A Brief Look at Crime 03/18 – 03/25

Sex trafficking ring suspects may have made millions and tried to hide it at casinos 

Dallas police said the owners of some seedy massage parlors made them rich, and they spent some of the money on luxury cars, homes and trips, which were paid for in cash. On Wednesday, officers rescued 16 women they say were living in deplorable conditions in the massage parlors as part of a sex trafficking ring. Police arrested four people, including Josip Maric, an assistant basketball coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Officers raided his home Wednesday as shocked neighbors looked on. “When you find it’s someone you see across the street and works on your own campus and that something like that is going on,” neighbor Kathryn Jacobs said. “Just the things they are talking about are morally revolting. Police believe the couple may have tried to hide millions of dollars they earned from illegal prostitution by exchanging the money at two casinos in Oklahoma. Court documents show that “Between January 2015 and January 2019 the couple deposited more than 5 million dollars in cash into Winstar and Choctaw casinos, and nearly a million and a half dollars into various banks for a total nearly 6 and a half million dollars. “Police believe the sex ring was in operation for years and some of the women may have been given drugs.

Man faces murder charges after carjacking ends in deaths

A Mississippi man has been indicted on murder charges after an August carjacking that led to the death of two men. The Vicksburg Post reports 27-year-old Deon Jamall Hatten was indicted in Warren County for unarmed carjacking, one count of fleeing a law enforcement officer, and two counts of felony murder. Hatten is accused of snatching a woman out of her pickup truck at the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg. While speeding away, authorities say he struck a car carrying 30-year-old Develle Brinner and 32-year-old Ron Hedrick. Their car caught fire, killing both Vicksburg residents before they could be taken to a hospital. Hatten, himself hospitalized after the crash, was originally charged with vehicular manslaughter. But Mississippi’s felony murder law says any death during the commission of another felony is murder.

Former cop accused of pawning weapons had gambling addiction

A former Hallandale Beach police officer accused of pawning department-issued weapons and other items had a gambling addiction that was well-known to his superiors, his attorney told Local10.com. Yan Kleyman was arrested on a charge of dealing in stolen property, ChiefSonia Quinones Friday in a video posted on the Hallandale Beach Police Department’s Facebook page. Quinones said a routine audit uncovered that Kleyman conducted pawn transactions with department-issued equipment. Miami attorney Richard L. Cooper told Local10.com in an email Friday night that the top brass at theHallandale Beach Police Department about his client’s gambling addiction for years. “Kleyman’s superiors knew about his mental health condition, condoned his addiction and went as far as to deduct his gambling debts from his paychecks to repay his creditor fellow officers,” Cooper said. In another email, Cooper said the department went so far as to cancel its annual casino night last year in what he believes was a response to Kleyman’s known gambling addiction.

Gambling Killer Shot Brooklyn Rapper Mook Mula, Cops Say

A Brooklyn rap artist’s alleged killer was arrested more than a year after a gambling dispute between the two men turned fatal, police said. James Oliver, 40, stands accused of murdering 30-year-old Darnell Pettway, who performed as Mook Mula, during a gambling session in a the lobby of an East 93rd Street building in December 2017, police said. Oliver allegedly shot Pettway multiple times in the chest … said police. Emergency responders rushed Pettway to Kings County Hospital where he later died, according to police. The online magazine Hip-Hop Vibe described Mook Mula as “a steadily rising figure in NYC” who had performed in some of the city’s top venues and made several appearances on local radio. Police named Oliver as a suspect in May and arrested him on charges of murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon on Feb. 14. Oliver pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday and was remanded without bail, court records show.

Ex-Grand Island employee stole $116,000 to feed gambling habit

A former supervisor with the Town of Grand Island’s senior center stole $116,000 in cash over a six-year period to feed her gambling habit, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said. Barbara Gannon, 71, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Erie County Court to a charge of second-degree grand larceny, a felony. She faces up to 15 years in prison at her May 2 sentencing before Judge Sheila DiTullio. Gannon already has paid the town back $6,000 and agreed to reimburse Grand Island for the rest of the money, though Flynn said after the court proceedings that he doubts she can or ever will. The district attorney, whose office launched an investigation into the missing money more than a year ago, sharply criticized the town for its lack of internal financial controls. “What is really disturbing is it took Grand Island six years to uncover this,” Flynn told reporters. Grand Island Supervisor Nathan McMurray was in office for the last two years of the thefts. “I agree that there were problems with the way things were done before I got there,” McMurray said. “And I’m proud we were able to identify this wrongdoing and refer the matter to the authorities.”

Ex-County Official Gets 4 Years in Prison for Stealing $6.7M

A former county official from a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to four years in prison for embezzling more than $6.7 million in government funds. Peter Bang, who was the chief operating officer of Montgomery County’s economic development department, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis. The judge didn’t immediately rule on any restitution or forfeiture owed by Bang, a 59-year-old resident of Germantown. Bang pleaded guilty in November to both federal and state criminal charges. He faces a March 7 sentencing hearing for the state convictions. Prosecutors say he used most of the stolen money to feed a gambling addiction. U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said in a statement that the embezzled money could have been used for schools, libraries and other county expenditures.

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