The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

February 24, 2014

Oklahoma agencies aim to dismantle criminal groups

OKLAHOMA CITY — Federal investigators touted an Oklahoma-based task force on Monday that targets criminals who abuse the U.S. financial system, saying it has netted hundreds of arrests and shows that their focus on disrupting criminal enterprises in the region is working.

Officials with Homeland Security and the U.S. attorney’s office held a news conference in Oklahoma City to discuss goals for 2014. They said they want to continue targeting the infrastructure of criminal enterprises, dismantling such operations in a way that another leader can’t easily emerge if the original is arrested.  

They also reflected on progress made by the Green Twister Financial Task Force, a partnership among federal and local law enforcement in Oklahoma City. It targets criminals laundering funds through the U.S. financial system to support their criminal operations. Since its inception less than three years ago, it has made 416 arrests and seized $7.3 million in cash, said David Marwell, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations.

“Going after them and ill-gotten gains is really who we are and what we do,” said Marwell, who supervises agents in 128 counties in Oklahoma and north Texas. “They operate on greed and they do it for the dollar.”

Through the task force, the agencies have also seized narcotics, firearms, motor vehicles and an aircraft.

“You can’t just arrest the guy in charge because someone else will come in and take his place. You have to look at the infrastructure and the financial side,” Christopher Miller, the resident agent for the Oklahoma City office of Homeland Security Investigations.

“We’re proud of the statistics,” added Sanford C. Coats, the U.S. Attorney for western Oklahoma. “I think the work stands on its own merit.”

Both Coats and Miller emphasized the need to not only prosecute the person committing the criminal act, but to take down the infrastructure that makes committing their crimes possible.

“We have to look at it from a holistic standpoint,” Marwell said.

Coats said he expects seizures in the state will be “as much or more than usual in 2014.”

Text Only
National and world
  • Mideast web.jpg Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

    A Palestinian health official put the death toll at 695 and said more than 4,100 were wounded, with civilian casualties rising sharply since Israel sent tanks and troops into Gaza last week in its first ground operation in five years.
    Israel has not offered its own count, but Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said Wednesday that 210 Gaza militants were killed since the ground operation began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oil Train Fires web.jpg Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

    Accident investigators have complained for decades that older tank cars, known as DOT-111s, are too easily punctured or ruptured, spilling their contents when derailed. Since 2008, there have been 10 significant derailments in the U.S. and Canada in which crude oil has spilled from ruptured tank cars, often igniting and resulting in huge fireballs. The worst was a runaway oil train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic a year ago, killing 47 people.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taiwan Plane Crash web.jpg Relatives fly to Taiwan plane crash site, 48 dead

    Penghu in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China late Wednesday, authorities said. The plane was on a flight from the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona Execution web.jpg Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Flights Canceled Israel web.jpg Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health overhaul web.jpg Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

    But the split rulings don’t necessarily mean another trip to the Supreme Court for the Affordable Care Act.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Georgia web.jpg Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Tuesday night’s primary runoff win validates Perdue’s campaign as an outsider.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ODD Brooklyn Bridge M_Hass.jpg Police probing switch of flags on Brooklyn Bridge

    Video footage of the security breach shows the unidentified people walking on the bridge's footpath at about 3:10 a.m., and 20 minutes later the light on the bridge's Brooklyn tower flickers and goes dark. The same thing happens about 12 minutes later on the Manhattan tower.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veterans Health_Hass.jpg Obama nominee McDonald pledges to ‘transform’ VA

    Robert McDonald cited problems with patient access to health care, transparency, accountability and integrity, among other issues, during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee over his nomination today.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Immigration Overload_Hass.jpg 2008 law unexpectedly at center of border debate

    "The 2008 law creates a process that made sense when you're talking about a limited number of children, the victims of sex trafficking. It doesn't make sense when you talk about 50,000 unaccompanied minors. The 2008 law wasn't designed to deal with this situation." — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads