Justice News – 5/22/17

Halls of justice

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Issues Memorandum on Implementation of Executive Order 13768, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions today issued the attached memo to all Department of Justice grant making components on the implementation of Executive Order 13768, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”

Memo on Implementation of Executive Order 13768


 

Readout of Meeting Between U.S. Attorney General Sessions and Qatari Attorney General Al Marri

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions met in Washington on May 19, 2017, with Dr. Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri, Attorney General of the State of Qatar. They discussed the close cooperation between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Qatari Office of the Attorney General and agreed to continue this cooperation, including on fighting terrorism and transnational crime. Attorney General Sessions and Dr. Al Marri also discussed anti-corruption issues.


 

Defense Contractor Employee Pleads Guilty to Selling Satellite Secrets to Undercover Agent Posing as Russian Spy

Today, Gregory Allen Justice, 49, of Culver City, California, pleaded guilty to federal charges of one count of attempting to commit economic espionage and one count of attempting to violate the Arms Export Control Act. The charges are related to Justice’s selling sensitive satellite information to a person he believed to be an agent of a Russian intelligence service. Justice was an engineer who worked for a cleared defense contractor. Specifically, he worked on military and commercial satellite programs.

The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Brown for the Central District of California.

According to a plea agreement filed in this case, Justice stole proprietary trade secrets from his employer and provided them to a person he believed to be a Russian agent – but who in fact was an undercover FBI employee.

In addition to their proprietary nature, the documents contained technical data covered by the U.S. Munitions List and therefore were subject to controls restricting export from the U.S. under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

In exchange for providing these materials during a series of meeting between February and July of 2016, Justice sought and received thousands of dollars in cash payments. During one meeting, Justice and the undercover agent discussed developing a relationship like one depicted on the television show “The Americans,” and during their final meeting, Justice offered to take the undercover agent on a tour of his employer’s production facilities where Justice said all military spacecraft were built, according to the plea agreement.

Justice faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Justice pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge George Wu, who scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 18. Justice has been in custody since his arrest in July 2016.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Attorneys from the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.


Former North Carolina Law Enforcement Officer Found Guilty for Role in Providing Armed Support to Large-Scale Drug Trafficking Organization

A jury in the Eastern District of North Carolina found a former North Carolina police officer guilty of drug, firearm and bribery charges stemming from his participation in trafficking narcotics and narcotics proceeds for a large-scale drug trafficking organization.

 

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John Stuart Bruce of the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement.

 

Antonio Tillmon, 33, a former police officer with the Windsor City Police Department, was found guilty of multiple counts of conspiring to distribute controlled substances, attempting to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, conspiring to use and carry firearms in relation to drug trafficking offenses, using and carrying firearms in relation to drug trafficking offenses and federal programs bribery. Senior U.S. District Judge Malcom J. Howard of the Eastern District of North Carolina scheduled sentencing for Aug. 8, 2017.

 

The charges stemmed from a large scale undercover investigation into allegations of systemic law enforcement corruption in Northampton County, North Carolina. The evidence at trial established that Tillmon accepted $6,500 from undercover FBI agents posing as drug traffickers in return for transporting a total of 30 kilograms of heroin from North Carolina to Maryland over three separate occasions between August 2014 and April 2015. On each occasion, Tillmon carried his law enforcement badge and a firearm to secure the illicit narcotics. Tillmon was prepared to use his badge and fake documentation to evade drug interdiction in the event the transport vehicle was stopped. The evidence also showed that Tillmon agreed to participate in a fourth drug transport, to which he brought five firearms, including an assault rifle accompanied by three magazines of ammunition.

 

Fourteen other defendants, 13 of whom were law enforcement or correctional officers, were charged in the drug trafficking and firearm conspiracies – the law enforcement and correctional officers were also charged with federal programs bribery. Those defendants all pleaded guilty to various offenses and are scheduled to be sentenced later this year. Tillmon is the only charged defendant who proceeded to trial.

 

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Molly Gaston of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby Lathan of the Eastern District of North Carolina. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Division, Raleigh Resident Agency.


Handpicked updates from Justice.gov Justice News newsletter.

Click here for full list of updates.