BANGOR, Maine - Four special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) were recognized on Thursday for their recent investigations by U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II, District of Maine. The agents were recognized in ceremonies in Bangor and Portland as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 10-16.
"We're especially proud of the professionalism and unselfish dedication demonstrated by these agents and their federal, state and local counterparts," stated Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston. "The acknowledgement of these agents by U.S. Attorney Delahanty is not only well deserved, but deeply appreciated by these agents and their families."
ICE Special Agents Patrick T. Flaherty and Kenneth C. Cogan received recognition in a case that resulted in the arrest and conviction of Julie Carr, 33, of Mars Hill, Maine. Carr was sentenced on March 14, in U.S. District Court in Bangor to 20 years of imprisonment, 10 years of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100. Carr pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, 2010 to one count of producing child pornography.
Court records reveal that on June 10, 2009, law enforcement officers in the United Kingdom recovered video clips from a computer storage device in West Midlands, England, that showed a woman sexually abusing a small child. Their investigation led them to believe that the woman lived in Maine. They provided the results of their investigation to ICE HSI.
Working with the Maine State Police, investigators connected the video clips to Julie Carr, which prompted authorities to execute a search warrant at her residence with the assistance of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency on June 12, 2009.
The investigation ultimately showed that over the course of three days, Carr had sent live-time web-camera video of her performing a sex act on her minor child to a man in England. Investigators determined that the man had saved the images to a computer data storage device.
ICE HSI Special Agent Gary Moulton was recognized for his contribution to the investigation that led to the conviction of James Raymond, a teacher in Auburn, Maine, for transporting a minor out of state to engage in criminal sexual activity. Raymond was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and a lifetime of supervised release.
Evidence introduced at trial showed that twice in the summer of 2007, Raymond, who was then a music teacher in the Auburn school system, transported an 11-year-old student and her younger sister from Auburn to Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. According to the judge in the case, Raymond intended to involve the 11-year-old in prohibited sexual conduct when he made the interstate trips.
ICE Special Agent James Bell was recognized for his investigation leading to convictions of George Valvanis, owner of several donut shops, and his managers on immigration fraud charges.
Valvanis, 53, of Atkinson, N.H., pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a pattern or practice of recruiting or hiring illegal aliens unauthorized to work in the U. S., and to one count of using a false attestation in an immigration document. Valvanis faces a maximum prison term of five years on the false attestation charge, and six months on the alien hiring charge.
According to court records, Valvanis managed several Dunkin' Donuts stores located in the Portland, Maine, area. Between 2001 and 2009, he knowingly employed 18 illegal aliens to work in his stores. Sentencing is pending.
ICE recognizes the critical role that victims of crime play in the federal criminal justice process and embraces ongoing measures to include a victim-centered approach to investigations.
The combined efforts of ICE's senior management team on behalf of victims of crime led to expanding ICE's Victim Assistance Program, specialized training on U-visa certifications, developing and distributing victim-assistance brochures, and the provision of emergency services to victims on a regular basis. Additionally, new methods were developed to handle cases with large numbers of foreign victims and for victims of child sex tourism.