Army Sergeant and Associate Convicted on All Counts for Roles in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to Defense Contracts to Support Iraq War

To Date, 19 Individuals Have Pleaded Guilty or Been Convicted at Trial in Ongoing Corruption Investigation

WASHINGTON – A federal jury in Elkins, W. Va., convicted Richard Evick, a U.S. Army Sergeant First Class and Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of contracting at a U.S. military base in Kuwait, and his associate, Crystal Martin, of all counts with which they were charged in connection with a bribery and money laundering scheme related to defense contracts awarded in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Pregnant Visitor Arrested for Introducing $75,000 worth of Methamphetamine into Desert Area Maximum Security Prison

On Sunday, June 24, 2012, at approximately 1045 hours the Calipatria State Prison C Visiting Floor Officer observed visitor Marisa Griselda Perez, DOB 12/4/1990 from Inglewood CA,  who was visiting with her friend Inmate Alexander E. Pleitez, (DOB 12/24/1975, incarcerated for Murder 1st, LWOP) was observed to have a bag of corn nuts in the C Visiting Room.  The vending machines in visiting do not contain corn nuts for purchase.  Visiting and Investigative Services Unit (ISU) staff approached and separated them conducting a search of the inmate and the visitor.  The bag was confiscated and 19 bindles of what tested positive for methamphetamines was discovered on Mrs. Perez.  The bindles weighed a total of 50 grams estimated to be $75,000.00 worth of drugs in a maximum security prison.  Information leads CAL staff to suspect Inmate Pleitez swallowed two bindles of the contraband was placed on Contraband Surveillance Watch to retrieve the evidence from his bowl movements.
Visitor Mrs. Perez was arrested by on duty ISU staff and transported to the Imperial County Jail for processing and charged with Introduction of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Distribution.  Imperial County Jail Deputies were advised that Mrs. Perez admitted to being approximately six months pregnant.
Calipatria State Prison houses 3847 inmates, over 1900 are serving life sentences and 564 are serving life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) .   On Sunday 6/24/2012, 271 adults and 79 minors entered Calipatria State Prison to visit with inmates.
Inmates serving a life sentence have little to lose, the individuals that introduce contraband to the institution have much to lose.

County to Apply for EDA Funds

By Mario Conde

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to apply for EDA funding for various economic development projects in the valley.

On June 1, 2012, Community and Economic Development received an invitation to submit an application to the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration under the Economic Development Assistance Program Partnership Planning funds in the amount of $70,000. Per grant application, the County is required to provide a local cash match of $17,500. Historically, EDA grants have provided the County of Imperial with funding to perform various economic development planning activities.