Friday, June 10, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab of what’s going on in the courts
By Logan Beck
For BigTrial.Net

Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General:
Seven individuals from Carbon and Lehigh counties were charged with distributing extreme amounts of methamphetamine.

The head of the operation, Edilberto Ortiz Jr., of Allentown, was determined to be the main distributor as he gave the illicit drugs to six other dealers between January and March. The Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, the Carbon County Drug Task Force, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation, using confidential informants and observations of methamphetamine purchases, leading to several court-approved search warrants.

After searching a residence where Ortiz was staying, more than four pounds of methamphetamine were taken from the premises, in addition to a .32 caliber handgun, various drug paraphernalia, and about $2,400 in cash.

Ortiz faces five charges of delivery or possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, corrupt organizations and possession of a controlled substance, and criminal conspiracy. 

The other dealers include Holly Ann Eckhart, Robert David Rex, Susan Annette Rex, Connie Serfass,  and Donna Marie Ziegenfuss. The four conspirators face charges delivery or possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, criminal use of a communication facility, criminal conspiracy, and more.

United States Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey:

Dr. Paresh Patel, 55, of Franklin Township, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, an anti-criminal statute that prohibits the exchange of anything of value for the referral of federal health care.

Patel is an internal medicine physician, and practiced in Jamesburg, New Jersey.

Patel will spend 12 months in prison, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. According to documents used in court, Patel accepted approximately $174,000 in bribes from September 2009 to December 2013. He was bribed to refer his patients to utilize Biosound Medical Services, a mobile diagnostic testing company.

While Patel will serve a full year in prison, he is also ordered to pay a $6,000 fine, and forfeit the money he earned as part of the bribery scheme.

On June 9, three people, including two Philadelphia residents, were charged with the sale of an illegally obtained driver’s license to undocumented aliens, according to United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.

Jose Altagracia Morales Santiago, 57, and Hiram Mojica, 49, of Philadelphia as well as Jose Jhonkellyn Castillo-Henriquez, 28, of New York, NY, have all been charged with conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and producing an identification document.

The trio managed to obtain the identification information of several Puerto Rican citizens, and later sold that information to undocumented aliens living in the U.S. In addition, Santiago, Mojica and Castillo-Henriquez illegally obtained both learner’s permits and driver’s licenses from several Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) locations.

According to the Department of Justice, Santiago allegedly paid individuals to take the written portion of the driving test under false Puerto Rican identities, which he provided to them. Mojica is accused of teaching undocumented aliens how to operate a vehicle.

Each of the accused faces a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, and a maximum of 22 years.


  1. What is happening in Msgr. Lynn's case? The Court ruled last December!

  2. In a word, nothing. He remains in jail because of a vengeful D.A. and a hostile trial judge. His lawyer is waiting for the Supreme Court to decide whether they're going to review the case a second time.


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