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05/16/2018
Pretoria, South Africa
Operational
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William De Vries was sentenced May 11, 2018, to 835 years in prison after being convicted on 107 counts for the unlawful distribution, sale and possession of child pornography. The 57-year-old Johannesburg, South Africa, man was found guilty May 3, a conviction that came after nine years of delayed efforts and complications.

05/15/2018
Miami, FL
Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

Frederik Barbieri, 46, of Ft. Pierce Fla., pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one felony count of unlicensed exportation of defense articles.

05/15/2018
Washington, DC
Enforcement and Removal

Orvin Omar Reyes-Martinez, 31, was most recently removed to Honduras on Dec. 16, 2016, and subsequently illegally re-entered the U.S. sometime thereafter.

05/15/2018
Minneapolis, MN
Enforcement and Removal
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During this operation, ERO deportation officers made arrests in the following states: Iowa (25), Nebraska (25), Minnesota (15), South Dakota (10) and North Dakota (3).  Of the 78 arrested, 62 had criminal convictions.  Seventy-two men and six women were arrested; they range in age from 20 to 64 years old.

05/15/2018
Oklahoma City, OK
Child Exploitation

At sentencing May 14, Judge DeGiusti sentenced Harry Dean Wheeler Jr., 68, of Oklahoma City, to 120 months in prison. Upon release from prison, he must serve five years on supervised release.

05/15/2018
Los Angeles, CA
Transnational Gangs

Detective John Saro Balian, 45, of Seal Beach, Calif., was taken into custody without incident at his residence. Balian, who is charged in a criminal complaint with making false statements to investigators during an interview last year, is expected to make his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

05/14/2018
Washington, DC
Worksite Enforcement
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From Oct. 1, 2017, through May 4, HSI opened 3,510 worksite investigations; initiated 2,282 I-9 audits; and made 594 criminal and 610 administrative worksite-related arrests, respectively. In comparison, for fiscal year 2017 – running October 2016 to September 2017 – HSI opened 1,716 worksite investigations; initiated 1,360 I-9 audits; and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests related to worksite enforcement.

05/11/2018
Seattle, WA
Financial Crimes

Louis Ong, 37, was arrested in July, following a series of bitcoin for cash sales with an HSI special agent. Ong repeatedly told the agent that he did not want to know the source of the cash so that he would have ‘plausible deniability.’ Even after Ong registered as a money transmitter, he made little effort to comply with regulations regarding the reporting of suspicious transactions.

05/11/2018
New Orleans, LA
Management and Administration
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Celebrated the first week of May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week honors the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees.

05/10/2018
Corpus Christi, TX
Child Exploitation

Rogelio Castaneda, 61, and Jose Ivan Davila, 54, pleaded guilty, Jan. 23, in separate but similar cases.

05/10/2018
New York, NY
Enforcement and Removal
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ERO deportation officers escorted Giovanni Zannoni, 35, who was removed from the United States via a commercial flight. Zannoni was transferred into the custody of Italian law enforcement authorities upon arrival in Milan.

05/10/2018
Jacksonville, FL
Enforcement and Removal

Wenliang Sun, 26, a citizen and national of China, was arrested by HSI Feb. 7, 2018, after his nonimmigrant status was terminated. He had been enrolled as a nonimmigrant F-1 international student in an academic and cultural program at UCF that prepares international students for success at an American university.

05/10/2018
Corpus Christi, TX
Child Exploitation

The criminal complaint alleges that in July 2017, Manuel Diaz, 64, from Corpus Christi, printed photographs of nude children from a flash drive at a pharmacy. A subsequent forensic examination allegedly resulted in discovering more than 850 pornographic images and videos of children as young as 12 years old.

05/09/2018
Denver, CO
Narcotics

The indictments were issued by a federal grand jury on April 19 and May 2, 2018, and unsealed Wednesday as arrest warrants were served throughout the metro Denver area, as well as in California and Arizona.

05/04/2018
New York, NY
Human Smuggling/Trafficking
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Efrain Granados-Corona, aka “Chavito,” aka “Cepillo,” Emilio Rojas-Romero, Alan Romero-Granados, aka “El Flaco,” and Pedro Rojas-Romero, are charged together with Raul Romero-Granados, aka “Chicarcas,” aka “El Negro,” Isaac Lomeli-Rivera,” aka “Giro,” Julio Sainz-Flores, aka “Rogelio,” and Juan Romero-Granados, aka “Chegoya,” aka “El Guero,” with sex trafficking offenses in a 23-count Superseding Indictment (the “Indictment”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

05/03/2018
San Juan, PR
Child Exploitation
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As part of Project iGuardian, HSI special agents in San Juan organized the Internet safety outreach for kids 12 to 16 years old to provide them with the necessary tools to make smart decisions when navigating in the Internet. HSI San Juan made the massive event possible by soliciting the support from Guaynabo Mayor Angel Perez-Otero and his team, as well as the Secretary of Puerto Rico’s Department of Education, Julia Keleher, who also attended the event Monday.

05/03/2018
Cheyenne, WY
Child Exploitation

Joshua E. Poole, 40, of Sheridan, Wyoming, was arrested in Sheridan.  On May 2, 2018, Chief Federal District Court Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal sentenced Poole to 60 months of imprisonment, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release; he was also ordered to pay $3,500 restitution to the victim, and a $100 special assessment.

05/02/2018
Kansas City, MO
Enforcement and Removal

Jose Salazar-Aguilar, 33, a citizen of Honduras, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah W. Hays to illegally re-entering the United States after having originally been deported following his conviction for an aggravated felony.

05/02/2018
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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ICE returned 3,800 ancient artifacts, including cuneiform tablets, cylinder seals, and clay bullae, to the Republic of Iraq. The artifacts were smuggled into the United States in violation of federal law and shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, a nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer.

05/01/2018
Los Angeles, CA
Intellectual Property Rights

Rogelio Vasquez is charged in a 30-count indictment that alleges he acquired old, used and/or discarded integrated circuits from Chinese suppliers that had been repainted and remarked with counterfeit logos.

04/30/2018
Washington, DC
Statement
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"It has been the honor of my life to lead the men and women of ICE for more than a year. The decision to leave federal service after more than 34 years is bittersweet, but my family has sacrificed a lot in order for me to serve and it’s time for me to focus on them. I am humbled and inspired by the 20,000 American patriots who serve this agency and protect our nation, increasingly in the face of unfair and false criticism from politicians and the media..."

04/30/2018
Washington, DC
Student and Exchange Visitor Program
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Slight decrease from May 2017; Stark declines from Saudi Arabia, South Korea

04/30/2018
San Juan, PR
Child Exploitation

According to the evidence presented at trial, Yaira Cotto-Flores, 28, of San Lorenzo, transported one of her English students March 1, 2016, to a local motel with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct. According to court records, the former teacher and the 14-year old student met at the beginning of the school year and the defendant gave the victim various gifts including an acne treatment kit, a neckband and a wristwatch.

04/27/2018
Boston, MA
Contraband

Melissa Sclafani, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to one year and one day in prison and two years of supervised release. Sclafani pleaded guilty in June, 2017 to one count of conspiracy with intent to distribute and to distribute counterfeit steroids and one count of conspiracy to launder money, in the case which was prosecuted by the Office of  United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.

04/27/2018
New York, NY
Operational
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Omar Adonis Guzman-Martinez, 46, planned and caused others to carry out those crimes while incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, New Jersey (“FCI Fort Dix”), using contraband cellphones to stalk, threaten, and induce others to commit crimes of violence against his victims.

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