Friday, September 09, 2005

Judge won't dismiss child exploitation charges

U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner today denied a motion from defendant John T. Spurlock (Tyler, TX) to dismiss a federal indictment that charges him with attempted enticement of a child to engage in prohibited sexual conduct, attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, and interstate travel to attempt to engage in a sexual act with a minor.

Spurlock was indicted on Feb. 9, 2005, after allegedly traveling from Texas to Missouri to have sex with a mother and her daughters. Citing the recent ruling in USA v. Jan Helder, Jr., Spurlock had argued that it would be legally impossible to be convicted of the violations since there was no actual minor involved, but rather an undercover law enforcement officer.

Judge Fenner ruled that "in order to be convicted of attempt to commit a crime, the government need only prove (1) that the defendant had the specific intent to engage in the conduct for which he is charged, and (2) that he took a substantial step toward commission of the offense." Fenner also ruled that a reading of the Congressional Record indicates that "Congress intended to criminalize attempt to persuade or entice a minor to engage in sex even when an undercover officer is posing as a 'minor'."

Here is a copy of Judge Fenner's order, and here is a copy of our motion in opposition to the dismissal.

Here is a copy of the indictment against Spurlock, and our original news release announcing the earlier criminal complaint (which was later replaced by the indictment).

Sentencing for former Green Hills official

A sentencing hearing for Denise K. Stottlemyre (Trenton, MO), a former official of the Green Hills Regional Planning Commission who pleaded guilty to public corruption charges, is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26, 2005 in Courtroom 7B.

Here is our news release announcing her guilty plea.

Friday's Schedule

Kansas City
  • Gabriel Ruiz-Salazar (Mexican), indicted for illegally entering the U.S., change of plea at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 7C
  • Chesley Lum Armstrong, indicted for illegally possessing a firearm, change of plea at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 8A
  • Cornelius Peoples (KCMO), who pled guilty to aiding and abetting in the murder of a federal witness, will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. in courtroom 7C
  • Phillip R. Morris (Oregon, MO), who pled guilty to filing a false income tax returnt, will be sentenced at 10 a.m. in Courtroom 8C
  • Hernandez D. Green, indicted for distributing crack cocaine, change of plea at 10:15 a.m. in Courtroom 7C
  • Genaro Vargas Orozco (Milan, MO), indicted for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, change of plea at 10:45 a.m. in Courtroom 8C
  • Roberto Torrez-Ramirez, change of plea at 10:45 a.m. in Courtroom 7C
  • Jason C. Highley (Independence, MO), indicted for conspiracy to distribute meth, will be sentenced at 11 a.m. in Courtroom 8E
  • Larry B. Deatz (Watson, MO), indicted for illegally possessing firearms and conspiracy to manufacture meth, change of plea at 11:15 a.m. in Courtroom 7C
  • Gary A. Davis (KCMO), indicted for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, change of plea at 11:30 a.m. in Courtroom 8C
  • Jackie Rae Springer and Gregory M. Chollet (Overland Park, KS), indicted for illegally importing fenfluramine, change of plea hearing at 11:30 a.m. in Courtroom 8E
  • Martin Beltran-Meza, indicted for distributing meth, change of plea at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 8C
  • Randall E. Rue (KCMO), indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm, change of plea at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 8E
  • Michelle Rodriguez (Green City, MO), indicted for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, change of plea at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 8C
  • Tymara L. Harding (Chicago, ILL), indicted for conpsiracy to pass fraudulent checks obtained from credit card companies in the names of other individuals, change of plea at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 8E

Springfield

  • Barton Thomas Westerman (Springfield, MO), who pled guilty to giving firearms to a felon, will be sentenced at 2 p.m.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

No ruling, yet, on Wall case

U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England heard arguments today regarding a motion to suppress evidence by former circuit judge Roger Wall. Wall, who was indicted for possessing child porn, filed a motion asking the court to suppress the government's evidence. The government opposes that motion.

At the conclusion of today's nearly 2 1/2-hour suppression hearing, the court announced those arguments will be taken under advisement and a decision rendered at a later date.

Hurricane Fraud Task Force

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales travels to Mississippi and Louisiana today with Vice President Dick Cheney to tour areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina and outline priorities for the newly established Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, designed to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes such as charity fraud and insurance fraud.

Recent history, including Hurricane Ivan and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has shown that some criminals seek to profit from disaster by means of fraud, and recent reports indicate that fraudulent Internet sites designed to lure those seeking to donate to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts have already been posted.

Here is the press release announcing the new task force.

Murder plea

A change of plea hearing is scheduled at 9 a.m. today for Michael Edward LeBrun (Greenwood, MO), who is charged with murdering a shipmate while serving aboard a Navy vessel in 1968. The hearing will be before Chief U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple. Immediately following, U.S. Attorney Todd Graves will be available for comment on the steps of the courthouse.

Questions? Call Don Ledford at 426-4220.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Wednesday's Schedule

Kansas City:
  • Robert W. Magee (Stanley, KS), indicted for illegally possessing a firearm while under a court order of protection, change of plea at 8 am. in Courtroom 8C
  • Marco Antonio Ibarra-Tadeo (Mexico), indicted for illegally re-entering the U.S. and transporting illegal aliens, change of plea at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 8C
  • Tera Shanae Eason, indicted for counterfeiting conspiracy, change of plea at 9:15 a.m. in Courtroom 8C
  • Francisco Montantes (KCMO), indicted for conspiracy to distribute meth, change of plea at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 7B
  • Kathleen O. Liskey (Lone Jack, MO), who pled guilty to defrauding her employer, will be sentenced at 10 a.m. in Courtroom 8C
  • Maria Salcido-Corral (Wichita, KS), indicted for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, change of plea at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom 7B
  • Edward R. Guzman, indicted for illegally possessing a firearm, change of plea at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 8A
  • Leonard Wayne Coggins (Richmond, MO), indicted for possessing meth ingredients and illegally possessing a firearm, change of plea at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 8E
  • Darrick T. Gilyard (KCMO), indicted for conspiracy to pass fraudulent checks ogtained from credit card companies in the names of other individuals, change of plea at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 8E
  • Namphonh Suady, indicted for illegally possessing a firearm, change of plea at 2:30 p.m. in Courtroom 8E

Jefferson City

  • Bryan Anthony Dean (Camdenton, MO), indicted for counterfeiting conspiracy, change of plea at 1 p.m.
  • Thomas Proctor Welch (Barnett, MO), who pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, will be sentenced at 3 p.m.