As a result of the investigation, Suez Rajan Limited pleaded guilty April 19, 2023, to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The company was thereafter sentenced to three years of corporate probation and fined almost $2.5 million.
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations, Financial Crimes, National Security
DHS and ICE's HSI, alongside partners with the U.S. Departments of Justice, Commerce, Treasury, and State announced today several international actions against Nazem Ahmad, an individual sanctioned by the United States under the GTSR for his involvement with the terrorist organization Hizballah, as well as against several other individuals involved in Ahmad’s global criminal organization, that utilized a web of businesses to benefit Ahmad and helped him to continue to provide Hizballah access to U.S. and international financial markets.
A federal court in Washington, D.C. unsealed two indictments March 21 charging Amanallah Paidar, of Iran, and Murat Bükey, of Turkey, with conspiring to procure and export sensitive U.S. technology for Iran through their companies, Farazan Industrial Engineering in Iran and Ozon Spor Ve Hobbi Ürünleri in Turkey.
The CNMI and Guam are geographically isolated in the Pacific Ocean and nearly all available goods arrive by sea and air. Based on the Mariana Islands’ proximity to Asia, transnational criminal organizations use the CNMI and Guam as transit points for illegal activities.
|Partnership and Engagement, National Security, Organized Crime
HSI’s TCIUs assist with furthering its global mission, working with foreign partners to investigate and prosecute people involved in transnational criminal activities that threaten the region’s stability and national security and who pose continuing threats to the United States. TCIUs identify targets, collect evidence, share intelligence, and facilitate prosecution in the United States and foreign countries.
A judge in the Southern District of Texas sentenced Leatrice Malika DeBruhl-Daniels, 49, to nine years in federal prison to be immediately followed by one year of supervised release for obstructing justice, making false statements, and accepting money and gifts for official acts. In handing down the sentence, the court cited DeBruhl’s breach of trust and deterrence.
Leatrice Malika DeBruhl-Daniels, 48, was convicted in the Southern District of Texas of obstructing justice, making false statements, and accepting money and gifts for official acts. A federal jury deliberated for less than three hours before convicting her following a six-day trial.
A local businessman pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in federal court, June 9. San Diego resident Joe Sery, 77, the former owner and chief executive officer of Tungsten Heavy Powder & Parts, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit offenses against the United States, including the unlawful exportation of defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List from the United States to the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, and elsewhere, without first obtaining a valid license or approval for such export from the U.S. Department of State, in violation of federal export laws pursuant to the ITAR.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) honored Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila, former Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, during a local ceremony on May 11. The commemoration coincided with National Police Week, an annual recognition held each May for law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The teenage defendant, currently in law enforcement custody, is alleged to have made several threats claiming he was armed with a firearm and was going to “shoot up” a certain school or on his way to a certain school. The suspect is accused of offenses stemming from the numerous “swatting” calls he made to schools and businesses over the past several days. Further, he is also accused of possessing indecent images of children and distributing them across the internet.
|Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit, National Security
Nathan Nichols, a 46-year-old Corpus Christi resident, pleaded guilty March 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to conspiring with others to steal $2,176,000 in sensitive military equipment from U.S. Army Garrison Ft. Hood in June 2021.
A federal criminal complaint filed this afternoon charges Erik Christopher Younggren, 34, of Cherry Valley, with attempted possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in a federal facility, a misdemeanor offense that carries a sentence of up to one year in federal prison.
Flores-Silva was charged in a federal indictment on August 13, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The indictment charges Flores-Silva with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one kilogram or more of heroin for importation into the United States, as well as carrying, using and possessing a firearm in relation to a drug offense.
Diego Antonio Ayala-Benitez, 24, is a known or suspected member of the transnational criminal street organization known as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). He is wanted in El Salvador on gang participation charges related to extortion, purchasing firearms and for involvement in armed robbery.
An indictment was unsealed this week charging Cheng Bo, also known as Joe Cheng, a 45-year-old national of the People’s Republic of China, with participating in a criminal conspiracy from 2012-2015 to violate U.S. export laws by shipping U.S. power amplifiers to China, the result of a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, the FBI and the Department of Commerce.
On behalf of the United States and the United Kingdom, officials from CBP and ICE signed a CMAA on Dec. 16 to further enhance bilateral efforts to secure and facilitate lawful trade. The U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson and The Rt. Hon. Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, signed the agreement in London.
|National Security, Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
U.S. Navy Central Command (NAVCENT) seized the weapons from two flagless vessels in the Arabian Sea on Nov. 25, 2019 and Feb. 9, 2020, respectively. The weapons included 171 guided anti-tank missiles, eight surface-to-air missiles, land attack cruise missile components, anti-ship cruise missile components, thermal weapons optics, and other components for missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.