapons smuggling scheme.  

    • Between September 18, 2021, and October 17, 2021, Dor operated as a straw purchaser for 400 Mawozo, a notoriously violent Haitian gang and criminal organization. 
    • Dor purchased 10 semiautomatic high-power rifles for the express purpose of shipping the weapons to the 400 Mawozo gang leaders in Haiti for use in combat.  
    • Dor originally was charged in a May 2022 indictment that named two co-defendants.
    • Full press release 

    Carthage Man Sentenced for Child Pornography 
    James Beam was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison without parole for receiving and distributing child pornography.  

    • Beam began speaking to an undercover FBI agent in April 2023. During conversations, Beam expressed a desire to meet the undercover agent’s fictional niece for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.  
    • Beam sent the undercover agent a video of child pornography, and expressed his intent to abduct and rape a child.  
    • Full press release

    Armed Robberies of Metro Liquor Stores Land Oklahoma City Man in Federal Prison for 25 Years 
    Marcus Angelo Buford was sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to charges related to two armed robberies.  

    • On May 25, 2022, Buford robbed two separate Oklahoma City liquor stores, and brandished a firearm during both robberies.  
    • During the second robbery, Buford shot the owner of the liquor store in the head before he fled, leaving his victim behind in the parking lot.
    • Full press release

    Owatonna Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography, Threatening to Carry Out a Murder Plot 
    Michael Lee Kurkowski pled guilty to threatening interstate communication and the production of childhood pornography. 

    • Authorities began investigating Kurkowski’s online communications and sexual exploitation of a minor victim. Investigators reviewed several messages from Kurkowski to the minor describing in graphic detail a plan to travel to Pennsylvania where Kurkowski would murder the parents of his former victim, rape his sister, and then kill her in front of his former victim.
    • When authorities arrested Kurkowski, they discovered a bag containing 16 heavy flex cuffs, electrical tape, a taser, a knife, rubber gloves, handcuffs, and hooded face masks.
    • Kurkowski was previously sentenced to 142 days in prison in 2021, and he was subsequently registered as a sex offender, ordered not to contact his victim, to refrain from behavior which may present a danger to others, and not to possess any weapons.
    • Full press release 

    Final Defendant Sentenced to Prison for Violent Uber and Lyft Carjacking Conspiracy, Assaulting a Federal Officer 
    Williams Charles Saffold was sentenced to 87 months in prison for his role in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies targeting rideshare drivers and for assaulting a federal officer. 

    • Between September and October 2021, Saffold and his co-defendants engaged in a scheme targeting rideshare drivers, and conspired with each other to lure drivers to preplanned locations under the guise of picking up or dropping off passengers. When the drivers arrived, the defendants carjacked the drivers at gunpoint, brandished firearms, and beat and pistol-whipped the drivers.  
    • Saffold and his co-defendants also demanded keys, wallets, and cell phones, and forced the drivers at gunpoint to unlock their phones and provide passcodes. The defendants then used the passcodes to further victimize the drivers by accessing and stealing money from the drivers’ Cash App accounts or other applications. 
    • On May 11, 2022, an FBI agent attempted to execute an arrest warrant and approached Saffold, who immediately drew a pistol and pointed it at the agent before fleeing. 
    • Full press release  

    More Than a Dozen People Sentenced in Federal Investigation Targeting the 4K Street Gang in Alachua, Florida 

    • The last of 12 defendants were sentenced for drug-trafficking and firearm charges related to a joint federal and state investigation into the 4K criminal street gang.  
    • After a number of gang-related shootings in 2018, the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force began an investigation of the 4K gang, working with the with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Alachua Police Department to investigate the shootings. 
    • The FBI and DEA, who aided through investigation of the gang’s drug-trafficking activity, obtained six court-authorized wiretaps on cellphones used by members of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.  
    • "These sentencings demonstrate the FBI's relentless determination to eradicate drug-fueled gang violence that is plaguing communities," said FBI Jacksonville Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Dargis. "Disrupting organizations like this one is a critical part of the FBI mission, and we will use every legal means available to hold accountable those who threaten our neighborhoods. The rule of law is not optional, and we want to make clear to other gangs operating in our communities: the FBI and our local, state, and federal partners are coming for you, and the violence won't be tolerated." 
    • Full Press Release 

    Additional resources:


    February 2024  


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    February 23, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Kansas City Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Cyberstalking, Murder
    A convicted felon, Lester E. Brown, received a life sentence for using a GPS device to track the vehicle of a man he later murdered, Christopher Harris.

    • Fingerprints found on the GPS tracking device were traced back to Brown—and digital evidence revealed a connection between Brown and Harris.
    • Investigators discovered that prior to Harris' murder, Brown sent threatening messages to Harris via Snapchat. These messages included photos of GPS devices and demands of monthly $10,000 payments to be made to Brown from Harris.
    • "Kansas City will continue to monitor and review state and local homicide investigations that are particularly heinous that could potentially be better served as a venue in federal court versus a local court," said Kansas City Supervisory Special Agent Nathan Kim.
    • This case marked the first filing of both the cyberstalking and the cyberstalking resulting in death charges in the Western District of Missouri.
    • Full press release

    Effingham Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Attempted Sex Crimes Against a Minor
    John S. Harmon was sentenced to spend 10 years in federal prison after he admitted to soliciting sex online from a purported minor in exchange for money.

    • Harmon began speaking to the undercover agent posing as a purported minor from May through June 2021. During conversations, he solicited the 15-year-old purported minor and an 11-year-old purported minor for sex in exchange for money, and also solicited nude images of both the purported minors.
    • "Our proactive efforts to protect children resulted in another offender being stripped of his ability to harm a member of our most vulnerable population," said FBI Springfield Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. "This sentence underscores the FBI’s unwavering dedication to investigate and arrest those who seek to harm our children."
    • Full press release

    Convicted Drug Trafficking Murderer Sentenced to 50 Years
    Jann Jousten Aponte-Rivera, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the drug-related murder of Shantay Myisha Butler, of Frederick, Maryland.

    • Aponte-Rivera was part of a large-scale drug trafficking organization based in San Juan that was sending kilogram quantities of cocaine to the mainland United States, including the Washington D.C. region, via the U.S. Postal Service.
    • Law enforcement identified more than 50 parcels of cocaine shipped by the organization from Puerto Rico to the area with a wholesale street value of at least $2 million. Once the drugs arrived in the metropolitan area, a local drug trafficking organization distributed the cocaine to mainland dealers.
    • Full press release

    Former Booneville, Mississippi, Basketball Coach Sentenced for Child Exploitation
    A former Booneville High School assistant basketball coach, Kenny Paul Geno, was sentenced to serve ten years in prison following his conviction for online enticement of a minor.

    • Several current and former female students subsequently reported that Geno solicited images of sexually explicit conduct over Snapchat.
    • At least one former student advised that she engaged in sexual contact with Geno that he recorded on his cell phone. In addition, several videos of child sexual abuse material involving minor victims were recovered on Geno’s cell phone hidden within an encrypted application used to store the media.
    • "Mr. Kenny Paul Geno’s actions violated the innocence and trust of many young children," said FBI Acting Special Agent In Charge Maher Dimachkie. "The FBI is committed to combating crimes against children and will continue to engage with law enforcement partners and community leaders to protect children. The FBI will hold individuals like Mr. Geno accountable for their actions."
    • Full press release

    Ada, Oklahoma, Resident Sentenced for Murder, Kidnapping, Arson, Burglary, Voluntary Manslaughter, Assault and Prison Contraband Charges
    Kalup Allen Born was sentenced to a total of 608 months (over 50 years) imprisonment related to multiple crimes.

    • In January 2017, Born broke into an Ada residence, threatened and assaulted the occupant with a knife, stole the victim’s vehicle, then kidnapped and forced the victim into the car. As he drove south, Born backed the vehicle over the side of a bridge, sending it over the edge and down into the creek bed below. The victim ultimately died from the injuries sustained in the incident.
    • Born then made his way to a second home nearby, which he burglarized, stealing a blanket, a knife, a wallet, and electronics. From there, Born proceeded to yet a third residence, where he broke in and set the home ablaze with the occupants still inside. A bystander was able to rescue the occupants from the fire and Born was captured nearby.
    • In December 2020, while being held on charges for these crimes, Born killed a fellow inmate in the Pontotoc County Justice Center in a brutal and sustained attack.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    FBI, U.K., and International Law Enforcement Partners Announce Disruption of LockBit Ransomware Group 

    February 20, 2024

    The FBI, U.K., and international law enforcement partners have announced the disruption of one of the most active ransomware groups in the world.

    The LockBit ransomware group has

    • targeted more than 2,000 victims
    • received more than $120 million in ransom payments
    • and made ransom demands totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Law enforcement seized public-facing websites used to connect to the LockBit organization’s infrastructure and also seized control of servers used by LockBit administrators. These actions disrupted the ability of LockBit actors to attack and encrypt networks and extort victims by threatening to publish stolen data.

    With the indictment unsealed today, a total of five LockBit members have now been charged for their participation in the LockBit conspiracy. Russian national Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev is currently the subject of a reward of up to $10 million through the U.S. Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program. If you have any information, contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.

    Have you been targeted by this ransomware?

    Contact the FBI at lockbitvictims.ic3.gov. 

    The National Crime Agency, in cooperation with the FBI and international law enforcement partners, has developed decryption capabilities that may enable hundreds of victims around the world to restore systems encrypted using the LockBit ransomware variant. Law enforcement will determine whether affected systems can be successfully decrypted. 

    "If you are a victim of ransomware, the FBI is on your side and is working to help you," FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate said in a video statement.

    Additonal information:



    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    February 16, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Twenty-Five Charged in Indictment Targeting Philadelphia Drug Trafficking Organization
    Twenty-five people have been charged in a case targeting a Philadelphia-based organization that was supplying large amounts of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine to North Central West Virginia.

    • According to court documents, Rodney Johnson was the leader of a group that was supplying significant quantities of illicit drugs to Monongalia County. The organization’s members utilized apartments in Morgantown in which to reside and store their drugs.
    • "I want to highlight the collective efforts of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to dismantle a criminal enterprise who was intent on flooding our communities with this poison," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Kevin Rojek. "An investigation of this size requires partnership and teamwork. The result of this operation is a testament to the power of partnership and the FBI’s commitment to curb violence in our communities."
    • Full press release

    Lackawanna County Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Major Artworks and Sports Memorabilia
    Dawn Trotta admitted to intentionally conspiring with others to steal major artwork and objects of cultural heritage, and to move the stolen property in interstate commerce.  

    • Eight other individuals have been charged in the same conspiracy.
    • Stolen items include nine World Series rings, a Tiffany lamp, $400,000 worth of gold nuggets, antique firearms, art by Andy Warhol, and more.
    • The indictment and information further allege that after stealing the above-described items, the conspirators would transport the stolen goods back to northeastern Pennsylvania, and melt the memorabilia down into easily transportable metal discs or bars.
    • The conspirators would then sell the raw metal in the New York City area for hundreds or thousands of dollars, significantly less than the stolen items would be worth at fair market value.
    • Full press release

    Man Sentenced to Life Plus 10 Years in Prison for St. Louis Murder, Drug Conspiracy
    Freeman Whitfield IV was an enforcer for a large drug conspiracy.

    • The conspirators brought drugs from Houston and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the St. Louis area.
    • A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation with support from the FBI resulted in the seizure of more than $1.5 million in drug proceeds, as well as 25 kilograms of cocaine, 3 kilograms of fentanyl, 10 kilograms of heroin, luxury vehicles, watches, and guns.
    • "The Drug Enforcement Administration knows violence is a principal element of drug trafficking, as this case clearly demonstrates," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, supervisor of DEA operations in Eastern Missouri. "This enforcer protected the command and control of a drug trafficking organization dealing in the triple threat of fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin. It’s particularly satisfying for us in law enforcement that he will no longer endanger the lives of our citizens with illegal drugs or the gun violence that takes so many St. Louis lives."
    • Full press release

    Eagle River Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Sexually Abusing Minor for Over Five Years
    Michael Vernon Ross was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sexually abusing a minor in order to produce and possess child pornography.

    • Ross began sexually abusing a 7-year-old child in 2017. The abuse occurred weekly and lasted for multiple years.
    • Ross documented some of the abuse through pictures and videos kept on his cell phone. The defendant was in possession of over 450 photos and 30 videos of varied length depicting his sexual abuse of the victim.
    • "The defendant’s years-long child exploitation crimes are among the most egregious and have no place in our society," said FBI Anchorage Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brandon Waddle. "May this sentence serve as a reminder that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have zero tolerance for child predators, and will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law."
    • Full press release

    Former Tennessee Department of Corrections Officer Sentenced for Writing False Report to Cover Up Another Officer’s Use of Excessive Force
    A former Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) tactical officer, Sebron Hollands, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and two years of supervised release for writing a false report in an effort to cover up another officer’s use of excessive force on an inmate.

    • His co-defendant, former TDOC tactical officer Javian Griffin, pled guilty on October 11, 2023, to using excessive force against the inmate.
    • According to court documents, Hollands was present when Griffin, without justification, punched an inmate in the head, breaking the inmate’s jaw. The inmate did not resist or pose a threat justifying the use of force. After the incident, Hollands provided false information in his official use of force report.
    • "When correctional officers abuse their authority, it not only violates our civil rights laws, it undermines the criminal justice system," said FBI Memphis Special Agent in Charge Douglas DePodesta. "The FBI makes it a priority to bring to justice any law enforcement officer who violates the civil rights of those they are sworn to protect."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    FBI Director Wray Talks Partnerships with Sheriffs  

    February 15, 2024

    On February 9 in Washington, D.C., FBI Director Christopher Wray joined the Major County Sheriffs of America during their 2024 Winter Conference to talk about key issues, including violent crime, extremism, border security, election security, and swatting. 

    During Director Wray's panel appearance, he told the sheriffs that partnerships are the key to better protecting the American people. “Partnerships are how we leverage our respective strengths and capabilities,” he said. 
     
    FBI-led task forces are working cases nationwide, Wray said, and they include more than 6,000 officers from hundreds of departments and agencies, “including many from the departments represented in this room.” 

    The association includes the more than 100 sheriff's offices in counties or parishes with a population of 500,000 or more. 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    February 9, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.  

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    International Law Enforcement Partners Announce Results of Takedown Targeting International Drug Trafficking Organizations

    FBI Los Angeles conducted a SWAT operation as part of Operation Dead Hand. B-roll.

    Transcript / Visit Video Source

    A team of FBI and international law enforcement agencies conducted multiple arrests the morning of January 30, across the United States and Canada, to disrupt and dismantle an international organized crime syndicate importing and exporting massive quantities of drugs across the North American continent. 

    • The defendants allegedly conspired to traffic and import hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico through Los Angeles for export to Canada or redistribution throughout the U.S.  
    • The investigation, known as Operation Dead Hand, examined a network of "handlers" and "dispatchers" moving these substances. 
    • The estimated wholesale value of the narcotics seized was between $16-28 million—with an even greater value in Canada.   
    • This case is part of the FBI’s ongoing work with its partners to disrupt these organized criminal groups and drug traffickers.   
    • Full Story

    FBI Launches MMIP Data Collection Project in Wyoming 
     The FBI is seeking the public’s help to compile an accurate list of cases in Wyoming involving Native Americans who are missing or unsolved homicides with Native American victims. Whether these cases were never reported, were never properly investigated, or new information is available, the FBI wants to hear about it. 

    • The FBI has set up a designated email account, wymmip@fbi.gov, to collect information from citizens across Wyoming who might have knowledge about unsolved cases involving missing tribal members or Native Americans whose murders have not been solved. You can also leave a message at (307) 433-3221. All callers who leave a name and phone number will receive a return call. 
    • The FBI is the primary law enforcement agency investigating serious crimes on the Wind River Indian Reservation, which includes the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. 
    • Full press release  

    Central Illinois Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Attempted Arson of Clinic 
    Philip J. Buyno was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $327,547.14 in restitution for attempting to use fire to damage a building used in interstate commerce.

    • Buyno had previously pleaded guilty, admitting that, in May 2023, he brought containers filled with gasoline and used his car to breach the front entrance to a commercial building in Danville, Illinois, to burn it down before it could be used as a reproductive health clinic.
    • When Danville police officers responded to an alarm at the building around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2023, they found Buyno stuck inside a maroon Volkswagen Passat that he had backed into the building’s entrance.   
    • During a search of the vehicle, FBI agents found bottles containing gasoline, a hatchet, road flares, multiple old tires, and a pack of matches. Agents also found that Buyno had fortified the trunk of the Passat with wooden beams.  
    • Full press release

    Self-Proclaimed “Satan Child” Sentenced to 50 Years
    Miguel Alejandro Diaz Gonzalez was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for the production and transportation of child sex abuse material.

    • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a tip concerning an online media storage account associated with the username “Satans child,” where investigators found child sexual abuse material.
    • FBI agents traced that account to a home in Orlando, Florida, where Diaz Gonzalez lived. Agents also recovered a video that Diaz Gonzalez produced and shared depicting him raping an 8-year-old child. Two other child victims, ages 10 and 11, were also identified in the investigation as victims.
    • Diaz Gonzalez was also responsible for sharing and transporting several images and videos depicting children being drugged, raped, and molested by adults.
    • This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
    • Full press release  

    Former Professor Pleads Guilty to Setting Multiple Fires Behind Firefighters Responding to the Dixie Fire  

    Gary Stephen Maynard pleaded guilty to three counts of arson on federal property. According to court documents, Maynard engaged in an arson spree in the Shasta Trinity National Forest and the vicinity of the then-ongoing Dixie Fire in the Lassen National Forest.

    • Maynard set some of his fires behind firefighters actively fighting the Dixie Fire, effectively surrounding these firefighters as they responded to one of the largest wildfires in California history.
    • Maynard admitted to setting the following fires during this arson spree: the Cascade Fire (July 20, 2021), the Everitt Fire (July 21, 2021), the Ranch Fire (August 7, 2021), and the Conard Fire (August 7, 2021).
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    China-Sponsored Hackers Targeting America's Essential Resources, FBI Director Says  

    February 5, 2024

    FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party in Washington, D.C., on January 31, 2024.
    FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party in Washington, D.C., on January 31, 2024.

    Chinese government-sponsored hackers are working to infiltrate American critical infrastructure systems so they can take them down in the event of a U.S.-China conflict, FBI Director Christopher Wray recently told Capitol Hill lawmakers.  

    “There has been far too little public focus on the fact that PRC [People’s Republic of China] hackers are targeting our critical infrastructure—our water treatment plants, our electrical grid, our oil and natural gas pipelines, our transportation systems. And the risk that poses to every American requires our attention now,” Director Wray told legislators during a January 31 appearance before the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. 

    The FBI and our partners recently disrupted one such effort, but the FBI needs more funding to help us keep the economic and national security threats posed by Chinese government-sponsored cyber activity at bay. 

    “I do not want those watching today to think we can’t protect ourselves,” he testified. “But I do want the American people to know that we cannot afford to sleep on this danger.”  

    You can read Wray’s full written testimony here and his opening remarks, as prepared, here



    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    February 2, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    FBI Leads Surge in Arrests Targeting Drug-Trafficking Organizations Nationwide
    Across more than seven FBI field offices in the last two weeks, nearly 200 people have been charged as part of a series of arrests targeting large-scale drug-trafficking organizations operating throughout the United States and North America.

    • "As demonstrated by the sweep of arrests and criminal charges filed nationwide over the last two weeks alone, the FBI will never stop until violent criminals are taken off the streets and brought to justice, making our communities safer," said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. "The FBI works relentlessly day and night alongside local, state, and federal law enforcement partners across the country to arrest and neutralize the most dangerous violent offenders and dismantle the criminal enterprises behind them. This is a snapshot of the work our dedicated personnel are committed to doing 24/7, and the community impact occurring each and every day."
    • Full press release

    Federal Indictments Allege International Organized Crime Syndicate Imported and Exported Narcotics Across North America
    Ten people were arrested in multiple cities on January 30, 2024, in relation to two federal indictments charging members of an organized crime syndicate who allegedly conspired to traffic and import hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and other controlled substances from Mexico through Los Angeles for export to Canada or re-distribution throughout the United States.

    • Arrest and search warrants were executed the morning of January 30, by a coalition of international law enforcement partners in various cities, including Los Angeles; Sacramento, California; Miami; Odessa, Texas; Montreal; Toronto; and Calgary, Canada.
    • "Until today, the organized members of this conspiracy operated with impunity throughout the many thousands of miles that comprise the North American continent, poisoning communities along the way," said FBI Los Angeles Assistant Director in Charge Donald Alway. "The strength of this partnership cannot be overstated. The agents and detectives on this case did an outstanding job of pooling resources and worked seamlessly across borders toward a mutual goal of putting this massive drug pipeline out of business."
    • Full press release

    Minnesota Man Sentenced for the Theft of the "Ruby Slippers" from the Classic 1939 Film “The Wizard of Oz”
    Terry Jon Martin was sentenced and ordered to pay $23,500 restitution to the Judy Garland Children’s Museum for theft of major artwork, an object of cultural heritage from the care, custody, or control of a museum.

    • In 2005, Martin stole an authentic pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film, "The Wizard of Oz," from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. 
    • The ruby slippers, which were recovered by the FBI and Grand Rapids Police Department in July 2018, are widely viewed as among the most recognizable memorabilia in American film history. 
    • "The FBI, in collaboration with our law enforcement partners, worked diligently to bring this case to a resolution," said FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge Alvin M. Winston Sr. "Today's sentencing underscores our commitment to safeguarding iconic artifacts. The FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who seek to exploit and unlawfully acquire pieces of historical memorabilia."
    • Full press release

    Tennessee Man Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting Flight Attendant in Austin
    Michael Goins, Jr., was sentenced in a federal court to six months in prison for assaulting a flight attendant on a Southwest Airlines flight. 

    • Goins, a passenger, loudly uttered several expletives during a cell phone call which was overheard by passengers seated near him. A passenger traveling with children was disturbed by the language used by Goins, which led to his aggressive response toward the passenger.
    • During an altercation, Goins intentionally and deliberately pushed his closed fist into a flight attendant’s upper abdomen and pushed her back.
    • "As a passenger on an active flight, Mr. Goins disruptive behavior escalated into a violent outburst directed at a flight attendant," said FBI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Aaron G. Tapp. "The FBI is dedicated to ensuring Americans can go to work and travel by plane without the fear of being attacked. We are grateful to our partners at the Austin Police Department for their work on this case—and their ongoing dedication to keeping our citizens safe."
    • Full press release

    Washington Gun Offender Sentenced to 70 Months in Federal Prison
    Reily William Arambul was sentenced after pleading guilty to felon in possession of a firearm.

    • On May 9, 2023, a resident called the police to report a disturbance involving an individual, later identified as Arambul, who was in possession of a weapon. Arambul tried to escape the police by recklessly taking control of a vehicle, but was later arrested.
    • Officers searched Arambul and found two knives, a black leather holster, a bag of syringes, and a small red bag with approximately 60 fentanyl pills inside, as well as a silver semi-automatic pistol.
    • "As a convicted felon, Mr. Arambul knew he was prohibited from possessing firearms," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "Not only did he possess a gun, he continued to disregard the law and engaged in other criminal activity including possessing dangerous weapons and illegal drugs while fleeing from law enforcement. Fortunately, no one was injured due to the swift actions taken by the Spokane Police. The FBI relies on partnerships like these as we work to protect the citizens of Washington state."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Protecting Yourself Against ID Theft  

    February 1, 2024

    While the internet has undoubtedly increased our ability to connect with people worldwide, it has also provided ample opportunities for criminals to target individuals and steal their personal information.   
     
    Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information, like your Social Security number, and uses it to commit theft or fraud. According to a 2022 report published by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), more than 58,500 people reported being victims of identity theft in 2022 alone.  
      
    This is why everyone must take the right security measures and be alert and aware. Here are some tips to help protect yourself and your family from becoming a victim of identity theft:  

    • Keep systems and software up to date and install a strong, reputable anti-virus program.  
    • Be careful when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, and do not conduct any sensitive transactions, including purchases, when on a public network.  
    • Create a strong and unique passphrase for each online account and change those passphrases regularly.  
    • Set up multi-factor authentication on all accounts that allow it.  
    • Examine the email address in all correspondence and scrutinize website URLs before responding to a message or visiting a site.  
    • Don't click on anything in unsolicited emails or text messages.  
    • Be cautious about the information you share in online profiles and social media accounts.
    • Sharing things like pet names, schools, and family members can give scammers the hints they need to guess your passwords or the answers to your account security questions.
    • Don't send payments to unknown people or organizations seeking monetary support and urge immediate action.  

      
    Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself from cyber criminals, how you can report cyber crime, and the Bureau's efforts in combating the evolving cyber threat.   


    January 2024 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    January 26, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Investigators Dismantle Fentanyl Drug Trafficking Network in Eastern Panhandle—82 People Charged
    Eighty-two people have been indicted by a federal grand jury for a drug trafficking operation that distributed fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine in the Eastern Panhandle.

    • According to court documents, Gary Bernard Brown Jr., of Baltimore, Maryland, supplied others with large quantities of fentanyl capsules and powder for redistribution in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties.
    • The investigation yielded 10 kilograms of fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, firearms, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets.
    • "In a coordinated effort across three states, the FBI and our partners worked seamlessly to degrade the capabilities of a criminal enterprise that endangered the lives of our children and neighbors by pedaling illegal narcotics into our communities," said FBI Pittsburgh Acting Special Agent in Charge Mike Shanahan. "Today, their illicit activities came to an end."
    • Full press release

    Drug Task Force Operation Leads to 19 Arrests
    The FBI and Nebraska State Patrol led an operation that resulted in the arrest of 19 people and the unsealing of at least nine indictments. 

    • These cases were investigated by the CODE Task Force which is made up of law enforcement agencies throughout a 22-county area in west-central/southwest Nebraska and includes the FBI, Nebraska State Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, North Platte Police Department, Lexington Police Department, and Army National Guard Counter Drug Unit.
    • To report tips on drug trafficking, please contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov or 402-492-8688 or the Nebraska Crime Stoppers tipline at 1-800-422-1494.
    • Full press release

    Justice Department Announces Surge of Resources to Fight Violent Crime in Washington, D.C.
    The Justice Department announced today that it will surge additional law enforcement tools and resources to target those most responsible for violent crime and carjackings in Washington, D.C.

    • Additional resources will include a multi-component Gun Violence Analytic Cell (GVAC), which is led by the FBI with partners from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
    • Using data analytics, GVAC will identify additional federal investigations that should be opened to combat violent crime and carjackings.
    • "Last year, we saw an encouraging decline in violent crime in many parts of the country, but there is much more work to do—including here in the District of Columbia," said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. "This surge in law enforcement resources will build on the Department’s efforts to target the individuals and organizations that are driving violent crime in the nation’s capital. The Justice Department will not rest until every community in our country is safe from the scourge of violent crime."
    • Full press release

    Colorado Man Sentenced for Church Arson in Federal Hate Crime Case
    Darion Ray Sexton was sentenced to 39 months in prison for a hate crime charge in connection with a fire that he set to a church in Loveland, Colorado, in January 2023.

    • Sexton admitted that he set fire to the church by throwing two Molotov cocktails at the church—one at the front door and the other at the basement. Sexton further admitted that he was motivated to set this fire due to the religious character of the church and that he intended to destroy the church. 
    • "This defendant admitted he set out to destroy this church, which was determined to be a federal hate crime," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark D. Michalek. "FBI Denver worked with the Loveland Police Department to bring this man to justice. Anyone who attacks a house of worship will get the full attention of the FBI. In addition to seeking justice for these crimes, the FBI remains committed to providing resources for potential victims, such as the event with faith leaders held in this county the day before the crime occurred."
    • Full press release

    Virginia Man and Woman Convicted of Forced Labor at Gas Station and Convenience Store for Multiple Years
    Harmanpreet Singh and Kulbir Kaur forced the victim, Singh’s cousin, to provide labor and services at Singh’s store, including working as the cashier, preparing food, cleaning, and managing store records. 

    • Singh and Kaur used various coercive means, including confiscating the victim’s immigration documents and subjecting the victim to physical abuse, threats of force and other serious harm, and at times, degrading living conditions, to compel him to work extensive hours for minimal pay.
    • "These convictions demonstrate the FBI’s commitment to seeking justice for victims of human trafficking and should also serve as a reminder to those who seek to engage in this illegal activity," said FBI Richmond Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador. "We will continue working with our local, state, and federal partners to aggressively identify, investigate, and bring those responsible to justice."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Submitting Tips to the FBI  

    January 24, 2024
     
    Have you ever wondered what happens when you submit a tip to the FBI?   
     
    When you submit a tip, that information goes to the National Threat Operations Center (or NTOC). Once NTOC gets your tip, their job is to learn more about it. Whether your tip is because you have information about a federal crime, a fugitive from justice, or potential terrorism, NTOC routes the information to the appropriate FBI field office.   

    Approximately 120 cases that have been featured in the Most Wanted section of the FBI website have been solved as a direct result of tips from the public. Additionally, four Ten Most Wanted Fugitives have been arrested as a direct result of the public seeing their information on the FBI website and providing the FBI with tips.  


    Director Wray’s Advice to Students with FBI Dreams: Character Comes First  

    January 23, 2024

    FBI Director Christopher Wray (center) takes part in a fireside chat with U.S. Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasoneathe dual-hatted National Security Agency director and U.S. Cyber Command commanderathat was moderated by National Public Radio journalist Mary Louise Kelly (right) at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus as part of the 2024 Fordham International Conference on Cybersecurity in New York City on January 9, 2024.FBI Director Christopher Wray (center) takes part in a fireside chat with U.S. Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone—the dual-hatted National Security Agency director and U.S. Cyber Command commander—that was moderated by National Public Radio journalist Mary Louise Kelly (right) at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus as part of the 2024 Fordham International Conference on Cybersecurity in New York City on January 9, 2024.

    If you’re a student who aspires to work at the Bureau, how you interact with others is more important than the degree you pursue, FBI Director Christopher Wray recently told college students in New York City. 

    Wray shared this wisdom at the tail end of a fireside chat with U.S. Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, the dual-hatted director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, during the 2024 Fordham International Conference on Cybersecurity.  

    When asked his advice for students hoping to join the Bureau, Wray brought the conversation back to character. 

    First, Wray said, you should cultivate good listening skills. "We're in a society these days where people are far more interested in talking than they are in listening,” he said. For this reason, he explained, active listeners can obtain a “competitive advantage very quickly." 

    Secondly, he said, treat everyone you encounter with respect. "Everything your parents told you when you were growing up still applies," he said.  

    "If you do those things, what field of study you pursue and things like that, I think, are very secondary by comparison," he said. 

    You can visit fbijobs.gov/students-and-graduates to explore opportunities for college students and recent graduates to work at the FBI. 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    January 19, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Former Oahu Schoolteacher Sentenced to 17.5 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography
    Alden Bunag was sentenced to 210 months in prison and 15 years of supervised release for the production of child pornography.

    • When Bunag was working as a middle school teacher on Oahu, he engaged in repeated sexual activity with a 13-year-old student. Bunag recorded the sexual activity on multiple occasions, and later sent the video(s) to others, including a teacher in Pennsylvania, who was also prosecuted for child exploitation offenses.
    • In addition to the videos Bunag recorded of his former student, he also possessed thousands of images of child pornography.
    • "This sentence shows that the FBI will target those individuals who prey on our most vulnerable members of our community and do whatever it takes to protect our keiki," said FBI Honolulu Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. "We will hold them accountable for their heinous actions, especially when they were entrusted by students and parents alike to serve as role models and not a sexual predator going after young boys."
    • Full press release

    Six Members or Associates of Violent Street Gang Convicted of Federal Racketeering Offenses Including the Murder of Chicago Rapper
    A federal jury in Chicago today convicted six members or associates of the O-Block street gang on racketeering offenses that included the murder of Carlton Weekly, a Chicago rapper also known as "FBG Duck."

    • The O-Block gang publicly claimed responsibility for their violence and used social media and music to increase their criminal enterprise.
    • The jury found that the defendants conspired to murder Weekly in order to maintain and increase their positions in the gang.
    • "All too often, our residents are held hostage to violence and other dangerous activity on our city streets," said FBI Chicago Special Agent in Charge Robert W. Wheeler, Jr. "These convictions show that there are very real consequences for murder in the city of Chicago today, tomorrow, and every day going forward."
    • Full press release

    U.S. Attorney Charges Two Men with Firebombing a Mount Kisco Residence and Conspiring to Stalk a Westchester Businessman
    Damjan Stanivukovic and Vladamir Radunovic were each charged with one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device and one count of conspiracy to commit stalking.

    • On or about January 11, 2024, the defendants transported a homemade destructive device to a neighborhood in Mount Kisco, New York, and dropped the destructive device off in the driveway of the victim’s residence, where it exploded.
    • FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: "Damjan Stanivukovic and Vladamir Radunovic allegedly tried to resolve a contentious business relationship with threats of violence and a homemade bomb. While business deals aren’t always successful, neither are overt acts of violence that bring forth federal charges. Thankfully, in this case, no one was injured. The FBI will continue to ensure that anyone willing to solve personal grievances with threats and attempts of violence are punished to the fullest extent in the criminal justice system."
    • Full press release

    Providence Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Enticing Minor Children to Engage in Illicit Sexual Activity
    Akinola Akinlapa has been sentenced for coercing a 10-year-old Utah girl and more than a dozen other minor females to engage in sexually explicit conduct while he recorded their actions via a live internet link that he provided to them.

    • A forensic review revealed evidence that Akinlapa had victimized the Utah girl and 14 other young girls, and had attempted to do the same with approximately 60 other minor girls but was unsuccessful.
    • "What Akinola Akinlapa did—in sexually exploiting dozens of children—was cruel and disgraceful, and with this sentence, this predator will not be able to harm any more children for quite some time," said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen. "This case is a prime example of how children can be victimized in the safety of their own homes and underscores the importance of talking to kids about the dangers of the internet. Parents, caregivers, and educators, please make it clear to your kids that they are not to blame if they fall victim, and please report these incidents so the FBI and our law enforcement partners can bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice."
    • Full press release

    Delaware Man Sentenced to 118 Months in Federal Prison for His Murder-For-Hire Plot
    Javier A. Rodriguez was sentenced for hiring a hitman to murder his ex-wife.

    • Over the course of the investigation, Rodriguez held multiple meetings about the murder plot, which were audio and video recorded by the FBI. During those meetings, Rodriguez explained exactly how he wanted his ex-wife murdered. Rodriguez made a down payment of $5,000 to another individual to pay for the hitman and agreed to pay an additional $5,000 once the murder was completed.
    • The FBI arrested Rodriguez before anyone was injured.
    • "The FBI is committed to investigating violent crimes such as this," said FBI Baltimore Acting Special Agent in Charge R. Joseph Rothrock. "The thwarted murder-for-hire plot in this case affirms the importance of collaboration between law enforcement agencies. Had it not been for their combined efforts, the consequences could have been tragic. The FBI remains steadfast in our goal of making Delaware's streets safer for everyone."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Financially Motivated Sextortion 

    January 18, 2024

    Financial sextortion is a crime. But it's not your fault. And you can get home. Report it to tips.fbi.gov.

    The FBI is warning parents, young persons, teachers, and caregivers about financially motivated sextortion. 

    In these schemes, predators typically pretend to be alluring young girls to befriend teen boys—often on social media and gaming platforms. The predators then trick these teens into exchanging sexually explicit material or believing the predators have already obtained it.

    Once the scammers have a victim's pictures or video, they demand money to keep the explicit material from being shared with the victim’s family and friends. Even when victims comply, scammers often demand more money and escalate the threats.

    Contact your local FBI field office, call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or report it online at tips.fbi.gov if you, your child, or someone you know is being exploited. 

    Learn more about financially motivated sextortion and how to stay safe online:


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    January 12, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Man Who Carried Out Machete Attack on NYPD Officers in Times Square on NYE 2022 Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Charges
    Trevor Bickford pleaded guilty to multiple counts of attempting to kill officers and employees of the U.S. government and persons assisting them based on his jihadist attack using a machete-style knife against three New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2022.

    • In December 2022, Bickford, a U.S. citizen and resident of Maine, traveled from Maine to New York City to, in his own words, wage jihad and kill as many of his targets as possible. After considering his options, researching his target location, and settling on his plan of attack, he packed a large machete-like blade and went to one of the most densely populated areas in the United States at one of the most densely populated times possible: Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
    • "The defendant in this case, motivated by violent extremist views, traveled to New York City for the sole purpose of committing acts of violence and attacked three police officers causing serious injuries," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "Police officers bravely protect the American people and attacks against them cannot be tolerated. The FBI will work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable all those who engage in acts of terrorism."
    • Full press release

    Chaparral Man Sentenced to 90 months in Prison for Hostage Taking
    Ricardo Arce, III, was sentenced to 90 months in prison for conspiracy to take a hostage and two counts of hostage taking.

    • Arce admitted to conspiring with his co-defendants, Jonathan Matthew Gonzalez and Vicki Sowell, to take two foreign nationals hostage.
    • Gonzalez transported the hostages to Arce’s residence, took their phones and wallets, and told them they were not allowed to leave unless their families paid money to secure their release.
    • While held against their will, Gonzalez assaulted both of the hostages. Arce recorded videos of Gonzalez assaulting one of the hostages while Sowell turned up music to cover the sounds of the beating. Gonzalez sent the videos to the hostage’s family along with a demand for money. Gonzalez threatened to kill the hostages if they did not pay the ransom.
    • Full press release

    Registered Sex Offender Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for His Enticement of an Orange County Minor
    Matthew Mills was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his enticement of an 11-year-old minor. 

    • Mills exchanged text messages with an 11-year-old minor (Victim-1) and directed Victim-1 to take and transmit sexually explicit photographs and videos of Victim-1 to Mills.
    • In addition to the prison sentence, Mills was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release.      
    • "Matthew Mills’s crimes are the nightmare of every parent," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "Even after registering as a sex offender, Mills was able to prey on a young child from across the country, but the career prosecutors of this office and our investigative partners were relentless in pursuing this predator. Today’s lengthy sentence ensures that Mills will face justice for his reprehensible conduct."
    • Full press release

    Woman Sentenced for Threatening to Murder U.S. Probation Officer
    Tammy Morgan has been sentenced to time served in federal custody after pleading guilty to transmitting a threatening interstate communication.

    • On multiple occasions spanning from October 2018 through August 2022, Morgan sent repeated voicemails, texts messages, and physical notes threatening a federal probation officer.
    • "Federal probation officers play a critical role in protecting the public by helping offenders successfully reenter society and ensuring they comply with the law following their return from prison—an inherently difficult and sometimes dangerous job," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers. "No public servant should have to suffer death threats just for doing their job. Our office takes threats to all federal employees very seriously and is committed to supporting and protecting our counterparts in the court system."
    • Full press release

    St. Paul Man Charged for Armed Robbery of Postal Employees
    Rubin David Adams has been charged in a federal criminal complaint for armed robbery of postal employees on two separate occasions

    • In both cases, Adams pointed a handgun at the victims and demanded/and or stole mailbox keys.
    • Mailbox keys are valuable to criminals who use them to steal mail, cash, checks, and other financial instruments. Mailbox keys are the property of USPS, and it is a federal offense for an unauthorized person to possess one.
    • "This is part of an alarming trend that law enforcement is seeing around country, including here in the Twin Cities," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew M. Luger. "We take this issue very seriously and will continue to ensure postal employees are safe and free from violence as they serve their communities."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month 

    January 11, 2024

    Each January, the FBI joins our U.S. government partners in marking National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. But our work to combat human trafficking happens year-round.  

    Human trafficking is the illegal exploitation of a person. Anyone can be a victim, and it can occur in any U.S. community—cities, suburbs, and even rural areas. The FBI takes a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach when investigating these cases.  

    You can visit our human trafficking landing page to learn more how we pursue these cases and how our agents' collaboration with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners helps us identify victims and investigate traffickers.

    You can also explore the resources below to learn more about our efforts to combat this crime and provide assistance to survivors once they've been identified. 

    • Listen to an Inside the FBI Podcast episode to learn how we fight trafficking and provide assistance to victims. 
    • Download a brochure about how the FBI’s Victim Services Division provides assistance to victims of trafficking. This resource is also available in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Tagalog
    • Read about Operation Cross Country, a coordinated operation among the FBI, other federal agencies, state and local police, and social services agencies across the country to find and assist victims of human trafficking, particularly child victims.

    Report Trafficking and Get Help

    If you’re a human trafficking victim or have information about a potential trafficking situation, you can:

    • Submit a tip to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov or contact your local FBI field office.
    • Contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) by at 1-888-373-7888, by text at 233733, or online at humantraffickinghotline.org. NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline with specialists available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • Submit a tip through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline or call 1-800-THE-LOST if you believe a child is involved in a trafficking situation. FBI personnel assigned to NCMEC review information that is provided to the CyberTipline. 

    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    January 5, 2024

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Former Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) Professor Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Produce Child Pornography
    Kyle Knezevich pleaded guilty to attempting to produce child pornography.

    • In September 2023, an EKU student located a hidden camera in a men’s bathroom on campus. An investigation revealed that the camera had been placed in the bathroom by Knezevich, who at the time was a professor at the university.
    • After the discovery, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Knezevich's home and electronic devices, which revealed that Knezevich knowingly produced surreptitious recordings of both adult and minor males, from approximately 2009 through 2023.
    • As part of his plea, Knezevich admitted that his intent in creating the videos was to capture the minor males engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
    • Knezevich faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison.
    • Full press release

    Thief Ordered to Pay Back Gun Lake Casino Over $80,000 in Stolen Funds
    Jordan Lewis Cook was sentenced to four months in prison and two years of supervised release for theft from a tribal organization, and ordered to pay $84,564 in restitution. 

    • Between September 2021 and November 2022, Cook stole over $100,000 from the Gun Lake Casino, which is owned and operated by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe).
    • During his theft scheme, Cook was employed at the Gun Lake Casino. Shortly after being hired, Cook began stealing cash from the cash-out kiosks located around the casino gaming floor. An internal casino audit and security surveillance video footage showed Cook pocketing large amounts of cash when he was supposed to be clearing jammed cash-out machines.
    • Cook’s bank records also revealed a large influx of cash deposits around the same time that the money was being stolen from the casino kiosk machines.
    • Full press release

    St. Joseph Man Sentenced to 23 Years for Producing Child Pornography
    Tyler B. Wirth, who produced pornographic images of three child victims and shared them online, was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison without parole.

    • In January 2023, Wirth pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
    • Wirth admitted that he produced pornographic images of three children, which he distributed to multiple users on the Kik application during his sexual conversations with them.
    • Wirth received hundreds of images and videos of child pornography from other Kik users, and distributed numerous other images and videos of child pornography from his possession of child pornography, which included over a thousand images and videos of child pornography.
    • Full press release

    Four Gang Members Charged With Multiple Shootings and Armed Carjackings
    A superseding indictment was filed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Amaury Guzmán, Ian Diez, Ruffi Fernández and Jonathan Rodríguez, members of the Trinitarios street gang, with a string of violent crimes including multiple shootings and armed carjackings between November 2022 and February 2023. 

    • "Taking violent offenders off the street should send a message to Trinitarios members and their associates that violence and senseless murder will not be tolerated," said FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge James Smith. "New Yorkers should have the opportunity to live, work, and play without fear, and we ask the community to join us in our stand against violence. You can make a difference. If you have information about crime in your community, call our tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), or submit information online to tips.fbi.gov to help ensure a safe environment in all our neighborhoods"
    • Full press release

    Illegally Armed Serial Bank Robber Sentenced to Over 22 Years in Federal Prison
    Gary Sistrunk has been sentenced to 22.5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to armed bank robbery, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

    • "This criminal has engaged in a pattern of violence throughout his life,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers. "Several years in prison for prior armed robberies did not convince him to change his behavior. The sentence imposed here should serve as a warning to repeat, violent offenders—reducing violence is a top priority for this office, and repeat offenders face lengthy terms in federal prison."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    December 2023

    Violent Crime Case Round-Up 

    December 22, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Columbus Man Pleads Guilty to Crimes Related to Sexually Exploiting and Sextorting More Than 25 Identified Victims
    Lorenzo A. Winfield pleaded guilty to crimes related to sexually exploiting and sextorting more than 25 known victims—including one as young as 11-year-old—in at least three states.

    • Winfield, 22, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting minors, possessing child pornography and communicating interstate with the intent to extort. As part of his plea, the parties involved have recommended a sentence of 23 to 27 years in prison.
    • From at least 2016 to 2021, Winfield contacted students at the Arts and College Preparatory Academy (ACPA) to demand nude photographs of them; he would also hack into victims’ social media accounts and use the photos he obtained against them. Winfield would further tell the victims he had nude photos of them or other students that he would distribute to friends or family unless the victims complied.
    • On numerous occasions, Winfield followed through on these threats, distributing sexually explicit photos of his victims to others to prove he was serious with his threats in a bid to contain more content. In addition, Winfield told the victims to send him sexually explicit images or videos in order to regain control of their own social media accounts.
    • Full press release

    Leader of Large Cartel-Connected Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison
    Alan Gomez-Marentes, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

    • Gomez-Marentes has been federally convicted of drug trafficking twice. He was arrested in July 2020 following an 18-month investigation of an extensive drug trafficking organization. FBI Seattle, FBI SWAT, and FBI Portland Tactical were involved in the investigation. 
    • The investigation into the conspiracy resulted in the seizure of 45 pounds of methamphetamine; 12 pounds of heroin; 3,200 fentanyl pills; 22 firearms; and $566,391. 
    • Full press release

    Montgomery Woman Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Child Sex Trafficking 
    Laporchie Howard, a resident of Montgomery, Alabama, was sentenced to 120 months in prison after entering a guilty plea to the charge of sex trafficking a minor. 

    • In early 2017, Howard resided with two co-defendants in an apartment located in Montgomery. Sometime before May 4, 2017, a female runaway under 18 and an adult female were invited to live with Howard. In return for food and housing, the two new residents—including the minor —engaged in commercial sex, with Howard receiving the proceeds. 
    • This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, an initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 
    • Full press release

    Two Inland Empire Brothers Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison for Trafficking Heroin via Home Delivery Service in Orange County  
    Julio Cesar Martinez and Victor Martinez, two brothers who ran a drug trafficking operation, were each sentenced to 288 months in federal prison. 

    • From at least 2003 to July 2021, the brothers ran a drug trafficking organization that imported heroin from Mexico into the United States by couriers. They used two Orange County-based call centers that took telephone orders for deliveries of the drug. 
    • "Operation Horse Caller targeted all levels of this international drug trafficking network, ranging from suppliers in Mexico to mules and runners delivering drugs to customers in Orange County at the direction of the Martinez brothers," said Donald Alway, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. "Federal and local law enforcement agencies working in partnership led to the dismantling of the Martinez brothers' network and closed off a main pipeline of the heroin supply in Orange County that operated for years and led to deadly consequences."
    • Full press release

    Two Men Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charge for Allegedly Murdering Man to Increase Positions in Chicago Street Gang  
    Diontae Harper and Amonti McClure have been indicted on a federal racketeering charge for allegedly murdering a man to maintain and increase their positions in a violent Chicago street gang. 

    • The indictment accuses the pair of murdering Paul Harris in May 2020 for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their positions in the Faceworld street gang. 
    • The Faceworld street gang is a criminal organization based on the South Side of Chicago whose members engage in violence and traffic narcotics.   
    • Full press release

    'Tis the Season for Holiday Scams 

    December 22, 2023

    Holiday Scams 2023

    This time of year, criminals put a holiday twist on the methods they use to scam you and your loved ones. As you check things off your shopping list, keep an eye out for deals that seem too good to be true.

    • Read the FBI's tips on how to identify and report holiday shopping scams at fbi.gov/holidayscams.
    • Remember to stay vigilant. Report suspicious activity and suspected scams to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.



    Be Air Aware 

    December 21, 2023

    Imagery and text from awareness poster cautioning the public to Be Air Aware and how to report crime aboard an aircraft

    Did you know that the FBI investigates crimes committed aboard aircraft, in airports, and related to air travel? 

    The FBI investigates the following violations if they’re committed during a flight: 

    • Sexual misconduct
    • Assault
    • Interference with flight crew members
    • Theft 

    We investigate the following airport-based violations: 

    • Violence against persons and property at international airports (when the victim or offender is a United States national or if the offender is located within the U.S.) 
    • Interfering with airport security screening personnel ahead of a flight 

    The FBI also investigates bomb threats, whether they’re made on the ground or in-flight. 

    If you’ve been the victim of one of these crimes or have witnessed one take place, report it to your flight crew, airport authority police, and the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or tips.fbi.gov. Also reach out to the FBI if you observe any suspicious activity in an airport or during a flight. 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    December 15, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Malas Manas Transnational Criminal Organization Leadership Indicted on Charges of Human Smuggling and Drug Trafficking
    A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment against Jorge Damian Roman-Figueroa, Luis Eduardo Roman-Flores, Manuel Jose Bernal, Joel Salazar-Ballesteros, and Jesus Armando Gonzalez-Villela, for the following: conspiracy to transport aliens; conspiracy to launder monetary instruments; conspiracy to distribute marijuana, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine; distribution of  marijuana, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine; and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

    • The indictment alleges that some of the defendants are members of the Malas Manas Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO), operating in the Santa Cruz and Mascarenas areas of Mexico, with the permission of the Sinaloa Cartel.
    • "These actions are the latest in a long line of the Justice Department’s efforts to dismantle, piece-by-piece, violent cartels like Malas Manas and Sinaloa," said U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. "We will continue to target and prosecute the leaders and associates of the criminal groups responsible for poisoning the American people with fentanyl and endangering vulnerable migrants for profit."
    • Full press release

    Brothers Sentenced to More Than 35 Years Combined for Manufacturing and Distributing Machineguns Intended for ISIS
    Moyad Dannon was sentenced to almost 17 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release, after pleading guilty to attempting to provide material support or resources, namely firearms, to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

    • Dannon’s brother, Mahde Dannon, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in October 2021, after pleading guilty to the same charges.
    • "The defendant showed an absolute disregard for the rule of law and is being held accountable for his actions," said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. "Working with his brother, the defendant produced large caches of privately made firearms and attempted to place them in the hands of ISIS members overseas to be used against U.S. service members and allies. The FBI and our partners worked tirelessly to prevent the weapons from reaching their intended destination, and ensured these defendants faced justice for their attempts to support a foreign terrorist organization. We will continue to aggressively investigate anyone who tries to help terrorists and endangers the lives of others."
    • Full press release

    Davis County Man Sentenced for Animal Torture
    Samuel J. Webster pleaded guilty to animal torture via animal crushing and posting multiple videos of the animal cruelty

    • Webster was sentenced to 12 months and one day imprisonment, a fine of $5,500, and a term of three years supervised release.
    • "Animals deserve to be treated humanely which is why the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act was passed in 2019," said FBI Salt Lake City Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha. "Evidence shows that intentional animal cruelty can also be a precursor to other violent crimes. We are grateful for the public's assistance reporting this horrific abuse so law enforcement could put a stop to it and have Mr. Webster face the consequences."
    • Full press release

    Vestavia Man Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison on Child Pornography Charges
    Eugene Douglas Reid III was sentenced to 288 months in prison followed by 20 years supervised release for distribution and transportation of child pornography.

    • "Individuals who engage in the distribution and production of child pornography must be held accountable for their heinous actions. That is why the FBI, along with our local, state, and federal partners will stop at nothing to ensure these individuals and groups are brought to justice,” said FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples. "This sentence just reconfirms the FBI’s commitment to stopping child predators and shutting down the online networks that produce child sexual abuse material."
    • "Today’s sentence is the result of the collaborative work by our law enforcement partners in Alabama and Wisconsin to protect victims of child exploitation," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Prim F. Escalona. "I encourage anyone who may have information about possible child sexual exploitation, including posts on social media, to report it to the NCMEC at CyberTipline.org or by calling 1-800-THE-LOST."
    • Full press release

    North Carolina Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing Three Connecticut Men in 2015
    Edward Michael Parks was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences for federal offenses related to his kidnapping and murdering of two individuals in Hamden, and his killing of a third man in New Haven to stop him from notifying law enforcement.

    • "This is a necessary and appropriate sentence that provides justice for the victims and their loved ones, and will protect society from a ruthless killer," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Vanessa Roberts Avery. "Our office prioritizes the prosecution of those who illegally traffic, possess, and use guns, which wreaks havoc in our communities, especially our cities..."
    • "Today’s sentence is appropriate for the level of violence and murder this individual was responsible for while on our streets," said FBI New Haven Special Agent in Charge Robert Fuller. "It is our sincere hope that this sentence brings the victim’s families one step closer to some degree of closure."
    • Full press release

    Seattle Man Convicted at Trial of Abusive Sexual Contact on Air France Flight From Paris to Seattle
    Milan Edward Jurkovic was convicted of abusive sexual contact on a flight, and faces up to two years in federal prison.

    • Jurkovic was a passenger on an Air France flight from Paris to Seattle. Also on the flight was a school group from Western Washington. The students were returning from a class trip abroad. The 16-year-old victim was seated next to Jurkovic.
    • "Last summer, I joined with our law enforcement partners to call attention to a spike in sexual misconduct on aircraft—crimes such as this one that are traumatizing for victims," said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Tessa M. Gorman. "This case should be a warning to anyone who thinks that in the confines of an aircraft cabin they can get away with unwanted sexual touching. We will prosecute and the penalties are significant."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Protecting Places of Worship 

    December 13, 2023 

    In 2023, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to develop a fact sheet titled, “Protecting Places of Worship: Six Steps to Enhance Security Against Targeted Violence.”

    This resource is designed to provide faith-based organizations and community leaders with actionable measures they can take to increase security and help protect worship spaces against potential threats of targeted violence while still maintaining an open and welcoming environment.

    The two-page fact sheet, available at cisa.gov, includes numerous links to additional resources on recognizing and reporting potential threats, identifying security needs, developing a security plan, and applying for grants to fund security improvements.

    Additional Resources:


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    December 8, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Four Members of Violent Bridgeport Gang Guilty
    A federal jury in New Haven found Keishawn Donald, Trevon Wright, Eric Hayes, and Travon Jones guilty of racketeering offenses related to their involvement in a violent Bridgeport street gang.

    • More than 40 members and associates of warring gangs have been convicted, as well as 8 murders and approximately 20 shootings solved.
    • "We believe that the investigation of these warring gangs and resulting prosecutions have had a significant and substantial impact on the violence being perpetrated in Bridgeport," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Vanessa Roberts Avery.
    • "Every Connecticut resident, regardless of where they reside or their race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic class, should be able to feel safe in their community,” said U.S. Attorney Avery. "No person or group of people is entitled to wreak havoc by engaging in repeated acts of violence, instilling fear and trauma on the children and families who reside in our communities. Every life matters. We implore anyone engaged in, or planning to engage in, senseless violence like these defendants to reconsider so you don’t end up either killed or facing the prospect of wasting your life sitting in a federal prison."
    • Full press release

    Memphis Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison After Pleading Guilty in Railroad Car Burglary
    Lawrence Anthony was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting a railroad car burglary, possessing a machine gun, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

    • In March 2022, agents with CSX Transportation observed several people breaking into railroad cars containing retail merchandise destined for California. Agents apprehended one of the suspects, Anthony, who was also found to be in possession of a Glock .40 caliber pistol. 
    • The firearm had been modified with a small switch mechanism on the rear of the slide, allowing the weapon to fire fully automatically.
    • The other suspects fled the scene after stealing merchandise worth more than $7,500 from the railroad cars.
    • Full press release

    South Los Angeles Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Recruiting Teenage Girls for Commercial Sex Work and Sex Trafficking an Adult
    Donavin Dwayne Bradford was sentenced to life in federal prison for recruiting and enticing teenage girls for whom he acted as a “pimp” and providing them for commercial sex work.

    • "Bradford sex trafficked at least three minor girls and used threats of force and coercion to traffic a young adult—all for his own profit," prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. "To control his victims, he beat and berated them, pointed a gun in at least one victim’s face, intimidated them by referring to his gang membership, filmed himself having sex with them, took their money, and destroyed their property when they dared to leave him. With at least one victim, he took her earnings from sex customers as well as her financial aid from school."
    • Full press release

    Ohio Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Federal Hate Crimes Against Haitian Nationals
    Izaye Eubanks was sentenced to 20 years in prison for committing federal hate crimes targeting and attacking Haitian nationals residing in the area.

    • "This defendant is being held accountable for repeatedly assaulting and robbing members of the Haitian community in Springfield, Ohio, because of their national origin," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "Attacks like these, where a group of individuals is targeted for violent abuse and robbery because of who they are, will not be tolerated. The Justice Department will continue to enforce our federal criminal civil rights laws to protect all people in this country, and we will prosecute predators who commit violent, bias-motivated crimes."
    • "The hate crimes committed by Izaye Eubanks threatened and intimidated the immigrant community throughout the region," stated FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge J. William Rivers. "Because hate crimes have such a wide-ranging impact, investigating these crimes is a top priority for the FBI."
    • Full press release

    Southern Oregon Man Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Federal Prison After Boobytrapped Home Injures Federal Officer
    Gregory Lee Rodvelt was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison after he boobytrapped a southern Oregon home and injured a federal officer.

    • "Fueled by anger and bitterness, this defendant boobytrapped a property in southern Oregon with intent to seriously injure someone. Unfortunately, his trap worked, and he injured an FBI bomb technician," said Nathan J. Lichvarcik, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eugene and Medford Branch Offices. "We are fortunate Greg Rodvelt’s actions did not kill a law enforcement officer or community member. Today’s sentence is a just punishment for a serious crime."
    • "This individual went through great efforts to set intricate and deadly concealed traps to prevent FBI agents from doing their job. These were no joke," said FBI Portland Special Agent in Charge Kieran L. Ramsey. "Mr. Rodvelt knew he was breaking the law and his reprehensible actions are what landed him this sentence. We are thankful that our agent and other law enforcement officers survived this vicious attempt and we are thankful for our partners at the U.S. Attorney's Office for their diligent work in bringing justice to this case."
    • Full press release

    Long Island Pastor Charged With Sexual Exploitation of Children, Coercion and Distribution Of Child Pornography
    Jose Saez, Jr., a pastor at a church located in Brentwood, was charged with sexual exploitation of children, coercion and enticement of children, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. 

    • "When you go to church you expect to be safe and protected...but that's not what members of Pastor Jose Saez's congregation got. He allegedly possessed child pornography and sexually abused multiple children. This is unfathomable to the families and caused lasting harm to the children. The men and women of the FBI's Long Island Child Exploitation Task Force work tirelessly to protect our children but bad people are still out there. If anyone has any information on Saez or think they know someone who may be a victim, please call law enforcement," stated FBI New York Assistant Director-in-Charge James Smith.
    • "...Protecting children from predators and those who sexually exploit them will always be a priority of this Office," stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace.
    • Full press release


    Additional resources:


    Inside the FBI: Hate Crimes 

    December 6, 2023 

    What constitutes a hate crime? How are they investigated, and how does the FBI support victims, encourage reporting, and build greater trust in minority communities?  

    In this episode of Inside the FBI, we'll answer all those questions and more. Hear from FBI personnel who have dedicated themselves to supporting hate crime victims about why this work is so important to them.  

    If you believe you are a victim or a witness of a hate crime, please report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip at tips.fbi.gov. You can remain anonymous. 

    Additional Resources


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    December 1, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Justice Department Announces New Surge of Resources to Fight Violent Crime
    The Justice Department, together with numerous law enforcement partners, announced a new initiative to surge law enforcement tools and resources to target gangs and other violent groups who are threatening and upending the safety and security of communities in Memphis.

    • The new initiative includes federal prosecutors from the Violent Crime and Racketeering Section, the nation’s foremost experts in charging federal racketeering (RICO) crimes, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys already working in Memphis and dedicated investigative agents, analysts, and forensic experts.
    • "Through data-driven, targeted, and focused enforcement against the worst-of-the-worst violent criminals and organized groups, coupled with a strong focus on crime prevention, intervention, and reentry, I believe all of us, working together, can make an incredible difference and secure a safer future for all of Memphis," said Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Nicole M. Argentieri.
    • Full press release

    New York City Man Sentenced to Nearly 26 Years in Prison for Abducting Elderly Woman with Dementia and Obstructing FBI Investigation
    Johnny Ray Gasca was sentenced to 310 months in federal prison for kidnapping a 68-year-old woman with dementia at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center in July 2021, then obstructing an FBI investigation into the abduction.

    • Gasca kidnapped the victim at approximately 8:30 a.m. on July 19, 2021, after the victim attempted to obtain a medical appointment at the VA facility.
    • "[Gasca] financially exploited [the] victim’s mental fragility—describing his supposed ‘girlfriend’ as ‘senile’…—to steal tens of thousands of dollars from her,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. "After the victim managed to get away from [Gasca], he abducted her from the grounds of a hospital where she had sought care for her dementia, in order to steal even more of her money. Immediately after the abduction, he attempted to indoctrinate her to parrot back a version of events favorable to him."
    • Full press release

    Fargo Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Murder and Manslaughter in Navajo Nation
    Shilo Aaron Oldrock pled guilty in federal court to second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter relating to the deaths of two victims, E.B and P.S., on August 14, 2023.

    • "It is our solemn duty to bring justice and answers to grieving Tribal communities,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico Alexander M.M. Uballez. "No amount of investigation, prosecution, or years in prison will bring back a murdered loved one. But this team of local, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners will meet the case of each missing and murdered Indigenous person with urgency, transparency, and coordination. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community and confident that law enforcement will be vigilant in the investigation of missing community members."
    • "The rationale behind the depraved violent criminal acts committed in this case may be hard to understand, but our message today is crystal clear: the FBI and its partners will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who show such a callous disregard for innocent lives," said FBI Albuquerque Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda.
    • Full press release

    Man Sentenced for Election-Related Threats Toward Georgia Public Officials
    Chad Christopher Stark was sentenced to two years in prison for posting a message online threatening several Georgia public officials following the 2020 election.

    • "It’s simple: protecting America’s democracy means protecting the public servants and officials who ensure the electoral process is fair and free," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "Christopher Stark threatened the lives of multiple election workers in an attempt to prevent them from doing their job. Today’s sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s resolute commitment to securing American elections from any attempts to undermine their integrity."
    • "Sending death threats and urging others to act is not protected speech—it is a crime," said FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley. "The sentencing of Stark is a warning to all that those who attempt to undermine American democracy will be held criminally accountable."
    • Full press release


    Additional resources:


    November 2023 

    Inside the FBI: Searching for Steven 

    November 27, 2023 

    Something was wrong when 12-year-old Steven Earle Kraft Jr. didn’t return home for dinner on February 15, 2001.

    Steven lived in a close-knit community and was used to roaming around his neighborhood in Benton Harbor, Michigan. But after he went out for a walk one evening with his two dogs, no one saw Steven again.

    In this episode of Inside the FBI, learn more about Steven Kraft’s disappearance and the FBI’s continued search for answers.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    November 22, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Violent Crime Wrap-up 

    During the week of November 12, 2023, the FBI, alongside international and local law enforcement partners, conducted nine independent operations that resulted in 99 federal arrests and 57 search warrants. 

    These operations crossed the entire country in larger cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Miami, Pittsburgh, and San Antonio, as well as smaller communities including Huntington, West Virginia, and Waco, Texas. This week’s violent crime post highlights some of these efforts. For more information, view the press release.

    Federal Grand Jury Indicts 23 MS-13 Members and Associates for Alleged Widespread Methamphetamine Trafficking 
    Twenty-three members and associates of the Mara Salvatrucha-13 (MS-13) transnational street gang were charged for allegedly trafficking pound quantities of methamphetamine and illegally possessing ammunition found in a "ghost gun."

    • Law enforcement seized multiple pounds of suspected methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine, as well as nine firearms and approximately $94,000 in cash—with about $50,000 seized from one residence. 
    • "MS-13 members, allegedly at the direction of an incarcerated Mexican Mafia member, were able to wreak havoc on communities in Los Angeles," said FBI Los Angeles Assistant Director Donald Alway. "This case is just the latest joint operation targeting MS-13’s transnational criminal enterprise as we continue to make an impact on their ability to intimidate and threaten law abiding citizens in and around Los Angeles."
    • Full press release 

    U.S. Attorney Thompson and Law Enforcement Officials Announce Major Drug Trafficking Indictment 
    Twenty-seven individuals were charged for their roles in a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl. 

    • The 53-count indictment charges the co-conspirators with distributing methamphetamine and fentanyl transported from Detroit, Michigan, Huntington, West Virginia, and other locations within the Southern District of West Virginia. 
    • Law enforcement officers obtained numerous search warrants in support of the investigation, and so far have seized approximately 2 pounds of methamphetamine, 2 pounds of fentanyl, 26 firearms, and $10,500. 
    • "The arrests demonstrate the continuing impact federal, state and local partnerships have on illegal drug trafficking," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. "Huntington has been plagued by illegal drugs and fears of violence for too long, and it must be addressed. The FBI will aggressively investigate criminal organizations that target our communities with their drugs and violence and ensure they are held accountable."
    • Full press release 

    High-Ranking MS-13 Fugitive Arrested on Terrorism Indictment 
    Elmer Canales-Rivera was indicted on terrorism offenses relating to MS-13 criminal activities in the United States, El Salvador, Mexico, and elsewhere over the past two decades. 

    • Charges include conspiracy to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiracy to finance terrorism, and narco-terrorism conspiracy. 
    • "With determination and coordinated effort, the FBI and our law enforcement and foreign partners successfully apprehended a violent criminal that directly threatened the safety of our communities," said FBI Director Christopher A. Wray. "This pursuit exemplifies the FBI's commitment to safeguard the American public and continued promise to dismantle criminal networks like MS-13."
    • Full press release

    Two Highest-Ranking Leaders of Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang Convicted at Trial of Racketeering and Narcotics Offenses 
    With the trial convictions of the gang’s founder and prison leader, Dwight Reid, and the gang’s street leader, Christopher Erskine, all 21 defendants—including numerous godfathers and godmothers—have been convicted. 

    • The Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Bloods Gang (“Gorilla Stone”) is a brutally violent street and prison gang that operates across the country.
    • Gorilla Stone has also been involved in several fraud schemes that are well-organized and net a significant amount of money for the gang, including a fraudulent unemployment benefits scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • "Dwight Reid and Christopher Erskine are the two highest-ranking members of Gorilla Stone, a ruthless gang, and are responsible for terrible violent acts and trafficking dangerous narcotics across the country and state, including throughout the New York State prison system," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "They now stand convicted of their crimes and will no longer be able to inflict harm on the people of our District."     
    • Full press release  

    Mexican Mafia Associate Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison 
    Juan Castro of San Diego was sentenced in federal court to 10 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release for selling 109 grams of methamphetamine to a cooperating individual. 

    • A government memorandum submitted for Castro’s sentencing described him as a high-ranking member of the San Ysidro (or "Sidro") street gang and an associate of the Mexican Mafia.  
    • Castro oversaw day-to-day operations for Sidro which included collecting payments in exchange for allowing others to commit crimes in the San Ysidro area. The payments, or taxes, were then distributed to high-ranking Mexican Mafia members.
    • Full press release


    Additional resources:


    Raising Awareness of Adoption Fraud  

    November 20, 2023 

    National Adoption Awareness Month

    Are you a prospective adoptive parent or birth parent considering adoption?

    Unethical adoption service providers can take advantage of an emotionally charged process to deceive and defraud prospective adoptive parents or birth parents considering adoption.

    During National Adoption Awareness Month, we encourage you to be aware of common adoption scams and other potential red flags to during the adoption process. Learn what to look out for, how to protect yourself and your family, and what to do if you're a victim.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    November 17, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    In FY23 the FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, arrested over 18,500 violent criminals, drug traffickers, gang members and child predators. In the process, the FBI seized more than 8,720 guns from those criminals and cut into the capabilities of 2,520 gangs and violent criminal enterprises. Throughout the fiscal year, the FBI completely dismantled 314 of those criminal enterprises.

    Violent Crime Wrap-up
    The following information compiled from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023, reflect the FBI's collective actions against violent crime: 

    FY2023 Statistics

    • Number of Arrests: 18,535
    • Number of Indictments: 9,871
    • Number of Children Located: 2,401
    • Number of Weapons Seized: 8,725
    • Number of Disruptions: 2,524
    • Number of Dismantlements: 314
    • Number of Drug Seizures (Individual Instances): 12,766
    • Amount of Fentanyl Seized: 2,038 kilograms

    Twenty-Eight Gang Members and Associates From Newburgh and Poughkeepsie Charged with Racketeering, Narcotics, and Firearms Offenses
    The 34-count superseding indictment has charged 28 members and associates of the Young Gunnaz Gang, including the gang’s high-ranking street leaders.

    • Kashad Sampson, the Young Gunnaz Gang leader, was charged with participating in multiple assaults with a dangerous weapon in Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, New York.  In addition to serious acts of violence, the gang was also responsible for trafficking large amounts of narcotics across the City of Newburgh and New York State and perpetrated fraud schemes to enrich members of the gang. 
    • "The 28 members and associates of the Young Gunnaz Gang are alleged to have engaged in a gang-related conspiracy, acting with a sense of impunity that resulted in numerous senseless acts of violence and significant narcotics distribution," said FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge James Smith. "The FBI will not tolerate rampant gang violence terrorizing our communities. FBI New York's Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to removing these violent criminals from the streets and bringing them to justice."
    • Full press release

    Two Puerto Rican Men Sentenced for Federal Hate Crime Against a Latina Transgender Woman and Obstruction of Justice Charges
    Jordany Rafael Laboy-Garcia and Christian Yamaurie Rivera-Otero were sentenced today to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release each for federal charges of conspiracy to commit a hate crime and obstruction of justice, arising out of an assault with a dangerous weapon against a transgender woman because of her gender identity.

    • "Every human being should be treated with respect and dignity," said Special Agent in Charge Joseph Gonzalez of the FBI San Juan Field Office. "There are no minor offenses when it comes to hate crimes. We at the FBI reiterate our position of zero tolerance for hate and ask anyone who has been a victim or a witness to a hate crime, to report it either by calling your local FBI field office or by leaving a tip online through tips.fbi.gov."
    • "The defendants have been held accountable for assaulting a Latina transgender woman because of her gender identity and then trying to obstruct an investigation into that assault," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "No one should live in fear of hate-fueled violence because of who they are. The Justice Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting people who target LGBTQI+ people with acts of violence or who try to obstruct investigations into these heinous crimes. We hope that this prosecution makes clear to LGBTQI+ victims and survivors that we see them, and we hear them, and we will stand up for them when they are targeted by hate-fueled violence."
    • Full press release

    Man Sentenced in Lakewood, Colorado, Bank Robbery
    Darren Michael Connolly was sentenced to 147 months in prison and 5 years of supervised release for bank robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and brandishing a weapon during a federal crime of violence. His codefendant, James David Trujillo Jr., was sentenced on September 18, 2023.

    • In June 2022, Connolly and Trujillo robbed a Canvas Credit Union, armed with an AR-15 and shotgun. Connolly was wearing a GPS bracelet at the time of the robbery. Both he and codefendant Trujillo were covered in masks and ran from the bank to a waiting getaway car.
    • "It’s a blatant criminal who carries out the armed robbery of a bank while he is being monitored on parole. Clearly, this is a hardened felon and the public is safer with him behind bars," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. "The Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force will continue to work with state and local agencies to protect our communities from violent criminals."
    • Full press release

    Former Gary, Indiana, Police Officer Sentenced for Using Excessive Force in Violation of Federal Civil Rights Laws
    Terry Peck, a former officer with the Gary, Indiana, Police Department (GPD), was sentenced to one year and a day in prison, and one year of supervised release after pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of an arrestee.

    • Peck previously admitted to having used unreasonable force during the arrest of the victim, a man the defendant had stopped for an alleged traffic infraction.
    • "This sentence should send a clear message the FBI won’t tolerate the abuse of power of those who took an oath to serve and protect," said Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton of the FBI Indianapolis Field Office. "The action of this officer not only violated the victim’s civil rights but damaged the community’s trust in law enforcement. When there is excessive use of force that rises to a federal crime, the FBI will investigate, and those individuals will be held accountable."
    • Full press release

    Fourteen Gang Members and Associates Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Fentanyl Trafficking
    As part of a superseding indictment, 14 additional members and associates of the Minneapolis Highs gang were charged with racketeering (RICO) conspiracy and fentanyl trafficking. Additional charges include firearms violations, kidnapping, assault, and carjacking.

    • Between 2020 and 2023, Highs members are alleged to have made numerous round-trip flights from Minneapolis to Phoenix, at times carrying large sums of U.S. currency, to obtain fentanyl pills for re-sale in Minneapolis. Highs members shipped numerous U.S. Postal Service parcels containing fentanyl pills to Minneapolis from Arizona.
    • "Today’s charges against the Highs gang are focused on the criminal organization’s extensive fentanyl trafficking operations," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger. "Selling fentanyl in our communities is as dangerous and lethal as the brazen gun violence we’ve seen in our cities. Addressing the nexus between narcotics trafficking and violent crime is a critical piece of our Violent Crime Strategy, and I am grateful to my law enforcement partners who are equally focused on protecting the lives of Minnesotans, regardless of the threat."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Report Hate Crimes to the FBI 

    November 14, 2023 

    Preventing hate crimes is a top priority for the FBI.

    The FBI’s 2022 Hate Crimes Statistics report, released last month, showed an increase in hate crimes based on incident reports submitted by more than 14,000 law enforcement agencies across the nation.

    Incidents in 2022 most commonly involved biases based on race, religion, and sexual orientation. Within those categories, the highest number of incidents reported involved anti-Black or African American bias, anti-Jewish bias, and anti-gay (male) bias.

    Hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim—they are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community. 

    If you believe you are a victim or a witness of a hate crime, please report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip at tips.fbi.gov. You can remain anonymous.

    Additional Resources


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    November 9, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Engineer Indicted for Bombing Energy Facilities in California 
    Peter Karasev was charged with destroying energy facilities and using fire or explosives to commit a federal crime. 

    • Karasev allegedly “knowingly and willfully” damaged the property of two energy facilities, specifically, two PG&E transformers in San Jose, California on Dec. 8, 2022, and Jan. 5, 2023, respectively—and attempted to cause and caused significant interruption and impairment of those energy facilities. 
    • "The indictment alleges that Karasev built explosive devices and used them to damage energy facilities, knocking out power to over 1,500 homes and businesses in the San Jose area," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "The FBI is laser focused on protecting the essential infrastructure that Americans rely on every day, and we and our partners like the San Jose Police Department will use every lawful means to hold anyone who targets that infrastructure accountable."
    • Full press release 

    Over 220 Pounds of Suspected Controlled Substances Seized Including Pills Shaped to Resemble Heart Shaped Candy
    An estimated 10 million doses of controlled substances have been seized, including eight million doses of fentanyl and methamphetamine laced pills and powder, in what's believed to be one of the largest single-location seizures in New England. 

    • The total street value of the drugs seized is upwards of $8 million. Three men have been arrested in connection with allegedly running this large-scale drug trafficking organization (DTO) on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
    • "This seizure by the FBI’s North Shore Gang Task Force saved lives in communities throughout Massachusetts," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "Not only was this seizure one of the largest in the history of Massachusetts, but some of the pills were created to look like candy, potentially presenting an enormous risk to children. The FBI will continue to relentlessly pursue those involved in narcotics trafficking to keep drugs off our streets, and out of the hands of children."
    • Full press release

    Captain of Santa Barbara-Based Dive Boat that Burned and Sank, Resulting in 34 Deaths, Found Guilty of Felony Federal Offense 
    Jerry Nehl Boylan was found guilty of one count of misconduct or neglect of ship officer—an offense commonly called "seaman’s manslaughter."

    • Boylan was the captain of the P/V Conception—a Santa Barbara-based dive boat that caught fire and sank near Santa Cruz Island on Labor Day in 2019, resulting in the deaths of 33 passengers and one crew member. 
    • "Mr. Boylan’s failure to carry out his duties as Captain of the Conception led to the catastrophic loss of 34 victims who suffered a horrifying death and perished needlessly in the end," said FBI Los Angeles Assistant Director in Charge Donald Alway. "Ultimately, the hard work by the investigators from multiple agencies led to today’s outcome and now the victims’ families can continue their healing process. Let this tragedy be a lesson to anyone who commands a boat with vulnerable passengers that proper training, diligence and life saving measures—when called for—are necessary to safeguard those left in one’s charge."
    • Full press release 

    Louisville Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Murdering a Man During a Carjacking 
    Ashton Clay Nally was sentenced to federal prison for a carjacking that resulted in death. He was also sentenced for the use, possession, and discharge of a firearm during, and in relation to, a crime of violence, resulting in murder. 

    • "This sentence should serve as a stark warning to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky who choose to commit armed carjackings and other senseless acts of violence. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will not stand for violent offenders who recklessly terrorize innocent lives," said FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge Stansbury. "In partnership with the Louisville Violent Crime Task Force, FBI Louisville will continue to work tirelessly to ensure violent criminals are removed from our streets."
    • Full press release 

    Kennesaw, Georgia, Man Sentenced for Attempting to Entice Minor for Sex 
    Joshua Herrera, who attempted to arrange to meet a minor girl for sex online, has been sentenced to over 19 years in prison. 

    • In November 2019, Herrera communicated online with an undercover special agent and expressed interest in performing sex acts on a minor girl, requested photographs of the child, and arranged to meet the girl. In January 2020, Herrera drove from Athens, Georgia, to a pre-arranged location in metro-Atlanta where he believed he would meet the child. FBI special agents arrested him upon his arrival. 
    • "The severity of this sentence clearly reflects the threat Herrera posed to the community and is the greatest message the FBI can send to anyone who would think about harming a child in this way," said FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley. "This is case shows the lengths the FBI will go to thwart child predators and we are thankful for the hard work of our team that connected with Herrera before he could get to an innocent child."
    • Full press release  

    Burleson Would-Be Bomber Sentenced to 14 Years for Firearms, Child Porn Charges 
    Noah Robert Calderon, who apparently idolized the Columbine High School shooters and possessed a homemade bomb, was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison. 

    • In addition, a search of Calderon’s phone revealed sexually explicit videos taken from a video chat between Mr. Calderon and a 13-year-old girl. 
    • "Today’s sentence is a shared success with the community who heeded the call to action to report suspicious activity when they saw suspicious activity. The information shared with law enforcement exhibited a distinctive pathway to further violence, that was ultimately thwarted by law enforcement and led to multiple federal charges," said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough. "The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue individuals that move beyond rhetoric into action as they threaten the safety of our communities. We continue to ask for the public’s assistance in reporting threatening behaviors, and will work closely with our partners for swift adjudication."
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:


    FBI Internship Opportunities for Wounded Warriors 

    November 8, 2023 

    Photo of an FBI employee wearing an FBI lanyard with a US flag lapel pin

    The FBI Wounded Warrior Internship Program offers current U.S. military servicemembers who are recovering from medical procedures or injuries the opportunity to intern at Bureau Headquarters or at one of our 56 field offices nationwide.  
     
    Interns can strengthen their resumes, cultivate new skillsets, discover new professional interests, and get federal government work experience while they’re still in uniform. “We try to place them in an area where it'll be exciting and relevant and to have them gain exposure to what the FBI truly has to offer,” said Program Manager Marimar Keffer, a former member of the Air National Guard and current Air Force reservist. 
     
    In addition to bringing “a fresh perspective” to the Bureau, Keffer said, these interns come equipped with intelligence and cybersecurity skills that are vital to the FBI mission.

    “Offering this internship is a way to remind servicemembers that they're not forgotten, that after they retire—whether medically or voluntarily—there is another chapter for them. Their story isn't over. They can take all those skills, their job, and their life experiences and move them to the next chapter with the FBI,” Keffer said. 

    Interested servicemembers can reach out to their Operation Warfighter coordinator to begin the application process.

    Full story.


    Assisting Crime Victims in Navajo Nation 

    November 6, 2023 

    VS Driving in Arizona

    FBI Victim Specialist Blanda Preston was born on Navajo Nation. Today, working out of the FBI Phoenix Division’s Flagstaff Resident Agency, she regularly drives for hours at a time to meet with Navajo Nation victims who need her assistance after crimes occur on indigenous lands.   

    "One-way, it can take me one to four hours,” Preston said matter-of-factly, describing her more remote meetings and call-outs. “By the time I’ve met with one or two of my contacts, it’s sometimes just enough time to head back.”

    Phylishia Todacheenie, a criminal investigator on the Navajo Nation in Tuba City, said victim specialists like Preston fill gaps in the patchwork of local services and service providers that are trying to help crime victims navigate the process. A victim of child sexual assault, for example, may have to travel for hours across rural tribal lands to reach a child advocacy center in Flagstaff or to meet with one of the FBI’s child and adolescent forensic interviewers (CAFIs)—a small, specially trained cadre of interviewers skilled at gathering evidence without further traumatizing children and others with mental or emotional disabilities. 

    "We live in a community where not everybody has money or transportation to get to these services," Todacheenie said. “By them helping us either transport the family or help pay for gas to get there, that really does help us a lot.”

    Preston’s jurisdiction includes the western region of the Navajo Nation, as well as the Kaibab Paiute, San Juan Paiute, Hopi, Yavapai-Apache, and Yavapai-Prescott tribes. Over the years, her efforts in those communities showed a need for local victim advocacy resources, with staff who live in or near the communities they serve. Local advocates can get to victims’ homes faster than Preston can. And they sometimes meet her halfway to team up and escort victims and their families on long journeys.

    “[Blanda] is trusted by the community she serves—she is a healer of her community,” said Jennifer Runge, executive director of Victim Witness Services for Northern Arizona.

    More than a quarter of the FBI’s nearly 200 victim specialists and half of its CAFIs are assigned to jurisdictions that include Native American communities.

    Full story.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    November 3, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Operation Smoke and Mirrors Update: Charleston Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization
    Jeremy Rayshad Walker pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and admitted to his role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that operated in the Charleston, West Virginia area.

    • Walker is among 32 individuals indicted as a result of Operation Smoke and Mirrors, a major drug trafficking investigation that has yielded the largest methamphetamine seizure in West Virginia history.
    • Law enforcement seized well over 400 pounds of methamphetamine as well as 40 pounds of cocaine, 3 pounds of fentanyl, 19 firearms and $935,000 in cash.
    • Walker and 21 other defendants have pleaded guilty. Indictments against the other defendants are pending.
    • Full press release

    Grand Coulee Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison For Violent Assault Against Partner, Tribal Elders
    Xander Lee Ostenberg was sentenced after having pleaded guilty to assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to a spouse, intimate partner, or dating partner in Indian Country, as well as two counts of assault by beating, striking, or wounding.

    • Mr. Ostenberg’s youth cannot be used as an excuse for his violent actions," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "While he has time to reflect on the choices he made which led to this prison sentence, his actions impacted the lives of multiple victims. Addressing violence on our state’s reservations remains a priority for the FBI and our partners across Washington."
    • Full press release

    New Jersey Couple Resentenced for Child Abuse
    A former U.S. Army major and his wife were sentenced for a fourth time for their respective roles in abusing their adopted children—who all were less than 4 years old and developmentally delayed—through neglectful and cruel acts, including breaking their bones, denying them medical attention, withholding water and force-feeding them hot sauce.

    • Carolyn Jackson was sentenced to 140 months in prison and her husband, John E. Jackson was sentenced to 108 months in prison.
    • "We work tirelessly to seek justice for victims of the cases we investigate," said FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy. "Many times, the punishments do not fit the crime. This couple abused developmentally challenged toddlers in ways that seem unimaginable and unbelievably inhumane. They are now facing the justice they deserve—and their victims deserve."
    • Full press release

    Convicted Alien Smuggler Sent to Prison for Recording Sexual Material and Posting it on Snapchat
    Victor Antonio Puente was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison—the court found he committed the offense while under supervised release for a previous alien smuggling offense which must be served consecutively for a total 192-month-term of imprisonment.

    • "Victor Puente gave a 15-year old alcohol, got her drunk and sexually violated her in area motels, but the once-convicted alien smuggler didn’t stop there," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar S. Hamdani. "Not only did he violate her physically, he posted images and videos of his abhorrent behavior on SnapChat. As the father of a 15-year old daughter myself, I am thankful that this predator won’t come anywhere near my or any other daughter for a very long time to come."
    • Full press release

    Long Island Man Charged In Bronx Shooting
    Terrence Allen with illegally possessing ammunition in connection with a shooting by Allen in the courtyard of the Melrose housing complex in the Bronx on the evening of September 21, 2023.

    • "As we allege, in the shadow of a housing complex’s playground, Allen senselessly fired a gun, threatening the community’s right to live in safety," FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge James Smith. "Along with our law enforcement partners, the FBI will hold anyone who endangers innocent lives accountable in the criminal justice system."
    • Full press release

    Five Sentenced to Domestic Violence Charges During Domestic Violence Awareness Month
    October marked the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). U.S. Attorney Northern District of Oklahoma Clint Johnson announced that five individuals were sentenced in federal court to domestic violence charges.

    • Domestic violence, dating violence, and intimate partner violence can have long-lasting impacts and consequences. Approximately one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe domestic violence in their lifetimes; however, rates are disproportionately higher for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, women of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and Two-Spirit people, and people with disabilities. 
    • DVAM provides an opportunity to spread awareness about domestic violence and encourage everyone to play a role in ending gender-based violence.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    FBI Returns 18th-Century Painting to German Museum 

    November 1, 2023

    From left: FBI Chicago Assistant Special Agent in Charge Eric Shiffman; German Consul General Michael Ahrens; Dr. Bernd Ebert, head of the Dutch and German Baroque Painting Collections at the Alte Pinakothek museum; and and FBI Chicago Special Agent Benjamin Milligan examine the painting "Landschaft italienischen Charakters" (or "Landscape of Italian Character") by the Austrian painter Johann Franz Nepomuk Lauterer at the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago on October 19, 2023.

That day, the FBI’s Art Crime Team in Chicago returned the painting to its rightful owner during a ceremony at the consulate.

    From left: FBI Chicago Assistant Special Agent in Charge Eric Shiffman; German Consul General Michael Ahrens; Dr. Bernd Ebert, head of the Dutch and German Baroque Painting Collections at the Alte Pinakothek museum; and and FBI Chicago Special Agent Benjamin Milligan examine the painting "Landschaft italienischen Charakters" (or "Landscape of Italian Character") by the Austrian painter Johann Franz Nepomuk Lauterer at the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago on October 19, 2023. That day, the FBI’s Art Crime Team in Chicago returned the painting to its rightful owner during a ceremony at the consulate.

    The FBI's Art Crime Team in Chicago recently returned a painting to the Alte Pinakothek museum in Munich, Germany, after the artwork went missing from the institution during World War II.

    The piece, titled "Landschaft italienischen Charakters" (or "Landscape of Italian Character"), was created by 18th-century Austrian artist Johann Franz Nepomuk Lauterer. The artist intended the work to accompany a second painting of his, since they collectively compose a panoramic landscape.

    The painting disappeared from the museum at the onset of the war in 1939. It resurfaced in the United States in 2011, but attempts to get the artwork back to the museum fell through, and it soon vanished again.

    After the painting resurfaced in the possession of a Chicago citizen in 2022, the FBI worked with our international partners to return the work to its rightful owner. 

    The Bureau formally returned the artwork to the museum in an October 19 ceremony at the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago.

    "The FBI’s Art Crime Team has been bringing home stolen art for almost 20 years, and their dedication has led to the recovery of more than 20,000 artifacts valued at hundreds of millions of dollars," said FBI Chicago Field Office Special Agent in Charge Robert W. Wheeler Jr. "It is a pleasure to be able to return this painting to its rightful home at last, and we thank everyone who partnered with us to make this success possible."

    Bavarian State Minister for Science and Arts, Markus Blume, expressed his gratitude to the Bureau and everyone who played a part in the repatriation.

    "I am delighted that an art treasure that was believed to have been lost is coming back to Bavaria: the return of the painting by Johann Franz Nepomuk Lauterer to the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen [the museum's Bavarian State Painting Collections] is not only an act of historical justice but also an expression of the appreciation of our cultural heritage," Blume said.

    Art and cultural property crime—which includes theft, fraud, looting, and trafficking across state and international lines—leads to billions of dollars in losses every year.

    But art repatriations like the recent one in Chicago are only part of the FBI Art Crime Program's role in investigating and recovering missing art and cultural property. 

    Listen to the latest episode of the Inside the FBI podcast to learn more about the program's efforts, the National Stolen Art File app, and how you can help the Bureau return ransacked artwork to its rightful owners.

    Read more about recent FBI art repatriations here:


    National Native American Heritage Month 

    November 1, 2023 

    National Native American Heritage Month

    This National Native American Heritage Month, the FBI honors the contributions of our Native American partners, neighbors, and colleagues who serve communities across the nation.

    Learn more about the FBI's work with Native American and Alaska Native communities:

    Learn more about the Osage murders case, one of our most prominent Indian Country cases in history:


    October 2023  

    Inside the FBI: Top Ten Fugitive Alejandro Rosales Castillo

    October 30, 2023 

    In 2016, Alejandro Castillo, known as "Alex," was only 17 years old when he allegedly murdered “Sandy” Ly Le. 

    The two worked together at a restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina. A joint investigation by the FBI and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department revealed that Castillo owed Le money—approximately $1,000. According to text messages between Castillo and Le, they agreed to meet on August 9, 2016, so he could repay the loan. 

    Instead, he made Le withdraw money from an ATM. Afterwards, investigators believe Castillo drove Le to a wooded area outside of Charlotte where he allegedly shot her in the head and dumped her body in a ravine. Le was 23-years-old.  

    Castillo then allegedly took Le’s car and fled the scene. On August 15, Le’s car was left at a bus station in Phoenix, Arizona. The next day, after 9:00 p.m., Castillo was seen on surveillance video crossing the border from Noagles, Arizona, into Mexico. Around the same time, Le’s body was found and identified back in North Carolina.  

    Castillo remains at large. His last known residence was in Charlotte, North Carolina, and he has family ties to Phoenix, Arizona.  

    The FBI is offering a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to Castillo's arrest. 

    Tune in to this episode of Inside the FBI to learn more about the case.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    October 27, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Haitian Gang Leader Charged with Hostage Taking Offenses that Resulted in the Death of a U.S. Citizen in Haiti in October 2022
    Vitel’homme Innocent, a Haitian national and leader of the Kraze Barye gang, has ben charged for his alleged role in the October 2022 armed hostage taking of two U.S. citizens, one of whom was killed during the event.

    • Vitel’homme Innocent and the Kraze Barye gang operate in the Ouest department of Haiti to include Delmas, Torcelle, and Tabarre. The gang actively participates in kidnappings for ransom, extortion, and car thefts.
    • "The indictment unsealed today demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to follow the evidence wherever it leads and to work our way up to the leaders of criminal plots wherever they are," said FBI Miami Special Agent in Charge Veltri. "Neither time nor distance will weaken our resolve. We will use all tools available and go to the farthest reaches of the globe to bring to justice those who seek to harm Americans."
    • Full press release

    White Swan, Washington, Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse of a Young Girl
    Charlie Jim Peters was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to one count of sexual abuse.

    • In 2020, on the Yakama Nation reservation, Peters molested a sixteen-year-old victim while the victim was asleep inside a camper van. DNA analysis later confirmed Peter’s DNA from a sample recovered from the crime scene.
    • "Mr. Peters will fortunately spend the next ten years in prison," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "While no sentence may seem long enough to a victim of his reprehensible actions, I commend her for taking the steps necessary which ultimately led to this sentence. The FBI and our partners are committed to making our state’s reservations safer for the citizens who call them home."
    • Full press release

    Former Mississippi Department of Corrections Officials Sentenced for Using Excessive Force Against an Inmate
    Three former Mississippi Department of Corrections officials were sentenced for using excessive force against an inmate involving the use of dangerous weapons and resulting in bodily injury.  

    • On July 11, 2019, at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, Corrections Officer (CO) Jessica Hill, CO LaToya Richardson, and Case Manager Nicole Moore assaulted a defenseless inmate, L.C., while L.C. was in the fetal position and not resisting in any fashion. 
    • "Our citizens serving time for their criminal acts against the public are warranted the safety and protection from harm by correctional officers responsible for their care," said FBI Jackson Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby. "Hill’s deliberate violation of this trust is a disservice to those in the penal system, correctional officials who are honorable in their profession, and citizens in general. The FBI is committed to protecting all citizens of our community."
    • Full press release

    Two Hells Angels Members Sentenced to Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy and Obstruction of Justice
    Two Hells Angels members were sentenced to prison for their participation in the activities of the criminal enterprise of the Sonoma County charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HASC).

    • Jeremy Greer was sentenced to a term of 84 months in prison for his violent crimes as part of the HASC racketeering conspiracy. Merl Hefferman was sentenced to a term of 48 months in prison for obstruction of justice.
    • "Hefferman used his connection at a funeral home to order the illegal cremation of a member of his own gang as part of the Hells Angels’ efforts to cover up a murder. For eight years, the victim's family grieved without a body to mourn or certainty about what had happened to their loved one. Greer committed serious violent crimes, including armed robbery, beating, and maiming," said FBI San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Tripp. "Hefferman, Greer, and other members of their criminal enterprise attempted to use fear and intimidation to get away with their crimes. I commend the witnesses for their courage. Without them, these men may not have pleaded guilty. Now, they have been brought to justice."
    • Full press release

    Laredo Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for False Statement During Firearm Purchase
    Brandon Ray Speed was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for providing a false statement in required information kept by a firearms dealer. 

    • Speed provided an incorrect home address when he attempted to purchase a 12-gauge shotgun at a sporting goods store in San Antonio in 2022. Speed’s attempted purchase was delayed due to expanded background checks for purchasers under age 21, and he never completed the purchase.
    • Speed had been previously arrested by local authorities for ‘terroristic threats’ on social media.
    • "Brandon Speed provided false statements on an official form while trying to purchase a gun after demonstrating concerning behavior in several other areas of his life," said FBI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich, Jr. "I would like to thank the San Antonio Behavioral Threat Assessment Group, the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, and our local law enforcement partners for their exceptional work on this case."
    • Full press release

    Urologist Charged In Superseding Indictment With Sexually Abusing Eight Patients, Including Minors
    Darius A. Paduch, a New York–area urologist, was charged for his years-long sexual abuse of eight victims who were his patients, six of whom were minors during part of the period of abuse. 

    • "As alleged, Darius A. Paduch was a serial sexual abuser," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "Purporting to provide clinical care, Paduch instead violated patients—including minors—to gratify his own sexual desires. As alleged in today’s superseding indictment, Paduch’s abuse was pervasive, spanning over a decade and victimizing patients inside and outside the clinical setting. With today’s additional charges, my office seeks to hold Paduch accountable for the full measure of his reprehensible conduct."
    • If you have been victimized by Darius A. Paduch in any way or have any additional information about his alleged illegal behavior, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI or reach out at www.tips.fbi.gov.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Inside the FBI: Making Sense of FISA Section 702  

    October 25, 2023 

    For most people, the number 702 may not mean very much.

    But for the Intelligence Community, which is charged with protecting the nation’s security, that number refers to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.  

    This part of the broader law gives the FBI and other federal agencies the authority to conduct targeted surveillance of non-U.S. citizens located outside the United States, but only under specialized circumstances and with proper approvals and oversight.

    Section 702 is indispensable to the Intelligence Community’s role in protecting the country from spies, malicious cyberattacks, terrorists, and other foreign threats.

    On this episode, FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate explains Section 702: what it is, what it's not, and why you’ll likely be hearing a lot about it in the future.


    Indian Country Onboarding Program  

    October 23, 2023 

    The FBI’s field office in Phoenix, Arizona, recently hosted a week of specialized training for new FBI agents.

    The Indian Country Onboarding Program prepares agents to operate in Native American communities, where they often would be working solo and without the resources available in more densely populated areas.

    “When you’re working [in] Indian Country, you may be just yourself and a tribal investigator with you out in the middle of nowhere, and you may not even have cell phone reception. You’re going to have to make command decisions and be able to act responsibly and accordingly,” said Supervisory Special Agent Jerry Grambow.

    During the course, agents learn and reinforce previous training on a variety of subjects, including conducting homicide interviews, finding witnesses, defensive tactics, and remote medical care. They also learn about the cultural differences between them and the Native Americans living on the land and how to communicate better with and assist those communities in seeking justice.

    Full story.

    Additional Resources:


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    October 20, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Thirty-Seven Gang Members Plead Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy
    The 37th and final defendant charged as part of the case against members and associates of the Simon City Royals gang—a gang aligned with the Gangster Disciples—pleaded guilty to racketeering (RICO) conspiracy.

    • The Simon City Royals were a violent prison gang operating primarily in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, but with members and associates acting on their behalf outside of prison throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, and elsewhere.
    • "These convictions demonstrate the steadfast commitment of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to protecting the public from violent gangs that terrorize and poison our communities,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. "As a result of our collective efforts, this destructive criminal enterprise has been dismantled and the members who have been operating both in and out of the prison system are being held accountable."
    • Full press release

    Firearms Trafficker Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Supplying Weapons and Ammunition to Sinaloa Cartel
    Alfredo Lomas Navarrete, a prolific firearms trafficker, was sentenced in federal court today to 15 years in custody for his role in supplying hundreds of high-powered weapons and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition to the Sinaloa Cartel.

    • This case is part of a long-running investigation targeting the Valenzuela Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO), which is a significant component of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Valenzuela TCO is one of the largest importers of cocaine into the United States.
    • "The sentencing of Mr. Navarrete is a major milestone in federal law enforcement’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle illegal trafficking operations of all kinds," said FBI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy. "We are proud to support our law enforcement partners in all efforts that target and take down crime organizations that threaten the citizens of the United States of America."
    • Full press release

    Defendant Charged with Operating Sex-Trafficking Ring on Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn Known As The "Penn Track"
    Douglas Welch, also known as "Paradise," was charged with sex trafficking by force, sex trafficking conspiracy, interstate prostitution and promotion of prostitution. 

    • Welch allegedly forcing victims to engage in prostitution, in among other places, a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn known as the "Penn Track."
    • "As alleged, Welch has trafficked multiple women for his own financial benefit while boasting about the cruel and brutal violence he has inflicted on the vulnerable victims," stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace. "Running a brazen, open-air commercial sex market in East New York or anywhere else in our district is unacceptable, dangerous to our communities, and especially harmful to women caught in this terrible cycle of abuse. Today’s indictment will hold the defendant accountable in a federal courtroom for his exploitative crimes."
    • Full press release

    Doctor Pleads Guilty in Dark Web Murder-for-Hire Plot
    James Wan pleaded guilty to paying a hitman he found on the dark web to murder his girlfriend. 

    • Wan accessed a dark web marketplace from his cellular telephone and submitted an order to have a hitman murder his girlfriend.
    • After learning about the threat to the victim’s life, FBI agents notified the victim, provided her protection, and questioned Wan. Wan admitted that he had placed the order, made the payments, and checked the status of the order daily on the dark web marketplace. 
    • "Despite his cowardly concealment on the dark web, Wan’s cold hearted murderous plot was averted due to the exceptional work of our team. He will now face the full consequences of the criminal justice system," said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "This case shows that the FBI will not tolerate heinous acts of violence and will go to great lengths to protect our citizens." 
    • Full press release

    Brothers Sentenced to a Total of 27 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Robbery Using OfferUp
    Jessie Dixson and his brother, Joqeis Dixson, have been sentenced to a total of 27 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to commercial robbery and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime.

    • On May 14, 2020, Jessie and Joqeis Dixson used OfferUp, an online marketplace, to advertise the purported sale of a PlayStation game console. Victim N.B. agreed to purchase the console from the Dixson brothers. When N.B. arrived at the agreed location, Jessie Dixson pointed a shotgun in the victim’s face, and Joqeis Dixson took the victim’s cell phone and wallet. Both Dixson brothers fled the scene.
    • "For years, violent criminals have been using online marketplaces like OfferUp to set up armed robberies, sometimes leading to injuries and deaths," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers. "Most local police departments will allow people to use their properties as a safe place to meet when buying and selling online, which can help keep everyone safe during these transactions. You often don’t know who is on the other end of an online communication, or what their intentions might be..."
    • Full press release

    Xavier Zamora Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for the 2019 Murder of U.S. Letter Carrier
    Xavier Zamora was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder of U.S. Postal Service Letter Carrier José Hernandez in 2019. 

    • "Far too many of us have felt this loss within our agencies," said FBI Albuquerque Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda. "The impact and pain extend beyond the agency and the family; it extends to the community. Even more so when the individual is part of the fabric of the nation making a difference in every community across this country. On behalf of the Hernandez family and others suffering from the loss of a family member to violent crime, the FBI will continue to work in partnership with local, state, tribal and federal partners to ensure offenders like Xavier Zamora are brought to justice."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Inside the FBI: The Osage Murders 

    October 18, 2023 

    At the turn of the 20th century, oil was discovered on the Osage Indian Reservation in present-day Osage County, Oklahoma.

    Through government royalties, members of the Osage Nation profited as the oil market expanded. As word spread, opportunists flocked to Osage lands, some seeking to separate the Osage from their wealth by any means necessary—even murder.  

    In May 1921, the badly decomposed body of Anna Brown—an Osage Native American—was found in a remote ravine in northern Oklahoma. Two dozen people, including her mother, eventually turned up dead.

    On this episode of Inside the FBI, hear from FBI Historian Dr. John Fox as he unravels how an Osage family became targeted in a deadly conspiracy and how a young Bureau of Investigation searched for answers.

    Additional Resources


    During Historic Five Eyes Press Conference, FBI Director Wray Condemns Chinese Economic Espionage    

    October 17, 2023 

    MI5 Director General Ken McCallum, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Director-General of Security and Chief Executive Andrew Hampton, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Australian Intelligence Security Organisation Director-General Mike Burgess, and Canadian Security Intelligence Service Director David Vigneault take part in a press conference as part of the FBI's Emerging Technology and Securing Innovation Security Summit in California's Silicon Valley on October 17, 2023.

    MI5 Director General Ken McCallum, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Director-General of Security and Chief Executive Andrew Hampton, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Australian Security Intelligence Service Organisation Director-General Mike Burgess, and Canadian Security Intelligence Service Director David Vigneault take part in a press conference as part of the FBI's Emerging Technology and Securing Innovation Security Summit in California's Silicon Valley on October 17, 2023.

    During a joint press conference by the leaders of the Five Eyes coalition, FBI Director Christopher Wray called the Chinese government the biggest threat to innovation, noting the Chinese Communist Party has made economic espionage and intellectual property theft “a central component of its national strategy.” 

    “Beijing's economic espionage campaign hurts our nations and our people—individual engineers, entrepreneurs, families whose hard work and livelihoods are stolen,” Wray said at the October 17 press conference, which was held during the FBI’s Emerging Technology and Securing Innovation Security Summit in California’s Silicon Valley.  

    Wray convened the single-day summit to unite leaders from the Five Eyes partnership, private industry, and academia to address the threat of innovation theft by China and other hostile nation-states, and to equip attendees with knowledge and partnerships they can use to protect their technology and intellectual property.

    The Five Eyes partnership grew out of the BRUSA agreement, shortly after the end of World War II, to share intelligence and coordinate security efforts. The five member countries have a long history of trust and cooperation, and they share a commitment to common values. The summit marked the first-ever joint public appearance by the coalition’s leaders. 

    “If China wants to be a great nation, it's time to start acting like one: Abiding by its commitments not to steal innovation, following other basic norms like not exporting repression, or working with other nations against dangers that all nations face—like cybercrime, fentanyl trafficking, and money laundering—instead of siding with criminals against rule of law nations everywhere,” he added. “Because until it does, everywhere it flouts the rule of law and tries to undermine our economic security, it's going to find us there together, disrupting their hostile designs, defending our security together—not just as governments, but as five joined societies with public servants, private citizens, and businesses all united against the threat.” 

    MI5 Director General Ken McCallum, Australian Security Intelligence Service Organisation Director-General Mike Burgess, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Director-General of Security and Chief Executive Andrew Hampton, and Canadian Security Intelligence Service Director David Vigneault also participated in the press conference. 

    The summit also included a fireside chat moderated by former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice and closed-door breakout sessions where participants could further discuss the threat posed by China’s hunger for economic and technological dominance, as well as other emerging threats. 

    You can learn more about the summit here


    Director Wray Gives Keynote Address at IACP  

    October 16, 2023 


    On October 14, FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference in San Diego.

    "Our partnerships are stronger than they’ve ever been, and you have my commitment that, from the FBI’s perspective, we’re going to make sure that remains true," said Wray.

    Partnership with law enforcement has been at the core of the Bureau’s mission for more than a century. Referencing the shared mission and “spirit of cooperation” between the FBI and the IACP, Director Wray stressed how sharing our strengths and our resources has been critical to protecting communities across the country.

    More than 6,000 FBI task force officers are stationed across the United States, working with our partners to combat violent crimes, gangs, drugs, organized crime, and child exploitation. Director Wray emphasized recent initiatives in Texas, West Virginia, Georgia, and Indian Country that were successful in large part due to the cooperative efforts of everyone involved.

    Director Wray concluded by thanking the IACP for their continued resolve during challenging times: "The FBI will continue to stand with you and your officers in protecting the people we serve." 

    Approximately 75 FBI executives and other employees also attended the four-day conference, participating in sessions focusing on mass violence and school shooting threats, today’s crisis negotiators, and gang-involved child sex trafficking, among other topics.

    Full story.

    Remarks as delivered.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    October 13, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    FBI Portland Seizes 25 Guns, Nearly Nine Kilos of Suspected Cocaine and Makes Five Arrests in Multi-State Takedown
    Five people were arrested in a large-scale drug and gun bust throughout three states.

    • During the operation—which involved over 150 officers, agents, and personnel from federal, state, and local agencies—law enforcement seized nearly nine kilos of cocaine, 25 firearms (11 from one location), nearly $50,000 in cash, and thousands of suspected fentanyl pills.
    • "The amount of suspected fentanyl alone that we seized in this operation will make a difference in our communities. 25 guns now off the streets, kilos of drugs out of circulation, that’s an impact," said FBI Portland Special Agent in Charge Kieran L. Ramsey. "In a coordinated effort across three states the FBI and our partners, worked seamlessly to cut into the capabilities of these criminal enterprises and we are working hard to put the most violent offenders and facilitators behind bars for as long as we possibly can."
    • Full press release

    Bixby Man Gets Life for Carjacking, Robbery, and Haikey Creek Park Double Murder
    Hunter Isaiah Hobbs was sentenced to life in federal prison for multiple felonies including carjacking, robbery, and multiple murder charges.

    • "Hunter Hobbs conspired to rob multiple victims in this case. He and his co-defendant shot one victim, a complete stranger, in an attempted carjacking and then killed two of their own friends during this crime spree," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Clint Johnson. "The relentless efforts of this Office, the FBI, and the Tulsa and Broken Arrow Police Departments resulted in the life sentences handed down today."
    • "Today's sentence means Hunter Hobbs will spend the rest of his life behind prison walls for his spree of senseless and violent crimes, which tragically led to the death of two innocent victims," said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. "This case demonstrates the FBI's steadfast commitment to pursuing justice for victims and holding dangerous criminals accountable."
    • Full press release

    Leader and Two Members of Brooklyn-Based Real Ryte Gang Convicted of Violent Racketeering Offenses
    Semaj Smith, a member of the Brooklyn-based street gang Real Ryte, pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to racketeering conspiracy and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.  

    • Between 2015 and 2018, Real Ryte was a violent street gang that operated in Brooklyn. Real Ryte members committed acts of violence, including murder and assault, and also engaged in bank fraud and wire fraud while committing other serious crimes.
    • "The defendants admitted that Real Ryte carried out violent crimes and committed acts of fraud, leaving some victims destitute and others shot." stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace. "These types of organized criminal groups inflict grievous harm on their communities and will not be tolerated."
    • Full press release

    Arizona Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Attempted Murder of a Federal Task Force Officer
    Robert Benjamin Nelson was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder of a federal task force officer and discharging a firearm during a federal crime of violence on March 22, 2023, following a mistrial on January 17, 2023.

    • "These types of shootings are brazened, violent acts, absolutely without justification and a threat to our entire community," said FBI Albuquerque Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda. "An attack on a federal Task Force Officer is a federal crime with serious consequences. Today’s sentencing reflects the FBI’s unwavering commitment to ensure that all those responsible for violence crimes against law enforcement officers are brought to justice."
    • Full press release

    Martha's Vineyard Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Robbery of Falmouth Bank
    Petar Petyoshin pleaded guilty to an armed robbery of a Falmouth bank, during which he zip-tied individuals, brandished a firearm, placed a purported bomb on the counter and fled the scene in the vehicle of a bank customer.

    • In April 2023, Petyoshin entered the bank placed an alleged bomb on the teller counter and brandished a firearm. Petyoshin pointed the firearm at the tellers and customers, telling one bank employee, "I’m robbing you," before having the customers and bank employees zip-tie each other’s hands together. Petyoshin then had two additional tellers place over $20,000 in cash from the bank into a brown bag, took a customer’s car keys and fled the scene in the customer’s vehicle.
    • On May 23, 2023, Petyoshin was arrested on state charges in connection with the robbery. A subsequent search of his residence resulted in the recovery of thousands of dollars in cash bundled together in Rockland Trust money bands, zip ties, and clothing items the suspect was captured wearing on surveillance footage both before and after the robbery. Additionally, 57 firearms and a large quantity of ammunition were seized during the search.
    • Full press release

    Self-Proclaimed King of Bissonett Guilty of Sex Trafficking
    A federal jury in Houston has convicted Larry Lewis of sex trafficking four women by means of force and of taking three women across state lines to engage in prostitution.

    • At trial, the victims detailed how Lewis recruited them on false promises of good money and a good life. Lewis confiscated the identification cards of two women and tightly controlled access to their hotel rooms. The women were completely dependent on him for food, lodging, and basic necessities. In addition, Lewis’ rules dictated where and how long they worked, and the women were required to give Lewis all money they earned after commercial sex dates. 
    • If thee victims broke Lewis' rules, he physically abused them—Lewis kicked one victim in the head into a window, and during another incident, he whipped the same victim with an electrical cord following an attempt to escape using his vehicle. Another victim described how Lewis broke her ribs and left bruises all over her body after receiving many beatings.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Today in FBI History 

    October 11, 2023 

    On October 11, 1925, Special Agent Edwin C. Shanahan was waiting in a Chicago garage. He’d heard from sources that Martin J. Durkin, a car thief who had previously wounded four police officers to evade capture, would be hiding a stolen car there.

    When Durkin arrived, Shanahan approached the vehicle and attempted to place Durkin under arrest. Durkin grabbed a revolver from his front seat and shot the agent in the chest before escaping the garage. Shanahan died on the scene at the age of 32.

    Shanahan was the first FBI agent killed in the line of duty. Durkin was later apprehended and sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder, plus an additional 15 years for auto theft.


    Are You Cyber Secure? 

    October 10, 2023 

    October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

    Do you know the best ways to protect your computer, network, and personal information?

    • You can practice good cyber hygiene at home by keeping your systems and security software updated, securing your data and data backups, and being cautious while online.
    • If you believe you are the victim of a ransomware attack, you should immediately report it to your local FBI field office or to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. The sooner you report it, the sooner we can assess the situation and provide the appropriate assistance.
    • Businesses can partner with the FBI to better understand their cyber risk factors and enhance our response in the event of an attack. Having an organizational incident response plan in place can help ensure continuity of operations if you are targeted or victimized by a cyberattack.
    • To help children understand the importance of safe online surfing, visit sos.fbi.gov. The Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge was developed by the FBI to help students learn about online safety-- keeping each grade level's online usage and knowledge in mind—while engaging in fun, interactive games.  

    The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating cyberattacks and intrusions, and we take proactive steps to ensure our partners have the information they need. 

    Learn more about what you can do rotect yourself from cyber criminals, how you can report cyber crime, and the FBI’s efforts in combating the evolving cyber threat.
     
    Additional resources:


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    October 6, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases

    Frank James Sentenced to Life In Prison for Subway Mass Shooting
    Frank James was sentenced to 10 concurrent life sentences in prison, plus 10 years to run consecutively for shooting 10 people during an attack on the New York City subway in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, on April 12, 2022.  

    • James previously pleaded guilty to all 11 counts of a superseding indictment, which included 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation vehicle—one count for each gunshot victim—and one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of his violent attack.
    • "Today, Frank James was rightfully sentenced for his deliberate and calculated act of terror against our city," stated FBI New York Assistant Director-in-Charge James Smith. "He aimed to kill innocent people, who were simply going about their daily lives amid the morning rush. It is because of the dogged determination and vigilance of the investigators of the FBI New York’s Joint Terrorism Task force that James was brought to justice and is facing the consequences he rightfully deserves."  
    • Full press release

    Washington Man Sentenced for Hate Crime Targeting LGBTQI+ Community at Seattle Nightclub
    Kalvinn Garcia was sentenced in federal court for committing a hate crime in connection with an arson at a nightclub and event space in Seattle, Washington.

    • Garcia set fire to the contents of a dumpster in the alley directly behind the nightclub, and was arrested minutes after setting the fire. Garcia admitted that through the use of fire, he willfully attempted to cause bodily injury to the occupants of the nightclub because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
    • "Mr. Garcia admitted to setting the fire in an effort to hurt people based on his own bias," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "No person in the United States should fear for their safety based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. I am proud of the continued work of the FBI and our partners in protecting the civil rights of all people."
    • Full press release

    Las Vegas Man Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison for Committing Two Armed Carjackings, Shooting at Police During Car Pursuit, and Assaulting a Federal Corrections Officer
    Justin Venegas was sentenced to 23 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for two carjackings during which he brandished a firearm and shot at one victim, shooting at police officers during the vehicle pursuit, and for assaulting a federal officer while in custody.

    • "The defendants’ sentence should serve as a deterrent to anyone who is considering terrorizing the safety and security of our community by committing armed carjackings," said FBI Las Vegas Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans. "The sentence also reflects the severity of the crime and the commitment of the FBI, along with our federal, state, and local partners, to reduce the potential of future carjacking offenses, a major driver of violent crimes."
    • Full press release

    Bronx Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Drug-Related Shooting on Crowded Manhattan Sidewalk
    Michael Rowe was sentenced to 22 years in prison for shooting another man over a $150 drug debt on a crowded sidewalk in Hell’s Kitchen on April 29, 2023.  

    • "Michael Rowe resorted to a reckless act of violence when his victim failed to pay him just $150," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "Rowe could have taken someone’s life on that crowded sidewalk in Hell’s Kitchen over a trivial drug debt, but fortunately, no bystanders were hurt, and the victim survived his injuries. Thanks to the quick work of our law enforcement partners and the prosecutors of this Office, Rowe now faces prison time for his dangerous behavior."
    • Full press release

    Camden County Man Sentenced to 100 Years in Federal Prison After Pleading Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of Children
    Michael Williams Kersey was sentenced to 1,200 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to engage in sexual exploitation of children; three counts of sexual exploitation of children; and possession of child pornography.

    • Kersey’s co-defendant, Lesley Henry, produced sexually explicit images and sent them to Kersey. Henry is serving more than 30 years in prison.
    • "Kersey’s determination to pursue lurid desires shows his lack of fear of the law and a willingness to harm children no matter how young they are," said FBI Senior Supervisory Special Agent Will Clarke of the FBI's Savannah office. "Although the FBI can never fully repair the damage inflicted by these predators, we can ensure that justice is served on those who commit these terrible crimes."
    • Full press release

    Inmate at FCI-Berlin Sentenced to an Additional 30 Months for Assaulting Another Inmate
    Aniel Gomez was sentenced in federal court for assaulting another inmate, and also ordered to pay $1,392 in restitution to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    • On December 19, 2022, Gomez beat another inmate with a homemade weapon consisting of two padlocks strapped together. As a result, the victim suffered head trauma, including the loss of teeth and lacerations above the right eyebrow and back of the head.
    • "Today’s sentence makes it clear that prison is not a place to continue committing crimes," said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen. "Aniel Gomez brutally beat a fellow inmate and will now spend more time behind bars for jeopardizing that inmate’s safety and the safety of the prison’s staff. This case demonstrates how the FBI will not hesitate to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that anyone who engages in violence will be brought to justice."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    FBI Archives: Finding Answers in Osage      

    October 4, 2023

    In the 1920s, a series of unsolved murders in Osage County, Oklahoma, struck fear across the nation. The Bureau of Investigation—which later became the FBI—was called in to investigate.

    Anna Brown, an Osage Native American, had been found dead in May 1921 with a bullet wound in the back of her head. Two months later, her mother died suspiciously. Two years later, her cousin was shot to death and her sister and brother-in-law died in a house explosion.

    The mysterious deaths in Osage continued. At least two dozen people, including other Osage Native Americans, an oilman, and a lawyer were killed inexplicably.

    Osage Native American Anna Brown, murdered in 1921, leading to the FBI's Osage Hills murders investigation.

    Anna Brown

    Early evidence pointed to William Hale, a local cattleman and oil tycoon with an eye on controlling the oil discovered on the Osage Indian Reservation.

    However, solving the case was another matter. Locals weren’t eager to talk with the federal agents, who went undercover as an insurance salesman, cattle buyer, oil prospector, and herbal doctor to turn up evidence. Over time, they gained the trust of the community and built a case. The agents were able to prove that Hale had ordered the murders to gain control of the oil rights and cover up his crimes.

    In 1929, Hale and his accomplices were convicted and sent to prison.

    Read more about the Reign of Terror in Osage and the agents who searched for answers and justice for the victims.

    Additional Resources


    Supporting Indian Country     

    October 2, 2023

    The FBI recently surged personnel and resources to tribal areas to support Native Americans who have been victims of crime in Indian Country.

    During Operation Not Forgotten, more than 220 cases were handled by FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, and staff operations specialists deployed to 10 field offices whose regions support women and children in Indigenous communities. Victim specialists—who are specially trained to understand the cultural sensitivities and unique needs of Native American communities—also provided critical support to victims and their families, ensuring they understood their rights and the resources available to them.

    Through Operation Not Forgotten and the broader Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons strategy, the FBI has continued to enhance its collaboration with tribal law enforcement agencies, tribal governments, and community members. Both initiatives reflect the FBI’s continued dedication to address the violence impacting Indigenous communities, build safer communities, and protect the rights of all individuals.

    Anyone with information relevant to these initiatives is encouraged to submit an online tip at tips.fbi.gov or contact their local FBI office.  

    Additional resources:

    Press release in English and Navajo
    Indian country crime
    Violent crimes against children


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    News Blog - Previous 2023 Entries - January through July https://www.fbi.gov/news/blog-previous-2023-entries The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. <![CDATA[
    ELEVATE Command Staff Briefing

    News Blog

    2023 Entries - January through July


    July 2023 


    Inside the FBI: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist  

    July 31, 2023

    In March 1990, art thieves conned their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Massachusetts and made off with more than $500 million dollars’ worth of masterpieces by artists like Rembrandt, Degas, and Vermeer.

    Since that time, the FBI’s Boston Division has diligently investigated the case—in partnership with the museum and the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office—following leads around the world. More than three decades—and multiple significant case developments—later, the Bureau continues to search for the stolen works. But we need your help.

    On this episode, learn about this historic heist; why the stolen pieces matter to the museum, the art world at large, and the FBI; the $10 million reward being offered by the museum to help recover the artwork; and how you can help the Bureau bring the looted masterpieces back to Boston.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    July 28, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    FBI and Dallas Partners Arrest 15 in Gun, Drug Bust in Texas

    The defendants were charged in a 16-count indictment with a variety of gun and drug crimes, including possession with intent to distribute cocaine and felon in possession of firearms. 

    • During the operation—which involved more than 200 officers and agents from FBI Dallas, the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas Sheriff’s Office, and other local agencies—law enforcement seized more than 540 grams of cocaine, more than 1,100 grams of methamphetamine, more than 150 grams of alprazolam, and more than 7 grams of fentanyl, along with nine firearms and over $10,000 in cash.
    • "Combatting significant violent crime is a priority mission of the FBI,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough. “It's not our goal to just put individuals in jail for a few days, but to build cases that cut into the capabilities of these gangs and criminal enterprises, putting the most violent offenders and facilitators behind bars for as long as we possibly can to keep our communities safe.”
    • Full press release
    The FBI, along with the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, conducted an early morning operation on July 27, 2023, that resulted in 15 arrests of suspected drug gang members and violent criminals. This footage is from operations at multiple locations.

    Transcript / Visit Video Source

    Florida Man Found Guilty of Federal Hate Crimes for Racially Motivated Attack Against Six Black Men Near 1923 Rosewood Massacre Site
    David Emanuel was convicted on all counts for committing hate crimes for his racially motivated attack on a group of Black men who were surveying land along a public road in Rosewood, Florida.

    • "Despicable, hate-fueled crimes such as these have no place in our state or country," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Jason R. Coody. "The violence directed toward these victims, based solely on their race, is abhorrent and will not be tolerated. With the dedicated assistance of our law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute civil rights violations to ensure justice for those victimized by hate."
    • "Horrific acts of hate-motivated violence like this are devastating to families and communities," said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. "The FBI is fiercely committed to investigating civil rights violations and holding perpetrators accountable."
    • Full press release

    Final MS-13 Gang Member Sentenced for Role in Rival Gang Member’s Murder 
    Jose Gimenez-Lobos, a member and leader of an MS-13 clique in New Jersey, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his involvement in a gang-related murder.

    • Gimenez-Lobos was a conspirator in the murder of a rival gang member in November 2014. He and two other members murdered a Sureño gang member who was at the same apartment as them. The men stabbed the victim several times and beat him over the head with a gun.  
    • The other members, Darwin Solorzano-Quintanilla and Francisco Lemus-Castillo, were sentenced to life in prison. 
    • "Those who choose to commit violent acts will be investigated and held accountable," said FBI Richmond Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador. "The FBI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to vigorously investigate these cases as demonstrated by these sentences."
    • Full press release 

    Former Oregon Corrections Nurse Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting Nine Female Inmates
    Tony Klein was convicted of 17 counts of depriving his victims of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by sexual assault and four counts of perjury. 

    • From 2010 to January 2018, Klein served as a nurse at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. Due to his position, Klein was often alone with the female inmates and used the time to assault them. 
    • Klein was found guilty of assaulting nine female inmates and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
    • "As a state prison nurse, Mr. Klein used his position to intimidate and sexually assault multiple women," said FBI Portland Special Agent in Charge Kieran L. Ramsey. "His heinous actions were only brought to light by a small group of courageous women who came forward, even despite their precarious circumstances of being incarcerated. Their willingness to report their victimization undoubtedly saved others from Mr. Klein’s predatory actions..."
    • Full press release

    Final Defendant Sentenced in Multi-State Dogfighting Ring 
    Herman Tyrone Washington was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a dog fighting conspiracy. 

    • Between December 2017 and August 2021, Washington and other conspirators organized contract matches and role fights. The dogs used were transported from different states and were bred and trained to fight. 
    • In 2020, 93 dogs that were being used in the conspiracy were seized by law enforcement. The conspiracy proved to be a space of extraordinary cruelty for the dogs with at least one conspirator killing those who lost. 
    • Washington and the six other conspirators, Kenneth Otey Jr., Connell Stukes, Raymond Johnson, Jerome Smith, Antonio Ruffin, and Royal Washington were sentenced to a combined 534 months in prison. 
    • "Dogfighting is not a sport, it’s a brutal crime against animals who rarely escape death unless liberated by law enforcement," said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. "The lengthy sentences faced by Washington and others who conspired in this dogfighting ring illustrates that those who seek to profit from the suffering of animals face significant prison time."
    • Full press release

    Federal Grand Jury Charges Three in Molotov Cocktail Attack Last year on Planned Parenthood Clinic 
    Two defendants arraigned and a third arrested for conducting a firebombing attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic. 

    • Chance Brannon, Tibet Ergul, and Xavier Batten were charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of malicious destruction of property by fire and explosion. 
    • Brannon and Ergul were also charged with one count of possession of an unregistered destructive device and one misdemeanor count of intentional damage to a reproductive health services facility. 
    • In February and March of 2022, the defendants plotted to throw a Molotov cocktail at the Planned Parenthood clinic. Brannon and Ergul chose the target, obtained the materials to construct the cocktail, assembled the device, and threw the cocktail at the clinic. Batten advised and directed Brannon regarding how to build the Molotov cocktail.  
    • On March 13, 2022, the cocktail was ignited and thrown at the building, setting it on fire. Because of the fire, the clinic was forced to close and cancel approximately 30 appointments. 
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:



    Director Wray Speaks to NOBLE  

    July 27, 2023

    Director Christopher Wray was in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday for the 47th annual training conference of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).

    In his keynote address, Director Wray spoke on some of the larger threats facing law enforcement, including violent crime, counterterrorism, and cyber threats.

    He also addressed NOBLE’s conference theme, “Stronger Together: Reducing and Preventing Crime through Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations.”

    “It would be nearly impossible to overstate just how critical partnerships are to everything we do in today’s threat environment," he said. "Law enforcement remains one of the hardest careers out there, and it’s not getting any easier. These are tough times in our profession, but I honestly believe there’s no higher calling, no better work…There’s no question that we’re stronger—and more effective at protecting the American people—together.”

    Following his remarks, Director Wray visited the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office and met with regional law enforcement partners to reaffirm the FBI’s continued commitment to help stem violent crime in the area and applaud the successes of local task forces. 

    Full story
    Full remarks
    Press release


    The FBI Turns 115 

    July 26, 2023

    FBI 115th Anniversary - English version, 2023

    Happy birthday to the Federal Bureau of Investigation!

    July 26 marks 115 years since U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte established a group of detectives to conduct investigations exclusively for the Department of Justice.

    Since 1908, we have worked to combat crime, support victims, and partner with agencies worldwide to uphold the Constitution and protect the American people.

    Our numbers have grown from 34 special agents to more than 35,000 employees across the United States and around the world serving as special agents, intelligence analysts, language specialists, scientists, IT specialists, and professional staff.

    As we celebrate, we’d like to thank our many partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities who have supported our efforts over the past 115 years.

    The Birth of the Federal Bureau of Investigation


    Today in FBI History 

    July 22, 2023

    An early Dillinger wanted flyer.

    On July 22, 1934, John Herbert Dillinger, one of the most notorious gangsters of his day, resisted arrest outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago and was killed by FBI special agents.

    The events of that July night in Chicago marked the beginning of the end of the Gangster Era. 

    Dillinger, whose name once dominated the headlines, was a notorious and vicious thief. From September 1933 until July 1934, he and his gang terrorized the Midwest, killing 10 men, wounding 7 others, robbing banks and police arsenals, and staging 3 jail breaks—killing a sheriff during one and wounding two guards in another.

    Full story.

    Interested in reading more about the FBI’s history? Visit fbi.gov/history.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    July 21, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crimes across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft. 

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI violent crime news and press releases.  

    Missouri Woman Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for the Sexual Exploitation of Children
    Brittany Bailey was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release, while also being ordered to register as a sex offender for 25 years and pay $25,000 in restitution to her victims. 

    • Bailey pleaded guilty to advertising child pornography for her involvement with an online group called “Taboo Parents.” In this group, she sent images to an undercover law enforcement officer who she thought was a pedophile, asking him to sexually abuse the child in said images. 
    • Bailey also created her own online group that was dedicated to exchanging child sexual abuse material. Bailey shared videos of child pornography in this group and encouraged other members to do the same. 
    • During a search of Bailey’s home, agents recovered electronic devices containing several images and videos of the sexual abuse of children. 
    • Full press release 

    D.C. Man Indicted in a Six-Count Federal Indictment After Deadly Carjacking Spree
    Daeyon Ross was indicted in connection with a carjacking spree that left one Maryland resident and two dogs dead. 

    • On July 2, 2023, Ross carjacked multiple cars in Prince George’s County, Maryland. During the carjackings, Ross, using a stolen handgun, shot a 56-year-old off-duty Metro bus driver and two dogs. 
    • After the shootings, Ross re-entered D.C. and crashed the carjacked vehicle in a residential neighborhood. After the crash, Ross used his handgun to carjack another vehicle. 
    • When attempting to flee, Ross crashed into the Maryland law enforcement officer who followed him to D.C. and exchanged gunfire with the officers before surrendering. 
    • Full press release

    Long Beach Man Found Guilty of Federal Charges for Bombing of Aliso Viejo Spa That Killed Ex-Girlfriend and Severely Injured Two Others 
    In 2018, a bomb built and planted by Stephen William Beal exploded inside a day spa, killing his ex-girlfriend and causing lifelong damage to her two clients. 

    • While Ildiko Krajnyak, owner of the Magyar Kozemetika day spa, was out of the country, Beal entered her business and left the package bomb for Krajnyak to open upon her return. On May 15, 2018, Krajnyak opened the package and was instantly killed by the explosion. Her two clients were injured. 
    • Beal was found guilty of four felony counts: use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, malicious destruction of a building resulting in death, use of a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence, and possession of an unregistered destructive device. 
    • Full press release

    Four Mean Charged with Targeting and Robbing Victims Selling Apple Products on Popular Online Marketplace
    The men have been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, conspiracy to use and carry a firearm during a crime of violence, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

    • Jordan Denzel Lewis, Tyrell Brion Bouie, Anthony Christopher Diggs Jr., and Johntaevious Henry Johnson targeted their victims on a national online marketplace that allows users to list items for sale. 
    • From June to October 2022, the men conspired to rob and robbed people who posted Apple products for sale on the marketplace. The indictment claims the men used firearms in some of the robberies. 
    • Along with the previously mentioned charges, Lewis has also been charged with illegal possession of a firearm due to his status as a convicted felon. 
    • Full press release

    Ferndale Man Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking Children
    Toriano Davis pled guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor. 

    • Law enforcement began investigating Davis while trying to locate two minors who were thought to be trafficked in the Detroit area. Davis was found in a motel room with a nude 15-year-old girl.  
    • Additional investigation found that Davis had trafficked at least two minor victims, rented motel rooms for them to engage in commercial sex, and assisted them with advertising online for commercial sex dates. 
    • Davis took the proceeds from the minors’ commercial sex dates for his own use, including drugs. He also had sex with the minors and recorded it. 
    • “The sexual abuse and trafficking of children is a scourge on our community that leaves an indelible mark on victims,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Dawn Ison. “The video recording of that abuse only perpetuates the abuse. This defendant committed these heinous acts while on bond in a federal drug case. The lengthy sentence imposed today will protect the public from this defendant and help keep out community safe for children.” 
    • Full press release

    Ex-ATM Technician Sentenced to Federal Prison for Armed Bank Robbery in Tallahassee
    Johnson Saint-Louis was sentenced to 147 months in federal prison for armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. 

    • Saint-Louis, a former ATM technician, spent two years traveling around the southeast tampering with ATMs serviced by his former employer.  
    • Over the two-year period, Saint-Louis robbed four ATM technicians sent out to fix problems he caused. Saint-Louis was also observed traveling to different Bank of America locations with a firearm and notes describing the banks and whether they were good targets for future robbery. 
    • “This serial armed robber endangered the lives of multiple victims,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Jason Coody. “Through the coordinated efforts of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, his multi-state crime spree has ended, and he has been held accountable for his criminal conduct. This sentence illustrates our shared resolve to keep out communities safe and the significant consequences associated with such federal crimes of violence.”  
    • Full press release

    Director Wray Testifies on Capitol Hill 

    July 20, 2023

    Director Wray Testifies Before House Judiciary Committee on July 12, 2023

    FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee on July 12 about the FBI’s work to protect the American people and uphold the U.S. Constitution.

    In his opening remarks, Director Wray praised the FBI’s 38,000 employees for their commitment to public service. He thanked the FBI’s partners as well, particularly the 6,000 task force officers from state and local agencies who bring tremendous value to the FBI’s investigations.

    “We are honored and humbled by their trust in us, and grateful for their partnership, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. To truly appreciate the impact the FBI and our partners are having, you’ve got to look at the cases.”

    The FBI’s casework has resulted in thousands of arrests across a wide variety of threats – from violent crime and drug trafficking to intellectual property theft.

    “And that’s just scratching the surface,” said Director Wray.


    FBI Crisis Response Canines 

    July 19, 2023

    Wally and Gio, two English Labrador Retrievers, are the FBI’s crisis response canines. Since 2015, the pair have been working steadily by visiting hospitals and supporting command posts by helping to console victims and first responders.

    FBI Crisis Response Canines Wally (left) and Gio (right)

    The FBI Victim Services Division crisis response canines achieved a new milestone recently when Gio was permitted for the first time to accompany a victim during testimony in federal court. Crisis response canines work to mitigate stress and anxiety experienced by victims of crime.

    Gio and another canine, Wally, joined the FBI in 2015. Learn more about how they help victims and family members.


    Combating Violent Crime in San Juan 

    July 18, 2023

    An investigation led by the FBI, with the assistance of several local and federal organizations, has resulted in the arrests and indictments of dozens of members of a violent drug trafficking gang, Los 1,500, based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    The Los 1,500 gang spent decades bringing violence and drugs into the communities of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Recently, an extensive investigation led by the FBI interrupted the gang’s work and restored peace in many Puerto Rican communities. And dozens of Los 1,500 members now face federal drug and firearms charges. 

    "The communities in Puerto Rico are faced with many challenges due to economic hardships, which create an opportunity for criminal enterprises to flourish," said FBI San Juan Assistant Special Agent in Charge Guillermo Gonzalez. "As a direct result of gang violence, these communities live in turmoil and have limited access to services that could improve their quality of life."


    51 Years of Female Special Agents 

    July 17, 2023

    In May 1972, the FBI began accepting applications from women for the special agent position. On July 17 of that year, Joanne Pierce (Misko)—in the foreground in the red dress—and Susan Roley (Malone)—partially visible near the back of the group—were sworn in as the first two women special agents in modern times.

    On this day in 1972, Joanne Pierce (Misko) and Susan Roley (Malone) entered the FBI Training Academy as the Bureau's first female special agents. By the end of that year, 11 women would be sworn in as special agents. 

    Today, women serve in all 56 FBI field offices—and are leading many of them. They have climbed into the leadership ranks and are making an undeniable impact on cases and investigations every single day.

    Learn more about the achievements of Joanne and Susan and of female agents that followed:

    Interested in joining the FBI? Learn more about the special agent position—and all employment opportunities—at fbijobs.gov.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    July 14, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Long Island Bloods Gang Member Sentenced to Life Plus 22 Years in Prison for Racketeering, Murder, Sex Trafficking, and Other Crimes 
    Lawrence Lewis, also known as "L Boogs," was convicted for the forcible rape and sex trafficking of a Suffolk County woman, narcotics possession and distribution, witness tampering, firearms charges, and murder.

    • From 2004 to 2019, Lewis used his gang membership to distribute large quantities of cocaine base and heroin in Suffolk County. To protect his narcotics, Lewis possessed an extensive number of firearms, including an AR-15 assault rifle, 12-gauge shotgun, and a semi-automatic pistol. 
    • In addition, Lewis engaged in acts of extreme violence, including forcing a Suffolk County woman into prostitution until she repaid her debt. During the same period of time, Lewis forcibly raped the same woman.  
    • Lewis was also charged in the murder of a rival gang member, John Birt, a member of the Crips gang.
    • "Today’s life sentence assures that Lawrence Lewis' violent criminal behavior that plagued Long Island communities has been brought to a definitive conclusion," said Homeland Security Investigations New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo. "While nothing can erase the pain and suffering endured by his victims, no one else will be harmed by this unrepentant individual who has shown a wanton disregard for human life."
    • Full press release 

    Yakima Man Sentenced to 300 Months Imprisonment and Lifetime Supervised Release for Production and Attempted Production of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography 
    Miguel Urbina pleaded guilty to two counts of production and attempted production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, resorting in a 25-year prison sentence, lifelong supervised release, and a spot on the sex offender registry. 

    • In February 2007, Urbina and a partner placed a purse with a concealed video camera inside a mall bathroom. The camera captured explicit images and video of minors using the bathroom and were saved to Urbina’s computer hard drive.  
    • From November 2008 to November 2009, Urbina produced and attempted to produce child pornography with a minor. 
    • In April 2020, the FBI executed a search on Urbina’s residence and seized a hard drive that contained thousands of images of child pornography, including the device used in the mall bathroom. 
    • "As a parent and as a law enforcement officer, I am horrified at Mr. Urbina's blatant pattern of exploiting and victimizing children," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "...The digital images child predators create are as lasting as the harm they cause, and we continue to fight with the hope that the consequences will deter a future offender."
    • Full press release

    Columbus Armed Robber Sentenced to Over 21 Years for Violent Crime Spree 
    Janerio Jones teamed up with his stepbrother to commit multiple armed robberies, both were sentenced to prison.  

    • Janerio Jones was sentenced to 259 months in prison for his participation in seven violent armed robberies after pleading guilty to two counts of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. 
    • Jones and Quentin Anderson, the stepbrother and co-defendant, robbed seven businesses from January 2021 to February 2021. The men would enter the establishments pointing their weapons at the staff and demanding money. In one instance, Jones fired shots at a store owner who refused to give the men money. 
    • Co-defendant Anderson was sentenced to 200 months in prison. 
    • "No one should ever be terrorized physically or emotionally, like the victims in these violent armed robberies were," said Special Supervisory Resident Agent Rich Bilson of FBI Atlanta's Columbus office. "Thanks to the assistance from our local law enforcement partners, Jones and Anderson will spend a long time behind bars where they won't be able to wreak havoc on any more innocent civilians."
    • Full press release

    Former Warren Police Officer Charged with Using Excessive Force Against a Jail Prisoner 
    Matthew J. Rodriguez faces up to ten years in prison for being charged under color of law after violating a prisoner’s civil rights. 

    • In June 2023, the victim was brought into the Warren Police Department after being arrested. While processing the victim, Rodriguez assaulted him without justification. 
    • Rodriguez struck the victim in his head, shoved him against a wall, threw him on the floor, and while the victim was on the floor, punched him in the head repeatedly and slammed his head into the floor. 
    • "One of the FBI’s most important missions is to protect the civil rights of all people, including those in police custody," said FBI Detroit Acting Special Agent in Charge Devin J. Kowalski. "This defendant’s alleged conduct is not reflective of the honor and professionalism with which the men and women of the Warren Police Department perform their duties. I am grateful for the collaboration with the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office and the Warren Police Department which has been essential to this investigation."
    • Full press release 

    Chicago Street Gang Leaders Convicted on Federal Racketeering Charges 
    Three leaders of a Chicago street gang were convicted for their participation in a criminal organization that murdered rivals and violently protected its perceived territory in the city’s South Side. 

    • Romeo Blackman, Terrance Smith, and Jolicious Turman were indicted in 2018 after a joint federal and state investigation found that the defendants stole firearms, violently prevented witnesses from cooperating with law enforcement, and publicly boasted about gang activities on social media. 
    • The men were found responsible for a combined six murders and two attempted murders. 
    • Blackman and Smith are facing mandatory life sentences, while Turman faces a maximum of 20 years.  
    • "Combating violent street gangs is a top priority in our office," said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Morris Pasqual. "We will use all lawful tools and resources at our disposal to dismantle those street gangs and disrupt the cycle of violence in Chicago and the surrounding areas."
    • Full press release 

    Wapato Man Sentenced to 96 Months in Prison for Manslaughter and Aggravated Assault
    Brandon Kelly Root was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  

    • Root was driving in the Yakama Nation in the Eastern District of Washington while under the influence of alcohol. He crossed the center line of the roadway and struck another car head on.
    • Four individuals were in the other vehicle—two were killed and the others, one of whom was a minor child, suffered serious bodily injury.
    • "This tragedy would have never happened had Mr. Root acted responsibly," said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. "Instead, his decision to drive while intoxicated caused two people to lose their lives, others to suffer serious injuries, and families and loved ones to face agonizing loss from a preventable collision. We know this sentence will keep our communities safer and dissuade future drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel."
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    July 7, 2023 

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Young Man Sent to Prison for Over 30 Years for Crime Spree 
    A Houston man has been sent to federal prison for robbery and brandishing a firearm during a 12-hour, one-man crime spree. 

    • Jose Luis Perez Jr. was sentenced to 372 months in prison for committing multiple commercial aggravated robberies during a 12-hour period from March 2, 2021, to March 3, 2021. 
    • Entering the businesses with a rifle, Perez Jr. would brandish his weapon on the store clerks and demand money from the registers. Clerks saw his vehicle when fleeing the scene, eventually leading to his arrest.  
    • "This young man has thrown most of his life away," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar Hamdani. "At 22 now, he will likely be an old man before his release from federal prison. Crime does not pay. Jose Luis Perez terrorized the Houston area or 12 long hours, robbing convenient stores and a gas station at gun point. Thanks to brave victims who relayed concise and expeditious information, law enforcement was able to stop his reign of terror before it became even worse."
    • Full press release 

    Kentucky Man Arrested on Child Exploitation Offenses 
    Aden Willis Yeager was indicted on four counts of child exploitation charges.   

    • Yeager is facing up to life in prison for events involving the sexual exploitation of a minor that occurred between April 2020 and October 2020. 
    • Yeager has been charged with one count of production of child pornography, one count of coercion and enticement of a minor, one count of transportation of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography. 
    • "Summer is here, and children will have an increased online presence. I encourage parents to have open and ongoing conversations about safe and appropriate online behavior," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Prim F. Escalona. "My office, in collaboration with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will continue in our efforts to protect our most vulnerable victims—our children."
    • Full press release 

    Three Members of Drug Trafficking Organization Plead Guilty to Importing and Distributing Narcotics 
    Angel Adan Valenzuela, Benjamin Soto Jr., and Refugio Veronica Quintero Moreno worked with a Mexico-based drug trafficking organization to import and distribute drugs across the country.

    • From January 2020 to April 2022, the men worked with others to transport narcotics from Mexico through the port of entry in Nogales by car and ship those narcotics across the United States.  
    • From September 2021 to November 2021, agents identified and intercepted 21 packages sent in the manner the men packaged them. More than 30 kilograms of methamphetamine, 20 kilograms of cocaine, seven kilograms of fentanyl, and four kilograms of heroin were found in these packages. 
    • The men pled guilty to conspiring to import five kilograms or more of cocaine, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and conspiring to distribute those amounts of those substances and Ritalin. 
    • Full press release 

    Serial Robbers Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Robbery and Pair of Commercial Armed Robberies in South Tampa and Ybor City 
    Antonio Brown and Steve Jackson conspired to commit armed robberies at two auto parts stores in the Tampa area.  

    • On August 29, 2021, Brown and Jackson entered two auto parts stores, brandished their firearms, and demanded money from the stores’ employees.  
    • Both Brown and Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, two counts of robbery, and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. They are facing up to 20 years in prison. 
    • Full press release 

    Los Lunas Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Firearms and Drug Offenses
    Russell Wheeler pleaded guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and one count of attempt to manufacture methamphetamine on May 26, 2022.

    • In 2021, following an argument, Wheeler shot a man in the head with a revolver before fleeing the scene. Wheeler was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2005 and aggravated fleeing from law enforcement in 2007, both felonies. As a previously convicted felon, Wheeler cannot legally possess firearms or ammunition.
    • Following the incident, the FBI sought and executed a search warrant on Wheeler’s home and recovered two firearms. They also discovered an active methamphetamine lab.
    • Full press release

    Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Violent Carjacking Conspiracy Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers
    Between September and October 2021, Shevirio Kavirion Childs-Young, along with others, engaged in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies, targeting Uber and Lyft drivers.

    • As part of the scheme, members of the conspiracy lured victim-drivers to particular locations under the guise of picking up or dropping off passengers.
    • When the victim-drivers arrived, members of the conspiracy forced the victim-drivers at gunpoint to unlock their cell phones and provide passcodes.
    • The conspiracy members then transferred money, via Cash App or other applications, from the accounts of the victim-drivers to the accounts of members of the conspiracy.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    Keeping Older Adults Safe From Scams   

    July 6, 2023

    More than 88,000 people over age 60 collectively lost $3.1 billion last year in scams targeting older adults, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) 2022 Elder Fraud Report.

    Common schemes include cold calls offering tech support, fake investment opportunities, and romance and confidence scams.

    More than 60 grandparent scams—where criminals impersonate a panicked loved one—accounted for $3.8 million in losses in 2022, according to the IC3.

    The actual number is likely far higher, investigators say, because many elder fraud scams go unreported.

    Can you and your older loved ones recognize the signs of a potential scam?

    - Full story


    June 2023 

    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    June 30, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Denver Man Sentenced to 27 Years in Federal Prison for 10 Armed Bank Robberies 
    Jerome Bravo has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison after earlier pleading guilty to ten counts of bank robbery and three counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. 

    • The defendant and his codefendant robbed ten banks in Denver, Aurora, and Arvada, between Jan. 6, 2021, and March 31, 2021. The two were nicknamed the “Brazen Bandits” for their risky tactics during the commission of the robberies. 
    • "This is a criminal who terrorized employees and customers at 10 banks across metro Denver in just three months," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. "This case is an example of why the FBI Denver Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force and Project Safe Neighborhoods are so important in our work to keep communities safe. We will continue to partner with local law enforcement to get violent criminals off the streets and reduce gun crimes."
    • Full press release

    Oklahoman Convicted of Kidnapping Estranged Wife by Gunpoint
    Joshua Anthony Wallin was found guilty of kidnapping and brandishing a firearm during the crime.

    • In the early morning hours of June 23, 2021, Wallin confronted his estranged wife at her home in Crescent, Oklahoma, holding her at gunpoint and subjecting her to a two-day ordeal.
    • "Joshua Wallin’s maniacal decision to kidnap and torture his estranged wife and one-year-old son and later point a gun at the baby’s head caused two days of terror from places in Oklahoma to Texas," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar S. Hamdani. "Thanks to the heroic efforts of first responders, the child and mother were able to survive their frightening nightmare, and now Wallin will pay the price for his actions."
    • Full press release

    Passenger Arrested in Alaska for Multiple Crimes Aboard an Aircraft 
    The FBI arrested Christian David Burch for multiple crimes aboard an aircraft, including interference with flight crew members and attendants, and simple assault within maritime and territorial jurisdiction. 

    • Burch had allegedly become combative, refused crew members' instructions, and began fighting with the crew members, causing minor injuries.
    • With the help of several passengers and crew members, Burch was restrained mid-flight for passenger and crew safety, and given Narcan for a suspected overdose. 
    • Burch faces up to 20 years in federal prison. 
    • Full press release 

    Virginia-Area Man Who Groomed a Child Online and Sexually Assaulted Her After Moving to Wisconsin Receives 20 Years in Federal Prison 
    Stanley J. Seifert III was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment, followed by 20 years' supervised release, and a lifetime sex-offender registration after pleading guilty to child enticement and receiving child pornography. 

    • When Seifert was living in Virginia, he met a then-15-year-old from Wisconsin on an online game platform. Unknown to the child’s parents, Seifert groomed her for months, then moved to Wisconsin to be closer to the victim and sexually assaulted her. 
    • "The United States Department of Justice has made the protection of our nation's children a top priority through Project Safe Childhood and other efforts...Anyone involved in the enticement of children, including anyone who travels for the purpose of meeting with a child for sexual purposes, will be investigated thoroughly and prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Gregory J. Haanstad. 
    • Full press release 

    Indictment Charges Alleged Members of Drug Trafficking Organization in Drug, Gun, and Money Laundering Charges 
    Law enforcement arrested 12 alleged members of a violent drug trafficking organization, known as the "Kennedy Street Crew," or "KDY." 

    • KDY members operated open-air drug markets in and around the 100-1200 blocks of Kennedy Street in Northwest Washington, D.C., as well as the surrounding streets.  
    • The defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute several controlled substances, including fentanyl, cocaine base, and marijuana, and utilizing firearms, including fully automatic weapons, to enforce and protect the crew’s territory, including through intimidation and acts of violence.   
    • KDY crew members also conspired to establish shell companies through which they launder the proceeds of their drug trafficking.  
    • Full press release 

    Pineville Woman Indicted for Killing Unborn Child of Kidnapping Victim
    A Pineville, Missouri, woman who was previously indicted for the kidnapping and murder of a pregnant Arkansas woman now faces an additional charge of killing her victim's unborn child.

    • Amber Waterman, and her husband, Jamie Waterman, were charged in a three-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury. 
    • Between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, 2022, Amber Waterman kidnapped Ashley Bush in order to claim her unborn child as her own.
    • Amber Waterman transported Bush from Maysville, Arkansas, to Pineville. The indictment alleges the kidnapping resulted in Bush’s death—the superseding indictment also alleges that Amber Waterman thereby caused the death of a child in utero.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Inside the FBI: Top Ten Fugitive Wilver Villegas-Palomino  

    June 28, 2023


    On April 14, the FBI added Wilver Villegas-Palomina to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. A ranking member of the National Liberation Army or Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), Villegas-Palomino has been charged with narcoterrorism, international cocaine distribution conspiracy, and international cocaine distribution.

    The U.S. Department of State Narcotics Rewards Program is offering up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest and/or his conviction.

    Listen to this episode of Inside the FBI for a closer look at the investigation into Villegas-Palomino.



    On This Day in FBI History 

    June 22, 2023

    Baby picture of Charles Lindbergh junior before he was kidnapped and murdered by Bruno Hauptmann in 1932.

    Charles Lindbergh Jr.

    June 22, 1932: In response to the Lindbergh kidnapping case and other high profile kidnappings, Congress passed the Federal Kidnapping Act. This act gave the FBI authority to investigate kidnappings perpetrated across state lines.

    Bulger Captured Top Ten 3 Photos

    June 22, 2011: James “Whitey” Bulger—a fugitive for 16 years and a Ten Most Wanted Fugitive for 12 years—was arrested in Santa Monica, California, by an FBI-led task force. In the 1970s and 1980s, Bulger ran a violent criminal organization from South Boston. In 2013, he was convicted of murdering 11 people and committing other crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison.

    Interested in reading more about the FBI’s history? Visit fbi.gov/history.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    June 16, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Forty Members of a Violent Gang Charged with Drug Trafficking and Firearms Violations in San Juan, Puerto Rico 
    On June 8, 2023, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment charging 40 violent gang members from the municipality of San Juan with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, possession and distribution of controlled substances, and firearms violations. 

    • The indictment alleges that from 2015 to June 8, 2023, the drug trafficking organization distributed heroin, cocaine base (commonly known as “crack”), cocaine, marihuana, Fentanyl, Oxycodone (Percocet), and Alprazolam (Xanax) within 1,000 feet of the Manuel A. Pérez, the Alejandrino, and the Los Laureles Public Housing Projects (PHPs), and other areas nearby, as well as the San Isidro ward in the Municipality of Canóvanas, all for significant financial gain and profit. 
    • “Violent gangs are a real threat to public safety and this particular gang was among the most violent Puerto Rico has ever seen. The leaders of this organization acted with a complete disregard for authority and human life and caused much harm to the communities in which they operated,” said FBI San Juan Special Agent in Charge Joseph González. “Our commitment to the people of Puerto Rico has been and will continue to be bringing these violent criminals to justice so they can have peace in their communities. As always, the contributions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, as well as those of our federal and local law enforcement partners, were instrumental in disrupting this dangerous criminal enterprise and we remain thankful for their support to the FBI mission.” 
    • Full press release 

    Montana Man Sentenced for Federal Hate and Firearms Crimes for Shooting Intended to Kill and Rid Town of LGBTQI+ Residents 
    John Russell Howald, of Basin, Montana, was sentenced to 18 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for shooting into a residence and attempting to shoot others with the intent of ridding a town of LGBTQI+ residents. 

    • Russell targeted people across his town that he knew identified within the LGBTQIA+ community.  
    • Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said: “This defendant is being held accountable for his horrific attempted mass shooting against the LGBTQI+ community in a Montana town. Howald set out to rid the town of all LGBTQI+ members by killing them. He shot into the home of a lesbian resident, nearly killing her, with the hope of inspiring similar attacks around the country. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, to be free from hate-fueled violence. This Pride Month, we affirm our commitment to using the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act to hold perpetrators of hate-fueled violence targeting the LGBTQI+ community accountable.”
    • Full press release 

    Six Charged With Trafficking In Stolen Human Remains 
    The indictments and information allege that a nationwide network of individuals bought and sold human remains stolen from Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary. 

    • “Some crimes defy understanding,” said U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Gerard M. Karam. “The theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human. It is particularly egregious that so many of the victims here volunteered to allow their remains to be used to educate medical professionals and advance the interests of science and healing. For them and their families to be taken advantage of in the name of profit is appalling. With these charges, we are seeking to secure some measure of justice for all these victims. 
    • The U.S. Attorney’s Office has and will continue to attempt to identify and contact as many of the victims and victims’ families affected by this case as possible. If anyone believes they or a family member may have been affected by the conduct charged in these indictments and information, please contact our Victim and Witness Unit at USAPAM.Victim.Information@usdoj.gov or (717) 614-4249. 
    • Full press release

    U.S. Army Soldier Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Charges for Attempting to Help ISIS Conduct Deadly Ambush on U.S. Troops 
    Cole Bridges pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and attempting to murder U.S. military service members based on his efforts to help the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to attack and kill U.S. soldiers in the Middle East. 

    • Bridges joined the Army in 2019, but became an ISIS supporter after consuming online propaganda that promoted jihadists and their ideology. He thought he was communicating with an ISIS supporter who had contact to ISIS fighters in the Middle East.
    • During this communication, he shared training, guidance, potential targets, instructions on how to attack soldiers in the Middle East, and more.  
    • U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York Damian Williams said: “As he admitted in court today, Cole Bridges attempted to orchestrate a murderous ambush on his fellow soldiers in service of ISIS and its violent ideology. Bridges’s traitorous conduct was a betrayal of his comrades and his country. Thanks to the incredible work of the prosecutors of this office and our partners at the FBI and the U.S. Army, Bridges’s malign intent was revealed, and he now awaits sentencing for his crimes.”    
    • Full press release 

    Evansville Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison After Engaging in Sexually Explicit Conduct with a 14-Year-Old via Facebook Video Chat 
    Stacy Ryan Goldman, of Evansville, Indiana, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a child. 

    • Goldman had contact with a 14-year-old girl through Facebook video chat. Knowing the girl was a minor, he sent her intimate photos of himself and asked her to do the same, threatening to post her photos online. 
    • “Through social media networks and mobile devices, predators like this defendant can gain access to our children’s bedrooms from hundreds of miles away,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers. “Those who might seek to engage in sexual contact with children online should take notice of the federal prison sentence imposed today. Child sexual exploitation is a heinous crime and will be met with serious punishment. Our office, alongside the FBI and our law enforcement partners, are committed to keeping our children safe and holding child sex offenders accountable.” 
    • Full press release

    Ventura County Man Pleads Guilty to Making Death Threats and Bomb Threats to a Nonprofit and Reproductive Health Centers 
    Nishith Tharaka Vandebona pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges making threatening telephone calls, including to a Planned Parenthood office on the day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its Roe v. Wade decision. 

    • Prior to the threats to the Planned Parenthood facilities, Vandebona threatened to bomb and murder the staff of the office of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). 
    • Vandebona will face a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison for the FACE Act count and up to five years in federal prison for the transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce count. 
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:



    Do Your Kids Know About Safe Online Surfing?   

    June 13, 2023

    Safe Online Surfing Program



    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    June 9, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases. 

    FBI Pittsburgh Operation Targets Erie-Based Drug Ring
    Federal prosecutors announced charges against 58 alleged members of a neighborhood street gang that distributed marijuana, prescription hydrocodone, cocaine, cocaine base, heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl powder, and fentanyl pills within the gang’s geographic territory in western Pennsylvania.

    • Defendants engaged in organized criminal activity as part of their membership and association with the 4-Nation gang.
    • "This gang brought violence and despair to our neighborhoods and pedaled drugs onto the streets, exploiting the young and vulnerable," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. "This investigation was a collaborative effort led by the FBI’s EAGLE Safe Streets Task Force and the community will see the impact immediately. I commend the work done by the investigative team and restate the commitment of the FBI and our partners to aggressively pursue those that bring harm to our communities."
    • Full press release
    Raw video footage of operation on June 8, 2023, organized by the FBI's Erie Resident Agency Erie Area Gang Law Enforcement (EAGLE) Safe Streets Task Force.

    Transcript / Visit Video Source

    Bronx Man Convicted of 2018 Murder During Which He Shot the Victim’s 5-Year-Old Son 
    Joshua Rodriguez was found guilty at trial of the Oct. 23, 2018, murder of Jaquan Millien in connection with a drug-trafficking crime.   

    • Rodriguez shot and killed Millien in the Butler Houses in the Bronx, New York. During the shooting, Rodriguez shot Millien’s 5-year-old son, who was with his father at the time.  Millien's son survived. 
    • "Jaquan Millien was bringing his 5-year-old son to an after-school program—something parents do in New York City every day—when he was gunned down in his building’s stairwell," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. "His son not only was shot, but he had to see his father die before his eyes."
    • Williams continued: "Today, a unanimous jury returned a verdict within hours that found Rodriguez shot and killed Millien. While the verdict cannot bring Millien back, we hope today’s verdict brings some measure of justice for Millien’s family and his community..." 
    • Full press release 

    Five Defendants Arrested for Daytime Armed Robberies of Manhattan Jewelry Stores 
    Five defendants were charged with the armed robberies of two Manhattan jewelry stores in which approximately $2 million of jewelry was stolen at gunpoint. 

    • "...Dressed as construction workers, the defendants allegedly sought to blend into the busy streets around them before pointing guns at the jewelry stores' employees and carrying out about $2 million in stolen diamonds and other valuable pieces," said Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
    • "...Violent robberies, especially those with firearms, will not be tolerated by the FBI and our partners in law enforcement," FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll. "The arrests today should serve as a warning to anyone willing to engage in armed robberies—you will face the consequences."
    • Full press release 

    Marysville, Washington Man Who Ran Fentanyl Pill Mill From His Garage Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison 
    Jose Eduardo Garnica pleaded guilty in March 2023 to conspiracy to manufacture and deliver controlled substances, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

    • Garnica had more than two dozen guns, and had mixed dangerous animal tranquilizers with fentanyl pills, increasing overdose risk. 
    • "This case weaves together all the strands that make fentanyl trafficking such a dangerous business," said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Nick Brown. "Mr. Garnica was manufacturing fentanyl pills with deadly powders that could make each pill lethal. His activities contaminated the home he rented, and he had 27 guns—many of them high-powered assault weapons—adding to the danger. This is a significant prison sentence, but appropriate due to the risk he posed to our community."
    • Full press release 

    Sex Offender Gets 40 Years for Sharing Child Pornography in Two States 
    Timothy Lee Tyler pleaded guilty Sept. 12, 2022, to distributing child pornography in 2020 and to possessing child pornography in both 2019 and 2020. 

    • Before imposing the sentence, the court heard Tyler had previously committed hands-on offenses against children he knew through friends and loved ones and that he had encouraged other users on the Kik messaging app to create child pornography for his enjoyment. 
    • "For years, this person preyed upon children," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar S. Hamdani. "Online, he encouraged other predators to abuse their own children for his sick gratification. In real life, he terrorized and abused children of people close to him. This sentence will help ensure he isn’t allowed access to children ever again." 
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:



    On This Day in FBI History   

    June 7, 2023


    June 7, 1999: Usama bin Laden was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Bin Laden was charged in connection with the U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa.

    June 7, 2021: The FBI successfully seized $2.3 million in cryptocurrency allegedly representing the proceeds of a ransom payment to individuals in a Russia-based cybercrime group known as DarkSide that targeted Colonial Pipeline, resulting in critical infrastructure being taken out of operation.

    Interested in reading more about the FBI’s history? Visit fbi.gov/history.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    June 2, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Wanted Fugitive Nida Muhammad Niazy Returned to Sacramento County to Face Sexual Assault Charges 
    Nida Muhammad Niazy is alleged to have sexually assaulted two people last fall. 

    • With the assistance of the FBI Berlin Legal Attaché and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Germany, Niazy was apprehended by Landeskriminalamt Schleswig-Holstein, near Eutin, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on February 23, 2023, pending extradition. 
    • “The FBI is eager to help our law enforcement partners ensure those accused of crimes can and will answer to charges, despite their efforts to flee,” said FBI Sacramento Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan. “We thank our international partners and the FBI International Operations Division for assisting us with our effort to apprehend Mr. Niazy.” 
    • Full press release

    Twelve Quad Cities Gang Members and Associates Indicted on Federal Charges
    A federal grand jury in Davenport, Iowa, returned an indictment charging 12 Quad Cities men with offenses related to a racketeering conspiracy, and who conspired to engage in a years-long pattern of violence, including murder, attempted murders, robbery, and drug trafficking. 

    • “The tremendous work of our investigators and federal partners delivered justice for those impacted by these violent crimes,” said Davenport Police Chief Jeffery Bladel. “These cases demonstrate, the outstanding partnership and collaboration between federal prosecutors and local law enforcement that has a long-term impact on the safety of our community. 
    • Full press release 

    Suburban Houstonian Sentenced for Having More Than 35,000 Child Pornography Files 
    Michael Crisp Jr. has been sentenced to over 17 years in federal prison following his conviction of distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography. 

    • “Cases that involve the sexual exploitation of children are some of the toughest cases our agents work,” said FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge James Smith. “Crisp took pleasure from thousands of images and videos depicting the sadistic sexual exploitation, torture and abuse of children, including infants and toddlers. By choosing to receive and disseminate such graphic imagery, Crisp repeatedly re-victimized the victims. While today’s sentence removes one sexual predator from children’s lives, the FBI’s work continues as there are many more like Crisp still out there.” 
    • Full press release 

    Expatriate Charged with Making Multiple Threats to Kill U.S. Senator and U.S. Marines 
    Eric Charles Welton, an American citizen living in Thailand, was arrested on a criminal complaint charging that he threatened a U.S. senator and members of their staff in September 2021.

    • Welton is also alleged to have made threats against U.S. Marines and others working the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in late 2022.   
    • “Our elected representatives and the public servants who staff their offices must be free to do the people’s work without threats of violence,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “Violent threats against our democratically elected representatives do not just erode our civil discourse—they can undermine our democracy. We will hold accountable anyone who threatens violence targeting our bedrock institutions.” 
    • Full press release 

    Spokane Man Sentenced to 17 Years for Receipt of Child Pornography While on Federal Supervision 
    Christopher Gary Carlson was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for receipt of child pornography, followed by an additional 24 months in prison for violating a previously imposed term of supervised release. 

    • This was Carlson’s third time being sentenced for child pornography crimes. 
      “Today’s 17-year sentence sends a powerful reminder to Mr. Carlson and others like him: Crimes that exploit the most vulnerable among us cannot, and will not, be tolerated,” stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington Vanessa R. Waldref. “Time and again, Mr. Carlson returned to the internet to view and collect depictions of a child’s most horrific experiences. Yet, just as swiftly as Mr. Carlson collected these images and videos depicting this incredible harm, U.S. Probation and the FBI responded, preventing Mr. Carlson from victimizing hundreds if not thousands more minor children.” 
    • Full press release

    Five Columbia Men Sentenced to Federal Prison Following Armed Bank Robbery
    Following the armed robbery of a bank ATM on Fairfield Road in Columbia, South Carolina, five Columbia men have been sentenced collectively to more than 42 years in federal prison. 

    • The defendants stole $108,940 from the ATM.  
    • Law enforcement recovered more than $32,000 in robbery proceeds, four firearms (including the long gun used in the crime), ammunition, and the drum magazine used in the crime, which was loaded with 46 rounds.   
    • Full press release 
       

    Additional resources:



    May 2023 

    Olympic Park Bomber Captured 20 Years Ago Today 

    May 31, 2023

    Eric Rudolph Wanted Poster - Cropped images Only

    Twenty years ago today – on May 31, 2003 – Eric Robert Rudolph, better known as the Olympic Park Bomber, was arrested in North Carolina while rummaging through a dumpster. His capture ended a five-year manhunt for one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.

    Rudolph pleaded guilty to setting off four bombs between 1996 and 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama. The first, which he detonated in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympic games, killed one spectator and injured more than 100 others. In 1997, he planted bombs in Atlanta at an abortion clinic and a lesbian bar. In 1998, he bombed a Birmingham abortion clinic, killing an off-duty police officer and critically injuring a nurse.

    After being placed on the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 1998, Rudolph eluded law enforcement for five years by hiding in the western North Carolina mountains. He is currently serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole.

    Read a behind-the-scenes interview with a former FBI executive about the pursuit and capture of Rudolph.

    Last week, the FBI increased its reward to up to $250,000 for information leading directly to the capture of a Ten Most Wanted Fugitive.



    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    May 26, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Wanted Fugitive Arrested After Multi-Agency Manhunt 
    The FBI, along with its law enforcement partners, arrested Michael Burham on federal and multiple state arrest warrants.  

    • Burham was on the run after a spree of alleged crimes, which include rape and unlawful imprisonment. He was also wanted for kidnapping an elderly couple.
    • “Every single law enforcement team, from Buffalo to South Carolina, was determined and committed to finding this dangerous man,” said FBI Buffalo Special Agent in Charge Matthew Miraglia. “Burham had evaded law enforcement long enough. I am thankful no one was injured and grateful to all the law enforcement agencies that came together, and of course, the community members who provided tips along the way. We all came together. Our communities are safer tonight because of those efforts.” 
    • Full press release 

    Montana Man Sentenced for Assault on Flight Crew on Flight to Juneau, Alaska 
    Eric Richard Bruns was sentenced for assaulting a flight crew member on a commercial airline flight while the plane was landing at the Juneau airport. 

    • “The safety and security of air travel are paramount, and we will continue to prosecute offenders in order to ensure that all passengers are able to travel without fear of assault or harm,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska S. Lane Tucker. “We hope that this case will serve as a warning to others who may consider committing similar acts in the future, and that it will encourage everyone to follow the rules and regulations designed to keep our skies safe and secure.” 
    • Full press release

    FBI Seattle Highlights the Recovery of Four Children Kidnapped From Washington State 
    On National Missing Children’s Day, FBI Seattle highlighted the successful recovery of kidnapped children: 

    • In February 2023, FBI Seattle recovered Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, who was kidnapped by her biological mother from a Vancouver, Washington, shopping mall in 2018.
    • Also, in February 2023, FBI Seattle recovered Breadson John from Vancouver, Washington, who had been missing since June 2022, and was safely recovered in Jasper County, Missouri. 
    • “Child kidnapping cases take a great deal of coordination with other law enforcement agencies, both in and outside the United States, and with our legat offices, which further the FBI mission overseas,” said FBI Seattle Special Agent in Charge Richard A. Collodi. 
    • Full press release  

    Pineville, Louisiana, Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Conspiracy to Commit Forced Labor and Transporting a Minor for Criminal Sexual Activity
    Darnell Fulton used violence, sexual abuse, withholding of food, degradation, and intimidation to coerce multiple minors to work for his brownie baking business and provide him the profits. 

    • “Forced labor, especially when it involves sexual abuse of children, violence, and mental and physical anguish, is heinous conduct that has no place in our society today. The defendant mercilessly exploited children for his own financial gain and personal gratification, and we will not tolerate it,” said Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke. “This sentence demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to standing up for the survivors of forced labor schemes. We will not only pursue and prosecute human and child traffickers, but also seek restitution and use those funds to help survivors rebuild and reclaim their lives.”
    • Full press release

    Arrests Made in 'Operation Broken Bonds,' an Investigation into Violent Crime, Drug Trafficking, and Gun Trafficking in the Central Valley Committed by Gang Members and Associates
    Following a multi-agency investigation in Fresno County, California, that focused on crimes of violence, drug sales, and illegal firearms possession, 10 federal defendants were arrested for racketeering, drug trafficking, violent crimes, and firearms offenses.

    • In July 2021, law enforcement agencies joined together to investigate the ongoing criminal activities committed by gang members for the benefit of the enterprise formed by the coordination of the Nuestra Familia prison gang and the Norteño criminal street gang.
    • On May 25, 2023, nearly 550 federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel executed 54 search warrants: 49 firearms, ammunition, firearm magazines, currency, and controlled substances were seized.
    • More than 25 criminal street gang members and associates were arrested and charged with crimes in either federal or state court.
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    FBI Child ID App  

    May 25, 2023

    Child ID App in Hand

    Today is National Missing Children's Day, and the FBI remains committed to investigating these cases and working to reunite kidnapped or missing children with their loved ones.

    The FBI Child ID app provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children so that it’s literally right at hand if you need it. The app also includes tips on keeping children safe and guidance on what to do during the first crucial hours after a child goes missing.

    (The FBI does not collect or store the information or photos you enter into the app. The data resides on your mobile device unless you choose to send it to authorities in an emergency.)

    You can download the app on iTunes and GooglePlay.

    Learn more about keeping kids safe and how to contact the FBI to report a missing child.


    Reduce Your Organization’s Risk of a Ransomware Attack  

    May 24, 2023

    The FBI has partnered with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) to publish an updated version of the #StopRansomware Guide.

    Developed through the Joint Ransomware Task Force, this guide is designed to help organizations reduce the risk of ransomware incidents by providing best practices for detection, prevention, response, and recovery. The latest update includes lessons learned from the past two years and recommendations on initial access techniques, social engineering, cloud security backups, and threat hunting tips for detection and analysis.

    "The FBI is committed to sharing information with organizations and the public to assist in shoring up network defenses," said Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division. "While the FBI continues to prevent and disrupt cyberattacks, we cannot win the fight against ransomware attacks alone. We urge all organizations to implement these recommendations to ensure stronger resiliency for their networks." 

    Read more about the updated #StopRansomware Guide.


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    May 19, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Judge Imposes Eight Consecutive Life Sentences Plus 260 Years in Prison for ISIS-Inspired 2017 Murder of Eight Victims and Attempted Murder of 18 Others in NYC Truck Attack 
    Sayfullo Saipov carried out a terrorist attack on Oct. 31, 2017, in the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), in which Saipov used a truck to murder eight victims and injure many more on a bike path in lower Manhattan. 

    • More than 20 victims and family members delivered emotional and powerful victim impact statements at Saipov’s sentencing.
    • In total, Saipov was sentenced to eight consecutive life sentences, 260 years in prison to run consecutively, and two additional life sentences to run concurrently to each other and to all other sentences imposed.
    • “Although it has been more than five years since Sayfullo Saipov carried out this horrific, senseless attack in the name of ISIS, the FBI never relented in our pursuit of justice for the victims and their loved ones,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “This case demonstrates the FBI’s steadfast commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who commit acts of violence inspired by terrorist groups.” 
    • Full press release

    Contract Killer Sentenced to Five Consecutive Life Sentences in Prison for Committing Six Murders and One Attempted Murder  
    Ernest Pressley was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences in connection with Pressley's role in murdering four victims in Philadelphia between 2017 and 2018, all in exchange for money.  

    • Pressley's conduct also included his role in the killing of two other victims in 2016 and 2017 and the attempted murder of a woman in 2018. 
    • “Ernest Pressley is a hardened and chronic offender, a true menace to society,” said FBI Philadelphia Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire. “For all the lives he took and families he affected, this contract killer has duly earned each of his life sentences. The FBI and Philadelphia Police Department will continue to focus our partnership and resources on locking up the worst of the worst, like Pressley, who cause so much of the city’s bloodshed.” 
    • Full press release

    Career Criminal Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Violent, Armed Robbery of Indianapolis Car Dealership 
    Jeffrey Fleshood was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to attempted interference with commerce by robbery and felon in possession of a firearm as an armed career criminal.    

    • At the time of his arrest, Fleshood had been previously convicted of six felonies, including residential entry, three separate burglary charges, resisting law enforcement, and possession of methamphetamine. 
    • “This sentence clearly demonstrates the impact and importance of the ongoing collaboration between the FBI and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “This defendant failed to learn from multiple previous felony convictions and instead chose to continue committing acts of violence. The FBI and our law enforcement partners remain committed to ensuring residents feel safe in their homes, places of work and the community.” 
    • Full press release

    Arizona Man Sentenced to 108 Months for Transporting Victim for Prostitution  
    Ashton Jordan was sentenced in federal court to 108 months in prison for transporting a woman from Nevada to Arizona to California for engage in prostitution. 

    • “I applaud the bravery of this victim,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman. “The defendant’s reprehensible actions have forever impacted her life, and for that he will pay a high price. We will never relent in our pursuit of justice for victims.” 
    • “Jordan preyed on, manipulated, and exploited his victim for his own financial gain—he showed zero regard for human life,” said FBI San Diego Acting Special Agent in Charge Houtan Moshrefi. “Sex trafficking happens every day, and it often occurs in plain sight. When you see something that doesn’t feel right, report it to law enforcement. FBI San Diego will continue to collaborate with our partners at every level to hold accountable all who believe a living being can be reduced to a dollar amount.” 
    • Full press release

    St. Louis Man Sentenced to Over 28 Years in Prison for Carjacking, Crime Spree
    Drew Clark was sentenced for a “rampage” that involved carjackings, burglaries, and a home invasion in May of 2021. 

    • Clark was convicted of all charges: three counts of carjacking, three counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of possession of a stolen firearm. 
    • Clark started his spree by stealing a man’s Jeep Cherokee at Union Station in St. Louis on May 22, 2021, as the victim was unloading the vehicle. Inside was the man’s 9mm handgun and a Gibson guitar. 
    • Four days later, Clark committed a series of crimes in less than four hours, often discarding items he’d stolen earlier and stealing new clothing, vehicles, and other items.
    • Full press release

    Los Angeles Harbor Area Gang Members and Associates Targeted in Federal Complaints Alleging Fentanyl and “Ghost Gun” Sales
    Law enforcement arrested seven members and associates of Los Angeles Harbor area street gangs—including from the two largest gangs, Westside Wilmas and Eastside Wilmas—on federal charges alleging the trafficking of firearms and pound quantities of narcotics such as fentanyl.

    • In relation to the charges unsealed, law enforcement seized approximately 23 firearms, 26.2 kilograms of methamphetamine, approximately 23,000 fentanyl pills, 2.4 kilograms of powdered fentanyl, and one kilogram of cocaine.          
    • These arrests are the latest development in a violence reduction initiative started by a joint FBI and Los Angeles Police Department task force targeting gang activity in the Harbor area.  
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    Cycling for Awareness: Police Unity Tour 

    May 18, 2023

    Photo of bicyclists in D.C. participating in 2023 Policy Unity Tour

    A wave of bicyclists in blue jerseys rode through Washington, D.C., on May 12 for the final stretch of the 2023 Police Unity Tour, a multi-day event that culminates each year at the National Law Enforcement Memorial during National Police Week.

    The Police Unity Tour has a primary mission: to raise awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Founded in 1997 by Patrick Montuore, a New Jersey police officer, the annual event has grown from an initial 18 riders to nearly 2,600 from the U.S. and abroad.

    All riders are current or retired law enforcement officers—including some from the FBI—or family members of fallen officers. They meet at various locations across the eastern U.S. coast and ride together to Washington, D.C. 


    Inside the FBI: The Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Data Collection, Revisited 

    May 17, 2023


    The FBI has released its annual report on the number of law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents during the previous year. In 2022, 118 officers died while on duty. 60 died as a result of felonious acts in 28 states and the District of Columbia. 58 died in accidents. For more details on the 2022 LEOKA report, visit fbi.gov/cde and click on "Law Enforcement Explorer."

    The Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Data Collection reports on felonious deaths; accidental deaths; and assaults of city, college/university, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers who met certain criteria at the time of the incident. 

    The FBI has been publishing yearly statistics on officer line-of-duty deaths since 1937. A second report was added in 1960 to cover assaults on officers, and the two reports were combined into one publication in 1982. Through this report, the FBI's LEOKA Program aims to provide potentially lifesaving information to law enforcement agencies.

    Listen to this episode of Inside the FBI for an in-depth look at LEOKA data collection.




    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    May 12, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Leader of Sex Trafficking and Drug Conspiracy Pleads Guilty, Faces Up to Life in Prison 
    Lairon Graham pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute—and to distribute—400 grams or more of fentanyl, as well as sex trafficking by force or coercion.  

    • Between 2013 and August 2021, Graham coerced four victims to engage in commercial sex acts by exploiting their addictions, providing the victims with crack cocaine or heroin.  
    • Graham also used physical violence and threats of physical violence to get the victims to engage in commercial sexual activity. Graham brutally beat one victim on a near-daily basis. 
    • “As today’s plea details, Lairon Graham showed zero regard for human life by deceiving, manipulating, and profiting off those grappling with addiction for his benefit,” said FBI Buffalo Special Agent in Charge Matthew Miraglia. “The FBI’s focus is, and always will be, on protecting our communities from these violent offenders. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue our collaborative efforts to identify and dismantle violent gangs found to be dealing in the deadly drug trade.” 
    • Full press release 

    Former Federal Agent Sentenced to Life in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Two Women and Preventing Them From Reporting Attacks  
    John Jacob Olivas, a former special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, was sentenced to life in federal prison for sexually assaulting two women and abusing his official position to prevent them from reporting his violent conduct. 

    • U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California Jesus G. Bernal said that Olivas had engaged in “systematic torture of women” and was an individual whose “senseless” crimes would cause his victims to “live with this trauma for the rest of their lives.” 
    • “John Jacob Olivas not only used the power of his position to commit horrific acts of violence and silence his victims—his actions while employed as a government agent served to undermine the efforts of honorable law enforcement officials,” said FBI Los Angeles Assistant Director in Charge Donald Alway. “This significant sentence should not only deliver a measure of justice to his victims, but restore trust in government as we hold accountable individuals who use their position to violate civil rights.” 
    • Full press release 

    Detroit Street Gang Leader Sent to Prison for 25 Years for Murdering Two People as Part of a Racketeering Conspiracy 
    A leader of a Detroit street gang, Edwin Mills, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for murdering two people—one of them an innocent 13-year-old bystander—as part of a racketeering conspiracy. 

    • Mills and ten other members of the “6 Mile Chedda Grove” gang were indicted in 2016 for racketeering offenses. 6 Mile Chedda Grove was a violent organization responsible for murders, assaults, robberies, and narcotics trafficking in the Detroit metropolitan area and in other states. All eleven charged members of the gang have now been convicted and sentenced. 
    • “Guns and drugs take the lives of far too many people in our communities, and Edwin Mills—as a leader of the ‘6 Mile Chedda Grove’ gang—contributed to the devastating impact of both on Detroit’s Eastside,” said FBI Detroit Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca. “The FBI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to address the threat of gang violence in our neighborhoods. The lengthy sentence Mills received today sends a strong message that we will not tolerate criminal enterprises using violence to further their agendas.” 
    • Full press release 

    Federal Jury Convicts Former El Paso Independent School District Employee on Kidnapping Charges  
    A federal jury returned guilty verdicts against Jeffrey Steven Clay on one count each of kidnapping and transportation for illegal sexual activity. 

    • Clay was employed as the Executive Director of Analytics, Strategy, and Assessment and Public Education Information Management Systems for the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD). Clay previously worked for EPISD in various roles including as a teacher and school principal.   
    • “This crime was disturbing and relentless,” said FBI Albuquerque Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda. “The conviction of Jeffrey Steven Clay is a great achievement in keeping our communities safer from those who target and prey on innocent people. The FBI will always work together with our partners and hold these criminals accountable and prevent such violence from happening in our communities.” 
    • Full press release

    Alabama Man Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison for Abusive Sexual Contact with a Child 
    Whitehorse Ducharme was sentenced to life in federal prison for abusive sexual contact with a child under the age of 12. 

    • Ducharme engaged in sexual abuse of a Native American child under the age of 12 from about 2008 until approximately 2016.  
    • "The FBI is fully committed to combating the sexual abuse and exploitation of children,” said FBI Minneapolis Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Krause. “This life sentence sends a clear message to those who target kids—we will find you and hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law." 
    • Full press release 

    Leader of Queens-Based “Wood City” Gang Convicted of Revenge Killing Over Stolen Necklace
    Christopher Acevedo, the leader of “Wood City,” a violent criminal enterprise—which also used the names “Yellow Tape Boyz” and “YTB”—was found guilty of murder in-aid-of racketeering and causing death through the use of a firearm in connection with the August 2019 fatal shooting of a rival gang associate. 

    • In 2019, members of the Snow Gang, including one of its leaders, robbed a gold YTB chain from a high-ranking member of Wood City. Shortly after the robbery, the Snow Gang leader posted a photo of himself wearing the YTB chain on social media. As a leader of Wood City, Acevedo was expected to retaliate for the chain-snatching to protect his gang’s reputation. Ultimately, Acevedo fired a dozen shots at Snow Gang members, killing the driver David Hutchinson.
    • “How senseless it was for Acevedo to callously take a human life to maintain and burnish his status as the leader of a violent street gang whose members felt insulted by the taking of a piece of jewelry,” stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace. “With today’s verdict, the defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison. Protecting our communities from gang and gun-related violence is a priority of my office, and I commend the attorneys, special agents, and detectives whose work brought the defendant to justice.” 
    • Full press release 
       

    Additional resources:



    Remembering Fallen Employees 

    May 12, 2023


    Photo of Director Wray laying a wreath for fallen FBI employees


    Director Christopher Wray helped lay a wreath in the courtyard of FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on May 11, 2023, to honor the 92 Bureau employees who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1925.

    Two names were recently added to the FBI's Wall of Honor: Supervisory Police Officer (Lieutenant) Yiu Tak "Louis" Tao and Supervisory Administrative Specialist Bryan A. Myers. Both died in 2022 from illnesses related to toxic air exposure during 9/11 recovery efforts.

    The FBI remembers and grieves those we have lost.





    Inside the FBI: Oasis Ponzi Scheme 

    May 11, 2023




    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    May 5, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Former Alabama Deputy Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Sexually Assaulting Woman in His Custody 
    Joshua Davidson, a former deputy sheriff with the Dallas County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman while he was on duty. 

    • “Law enforcement officials who sexually assault women and those in their custody will and must be held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke. “The Justice Department will continue to take allegations of sexual assault seriously, and vigorously prosecute those who violate the civil rights of people in their custody and prey on vulnerable victims.” 
    • “All law enforcement personnel who take an oath to protect and serve the American people must be held to a higher standard,” said FBI Mobile Special Agent in Charge Paul Brown. “FBI Mobile remains committed to holding those who do not meet this standard accountable for their actions, especially those who wear the badge.” 
    • Full press release 

    Everett, Massachusetts, Man Indicted for Sex Trafficking 
    A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging Trevor Jones with sex trafficking four female victims.   

    • According to the charging documents, Jones ran a sex trafficking operation targeting victims who were suffering from substance use disorder. He routinely confiscated their identifications and other personal items to impede their ability to leave, and allegedly enforced his requirements by punishing victims with acts of violence. 
    • “The conduct we allege in this case is horrific," said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta. "Trevor Jones is accused of preying on, drugging, and sexually victimizing women for his own financial gain. No human being should ever be lured into servitude, exploited, and forced to live their lives in fear where escape seems all but impossible, but that’s exactly what we believe happened here. The resiliency his victims have shown is commendable, and as a result, Jones will now face justice. Make no mistake, FBI Boston’s Child Exploitation-Human Trafficking Task Force will do everything in its power to help them get the services they need to heal.” 
    • Full press release 

    Bank Robber Sentenced to More Than Nine Years; Robbed Same Credit Union Twice 
    Akil Saeed Daniels was sentenced in federal court to 110 months in prison for robbing credit unions in Poway and Chula Vista, California, after he was released from a long stint in prison for robbing the same Chula Vista credit union more than a decade earlier. 

    • “Employees who have been through a robbery are impacted for the rest of their lives,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman. “This defendant made the decision to terrorize the same people not once, but twice. And now, not once, but twice, he will pay for his crime with a lengthy prison term.”  
    • “This is not the first time that Daniels has had to face the consequences for this type of crime,” said FBI San Diego Acting Special Agent in Charge Houtan Moshrefi. “May this 110-month sentence be a reminder of the severity of his actions. Violent crimes such as these in our community are intolerable. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to holding those responsible who choose to rob banks as a means of income.” 
    • Full press release 

    Former Elementary School Teacher Sentenced for Sexually Abusing Children 
    Stefan Zappey has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing four of his former elementary school students while employed by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) federal school system located on a U.S. military installation near Stuttgart, Germany. 

    • “Zappey presented himself as a dedicated teacher, but in reality, he is the most dangerous type of predator, an educator who uses his position of trust to gain access to children and victimize them for his own sick gratification,” said FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley. “The FBI remains committed to protecting children and is thankful for the law enforcement partnerships that make it possible to stop people like Zappey from victimizing anyone else.” 
    • “The successful prosecution of Stefan Zappey demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to prosecuting U.S. citizens who prey on young and vulnerable children regardless of where and when the crimes occurred,” said Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. “Zappey’s offenses are especially egregious because he was entrusted with teaching the children of our brave service members overseas. The courage of the victims and the perseverance of investigators and prosecutors ensured that Zappey’s offenses were exposed and will prevent him from abusing even more children.” 
    • Full press release

    Final Defendant in Multi-State Dog Fighting, Drug Conspiracy Case Pleads Guilty
    The thirteenth and final defendant involved in a multi-state dog fighting and drug distribution conspiracy based out of Georgia pleaded guilty to his crimes.

    • According to court documents, law enforcement investigated a criminal organization involved in both cocaine distribution and organized dog fighting based out of Roberta, Georgia, which extended into Florida and Alabama from May 2019 until February 2020.
    • “Shutting down this criminal organization, which was engaged in drug distribution and barbaric dog fighting, is the direct result of a lengthy and coordinated investigation involving many law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal level,” said U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Peter D. Leary. “Their combined efforts have made our communities safer.” 
    • Full press release

    Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Authorities Announce the Formation of a Peoria, Illinois, Area Task Force to Fight Gun Crimes 
    Peoria Area Federal Firearms (PAFF) Task Force is a collaborative effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement designed to combat and prevent violent firearm crimes.

    • PAFF cases have included indictments for possession of a firearm as a felon and additional indictments for unlawful possession of a machine gun, as well as indictments that arose from cases involving the discharge of fully-automatic machine guns within residential areas of Peoria.
    • “Families in Peoria and the surrounding communities are at risk each day as violent criminals commit violations of firearms laws,” said FBI Springfield Special Agent in Charge David G. Nanz. “The FBI is committed to working side-by-side with our law enforcement partners toward our shared goal of battling violent crime and making our communities safer.” 
    • Full press release 

    Additional resources:



    April 2023 

    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    April 28, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Jeffrey Dean Biddle Sentenced to Life in Prison
    Jeffery Dean Biddle was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to production and attempted production of child pornography, receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography, and enticement and attempted enticement of a minor.

    • “This sentence was eminently fitting, given the abhorrent acts committed against innocent and vulnerable children,” said HSI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola. “This case demonstrates once again how producing child pornography and abuse can go hand-in-hand. For that reason, child exploitation investigations are a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations, and we will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to hold devious sexual predators accountable for their actions.”
    • “One child is too many. Eleven is unspeakable. Today, the court imposed the only sentence which will ensure this serial child molester will never add another name to his terrible list,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico Alexander Uballez. “This case highlights what is possible when local, state, and federal agencies team up to relentlessly pursue sexual predators who seek to harm our most vulnerable population.”
    • Full press release

    Armed Heroin Dealer Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison
    Giancarlo Fermin, for whom court records indicate multiple previous state court convictions for similar conduct, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for being an armed drug dealer, a felon in possession of firearms, and for trafficking heroin.

    • “Today’s sentence makes it clear that career criminals like Giancarlo Fermin who refuse to learn from their mistakes by repeatedly breaking the law and threatening the safety of others will be held accountable,” said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta.
    • “Armed drug traffickers who choose to make a career out of peddling opioids into our Rhode Island communities can look forward to prison, not profits,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Zachary A. Cunha. “Today’s sentence should leave no doubt about this office’s resolve to use every means at our disposal to deal with those who put guns and drugs on our streets.”
    • Full press release

    Braymer, Missouri, Man Sentenced to 32 Years for Cattle Fraud Scheme that Led to Murders
    Garland Joseph Nelson was sentenced in federal court for a $215,000 cattle fraud scheme that he attempted to cover up by murdering two Wisconsin brothers, Nicholas and Justin Diemel.

    • Nelson agreed to care for cattle belonging to Diemel’s Livestock. Nelson killed many cattle and then fraudulently billed the Diemels for feed and yardage for the dead cattle.
    • Nicholas Diemel pressed Nelson for payment for his cattle. To deprive the Diemels of their cattle or their money and to prevent them from recovering either their cattle or their money, Nelson fraudulently sent the Diemels a bad check for $215,936.
    • Ultimately, Nelson murdered both Diemels and then committed at least two more cattle fraud schemes.
    • Full press release

    Austin Man Sentenced for Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material
    Tucker Smith was sentenced to five years in prison for having searched for, accessed, viewed, downloaded, possessed, stored, and distributed child sexual abuse material (CSAM) since approximately 2018. 

    • “The FBI remains steadfast in our commitment to protect children from those who seek to exploit their innocence,” said FBI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr. “These types of cases serve as a reminder of the important role the public plays in keeping our children and communities safe by immediately reporting potential public safety threats to law enforcement.”
    • “This sentencing sends the message that we will continue to pursue and prosecute the predators who engage in the heinous and indefensible act of possessing child sexual abuse material,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Jaime Esparza.
    • Full press release

    Washington Man Charged with Three Counts of Assault on Flight to Anchorage, Alaska
    A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment charging Adam David Seymour with three counts of assault in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

    • On April 5, 2023, while aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 49 inbound to Anchorage, Alaska, from Seattle, Washington, Seymour assaulted a female passenger intending to make sexual contact, and assaulted two male passengers.
    • The flight crew had to remove Seymour from his seat and restrain him in the jump seat at the front of the airplane for the remainder of the flight.
    • If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the count of assault with intent to commit abusive sexual contact, and six months in prison on the two assault counts.
    • Full press release

    Springfield, Vermont, Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Robbing Two Banks and Three Convenience Stores
    Samuel Colby was sentenced to serve seven years in prison after pleading guilty to having committed two bank robberies and the robberies of three convenience stores in January of 2022.  

    • Colby was also ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release after his release from prison.
    • “Samuel Colby committed multiple bank robberies and convenience store robberies in southeastern Vermont over the course of eight days," stated U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont Nikolas P. Kerest. "In addition to traumatizing victims, these types of crime sprees are dangerous and disruptive for our communities. Thanks to the coordinated and diligent work of the Springfield Police Department, the Vermont State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Colby was arrested and brought to justice. Our office will continue to work closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to protect the safety of Vermonters.”
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:



    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    April 21, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    Missouri Man Sentenced for Hate Crime in Attempted Murder of Teen Because of His Sexual Orientation
    Malachi Robinson was sentenced to over 21 years in federal prison for committing a hate crime by shooting a local teenager eight times because of the victim’s sexual orientation.

    • “To target an individual, lure them, and shoot them multiple times for no other reason than their perceived sexual orientation is reprehensible,” said FBI Kansas City Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub. “The sentence imposed today reflects the severity of the crime committed against the victim and the entire LGBTQI+ community. Every individual has the right to live without fear of being attacked or harassed, regardless of their sexual orientation. The FBI is committed to working with our federal, state, and local partners to protect the civil rights of all.”
    • “To ambush and shoot an unwitting victim, who posed no threat to him, for no other reason than his sexual orientation is reprehensible behavior that won’t be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Teresa Moore. “Our entire community must stand together against acts of violence motivated by hatred for any group of people. The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of all citizens and prosecuting those who illegally threaten those rights.”
    • Full press release

    California Man Sentenced for Threatening Merriam-Webster with Anti-LGBTQ Violence
    Jeremy David Hanson was sentenced to about a year in prison for threatening to commit anti-LGBTQ violence against dictionary company Merriam-Webster Inc. and others.    

    • “Despite repeated interactions with law enforcement directing Jeremy Hanson to stop his hateful tirades threatening violence, he continued to make them. In doing so, his bias against the LGBTQ+ community instilled real fear and safety concerns, causing Merriam-Webster to close its offices in Springfield [Massachusetts] and New York City for almost five days,” said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta.
    • Bonavolonta continued: “Today’s sentence cannot undo the damage Hanson did, but it can provide some comfort in knowing that threats to life are not protected free speech but criminal acts, and the FBI and our partners will vigorously pursue those who commit them. If you are a victim or witness to similar conduct, we’d ask you to report it to us by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitting a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
    • Full press release

    Bank Robber Gets 50 Years in Prison for Murdering Security Guard
    Jaylan Quinn was sentenced for murdering a security guard during a bank robbery in East St. Louis in August 2021.

    • According to court documents, Quinn and Andrew R. Brinkley entered First Bank in East St. Louis in August 2021. Wearing masks, the pair approached the teller and displayed a demand note that claimed they would detonate a bomb if they didn't get any money.
    • Ted Horn was working at the bank as a uniformed security guard and followed the men to observe, but Quinn drew a semi-automatic handgun and fatally shot Horn in the head. The robbers then fled, and Horn was pronounced dead at the scene.
    • FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz said, “Today’s significant sentence reflects the severity of Jaylan Quinn’s actions. And while it brings a conclusion to this case, the loss experienced by the family of Ted Horn will last a lifetime. We hope that in some way today’s sentence provides a degree of comfort for the victim’s family.”
    • Full press release

    South Los Angeles Man Found Guilty of Knowingly Recruiting Teenage Girls for Commercial Sex Work and Trafficking an Adult via Threats
    Donavin Dwayne Bradford was found guilty of nine felonies for recruiting and enticing teenage girls for whom he acted as a “pimp.”

    • Bradford, along with Layla Kalani Valdivia, advertised a 15-year-old girl for commercial sex work on multiple websites. Customers who responded to the ads were directed to various hotels and motels where they engaged in commercial sex acts with the victim. Bradford later recruited and enticed two other girls—ages 16 and 17—to engage in commercial sex activity. 
    • Bradford also recruited and sex trafficked an adult victim through threats of force, fraud, or coercion, including multiple instances of violence.   
    • Bradford will face a mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison.
    • Full press release

    Man Convicted of Child Abuse Resulting in Death and Voluntary Manslaughter
    A federal jury convicted Devin Warren Sizemore for the death of his 21-month-old daughter in Indian Country.

    • Sizemore was estranged from the child’s mother when he visited the child and drowned her in a pond.
    • Sizemore was convicted of child abuse resulting in death and voluntary manslaughter and will be sentenced at a later date. Sizemore faces a maximum penalty of life in prison for the child abuse resulting in a death charge, and 15 years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter charge. 
    • Full press release

    Former Alabama Correctional Sergeant Found Guilty of Civil Rights Violations and Obstruction for Assaulting Three Incarcerated People with a Riot-Baton and Falsifying a Report
    In October 2020, Lorenzo Mills subjected three incarcerated persons to cruel and unusual punishment by striking them with a wooden riot-baton. 

    • After the unlawful use of force, Mills authored a use of force report wherein he denied using any force against the victims.
    • “This verdict shows that our community members agree that no person is above the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Constitution protects the rights of all people, including those in our jails and prisons. We will continue to prosecute correctional officers who abuse their power and use our federal civil rights laws to protect the rights of those detained inside our jails and prisons.”
    • “An individual's rights do not end after being convicted of a crime,” said FBI Mobile Special Agent in Charge Paul W. Brown. “The FBI takes any violation of civil rights seriously, especially allegations against those sworn to protect and uphold the law. The few who tarnish the badge and illegally use their official capacity will be caught and tried like any other criminal.”
    • Full press release

    Additional resources:


    Inside the FBI Podcast: The China Threat

    April 20, 2023

    Through tactics like systematic theft of intellectual property, transnational repression, and brazen cyber intrusions—just to name a few—the Chinese government is seeking to have great power and influence on the world stage.

    And no one is immune from these threats: from businesses to academic institutions, to lawmakers or the general public.   

    Listen to the latest episode of Inside the FBI as we discuss some recent criminal charges that demonstrate the lengths the Chinese government will go to to threaten the economic well-being, national security, and democratic values of the United States. 


    Violent Crime Case Round-Up  

    April 14, 2023

    The FBI plays a key role in combating violent crime across our country—and in some cases, abroad—through our investigative work targeting gangs and criminal organizations, violent crimes against children, Indian Country crime, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, bank robbery, and jewelry and gem theft.

    FBI investigators usually work in partnership with other law enforcement groups, often establishing task forces to concentrate resources and efforts. This round-up is only a partial list of recent FBI violent crime stories—for a full list, read more FBI Violent Crime news and press releases.

    63 Individuals Charged with Drug Trafficking in the Municipality of San Germán, Puerto Rico
    The indictment alleges that from 2015 through April 3, 2023, the defendants were members of a drug trafficking organization that distributed heroin, cocaine base (commonly known as crack), cocaine, marijuana, fentanyl, and other drugs in San Germán, Puerto Rico, and areas nearby for s