|Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, Financial Crimes
Denis Matute pleaded guilty to two counts of interference with commerce by robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence on Nov. 2, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Distinguished attendees at this month’s meeting included Ambassador Michèle Taylor, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, and Desirée Cormier Smith, U.S. Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice.
Danielle Ice, 34, of Columbia, is the last of seven defendants indicted in this case to plead guilty. Ice’s husband and co-defendant Leslie Ice, 37, as well as co-defendants Cody Ryder, 31, Enx Khoshaba, 29, and Eric Kaltenbach, 37, all of Springfield, and Evan Marshall, 24, and Camren Joseph Davis, 25, of Rogersville, have also pleaded guilty.
As detailed in pleadings filed prior to the hearing, during the afternoon and evening of May 1, 2021, smugglers in Puerto Neuvo, Baja California, Mexico, shuttled undocumented migrants from the beach to a location approximately two hours offshore near the Coronado Islands where Hurtado and his 40-foot boat – named the “Salty Lady” – were waiting. Those individuals – including three unaccompanied minors – had agreed to pay between $15,000 and $18,000 to be smuggled into the United States illegally.
“I am extremely honored to be selected to return to HSI Detroit and to have the opportunity to serve on their exceptionally strong team of local, state and federal law enforcement partners in the Detroit area of operations,” said Salazar.
Jorge Alberto Quintanilla Marquez, 42, was arrested outside his residence in West Springfield, Virginia, July 22. The arrest was the result of many months of work by ICE ERO with the assistance of the FBI.
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
On Aug. 8, Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ricky J. Patel, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, announced the return of 30 antiquities to the Kingdom of Cambodia, which were stolen as part of an organized looting network and sold by antiquities dealer, Douglas Latchford.
ICE's OPE hosted a virtual stakeholder engagement Aug. 3 with more than 30 individuals representing various nongovernmental organizations – the engagement was held at the request of stakeholders to expand on the July announcement updating the policy, procedures, and requirements for agency officers and special agents to preserve access to family visitation and child welfare services and to hear feedback.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso SAC Frank Burrola explains HSI’s critical role in an investigation into a Guatemala-based human smuggling network at a news conference Aug. 4, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas.
On Aug. 2, Osiel Cardenas Jr., 30, from Brownsville, admitted he attempted to purchase 10 assault rifles to export into Mexico. Cardenas is the son of Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, the former head of the Gulf Cartel who was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.
Michael Alberto Benitez-Castro, 19, was removed July 29 via ICE Air Operations, arriving at the Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador, El Salvador, where he was turned over to authorities without incident.
Lester R. Hayes Jr. reported to duty as the new special agent in charge (SAC) of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas. In this role, Hayes leads law enforcement investigations for seven outlying staff offices in 128 counties across North Texas and Oklahoma.
Brandon Lane McCullough, 31, of Branson, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 30 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced McCullough to spend the rest of his life on supervised release following incarceration, and to pay $204,199 in restitution to one of his victims.
Luis Eduardo Morales, 46, was removed to El Salvador via ICE Air Operations charter and transferred into the custody of Salvadoran law enforcement officials upon arrival at the El Salvador National Airport.
As the United Nations prepares to commemorate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons July 30, a team of U.S. federal investigators from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) are in Frankfurt, Germany, this week to train German law enforcement counterparts on the latest investigative techniques to combat human trafficking.
Jose Mojica Aldana, a native and citizen of El Salvador, was arrested near his residence. Mojica Aldana entered the United States without being inspected, admitted, or paroled by an immigration officer.
The individuals arrested pursuant to state arrest warrants for their alleged roles in the theft ring were Jose Martinez, 19; Armando Martinez, 18; Isaac Castillo, 21; Terance Elder, 20; and Armando Martinez Sr., 39; all residents of Houston, and Jose Sanchez, a 21-year-old resident of Dayton, Texas.