ATF Washington Field Division Releases Mid-Year Significant Investigations Results

Fri Aug 8, 2008 6:15pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

ATF Washington Field Division Releases Mid-Year Significant Investigations
Results

 
WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Edgar A. Domenech, special agent
in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Washington Field Division, released the first mid-year report on ATF
significant cases today.

"My goal in releasing this summary is to educate the residents of Washington,
D.C., and the Commonwealth of Virginia as to what the men and women of ATF are
doing to make their communities safer," said Domenech.  "ATF agents work
day-in and day-out with our law enforcement partners to put violent criminals
in federal prison so that these criminals can no longer victimize our law
abiding citizens and their children.  We all want to live in communities safe
from violent crime; I hope that the citizens see that we are doing all we can
to help achieve this."

ATF's number one domestic priority focuses exclusively on violent crime. By
regulating the firearms and explosives industries, we have jurisdiction and
unique statutory authority over the "tools of the trade" that make street
gangs and violent offenders a threat to public safety.  ATF is bringing cases
federally to get the "worst-of-the-worst" criminals the longest possible
sentences and keep them off the streets because there is no parole in the
federal system.  By focusing on a community's crime problem ATF's hope is that
the citizens of that community will enjoy a greater quality of life.

The following report is broken down into several areas and highlights the work
that ATF and its partners are doing in the areas of violent crime, firearms
trafficking, gun store burglaries/robberies, arson investigations, cigarette
diversion investigations and regulatory efforts.  "ATF recognizes that we
cannot do this alone, and those agencies that have worked with us have been
critical to our success in these investigations," said Domenech.

Fact Sheet

WASHINGTON FIELD DIVISION MID-YEAR 

INVESTIGATIONS REPORT

VIOLENT CRIME INVESTIGATIONS

OPERATION HIGHWAY MEN:  On May 23, 2008, Johnny Patrick Meinen, 23, of
Triangle, Va., was sentenced to 211 months in federal prison for conspiracy to
distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, maintaining a drug involved
premise, and possessing a firearm during an attempted drug deal.  Meinen is
the 75th federal defendant to be sentenced in phase two of "Operation Highway
Men," an ATF-led task force targeting gun and drug traffickers in the eastern
area of Prince William County, Va.  This investigation resulted in charges
against 117 defendants for violating federal and state laws.  Over half of
those defendants who have been sentenced in federal court have received
sentences of 10 years or more, with two receiving life imprisonment.  ATF
agents and local officers have seized 81 firearms, along with illegal
narcotics, cash and automobiles used in drug trafficking.

FIVE CHARGED WITH FEDERAL NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING AND INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION
OF STOLEN GOODS:  On June 11, 2008, ATF agents and detectives with the
Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department arrested David Dawson, 39, of
Hyattsville, Md., Maurice Crutchfield, 35, of Washington, D.C., Kenneth Posey,
54, of Landover, Md., John Haley, 61, of Washington, D.C., and Ronald Haley,
56, for violating federal narcotics and stolen property laws.  Agents and
detectives recovered more than two kilograms of powder cocaine, 500 grams of
crack cocaine, 147 pounds of marijuana, approximately $140,000 in cash, four
firearms, ammunition and presumed stolen property.  An Indictment is merely a
formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and
every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

DEFENDANTS SENTENCED IN VIOLENT HOME INVASION:  ATF agents, along with members
of the Petersburg and Hopewell, Va., Police Departments arrested Cameron
Clayton, 37; Charles Ruffin, 26; and Marcus Crawley, 25, all from Petersburg,
for a violent home invasion committed on Sept. 17, 2007.  During the home
invasion one of the residents was stabbed and pistol whipped by the subjects. 
On May 30, 2008, Clayton was sentenced to 324 months in federal prison, and
Ruffin and Crawley were sentenced to 234 months in federal prison.

HOPEWELL, VA, REPEAT OFFENDER SENTENCED FOR FIREARMS POSSESSION:  ATF and
Hopewell Police charged Lavandrell Hicks, 19, of Hopewell, for possession with
intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon.  Hicks
was arrested on the same day that he had been convicted in state court for
being a felon in possession of a firearm.  On May 30, 2008, Hicks was
sentenced to 63 months in federal prison.

MARYLAND RESIDENTS CONVICTED FOR VIRGINIA ARMED ROBBERIES:  On April 16, 2008,
Marshall Monroe, James Tyer, and Christopher Rogers, all from Maryland, were
convicted by a federal jury for a series of armed robberies committed on Oct.
28 and 30 in Fairfax and Arlington County, Va.  The subjects robbed three
7-Eleven stores on Oct. 28, and Monroe and Tyer robbed a Sunoco service
station on Oct. 30.  In each robbery shotguns were brandished during the
robberies.  Each subject faces substantial federal prison time when they are
sentenced on July 18, 2008.  This investigation was conducted by ATF agents
and Fairfax and Arlington County detectives.

ALEXANDRIAMAN CONVICTED FOR SERIES OF ARMED ROBBERIES:  On April 25, 2008,
James Edward Rose was convicted by a federal jury for a series of armed
robberies that were committed between Jan. 18, 2007, and Feb. 22, 2007, in
Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax Counties, Va.  Rose used a handgun and a
short-barreled shotgun during these robberies, and he fired the firearms
during the robberies.  Rose faces up to 87 years in federal prison when he's
sentenced on July 18, 2008.  This investigation was conducted by ATF,
Alexandria Police detectives, and Arlington and Fairfax County detectives.

MANASSASMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL WEAPONS CHARGES:  Christopher Compton, of
Manassas, Va., pleaded guilty on Thursday, March 13, 2008, to possessing and
transferring machine guns in violation of federal law.  Between April 12,
2007, and Dec. 11, 2007, Compton sold unregistered machine guns, a short
barrel rifle and a silencer to an undercover ATF agent.  At the time of his
arrest, agents recovered additional weapons during a search of his residence.

FORMER NAVY SEAL SENTENCED ON FIREARMS CHARGES:  Elbert Tillman, of Suffolk,
Va., was sentenced on July 2, 2008, to 87 months in federal prison for
violations of federal firearms laws.  Tillman was arrested on Dec. 29, 2007,
after a search of his property found six pounds of C-4 plastic explosive, a
claymore mine, incendiary grenades, various explosive components, more than
13,000 rounds of military ammunition, and hundreds of vials of anabolic
steroids.  ATF, along with the Suffolk County Police and Fire Departments and
the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigated this case.

NEWPORTNEWS DRUG DEALER SENTENCED TO LIFE PLUS 105 YEARS IN PRISON:  Robert
Ronald Gibson, 26, of Newport News, Va., was sentenced on June 9, 2008, to
life plus 105 years in federal prison for violating federal narcotics and
firearms laws.  Gibson was convicted by a federal jury in February after
evidence was presented that Gibson and other co-conspirators were part of a
violent drug organization involved in the distribution of cocaine and ecstasy.
 The co-conspirators were also charged in several shootings that occurred in
2005 and 2006.  Gibson's six co-conspirators received sentences ranging from
11 to 43 years in prison.  ATF, DEA, York County Sheriff's investigators,
along with Newport News and Hampton Police detectives worked together on this
investigation.

DINWIDDIE, VA., DRUG DEALER SENTENCED TO LIFE PLUS 60 MONTHS IN PRISON:Ray
Prosise, 36, of Dinwiddie, Va., was sentenced on July 2, 2008, to life plus 60
months in federal prison for violating federal firearms and narcotics laws. 
Prosise was convicted by a federal jury in April after a two-day trial. 
Prosise is believed to be one of the largest drug dealers in the region, and
when ATF agents, Sussex County officers, and DEA agents attempted to take
Prosise into custody on Aug. 17, 2007, Prosise rammed his vehicle into a
vehicle operated by a DEA agent, and ended up driving his vehicle into a pond,
where he tried to get rid of the one-half pound of cocaine that was in his
vehicle.  Prosise was also in possession of a .40 caliber Glock handgun.

THREE INDIVIDUALS INDICTED IN MURDER-FOR-HIRE OF NAVY OFFICER:  Catherina
Voss, 32, and Michael Draven, 27, both of Newport News, Va., and David Runyon,
37, of Morgantown, W.Va., were indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 13,
2008, on charges related to the murder of Cory Allen Voss, who was an officer
in the U.S. Navy.  The indictment alleges that the subjects conspired to
murder Voss to obtain life insurance proceeds and other Navy benefits.  Voss
was shot and killed on April 29, 2007, in the area surrounding the Langley
Federal Credit Union in Newport News, Va.  The indictment alleges that
Catherina Voss and Draven hired Runyon to kill Voss, and that Runyon traveled
from West Virginia to commit the murder.  The case was investigated by ATF,
the Newport News Police Department and the Naval Criminal Investigative
Service. An Indictment and arrest is merely a formal charge that a defendant
has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed
innocent until, and unless, proven guilty. 

SIX INDIVIDUALS FROM DICKENSON AND RUSSELL COUNTY, VA., INDICTED ON DRUG
DISTRIBUTION AND FIREARMS CHARGES:  On June 20, 2008, a federal grand jury in
Abingdon, Va., indicted Danny Laforce, 55, Kristy Rasnick, 26, Kimberly
Rasnick, 27, Joshua Neece, 25, and Gary Seckman, 63, for violations of federal
drug distribution and firearms laws.  In addition to allegedly distributing
methylin, Ritalin and hydrocodone, Laforce is charged with two counts of
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Seckman is charged with
knowingly providing a firearm to a convicted felon. An Indictment and arrest
is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of
criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless,
proven guilty. 

THREE MEMBERS OF METHAMPHETAMINE DISTRIBUTION RING RECEIVE LENGHTY PRISON
TERMS:  Juan Manuel Garcia, 24, Brenda Sue Lucas, 43, and Samuel Lee Simmons,
28, were sentenced to federal prison in May 2008 for their roles in a
methamphetamine ring that distributed more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. 
Simmons was sentenced to 157 months, while Garcia was sentenced to 135 months
and Lucas was sentenced to 37 months.  The three were part of a 12-person
conspiracy who distributed methamphetamine throughout the Charlottesville,
Va., region.

NEW YORKMAN CHARGED WITH MURDER:  On March 13, 2008, after a two-year
investigation conducted by the Orange County, Va., Sheriff's Office and ATF,
Gary Christopher Johnson, 18, of St. Albans, N.Y., was indicted for the murder
of Katherine Danielle Howard.  The Grand Jury charged that Johnson shot and
killed Howard on Feb. 22, 2006, in Gordonsville, Va., after stealing her car. 
Johnson was a juvenile at the time, and the U.S. Attorney requested that
Johnson be transferred to adult status because of the violent nature of the
charges. An Indictment and arrest is merely a formal charge that a defendant
has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed
innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

FIREARMS TRAFFICKING/GUN STORE ROBBERIES AND BURGLARIES

ATF ARRESTS TWO FOR GUN STORE ROBBERY:  ATF agents and task force officers
from Roanoke, Va., along with Prince Georges' County detectives and ATF agents
in Greenbelt, Md., arrested two subjects for the armed robbery of the Southern
Gun Store in Collinsville, Va.Ronald Ganeous, 22, of Bladensburg, Md., and
Timothy Jackson Jr., 23, of Upper Marlboro, Md., were arrested on Dec. 4,
2007, and charged with the armed robbery that occurred on Nov. 13.  More than
70 firearms were stolen during the robbery. An Indictment and arrest is merely
a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws
and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

SENTENCING IN CONSPIRACY TO BURGLARIZE LOCAL FIREARMS DEALERS:  On May 16,
2008, Michael Wayne Lewis was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison after
pleading guilty to burglarizing gun stores in Prince William, Rappahannock and
Warren Counties in Virginia.  Four other members of the conspiracy were also
sentenced to serve time in federal prison.  Lewis admitted to stealing 64
firearms in the burglaries and trading or selling them in the D.C. and
Baltimore areas for drugs.  One of the stolen firearms was used in the
shooting of a Baltimore Police officer.

CURRENT AND FORMER U.S. NAVY SERVICE MEMBERS INDICTED FOR VIOLATING FEDERAL
FIREARMS AND NARCOTICS LAWS:  On April 24, 2008, Pierre Atekwana, 24, Eddie
James Bunyton II, 26, Jeffrey Krauss, 29, and Ricardo Veillard, 28, all from
Norfolk, Va., and DeJuan Brown, 24, from Tennessee, were indicted for
violating federal firearms and narcotics laws.  The indictment alleges that
the five defendants conspired to transport guns from Virginia to New York and
the District of Columbia.  The indictment alleges that the defendants
conspired to transport controlled substances from New York to Virginia.  In
all, more than 50 firearms have allegedly been purchased and trafficked by
these individuals throughout Virginia, D.C., and New York.  An Indictment and
arrest is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of
criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless,
proven guilty.

ALEXANDRIA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO EXPORTING FIREARMS TO GHANA, AGGRAVATED
IDENTIFY THEFT:  Francis K. Fosuhene, 38, of Alexandria, Va., pleaded guilty
on June 5, 2008, to aggravated identity theft and exporting firearms without a
license.  Fosuhene admitted to acquiring at least 23 firearms from September
2005 to December 2007, and used another person's identity to purchase some of
these firearms.  Fosuhene also admitted to shipping at least 22 firearms to
Ghanaby concealing the guns in other items being shipped to Ghana.

ARSON INVESTIGATIONS

WOODBRIDGEMEN PLEAD GUILTY TO ARSON:  Robert Williams, Raymond Potoski, and
Santiago Ravens, of Woodbridge, Va., have all pleaded guilty to arson charges
stemming from fires at Meadows Farms and Playtime Pools and Spas in
Woodbridge.  The three defendants admitted that they set the fires to cover up
their burglarizing the businesses.  Potoski faces a July 25, 2008, sentencing
date, while Ravens and Williams sentencing date is Sept. 12, 2008. 

FORMER VIRGINIATECH STUDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO ARSON:  On April 8, 2008, Robert
Andrew Lawson, 23, of Blacksburg, Va., pleaded guilty to arson charges
stemming from a series of fires that occurred at the Blacksburg-area apartment
complex where he resided.  Lawson admitted setting three different fires at
the Terrace View Apartments from July to September 2007.

TOBACCO DIVERSION INVESTIGATIONS

TWENTY-SEVEN INDIVDUALS INDICTED FOR CHARGES RELATED TO CIGARETTE SMUGGLING: 
In May of 2008, 27 individuals were charged with possessing and distributing
contraband cigarettes, wire fraud, and money laundering.  These subjects were
alleged to have traveled to Virginia to purchase cigarettes and then smuggle
then to New York to avoid New York taxes.

FOUR ARRESTED FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE CONTABAND CIGARETTE TRAFFICKING ACT:  On
May 9, 2008, Altaf Shah, Aabid Shoeib, Said Akbar, and Aqeel Albidhany were
arrested by ATF agents and Fairfax County police detectives for violating
federal cigarette trafficking laws.  Agents and detectives seized more than
$160,000 in cash and checks, along with cases of cigarettes and a box truck.
An Indictment and arrest is merely a formal charge that a defendant has
committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed
innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

FEDERAL FIREARMS/EXPLOSIVES LICENSEE INSPECTIONS

During the first six months of 2008, ATF industry operations investigators
inspected 213 federal firearms licensees (FFLs).  Of these inspections, a
total of 74 were inspections for new license applicants.  Of the remaining 139
inspections, 19 FFLs received a warning letter, 12 received a warning
conference with an additional warning letter, and one FFL surrendered their
license in lieu of administrative action.

During this same period, investigators conducted a total of 65 inspections of
explosives licensees.  Only one inspection resulted in the issuance of a
warning conference.

CONTACT: Special Agent Mike Campbell
(202) 648-8021 (Office) 
(202) 327-4195 (Cell)

Mike Campbell
PIO Washington Field Division
(202) 648-8021









SOURCE  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Special Agent Mike Campbell, +1-202-648-8021 (Office), +1-202-327-4195 (Cell),
Mike Campbell, PIO Washington Field Division, +1-202-648-8021, both of ATF
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