Grand Island man sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography offenses
July 8 sentencing roundup from federal court in Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Below is a roundup of sentences handed down last week in federal court in Omaha, according to updates from acting U.S. Attorney Susan T. Lehr.
The acting U.S. Attorney’s office in Omaha reminds the public that there is no parole in the federal system.
Scott Matthew Simmons, 43, of Grand Island, was sentenced to 60 years in prison and will serve the remainder of his life on supervised release for one count of conspiracy to produce and one count of production of child pornography. Simmons was also ordered to pay $11,250 in restitution and a $9,000 special assessment.
The case was initiated in July 2022 with an investigation by the FBI to identify children in sexually explicit content that had been shared online. Authorities determined the files were associated with Simmons and Scott Meyer, whom Simmons had met while both were serving sentences for child-sex offenses in Nebraska. A forensic examination of both Simmons’ and Meyer’s cell phones revealed 400 files of child pornography, most of which were original productions of the minor victims. Simmons was previously convicted in 2007 for one count of sexual assault of a child in Saline County. Meyer is currently scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 2 regarding the same cases.
Roberto Nava, 49, of Norfolk, was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Once released, Nava will begin a five-year term of supervised release.
DEA agents became aware that Nava was distributing pound quantities of meth in the Norfolk area. Agents then made arrangements to purchase meth from Nava. Nava delivered them a pound of meth in August and another two pounds Sept. 23. Agents executed a search warrant that day, during which they found an additional half pound of meth and $42,000 in drug proceeds.
Melecio Meza Salamanca, 29, of Lexington, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. After his release from prison, Salamanca will begin a five-year term of supervised release.
A Merrick County deputy sheriff stopped Salamanca and co-defendant Mark Barraza as they drove through Central City, on Oct.12, 2021. Salamanca was driving and Barraza was in the passenger seat. The deputy searched the car and found a .45 caliber pistol and approximately 180 grams of meth. Salamanca was knowingly in possession of the pistol and intended to distribute the methamphetamine. Barraza was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in the offenses March 24
Michael McNeil, 30, of Lincoln, was sentenced to seven years in prison for two counts of bank robbery. McNeil was also ordered to pay over $40,000 in restitution to the pair of banks he robbed and he will serve six years on supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence.
McNeil entered Heartland Bank in Geneva, on June 3, 2022, and gave the teller a demand note ordering that they hand over more than $17,000. Forensic examination revealed McNeil’s fingerprints on the note and the teller counter.
McNeil also robbed $26,034 from U.S. Bank in Lincoln, on July 6, 2022. Three days later, McNeil was stopped by Lincoln police driving a car he had purchased just a day after the second theft, where he admitted to robbing U.S. Bank.
Servando Urias, 48, of Mexico was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin. Urias had previously pleaded guilty to being in the U.S. illegally. He will serve a four-year term of supervised release following prison.
A codefendant was stobbed by the Lancaster County Sherriff’s Office after committing traffic violations Aug. 28, 2019. At the exact same time, a black jeep occupied by two other codefendants and Urias was stopped by another Lancaster County Deputy. Deputies received permission to search both vehicles and found three kilograms of cocaine and one kilo of heroin. All were arrested at the scene. The three codefendants had previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and testified at trial about their involvement in drug transportation.
Eduardo Ordaz, 25, of Omaha was sentenced to five years in prison for distributing methamphetamine. After his prison sentence ends, Ordaz will begin a two-year term of supervised release.
Law enforcement utilized a cooperating witness to purchase meth from Ordaz in the area of 23rd and Elm streets in Omaha, where he was arrested.
Luis Lazo-Escobar, 32, of Nebraska, was sentenced to prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He will serve a three-year term of supervised release after completing his prison sentence.
On Nov. 20, 2020, the Buffalo County Sherriff’s Office stopped a 2012 Honda Civic driven by Lazo-Escobar. Lexington, police conducted an interview with a subject who knew there was a gun and possibly meth inside that same vehicle. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, which was impounded. Authorities located a handgun, 150 rounds of ammo, and $12,100. Lazo-Escobar is a already felon stemming from a possession of a controlled substance conviction in 2017.
Jeffrey Bowlin, 55, of Omaha was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for theft of government property.
On multiple occasions in the Spring of 2022, Bowlin donned a disguise and enter the Papillion, Post Office at night, and rifled through mail to steal cash, controlled substances and other items of value. The U.S. Postal Service identified at least 40 victims. Bowlin had previously been placed on leave from his position as Manager of Distribution Operations for the U.S. Postal Service.
Jermaine D. Watts, 35, of Omaha was sentenced to one year plus one day in prison for distributing methamphetamine.
An undercover ATF agent purchased 11 grams of meth from Watts for $500 in a West Omaha parking lot April 20, 2018.
Mani Deng, 31, of Des Moines, Iowa, was sentenced to 13 months in prison for giving false information during the purchase of firearms. Deng will serve three years on supervised release upon completion of the prison sentence.
Deng provided a false address when filing paperwork to purchase a pair of firearms from Scheels in Omaha on Nov. 8, 2021.
Jazmyne L. McMiller, 36, of Omaha, was sentenced to one year and one day for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was also ordered to pay over $267,000 in restitution and will serve three years on supervised release after prison.
McMiller and two other codefendants, Todd A. Thompson and Sharon M. Thompson, submitted fraudulent applications for Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans in 2020 and 2021. In total, the three defendants obtained over $1.1 million in fraudulent loans. Both Todd A. and Sharon M. Thompson were sentenced to prison as well.
Taylor Simmerling, 27, of Falls City, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. She will serve three years on supervised release following prison.
Between January and June 202, Zimmerling and co-defendant Daniel Lock distributed meth in and around Falls City. Investigators executed a serve warrant at Lock and Zimmerling’s residence June 3, 2021, and found over 50 grams of meth, scales, packaging material, cash, and a police scanner. A search of cell phones revealed messages consistent with drug delivery and sales. Lock was also sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.
David Gonzalez-Jimenez, 24, of Omaha was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He will serve four years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence.
Gonzalez-Jimenez delivered approximately one pound of meth to a cooperating individual in 2022. Officers later found $14,425 cash and an additional pound of meth in Gonzalez-Jimenez’s residence and vehicle.
Copyright 2023 WOWT. All rights reserved.