Man sentenced in federal court for selling firearms to a felon

Federal court sentences from Omaha, Lincoln for week of August 25
A roundup of sentences handed down in federal court in the District of Nebraska as released by...
A roundup of sentences handed down in federal court in the District of Nebraska as released by Acting U.S. Attorney Susan T. Lehr’s office for the week of August 25, 2023.(MGN)
Published: Aug. 26, 2023 at 12:15 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Below is a roundup of sentences handed down in federal court in the District of Nebraska as released by Acting U.S. Attorney Susan T. Lehr’s office for the week of August 25, 2023.

Wesley T. Vavra, 51, of Omaha, was found guilty of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on November 21.

Between May and July 2022, Vavra communicated with someone on the Whisper app advertising “open family play-dates.” He thought he was communicating with a man who had an 8-year-old child, but instead, it was an undercover officer. Vavra arranged to meet with the man and engage in sexual acts with the 8-year-old and was arrested upon arrival on July 18, 2022. A search of Vavra’s phone showed he was also in contact with another officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Timothy Alan Moore, 58, of Roca, Nebraska, was sentenced to 16.5 years in prison and five years on supervised release for possession with intent to distribute 50+ grams of methamphetamine.

On June 28, 2021, investigators with the Lincoln/Lancaster Task Force searched Moore’s residence in Roca, finding three baggies of meth weighing a total of 300+ grams, a handgun, and nearly $10,000 in cash.

Christopher Allen Williams, 32, of Fort Worth, Texas, was sentenced to 12.25 years in prison and three years on supervised release for his involvement in a string of pharmacy burglaries in Nebraska.

Between February 10 and 12 of 2021, seven Nebraska pharmacies were burglarized between Springfield, Fremont, and Omaha. A DEA-led task force was formed in response, which included Omaha Police and the Nebraska State Patrol. The task force analyzed cell phone location data and surveillance videos to pinpoint specific phones that were present at the burglaries. It was later determined the phone data showed a pattern of travel between Texas and Nebraska via Interstate 35. Williams and co-defendant Christopher Blanton were determined to be involved after a multi-agency effort across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa.

Blanton was sentenced in May to 63 months in prison.

Maggie Welling, 46, of Lincoln, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute with a prior serious drug felony -- she was convicted in 2018 of possession of meth in Douglas County. Welling will serve 10 years of supervised release following the completion of her prison term. She’d pleaded guilty in November.

Welling was stopped by a Lincoln Police officer in March of 2022 for a traffic violation, during which the officer observed drug paraphernalia in her vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed 221 grams of meth in Welling’s purse. The drugs were sent to the NSP Crime Lab for testing and were found to contain at least 210 grams of pure or actual methamphetamine.

Sanjuana Garcia-Ramirez, 40, of Lexington, Nebraska, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for possession of meth with intent to distribute.

In January of 2021, officers went to her Lexington home after being tipped she was selling meth. She was in drug court at the time in Dawson County for a prior possession of meth conviction. Officers searched a bedroom and found at least 53 grams of actual meth in multiple plastic bags.

The investigation revealed she used her cell phone to facilitate her drug trafficking. Messages to her drug buyer included, “How much are you wanting,” in addition to providing the buyer with the quantity and price of what she intended to sell. A December 2020 text said “I’m not using, I promise,” and “It’s all about the money it’s all.”

Willie Harbour, 61, of Omaha, was sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a destructive device.

In August of 2022, Harbour placed an explosive device near an entry door of an apartment at Benson Towers in Omaha. The device detonated and caused property damage, including the collapse of a sprinkler system and lights and damaging a metal door frame which trapped the occupant inside. Surveillance video was recovered showing Harbour place and detonate the device. He self-admitted to placing the device after he was arrested.

Karre Christine O’Dell, 43, most recently a Colorado resident, was sentenced to 37 months in prison for possession of meth with intent to distribute (more than 5 grams) and possession of a document-making implement or authentication feature. O’Dell will serve four years of supervised release following her prison term.

In October of 2021, Omaha Police were called to the Cambria Hotel regarding a theft; after being directed to O’Dell’s room by hotel staff, officers found meth and equipment consistent with manufacturing identification documents and credit cards (namely printers, papers with apparent photo identification, and photocopies of credit cards). A search warrant found additional blank credit cards and blank checks.

Two storage units O’Dell rented were also searched; officers again found several boxes of documents in various stages of manufacture, as well as packaging consistent with narcotics distribution and a scale. The meth found in O’Dell’s room was found to be 19.95 grams of actual/pure methamphetamine.

Jordan Wolfe, 25, of Macy, Nebraska, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for assault of an officer and an additional six months for the violation of his supervised release. He will serve two years of supervised release following the completion of his prison term.

In March of 2022, an officer with the Omaha Nation Law Enforcement Services responded to a Macy home for a request to remove an intoxicated male causing a disturbance. Wolfe was identified as the suspect; it was determined he had been arguing with his girlfriend. The officer attempted to arrest Wolfe and remove the female from the situation -- he pushed and pulled away from the officer and punched them in the face. Wolfe was on supervised release at the time for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Kimberly Watts, 36, was sentenced to 240 months in prison and three years of supervised release for distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.

Watts reportedly provided the victim with fentanyl at the Travel Inn at 108th and L in Omaha in August of 2022. The 31-year-old went back to his apartment and used the substance; he later died from an overdose. The fentanyl was found to be a contributing factor in his death.

April Renshaw, 35, of Omaha, was sentenced to 90 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for possessing eight pounds of meth with intent to distribute. The DEA intercepted a package at a UPS Store in Omaha in May of 2021 that appeared to contain narcotics. A K9 detected narcotics inside the package; a search warrant revealed eight pounds of meth. The package was later delivered to the listed address, where Renshaw claimed it.

Joseph Harris, 40, of Omaha, was sentenced to 151 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of meth.

Beginning in March of 2021, Harris reportedly sold over 500 grams of meth to a witness cooperating with law enforcement. The next month, a different witness purchased 415 grams of meth from Harris in Omaha. Over the course of the next month, Harris and the witness met and made payments to him on several occasions. They also discussed future transactions, but those never materialized.

Samantha Cawyer, 35, of Omaha, was sentenced to six years in prison with three years of supervised release for her role in a meth and fentanyl drug conspiracy. Between August and November of 2021, Cawyer conspired with seven others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over 50 grams of meth and over 100 grams of fentanyl.

In August of 2021, co-defendant Mayra Rendon, assisted by Cawyer and co-defendant Colleen Wiand, met a source posing as a drug buyer. Rendon sold the source 339.6 grams of lab-confirmed fentanyl. Rendon arranged to have packages containing meth and fentanyl shipped to Wiand’s residence, including a package containing fentanyl that was confiscated later that month, as well as a package containing meth that was confiscated the next month.

The day after the meth package was confiscated, a phone number associated with Cawyer called the United States Postal Service customer service line in an attempt to track the missing package. Rendon and Cawyer were intercepted on a wiretap the next month, discussing money pickups and transfers. One of the contacts Cawyer discussed with Rendon was one of the numbers associated with the Mexican supply source. Cawyer made a statement she wired money to various parties at Rendon’s direction.

Rendon was sentenced in September of 2022 to 210 months in prison and five years’ supervised release. Wiand was sentenced in October of 2022 to 97 months’ custody followed by three years of supervised release.

Darbelio Lorenzo-Genchi and Iris Gallardo-Salado were sentenced in March and February, respectively, to eight years of custody with two years of supervised release to follow.

Giovana Cisneros pled guilty to drug conspiracy; scheduling is set for September 29. Emidio Becerra and Oscar Ulises Quiroz Ayon are set to go to trial September 25.

Roger Hudson, 41, was sentenced to 41 months in the Bureau of Prisons followed by two years of supervised release on two charges, selling firearms to a felon and possessing unregistered firearms.

Between March and November of 2022, a source working with the ATF bought three firearms from Hudson, including a .40-caliber handgun and two AR-15 rifles. Hudson knew he was selling the firearms to a prohibited person before the buys. The controlled buys were caught on audio and video by the ATF and took place in Omaha. Hudson sold an AK-47 rifle with a magazine attached to the source in November. This purchase was also monitored by law enforcement.

In December of 2022, the source made another controlled buy from Hudson of a fully-operational, defaced 12-gauge shotgun. The shotgun had a length under 26 inches and a barrel of less than 18 inches, classifying it as a “short-barreled shotgun” under the National Firearms Act. A search of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record found the firearm was not registered to Hudson and no tax stamp had been issued. The firearm’s serial number had also been defaced.

Willis Parker, 32, of Omaha, was sentenced to 120 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute meth, fentanyl and marijuana.

Between July 2016 and November 2020, Parker was part of a conspiracy to distribute the aforementioned substances (specifically, over 500 grams of meth and over 100 kilograms of marijuana). Parker was involved in the distribution of meth and marijuana in the Omaha area.

In November of 2020, a search warrant was executed at Parker’s Omaha home. Officers found about 80 pills containing meth, .205 kilograms of marijuana, and a digital scale. Parker possessed the meth and marijuana during and in furtherance of the conspiracy. Seven destructive devices, similar to a bomb, were also located. Parker had previously been federally charged and sentenced to 37 months in prison for possessing those devices.

Five co-defendants have all pleaded guilty to charges relating to the conspiracy; only one is pending trial.