U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon
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News Releases
Retired Lawyer Indicted for Tax Evasion and Making a False Statement - 10/22/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – On October 16, 2018, a federal grand jury in Portland charged retired attorney Bruce L. Lamon, of Hillsboro, Oregon, with evading $744,000 in personal income taxes.

Lamon is charged in a two-count indictment alleging he evaded payment of his taxes for calendar years 2008 through 2013 and failed to disclose rental income in an application to proceed In Forma Pauperis in a civil case he filed in federal court in 2016.

Between 2006 and 2012, Lamon worked as a commercial litigator at a law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. Lamon retired in 2012 and moved to Hillsboro. Between November 2012 and December 2015, in the District of Oregon, Lamon is alleged to have committed numerous affirmative acts to evade his tax obligations. These acts include but are not limited to titling vehicles in his former spouse’s name and purchasing rental properties with cash using an LLC registered in Hawaii to conceal these assets from the IRS.

This case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and prosecuted by Seth D. Uram, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

# # #

Attached Media Files: INDICTMENT-Lamon-Final.pdf
Two Prineville Men Charged With Conspiracy To Transfer And Unlawful Possession Of A Machine Gun - 10/19/18

EUGENE, Ore. – A three-count indictment was unsealed in federal court today charging John Widener Jordan, 38, and Michael James Friesen, 32, both of Prineville, Oregon, with conspiracy to transfer and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

According to the indictment, between May and June 2018, Friesen agreed to broker the sale of a Guide Lamp, Model M3A1, .45 ACP caliber machine gun for Jordan. Between May 30 and June 5, Friesen discussed the sale price of the firearm with an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) posing as a potential purchaser. Friesen confirmed for the agent that he had seen the firearm function as a machine gun.

On June 6, Friesen met the undercover agent in a motel room in Prineville. Shortly thereafter, Jordan brought the firearm to the motel room and completed the transaction in exchange for $3,000 in cash. Jordan in turn paid Friesen for arranging the sale.

This case was investigated by the ATF and is being prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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Pendleton Man Found Guilty of Abusive Sexual Contact on the Umatilla Indian Reservation - 10/18/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, a federal jury in Portland found Shane Britton, 43, of Pendleton, Oregon, guilty of abusive sexual contact.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, in June 2016, Britton was staying at a residence shared by the victim and her mother on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The victim and her mother are both enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Britton is not a tribal member.

During his stay, Britton subjected the victim to a series of unwanted and progressively more invasive physical encounters. In a recorded interview, Britton initially denied the allegation of abusive sexual contact, but later admitted he inappropriately touched the victim. Britton eventually told law enforcement officers that “in no way shape or form did [the victim] do anything wrong or provoke” his abusive conduct.

Britton faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years’ supervised release. He will be sentenced on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon.

The FBI investigated this case in partnership with the Umatilla Tribal Police Department. It was prosecuted by Jennifer Martin and Natalie Wight, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

# # #

Attached Media Files: VERDICT-Britton-Final.pdf
Harrisburg Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Dealing Heroin and Illegally Possessing a Firearm - 10/15/18

EUGENE, Ore. – Shawn Sherman Wilson, Jr., 27, of Harrisburg, Oregon, was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release for dealing heroin and illegally possessing a firearm.

According to court documents, law enforcement began investigating Wilson in July 2017 after receiving a tip from a confidential source that he was trafficking heroin in and around Eugene. An undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) contacted Wilson and arranged to purchase an ounce of heroin. They agreed to meet on July 24, 2017 in front of Taylor’s Bar & Grill, a popular night spot in Eugene near the University of Oregon.

At the meeting location, the ATF agent entered Wilson’s car, sitting in the front passenger seat. Wilson had a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol sitting between his legs with the pistol’s handle positioned for easy access. The agent said “I see you got the heat.” Wilson replied, “yeah, while I’m running around town.” Wilson grabbed the firearm and showed it to the agent, telling the agent the firearm belonged to his girlfriend and he was interested in purchasing another.

The ATF agent subsequently completed the heroin purchase, giving Wilson $1,200 in cash. Wilson was later arrested in Douglas County on August 6, 2017. When arrested, Wilson possessed a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol matching the description of the firearm observed by the undercover agent during the controlled buy.

Wilson previously pleaded guilty to one count each of possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime on May 30, 2018.

This case was investigated by ATF and prosecuted by Pamela Paaso, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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Attached Media Files: SENTENCING-Wilson-Final.pdf
Clark County Man Sentenced to 37 Months in Prison for Fraud Scheme Involving False Clean Energy Company - 10/09/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – Isaac Benjamin Voss, 41, of Clark County, Washington, was sentenced today to 37 months in prison and three years’ supervised release for defrauding domestic and foreign investors who believed they were investing in a viable clean energy company.

According to court documents, in 2007, Voss made a deal with a Canadian scientist and entrepreneur to raise funds to support the development of a technology that would derive electricity and petroleum-equivalent fuels from any carbon bearing material. Over a four-year period beginning in 2011, Voss used his company, XFuels, as a vehicle for soliciting investments from individuals abroad and in Oregon, California, and Washington state.

Voss defrauded investors using elaborate marketing materials, including flyers, brochures and a website, containing false information about his company, the technology and the investment opportunity. He claimed that XFuels owned a commercial refinery in Canada and that another was being constructed in Washington state. The plants were said to be using the technology to produce "clean fuel, clean chemicals, [and] clean power from garbage, biomass, and plastic."

To reduce the perceived risk of the venture, Voss told investors that more than 90 percent of the project’s funding would come from other institutional and private lenders and that he had commissioned an independent, third-party feasibility study that guaranteed the project’s commercial viability. In reality, XFuels had not constructed any facilities and the only capital raised was from other individual investors in the U.S. and abroad. Moreover, the feasibility study relied solely on information provided by Voss himself and did not employ any commercially accepted methods to validate the technology.

On numerous occasions, Voss hosted foreign investment seminars during which he told investors that supporting XFuels, with a minimum $500,000 investment, would qualify them for American Employment-Based Fifth Category "EB-5" visas. Voss also falsely claimed he would hold foreign investment funds in escrow until the U.S. government had approved investors’ visa applications. The XFuels project did not qualify for the EB-5 program and all investors’ visa applications were denied, as a result.

Voss previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on March 8, 2018.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS and the Department of Homeland Security investigated this case. It is being prosecuted by Michelle H. Kerin and Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

# # #

Attached Media Files: SENTENCING-Voss-Final.pdf
Troutdale Doctor Sentenced for Purchasing and Administering Foreign-Sourced Botox and Juvaderm - 10/04/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – Brenda Roberts, 54, of Troutdale, Oregon, was sentenced today to six months’ probation and 40 hours of community service for illegally purchasing foreign-sourced Botox and Juvaderm on the internet and administering both to patients in her home.

“Purchasing foreign-sourced and unapproved drugs and devices on the internet poses a grave danger to the health and safety patients. Dr. Roberts violated her professional duty to ‘do no harm’ and instead subjected her patients to an incredible risk of injury,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“U.S. consumers rely on FDA oversight to ensure that the drugs and medical devices they use are safe and effective. Rogue health care professionals who obtain foreign unapproved medical products, and dispense and administer those products to their patients, put the health of those patients at significant risk,” said Lisa L. Malinowski, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Los Angeles Field Office. “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who choose to put the public’s health at such risk.”

According to court documents, beginning in 2008, Roberts provided medical services from her home in Troutdale as a supplement to her full-time position with an outside medical practice. Roberts would purchase Botox and Juvaderm from websites including BuckaDayPharmacy.com, AllDayChemist.com and FindlandiaPharmacy.com that were manufactured for distribution in foreign countries, but not approved for use in the U.S. Roberts would administer Botox and Juvaderm to clients from her home office.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigated Roberts for dispensing controlled substances over the internet. During their investigation, the DEA learned of Roberts administering Botox to patients in her home and referred the matter to the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) for further investigation. Roberts resolved these claims via a monetary civil settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Division in May 2018.

Roberts previously pleaded guilty to one count of receipt in interstate commerce of adulterated or misbranded drugs or devices and delivery for pay in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 331(c) on June 19, 2018.

This case was investigated by FDA-OCI and DEA and was prosecuted by Donna B. Maddux, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

# # #

Attached Media Files: SENTENCING-Roberts-Final.pdf
U.S. Attorney Williams Announces Progress in Making Community Safe Through Project Safe Neighborhood - 10/03/18

PORTLAND, Ore.—One year ago, the Department of Justice announced the revitalization and enhancement of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which Attorney General Sessions has made the centerpiece of the department’s violent crime reduction strategy.

PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

“Project Safe Neighborhoods is a proven program with demonstrated results,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “We know that the most effective strategy to reduce violent crime is based on sound policing policies that have proven effective over many years, which includes being targeted and responsive to community needs. I have empowered our United States Attorneys to focus enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals in their districts, and directed that they work together with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners to develop tailored solutions to the unique violent crime problems they face. Each United States Attorney has prioritized the PSN program, and I am confident that it will continue to reduce crime, save lives, and restore safety to our communities.”

“Keeping our communities safe is the most sacred duty of law enforcement officials at all levels of government. It remains a key focus of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the entire federal law enforcement community,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “The revitalized PSN program focuses federal resources in support of our state, local and tribal partners’ ongoing effort to reduce violent crime in Oregon. Over the past year, we’ve seen many of the district’s most violent criminals brought to justice as a result of this program.”

As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the revitalized PSN program, here are some of the highlights of our PSN actions over the past year:

Enforcement Actions

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon works in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute the district’s most violent offenders under the PSN program. Recent prosecutions include:

U.S. v. Dencklau et al.

On June 28, 2018, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a four-count indictment charging three members and associates of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club (GJOMC) for racketeering, kidnapping and murder.

Mark Leroy Dencklau, 58, of Woodburn, Oregon; Earl Deverle Fisher, 48, of Gresham, Oregon; and Tiler Evan Pribbernow, 37, of Portland were charged with murder in aid of racketeering; kidnapping in aid of racketeering, resulting in death; kidnapping resulting in death and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, resulting in death. Between June 30 and July 1, 2015, the defendants are alleged to have kidnapped, tortured, and murdered Robert Huggins, a resident of southeast Portland.

Huggins was a former treasurer of a local GJOMC chapter. The indictment alleges Dencklau, Fisher and Pribbernow engaged in the violent actions leading to Huggins’ death for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their positions in the GJOMC criminal enterprise.

A 10-day jury trial is scheduled for December 11, 2018.

Read More

U.S. v. Brockner

On August 14, 2018, Jesse Lee Brockner, 32, of Portland, was sentenced to 120 months in prison and three years’ supervised release for armed bank robbery and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

In August 2017, three men burglarized and stole a vehicle from a barn in Yamhill County, Oregon. Two of the suspects fled in a moving truck and a third in the stolen vehicle. After Yamhill County Sheriff deputies located, arrested and interviewed the two suspects who fled in the moving truck, they identified Brockner as the third suspect. During a search of the moving truck, deputies found a backpack containing approximately $4,000, drug paraphernalia, and Brockner’s driver’s license.

Later the same morning, Brockner robbed a U.S. Bank branch in Beaverton, Oregon wearing a welding mask and holding a firearm. During the robbery, Brockner made numerous threats of physical violence and pointed a handgun at the teller. A witness observed Brockner walk through a parking lot adjacent to the bank and enter a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle.

Approximately two hours later, an FBI Task Force Officer with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) observed a vehicle matching the stolen vehicle’s description in Southeast Portland. After confirming Brockner’s identity, multiple marked PPB patrol units responded to assist the Task Force Officer. A high risk traffic stop was attempted and led to a vehicle pursuit. The pursuit ended in a crash and an officer involved shooting in Northeast Portland. Brockner was arrested and transported to a local hospital to receive medical attention.

Read More

U.S. v. Manzo

On August 27, 2018, Gonzalo Manzo, Jr., 33, of Fresno, California, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

In 2017, Manzo coordinated the shipment of a kilogram of cocaine from California to Southern Oregon. Manzo and his co-conspirators sold the cocaine to undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Oregon in exchange for firearms and $21,000 in cash. Manzo intended for the firearms and cash to be transported back to California but agents arrested Manzo and his co-conspirators and the firearms were seized by law enforcement.

Manzo will be sentenced on December 11, 2018.

Read More

U.S. v. Fleet

On September 4, 2018, Christopher James Fleet, 23, of Portland, was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release for possessing distribution quantities of methamphetamine and two firearms.

On August 23, 2017, deputies from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigation Unit were conducting surveillance at a known drug and gang house in Portland. They observed a vehicle parked in front of the house they believed was connected with Fleet, a drug dealer with an outstanding arrest warrant. Upon leaving the house and attempting to drive away, deputies blocked Fleet using unmarked vehicles and approached him wearing marked law enforcement raid vests. After initially refusing to comply with the deputy’s commands to raise his hands and failing to find an escape route, Fleet surrendered.

During the arrest, deputies found a Kel Tec 9mm firearm and distribution quantities of heroin and methamphetamine on Fleet’s person. They also found a locked backpack in Fleet’s vehicle. The backpack was later found to contain .40 caliber Sig Sauer pistol, drug records, and a digital scale.

Read More

These enforcement actions and partnerships are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. Learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods.

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Final Oregon Defendant Sentenced in Interstate Opioid Trafficking Scheme - 10/02/18

EUGENE, Ore. – Brett Allen McNeal, 37, of Grants Pass, Oregon, was sentenced today to three months in federal prison for distributing oxycodone as part of an interstate opioid-trafficking organization.

The organization was structured around Daniel Cham, a doctor practicing in La Puente, California, who would illegally provide prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other powerful medications in exchange money orders and cash. The narcotics were moved from Southern California through a network of redistributors for eventual sale in Oregon.

“At a time when the opioid crisis continues to worsen in Oregon, some medical providers aim to profit off addiction. The drug trafficking network that grew from Dr. Cham’s criminal activity contributed to the overdose deaths of two people, including a young woman here in Oregon” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “This conduct is reprehensible. Criminal organizations who traffic opioids will be dismantled, person-by-person, until every last participant has been prosecuted.”

“Corrupt doctors and dealers who cash in on the opioid epidemic are fueling the cycle of dependence and addiction in our community. In doing so, they put lives at risk and make it that much more difficult for the most vulnerable to overcome the pull of these narcotics,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “This is a health care problem, a crime problem and a societal problem - and one that will take many partners working together to address fully.”

Cham would write prescriptions to individuals both known and unknown to him and to others he knew to be prolific drug dealers and addicts. He regularly sold prescriptions to John Bryden, an Oregon resident, who in turn would sell them to other co-conspirators, including Kevin Grimes, Marcela Cooper, and Austin Alderete, for distribution across Oregon.

McNeal purchased oxycodone from Alderete and sold it for a profit to end users. One of those end users, Jessica Morretti, died of an overdose on April 13, 2012. According to text messages on Moretti’s cell phone from the evening she overdosed, McNeal had provided her with five 30mg oxycodone pills the same day. An analysis of post-mortem toxicology reports indicated that the lethal amount of oxycodone in Moretti’s system could have come from multiple sources, including McNeal.

McNeal admitted to law enforcement that he had purchased 30mg oxycodone pills from Alderete on multiple occasions for $15-20 apiece. Alderete would at a times front McNeal up to 100 oxycodone pills.

McNeal is the sixth defendant overall and last prosecuted in Oregon to be sentenced for their role in the trafficking organization. Other sentenced defendants include:

  • Daniel Cham, 49, of Covina, California – 160 months in prison and three years’ supervised release (sentenced in the Central District of California)
  • Kevin Grimes, 46, of Calimesa, California – 37 months in prison and three years’ supervised release
  • Austin Alderete, 32, no known residence – 21 months in prison and three years’ supervised release
  • Maricela Ann Cooper, 27, of Central Point, Oregon – time served in prison and three years’ supervised release
  • Laurie Ryan, 59, of Jackson County, Oregon – 18 months’ probation (sentenced in Jackson County Circuit Court)

Tracy Townsend, a high-level co-conspirator of Cham’s from California, remains at large. John Bryden died before being prosecuted.

McNeal previously pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with distribution of oxycodone in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). Upon completion of his prison sentence, he will be on supervised release for three years.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Drug abuse affects communities across the nation, and opioid abuse continues to be particularly devastating. The CDC reports that from 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdoses. In 2016, 66% of drug overdose deaths involved an opioid. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury or death in the United States. In Oregon, the total number of deaths related to drug use increased 11 percent between from 2013 to 2017, with 546 known drug related deaths last year.

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, please call the Lines for Life substance abuse helpline at 1-800-923-4357 or visit www.linesforlife.org. Phone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also text “RecoveryNow” to 839863 between 8am and 11pm PST daily.

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Attached Media Files: SENTENCING-McNeal-Final.pdf
Justice Department Awards Nearly $320 Million to Combat Opioid Addiction Crisis - 10/02/18

More than $6.3 million awarded to local governments and a professional consortium in Oregon

WASHINGTON – To mark the beginning of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams joined the Department of Justice in announcing grant awards of nearly $320 million to combat the opioid crisis in America. The awards will directly help those most impacted by the deadliest drug crisis in American history, including crime victims, children, families and first responders.

“President Trump has made ending the opioid crisis a priority for this administration, and under his leadership, the Department of Justice has taken historic action,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Today we are announcing our next steps: investing $320 million into all three parts of the President’s comprehensive plan to end the epidemic: prevention, treatment, and enforcement. We are attacking this crisis from every angle—and we will not let up until we bring it to an end.”

“The opioid addiction crisis cannot be solved by any one agency or jurisdiction. It requires a coordinated effort of governments, law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and individual citizens, working together to solve problems, big and small,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “These awards are an important step in the right direction and will expand the reach of innovative programs across the state.”

Approximately $6.3 million of the $320 million awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) will support local governments and a professional consortium in Oregon. A complete breakdown of the grant funding can be found here.

Summary of Oregon Awards

Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program ($162 million awarded)

Helps jurisdictions plan and implement programs aimed at reducing opioid abuse and mitigating its impact on crime victims

  • Marion County – $1,399,562
  • Clackamas County – $900,000

Helping Children and Youth Impacted by Opioids ($46.6 million awarded)

Helps children and youth impacted by the opioid crisis

  • Clackamas County – $1,000,999

Drug Courts ($81.2 million awarded)

Assists adult, juvenile and family drug courts and veterans treatment courts

  • City of Beaverton – $500,000
  • Washington County – $945,454
  • Lane County – $550,000
  • Northwest Professional Consortium Inc. – $856,308

Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program ($17 million awarded)

Addresses the dramatic increase in deaths and backlogs of seized drugs resulting from the crisis

  • Washington County – $156,000

Two important anti-drug events occur in October: Red Ribbon Week and National Prescription Drug Takeback Day. Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31, encourages students, parents, schools and communities to promote drug-free lifestyles. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 27 gives Americans and easy and anonymous way to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, helping to prevent overdose deaths and drug addictions before they start.

In 2017, more than 72,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses, an increase from the 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of these deaths can be attributed to opioids, including fentanyl. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury or death in the United States. In Oregon, the total number of deaths related to drug use increased 11 percent between from 2013 to 2017, with 546 known drug related deaths last year.

OJP provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP and its components can be found at: www.ojp.gov.

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Milton-Freewater Man Sentenced to 60 Months in Federal Prison for Dealing Methamphetamine - 10/01/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – Carlos Cisneros-Razo, 45, of Milton-Freewater, Oregon, was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for dealing methamphetamine. Upon completion of his prison sentence, Cisneros-Razo will be on supervised release for four years.

According to court documents, in May 2017, the Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team (BENT) purchased distributable quantities of methamphetamine from Cisneros-Razo. On May 31, 2017, BENT executed a search warrant at Cisneros-Razo’s residence and recovered 10.9 grams of methamphetamine in his home and a loaded revolver on his person. Cisneros-Razo admitted to selling methamphetamine to as many as seven people. Cisneros-Razo was illegally present in the District of Oregon.

Cisneros-Razo previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B) on June 20, 2018.

This case was investigated by BENT and the FBI and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

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"Froggy Robber" Indicted in Federal Court on Five Charges - 09/28/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – Diego Sanchez-Lopez, 23, of Clark County, Washington, known locally as the “Froggy Robber,” made an initial appearance today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman.

The court previously unsealed a five-count indictment alleging Sanchez-Lopez robbed five Portland-area banks between November 2017 and April 2018. Sanchez-Lopez faces federal bank robbery charges in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and (d) for the following events:

  • On November 27, 2017, $9,710 was stolen from the Albina Community Bank located at 2002 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Portland.
  • On December 27, 2017, $26,000 was stolen from the Wells Fargo Bank located at 8699 SW Main Street in Wilsonville, Oregon.
  • On January 11, 2018, $11,580.99 was stolen from the Wells Fargo Bank located at 6785 Beaverton Hillsdale Highway in Beaverton, Oregon.
  • On January 30, 2018, $6,720 was stolen from the U.S. Bank located at 52313 Columbia River Highway in Scappoose, Oregon.
  • On April 30, 2018, 33,357 was stolen from the Wells Fargo Bank located at 7200 NE Butler Street in Hillsboro, Oregon.

In each of the above listed events, Sanchez-Lopez is accused of using a knife to facilitate the robbery. In total, he is alleged to have stolen more than $87,000 from banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Sanchez-Lopez was detained pending trial. A four-day jury trial is scheduled for November 27, 2018 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Two Gresham Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Defrauding Investors of $2.5 Million - 09/27/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – Theodore B. Holbrook, 37, and George J. Arauz, Jr., 45, both of Gresham, Oregon, were sentenced today to 36 months in federal prison for defrauding 50 investors of nearly $2.5 million using a sham energy technology start-up company. Holbrook and Arauz were also ordered to pay more than $2.3 million each in restitution and will be on supervised release for three years after completing their prison sentences.

According to court documents, between 2008 and 2015, Holbrook and Arauz used their companies, Prisidio Capital, LLC, Altius Capital Management, LLC and Altius Capital Opportunities Fund, L.P., to solicit investments to develop energy technologies via a start-up company. In return, they gave investors Prisidio stock certificates and promised to convert these shares into the start-up company’s shares when it went public. In addition to funding the start-up company, Holbrook and Arauz told investors that their money would be invested in other emerging technology companies or the stock market directly.

Instead of using investor money as promised, Holbrook and Arauz diverted it for their own personal use, funding living expenses, travel, cars, credit card bills, medical bills, lulling payments and other expenses to keep the scheme going. The pair did not disclose this diversion of funds to their investors and, instead, actively took steps to conceal it. Holbrook and Arauz sent investors promotional and investment materials to falsely represent the nature and status of their investment.

Holbrook and Arauz both previously pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud and money laundering on March 7, 2018 and October 31, 2017, respectively.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Scott E. Bradford, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Portland Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing More than $1.5 Million in Unclaimed Property - 09/25/18

PORTLAND, Ore. – Ralph Dean Arnold, 61, of Portland, was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for orchestrating a multi-year scheme to defraud unclaimed property owners held in California, resulting in a loss to victims of more than $1.5 million. Arnold was ordered to pay more than $1.54 million in restitution.

“Many states have established unclaimed property registers designed to protect personal financial property until it can be returned to its rightful owners. Misusing this information and fraudulently assuming other’s identities to collect money are serious crimes, plain and simple,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “I’d like to thank the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the entire investigative team for working tirelessly to bring this defendant to justice on behalf of the victims.”

“This case is especially egregious as the defendant victimized individuals in desperate need of the life changing funds he stole. Our dedicated team of fraud investigators work tirelessly with the Department of Justice to investigate complex mail fraud cases like this one seeking to separate postal customers from their money,” said Tony Galetti, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Seattle Division.

According to court documents, between 2012 and 2017, Arnold engaged in a lucrative scheme to defraud unclaimed property owners listed on the California Controller’s Office website. Arnold used information from the website to pose as individuals or organizations seeking to claim money and property from various insurance companies, financial institutions, estates and businesses. California state law requires certain entities to report and submit their customers’ unclaimed money to the controller’s office when there has been no activity on an account for a period of time, usually three years.

The most egregious of Arnold’s individual frauds involved the Farmers New World Life Insurance Company. Farmers issued life insurance policies to an individual who was later murdered. The policyholder’s wife and named beneficiary was deemed ineligible to collect the policy proceeds after she was convicted of conspiring to murder her husband. Farmers attempted, without success, to locate the legal guardians of the policyholder’s children and the proceeds went undistributed to the true owners for four years.

In 2012, Arnold contacted Farmers posing as the executor for the policyholder’s estate. As was common in many of Arnold’s frauds, he claimed Farmers did not possess the estate’s current address because it had been moved and the postal forwarding had expired. He produced false and fraudulent letters testamentary to Farmers to prove his executorship and, in September 2012, received a payout of more than $278,000.

Over a five-year period, Arnold received approximately 442 payments totaling more than $1.5 million. He received proceeds intended for more than 300 different payees and issuedby more than 200 different financial entities, estates and businesses. A total of 49 payments, of the 442, were payable to the estates of deceased persons. Arnold spent at least $500,000 of his criminally-derived proceeds on day-trading, a compulsive form of gambling.

Arnold previously pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1957 on June 13, 2018.

USPIS investigated this case with assistance from the Oregon Department of Financial Regulation and the National Insurance Crime Bureau. It was prosecuted by Clemon D. Ashley, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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