The following indictments were received from Barry L. Paschal Public Affairs Officer from the Office of the United States Attorney - Southern District of Georgia. Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Former Fort Stewart resident indicted on federal charges for sexual abuse of a child
A former resident of Fort Stewart faces up to life in prison on charges of sexually abusing a child.
Meighan O’Donnell, 28, of Huntington, N.Y., was indicted Aug. 7, by a U.S. District Court grand jury on one count of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child Under 12, and Abusive Sexual Contact With a Child Under 12, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charges carry a potential penalty of up to life in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
At one time O’Donnell lived with her husband, while he was stationed at Fort Stewart, according to Barry L. Paschal Public Affairs Officer Office of the United States Attorney - Southern District of Georgia.
Paschal reported that Redmond, Oregon police contacted the FBI after a juvenile reported to a child advocate that sexual abuse had occurred when the juvenile was a resident of Fort Stewart. O’Donnell later was located and charged in New York.
“Along with our law enforcement partners, we will aggressively pursue anyone who would exploit or endanger the most vulnerable members of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “We commend the investigators and child advocates who help protect these young citizens from harm.”
According to her LinkedIn profile O’ Donnell is currently or was recently employed as a State Farm Sales Specialist.
“Ending child sexual abuse takes strong partnerships between law enforcement, child advocacy groups and citizens,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This case is a perfect example of how that works. An arrest would not have been possible without the courage of a young child, the awareness of a child advocate, and the strong law enforcement partnerships that cross this country.”
The case is being investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command (CID) and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Bearden.
St. Simons man indicted for bomb threat to IRS office in New York
A St. Simons Island, Ga., man has been indicted, on Aug. 7, in U.S. District Court on federal charges for allegedly threatening to blow up an IRS office in New York.
Benjamin Stasko, 32, is charged with Willful Threat to Kill Using Firearms or Explosives, and Interstate Transmission of a Threat to Injure, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charges carry a possible sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison, followed by a period of supervised release.
A threat alleging that a pipe bomb had been planted in the Ted Weiss Federal Building in New York was found July 6, posted in a comment on a federal agency’s website and directed toward the Internal Revenue Service. Federal protective police officers with bomb sniffing dogs and officers from the New York Police Department searched the facility and found no explosives. Investigators later located and arrested Stasko in St. Simons. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, the New York Police Department and the Brunswick Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Bearden
Savannah man indicted for aiming laser at helicopter
A Savannah man has been indicted for pointing a powerful laser at a helicopter being used in a police search.
Antonio Rodrecus Johnson Sr., 45, of Savannah, was indicted Aug. 7, with one count of Aiming a Laser Pointer at an Aircraft, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
Savannah Police Department officers identified and questioned Johnson on June 22 after the pilot of a Chatham County helicopter, which was being used to assist Savannah Police officers in the search for a fugitive, was repeatedly targeted from the ground by a powerful laser.
Similar lasers have been used during recent violent protests, resulting in eye damage to police officers.
The case is being investigated by the Savannah Police Department with assistance from the FBI and prosecuted for the United States by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.
Atlanta man charged with selling misbranded drug advertised to treat covid-19
A Georgia man and his company have been charged with violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by selling a drug claiming to treat COVID-19.
Matthew Ryncarz, of Atlanta, and his company, Fusion Health and Vitality, LLC d/b/a/ Pharm Origins, are accused of selling a misbranded drug called “Immune Shot” that they falsely claimed would lower consumer’s risk of contracting COVID-19 by nearly 50 percent, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. In March 2020, during the midst of the global COVID-19 public health crisis, Ryncarz, through his company, Pharm Origins, created a website and began selling “Immune Shot” for $19 a bottle. Among other things, the website represented that “YOU will learn in JUST MINUTES … how to LOWER your risk of COVID-19 by nearly 50%.” Further, to sell “Immune Shot,” Ryncarz and Pharm Origins targeted individuals, ages 50 and older, with heavy-handed sales pitches, such as “The NEXT FIVE MINUTES could save your life,” “We are offering you the exclusive price of only $19 per bottle because we know that Immune Shot could be the most important formula in the WORLD right now due to the new pandemic,” “Immune Shot is Not a Luxury, It is a Necessity Right Now,” “Point Blank, if YOU Leave, YOU are at Risk,” and “Is Your Life Worth $19? Seriously, Is It?”
Ryncarz and Pharm Origins sold “Immune Shot” to consumers in the Southern District of Georgia and outside of the state of Georgia.
Report COVID-19 fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s National Hotline at (866) 720-5721, or go to justice.gov/disastercomplaintform.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Thomas Clarkson and Patrick J. Schwedler are prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.