FBI subpoenas records in DA investigation
The FBI has subpoenaed information for a decade’s worth of child-support cases seemingly tied to a once-rejected case involving alleged misconduct by former longtime St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel, public records show.
The subpoena, dated July 11 and addressed to Clerk of Court Lance Marino, sought a list of court cases involving “child support enforcement actions taken by the District Attorney’s Office” from June 1, 2002, to May 31, 2012.
The records were to be produced for an Aug. 1 federal grand jury in New Orleans, according to a letter from U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite’s office. It’s unclear whether the grand jury was convened.
Morel resigned as D.A. on June 1, 2012, but worked as an assistant parish district attorney until early 2013. The subpoena is the third one the FBI has served to the clerk’s office in connection with the case, which hinges on allegations that Morel sought sexual favors from women in exchange for breaks on criminal cases.
The case against Morel appeared to suffer a major blow last year when the woman who was expected to be the government’s key witness, Danelle Keim, 27, died of a drug overdose. The New Orleans Advocate has reported that evidence in a related case suggests Keim was wearing a wire at the FBI’s request in the months before her death.
It’s unclear how the latest subpoena is tied to the Morel investigation, though among the 457 cases listed in the document that was produced is a November 2012 custody case between Keim and her ex-husband, Darren McGovern, who was ultimately awarded primary custody of their young son.
Morel’s lawyer, Ralph Capitelli, said Tuesday he had not heard from anyone with Polite’s office in five months. He characterized the latest subpoena as something of a wild-goose chase, noting that it sought 10 years’ worth of records.
“I can tell you right now, there’s not a specific allegation I know of that involves a single impropriety on the part of Harry Morel,” he said.
Police seek suspect in attempted murder
New Orleans police are searching for a man wanted on a count of attempted first-degree murder.
Police allege that about 10 p.m. Saturday, Kip Scott got into an argument with someone about money, then pulled out a gun and shot the victim.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Walter Edmond at (504) 658-6130 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
Man critical after shooting in Hollygrove
A man was in critical condition after he was shot in the face Tuesday evening, New Orleans police said.
The shooting happened about 5 p.m. near Joliet and Palmetto streets.
Police did not immediately identify a suspect or motive.
JPSO identifies suspect in purse snatching
Jefferson Parish authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a New Orleans man suspected in a West Bank purse snatching.
Investigators believe Ralph Roberts, 38, whose last known address is in the 6400 block of Chesterfield Drive, took a woman’s wallet in the parking lot of a store in the 4600 block of the West Bank Expressway in Marrero. The purse snatching happened early Saturday morning, said Col. John Fortunato, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
Roberts fled in a gray SUV. The victim identified him through a photographic lineup.
Roberts is described as 5 feet, 6 inches, 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He is also known to use the address of 313 Lafitte St. in Bridge City.
Anyone with information on Roberts’ whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Marc Macaluso at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
Kenner man booked in Covington on obscenity
A Kenner man was booked into the St. Tammany Parish jail Tuesday afternoon after he allegedly fondled himself in the parking lot of a Covington-area business.
Miguel Rodriguez, 35, was booked with one count of obscenity. Bail was not immediately set.
Just before 1 p.m., a resident reported seeing Rodriguez fondling himself in his vehicle in the parking lot of a business along Highway 190 near Covington, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies spotted his Saturn Vue about 30 minutes later in Mandeville.
Rodriguez allegedly admitted to the incident.
He was later connected to a similar incident Aug. 13 in the Covington area and will be booked on another count of obscenity after a warrant is obtained, authorities said.
Burglary attempt ends with man being shot
A man was shot late Monday night during a burglary at his Gentilly Woods home.
The 32-year-old victim was sitting in the kitchen of his home in the 4900 block of Kendall Drive when an unknown armed man entered the house about 10:30 p.m.
The burglar pointed a gun at the victim, and the two began to fight. During the scuffle, the victim was shot and the burglar fled.
Police did not provide a description of the burglar.
N.O. police investigate two armed robberies
New Orleans police are investigating the following armed robberies:
- 9:49 p.m. Monday, in the 2000 block of Valmont Street. A 37-year-old woman was walking when a car pulled up and two men wearing bandanas got out. One man had a gun and demanded the victim’s money. The robbers fled with her cash and cellphone.
- 12:29 a.m. Tuesday, at Joliet and Olive streets. A 22-year-old woman got into a fight with another woman. During the fight, the victim was stabbed and had her cellphone and purse taken.
Search on for juvenile who removed monitor
Orleans Parish sheriff’s deputies are searching for a juvenile who took off his electronic monitor.
Deputies received a “tamper alert” about 9:30 p.m. Monday and found the ankle monitor in the juvenile’s yard, according to a statement from Sheriff Marlin Gusman. The juvenile had fled by the time deputies arrived at his home.
A warrant has been issued for the juvenile, who initially was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault.
The juvenile’s name is not being released because of his age.
Reward increased in N.O. East slaying
Crimestoppers has increased to $5,000 the reward for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of whoever recently killed a man in New Orleans East.
Johnny Young, 24, was shot multiple times about 11 p.m. June 14 in the parking lot of the Lakewind East Apartments in the 5100 block of Bundy Road.
He died later at Interim LSU Hospital.
The reward was increased with his family’s donation of $2,500.
Anyone with information about Young’s killing is asked to contact Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
The reward expires Aug. 11, 2016.
Turkish national gets 16 years in fraud case
A Turkish national who resides in New Orleans was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison for using PayPal to defraud dozens of people.
Giray Biyiklioglu, also known as Johnny Bryan, 31, was convicted in October of 13 counts of wire fraud, six counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of tax evasion and 19 counts of money laundering, related in part to his purchases of expensive motorcycles and his wiring of fraud proceeds to his native Turkey.
In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey ordered Biyiklioglu to pay restitution of $324,552 and to forfeit fraud proceeds, including a Ducati motorcycle, a Kawasaki jet ski and more than $85,919.
According to court documents and proceedings, Biyiklioglu devised a scheme to defraud PayPal using accounts he fraudulently set up in the names of other people.