On July 11, a judge sentenced Hector Francisco Ramirez-Roman, 39, of San Luis, Rio Colorado, Mexico, to 108 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for posing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Deportation officers from ICE ERO Washington, D.C. removed Josue Salvador Hernandez-Portillo, an undocumented Salvadoran national, from the United States to El Salvador on July 14. Hernandez-Portillo was wanted by authorities in his home country for deprivation of liberty and aggravated homicide.
Patrick Connors, 31, was admitted into the United States in August 2021 and violated the terms of his admission when he failed to depart by November 2021. Law enforcement officials in Ireland and the United States identified Connors as a member of a transnational criminal organization called the Traveling Conmen Fraud Group. ERO Boston arrested him in Billerica, near Boston.
On July 13, special agents with HSI San Juan and PRCACTF arrested Edgardo Romero-Montalvo, 37, of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, in Florida. The arrest follows a federal indictment accusing him of child exploitation crimes.
Acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI Kansas City Taekuk Cho and Acting United States Attorney Susan T. Lehr announced that Senior United States District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Joshua Thomas Alan Casiano, 36, of Kearney, Nebraska, on July 10, 2023 to five years’ imprisonment for possession of stolen firearms, following an HSI, law enforcement partner investigation.
As detailed in pleadings filed prior to the sentencing hearing, Jose Cruz Noguez,49, of Mexicali, Mexico was a coordinator of the event in which two SUVs – a GMC Yukon and a Ford Expedition – were modified by removing the seats in the passenger compartments so that undocumented migrants literally could be stacked on top of one another.
Between May 2021 and January 2023, the U.S. Navy seized the weapons, which included more than 9,000 rifles, 284 machine guns, approximately 194 rocket launchers, more than 70 anti-tank guided missiles, and more than 700,000 rounds of ammunition, during routine maritime security operations conducted in and around the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.
Luke Allen Gregory, a 55-year-old resident of Hitchcock, Texas, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to serve 270, 120, and 120 months for the production, possession and receipt of child pornography, respectively, as well as another 120 months for the transfer of obscene material to a minor.
Following the success of Operations Blue Lotus and Four Horsemen, which stopped nearly 10,000 pounds of fentanyl and led to 284 arrests during a two-month period earlier this year, the next phase of DHS’s campaign to target and disrupt the fentanyl supply chain has stopped over 5,000 pounds of precursor chemicals used in the production of fentanyl in its first few weeks.
Ascencion Garza Jr., a 64-year-old resident of Hebbronville, Texas, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to 12 years in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute approximately 16 kilograms of cocaine. Garza pleaded guilty to the charges on January 10.
Shakeeb Ahmed, 34, of New York, New York, is charged with wire fraud and money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The unsealed indictment charges Ahmed with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with his attack on a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.
After extensive bilateral cooperation between the United States and Mexico, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, Fiscalía General de la República, conducted a significant enforcement operation on June 23 to dismantle a prolific transnational drug trafficking organization operating in Nogales, Sonora, along the U.S.–Mexico border. The operation resulted in the arrest of five people and the seizure of 120,000 fentanyl pills, 15 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 15 pounds of cocaine, 3 assault rifles, one 9mm handgun, and a vehicle.
Leonard Darnell George is charged along with Mario Angel Gutierrez, Esteban Galvan and four other unnamed defendants with conspiracy to import and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in the Southern District of California and elsewhere.
ERO officers escorted Saul Ceniceros Santoyo, 27, from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport to Laredo International Airport in Laredo, Texas, on July 11. Ceniceros was then transported to the Laredo, Texas, port of entry where he was removed from the United States and transferred to Mexican authorities on July 12.
Nine2Five LLC and its owner, Sebastian Guthery, pleaded guilty in federal court on July 10 to felony crimes related to the illegal importation of kratom, an opioid-like plant, and the subsequent laundering of proceeds from the sale of the illegally imported product.
Juan Gonzalez-Cardebas, a 56-year-old Mexican national who is lawfully in the United States, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and one or more kilograms of heroin, as well as possession with intent to distribute 18 kilograms of cocaine. Gonzalez was convicted of the charges in August 2022.
On May 23, ERO Phoenix received information that the non-citizen was wanted in connection with a homicide investigation; the person in question was the subject of an arrest warrant for vehicular manslaughter.
Natalie Le Demola, 38, currently incarcerated at the California Institution for Women in Corona, was sentenced by United States District Judge John F. Walter, who also ordered her to pay $933,181 in restitution.
Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Kansas City Taekuk Cho and Acting United States Attorney Susan T. Lehr announced that Senior United States District Court Judge John M. Gerrard has sentenced Donald Greuter, Jr., 57, of Upland, Nebraska on June 29 to a term of 114 months’ imprisonment following his conviction for being a felon in possession of firearms.
Older Americans lose a staggering $2.9 million a year to a growing variety of financial scams. Baby boomers represent the largest and most affluent generation, and one in five victims of reported fraud are between 60 and 69 years old.
Officers with ICE's ERO Miami Stuart suboffice and officials with U.S. Border Patrol arrested 18 unlawfully present individuals during the final week of June in an enforcement action targeting individuals who pose a threat to public safety.