Federal court briefs

August 29, 2012

Prison term handed down in drug case
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A 37-year-old Martinsburg woman was sentenced Aug. 24 in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg by Judge Gina M. Groh, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.
Latoya Evette Jones was sentenced to 114 months imprisonment, to be followed by six years of supervised release. Jones entered a plea of guilty on April 3 to one count of distribution of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school. The alleged incident occurred near Martinsburg High School on Nov. 3, 2010.
As part of the plea, Jones agreed to the forfeiture of a Colt Anaconda Model .44 magnum revolver, which was used in committing the drug offense.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas O. Mucklow, and was investigated by the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, consisting of officers from the West Virginia State Police — Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Martinsburg Police Department, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

Guilty pleas entered in fraud, money laundering case
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Shepherdstown, W.Va., resident on Monday entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg before Magistrate Judge David J. Joel, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.
David F. Brackett Jr., 63, entered pleas of guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering from January 2002 to March 2011. The alleged incidents occurred in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland.
Brackett allegedly devised a scheme to defraud by obtaining “loan” money from victims and falsely promising to repay them with substantial lottery winnings that Brackett had never won, according to the release from Ihlenfeld’s office.
Brackett also fraudulently obtained money by making materially false statements about his assets and expected profitability of his business ventures, the release states.
In total, Brackett fraudulently obtained more than $5.5 million from his victims, and laundered his money through a variety of bank transactions involving different banks and accounts, according to the release.
Brackett, who is in state custody on an unrelated offense, faces a maximum exposure of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $500,000.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Cogar and was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.

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