January 25, 2022

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Houston bounty hunter sentenced for running international sex trafficking conspiracy

6 min read
A 30-year-old Houston bounty hunter has been ordered to prison following his convictions of sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit visa fraud and international money laundering

Read full article at: https://www.justice.gov April 26, 2021

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  • DRL Strengthening Democracy and Human Rights in Thailand
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    Bureau of Democracy, [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Reaches Proposed Consent Decree to Resolve Hampton Roads Regional Jail Investigation
    In Crime News
    Today, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia filed a complaint and a proposed consent decree with the Hampton Roads Regional Jail Authority.
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  • Bipartisan Competitive Strategy: The “New Normal”?
    In Crime Control and Security News
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  • Indian Education: Schools Need More Assistance to Provide Distance Learning
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), within the Department of the Interior (Interior), has not provided BIE-funded schools with comprehensive guidance on distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, BIE issued a short memo directing schools to “deliver flexible instruction” and “teach content,” but did not offer specific guidance on how to do so. In July 2020, 13 of the 25 schools that responded to GAO's survey said they wanted BIE to provide information on developing and implementing distance learning programs. In addition, 12 schools responded that they wanted information on distance learning methods for areas without broadband internet access. In August 2020, after some schools had already begun the school year, BIE issued a re-opening guide for the 2020-2021 school year. BIE's guidance focused primarily on preparations for in-person instruction at schools, although nearly all schools provided distance learning during the fall of 2020. The guidance contained little information on distance learning. Providing schools with comprehensive distance learning guidance will help them better navigate the current pandemic as well as potential future emergencies that lead to school building closures. BIE helped improve internet access for students at BIE-operated schools during the pandemic, but many students had not received laptops to access online learning by the end of fall 2020. BIE and other Interior offices provided over 7,000 hotspots to students to improve home internet access, but they did not order laptops for most students until September 2020. Interior officials said a nationwide IT supply shortage contributed to the delayed order for about 10,000 laptops. GAO found, however, that delays were also caused in part by BIE not having complete and accurate information on schools' IT needs. Most schools received laptops from late October 2020 to early January 2021, although some laptops still had not been delivered as of late March 2021. Once laptops were delivered, however, schools also faced challenges configuring them, leading to further delays in distributing them to students. BIE officials told GAO that to address schools' challenges with configuring laptops, they are assessing schools' IT workforce needs. Most BIE students did not receive laptops until months after the school year began, according to GAO's analysis of Interior information. Specifically, none of the laptops Interior ordered in early September 2020 arrived in time to distribute to students by the start of the school year in mid-September; by the end of December 2020, schools had not distributed over 80 percent of the student laptops Interior ordered; and as of late March 2021, schools had not distributed about 20 percent of the student laptops Interior ordered. Without accurate, complete, and up-to-date information on schools' IT needs, BIE was unable to ensure that students received laptops when they needed them. Establishing policies and procedures for assessing schools' IT needs would help guide the agency's IT purchases now and in the future, and position schools to integrate technology into their everyday curricula. Why GAO Did This Study BIE's mission is to provide quality education to approximately 41,000 students at 183 schools it funds on or near Indian reservations in 23 states. About two-thirds of these schools are operated by tribes and the remaining third are operated by BIE. In March 2020, all BIE schools closed their buildings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. GAO reviewed distance learning at BIE schools as part of its oversight responsibilities under the CARES Act. This testimony examines the extent to which (1) BIE has provided schools with guidance to develop and implement distance learning programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) students have had the technology they need to participate in such programs. GAO analyzed the guidance BIE provided to schools on distance learning, examined BIE's provision of technology to schools and students, surveyed a non-generalizable sample of 30 schools—including 19 operated by tribes and 11 operated by BIE— with 25 schools responding, selected for geographic diversity and level of community broadband access, among other criteria, reviewed relevant federal statutes, regulations, and agency documentation, and interviewed BIE and school officials.
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  • United States, European Union, and Partners Formally Launch Global Methane Pledge to Keep 1.5C Within Reach
    In Climate - Environment - Conservation
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  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Major Management Issues Facing DOD’s Development and Fielding Efforts
    In U.S GAO News
    The current generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been under development since the 1980s. UAVs were used in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 and 2003 to observe, track, target, and strike enemy forces. These successes have heightened interest in UAVs within the Department of Defense (DOD). Congress has been particularly interested in DOD's approach to managing the growing number of UAV programs. GAO was asked to summarize (1) the results of its most current report on DOD's approach to developing and fielding UAVs1 and the extent to which the approach provides reasonable assurance that its investment will lead to effective integration of UAVs into the force structure, and (2) the major management issues GAO has identified in prior reports on UAV research and development.GAO's most recent report points out that while DOD has taken some positive steps, its approach to UAV planning still does not provide reasonable assurance that the significant Congressional investment in UAVs will result in their effective integration into the force structure. In 2001, DOD established the joint UAV Planning Task Force in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to promote a common vision for UAV-related efforts and to establish interoperability standards. To communicate its vision and promote UAV interoperability, the task force issued the 2002 UAV Roadmap. While the Roadmap provides some strategic guidance for the development of UAV technology, neither the Roadmap nor other documents represent a comprehensive strategic plan to ensure that the services and other DOD agencies focus development efforts on systems that complement each other, will perform the range of priority missions needed, and avoid duplication. Moreover, the Task Force has only advisory authority and, as such, cannot compel the services to adopt its suggestions. GAO's prior work supports the need for effective oversight of individual UAV programs at the departmental level. UAVs have suffered from requirements growth, risky acquisition strategies, and uncertain funding support within the services. Some programs have been terminated. Success has been achieved as a result of top-level intervention and innovative acquisition approaches. For example, in 2003, the Office of the Secretary of Defense had to intervene to keep the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle program viable. As UAV programs grow in the future, they will face challenges in the form of increased funding competition, greater demand for capabilities, and spectrum and airspace limitations. Moreover, UAVs are no longer an additional "nice-to-have" capability; they are becoming essential to the services' ability to conduct modern warfare. Meeting these challenges will require continued strong leadership, building on the UAV Roadmap and Planning Task Force as GAO has recommended.
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  • Woman First in the Nation Charged with Misappropriating Monies Designed for COVID Medical Provider Relief
    In Crime News
    A Michigan woman was indicted on allegations that she intentionally misappropriated government funds that were designed to aid medical providers in the treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19 and used them for her own personal expenses.
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  • Katy resident admits to fraud
    In Justice News
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  • Firearms Trafficking: More Information is Needed to Inform U.S. Efforts in Central America
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) receives firearm trace requests from the governments of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for some, but not all, firearms recovered in those countries. ATF tracing data for approximately 27,000 firearms recovered from 2015 through 2019—the most recent data available—show that 40 percent came from the U.S. and the rest from 39 other countries. ATF data also indicate that almost half of the U.S.-sourced firearms were likely diverted from legitimate commerce in the four countries rather than smuggled from the U.S. From January 2015 through March 2021, more than 100,000 firearms were legally exported from the U.S. to the four countries, according to agency data. Firearms are not manufactured in these countries, but U.S. and foreign officials stated that criminals can obtain them through illegal markets and theft, among other means. ATF data show most firearms submitted for tracing were handguns. Types of Firearms Recovered in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and Submitted to ATF for Tracing, 2015–2019 Although disrupting firearms trafficking is not a specific U.S. goal for the region, U.S. agencies have broad capacity-building, investigative, and border security efforts, which may help disrupt firearms trafficking. For example: The Department of State provided a total of $38 million for capacity-building programs in fiscal years 2015 through 2019, which included some activities related to firearms trafficking—for example, training on firearms-trafficking investigations. ATF assisted partner governments by tracing recovered firearms, which provided investigative leads and helped law enforcement agencies in partner countries to link disparate criminal acts. U.S. Customs and Border Protection shared information on criminal activity, including firearms smuggling, with the four countries. The 2021 U.S. Strategy for Addressing Root Causes of Migration in Central America directs U.S. agencies to address violence, crime, and security in the region. State officials said that in response to this strategy, they plan to develop new projects or modify existing projects to focus on firearms. However, according to the officials, they lack sufficient information about relevant country conditions to tailor these projects to address each country's needs. State officials have not sought such information from the four countries' governments or other U.S. agencies because State has not focused on firearms trafficking in the countries. Obtaining such information would enhance State's ability to develop effective programs to reduce criminal access to firearms and firearms-related violence in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Why GAO Did This Study The four Central American countries Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have high rates of violence, including homicide. According to foreign crime data and foreign officials, most homicides in the countries are committed with firearms imported legally or illegally from other countries. Violence and insecurity in the countries have been identified as contributing factors in migration to the U.S. GAO was asked to report on U.S. efforts to counter firearms trafficking to Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This report examines (1) U.S. agencies' knowledge about firearms trafficking to criminals in these countries, (2) U.S. agencies' efforts to disrupt firearms trafficking in these countries, and (3) U.S. planning to address firearms trafficking in these countries. GAO reviewed firearms tracing and other agency data, related analysis, and program information for fiscal years 2014 through 2020. GAO also interviewed U.S. and foreign officials.
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  • Rewards for Justice – Reward Offer for Information on Foreign Malicious Cyber Activity Against U.S. Critical Infrastructure
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Philadelphia Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to False Returns
    In Crime News
    A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty yesterday to assisting in the preparation of false federal tax returns.
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  • Justice Department Announces Funding Opportunities to Support Public Safety in Tribal Communities
    In Crime News
    The U.S. Department of Justice today announced the opening of the FY 2022 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation period.
    [Read More…]
  • Afghanistan: Oversight and Accountability of U.S. Assistance
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Since 2003, GAO has identified numerous challenges related to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. Among the various challenges that GAO and others have identified, are the following: the dangerous security environment, the prevalence of corruption, and the limited capacity of the Afghan government to deliver services and sustain donor-funded projects. As illustrated in the figure below, between fiscal years 2002 and 2013, U.S. agencies allocated nearly $100 billion toward U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. Breakout of U.S. Allocations for Efforts in Afghanistan, Fiscal Years 2002-2013 Note: This figure does not include funding provided for U.S. military or other operations in Afghanistan. Percentages may not add up to 100 as a result of rounding. The United States, along with the international community, has focused its efforts in areas such as building the capacity of Afghan ministries to govern and deliver services, developing Afghanistan's infrastructure and economy, and developing and sustaining the Afghan National Security Forces. In multiple reviews of these efforts, GAO has identified numerous shortcomings and has made recommendations to the agencies to take corrective actions related to (1) mitigating the risk of providing direct assistance to the Afghan government, (2) oversight and accountability of U.S. development projects, and (3) estimating the future costs of sustaining Afghanistan's security forces which the United States and international community have pledged to support. In February 2013, GAO reported that while the circumstances, combat operations, and diplomatic efforts in Iraq differ from those in Afghanistan, potential lessons could be learned from the transition from a military- to a civilian-led presence to avoid possible missteps and better utilize resources. As GAO has reported, contingency planning is critical to a successful transition and to ensuring that there is sufficient oversight of the U.S. investment in Afghanistan. This is particularly vital given the uncertainties of the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement and the ultimate size of the post-2014 U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Why GAO Did This Study The U.S. government has engaged in multiple efforts in Afghanistan since declaring a global war on terrorism that targeted al Qaeda, its affiliates, and other violent extremists, including certain elements of the Taliban. These efforts have focused on a whole-of-government approach that calls for the use of all elements of U.S. national power to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates and prevent their return to Afghanistan. This approach, in addition to security assistance, provided billions toward governance and development, diplomatic operations, and humanitarian assistance. To assist Congress in its oversight, GAO has issued over 70 products since 2003 including key oversight issues related to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. This testimony summarizes the key findings from those products and discusses: (1) the challenges associated with operating in Afghanistan, (2) key oversight and accountability issues regarding U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, and (3) the need for contingency planning as the U.S. transitions to a civilian-led presence in Afghanistan.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Kosovo Prime Minister Kurti
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Algerian Foreign Minister Boukadoum
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • The Bahamas Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Do not travel to The [Read More…]
  • Department of Justice Files Statement of Interest Challenging New Mexico’s More Stringent COVID-19 Capacity Limits on Private Schools than Public Schools
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice today filed a statement of interest in a New Mexico federal court asserting that the States’ COVID-19 rules limiting private schools to operating at 25% of capacity but allowing public schools to operate at 50% of capacity violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
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  • FBI Employee Indicted for Illegally Removing National Security Documents, Taking Material to Her Home
    In Crime News
    An employee of the FBI’s Kansas City Division has been indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally removing numerous national security documents that were found in her home.
    [Read More…]
  • Canadian Man Extradited from Spain to Face Charges for Massive Psychic Mail Fraud Scheme
    In Crime News
    A Canadian citizen accused of operating a decades-long psychic mail fraud scheme was extradited to the United States and made his initial appearance today in federal court in Central Islip, New York, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced.
    [Read More…]
  • Fugitive narcotics trafficker apprehended
    In Justice News
    A 33-year-old [Read More…]

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