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November 23, 2021
|Child Exploitation

PHOENIX — Last month, several law enforcement agencies to include U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) participated in a child sex operation known as “Deja Boo” netting 30 suspects.

During the month-long takedown, multiple valley law enforcement agencies targeted sex buyers involved in child sex trafficking and those intent on luring minors for sexual exploitation. The collaborative efforts of those involved led to the filing of child sex related crimes on 30 individuals through the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

November 23, 2021
|Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
|
The holiday shopping toolkit includes online shopping do’s and don’ts, ways to protect financial and banking information, educational videos and infographics, and general information on how to spot fake merchandise.  
November 23, 2021
|Narcotics
According to court documents, from Jan. 30, 2020 to March 26, 2020, Alexis Catalan, 41, sold a total of 391.9 grams of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. Additionally, she possessed 271.8 grams of methamphetamine.
November 22, 2021
|Narcotics
Ashton Aman, 37, of Sioux Falls, was sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Karen Schreier to 10 years in federal prison, for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Aman was previously indicted on the charge by a federal grand jury Feb. 2. He was arrested by a U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force Feb. 4 and later pleaded guilty July 12.
November 22, 2021
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
Among the repatriated artifacts were six large funerary urns (circa 900-1700 A.D.); a comb-impressed red slip double cup vessel (circa 800-1500 A.D.); a high-necked polychrome pot (circa 1100-1400 A.D.); and 913 ground and flax stones and axe heads from the Neolithic Period.   
November 22, 2021
|Labor Exploitation
Quanwei Shi, 31, was sentenced for conspiracy to harbor undocumented residents; harboring undocumented residents; money laundering; tax evasion; and employment tax fraud. Shi and restaurant co-owner Chongqiang Chen, 30, also of Clarksville, were both arrested in April 2020, after a 14-count federal indictment charged them in a scheme to harbor undocumented workers and to defeat the tax laws of the United States. Shi pleaded guilty in March.
November 19, 2021
|Narcotics
A federal indictment alleges Carlos Martin Quintana-Arias, 37, a citizen of Mexico, applied for entry into the U.S. with a manifest that identified the contents of his 1996 Stoug trailer as automotive body parts.
November 19, 2021
|Child Exploitation
Stephen Shipps, 68, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a former violin professor and Director of the Strings Preparatory Program at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance pled guilty to one count of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual relations.
November 18, 2021
|Human Smuggling/Trafficking
Amalia Gonzalez-Lara, 43, of Phoenix, admitted that she conspired to transport and harbor over 100 illegal aliens for profit during a proceeding before the U.S. Magistrate Judge.
November 18, 2021
|Financial Crimes
As the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles and IRS Criminal Investigation, Hugo Sergio Mejia, 50, of Ontario, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney. Mejia pleaded guilty on July 1 to one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and one count of money laundering.
November 18, 2021
|Enforcement and Removal
The tool allows noncitizens to schedule their required check-in appointments at ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) offices as they await immigration proceedings.
November 17, 2021
|Narcotics
According to court documents, Carlos Moreno-Reyes, aka Charlie Brown, 46, of Clint, Texas, led a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) from October 2008 through April 2019.
November 16, 2021
|Contraband
Most recently, HSI Seattle, in conjunction with the Department of State, Department of Justice, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Customs and Border Protection, Seattle Police Department and HSI Nairobi, spearheaded the investigation that led to Herdade Lokua, 23, and Jospin Mujangi, 31, of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), being arrested and indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, money laundering, smuggling and Lacey Act violations for trafficking elephant ivory and white rhinoceros horn from DRC to Seattle, Nov. 3.
November 16, 2021
|Human Rights Violators
Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 468 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes.
November 15, 2021
|Human Smuggling/Trafficking
Harleigh Josette Haugen, 20, of Fargo, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Peter D. Welte to 45 months for conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery. Chief Judge Welte also sentenced Haugen to three years supervised release, and a $100.00 Special Assessment.
November 15, 2021
|COVID-19
Hassan Kanyike, 30, of Santa Clarita, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who also ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine and $1,302,550 in restitution to the SBA and four victim lenders. Kanyike pleaded guilty on March 29 to one count of wire fraud.
November 12, 2021
|Child Exploitation
ICE HSI announced that twenty-three military veterans have graduated from the eleventh class of the HERO Corps internship program. The program recruits, trains, and hires wounded, ill, or injured transitioning active-duty service members and military veterans for employment as computer forensic analysts.
November 9, 2021
|Narcotics, Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
Stacey Edward Williams, Jr., 42, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl; multiple counts of possession and distribution of heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl; distribution of fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl resulting in death; and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
November 9, 2021
|Human Smuggling/Trafficking
According to court documents, Javier Duarte, 22, was driving a box truck through the Highway 118 checkpoint where U.S. Border Patrol agents referred him to secondary inspection.
November 8, 2021
|Child Exploitation
According to allegations in the indictment, James Patrick Burns, 53, threatened two children on social media applications to coerce them into producing multiple images and videos of child pornography.
November 8, 2021
|Child Exploitation
Upon his release from prison, James Ellison Catoe, 48, will serve a lifetime supervised release, be required to register with the state sex offender registry and comply with special sex offender conditions during his supervised release.
November 5, 2021
|Narcotics
On Nov. 13, 2019, and Feb. 19, 2020, a federal grand jury in Tucson returned superseding indictments against cartel members Aureliano Guzman-Loera of Sinaloa, Mexico, and brothers Ruperto, Jose, and Heriberto Salgueiro-Nevarez, of Guadalupe Y Calvo, Mexico.
November 5, 2021
|Child Exploitation
Christopher Truax, 34, of Rapid City, was found guilty by a federal jury, in a trial that culminated Nov. 3, of attempted enticement of a minor using the internet.
November 5, 2021
|Financial Crimes
To resolve an investigation into alleged violations of the anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the partnership that operates the Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens has agreed to pay $500,000 and undergo enhanced review and reporting requirements designed to prevent future violations of federal law.
November 4, 2021
|Human Smuggling/Trafficking
The following have also been charged with one count of conspiracy to transport undocumented noncitizens: Sebastian Tovar, 25, of Toledo, Ohio; Nicolas Mondragon-Gonzalez, aka “Chayo” and “Flaco,” 33, of Austin; Veronica Torres-Mendez, 34, of Austin; Jennifer Oralia Davis, aka “Paypa,” 40, of San Antonio; Ruben Junior Rodriguez-Jaimes, 19, of Bastrop, Texas; Lauren Michelle Malmquist, aka “Mama” and “Lala,” 32, of Round Rock, Texas ; Eduardo Rivera Benitez, aka “Lalo” and “Casper,” 23, of Bastrop; Marco Antonio Hernandez, aka “Temo,” 19, of Paige, Texas; and Jose Eli Rodriguez, 21, of Austin.
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Updated: 07/26/2021