Lima, Peru - Remarks on Venezuela Humanitarian Aid by Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri Chief of Mission Residence:

Washington, DC - Earlier this week, the Justice Department announced the seizure of Backpage.com (link is external), the Internet’s leading forum for prostitution ads, including ads depicting the prostitution of children, and the unsealing of a 93-count federal indictment against seven Backpage principals.  Today, the Justice Department announced that Backpage’s co-founder and CEO, Carl Ferrer, 57, of Frisco, Texas, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate prostitution using a facility in interstate or foreign commerce and to engage in money laundering.

Miami, Florida - Zhelyaz Andreev, 29, a Bulgarian national, was arrested pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice based on an Indictment charging him with: conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government and substantive violations of the Syria Trade Embargo as enforced through the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); and the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) designation of Syrian Arab Airlines, aka Syrian Air, as a Specially Designated National (SDN) whose assets are blocked and with whom U.S. nationals are prohibited from transacting business.

San Juan, Puerto Rico - Former Puerto Rico Senator Hector Martinez Maldonado and Juan Bravo Fernandez, the former president of Ranger American, one of the largest private security companies in Puerto Rico, were each sentenced today to 48 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in a bribery scheme involving the passage of legislation beneficial to Bravo Fernandez’s business, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Washington, DC - Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Public Law 88-206, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for certain common air pollutants, often referred to as “criteria pollutants,” which it must review every 5 years.  Over the past four decades, EPA has revised these standards a number of times to increase their stringency, including revisions to the standards for ozone, particulate matter, and four other criteria pollutants.