NORFOLK, VA—A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia has returned a second superseding indictment charging five men from Somalia with engaging in piracy and related offenses pertaining to the attack on the U.S. Navy ship, the USS Ashland.
Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement.
As in the prior indictments, the second superseding indictment charges five men, Mohamed Ali Said, a/k/a Maxamad Cali Saciid; Mohamed Abdi Jama, a/k/a Mohammed Abdi Jamah; Abdicasiis Cabaase, a/k/a Ahmed Mahomood; Abdirazaq Abshir Osman, a/k/a Abdirasaq Abshir; and Mohamed Farah, a/k/a Mohamed Farraah Hassan, with a number of charges relating to the attack of the USS Ashland on April 10, 2010. The second superseding indictment adds allegations that three of the defendants went to sea in February 2010 for purposes of capturing another vessel but were instead intercepted by the HMS Chatham of the Royal Navy.
The charges alleged in the second superseding indictment and the maximum sentences are as follows: conspiracy to commit hostage taking (count one), carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; conspiracy to commit kidnapping (count two), carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; conspiracy to perform act of violence against persons on a vessel (count three), carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; conspiracy involving firearm and a crime of violence (count four), carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; piracy under the Law of Nations (count five), carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; attack to plunder vessel (count six), carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; assault with a dangerous weapon on federal officers and employees (count seven), carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; act of violence against persons on a vessel (count eight), carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and use/possession of firearm during crime of violence (counts nine and 10), carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison if convicted of one count. A second or subsequent conviction adds an additional 25 years, making the prison term a minimum mandatory 35 years.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin L. Hatch and Joseph DePadilla, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Trial Attorney Jerome Teresinski of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
The public is reminded that an indictment only contains charges and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.