Monthly Archives

September 2013

Homeland Security Launches Smart Phone App to Locate Suspect Child Predators

By Grab Bag, Innovation

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is launching a new smartphone app – the first of its kind in U.S. federal law enforcement – designed to seek the public’s help with fugitive and unknown suspect child predators. All tips can be reported anonymously through the app, by phone or online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The most urgent case involves an unidentified man wanted for producing child pornography involving the sexual abuse of a 10 to 12-year-old girl. This “John Doe” is an unknown suspect and is believed to be living somewhere in the United States or Canada, but he could be anywhere in the world. The first video file was discovered by Interpol and submitted to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in 2006. The full series was last seen by HSI special agents in Los Angeles in 2013 during execution of a search warrant. The four videos show the prepubescent girl being sexually abused by an adult male with short brown hair and blue eyes.  In the videos, the offender has a full beard and wears glasses. Both he and the child are seen in a room with wood paneled walls with framed photos, a black computer, desk with sewing machine and brown patterned curtains.

In addition to profiling John Doe cases like this, the new smartphone app contains photos and information about known fugitives in HSI criminal cases involving sexually abused and exploited children.

“When children are being sexually abused and exploited, it’s a race against the clock to rescue the child and bring the predator to justice,” said ICE Acting Director John Sandweg. “These investigations are one of our highest priorities, and in today’s world, we need to be technologically savvy and innovative in our approach.”

ICE’s Office of Public Affairs developed the app with special agents from HSI’s Cyber Crimes Center (C3)and field offices across the country in order to seek the public’s help with information about child predators wanted for criminal prosecution.

“The creation and launch of this application provides ICE another useful tool to reach the public,” said ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale. “We recognize that people receive a great deal of information on their mobile devices and we are hopeful that this app will encourage them to submit tips about suspects and to learn more about our work investigating child exploitation crimes.”

The Operation Predator App enables those who download it to receive alerts about wanted predators, to share the information with friends via email and social media tools, and to provide information to HSI by calling or submitting an online tip. Additionally, the app enables users to view news about arrests and prosecutions of child predators and additional resources about ICE and its global partners in the fight against child exploitation.

Currently, the app can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or iTunes. ICE is also planning to expand compatibility to other smartphones in the near future.

HSI is requesting that anyone with information about John Doe or the other fugitives profiled to contact the agency in one of two ways: Call the ICE Tip Line, which is staffed 24-hours a day: (866) 347-2423 from the U.S. & Canada or (802) 872-6199 from anywhere in the world, or complete an online tip form atwww.ice.gov/tips/.

Individuals should not attempt to apprehend the suspect personally.

HSI’s Victim Identification Program seeks to rescue child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation and bring the perpetrators to justice.

These investigations are part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

SOURCE: ICE

Chester Named to “Texas Super Lawyers” List

By Blog, Community, Grab Bag, News, Portfolio, Testimonial

J. F. (Jim) Chester, founding principal in the Dallas-based business & innovation law firm of CHESTER pllc, was recently selected for inclusion on the 2013 Texas Super Lawyers® list. Chester will be listed in the intellectual property practice section, although his practice also covers a broad range of business, technology and international transactional matters.

Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding Texas lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual Texas Super Lawyers® selections are based on a rigorous, multiphase process, including peer nominations and review, and independent research. No more than 5% of the lawyers in Texas are selected to be a part of this list.

This is the first time Chester has been named to the Texas Super Lawyers® list, although he has been listed several times in “Rising Stars Under 40,” by the same issuing group.  Chester has also earned an “AV® Preeminent” Peer Review Rating by Martindale Hubbell®, a separate yet equally-prestigious honor.

Chester stated, “There are a number of lists and awards out there, but this is one of the big ones because it is based on recommendations from colleagues in the legal community, including those who were previously named Super Lawyers.  To be recognized by such an esteemed group of legal professionals is truly an honor.”

 

About CHESTER pllc
CHESTER pllc is a Dallas, Texas law firm providing comprehensive legal services to innovation-based companies doing business in the US, around the world, and on the web.  Its mission (and passion) is helping entrepreneurs and emerging companies solve problems and protect their interests. CHESTER pllc delivers value by providing business-savvy, cost-effective solutions to legal challenges.  The firm offers a wide array of core legal solutions to entrepreneurial enterprises, such as business entity formation (LLCs, corporations, etc.), trademarks and other intellectual property, technology transactions, domestic and international contracts, and ecommerce matters.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.chester-law.com

US Exports Reach $189.4B in July

By Export

The United States exported $189.4 billion in goods and services in July 2013, according to data released earlier by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. Commerce Department. July’s exports came in just shy of June’s all-time record high of $190.5 billion.

“These numbers demonstrate that President Obama’s National Export Initiative continues to help American businesses thrive in international markets,” said Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg. “Exports are a critical component of our nation’s economic success, and I look forward to seeing more ‘Made in the USA’ labels on shelves around the world.”

 Exports of goods and services over the last twelve months totaled $2.2 trillion, which is 41.7 percent above the level of exports in 2009. Over the last twelve months, exports have been growing at an annualized rate of 10.2 percent when compared to 2009.

Over the last twelve months, among the major export markets, the countries with the largest annualized increase in U.S. goods purchases, when compared to 2009, occurred in Panama (28.6 percent), Russia (22.1 percent), United Arab Emirates (21.9 percent), Peru (21.3 percent), Chile (20.9 percent), Colombia (19.7 percent), Hong Kong (19.5 percent), Argentina (18.3 percent), Ecuador (18.0 percent), and South Africa (17.7 percent).

SOURCE: Export-Import Bank of the United States

Iranian Citizen Sentenced to 48 months for Illegal Export Conspiracy

By Export

An Iranian citizen has been sentenced to 48 months in prison for conspiracy to illegally export more than 3,000 electronic components from the United States to Iran through Hong Kong, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C.

Arsalan Shemirani, 30, was also sentenced to forfeiture in the amount of $187,305.

Shemirani pleaded guilty Jan. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and to defraud the United States.

He was sentenced by Richard J. Leon Aug. 15 and the sentence was unsealed by the court and made public late Thursday.

According to court documents filed in the case, beginning as early as January 2010 and continuing through at least November 2011, Shemirani, with his brother in Iran and a coconspirator in Hong Kong, exported electronic parts from the United States to Iran, via Canada and Hong Kong, without first obtaining a license or authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of Treasury.

The defendant, who was residing in Canada during the time of the conspiracy, received purchase orders from his brother, who operated an electronics supply business in Tehran, Iran.

The items purchased by the defendant on behalf of the conspiracy included high performance electronic power equipment such as field programmable microchips, acceleration sensor semiconductors, analog converters, and other testing and power equipment. During the course of the conspiracy, the defendant purchased approximately 3,695 electronic components that were then illegally exported to his brother in Iran.

The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Spivey Urschel and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Bowman, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney Brandon Van Grack from the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

SOURCE: ICE