Also, Medicaid Fraud unit prosecutes two health care workers in separate cases.
The former athletic director at McKean High School in the Red Clay School District, Brian Budd, 34, of Columbus, NJ, has pled guilty to Sexual Solicitation of a Child. In July 2016, Budd solicited a 16-year-old student to allow him to engage in prohibited sexual acts. Budd faces up to 15 years in prison when sentenced in Superior Court later this year. Deputy Attorney General Jenna Milecki secured the plea.
Deputy Attorney General Matthew Frawley secured a 15-year prison sentence for 36-year-old Richard Ferry of New Castle for burglarizing a home in July 2016. Ferry broke into a home in the 700 block of Wildel Avenue in Minquadale and stole a firearm. Ferry pled guilty to Burglary Third Degree, Theft of a Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. Ferry is barred from having a gun because of several previous felony convictions including drug, burglary and identity theft charges. Due to the previous felony convictions, a Superior Court judge sentenced Ferry as a habitual offender on the firearm possession charge and sentenced him to a minimum mandatory 15 years in prison.
A second man involved in a March 2016 Wilmington shooting will spend 9 years in prison. In March 2016, Keenan Mitchell, 22, of Wilmington, was armed and displayed a weapon during an argument he initiated with another man, Michael Boyd, in the 600 block of Jefferson Street in Wilmington. During the course of the argument, Boyd retrieved a firearm from his girlfriend and he and Mitchell exchanged gunfire. Boyd’s girlfriend was struck in the arm as a result. Mitchell pled guilty in December to Assault First Degree and two counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Mitchell was sentenced in Superior Court to 9 years in prison including the completion of the KEY-CREST Program. Deputy Attorney General Phillip Casale secured the sentence against Mitchell. The other man, Boyd, pled guilty in December to Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, and Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited and was immediately sentenced to 5 years in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release, then 18 months of probation.
James Norwalt, 35, Wilmington will go to prison for a home break-in. In August 2016, Norwalt forced his way into a home in the unit block of Gail Road in New Castle. When the woman inside forced him out, Norwalt damaged property by banging on the front door and broke the storm door. Norwalt also threatened to hit the victim and her father with a glass bottle. Norwalt pled guilty in Superior Court to Burglary Second Degree and Menacing in the case prosecuted by Marc Petrucci. Due to several previous felony convictions including assault, burglary, and conspiracy, Norwalt was declared a habitual offender and sentenced to 8 years in prison followed by 6 months of probation. Deputy Attorney General Christina Kontis secured a prison sentence
A 46-year-old Dover woman became the first person convicted for violating the Delaware Prescription Monitoring Act. Michele Staats, former nursing director of Kent Sussex Community Services, was found guilty after a five-day Superior Court bench trial of three felony counts of Unauthorized Access of Prescription Monitoring Information, and one felony count of Making a False Statement. For a 16-month period beginning in January of 2014, Staats, using the login credentials of her employer, accessed the Prescription Monitoring Program information of three people who were not her patients. Staats also made several false statements denying her responsibility to investigators. Established by the legislature in 2010, the goal of the Delaware Prescription Monitoring Act is to help reduce the misuse and diversion of controlled substances while promoting improved professional practice and patient care. Deputy Attorneys General Tiphanie Miller and Laura Najemy prosecuted the case for the DOJ Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.The case was primarily investigated by Agent Ray Hancock of the Delaware State Police Drug Diversion Unit, with assistance from Special Investigators James Armstrong and Patrick Corcoran of the MFCU. Staats will be sentenced in June.
A former personal care attendant with JEVS Human Services pled guilty in Superior Court in relation to improper billing for patient care. Jacqueline Pauls, 63, of Wilmington pled guilty to Misdemeanor Theft. The client Pauls cared for was hospitalized in September 2015, but Pauls continued to submit time sheets detailing work she said she performed for the client for the next seven weeks. Pauls was ordered to pay $1,505 in restitution, to have no contact with JEVS and was sentenced to one year of probation. Special Investigator Paul Reutter investigated the case and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Barchi secured the plea and sentence for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.