Wednesday, January 29, 2020

DOD Identifies Air Force Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two Airmen who were supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel. They died January 27 in the crash of a Bombardier E-11A aircraft in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Killed were:

Lt. Col. Paul K. Voss, 46, of Yigo, Guam. He was assigned to Headquarters Air Combat Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. For more information, media may contact the Air Combat Command public affairs office at (757) 764-5007.

Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf, 30, of Hudson, New Hampshire. He was assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. For more information, media may contact the 28th Bomb Wing public affairs office at (605) 385-5056.

South Florida Resident Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Selling Firearms to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, the ELN

MIAMI - Francisco Joseph Arcila Ramirez (Arcila), a Colombian national and South Florida resident was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez for illegally selling firearms to the National Liberation Army (ELN), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and a violent paramilitary group operating in South America.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI’s Miami Field Office, Diane J. Sabatino, Director, Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Miami Field Office, Robert Cekada, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office, and Anthony Salisbury, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office made the announcement.

Arcila pled guilty to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization October 17, 2019.

According to court records, on August 16, 2018, Arcila instructed two co-conspirators to illegally purchase six firearms in Miami-Dade County on Arcila’s behalf.  These firearms included four Draco 7.62mm caliber AK-style pistols and two Zastava M92 7.62mm AK-style pistols. The firearms were then concealed in Husky air-compressors purchased by Arcila at a Miami-area Home Depot and shipped to Barranquilla, Colombia.  This shipment also contained approximately one hundred AK-47 ammunition magazines.

On Sept. 5, 2018, Arcila attended a meeting in Colombia, where he met with an ELN weapons broker to discuss the sale of the six firearms Arcila had recently shipped into Colombia.  In addition to agreeing to the sale of these six firearms, Arcila and the weapons broker further discussed other future sales, to include firearm magazines and firearm components in the coming months.  At the conclusion of this meeting, the weapons broker provided approximately sixty million Colombian pesos as the purchase price for the firearms.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of FBI, CBP, ATF and ICE-HSI.  This case was prosecuted by Southern District of Florida Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randy A. Hummel and Michael R. Sherwin, and by DOJ National Security Division Trial Attorney David Smith.

Brooklyn Woman Charged with Federal Hate Crimes for Anti-Semitic Attacks During Hanukkah

Defendant Allegedly Assaulted Three Orthodox Jewish Women in Crown Heights

A criminal complaint was unsealed yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn charging Tiffany Harris with committing three separate anti-Semitic attacks against Orthodox Jewish women while they were walking on public streets in Brooklyn, New York, during Hanukkah.  Harris will make her initial appearance at a later date.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges.

As set forth in the complaint, the first attack occurred on December 27, 2020, at approximately 12:40 a.m., at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights.  Harris approached a woman who was walking alone and, without warning, slapped her in the face with an open hand.  Five minutes later at the corner of President Street and Kingston Avenue, Harris approached a woman who was walking with a group of people – two of whom were visibly Orthodox Jewish – and slapped the victim in the back of her head with an open hand while stating, “F—k the Jews.”  Several minutes later at the same intersection, Harris approached a third victim who was walking alongside another visibly Orthodox Jewish woman, and slapped her in the face with an open hand.  Harris was arrested by NYPD officers near the scene of the assaults, and was positively identified by the three victims.

“As alleged in the criminal complaint, the defendant attacked three women solely because they were Jewish, striking not only at the innocent victims, but also at our country’s founding principles of tolerance and respect for civil rights,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “The use of violence, or the threats of violence, against anyone based on the victim’s religion will not be tolerated, and those who engage in such conduct will learn that under federal law there are serious consequences for hate crimes.”  Mr. Donoghue commended the NYPD officers who quickly responded and apprehended the defendant.

“Any offensive physical assault is a crime of violence, and it should be obvious that perpetrators need to be held accountable,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “When one’s actions are motivated by their hatred of another group and supported by anti-Semitic sentiments, however, it opens up the possibility of federal criminal charges, which are hard to walk away from. Tiffany Harris now faces up to 10 years in prison for her alleged actions. The lesson to others thinking of behaving as we allege Ms. Harris did—knock it off now or we are going to lock you up. The anti-Semitic attacks in this city and elsewhere have been outrageous, and the FBI will use the full extent of the laws at our disposal to protect the community.”

The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, the defendant faces up to 10 years in prison.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Section. Assistant United States Attorney Gillian Kassner is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

Age:  30
Brooklyn, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 20-MJ-10