SAN JUAN — During a press conference U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Velez announced that arrests had been made in relation to handling of Hurricane Maria recovery funds, specifically funds meant to repair the island’s ruined electrical grid.
Those arrested on allegations of conspiracy, fraud, and other charges were; Ahsha Tribble, former deputy regional administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region II. Assigned to Puerto Rico as part of FEMA’S Hurricane Maria response team. Former Cobra Acquisitions LLC President Donald Keith Ellison; and Jovanda Patterson, FEMA deputy chief of staff, assigned to San Juan.
The arrests were carried out by the FBI under authority of the Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General.
“These defendants were supposed to come to Puerto Rico to help during the recovery after the devastation suffered from Hurricane María. Instead, they decided to take advantage of the precarious conditions of our electric power grid and engaged in a bribery and honest services wire fraud scheme in order to enrich themselves illegally,” Rodríguez said. “We hope that these accusations are an example for people who believe they can get away with it.”
(CLICK IMAGE TO READ or use link at bottom of page)
Cobra Energy’s former president Donald Keith Ellison allegedly arranged "things of value" in exchange for Tribble providing official influence through the power of FEMA.
According to the indictment, “The things of value promised and given directly and indirectly” to Tribble by Ellison included the following:
a. A helicopter tour over Puerto Rico on or about February 7, 2018;
b. Assistance procuring a place to live in New York in or about February 2018;
C. The negotiation and hiring of  Jovanda R. Patterson a/k/a Jo a/k/a Jojo by Cobra Energy; d. starting
in or about March 2018 and culminating in July 2018; e. Hotel accommodations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on or about July 17 to July 18, 2018;
f. Airfare from Miami to Orlando for travel on or about July 20, 2018;
g. First class airfare from San Juan to New York for travel on or about September 22, 2018;
h. Personal security services in or about November to December 2018;
i. Roundtrip airfare from Washington DC to Charlotte for travel on or about November 29, 2018 to
November 30, 2018;
j. Hotel accommodations in Charlotte on or about November 29-30, 2018;
k. Access to and the use of the credit card of Ellison; and
l. Access to and the use of an apartment located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In exchange for the listed things of value from Ellison, Tribble allegedly took official action on his behalf in the form of a letter sent from FEMA’s federal coordinating officer to the Puerto Rico Government’s authorized representative. This letter informed them that FEMA had determined the costs under the Cobra contract with Prepa to be reasonable.
Also according to the indictment Tribble “directed, advised, and pressured PREPA executives to utilize Cobra personnel to the exclusion of all other contractors
Pressured PREPA officials into accepting the specifications of COBRA's design for the electric power distribution system in Vieques and to utilize COBRA in the execution of the proposed redesign.
Pressured PREPA officials to use Cobra personnel to perform repairs at both Monacillos substation, and Roosevelt Roads.
Also stated in the indictment as a part of the conspiracy is behavior investigators viewed as an attempt to cover up illegal actions by Tribble and Ellison communicating through her private email account, her private cellphone, a disposable prepaid cellular number, Apple iMessages, SMS texts, and photographs, rather than through Tribbles FEMA issued email account or FEMA issued cellular telephone.
Although Cobra, a subsidiary owned by Mammoth Energy Services based in Oklahoma U.S.A.'s work is done in Puerto Rico, it still receives payments from PREPA. 2nd quarter payments in 2019 equaled $24 million.
All told Cobra Energy received PREPA contracts worth 1.8 Billion dollars.