Tag Archives: FBI

Homegrown violent extremists continue to plot within the homeland

BALTIMORE

A United States citizen, Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain, 22 of Baltimore, Maryland, plead guilty Thursday to attempted use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction against an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland. Martinez aka Hussain, was arrested on December 8, 2010, after he attempted to detonate explosives at the station.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the guilty plea and thereafter, Rosenstein made the following statement:

“We are catching dangerous suspects before they strike, and we are investigating them in a way that maximizes the liberty and security of law-abiding citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Rosenstein. “That is what the American people expect of the Justice Department, and that is what we aim to deliver.”

Special Agent in Charge McFeely stated that the threat from homegrown violent extremists remains high. McFeely further stated that the FBI and its police partners rely on a two way flow of information with the Muslim community at large. Together, he added, they are working to stop those that have perverted the Islamic faith into something it is not.

According to Martinez’ plea agreement, on Oct. 22, 2010, he raised the subject of attacking military targets with a confidential source of the FBI. During recorded conversations between Martinez, the confidential source and an FBI undercover agent, Martinez spoke about his anger toward America, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly targeted and killed by the American military and his desire to commit jihad to send a message that American soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its “war” against Islam by targeting an armed forces recruiting center in Catonsville.

Martinez attempted recruiting numerous people for his operation, all declined, with one who went as far as attempting to change Martinez’ mind about committing jihad. According to a statement of facts, both before and during the investigation, Martinez was outspoken about his militant beliefs by posting said beliefs on his public Facebook page and in two Facebook chats with the confidential source of the FBI. Martinez actually attempted to detonate an explosive device at the armed forces recruiting station, and he admitted that the bomb was intended to kill military service members who worked in the building. Set forth in the court documents, however, agents investigating Martinez ensured that the bomb was inert and no danger was presented to the public.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. although if the court accepts the plea, Martinez should be sentenced to 25 years in prison. At present, the government and Martinez have agreed to the sentencing and disposition of the case.

For more information, please see the National Press Release of the Federal Bureau of Investigation entitled: Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center

Read the entire article at Allvoices.

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Thirty-Two South Texas Hispanics Arrested In Operation Sitting Duck

United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced Friday along with Special Agent-in-Charge Cory B. Nelson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) San Antonio field office that thirty-two South Texas Hispanics, many of whom were a police officer, teachers, county government employees and others, were arrested on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud uncovered as a result of the FBI’s “Operation Sitting Duck,” a codename for an ongoing investigation into fraudulent insurance claims filed with American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC).

Prior to the arrests, Operation Sitting Duck returned eight separate but related sealed indictments, the allegations in which concern insurance policies purchased under the AFLAC Accident-Only Insurance Plan under which plan, policyholders file claims with AFLAC to obtain cash benefits if the policyholder received treatment from a physician for a legitimate, accident-caused injury including lacerations, bruises, burns, fractures or dismemberment beginning July of 2001. The indictments allege that from July 2001 through April 2010, the policyholders invented fake accidents claiming injuries and treated with two physicians who worked together at a clinic in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The physicians then prepared accident reports for each fake injury in exchange for a cash kickback of approximately $15 per accident report falsely claiming they provided treatment and medication. Over said time period, the policyholders submitted approximately 21,600 allegedly false and fraudulent insurance claims, each submitted claim was accompanied by the physicians’ accident reports and sent to AFLAC claims department. As a result of the fraudulent claims, AFLAC disbursed approximately $3 million in insurance proceeds.

The FBI has issued a Press Release, in which the FBI confirms that seven of the eight indictments have become unsealed or at least partially un-sealed providing the following list of those arrested in connection with the allegations:

Indictment #1

Name Age City of Residence

Lucila Alcala, 40, Edinburg, Texas

Lilly Perez, 32, La Villa, Texas

Desiree Rodriguez, 34, Edinburg, Texas

Jose D. Rodriguez, 27, Edinburg, Texas

Steven Betancourt, 39, Edinburg, Texas

Maria C. Alaniz, 39, Elsa, Texas

Patricia Cerda-Flores, 44, Palmview, Texas

Dalia Cerda-Delgado, 39, Palmview, Texas

Leonor B. Salinas, 46, Elsa, Texas

Maria Guzman, 40, Edinburg, Texas

Rebecca Castillo, 41, Edinburg, Texas

Ninfa Reyes, 38, Edcouch, Texas

Noemi Villareal, 60, Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #2

Idaleen Sanchez, 34, Edinburg, Texas

Norma Sanchez, 41, Edinburg, Texas

Valerio Ramos, 55, Edinburg, Texas

Jose Guerra, Jr., 37, La Joya, Texas

Eddie Guerra, 34, Alamo, Texas

Indictment #3

Mary Cedillo, 65, Edinburg, Texas

Martha Ortega, 57, McAllen, Texas

Yolanda Segovia, 55, McAllen, Texas

Candida Chavez, 34, McAllen, Texas

Lori Chavez, 30, McAllen, Texas

Anissa Chavez, 31, McAllen, Texas

Homer Cedillo, Jr., 41, Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #4

Norma Flores, 54, Palmview, Texas

Nora Palacios, 53, La Joya, Texas

Georgina Flores, 33, Mission, Texas

Indictment #5

Nancy Rodriguez, 31, Pharr, Texas

Maria Cantu, 56, McAllen, Texas

Indictment #6

Beatriz Carreon, 42, Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #7

Minerva Murguia, 43, Sullivan City, Texas

According to the FBI, each count of conspiracy and wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, a $250,000 fine and mandatory restitution.

[The original article is also located at: allvoices.com]

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Construction Projects Fast-Tracked by Los Angeles City Inspectors for Cash

LOS ANGELES | April 8, 2011

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, a confidential informant has provided the FBI with information in that as many as 40 cash bribes in exchange for approving and fast-tracking construction projects were accepted by City of Los Angeles building inspectors of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.

TWO INSPECTORS, ONE INFORMANT AND AN AFFIDAVIT

In an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Teresa L. Brand the details of the bribes are explained by the informant. The information provided led to the federal investigation of two City of Los Angeles building inspectors: Hugo Joel Gonzalez, 49, of Eagle Rock and Raoul Joseph Germain, 59, of Altadena. Gonzalez and Germain were arrested Friday in connection with the bribery allegations.

The informant, a work site supervisor for a residential property developer, told Special Agent Brand that in addition to cash bribes, inspectors also accepted materials and labor for their personal homes. In one case, the informant said he or she had paid for an inspector’s vacation.

The informant “never refused to pay a bribe in connection with any such property, because acquiescence to bribe demands avoids delays in the construction inspection process and, at least with certain … inspectors, is the only way to pass inspections required in connection with residential construction projects,” according to the affidavit. It is unclear how many inspectors were involved in the alleged activity.

CITY AGENCY REACTION

Los Angeles City Council members stated Friday they want to know how widespread the allegations are. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (the “Department”) said Friday that the Department has determined that homes at the center of the federal bribery case are safe.

“The [D]epartment takes these matters, when they arise, very seriously and with zero tolerance,” said Department spokesman David Lara.

THE PROSECUTION

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Akrotirianakis said that Gonzalez and Germain, who have each been charged with one count of federal bribery and made their first appearance in federal court Friday. Each of the two men face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Attorney Akrontirianakis declined to say whether he anticipates more arrests coming out of the investigation.

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