“Alleged International Terrorist Arraigned Today in Brooklyn Federal Court Following Extradition from Nigeria”

October 1, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 27, 2013 released the following:

As a Member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nigerian Man Allegedly Received Weapons Training, Recruited Operatives, and Helped Publish ‘Inspire’ Magazine

Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi, a Nigerian citizen charged with providing material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and using firearms in furtherance of that crime, was arraigned today before United States District Judge John Gleeson at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. At this initial appearance in court in the United States after his extradition from Nigeria, Babafemi was ordered held without bail.

The charges and arraignment were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; John Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division; and George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant was a member of a violent terrorist organization bent on doing harm to the United States and its allies. The defendant threw his efforts behind al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s media, recruitment, and weapons training campaigns in an effort to strengthen the terrorist group’s grip on the region and extend its reach throughout the world. We will use every tool at our disposal to combat al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in a manner consistent with our laws,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch also expressed her grateful appreciation to the government of Nigeria for its assistance and cooperation in this extradition.

“As alleged, the defendant trained with al Qaeda, assisted in its propaganda efforts, and actively recruited others to join its demented cause. We will continue to work with our international partners to mitigate the global terrorist threat,” stated FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos.

According to court documents and the record of today’s proceeding, between approximately January 2010 and August 2011, the defendant traveled twice from Nigeria to Yemen to meet and train with leaders of AQAP, the Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda. Babafemi assisted in AQAP’s English-language media operations, which include the publication of the magazine Inspire. At the direction of the now-deceased senior AQAP commander Anwar al-Aulaqi, Babafemi was provided by AQAP leadership with the equivalent of almost $9,000 in cash to recruit other English-speakers from Nigeria to join that group. While in Yemen, Babafemi also received weapons training from AQAP.

On February 21, 2013, a grand jury in the Eastern District of New York returned a sealed indictment charging the defendant with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to AQAP, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B; one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to AQAP, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B; one count of unlawful use of machineguns, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c); and one count of conspiracy to unlawfully use machineguns, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(o). At the request of the United States, the Nigerian government thereafter commenced extradition proceedings against the defendant in July 2013, and he was ordered extradited in September 2013.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

If convicted, the defendant faces up to 15 years in prison on each of the material support charges and up to life on each of the firearms charges.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Zainab Ahmad and Hilary Jager, with assistance from Trial Attorney William M. Narus of the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

Defendant:

Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi
Age: 33″

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Ladmarald Cates, Former Milwaukee Police Officer, Charged in Federal Court with Allegedly Violating a Milwaukee Woman’s Civil Rights

September 21, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 20, 2011 released the following:

“United States Attorney James L. Santelle for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced today that a federal grand jury for the Eastern District of Wisconsin indicted Ladmarald Cates (age 43), a former Milwaukee police officer, with violating a Milwaukee woman’s civil rights. The indictment contains two counts. Count one charges that Mr. Cates, while acting as a Milwaukee police officer, deprived a woman of her due process right to bodily integrity by sexually assaulting her in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242. Count two charges Mr. Cates with using and carrying a firearm in relation to and in furtherance of a crime of violence, the offense charged in count one, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A).

These charges are based on allegations that on July 16, 2010, Mr. Cates—while acting as a police officer, armed with his service firearm, and responding to a 911 call from a house in Milwaukee—sexually assaulted a woman who lived at that house. Mr. Cates is alleged to have forced the victim to commit sex acts while they were alone together in her residence.

Count one charges that Mr. Cates’ assault subjected the victim to bodily injury and aggravated sexual abuse. Under Section 242, if bodily injury was caused, Mr. Cates is subject to imprisonment of not more than 10 years, a maximum possible fine of not more than $250,000, or both, plus a mandatory $100 special assessment and not more than five years of supervised release. However, under Section 242, if aggravated sexual abuse was caused, while the other possible penalties stay the same, the maximum possible incarceration could be life imprisonment. If convicted of count two, Mr. Cates would be subject to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years, which would have to be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on count one.

Following an internal investigation, the Milwaukee Police Department fired Mr. Cates.

In announcing the indictment, United States Attorney James L. Santelle commented: “The United States Department of Justice has been and remains unconditionally committed to ensuring that the rights and privileges established by our Constitution are safeguarded for all of our people. Today’s charges reflect that strong law enforcement commitment—by addressing the violence allegedly visited upon one of our citizens legitimately seeking the assistance of the police and by signaling our pursuit of anyone, including police officers, who violate that public trust and the confidence that our community otherwise rightly has in our law enforcement representatives.”

The prosecution of this case is based upon the cooperation and support of the Milwaukee Police Department, which worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the investigation of it. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mel S. Johnson and Attorney Saeed Mody of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Christian Pereira, Daniel Perez, and Sophie Perlmutter Charged by a Criminal Complaint with Conspiring to Affect Interstate Commerce by Robbery (18 U.S.C. § 1951(a)), Use of Interstate Commerce Facilities in the Commission of Murder-for-hire (18 U.S.C. § 1958), and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Crimes of Violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A))

July 25, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida on July 22, 2011 released the following:

“THREE MIAMI-DADE RESIDENTS CHARGED IN MURDER- FOR-HIRE SCHEME

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Hugo J. Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Addy Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Miami Operations Center, announced the arrest of defendants Christian Pereira, 22, Daniel Perez, 20, and Sophie Perlmutter, 21, all of Miami-Dade. The defendants are charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to rob and murder a Miami-based drug dealer. Specifically, the defendants are charged with one count of conspiring to affect interstate commerce by robbery (18 U.S.C. § 1951(a)), one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire (18 U.S.C. § 1958), and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)).

The defendants made their initial appearance in federal court today. A pretrial detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 10:00 A.M. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison on the interstate robbery count, up to 10 years in prison on the murder for hire count, and up to life in prison for the firearm count, which carries a five year mandatory minimum.

Today’s charges are the result of the ATF’s Street Terror Offender Program (STOP). STOP is a multi-agency task force specializing in the investigation of violent crime associated with the narcotics trade in South Florida. Using federal narcotics, robbery and firearms laws, STOP members target violent career offenders, with the goal of reducing violent crime in Miami-Dade.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, a confidential source (CS) alerted ATF/MDPD that he had been asked to assist in the robbery and murder of a marijuana dealer to whom defendant Pereira owed money. During a recorded meeting with the CS, Pereira and Perez discussed the robbery and murder plan in detail. The plan called for Pereira and Perez to meet the targeted victim at the victim’s residence under the pretext of paying their debt, confront the victim with a firearm, and then have the CS strangle the victim with a rope. Pereira and Perez promised the CS money in return for his strangling the intended victim.

According to the affidavit, on the morning of July 21, 2011, the day of the planned robbery and murder, police surveillance units watched as Pereira and his girlfriend Perlmutter picked up the CS and traveled to meet Perez, who was waiting at a Publix near the intended victim’s residence. Before Perez and Perlmutter reached their destination, they were pulled over by police. Police officers discovered a semi-automatic firearm, gloves, plastic tarp and cleaning agents inside the car. Agents then found Perez at the Publix where he was waiting, but Perez attempted to flee on foot. During the chase, Perez tried to discard his cellular telephone. Perez was arrested and his phone was recovered. When Perez’s car was searched, investigators discovered a backpack containing a piece of rope in the front passenger seat.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer noted, “Drug trafficking does not exist in a vacuum. Rather, drug trafficking breeds other crimes, including, as in this case, robbery, illegal gun use, and even conspiracy to murder. These defendants planned to rob and murder a drug dealer for their own profit. Instead, they now face long prison sentences. It is a good day for law enforcement when violent offenders and their guns are removed from our community before they have a chance to do harm.”

“The removal of violent criminals and their guns from the streets of South Florida is a top priority for ATF. Today’s charges are the result of our commitment to work jointly with state and local law enforcement to do everything possible to ensure that our citizens and visitors are kept safe from harm,” said Hugo J. Barrera, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Miami Office. “The message is clear: if you seek to do harm through violence in South Florida, you will be found and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Director James K. Loftus of the Miami-Dade Police Department added, “The apprehension of these violent offenders is attributed to the strong working relationship amongst law enforcement agencies and their unified commitment to public safety.”

FDLE Special Agent in Charge Addy Villanueva stated, “The STOP Unit seeks out the “worst of the worst” offenders. This multi-agency Task Force saved a life and the perpetrators was brought to justice.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ATF, Miami-Dade Police Department and FDLE. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony LaCosta.

An Complaint is only an accusation, and defendant are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Danny Harris Jr. and Raymond Thomas Jr. Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in San Francisco Federal Court

July 22, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of California on July 21, 2011 released the following:

“FORMER RICHMOND POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY TO TAMPER WITH WITNESSES

One Officer Also Charged With Making False Statements In Order To Purchase Firearms For Other Individuals, Including Two Minors

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Danny Harris Jr. of Pinole, Calif., on July 21, 2011, with making false statements in order to purchase three semiautomatic pistols from a San Jose, Calif., firearms dealer. Both Harris and Raymond Thomas Jr. of Fairfield, Calif., were charged with conspiring to tamper with witnesses and obstruct a federal investigation and court proceedings, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

According to the indictment, both defendants were police officers with the Richmond Police Department when the offenses took place. Harris is alleged to have made false statements to a federal firearms dealer in San Jose in connection with the purchase of three semiautomatic handguns. According to the indictment, Harris falsely stated that he was the true buyer of the guns, when he knew that the true buyers were other individuals. In the case of two of the weapons, the true purchasers were individuals under twenty-one years of age. Under federal law, it would have been illegal for the dealer to knowingly sell the handguns to someone under twenty-one.

The indictment also charges that after Harris made the false statements in connection with the gun purchases, he and defendant Thomas conspired to knowingly use intimidation, threats and corrupt persuasion in order to prevent or hinder witnesses from reporting information to federal law enforcement officers. The defendants are charged with conspiring to obstruct, influence and impede a federal grand jury investigation and proceedings in federal court.

The indictment describes a series of acts undertaken by Harris and Thomas to intimidate the two minors for whom Harris purchased the firearms in order to prevent them from reporting possible federal crimes to federal law enforcement and to influence and obstruct a federal investigation. The acts included pressuring one of the minors to change the registration of one of the guns so that it no longer showed up in Harris’ name; using intimidation tactics, including threats of legal action and the filing of a civil suit, in order to get possession of one of the guns from the minor; and hiring a private investigator in Concord, Calif., to conduct a sting operation targeting the two minors for whom Harris purchased firearms. The alleged goal of the sting operation was to have the minors arrested for drunk driving and illegal possession of the guns. The indictment alleges that Thomas paid more than $1,800 to the private investigator in order to conduct the sting operation. The indictment alleges that Harris and Thomas approved of the plan whereby a female employee of the private investigator would meet one of the minors and make overtures in order to engage in future social engagements. The plan was for the woman to encourage the minor to bring his gun to one of those meetings. According to the indictment, the woman did meet the minor and they exchanged cell phone numbers. Through text messages, they set up a social engagement and the woman asked the minor to bring his gun to the engagement.

The defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances in federal court in Oakland on Aug. 9, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of making a false statement in the acquisition of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §922(a)(6), as alleged in counts one through three of the indictment, is 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. The maximum statutory penalty for making a false statement in the record of a licensed firearms dealer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §924(a)(1)(A), as alleged in count four of the indictment, is five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to prevent communication to a law enforcement officer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1512(k), as alleged in count five, and for conspiracy to impede an official proceeding, also in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1512(k), as alleged in count six, is 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. §3553.

Susan Badger is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rania Ghawi and Cristhian Escobar. The prosecution is the result of an eleven-month investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Richmond Police Department, and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Harris and Mr. Thomas must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Further Information:

Case #: CR 11-0497 CW”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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