The Morning Report

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recent Editions  

INCIDENTS



Pea Ridge National Military Park (AR)
Fraud Investigation Leads To Child Pornography Conviction

On August 5, 2011, Ranger Matt Fry advised the Investigative Services Branch that a credit card assigned to a park employee was being used to make illegal online purchases resulting in "site to store transactions."

An NPS special agent was assigned to the investigation, and in November 2011, information was obtained linking a suspect to the property pickup and utility service in the city. Known computer data was forwarded to an ISB forensic special agent for analysis. Information was received showing possible spoofed and fake IP and email addresses.

During late 2011, Fry reported additional attempts against the employee’s new credit card amounting to over $2,000 and in January, 2012, another employee in same park, had fraudulent charges appear on a government credit card.

Linking subpoenaed and other information, a search warrant was obtained by NPS agents and served on the first suspect’s residence in February, 2012. During the warrant service, evidence, explosive materials, and weapons were located inside the house, as well as a computer containing suspected child pornography. Five computers and seven cell phones were seized along with paper records and stolen property. The FBI and BATF were brought into the investigation to assist.

An additional search warrant for one of the computers, belonging to the suspect's brother, Michael Wunderlee, 42, of Nixa, Missouri, was obtained and executed. Wunderlee’s computer contained approximately 139 videos and 23 images of child pornography, including prepubescent victims. Wunderlee admitted that he used file sharing software to download the images and videos. The software automatically saved the downloaded images and videos to a share folder on his computer and made them available to be downloaded by others using the program.

Wunderlee was arrested on September 30, 2013, and released on bond in November, which included home detention and location monitoring. In order to avoid prosecution, though, Wunderlee fled after cashing out his retirement account at Cox Hospital and leaving a note indicating he intended to commit suicide. On August 6, 2014, FBI agents arrested him at a home in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

On February 5th, Wunderlee was sentenced in US District Court to 11 years and 9 months without parole and 10 years supervised probation, admitting he received child pornography over the internet between May 2010 and February 2012. The remaining suspect in this case awaits charges on conspiracy to commit wire fraud involving the NPS credit card accounts.

The FBI, BATF, Springfield Missouri Police/Fire Departments, the Nixa Missouri Police Department, and Wilson's Creek NB, Ozark NSR and Hot Springs NP all assisted with this investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Steven Mohlhenrich prosecuted this case in the Western District of Missouri, Springfield.

[Submitted by Investigative Services Branch]


NEWS AND NOTES



Morristown National Historical Park (NJ)
Washington’s Birthday Celebrated During Park Event

Morristown National Historical Park celebrated George Washington’s birthday by inviting the Continental Army and George and Martha Washington back to Morristown over President’s Day weekend.

On Saturday, February 21st, and Sunday, February 22nd, reenactors from the 2nd New Jersey Regiment portrayed Continental soldiers and officers at the Wick House, which became a military headquarters during the winter of 1779-1780. Visitors learned what it was like during the “Hard Winter” as well as the roles that officers, soldiers, and civilians played during the Jockey Hollow Encampment.

Also on Sunday, America’s founding couple, George and Martha Washington, returned to Morristown, 235 years after they spent the hard winter of 1779-1780 at the Theodosia Ford Mansion. This free program, which was given in cooperation with the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum in Bedminster, New Jersey, was funded by a grant from the Anne L. and George H. Clapp Charitable and Educational Trust.

Re-enactors portraying George and Martha Washington reminisced about that challenging time in American history and provided a first-hand account of the anxieties associated with the discomforts of that winter, as well as their much larger, shared task of keeping the spirits of the American ideal from falling victim to a winter which nearly stopped the Army in its tracks.

[Submitted by Vanessa Smiley]


Northeast Region
Region's 2014 Call to Action Report Highlights Collaboration

Northeast Region's 2014 Call to Action (C2A) report, entitled “Collaborating Beyond our Boundaries Into the Next Century”, illustrates the region's focus on how collaboration is the key to successful partnerships. It shows how park and program areas across the region greatly improved the visitor experience through these alliances.

Regional Director Mike Caldwell commented that the “Northeast Region has a strong tradition of working together to engage with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates.”

The report was compiled by the region's 21st Century Ranger Unit (21CRU), a team that was hired last year through the federal Pathways Apprenticeship Program.

“As a team, we put a lot of thought into how this report should be organized,” said Colin Betts, lead editor for the report. “We wanted to include as many parks and programs as possible, to show off the variety of accomplishments of this region.”

The document highlights activities completed in the spirit of the four major Call to Action themes: Connecting People to Parks, Advancing the NPS Education Mission, Preserving America’s Special Places, and Enhancing Professional and Organizational Excellence.  The team curated success stories from InsideNPS and the C2A Success Stories websites and condensed them topically into ten feature articles that address the four C2A categories.

The goals for the report were threefold:

  • Highlight the work of the National Park Service in communities throughout the Northeast Region,
  • Improve internal communications among employees across the region, and
  • Enhance professional and organizational excellence by sharing the success stories as widely as possible.

This year's report also includes Share-Your-Story narratives from across the region. These personal anecdotes illustrate the perspective of individuals who helped to make the event, activity or project a success. They include observations from staff, volunteers, partners, and front-line rangers.

The Call to Action is a nationwide National Park Service plan launched in 2011 to prepare for the agency’s 2016 Centennial. The initiative challenges employees and partners to advance a shared mission of stewardship and engagement.

[Submitted by Jane Ahern, jane_ahern@nps.gov, 215-597-0865]

 More Information...
NPS Alumni
Passing Of George Briggs

George E. Briggs, Jr., 56, a longtime NPS employee who worked at parks throughout the country, died in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Saturday, February 7th. His funeral was held this past Monday.

Click on the link below for a full obituary.

[Submitted by Anne Lewellen, Museum Curator, Timucuan E&HP]

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CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Assateague Island National Seashore (VA)
GS-0025-13 Chief Ranger

Assateague Island National Seashore has issued an announcement for a chief ranger.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

It closes on March 5th.
 More Information...
Water Resources Division
GS-0482/1315-14 Supervisory Interdisciplinary Branch Chief

The Water Resources Division has issued an announcement for a branch chief for its Aquatic Systems Branch.

The branch chief oversees programs in hydrology, fisheries, water quality and wetlands. The position is duty stationed in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

It closes on March 4th.
 More Information...
Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM)
GL-0025-9 Protection Rangers (Lateral)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is recruiting for full-time permanent protection rangers interested in lateral transfers to the park.

Protection rangers at Carlsbad Caverns are responsible for a full range of duties, including visitor and resource protection, EMS, SAR, backcountry patrols, wildland firefighting, and assisting surrounding agencies, including state and local law enforcement, BLM and US Forest Service.  

Carlsbad Caverns hosts approximately half million visitors annually and provides nearly 1000 diverse incidents.

Advanced training and career building opportunities are supported and available in the surrounding area including opportunities at FLETC Artesia less than 40 miles away.

EMS training is not a requirement to start but will be provided at no cost to a minimum of an EMT-Basic certification.

This position is required occupancy with all amenities available in the city of Carlsbad, less than 30 minutes away. 

Positions are open for immediate EOD.

Interested career or career conditional rangers, who currently hold a Type I law enforcement commission are encouraged to respond by close of business, Thursday March 12th.  Please submit the following documents to HR Specialist Michael Cook  michael_cook@nps.gov.

  • Current resume; or equivalent. Please include all experience, training, and/or education related to the position.
  • Copy of most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, showing career/career-conditional appointment.
  • Copy of most recent performance appraisal.
  • Copy of Type 1 law enforcement commission.
  • Copy of most recent medical clearance.

For more information regarding this position, please contact Chief Ranger Lila Mohesky-Roybal (lila_mohesky-roybal@nps.gov or 575-785-3035).