U.S. Soldier Indicted in Romance Scheme

TOPEKA, KAN. – A federal grand jury in Topeka indicted a U.S. Army service member for allegedly participating in a scheme to fraudulently obtain approximately $149,476 from at least 25 individuals.

According to court documents, Innocent N. Ugwu, 24, of Fort Riley, Kansas, is charged with five counts of wire fraud, five counts of laundering monetary instruments, and one count of procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully. From an unknown date until January 2021, Ugwu is accused of conspiring with others to defraud money from individuals in the United States using false pretenses and promises, and the omission of material facts to carry out romance, advance fee and other fraudulent schemes.

The U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service are investigating the case.

Special U.S. Assistant Attorney Robin Graham and U.S. Assistant Attorney Christine Kenney are prosecuting the case.


Daniel Cardiel-Ramirez, 31, of Wichita is charged with one count of possession with intention to distribute a controlled substance and one count of possession of a firearm by an illegal alien. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is investigating the case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Katie Andrusak is prosecuting the case.

Chelsea Pulse, 27, of Junction City is charged with one count of embezzlement of the mail, two counts of theft of the mail, and one count of delay of mail. The U.S. Postal Service is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Walton is prosecuting the case.

Jeremias Sanchez, 27, an inmate of U.S. Penitentiary Leavenworth, is charged with one count of possession contraband in prison. The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hough is prosecuting the case.

James Shaughnessy, 20, is charged with one could of sexual exploitation of a minor- production of child pornography. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Walton is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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