East Texas federal indictments returned - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

East Texas federal indictments returned

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Released by the U.S. Attorney's Office in East Texas:

TYLER, Texas – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced that indictments were returned this week charging individuals with federal crimes in the Eastern District of Texas.

MICHAEL ALLEN HAMMONDS, 36, of Florence, Colorado, was indicted on charges of mailing threatening communications. If convicted, he could receive up to 10 years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, in April and July, 2009, Hammonds is alleged to have mailed letters containing a threat to injure U.S. District Judge Richard Schell.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg A. Marchessault.

CHARLES R. HOLLIE, 43, of Tyler, was indicted on charges of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.  If convicted, he could receive up to 3 years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, for tax years 2003 through 2006, Hollie, an independent contractor who provided income tax return preparation services for an Athens and Tyler, Texas based tax preparation service, is alleged to have deliberately overstated numerous expenses and deductions causing clients to receive a larger refund or pay less tax than they actually owed.

This case is being investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg A. Marchessault.

GABRIEL AVILES ALEJANDRO ZEPEDA, 42 of Mochoacan, Mexico, RAUL MONTENEGRO, 33, of Grand Prairie, Texas, and VICTOR TORRES, 41 of Euless, Texas, were indicted on charges of Conspiracy and Possession of Heroin.  If convicted, the defendants could each receive up to Life in federal prison.  Zepeda was also indicted for improperly entering the United States and faces up to 6 months in federal prison if convicted of that charge.

According to the indictment, from an unknown date to Feb. 4, 2010, these men were involved in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 2.5 kilograms of heroin in the Morris County, Texas area.

This case is being investigated by the Texas Department of Public Safety and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol K. Wheeler.

STERLING WILLIAM BLADE, 35 of Longview, was indicted on charges of Receipt of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, Possession of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, Receipt of Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children, Possession of Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children, and Failure to Register Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.   If convicted he faces a fine up to 10 years in federal prison for each of the possession charges, up to 20 years for each of the receipt charges, and up to 10 years for failure to register.   If the Government proves that he is a prior sex offender, he faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years for possession of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years for Receipt of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, a minimum of 20 years for Possession of Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children, and a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of 40 years for the receipt of Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children.

According to the indictment, on Feb. 26, 2010, Blade, who is alleged to be a previously convicted sex offender, failed to register as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act; received and possessed child pornography; and received and possessed obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.  The Government also seeks to forfeit one Samsung cellular telephone and 2 DVDs.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Longview Police Department Cyber Crimes Unit and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.

MICHAEL PAUL KRUGER, 31 of Cason, Texas was indicted on charges of both possession and distribution of child pornography.  If convicted of possession of child pornography, Kruger faces up to 10 years in federal prison.  If convicted of distribution of child pornography, Kruger faces up to 20 years in federal prison. 

According to the indictment, on July 1, 2009, Kruger is alleged to have been in possession of a computer and hard drive which contained hundreds of images of child pornography.  In addition, the indictment charges Kruger with distributing child pornography on May 4 and May 7, 2009.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol K. Wheeler.

SERGIO HERNANDEZ LAZARO and SONIA HERNANDEZ LAZARO, both 38, of Lufkin, and FRANCISCO CAYETANO, 33 of Nacogdoches, were indicted on charges of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.  If convicted, they could each receive between 40 years and Life in federal prison. 

According to the indictment, a drug trafficking investigation revealed that the defendants are alleged to be responsible for the distribution of more than 500 grams of cocaine. 

The case is being investigated by the Lufkin Police Department, DPS Narcotics and the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Flournoy.

A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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