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April 16, 2014

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Richard A. Serrano

Story Archive

Guilty plea a victory for ATF agents
Brother gunrunners stopped from supplying drug cartels in Mexico
Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009
The Weiss brothers stood with heads bowed before the judge. Both are from Southern California. Both committed their crimes in Las Vegas. And now both were before U.S. District Judge Philip Pro and pleading guilty in a long-running scheme ferrying Las Vegas firearms to California and then to violent drug cartels in Mexico.
Family's hobby of 'tail spotting' draws worldwide audience
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009
Because this is their idea of a good time, the Trajano brothers and their father crowded into the family’s silver GMC Sierra pickup recently and drove six hours from North Las Vegas to the Naval Air Facility at El Centro, Calif. They set up along the runway fence and breathed the jet exhaust.
Task force taking down mortgage scammers, one at a time
Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009
To measure the depth of the mortgage fraud crisis in Las Vegas, look no further than FBI agent Michael Rawlins’ desk. He moved here in March 2008 and has generated 40 criminal cases, all but one of which are ending in guilty pleas.
FBI, hospital in talks over leak of patient records
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009
The FBI said Friday that it has begun "evaluating" the unauthorized release of confidential patient records after officials at University Medical Center met with them in an attempt to determine how the materials have been compromised.
Living his dream of bringing down ‘the worst criminals’
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009
This month the local office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, long a fixture downtown, moves to new quarters across the city. New digs will bring new challenges and opportunities for the agency that tackles everything from firearms trafficking to illegal liquor sales.
FBI looking at hundreds in mortgage schemes
Fraud squad targeting cases involving millions of dollars, many victims
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009
Federal law enforcement officials in Nevada are launching a major offensive against mortgage fraud, with the FBI preparing hundreds of complex cases for prosecution against operators who have preyed on Las Vegas’ still-staggering boom-and-bust real estate market.
Las Vegas experiences helped prepare FBI head for L.A.
Crime fighter will lead one of the largest offices in the nation
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009
One of Steve Martinez’s first experiences as the head of the FBI office in Las Vegas played out at a carwash. Killing time, he watched a woman who had just won a jackpot at the poker game inside the lobby. Next he saw her step into the ladies room. When she came out, a man lunged forward, pushed her back in and locked the door. Martinez drew his firearm. He yelled “FBI!”
A city wrestles with its silence
For years, Charles “Rick” Rogers was a volunteer police officer, teacher and soccer coach. Though some suspected he was taking advantage of youngsters, no one spoke up, not even the boys.
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009
It is possible none of the 16,000 residents of Boulder City knew anything about it, except for some of the young boys. Certainly, for years, no one in town tried to do anything about it. Then, in the spring, someone dropped an anonymous package in the mail. Only then was Rick Rogers arrested; only then did the police search his home.
Detained for years but never charged
Lawsuit by witness held in Vegas could affect government actions
Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009
Many people wanted by authorities come to Las Vegas to hide. Abdullah al-Kidd came here so the federal government could keep an eye on him. For about three years he lived here, much of it under house arrest, while federal lawyers in Idaho prosecuted a suspected Islamic terrorist. Al-Kidd was supposed to be a star witness.
Blocking guns’ path to Mexico
Local ATF agents’ takedown of smuggler part of a national crackdown aimed at drug cartels
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009
The man known as “Zorra” is the latest catch for federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents in Las Vegas. Five days ago he pleaded guilty in federal court and will be sentenced in January. His case is a capstone to a burgeoning effort by local ATF agents.
A pilot’s commanding role in preparing U.S. forces
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009
Lt. Col. John C. “Red” Walker did not reach for the small volume of verse on his desk. He knows the sonnet by heart. The tall redheaded Illinois farm boy’s voice boomed through his office door, down the corridor and out across the flight line at Nellis Air Force Base.
Through veterans’ eyes
Oral history project aims to compile stories of war told by servicemen, their families
Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009
The tears came 30 minutes after the camera was rolling. John Ferrin blinked and bit his lip. A tall young man with piercing blue eyes, a second lieutenant in the Nevada National Guard, he kept his hands on his lap. He did not wipe away the tears.

Crimes on reservations catch eye of U.S. attorneys
Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009
The top federal prosecutor in Las Vegas has begun assessing the law enforcement needs of Native Americans in Nevada as part of a sweeping Justice Department review to provide more police, equipment and manpower to reservations here and across the country.
More kids are dying across the nation, in Las Vegas
Child abuse and neglect are taking a growing toll. But no one knows why.
Monday, Oct. 12, 2009
Twice as many children have died in Clark County this year from abuse and neglect as in all of last year, and officials worry the number could be triple that for 2008 by year’s end.
In Reno and surrounding Washoe County, the number of children who have died from abuse and neglect has also risen sharply over last year.
Ensign likely in cross hairs of feds, ex-prosecutors say
Former Justice officials say charges wouldn’t come for months
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009
A year ago, a small, little-known cadre of lawyers at the Justice Department headquarters in Washington was in federal court prosecuting the rarest of prizes for a group devoted to ferreting out public corruption. The man standing trial was a sitting United States senator, and he eventually not only would be convicted but also would lose his bid for reelection after decades in the nation’s capital.
Mail set to take the long way home
A Postal Service cost-cutting tactic will move the processing of some Las Vegas mail to Phoenix
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009
Mail for Las Vegas residents who have moved and filed forwarding addresses will soon be trucked eight hours to Phoenix for additional processing and then returned here, under a new U.S. Postal Service cost-cutting plan that will delay mail delivery by a day or longer. he tactic will add efficiency to the post office, at the expense of customers who are waiting for Social Security checks, prescription drugs and other critical mail.
Home again for once-ousted U.S. attorney
After being fired in what was widely regarded as a political move, Daniel Bogden will soon return to Las Vegas to resume his old job
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009
Daniel Bogden was confirmed Sept. 15 by the Senate to become the U.S. attorney in Nevada. He plans to be sworn in Thursday at ceremony in Reno. Then he will move to Las Vegas and resume the job as the senior federal law-enforcement officer in the state. He will manage an office with 52 assistant prosecutors that ferrets out drug, gang and violent crimes, illegal immigration and financial and mortgage fraud.
A civilian who’s at home challenging Nellis pilots
“I throw as much as I possibly can at them,” the vice director says
Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009
She wears no stars or bars, no uniform, no pilot’s wings. She does not salute and she does not return salutes. But draped over Yvonne Gresnick’s office chair at Nellis Air Force Base is one sharp piece of evidence of whom she serves — a desert camouflage, bullet-proof vest, the kind worn in war.
Liver failure brings dilemma in possible death penalty case
Dilemma in case against Aryan Warrior isn’t new, but has big significance here
Monday, Sept. 21, 2009
Federal prosecutors here and in Washington are weighing whether to seek the death penalty for the reputed leader of a violent white supremacy prison gang awaiting trial on murder and racketeering charges.
Former colleagues hail Bogden’s reappointment
His firing by the Bush administration was improper, they say
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009
In the three years since nine U.S. attorneys were fired by the Bush administration, most have scattered in different professional directions. Then there is Daniel Bogden. He is getting his old job back. The Senate on Tuesday confirmed his return.

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