Sometimes Good Sometimes Not
See How the VA’s Police Fulfill Their Motto:
“Protecting those who served”
Miami, Florida, VAMC Police Officer Sentenced for Extortion
A Miami, FL, VAMC police officer was sentenced to 2 months’ incarceration, 1 year of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $300 special assessment fee. An OIG investigation revealed that the officer used his position to access a State law enforcement database to obtain personal information regarding a U.S. Army service member. The officer then extorted the service member by threatening to post sexually explicit images and provide embarrassing information on social media if the victim failed to pay additional money on a previously satisfied personal loan. The defendant used VA networks and computers to send the extortion emails to the victim. Also, while off-duty and not in any official capacity, the defendant conducted a traffic stop of an off-duty local police officer, using his personally owned vehicle which was equipped with emergency lights, siren, and radio.
Lexington, Kentucky, VA Police Lieutenant Russel Bostic Sentenced for Theft of Weapons
A former Lexington, KY, VA Police Service lieutenant was sentenced to time served, 36 months’ probation, and ordered to pay $765 in restitution. An OIG investigation revealed that the defendant, a police armorer, was allowed unescorted access to the VA Police armory. Subsequently, the defendant stole four Beretta 9mm semi-automatic handguns. The defendant then pawned the handguns for cash throughout the local community. OIG and the VA Police Service were able to recover the stolen weapons.
RICHARD MELTZ, Chief of Police for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, for the Bedford, Massachusetts Veteran Affairs Medical Center Charged with Kidnapping
Manhattan U.S. Attorney And FBI Assistant Director-In-Charge Announce Kidnapping Conspiracy Charges Against Massachusetts Veterans Affairs Police Chief And Former New York City High School Librarian.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney And FBI Assistant Director-In-Charge Announce Kidnapping Conspiracy Charges Against Massachusetts Veterans Affairs Police Chief And Former New York City High School Librarian
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, April 15, 2013
Defendants Allegedly Planned the Abduction, Rape, Torture, and Murder of Multiple Victims
…announced the arrests of RICHARD MELTZ, Chief of Police for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, for the Bedford, Massachusetts Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and ROBERT CHRISTOPHER ASCH, a former high school librarian, for conspiracy to kidnap, torture, rape, and kill women and children. MELTZ was arrested yesterday afternoon and ASCH was arrested this morning by special agents of the FBI. MELTZ and ASCH will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV in Manhattan federal court.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The bone-chilling conduct alleged in this complaint is a chronicle of sadism and depravity that includes the defendants’ very real steps to carry out their plans to kidnap, torture, rape, and kill the women and children they targeted. As alleged, Richard Meltz and Robert Christopher Asch assiduously planned their plot in detailed conversations and alternately served as advisors and facilitators of the plan – Meltz provided ‘strategic advice’ and Asch conducted surveillance, and provided supplies including leather ties, a sleeping agent, instruments of torture, and a taser gun. The only thing that stood between these alleged kidnappers and their horrifying plot was the outstanding investigative teamwork of the FBI and the prosecutors in this Office.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said: “As alleged, both of these defendants took affirmative steps to carry out the conspiracy to kidnap and torture women. Their actions were not confined to talking about these ghoulish plans. They acquired the tools to accomplish the deed, including a taser and the chemical means to anesthetize their victims. And they made detailed plans to use these instruments – plans that were foiled by the FBI’s intervention.”
According to the Complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court:
Between 2011 and October 2012, MELTZ, ASCH, and a co-conspirator, Michael Vanhise, who was previously indicted on kidnapping conspiracy charges, engaged in a series of electronic mail (“e-mail”) and instant message communications during which they discussed and planned in great detail the kidnapping, torture, and murder of women. In October 2012, FBI agents became aware of these communications. Specifically, they learned that Vanhise was sending e-mail and instant messages from various computers to solicit individuals, including MELTZ and ASCH, to kidnap, rape, and kill his wife, his sister-in-law, her children and his step-daughter. Vanhise eventually met with FBI agents, and told them that he sent MELTZ and ASCH photographs of his sister-in-law and her minor children. MELTZ and ASCH both expressed interest in kidnapping the proposed victims, and Vanhise provided MELTZ and ASCH with a location that was in close proximity to the kidnapping targets’ actual home address. In an e-mail exchange between MELTZ and Vanhise about this plan, MELTZ wrote: “we go over there she know you let’s [sic.]us in we choke her out tie her up throw her in the back of your car take her someplace and [rape and torture her].”
In October 2012, an FBI agent working in an undercover capacity (“UC-1”) contacted ASCH online and began discussions about kidnapping a woman, who, unbeknownst to the defendants, was also actually an FBI undercover agent (“UC-3”). UC-1 and ASCH met on a number of occasions in Manhattan, and during one such meeting on March 13, 2013, ASCH provided UC-1 with a bag of materials to be used during the kidnapping and torture of UC-3, including a ski mask, hypodermic needles, leather ties, chrome forceps, a three-page gun show itinerary, documents relating to a “leg-spreader” and “dental retractor” that ASCH claimed to have purchased, and the liquid form of doxepin hydrochloride, commonly used as a sleep agent. During the same meeting, ASCH, along with UC-1 and another FBI agent acting in an undercover capacity (“UC-2”), conducted surveillance of UC-3, the intended victim, as she left her purported work place. ASCH, upon viewing UC-3, said, “She has to die.”
ASCH also introduced UC-1 to MELTZ, who participated in multiple conversations with both UC-1 and ASCH about the conspiracy’s objective to kidnap and commit acts of violence against women. For example, after MELTZ and ASCH discussed the widespread availability of stun guns in gun shops in New Hampshire, where MELTZ lived, and at gun shows in Pennsylvania, and MELTZ provided advice about the use of a stun gun in the commission of the kidnapping offense, ASCH traveled from New York to Pennsylvania to attend a gun show and purchased a high-voltage taser gun.
Throughout this investigation, the FBI intercepted numerous phone calls during which MELTZ provided advice, information, and assistance to ASCH on how to avoid detection and minimize the risks associated with abducting and murdering a woman. Examples of the techniques suggested by MELTZ include the avoidance of toll roads, using rental cars, paying for “tools” in cash, looking for victims in desolate areas who are engaged in other activities (such as talking on the phone), abducting victims at night, and using disguises when first approaching a potential victim.
On April 14, 2013, MELTZ met with UC-1 at a location in New Jersey. This meeting was recorded and observed by FBI agents. At the meeting, MELTZ and UC-1 discussed the kidnapping and murder of UC-3. MELTZ advised UC-1 on how best to dispose of UC-3’s body, including how to transport it from the crime scene to a desolate location in the woods in upstate New York. MELTZ told UC-1 that given the weather at the time of year, if UC-3’s body were left in the woods, wild animals would likely find and destroy it before law enforcement could find it.
On April 15, 2013, ASCH met UC-1 in lower Manhattan to conduct surveillance of UC-3. UC-1 and ASCH previously had discussed ASCH giving UC-1 the tools ASCH had gathered to use for the kidnapping, so that UC-1 could take them to the location where UC-3 was to be brought following her abduction. ASCH brought to the April 15 meeting two bags of tools intended to be used in the kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder of UC-3, including but not limited to a taser gun, rope, a meat hammer, duct tape, gloves, cleaning supplies, zip ties, a dental retractor, two speculums, 12-inch skewers, pliers, a wireless modem, and a leg spreader.
* * *
ASCH, 60, of Manhattan, and MELTZ, 65, of Stanhope, New Jersey, and Nashua, New Hampshire, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or gross loss from the offense.
…..This is the latest black eye for the embattled DeKalb County hospital just six weeks after Channel 2 Action News first uncovered federal reports that blamed mismanagement by leaders there for patient deaths. After a lot of digging, Diamant finally confirmed one of the rumors his sources had been telling him for weeks — a new investigation into the Atlanta VA’s chief of police, Jeff Garrett.
Late Thursday night, an email sent to Channel 2 Action News by the Department of Veterans Affairs Southeast regional office confirmed the investigation, saying it “has launched an external investigation into the allegation of inappropriate computer use by Atlanta VAMC police chief Jeff Garrett.”
The department’s regional director, Charles Sepich, recently ordered the investigation, but neither Sepich nor his staff would give any specific details about the allegations.
Weeks ago, Diamant’s sources also told him about a previous VA investigation into Garrett’s alleged computer use. When Diamant pressed VA leaders for answers on that, Diamant got an email earlier this month saying, “VA takes allegations of inappropriate computer use very seriously and has policies in place to ensure employee compliance with departmental standards. Allegations of inappropriate use of a government computer by Atlanta VA Medical Center Police Chief Jeff Garrett were thoroughly reviewed several years ago.”
Sources told Diamant the latest investigation into Garrett began after Channel 2 Action News started asking questions about the first one.
So far, the VA has refused to tell Diamant how that earlier investigation ended. Diamant found no record of any disciplinary action in Garrett’s personnel file….
A police officer at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Riviera Beach is charged with withdrawing cash on his government-issued credit card, prosecutors said today.
Mashawn King, 25, of Palm Beach Gardens, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail about 9 a.m. today and is expected to have a bond hearing Wednesday morning.
King is charged with grand theft of more than $300 and organized scheme to defraud, each punishable by up to five years in prison, Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe said in a release.
According to an affidavit by the VA’s criminal investigation division, King was issued a U.S. government travel card on Dec. 11, 2008 that was to be used only for official travel.
A federal grand jury found that between January and July, Capt. Bruce Allen Scheller possessed and attempted to possess pictures of children engaged in sexually explicit acts, according to a three- page indictment filed Wednesday.
Hospital spokeswoman Carolyn M. Clark said Scheller was placed on leave in July, after the FBI first notified hospital officials about the investigation into Scheller’s activities.
Scheller’s indictment is the latest in a string of scandals involving the VA hospital.
TAMPA – A former Department of Veterans Affairs police officer at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa was indicted Friday on identity theft charges.
James Richter, 43, of Plant City, also was charged with fraudulent use of unauthorized access devices, according to the indictment. If convicted on both counts, he could face up to 12 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Richter worked at Haley between August 2005 and February. He used a law enforcement database to gain access to personal information and used it to open fraudulent credit card accounts, the indictment said, and used the cards to make more than $24,000 in purchases, including a pickup and a motorcycle.
Richter was not believed to have accessed any personal information on patients at Haley, said Steve Cole, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office
Another VA Police Officer Murders Wife
Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Philip J. Federico immediately sentenced Myron Stenhouse, 48, to life in prison.
Hunter Kelli Stenhouse, 35, was found dead inside her husband’s home on June 19, 2009.
VA fires police officer who exposes corrupt superiors
A detective for the Department of Veterans Affairs has been arrested, accused of forcible rape in south-central Nebraska.
Forty-year-old Justin Maltagliati, of Grand Island, was arrested and jailed on Friday evening.
Grand Island police say a woman had reported that she’d been raped earlier on Friday.
Maltagliati remained in Hall County custody on Tuesday. Online court records don’t list the name of his attorney.
Spokeswoman Anna Morelock of the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System says Maltagliati works for the VA Police Service as a detective. She would not comment Tuesday on his current job status.
Court records say Maltagliati has pleaded not guilty in an unrelated Hall County drunken-driving case filed in June.
….According to online records from the Hall County Jail, he was arrested on Friday at 2201 N. Broadwell Ave., which is the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
A woman reported being sexually assaulted by Maltagliati that day. According to court documents, the woman went to the emergency room at St. Francis Medical Center following the assault, and Grand Island police were notified.
The woman filed a request for a protection order from Maltagliati on Monday. In it, she said she woke up at 3 a.m. Friday to Maltagliati touching her. She pushed him away and told him to stop. He sexually assaulted her while she screamed at him to stop. She wrote that she waited for him to go to work, and then she went to a friend’s house and called the Crisis Center for help. She then went to the hospital, according to the protection order request.
“I’m afraid when he gets out of jail he is going to kill me,” she wrote in the document. “His anger seems to be escalating this last month.”
She also outlined an incident that occurred on July 13. She wrote that he threatened her after she’d awoken from a bad dream.
She wrote that he told her, “I will punch you in the face and knock you out; then you will go to sleep.”
A protection order was issued on Monday.
Maltagliati’s bond was set at 10 percent of $500,000, and he was ordered not to have any contact with the woman. As of Tuesday afternoon, he remained at the Hall County Jail.
According to court documents and his Facebook page, Maltagliati is originally from New Jersey. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23.
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 11:00 pm | Updated: 11:54 pm, Tue Apr 16, 2013.
By Sarah Schulz firstname.lastname@example.org |
Posted on April 16, 2013
by Sarah Schulz
A former federal police officer with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Grand Island has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor sexual assault.
Justin C. Maltagliati, 41, entered the plea to misdemeanor third-degree sexual assault, which was reduced from first-degree sexual assault as part of a plea agreement. The incident occurred on July 20, 2012, and involved a woman who had been his girlfriend.
His trial had been scheduled to begin Monday in Hall County District Court and last for three days.
His sentencing is set for 11 a.m. May 28.
According to court documents, the woman went to the emergency room at St. Francis Medical Center following the assault and Grand Island police were called.
A look at some of the serious crimes and dangerous criminals that the VA” police department have investigated and brought to justice as they protect our veterans.
The Bush administration’s top attorney in Idaho is bringing charges against a North Idaho woman for refusing to pay for a Diet Coke and then pouring it out on a counter at a cafeteria in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Boise.
Natalie Walters, now facing two counts that each carry a maximum sentence of six months in federal prison, thinks the case is a waste of taxpayer money and plans to fight the charges.
U.S. Attorney Tom Moss’ office wouldn’t comment on the case until after Walters’ arraignment, set for Oct. 8.
Roger Banks, listed on the court record as the investigating agent with the Department of Veterans Affairs, did not return a phone call Wednesday.
Walters, though, told her side of the story: The 39-year-old North Idaho resident periodically drives her father, a disabled Vietnam War veteran, to Boise’s VA Medical Center for doctor visits.
She brings her own mug and fills it with soda in the hospital’s cafeteria.
The cafeteria does not have a posted price for refills and typically the cashier charges her $1 or $1.50, Walters said.
But on Aug 20, when Walters filled her mug with Diet Coke, the clerk charged $3.80.
“I told her that cannot be right and asked to talk to the manager,” Walters said.
The manager told Walters the price was correct. Walters decided she didn’t want to pay that much and offered to return the soda, she said. But the manager told her there was no way to accept the returned soda, so Walters had to pay. Walters refused. She said she was angry by that point and poured the soda onto the counter.
The manager banned Walters from the cafeteria. Walters left but remained in the hospital for a couple of hours waiting for her father to finish his appointments. No one came to talk to her, so she assumed the soda ordeal was over.
This is a civil rights action that claims VA police used excessive force when they arrested Greg Davis for being drunk in public. Davis and his attorneys say they have the witnesses and the evidence to back up their case that police went too far.
After leaving the football game, Davis and his fiancée, Claci Lawrence, were passing through the hospital parking lot to meet up with their ride home. They were approached by VA police, who were accusing them of being drunk in public. They say that’s when the situation escalated.
“I made no threats to him, no threatening move at all. I was completely cooperative,” Davis said.
According to their complaint filed today, Davis was “slammed into the fence several times,” “elbowed … in the head,” sprayed in the face with pepper spray and “dragged across the road by the handcuffs.”
“When I seen that, it was just like way too much,” witness Paul Loya told us back on Nov. 25. He says he witnessed everything and recorded the incident on cell phone video; then he says his phone was confiscated by the arresting officers and returned days later with the video erased.
Recently, Loya says VA investigators took his phone again and replaced it with a new one in an attempt to retrieve possible evidence.
“He had no right to do this. If it were just a normal citizen who did this to me, he’d be behind bars,” Davis said.
Davis was cited for four violations, including public intoxication and interfering with an arresting officer — charges he says aren’t warranted.
AP, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) _ Lillian Castillo says she knew it was trouble when her supervisor told her U.S. marshals would stop by about two overdue $5 parking tickets.
They searched Ms. Castillo, advised her of her rights, then put her in handcuffs. It was the first move in a new get-tough policy on motorists parking illegally on federal property.
Ms. Castillo was taken to a holding cell then to downtown Denver to appear before U.S. Magistrate Donald Abram. He accepted her guilty pleas and ordered her to pay late fees of $10 on each ticket and an additional $25 to the federal victim-witness fund.
She said she was told by officers they could take her handcuffs off only if she would promise not to run.
”I said, ‘Run? Over two $5 parking tickets? You gotta be crazy.’ ”
Ms. Castillo’s first ticket was issued Aug. 15 after her car broke down and she left it in a lot at a federal office building overnight.
The second was issued when she parked there again in September. She said she never got that ticket, and didn’t get reminder notices in the mail because she’s moved recently.
‘I would’ve paid them if I’d been told,” she said.
Her arrest and the trip from her office to face the music took about two hours. When she returned to work she also had to explain to co-workers.
”They were wondering if I had done something horrible,” she said.
Until the new policy began, officials dismissed tickets issued to illegally parked cars on federal property if the registered owners didn’t reply to mailed notices. The policy covers such places as federal office buildings, U.S. Postal Service premises and the Veterans’ Administration hospital.