News and Press Releases

Hallandale Resident Charged with Attempted Extortion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, A. Lee Bentley, III, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, Paul Wysopal, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Tampa Field Office, Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Jersey Field Office, and Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO), Bomb Squad, announce the unsealing of an indictment charging Brian Henderson, 49, of Hallandale. The indictment, which was returned in the Southern District of Florida, is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the FBI Miami Field Office, the Tampa Field Office and the New Jersey Field Office.

Brian Henderson is scheduled to make his initial appearance in the Southern District of Florida before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia O. Valle on Friday, March 14, 2014.

According to the eleven-count indictment, which was returned on February 25, 2014, Henderson is charged with attempting to extort money from Publix Super Markets, Inc. (Publix), by the use of actual and threatened force, violence and fear of economic loss.

As set forth in the indictment, Henderson attempted to obtain money from Publix by sending several threatening emails to Publix in which he threatened to damage Publix stores through the use of explosive devices. In furtherance of his attempt to extort money from Publix, Henderson placed, and caused to be detonated, a pipe bomb at the Publix store located in Dania Beach.

If convicted, Brian Henderson faces the following potential penalties: up to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a possible $250,000 fine as to Count 1, attempted interference with commerce by extortion, and as to count 10, attempting to destroy property by explosives; up to 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and a possible $250,000 fine on counts 2, 4, 6 and 8, using an instrument of interstate and foreign commerce to make a threat to destroy property by explosives; up to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and a possible $250,000 fine, on counts 3, 5, 7 and 9, transmitting a communication in interstate and foreign commerce to extort money by damaging and destroying buildings; and, a mandatory minimum term of 30 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a possible $250,000 fine on count 11, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

A separate criminal complaint charging Henderson in connection with alleged product tampering threats made to a consumer products company was unsealed today in the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI Tampa Field Office, the New Jersey Field Office, and the Miami Field Office, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Walleisa.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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