The government’s recommendation means former officer Todd Smith could receive a sentence as low as 10 years compared to one as high as 17.
Smith, 50, was originally scheduled for sentencing Friday before federal judge Algenon Marbley in Columbus. Marbley on Thursday rescheduled the hearing for June 28.
Smith was accused of exchanging thousands of graphic text messages in 2012 with two underage high school girls at the Columbus school where he was posted, according to court documents.
The government asked Marbley to take into consideration Smith’s cooperation “in ongoing investigations conducted by the FBI,” according to a June 11 court filing. But the government also noted that at least one of the victims feared Smith and that Smith tried to thwart investigators.
The FBI discovered in July 2012 that Smith was having an illicit relationship with a 15-year-old girl. A second relationship with another 15-year-old girl was then discovered that involved Smith and the girl exchanging more than 6,000 texts, according to information presented at his plea hearing in January.
Smith was arrested after an FBI sting operation, but not before trying to hide his phone in a Columbus police cruiser, according to the government.
“Smith encouraged all parties to keep their illicit relationship a secret and advised at least one child to lie if questioned by school authorities about the nature of their relationship,” according to the filing by assistant U.S. attorneys Douglas Squires and Michael Hunter.
After Smith said he would hate her if she told anyone about their relationship, the victim “reported to her parents and the FBI that she felt threatened by this statement because ‘He’s a cop. He has a lot of power over me,’” according to the government’s filing ahead of his sentencing.
Smith pleaded guilty in January to one count of using a cellphone to entice two underage minors to engage in sexual activity.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California Highway Patrol officer has been arrested on suspicion of inappropriately touching a disabled man in a shopping mall bathroom while off-duty.
Sacramento police Officer Doug Morse said 47-year-old Jeffery Closson was booked into jail Friday for investigation of sexual battery and disorderly misconduct. He was released on $5,000 bail.
Greenville, Tennessee police officer Herbert Eugene Miller, 44 (pictured above), faces child pornography charges after investigators discovered that he used the computer in his patrol car to look at pictures of young girls, reports the Smoking Gun.
The story of Special Agent John A. Yervelli arrest just keeps getting stranger. New information reveals that Special Agent Alan Raines was in the vehicle at the time of the act.
13 Dec 2012
Federal prosecutors conducting an internal review of criminal cases involving an FBI agent facing a charge of public lewdness got more than they bargained for. U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. ordered the review after Special Agent John A. Yervelli was arrested Friday night by state police. New details have emerged that Special Agent Alan Raines was traveling in the vehicle with Yervelli at the time of the incident.
Troopers said they received a report from a truck driver that Yervelli made lewd gestures toward him while not wearing pants and driving on the Thruway in Eden.Yervelli, 48, of Lake View, faces up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted of the misdemeanour charge.“At this point, no determination has been made as to the guilt or innocence of this individual,” Hochul said in a statement. “However, it is the obligation of this office to conduct an internal review to determine if, at all, this could impact any existing cases. That internal review has begun.”
A source familiar with Yervelli’s work as a FBI agent said he is involved in at least one pending criminal case.He also was involved in a large-scale federal probe of narcotics, gun and gang activity on Buffalo’s West Side that resulted in federal charges against 27 people in 2010.
Raines' history is more checkered, flagged with disciplinary proceedings. Raines was involved in a April 4th 2009 raid of then Lancaster Highway Superintendent Richard Reese, when Raines filed a criminal compliant. The complaint goes on to say that Reese looked at Special Agent Raines and stated words to the effect that "if I wanted to, I could have taken you both down." Reese was later charged for assaulting federal agents due to the compliant, the charges were later dropped.
LAS CRUCES What started as a ride-along with a detective -- an exciting event for a teenage girl who dreamed of police work -- took a dark turn when the girl's supposed mentor sexually assaulted her in his unmarked Las Cruces Police Department car, according to court documents.
Friday night LCPD arrested one of its own, longtime detective Michael Garcia on related charges: criminal sexual penetration, a fourth-degree felony, and second-degree criminal sexual contact. Garcia, 37, of the 5800 block of Megan Street in Santa Teresa, posted a $20,000 secured bond late Friday, and was released from the Doña Ana County Detention Center.
The girl, whose name is being withheld by the Sun-News due to the nature of the alleged crime, recently told another LCPD detective about the incident, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Magistrate Court. The girl told an LCPD investigator she was "falling apart" and that "being a police officer was so important to her and it was taken away from her" in May 2011.
That's when, Garcia reportedly took the girl, then 17 and an Las Cruces Public Schools Excel student, on the ill-fated ride-along. After leaving a scene where somebody had died, Garcia reportedly took her back to her high school. Garcia allegedly drove past the school, then into a nearby neighborhood.
Once they stopped, according
"You're not going to say anything, right?" Garcia reportedly told the girl, according to the complaint. "I have a wife and kid. This is my life."
Garcia and his wife are divorced.
- A San Francisco police officer has been arrested by Concord police on suspicion of child molestation, authorities said Thursday.
Richard Hastings III, 37, was taken into custody about 8:15 a.m. Aug. 21 in his car on Monument Boulevard near Ramona Lane, said Concord police Lt. David Hughes.
He was booked at the Concord police jail on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child, sodomy with a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He posted bail and was released.
Contra Costa County prosecutors reviewed the case and have sent it back to Concord police for additional investigation, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Nancy Georgiou, who did not elaborate.
An attorney for Hastings was not immediately available for comment.
The arrest was the culmination of an investigation that began earlier this month into Hastings' alleged relationship with a 15-year-old Concord boy, authorities said.
Hastings has been a San Francisco police officer since 2001. He was suspended without pay on the day of his arrest, said Officer Albie Esparza, a San Francisco police spokesman. Esparza said Hastings is also under internal investigation.
Hastings has been named in a pending federal lawsuit filed by the mother of a Washington state parolee who accidentally shot himself to death during a gunfight with San Francisco police in 2011.
A former intelligence analyst for the FBI was sentenced to more than three years in prison Monday for possessing child pornography.
FBI agent who led sex crimes task force under investigation
Ken Hillman, an FBI special agent who operated the northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force, is under investigation for alleged misconduct, according to a bureau representative.
The task force, based in Catoosa County, caught more than 150 people from 2007 to 2013 who responded to online offers for sex with children, according to a former task force member.
CBS Atlanta News has learned that Hillman is accused of abusing his authority after being pulled over several times on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Attorney McCracken Poston, who represents several suspects arrested by the task force, said he reported Hillman to the FBI.
Poston provided dash cam video from a police car that he said showed Hillman being pulled over by local police for suspicion of driving under the influence. In the video, it appears Hillman yells to the officer, "I'm FBI. I'm going to a call. I'm sorry."
"Because of his badge and his connections he got out of at least three instances when he should have been investigated for driving under the influence. Maybe more," said Poston.
Poston also reported that Hillman allowed civilians to participate in sensitive sting operations.
Catoosa County millionaire Emerson Russell and his wife Angela Russell reportedly handcuffed suspects and held guns during arrests. Neither are certified law enforcement officers.
According to Poston, Angela Russell also communicated with suspects online to help lure them to Catoosa County. Poston alleged some of those conversations occurred without supervision.
"I think it brings into question current cases in terms of what procedures were being used. What conversations may have been had that we hadn't been given," said Poston.
23 September 2013
Ex-FBI Pleads Guilty to NatSec Leak and Child Porn
Washington Post reporters Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung reported on a foiled airline bomb plot out of Yemen on May 7, 2012, a few days before Sachtleben's child porn charges on May 12, 2012:
From the child porn plea agreement:
"5. Wiring: The defendant understands and acknowledges that this Superceding Plea Agreement and the related plea of guilty are contingent upon the entry of a guilty plea by the defendant in the separate case charging him with two (2) violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 793." [Section 793 covers disclosure of defense information.]
http://www.fbi.gov/washingtondc/press-releases/2013/former-federal-contractor- petitions-to-plead-guilty-to-unlawfully-disclosing-national-defense-information- and-to-distributing-child-pornography
Former Federal Contractor Petitions to Plead Guilty to Unlawfully Disclosing National Defense Information and to Distributing Child Pornography
U.S. Attorney’s Office
September 23, 2013 Office of Public Affairs
(202) 514-2007/ (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON—Donald John Sachtleben, a former FBI bomb technician who later worked as a government contractor for the agency, has filed a petition to plead guilty to newly filed charges of unlawfully disclosing national defense information relating to a disrupted terrorist plot. Sachtleben previously had filed a petition to plead guilty to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography resulting from a separate investigation.
Sachtleben, 55, of Carmel, Indiana, has signed plea agreements in both cases. The documents were filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Charges in the national security case were filed today, and charges in the child pornography case were filed in May 2012.
The developments were announced by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Joseph H. Hogsett, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
The plea agreements signed by the parties would resolve both cases in court proceedings in Indiana. The agreements, which are contingent upon the court’s approval, call for Sachtleben to plead guilty to the two national security charges as well as the two child pornography offenses. The plea agreements call for Sachtleben to be sentenced to a total of 140 months of incarceration, including a 43-month prison term for the national security offenses and a consecutive 97-month term for the child pornography charges.
“This unauthorized and unjustifiable disclosure severely jeopardized national security and put lives at risk,” Deputy Attorney General Cole said. “To keep the country safe, the department must enforce the law against such critical and dangerous leaks, while respecting the important role of the press under the department’s media guidelines and any shield law enacted by Congress. I am grateful to the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in both Washington, D.C., and Indiana for their excellent and dedicated work on this case.”
“Fifteen months ago, we were given the task of uncovering who had threatened a sensitive intelligence operation and endangered lives by illegally disclosing classified information relating to a disrupted al Qaeda suicide bomb plot,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “That plot could not have been more serious, as it targeted a plane bound for the United States. After unprecedented investigative efforts by prosecutors and FBI agents and analysts, today Donald Sachtleben has been charged with this egregious betrayal of our national security. This prosecution demonstrates our deep resolve to hold accountable anyone who would violate their solemn duty to protect our nation’s secrets and to prevent future, potentially devastating leaks by those who would wantonly ignore their obligations to safeguard classified information.”
“The allegations in this case describe the defendant’s repeated violation of a sacred trust that the public had placed in him,” said U.S. Attorney Hogsett. “With these charges, a message has been sent that this type of behavior is completely unacceptable and no person is above the law.”
“Today, Mr. Sachtleben has been charged with knowingly and willfully disclosing national defense information to a member of the media,” said Assistant Director in Charge Parlave. “These charges are the result of a careful and thorough investigation by FBI special agents and analysts who, together with federal prosecutors, systematically conducted more than 500 interviews and, following that exhaustive process, analyzed relevant telephone records obtained by subpoena. After analysis of the telephone records, investigators identified him as the source of this unlawful disclosure. The FBI will continue to take all necessary steps to pursue such individuals who put the security of our nation and the lives of others at risk by their disclosure of sensitive information.”
National Security Case:
According to a criminal information filed today, on May 2, 2012, nine days before Sachtleben was arrested in Indiana on child pornography charges, Sachtleben knowingly and willfully disclosed national defense information to a reporter for a national news organization not entitled to receive it. The charging document alleges that Sachtleben had reason to believe that this information could be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of a foreign nation. The criminal information also charges him with willfully retaining documents relating to the national defense without authorization.
Sachtleben worked for the FBI from 1983 through 2008. During his career, he was a special agent bomb technician and was assigned to work on many major cases involving terrorist attacks. In his work as an FBI employee, Sachtleben held a top secret security clearance and had regular access to classified and national defense information relating to the FBI’s activities, as well as the activities of other members of the U.S. intelligence community.
In 2008, Sachtleben retired from the FBI and was rehired as a contractor. Because of his official responsibilities, he maintained his top secret security clearance as an FBI contractor. As a result, he continued to have regular access to classified and national defense information relating to the FBI’s activities, as well as the activities of other members of the U.S. intelligence community. As a contractor, he routinely visited the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia.
One of the criminal charges involves Sachtleben’s contacts with the reporter relating to the disruption of a plot to conduct a suicide bomb attack on a U.S.-bound airliner by the Yemen-based terrorist organization al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the recovery by the United States of a bomb in connection with that plot. As a result of Sachtleben’s disclosure of national defense information to the reporter, the national security of the United States was compromised, a significant international intelligence operation was placed in jeopardy, and lives were put at risk.
Sachtleben was identified as a suspect in the case of this unauthorized disclosure only after toll records for phone numbers related to the reporter were obtained through a subpoena and compared to other evidence collected during the leak investigation. This allowed investigators to obtain a search warrant authorizing a more exhaustive search of Sachtleben’s cell phone, computer, and other electronic media, which were in the possession of federal investigators due to the child pornography investigation.
Sachtleben was employed as an FBI contractor until on or about May 11, 2012. The following day, he was arrested in Indiana and charged by complaint with the federal child pornography charges.
Child Pornography Case:
According to a criminal complaint filed in Indiana in May 2012, federal and state investigators became aware of an individual trading images of child pornography online in September 2010. An extensive investigation into that individual led to the arrest of a defendant in Illinois in January 2012. Upon arrest, a forensic search of that defendant’s computer equipment and e-mail accounts allegedly revealed that he had been actively trading the explicit materials online with numerous other people.
Based on that information, law enforcement traced the alleged online activity to Sachtleben’s home in Carmel. After conducting several days of surveillance, a search warrant was executed on May 11, 2012, by law enforcement officers from the Indiana State Police and the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force. Sachtleben was charged in the Southern District of Indiana with possession and distribution of child pornography.
The complaint alleges that an initial forensic examination of Sachtleben’s laptop computer revealed the presence of approximately 30 images and video files containing child pornography. It is alleged that a number of files identified during this initial search matched those that had been found in the course of investigating the Illinois defendant. The complaint further alleges that the laptop’s hard drive contained references to other files known to have been in the possession of the Illinois defendant.
(09-30) 15:42 PDT GILROY -- A San Mateo County sheriff's deputy was arraigned Monday on charges that he molested a young female relative, authorities said Monday.
Galen Underwood, 40, of Gilroy appeared in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Morgan Hill but did not enter a plea to seven felony counts, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, forcible penetration with a foreign object and forced oral copulation, said Deputy District Attorney Stuart Scott.
DANE COUNTY, Wis. — A Dane County Sheriff's deputy who was accused in June of having a sexual relationship with a woman in a jail diversion program has resigned, but District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has not yet made a decision on whether to file a criminal charge against him.
Jeffrey C. Hilgers, 41, resigned as a deputy on Aug. 14, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Elise Schaffer.
Hilgers was placed on paid leave May 30, the day after the sheriff's office learned that the 42-year-old woman, who was in the Pathfinders drug and alcohol treatment program and on electronic monitoring, told a counselor and her probation agent about the relationship.
A recent fall cleanup at the Samuel Hicks' memorial at Indiana Township's town hall brought together federal agents, Boys Scouts and families.
The event on Oct. 26 was led by Treavor Moore, 16, who is working to achieve scouting's highest rank of Eagle Scout.
FBI agent Hicks, 33, was killed Nov. 19, 2008 while serving an arrest warrant at an Indiana Township home. He left behind a wife and 2-year-old son, and had earned the rank of Eagle Scout, too.
“There are a lot of good kids out there. Samuel is a very good example for them,” said Hicks' mother, Charlotte Carrabotta. “(Youngsters) need to know some decisions shape them their whole lives.”
About 15 Scouts representing Troop 380 out of Christ's Church, Squaw Run Road East, participated in the cleanup.
They placed plants and mulched beds, necessary fall maintenance for the grounds at the Saxonburg Road municipal site.
About 20 FBI agents and their family and friends concentrated efforts around the waist-high granite stone etched with Hicks' name. The carved words “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity” stand out.
“(Samuel Hicks) was a very good agent, but more importantly, he was a good person,” said Robert Johnson, assistant special agent in charge at Pittsburgh's FBI unit.
The group dug in — literally — under the direction of Treavor, a high school junior from Dorseyville.
Treavor met several times with township representatives to plan the work session. The landscaping of the memorial was a primary concern but all the beds needed to be readied for winter.
“It made it so much more meaningful to work on the memorial in addition to helping the township,” said Treavor's mother, Beth.
Hicks mother said the memorial is a “true honor” to her late son.
“It is such a personal place,” Carrabotta said. “The whole community worked for it.”
Christina Korbe, 44, of Indiana Township admitted to killing Hicks, as part of a plea bargain. She shot Hicks with a .38-caliber revolver as he and other officers attempted to arrest her husband on drug charges.
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