Jade LaRue Obregon, 38, of Sallisaw and Edward Robert Saldana II, 29, of Muldrow were charged this week with federal crimes after they were indicted by the grand jury in U.S. Federal Court in Muskogee. Obregon was charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and theft of federal program funds.
The indictment alleges that from Dec. 29, 2010, through Jan. 28, 2013, Obregon devised and executed a scheme to defraud Sequoyah Memorial Hospital in Sallisaw by ordering excess durable medical equipment, including diabetic test strips, and selling the same to outside customers without Sequoyah Memorial Hospital’s approval. She did so with a PayPal debit card that was ordered on May 12, 2012, by the defendant, through the mail and directed the card to be delivered to her address.
The Indictment further alleges that on or about Jan. 1, 2012, and continuing through Dec. 31, 2013, the defendant, an agent of Sequoyah Memorial Hospital, embezzled, stole, obtained by fraud, and knowingly converted to the use of a person not the rightful owner, diabetic test strips worth at least $5,000 and owned by the hospital.
The charges arose from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first charge is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine or both. The second charge is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine or both. The third charge is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, up to $250,000 fine or both.
Saldana was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine and oxycodone with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The indictment alleges that between Dec. 10, 2015 and Jan. 5 Saldana, a convicted felon, possessed firearms, which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce. The Indictment also alleges that on or about Dec. 10, 2015, the defendant possessed with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine and a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of Oxycodone, and did so while possessing a firearm.
It’s further alleged that on or about Jan. 5, 2016, the defendant possessed with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine.
The charges arose from an investigation by the Sallisaw Police Department, the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The first charge is punishable by not more than 10 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine or both. The second charge is punishable by not less than 5 years or more than 40 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000,000 or both. The third charge is punishable by not less than 25 years imprisonment, to be served consecutively, up to a $250,000 fine or both.
A grand jury Indictment does not constitute evidence of guilt. A grand jury Indictment is a method of bringing formal charges against the defendant. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and may not be found guilty unless evidence establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. Sentencing Guidelines may be considered, upon conviction, by the sentencing court. Federal prison sentences are non-paroleable.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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