LAREDO, Texas – A 49-year-old Desoto man has entered a guilty plea to alien smuggling, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Dedrick Lindell Coleman pleaded guilty to smuggling 95 non-U.S. citizens in a trailer.
As part of his plea, Coleman admitted that on Jan. 14, he approached the Interstate Highway 35 Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint located on mile marker 29 while driving a tractor trailer. A K-9 unit alerted authorities to the presence of concealed humans and referred him to secondary inspection.
There, authorities found a total of 95 non-U.S. citizens hidden in the trailer. All were determined to be in the United States illegally. At the time of his arrest, authorities also discovered a pistol in Coleman’s possession.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing July 7. At that time, Cruz faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Coleman has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Isaac is prosecuting the case.
- Housing: Preliminary Analysis of Homeownership Trends for Nine Cities
July 30, 2020Following a decade of decline, including after the 2007–2009 financial crisis, the national homeownership rate started to recover in 2016 (see figure). Homeownership Rate in the United States, 1990–2018 Note: Shaded areas indicate U.S. recessions. However, not all Americans have benefitted from the recovery, even in housing markets that appear to be thriving. GAO examined homeownership trends during 2010–2018 in nine core-based statistical areas (cities)—Chicago; Cleveland; Columbia, South Carolina; Denver; Houston; Pittsburgh; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. In summary, among the nine cities reviewed, GAO found that during 2010–2018: The homeownership rate declined or was flat in all cities. The homeownership rate significantly declined in Chicago, Cleveland, and Houston and remained statistically unchanged in the other cities. Average home prices grew in all cities, but at considerably different rates. For example, real house prices increased significantly in Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle but much less in Chicago, Cleveland, and Columbia. The homeowner vacancy rate dropped in all cities, indicating growing constraints on the housing supply. Most significantly, by 2018, the three cities with the largest house price increases—Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle—all had homeowner vacancy rates below 1 percent and the three lowest rental vacancy rates (below 5 percent), indicating more severe constraints on supply. Most cities became denser, and some also expanded outward. Cities such as Houston and Washington, D.C., both became denser (added more housing units in developed areas) and expanded outward (added housing units in previously undeveloped areas), while cities such as Seattle and Denver grew largely by adding more density to already high-density areas. Chicago, and Pittsburgh became less dense, as limited growth came largely through outward expansion. Homeowners and recent borrowers were increasingly higher-income. All nine cities saw growth in the estimated number and percentage of households reporting annual incomes of $150,000 or more (the highest income category reported by Census). Similarly, with the exception of Columbia, real median incomes of borrowers increased in the selected cities. Homeowners and recent borrowers were increasingly older and more diverse. Most cities saw growth in homeownership among households aged 60 and older, often with corresponding decreases among younger owners. Additionally, loan originations by minority borrowers increased in all cities. GAO’s analysis of homeownership trends in these nine cities during 2010–2018 illustrates two main points: (1) Cities grew differently and accommodated growth to differing degrees, and (2) who owns and who can buy a home differs by location and type of buyer, sometimes substantially. Historically, owning a home has been one of the primary ways Americans built wealth and financial security. This is one reason why the availability and price of housing is consequential to both households and policymakers. GAO was asked to assess the state of the current domestic housing market and this report, one in a series, focuses on homeownership trends. To conduct this work, GAO used data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data (loan and application data filed by mortgage lenders), among other sources, to identify trends in nine selected cities during 2010–2018, the most current data available at the time of GAO’s review. This report examines trends prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and does not account for the profound effect it likely will have on homeowners. GAO has ongoing work that will examine implementation of foreclosure and eviction protections authorized in recent legislation. GAO makes no recommendations in this report. For more information, contact Daniel Garcia-Diaz at (202) 512-8678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Spain Travel Advisory
March 24, 2022Do not travel to Spain [Read More…]
- South Florida Lawyer Charged with Fraud Related to 1 Global Capital Investment Scheme
September 29, 2020A Florida attorney and former outside counsel for 1 Global Capital LLC (1 Global), has been charged today with conspiring to commit wire fraud and securities fraud in connection with an investment fraud scheme that as alleged impacted more than 3,600 investors in 42 different states, and involved him personally and fraudulently raising more than $100 million from investors.
- Offshore Wind Energy: Planned Projects May Lead to Construction of New Vessels in the U.S., but Industry Has Made Few Decisions amid Uncertainties
December 8, 2020Under the Jones Act, vessels carrying merchandise between two points in the U.S. must be built and registered in the United States. Developers are planning a number of offshore wind projects along the U.S. east coast, where many states have set targets for offshore wind energy production. Stakeholders described two approaches to using vessels to install offshore wind energy projects in the U.S. Either approach may lead to the construction of new vessels that comply with the Jones Act. Under one approach, a Jones Act-compliant wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV) would carry components from a U.S. port to the site and also install the turbines. WTIVs have a large deck, legs that allow the vessel to lift out of the water, and a tall crane to lift and place turbines. Stakeholders told GAO there are currently no Jones Act-compliant vessels capable of serving as a WTIV. One company, however, has announced a plan to build one. Under the second approach, a foreign-flag WTIV would install the turbines with components carried to the site from U.S. ports by Jones Act-compliant feeder vessels (see figure). While some potential feeder vessels exist, stakeholders said larger ones would probably need to be built to handle the large turbines developers would likely use. Example of an Offshore Wind Installation in U.S. Waters Using a Foreign-Flag Installation Vessel and Jones Act-Compliant Feeder Vessels Stakeholders identified multiple challenges—which some federal programs address—associated with constructing and using Jones Act-compliant vessels for offshore wind installations. For example, stakeholders said that obtaining investments in Jones Act-compliant WTIVs—which may cost up to $500 million—has been challenging, in part due to uncertainty about the timing of federal approval for projects. According to officials at the Department of the Interior, which is responsible for approving offshore wind projects, the Department plans to issue a decision on the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind project in December 2020. Some stakeholders said that if this project is approved, investors may be more willing to move forward with vessel investments. While stakeholders also said port infrastructure limitations could pose challenges to using Jones Act-compliant vessels for offshore wind, offshore wind developers and state agencies have committed to make port investments. Offshore wind, a significant potential source of energy in the United States, requires a number of oceangoing vessels for installation and other tasks. Depending on the use, these vessels may need to comply with the Jones Act. Because Jones Act-compliant vessels are generally more expensive to build and operate than foreign-flag vessels, using such vessels may increase the costs of offshore wind projects. Building such vessels may also lead to some economic benefits for the maritime industry. A provision was included in statute for GAO to review offshore wind vessels. This report examines (1) approaches to use of vessels that developers are considering for offshore wind, consistent with Jones Act requirements, and the extent to which such vessels exist, and (2) the challenges industry stakeholders have identified associated with constructing and using such vessels to support U.S. offshore wind, and the actions federal agencies have taken to address these challenges. GAO analyzed information on vessels that could support offshore wind, reviewed relevant laws and studies, and interviewed officials from federal agencies and industry stakeholders selected based on their involvement in ongoing projects and recommendations from others. For more information, contact Andrew Von Ah at (202) 512-2834 or email@example.com.
- Combating Transnational Crime and Imposing Sanctions on Persons Involved in the Global Illicit Drug Trade
December 15, 2021
- The Republic of Kenya’s National Day
December 12, 2020Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Macau Travel Advisory
September 26, 2020Exercise normal [Read More…]
- Judiciary Takes Action to Ensure High Ethical Standards and Transparency
In U.S CourtsOctober 26, 2021Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod testified before a House subcommittee today to describe judges’ recusal standards and case conflict screening process that help judges maintain high ethical standards.
- VA Acquisition Management: Fundamental Challenges Could Hinder Supply Chain Modernization Efforts if Not Addressed
November 18, 2021What GAO Found VA has one of the most significant acquisition functions in the federal government, with over $34 billion obligated in fiscal year 2021. GAO added the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) acquisition management to its High-Risk List in 2019 due to long-standing acquisition management challenges, including purchases of goods and services, particularly medical supplies. For example, VA’s Medical-Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) program is the VA medical centers’ primary source for medical supplies. In 2017, GAO reported that VA’s initial implementation of the current version of MSPV was flawed. It lacked an overarching strategy, stable leadership, and medical center buy-in. Consequently, despite some improvements, the program has yet to fully meet medical centers’ needs for medical supplies. Additionally, during 2019 and 2020, the Veterans Health Administration piloted the Defense Logistics Agency’s version of MSPV and decided to expand it VA-wide. However, it did not evaluate whether the pilot was scalable, as GAO recommended in September 2020. A legal challenge has led to further delays, during which the medical centers continue to face the shortcomings of the current version of the program, including frequent backorders and other issues. GAO’s March 2021 High-Risk Update reported that VA has made limited progress addressing its acquisition management challenges. Since that time, VA has issued a high-risk action plan. While this plan identifies root causes of problems GAO identified in prior work, it lacks specifics. For example, the plan does not identify the scope of VA’s supply chain and how existing programs and initiatives will be included in its overall supply chain modernization effort. In March 2021, GAO made a recommendation that VA develop a comprehensive supply chain management strategy, given existing and continuing supply chain challenges that were highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, VA has taken action and, according to the Chief Acquisition Officer, plans to complete a supply chain assessment by the end of 2022, which will inform its supply chain strategy. While GAO recognizes that VA is taking action on supply chain issues, preliminary observations from its ongoing work underscore that VA has fundamental acquisition management challenges that, if not addressed, could undermine these supply chain efforts. For example, preliminary observations indicate that several of VA’s key acquisition programs are not following VA’s acquisition framework introduced in 2017—a situation confirmed by senior VA acquisition officials. A good acquisition framework, among other things, can help ensure that VA leaders have a structured process and the necessary information to make decisions at key points as it implements and executes a program. Such a framework also provides leaders with ways to monitor program outcomes and ensure accountability. GAO will be reporting on VA’s current framework and actions it is taking to develop and implement a new framework and other actions related to acquisition oversight in the summer of 2022. Why GAO Did This Study GAO’s prior work shows that VA has long faced challenges in achieving efficient acquisitions. Further, VA faced supply chain challenges during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, as GAO testified in June 2020, September 2020, and March 2021. This statement discusses VA’s supply chain and broader acquisition management challenges, its efforts to address them, and implications for improving VA’s overall acquisition management. This statement is largely based on information from GAO reports and testimony statements issued from 2017-2021 and preliminary observations from ongoing work. The ongoing work includes reviews focused on VA’s management of major acquisitions and its acquisition workforce, on which GAO plans to issue reports in summer 2022. To perform the ongoing work, GAO reviewed VA documentation and interviewed VA officials. Information about the scope and methodology of prior work on which this statement is based can be found in those products.
- Jury Convicts Iranian National for Illegally Exporting Military Sensitive Items
May 7, 2021A federal jury convicted an Iranian citizen and a resident of the United Arab Emirates and Germany, for scheming to obtain military sensitive parts for Iran in violation of the Iranian Trade Embargo.
- Victims of Identity Theft, 2018
In Justice NewsMay 2, 2021(Publication)
This report describes the number of persons age 16 or older who experienced identity theft in 2018.
4/1/2021, NCJ 256085, Erika Harrell [Read More…]
- Federal Research: Agencies Need to Enhance Policies to Address Foreign Influence
December 17, 2020U.S. research may be subject to undue foreign influence in cases where a researcher has a foreign conflict of interest (COI). Federal grant-making agencies can address this threat by implementing COI policies and requiring the disclosure of information that may indicate potential conflicts. GAO reviewed five agencies—which together accounted for almost 90 percent of all federal research and development expenditures at universities in fiscal year 2018—and found that three have agency-wide COI policies, while two do not (see figure). The three agencies with existing policies focus on financial interests but do not specifically address or define non-financial interests, such as multiple professional appointments. In the absence of agency-wide COI policies and definitions on non-financial interests, researchers may not fully understand what they need to report on their grant proposals, leaving agencies with incomplete information to assess the risk of foreign influence. GAO found that, regardless of whether an agency has a conflict of interest policy, all five agencies require researchers to disclose information—such as foreign support for their research—as part of the grant proposal that could be used to determine if certain conflicts exist. Elements of Conflict of Interest (COI) Policies at Agencies with the Most Federal Research Expenditures at Universities Based on a review of university documents, GAO found that all 11 of the universities in its sample have publicly available financial and non-financial COI policies for federally funded research. These policies often align with the financial COI policies or requirements of the grant-making agencies. All five agencies have mechanisms to monitor and enforce their policies and disclosure requirements when there is an alleged failure to disclose required information. All agencies rely on universities to monitor financial COI, and most agencies collect non-financial information such as foreign collaborations, that can help determine if conflicts exist. Agencies have also taken actions in cases where they identified researchers who failed to disclose financial or non-financial information. However, three agencies lack written procedures for handling allegations of failure to disclose required information. Written procedures for addressing alleged failure to disclose required information help agencies manage these allegations and consistently apply enforcement actions. In interviews, stakeholders identified opportunities to improve responses to foreign threats to research, such as harmonizing grant application requirements. Agencies have begun to address such issues. The federal government reportedly expended about $42 billion on science and engineering research at universities in fiscal year 2018. Safeguarding the U.S. research enterprise from threats of foreign influence is of critical importance. Recent reports by GAO and others have noted challenges faced by the research community to combat undue foreign influence, while maintaining an open research environment that fosters collaboration, transparency, and the free exchange of ideas. GAO was asked to review federal agency and university COI policies and disclosure requirements. In this report, GAO examines (1) COI policies and disclosure requirements at selected agencies and universities that address potential foreign threats, (2) mechanisms to monitor and enforce policies and requirements, and (3) the views of selected stakeholders on how to better address foreign threats to federally funded research. GAO reviewed laws, regulations, federal guidance, and agency and university COI policies and requirements. GAO also interviewed agency officials, university officials, and researchers. GAO is making nine recommendations to six agencies, including that grant-making agencies address non-financial conflicts of interest in their COI policies and develop written procedures for addressing cases of failure to disclose required information. Five agencies agreed with GAO’s recommendations. The National Science Foundation neither agreed nor disagreed with GAO’s recommendation, but identified actions it plans to take in response. For more information, contact Candice N. Wright at (202) 512-6888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Massachusetts Man Convicted of Placing Firebomb at Entrance of Jewish Nursing Home
June 16, 2021A Massachusetts man was convicted by a federal jury yesterday in connection with placing a lit firebomb at the entrance of a Longmeadow senior health care facility in April 2020.
- How Common Sense and Hard Work Saved Taxpayers
August 28, 2020Imagine you manage a [Read More…]
- International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
June 26, 2021
- Paraguay Travel Advisory
September 26, 2020Reconsider travel [Read More…]
- Department Press Briefing with Spokesperson Ned Price – December 9, 2021
December 10, 2021Office of the [Read More…]
- The United States Announces New Humanitarian Aid for the People of Somalia
July 27, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
- “We are ready to distribute vaccines all across America”
December 15, 2020In a matter of days, our [Read More…]
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken At a Town Hall with Kyiv Embassy Personnel
March 5, 2022