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News Releases
Former Portland Attorney Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Client Funds - 06/27/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A former Portland attorney pleaded guilty today to multiple felony charges after perpetrating a scheme to defraud her clients and use the proceeds to pay for personal expenses.

Lori E. Deveny, 56, pleaded guilty to mail, bank, and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and filing a false tax return.

According to court documents, between April 2011 and May 2019, Deveny systematically stole funds she held in trust for her clients. The funds were derived from insurance proceeds due and payable to her clients. Deveny is accused of forging client signatures on settlement documents she sent to various insurance companies, making unauthorized transfers of funds to personal accounts and falsely telling clients that the insurance companies were to blame for delays in settling claims. Many of Deveny’s clients never received the insurance payout they were owed.

Deveny used the proceeds of her scheme to pay for personal credit card and loan payments, numerous big game hunting trips to Africa and the resulting taxidermy costs, other vacations, her husband’s photography business, home remodeling, expensive cigars and other expenses associated with a lavish lifestyle.

On May 7, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 24-count indictment charging Deveny with mail, bank, and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and filing a false tax return.

Deveny will be sentenced on November 23, 2022, before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman. 

As part of her plea agreement, Deveny has also agreed to pay restitution in full to her victims as determined by the government and ordered by the court.

Mail and wire fraud are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years. All three offenses carry maximum fines of $250,000 or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense and three years’ supervised release. Bank fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and five years’ supervised release. Filing a false tax return is punishable by up to three years in prison, a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense, and one year of supervised released. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by up to two years in prison running consecutive to any other carceral sentence imposed.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI and is being prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Photo of Seized Scorpions
Photo of Seized Scorpions
Eugene Man Sentenced for Illegally Importing and Exporting Live Scorpions (Photo) - 06/22/22

MEDFORD, Ore.—A Eugene, Oregon man who formerly resided in Southern Oregon was sentenced in federal court today for violating the Lacey Act by illegally importing and exporting hundreds of live scorpions.

Darren Dennis Drake, 39, was sentenced to two years’ federal probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine payable to the Lacey Act Reward Fund.

According to court documents, between September 4, 2017 and March 21, 2018, Drake imported and exported dozens of live scorpions from and to contacts in Germany without first obtaining an import-export license from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). On one parcel intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Drake falsely labeled the package contents as “chocolates.” Drake also mailed or received several hundred live scorpions from other U.S. states, including Michigan and Texas, in violation of federal mailing laws. 

On February 23, 2022, Drake was charged by criminal information with conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act. On March 14, 2022, he waived indictment and pleaded guilty to the single charge.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FWS Office of Law Enforcement with assistance from CBP and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It was prosecuted by John C. Brassell, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for protecting America’s wildlife from poaching, illegal commercialization, and other kinds of wildlife crime. If you have information related to a wildlife crime, please call 1-844-FWS-TIPS (1-844-397-8477) or email fws_tips@fws.gov.

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Indiana Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Unregistered Destructive Devices During Portland Protests - 06/21/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—An Indiana man was sentenced to federal prison today for repeatedly and intentionally jeopardizing the lives of police officers, destroying public property, and encouraging others to commit violence during protests that occurred in Portland in 2020.

Malik Fard Muhammad, 25, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

“In the summer of 2020, a historic protest movement in Portland was marred by violent rioters taking advantage of the momentum built by thousands of peaceful demonstrators. Sadly, this violence drastically changed the narrative around these protests and what they accomplished. In the lead up to and during protests, federal law enforcement is focused on doing everything we can to support the First Amendment rights of individuals while keeping all demonstrators, other community members, and law enforcement officers safe. Holding accountable those individuals whose sole focus is violence and destruction, like Mr. Muhammad, is central to our ongoing effort to support the rights of all Oregonians,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“Malik Fard Muhammad intentionally planned and committed acts of violence that threatened other protestors, members of the public, and law enforcement officers. This type of violence has no place in our community,” said FBI Portland Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey. “The FBI is committed to apprehending and charging violent instigators who plan, promote, and commit acts of violence and destruction. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the peaceful expression of free speech throughout Oregon.”

“The right to protest peacefully is absolute,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson. “But it is clear Mr. Muhammad didn’t come to exercise his rights. He came from out-of-state to bring violence to our community. This sentence should send a clear message to those who want to engage in violence that it will not be tolerated, and ATF will investigate these acts whenever they occur.”

“The risk of a law enforcement officer or community member being seriously hurt or killed by the actions of this individual was very real,” said Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. “I’m gratified to know that he is being held accountable for the danger his criminal actions caused. I want to extend my sincere thanks to the investigators and prosecutors whose diligent, meticulous work made this sentence possible, as well as the members of PPB and other agencies who put themselves at risk to protect our city against violence and destruction during this period of time.”

According to court documents, in late summer 2020, Muhammad traveled to Portland with his girlfriend from their home in Indianapolis to violently engage in area riots. On September 5, 2020, during a large civil disturbance in east Portland, demonstrators threw dangerous objects at police, including commercial grade fireworks, Molotov cocktails, and bottles. Muhammad later pleaded guilty in Multnomah County Circuit Court to seriously burning a demonstrator by throwing a Molotov cocktail and providing baseball bats to members of the crowd.

Following Muhammad’s arrest in October 2020, law enforcement seized his cell phone and found messages where he bragged about providing the baseball bats to other rioters. The cell phone also contained a shopping list including common supplies used to make a Molotov cocktail. The day after the demonstration, police located a discarded baseball bat with a Goodwill price tag in the area where the event occurred. Police found the Goodwill store where the bat was purchased and obtained surveillance footage showing Muhammad and his girlfriend buying the bats and several “growler” bottles.

On September 21, 2020, during a large demonstration near the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Penumbra Kelly Building, law enforcement observed an individual light on fire and throw an object toward the building. One officer observed the burning object flying through the air toward his vehicle, landing approximately 15 feet from a police sound truck. Officers recovered the unexploded device. It consisted of a yellow glass growler with a Goodwill sticker on the bottom, a cloth wick, and an ignitable liquid. It was later determined that the growler was one of the items purchased at Goodwill by Muhammad and his girlfriend. A DNA analysis also linked the growler to Muhammad.

On September 23, 2020, protesters set fire to and broke windows at the Multnomah County Justice Center. When officers advanced toward the crowd, an individual threw a Molotov cocktail in a large yellow growler that landed in front of the officers, shattered, and exploded into a large fireball. While some officers were able to move out of the way, one officer’s leg caught fire. Several videos obtained by law enforcement show Muhammad throwing the explosive device.

On October 11, 2020, police were monitoring a protest involving approximately 250 people in downtown Portland. Members of the group began heavily vandalizing various buildings and parks including the Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University, a Starbucks coffee shop, and a Bank of America branch, among others. Law enforcement observed Muhammad in the crowed dressed in black. Portland Police officers reported observing Muhammad using a metal baton to smash the windows of several buildings and arrested him after a short chase. Muhammad possessed a loaded handgun magazine in his pocket. A loaded handgun matching the magazine found on Muhammad’s person was found discarded near the location of his arrest.

Muhammad’s trip to Portland does not appear to be an isolated event. Investigators obtained evidence that he traveled to Louisville, Kentucky in August 2020 to meet with anti-government and anti-authority violent extremist groups to conduct firearms and tactical training. Investigators also obtained several public social media posts by Muhammad promoting violence toward law enforcement in other cities including Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Chicago.

On May 28, 2021, Muhammad was charged by criminal complaint with possession of unregistered destructive devices, engaging in civil disorder and obstructing law enforcement, and using explosives to commit a felony. Later, on June 15, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland indicted Muhammad on the same charges. On May 28, 2022, he pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing unregistered destructive devices.

As part of his sentencing, Muhammad forfeited or abandoned his interest in a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a second rifle, a pistol, assorted ammunition, and all seized Molotov cocktail components and ingredients.

Muhammad’s federal sentence will run concurrently with a 10-year sentence recently imposed in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Muhmmad will serve his sentence in Oregon state prison.

U.S. Attorney Asphaug, Special Agent in Charge Ramsey, and Chief Lovell made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Portland Police Bureau, FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam E. Delph.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Tigard Man Faces Federal Charges for Threatening Mass Shooting at Elementary School - 06/17/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal grand jury in Portland has returned an indictment charging a Tigard, Oregon man with threatening a mass shooting at a local elementary school.

Brandon Richard Riess, 26, has been charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce.

According to court documents, on May 15, 2022, Riess submitted to a federal agency multiple electronic messages threatening a mass shooting at a Portland area elementary school. On May 16, 2022, law enforcement arrested Riess at his apartment in Tigard. Prior to his arrest, Riess admitted to sending the threatening messages and owning a pistol that was taken away several years earlier by his parents.

Riess made his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and ordered detained pending a three-day jury trial scheduled to begin on August 16. 2022.

If convicted, Riess faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, three years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

Riess also faces six counts of disorderly conduct in Washington County Circuit Court.

Administrators and parents of the affected elementary school have been notified of Riess’s arrest. No known active threat exists.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Sherwood Police Department, and Washington County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie K. Wight is prosecuting the case.

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

Anyone with information about real or perceived threats of violence should call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. For immediate threats to life and safety, please call 9-1-1.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Vancouver Real Estate Developer Faces Federal Charges for Fraudulently Obtaining Covid-Relief Program Funds, Laundering Proceeds - 06/16/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal grand jury in Portland has returned an indictment charging a real estate developer residing in Vancouver, Washington, and Lake Havasu, Arizona, with fraudulently obtaining Covid-relief program funds and laundering a portion of the proceeds.

Michael James DeFrees, 60, has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.

According to the indictment, between April 2, 2020, and April 4, 2022, DeFrees is alleged to have used two different business entities to illegally obtain under false pretenses Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The EIDL and PPP programs, initially authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enabled SBA to issue low-interest loans to small businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic and associated mitigation measures.

To facilitate his scheme, DeFrees submitted multiple loan applications via two different banks headquartered in Washington State. In these applications, DeFrees indicated that he was the sole owner of two business entities—Gateway National Corporation, a construction company incorporated in Washington State, and Yacht Harbor, LLC, a real estate development company incorporated in Oregon—and that he, as the sole owner, had never been convicted of any criminal offense or placed on parole or probation. In reality, at the time he submitted these applications, DeFrees was serving a term of probation following a 2017 conviction in the Western District of Washington for falsifying records in a bankruptcy proceeding. After receiving the loan payouts, DeFrees laundered a portion of the proceeds using a third business entity.

DeFrees made his initial appearance in federal court today in the District of Arizona, where he was released and ordered to appear for further proceedings in the District of Oregon. 

Wire and bank fraud are punishable by up to 20 and 30 years in federal prison, respectively. Money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the SBA Office of Inspector General, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan W. Bounds is prosecuting the case.

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

The CARES Act is a federal law, enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Justice Department’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Toronto Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Operating Dozens of Illegal Asian Brothels in Three Countries - 06/09/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Canadian man was sentenced to federal prison today for his leadership role in an international sex trafficking organization operating dozens of illegal Asian brothels in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Zongtao Chen aka Mark Chen, 49, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, Chen led a criminal enterprise that recruited women, primarily from China, to travel to the United States and elsewhere to engage in prostitution and other sex trafficking activities. The organization employed dispatchers who would receive incoming requests for “dates” from potential customers. The dispatchers would coordinate and schedule dates with women working in the various brothels.

On November 15, 2018, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a two-count indictment charging Chen and four co-conspirators with conspiring to use and using interstate facilities to promote, manage, establish, carry on, or facilitate a racketeering enterprise. On March 4, 2022, after being extradited to the U.S., Chen pleaded guilty.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in Omaha, Nebraska. The Toronto Police Service provided assistance. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs worked with law enforcement partners in Canada to secure the arrest and extradition of Chen to the United States. Participating CETF member organizations include the Portland Police Bureau, Beaverton Police Department, Tigard Police Department and Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Julia Jarrett, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

The FBI CETF conducts sexual exploitation investigations, many of them undercover, in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering and assisting victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation 

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Man Charged with Murder on the Umatilla Indian Reservation - 06/08/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Umatilla, Oregon, man has been charged with murdering an adult male victim on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Kawlija Nicoah Scott, 25, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with murder.

According to the complaint, on May 25, 2022, Umatilla Tribal Police Department officers responded to a stabbing at a residence on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Officers and paramedics found an adult male on scene who had sustained multiple stab wounds including one to his chest. Life-saving efforts were made, but the victim later died at a nearby hospital.

Further investigation revealed that Scott had stabbed the victim in the victim’s residence before fleeing the scene. Witnesses observed Scott running down a nearby road and waving two knives in the air. A short time later, tribal police officers located Scott and arrested him without incident.

Scott made his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Armistead. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Umatilla Tribal Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley R. Cadotte is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Portland Man Faces Federal Charges for Using Instagram to Sexually Exploit Children Online - 06/08/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—On June 7, 2022, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging a Portland man for using Instagram to persuade children to produce and send him sexually explicit photos of themselves.

Solomon Dean Cook, 18, has been charged with sexual exploitation of children, attempted sexual exploitation of children, receiving child pornography, and possessing child pornography.

According to court documents, Cook first came to the attention of federal law enforcement in January 2022 when the parent of a minor victim in Portland called the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) to report that an Instagram user had persuaded their child to produce and share a sexually explicit photo of herself. The user threatened to distribute the image if the child did not continue producing and sending more images.

In follow-up interviews with investigators, the minor victim identified a second child in Portland who had been victimized by Cook. She told investigators that Cook posted nude photos of both children on his Instagram stories.

After receiving the tip, federal agents traced two Instagram accounts to Cook and identified his Portland residence. On May 11, 2022, agents executed a federal search warrant on the residence. During the search, Cook confessed to enticing the reporting minor victim to produce the sexually explicit image and to exploiting additional victims in the same manner. Cook was arrested and made his first appearance in federal court the same day.

Cook will be arraigned on the indictment on June 10, 2022.

If convicted, Cook faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum, a life term of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. He may also be ordered to pay restitution to his victims.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF). It is being prosecuted by Mira Chernick, 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.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Child sexual abuse material depicts actual crimes being committed against children. Not only do these images and videos document victims’ exploitation and abuse, but when shared across the internet, child victims suffer re-victimization each time the image of their abuse is viewed. To learn more, please visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s website at www.missingkids.org.

The FBI CETF conducts sexual exploitation investigations, many of them undercover, in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering and assisting victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
The Dalles Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Transporting and Possessing Child Pornography - 06/07/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A resident of The Dalles, Oregon was sentenced to federal prison today for transporting and possessing thousands of images depicting child sexual abuse.

Nickolas K. Parsons, 27, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison and 10 years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, in late 2019, as part of an ongoing investigation, officers identified a Twitter user who sent two MEGA links to child pornography. MEGA is an encrypted online file sharing service. Investigators traced the user’s Twitter account to Parsons’ residence in The Dalles where, in March 2020, they executed a federal search warrant. After seizing his mobile phone, Parsons admitted to viewing child pornography online and provided investigators with his MEGA account information. The account was later found to contain thousands of files containing child pornography.

On June 9, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a two-count indictment charging Parsons with transporting and possessing child pornography. On February 22, 2022, he pleaded guilty to both charges.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Natalie K. Wight, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to contact HSI at (866) 347-2423 or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips.

Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Child sexual abuse material depicts actual crimes being committed against children. Not only do these images and videos document victims’ exploitation and abuse, but when shared across the internet, child victims suffer re-victimization each time the image of their abuse is viewed. To learn more, please visit the NCMEC’s website at www.missingkids.org.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Los Angeles Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Bank Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme - 06/02/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Los Angeles man was sentenced to federal prison today after he orchestrated an elaborate bank fraud and identity theft scheme targeting an elderly couple residing in Oregon.

Ijomah Joseph Oputa, 53, was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release. Oputa was also ordered to pay $40,396 in restitution and forfeit $32,478.

According to court documents, since his arrest in Los Angeles in March 2021, Oputa has failed to disclose to law enforcement the details of his many suspected fraud schemes. Instead, he has repeatedly misled investigators on his sources and level of income as well as basic biographical details such as his date of birth, where and with whom he lives, how many siblings he has, and whether his parents are still living. Oputa’s repeated obfuscation of basic facts presented significant challenges to law enforcement. Despite these, investigators successfully uncovered a scheme Oputa concocted targeting an elderly couple residing in northeast Oregon.

In April of 2019, an elderly victim and his wife, both in their seventies, obtained a home equity line of credit from First Community Credit Union (FCCU). The couple accessed cash from this line of credit via an account they maintained at FCCU. Just two weeks after receiving the loan, Oputa called FCCU’s customer-service line, pretending to be his elderly victim. Oputa verified his stolen identity with the victim’s basic biographical details, account number, and monthly payment information. Oputa then proceeded to hijack his victim’s account.

After linking the victim’s bank account to his own email address, Oputa changed the mailing address on the account to a mailbox he controlled at a commercial mail drop in Los Angeles. Oputa then requested that a debit card linked to the account be issued to himself. Between June 2 and July 12, 2019, Oputa used the debit card to purchase 41 money orders at five U.S. Postal Service locations in the greater Los Angeles area. Together, the money orders totaled more than $32,000. Oputa deposited most of the money orders into bank accounts he maintained under other stolen identities at several Los Angeles banks. A review of records from one such account revealed that 74 money orders totaling nearly $71,000 had been laundered through it.

In mid-July 2019, the adult victim reported the unauthorized account activity to FCCU and local police. By then, FCCU had suffered losses exceeding $40,000. Local police referred the investigation to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

On February 27, 2021, Oputa was charged by criminal complaint with aggravated identity theft and bank fraud. Later, on March 16, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland indicted him on the same charges. Finally, on April 20, 2022, Oputa pleaded guilty to both charges.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by USPIS with assistance from the IRS, Environmental Protection Agency, and Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: SENTENCING-Oputa-Final.pdf
Medford Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possessing Methamphetamine on Post-Prison Supervision - 06/02/22

MEDFORD, Ore.—A Medford, Oregon man on post-prison supervision after a previous drug trafficking conviction was sentenced to federal prison today for eluding law enforcement while in possession of methamphetamine and a firearm.

Vincent Russell Jacobo, 38, was sentenced to 80 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, on December 31, 2020, a Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on patrol in Medford when he observed a black sedan driving toward him at a high rate of speed. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but it fled and the deputy terminated the pursuit. A short time later, the deputy located the vehicle in a ditch and observed Jacobo attempting to crawl out the back window. Authorities arrested Jacobo and located a gram of heroin, two cell phones, and $1,500 on his person. Later, detectives from the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team (MADGE) searched Jacobo’s vehicle and located more than 90 grams of methamphetamine, a small quantity of heroin, a loaded pistol, and drug packaging material. At the time of the incident, Jacobo had recently been released from state prison after convictions for drug trafficking and other felonies.

On January 28, 2021, Jacobo was charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Later, on February 1, 2022, he was charged by criminal information with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. On February 28, 2022, Jacobo waived indictment and pleaded guilty.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with assistance from MADGE. It was prosecuted by Marco A. Boccato, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release