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Published on November 7, 2007

Author: Felipe

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North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation :  North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit What is the NC SBI ?:  What is the NC SBI ? The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is primarily an assisting agency, in that we provide assistance to local, state and federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies. NC SBI Mission :  NC SBI Mission North Carolina statues define the mission of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. (N.C.G.S. 114-12) Article 4. State Bureau of Investigation. Part 1. General Powers and Duties of the State Bureau of Investigation. § 114‑12.  Bureau of Investigation created; powers and duties. In order to secure a more effective administration of the criminal laws of the State, to prevent crime, and to procure the speedy apprehension of criminals, the Attorney General shall set up in the Department of Justice a division to be designated as the State Bureau of Investigation. The Division shall have charge of and administer the agencies and activities herein set up for the identification of criminals, for their apprehension, for the scientific analysis of evidence of crime, and investigation and preparation of evidence to be used in criminal courts; and the said Bureau shall have charge of investigation of criminal matters herein especially mentioned, and of such other crimes and criminal procedure as the Governor may direct. (1937, c. 349, s. 1; 1939, c. 315, s. 6; 2003‑214, s. 1(1).) Areas of Original Jurisdiction :  Areas of Original Jurisdiction The NCSBI has Original Jurisdiction in the following areas: Drug Investigations Arson/Fire Investigations Election Law Violations Gambling Investigations Thefts/Damage to State Property Environmental Crimes Diversion:  Diversion The channeling of controlled substances, which are legally manufactured and intended to be used legitimately for medical and therapeutic needs by a licensed practitioner, pharmacist, hospital, nursing home, or medical research center, to an illegal use, whether it be for personal use or for illegal distribution to another person. In other words: Diverting legitimate drugs for illicit purposes. Slide7:  Requests come from health care facilities, regulatory agencies, law enforcement agencies and private citizens. Diversion Slide8:  The DECU was designated in 1990 by the Attorney General’s office to be the state investigative agency responsible for the investigation of environmental crimes in North Carolina. Environmental Crimes Environmental Crimes:  Environmental Crimes Investigations include, but are not limited to, violations of : Safe Rivers and Harbors Act Army Corp of Engineers Regulations Wetlands and Endangered Species Acts Clean Water Act (CWA) Clean Air Act (CAA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Dumping/Littering Violations Underground Storage Tanks (UST) Solid Waste Violations Environmental Crimes:  Requests are received from regulatory agencies, law enforcement agencies, District Attorney’s office or the Attorney General’s Office. Or information can be received from the general public. NOTE: The NCSBI does have original jurisdiction in environmental crimes. Environmental Crimes Clean Water Act Violations:  Clean Water Act Violations Include investigations of dumping into waterways, illegal/intentional spills and/or discharges, illegal dredging operations, filling in or altering waterways, marshland violations, and migratory bird treaty act violations. Case Studies:  Case Studies Clean Water Act Violations EcoSolve Case Study:  Clean Water Act Violations EcoSolve Case Study Company formed in 2000 by Ralph Rogers and several investors. Company specializes in the removal of grease trap waste from restaurants. Has large customer base, in excess of 1000 locations that the company services in NC, SC, TN, GA, FL, and AL. Employs minimal staff, mostly office workers and only 4-5 “drivers” at any given time. Clean Water Act Violations EcoSolve Continued…:  Clean Water Act Violations EcoSolve Continued… Complaint received from Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities that the company is possibly engaged in “pump and dump” operations in 2002. Initially conduct surveillance on company with no results. Run employee history for company through Employment Security Commission, develop a list of former and current employees at the company. Contact current employee about allegations. Conduct several “controlled contacts” by employee via telephone and in person with various management personnel at the company. Clean Water Act Violations EcoSolve continued…:  Clean Water Act Violations EcoSolve continued… Develop enough probable cause through former employee interviews to obtain a search warrant. Search Warrant executed at facility February 25, 2004. Numerous interviews are conducted and 60 boxes of documents are seized from the facility. Interviews continue of former/current employees. Driver/Operations Manager Whit Gibson admits to the company engaging in a “pump and dump” scheme. Interviews of customers show that company was signing contracts that the company would “completely remove all waste (including water) from the grease trap”. Former operations/driver supervisor James Branham confirms statement provided by Gibson. Says the act of “decanting” is introduced at the company during his employment with the company. This is confirmed by former driver/supervisor Thomas Forebush. Gibson and Branham sign a bill of information, pleading guilty to a Clean Water Act violation, April 11, 2006. Clean Water Act Violations EcoSolve continued…:  Clean Water Act Violations EcoSolve continued… Federal Indictments are issued for Ralph Rogers, Thomas Forebush and EcoSolve on April 25, 2007. Current employees LeAnn Ingram and Tara Presson are sent target letters for indictment. July 2007, Ingram and Presson agree to plea guilty to Clean Water Act Violations. Part of the plea is for Ingram and Presson to testify against Ralph Rogers. Presson provides a statement that Rogers was the driving force behind the clean water act violations at EcoSolve. Rogers, Forebush and EcoSolve are currently pending trial in the Western District of NC. Solid Waste Violations Rockwater Farms :  Solid Waste Violations Rockwater Farms March 14, 2005, Request for criminal investigation from DENR Solid Waste, Winston-Salem Office. Rockwater Farms, owned and operated by William Joseph Carter, IV, AKA: Jay Carter Rockwater Farms operating as an un-permitted solid waste/composting facility. Collects, transports and disposes of animal carcasses, parts, animal waste and organic matter. Solid Waste Violations Rockwater Farms :  Solid Waste Violations Rockwater Farms Numerous complaints received by DENR about the site, both from citizens and other agencies. Between 1995 and 2004 DENR inspects the site on eleven occasions and issues five NOVs. Animal carcasses, disposal of domesticated dead animals are observed on site by regulatory personnel and law enforcement officers on 15 separate occasions. Solid Waste Violations Rockwater Farms :  Solid Waste Violations Rockwater Farms April 18, 2006, a search warrant is obtained by the SBI; the residence and site at 3412 Hardin Road, Boone, NC is searched. Numerous documents, two backhoes and a dump truck are seized from the site. Samples are taken from the dump sites and lechate on the property by the NCDA. Analysis of the lechate coming from the disposal pits/piles shows a total nitrogen content of 66.7 ppm. Six times the acceptable level set by state regulations. This amount would be lethal to humans or animals if ingested. Solid Waste Violations Rockwater Farms :  Solid Waste Violations Rockwater Farms After much negotiation between the Attorney General’s Office and Watauga County District Attorney’s Office, a civil injunction against Rockwater Farms and Jay Carter is filed in April 2007. On July 31, 2007, Carter is arrested and charged with three counts of violations of G.S. 130A-25 and three counts of violations of G. S. 106-405. Both actions are pending court in Watauga County. Underground Storage Tanks:  Underground Storage Tanks Falsification of required tests for removal of UST. Falsification of required reports to DENR. (not exclusive to USTs). Investigation of illegal or improper removal of underground storage tanks. Underground Storage Tanks:  Underground Storage Tanks Contractor was hired by the church to remove an underground fuel storage tank on the property. Tank is removed by contractor on 11/29/2006. At the time, tank was removed, renter was present on the property. Tank is inadvertently punctured by the operator of the backhoe at the time it is picked up for removal. Approximately 200 gallons of heating fuel is dumped into the excavated hole. Underground Storage Tanks:  Underground Storage Tanks GCEH visits the site, the ground is saturated with fuel oil, with an overwhelming odor of kerosene. The fuel is standing in pools on the ground and began seeping up a power pole near the excavation site. Underground Storage Tanks:  Underground Storage Tanks The contractor is interviewed and confesses to puncturing the tank, but notifies the church pastor of the spill. Church pastor tells the contractor, “cover it up and don’t worry about it.” The church is contacted by GCEH and the pastor states he is obtaining quotes for cleanup. The pastor was interviewed by the SBI and admitted to not having the tank pumped prior to having it removed and telling the contractor to wait and see what happened regarding the release of the fuel oil. Underground Storage Tanks:  Underground Storage Tanks The Church of God of Prophecy was issued an NOV by GCEH for the improper removal of the UST. On February 15, 2007, the contractor was charged with and arrested for one count of Oil Discharge Controls, G. S. 143-215.88 (B) (E) and the pastor of the Church of God of Prophecy was charged with one count of Underground Storage Tank Regulation Violations, G. S. 143-215.94 (X) (B). Both subjects are pending court in Guildford County. To date, the Church of God of Prophecy has spend approximately $14,000 to pay for clean-up of the released fuel. Other Violations:  Other Violations Felony Littering/Dumping Charges Investigation of the operation of un-permitted facilities. Falsification of records required by regulatory agencies. Defrauding of State Funds If there is a criminal violation:  If there is a criminal violation Notify the Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit ASAP! Document, Document, Document District Attorney or Assistant United States Attorney on Board ? What Can Regulatory Agencies Do:  What Can Regulatory Agencies Do Note Taking….You are the primary witness to the initial violation. All Notes generated from the scene are open to discovery in court Be observant Record all observations at the site, including written and photographs. Digital Photographs must be downloaded to a non-rewritable CD Collect samples if appropriate What Can Regulatory Agencies Do:  What Can Regulatory Agencies Do Provide DENR Policies violated and supporting documentation Provide copies of all reports required by DENR regarding the facility and the violations. Issue Notice of Violation (NOV). Follow up with fines/penalties on NOVs when appropriate. Special Services Unit Clandestine Laboratory Response :  Special Services Unit Clandestine Laboratory Response Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratory Response Team Overview Clandestine Laboratory:  Clandestine Laboratory An illicit operation consisting of a sufficient combination of apparatus and chemicals that either has been or could be used in the manufacture or synthesis of controlled substances. Possible Locations Of Clan Labs:  Possible Locations Of Clan Labs Apartments Basements Campers Garages Mines Motel rooms Orchards Sheds Trucks Vans Attics Camp sites Farm labor camps Houseboats Mobile homes Motor homes Self-storage units Trailers Underground rooms Basic Chemical Requirements:  Basic Chemical Requirements Precursor Reagent Solvent Catalyst Precursors:  Precursors Pseudoephedrine/Ephedrine - Meth Piperidine - Phencyclidine (PCP) Ephedrine - Methcathinone (CAT) A chemical that is essential to the production of a controlled substance and for which no substitution can be made. Reagents:  Reagents Iodine - Meth Sulfuric Acid (Battery Acid) - Meth Hydrochloric Acid (Muriatic Acid) - Meth Sodium Hydroxide (Red Devil Lye) - Meth Chemical which reacts upon precursor causing it to chemically change. Reagents:  Reagents Epsom Salt - Meth Anhydrous Ammonia - Meth Sodium Cyanide - PCP Catalyst:  Catalyst Red Phosphorus - Meth Lithium Metal - Meth Sodium Metal - Meth Hydrogen (H2) - Meth Chemical which speeds up a reaction process and/or causes it to go to greater completion Solvent:  Solvent Medium (liquid) in which a chemical operation takes place. Coleman fuel, acetone, starting fluid, naptha, methanol, R11 - Meth Toluene - Methcathinone (CAT) Ether - Phencylidine (PCP) Common Equipment in Clandestine Laboratories:  Common Equipment in Clandestine Laboratories Reaction vessels Heating mantles Funnels (Buchner) Miscellaneous glassware Common Equipment in Clandestine Laboratories:  Common Equipment in Clandestine Laboratories Compressed gas cylinder Rubber gloves, air purifying respirators, etc… Grinders First On-Scene:  First On-Scene Protect Personal Safety Avoid contact Minimize exposure Do not smoke in or near clandestine drug lab Never touch, taste or smell any type of equipment or chemicals in or near a clandestine drug lab First On-Scene:  First On-Scene Protect Public Safety Warn others Isolate area Call for help, such as, local Sheriff or Police Department, Ambulance, NC State Bureau of Investigation, Fire Department, Haz-Mat. First On-Scene:  First On-Scene Secondary Actions Secure area Clear debris which may impede response Prevent unauthorized scene entry Evacuate immediate area Render first aid First On-Scene:  First On-Scene Safety Rules Do not enter an unknown environment Observe from a distance Do not unnecessarily expose yourself Always request assistance Stay upwind and up gradient Avoid areas of odor, discoloration, visibility impairment, etc. Evacuate immediate area Conclusion:  Conclusion It is important to remember that the final decision regarding prosecution rests in the hands of the DA or AUSA and not all cases, even thoroughly investigated, will lead to criminal charges. Successful investigation of these cases is dependent on close teamwork between DENR and LE. Contact Information :  Contact Information North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit 501 Industrial Avenue, Greensboro, NC 336-256-1364 Contact Information:  Contact Information North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Special Services Unit 5994 Caldwell Park Drive, Harrisburg, NC 704-454-5324 Questions ???????:  Questions ???????

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