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February 16, 2021
|Child Exploitation
Jesse Anthony Garcia, 30, of Goodyear, had previously admitted to recording a video in which a minor victim was engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct, and attempting to record a video in which a minor victim was engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct in 2016. Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and one count of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
February 12, 2021
|Child Exploitation
HSI Portland executed a search warrant at Alexander Wiese’s residence in Portland and arrested the former camp instructor Wednesday for receiving child pornography and accessing it with intent to view child pornography.
February 12, 2021
|COVID-19
The criminal complaint was filed on February 9, 2021 and was unsealed today upon the defendants’ arrests. Charged in the criminal complaint are: Olakitan Oluwalade (“Olaki”), age 22, of Windsor Mill, Maryland; Olaki’s cousin, Odunayo Baba Oluwalade (“Baba”), age 25, of Windsor Mill; and Kelly Lamont Williams, age 22, of Owings Mills, Maryland.
February 11, 2021
|Operational
ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Assistant Director for Enforcement, Chris Cronen, took part in the ceremonial signing of the Criminal History Information Sharing (CHIS) Addendum Memorandum of Cooperation with the Guatemalan Minister of the Interior Gendri Rocael Reyes Mazariegos. 
February 10, 2021
|Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
HSI special agents and CBP officers conducted joint enforcement operations from Jan. 22 through Feb. 5 and seized counterfeit merchandise in various locations in El Paso County, including an Eastside parking lot, a Lower Valley business, and a Horizon City residence.
February 10, 2021
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
The Thai lintels are two 1,500-pound hand-carved decorative relics which, according to court documents, were originally part of ancient religious temples in Thailand and are prime examples of the decorative lintel and material art traditions of Southeast Asian art.
February 10, 2021
|Child Exploitation
On Feb. 10, Jason Hernandez, 34, was also ordered to serve 10 years on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children. And, he will have to register as a sex offender.
February 9, 2021
|Human Smuggling/Trafficking
On Feb. 9, a Laredo grand jury returned an indictment against Brodrick Keith Rhodes, 32, from Houston, charging him with conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants. Rhodes is expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in the near future.
February 9, 2021
|Human Rights Violators
Partners of the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division join foreign government partners, non-governmental organizations and local communities to call for the eradication of the practice.
February 8, 2021
|Detainee Death Notifications
A 58-year-old Bahamian national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) passed away, Feb. 5, at the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek, Michigan. The preliminary cause of death was reported by emergency medical officials to be caused by a medical emergency.
February 8, 2021
|Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
Pedro Javier Villalobos, 24, of Santa Ana, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter. Villalobos pleaded guilty in October 2020 to one count of distributing methamphetamine and one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.
February 4, 2021
|Professional Responsibility
Shant Ohanian, 38, of Burbank, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt, who stated that he intends at a future date to order Ohanian to pay restitution in an amount exceeding $2.5 million. Ohanian pleaded guilty in June 2019 to one count of wire fraud and has been in federal custody since the following month, when his bond was revoked because of allegations that he was continuing to defraud his clients.
February 3, 2021
|Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
|
HSI announced Wednesday, the seizure of more than 169,000 counterfeit sports-related items over the past year, worth an estimated $45 million. This announcement was made during a joint press conference in Tampa with the National Football League (NFL), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Tampa Police Department (TPD).
February 3, 2021
|Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
The complaint alleges a scheme involving multiple entities affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to covertly ship Iranian oil to a customer abroad. Participants in the scheme attempted to disguise the origin of the oil using ship-to-ship transfers, falsified documents and other means, and provided a fraudulent bill of lading to deceive the owners of the Achilleas into loading the oil in question.
February 3, 2021
|Child Exploitation
Derek Wallace Johnson, 41, pleaded guilty Sept. 23, 2020 to the distribution of child pornography and receipt of child pornography.
February 3, 2021
|Human Smuggling/Trafficking, Child Exploitation
William Adam Jonathan Smith, 31, was found guilty by a federal jury. He was convicted of one count of Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking of a Minor and one count of Sex Trafficking of a Minor.
February 2, 2021
|Human Smuggling/Trafficking
On Feb. 2, 2021, Benito Lopez III, 53, from Los Ebanos appeared before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez who sentenced him to 82 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
February 1, 2021
|Narcotics
According to court documents, Ramiro Ramirez-Barreto, 44, from the Mexican State of Morelos, operated a continuing criminal enterprise with ties to Virginia, North Carolina, Texas and California. Ramirez-Barreto was linked to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, as were his drug sources.
January 31, 2021
|Detainee Death Notifications
Felipe Montes was pronounced dead at 12:31 a.m. (EDT) by medical professionals. Montes was admitted into the hospital from the Stewart Detention Center on Jan. 10, two weeks after his arrival into ICE custody on Dec. 28.
January 29, 2021
|Child Exploitation, Human Smuggling/Trafficking
An investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas and the North Texas Trafficking Task Force led to the arrest of a 33-year-old Dallas man for human trafficking.
January 29, 2021
|Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) will join federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to provide essential public safety efforts in and around the Tampa Bay area for Super Bowl LV. HSI personnel will be on the front lines of the interagency effort to mitigate the threat posed by criminal organizations seeking to exploit and profit from criminal activity through the identification and seizure of counterfeit goods and enhanced efforts to combat human trafficking.
January 29, 2021
|National Security
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.
January 29, 2021
|Financial Crimes
In a two-count information, Hugo Sergio Mejia, 49, of Ontario, was charged with money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. In a plea agreement also filed today, Mejia agreed to plead guilty to these federal felony offenses in in March.
January 28, 2021
|Child Exploitation
Cameron Michael Pittman, 34, a resident of Orange Grove, Texas, pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography in the Southern District of Texas Sept. 9.
January 27, 2021
|Worksite Enforcement, COVID-19
ICE today announced an extension of the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance that was granted earlier this year. Due to the continued precautions related to COVID-19, DHS will extend this policy until March 31, 2021.
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Updated: 05/25/2021