News and Press Releases


Hallandale Resident Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced in Attempted Extortion, Bank Robbery and Product Tampering Cases to 188 Months in Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Paul Wysopal, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tampa Field Office, Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Jersey Field Office, and Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO), announce that defendant Brian Henderson, 50, of Hallandale, pled guilty and was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Frederico A. Moreno in three separate cases involving attempted extortion, bank robbery and product tampering. Henderson was sentenced to 188 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. The sentences imposed, as detailed below, are to run concurrently. These cases are 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 pled guilty in the following cases:

Attempted Extortion Case: 14-CR-60044-Scola

Henderson pled guilty to ten counts of an 11-count indictment that charged Henderson with: attempted interference with commerce by extortion, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a) (Count 1); using an instrument of interstate and foreign commerce to make a threat to destroy property by explosives, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(e) (Counts 2, 4, 6 and 8); transmitting a communication in interstate and foreign commerce to extort money by damaging and destroying buildings, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(d) (Counts 3, 5, 7 and 9); and attempting to destroy property by explosives, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(i) (Count 10). According to the indictment, Henderson attempted 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 factual statement for the guilty pleas, 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 Super Market located in Dania.

Henderson was sentenced to 188 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release on Counts 1 and 10; 120 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release on Counts 2, 4, 6 and 8; and to 24 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release on Counts 3, 5, 7 and 9.

Bank Robbery Case: 14-CR-60004-Scola

Henderson pled guilty to an indictment that charged him with bank robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a). According to the factual statement, Henderson presented a demand note to Chase Bank in which he threatened to detonate a bomb around his neck if the teller did not give him $40,000 in $100 bills. Law enforcement officers confronted Henderson when he departed the bank with the money and subsequently arrested him. Henderson was sentenced to 188 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Product Tampering Case: 14-CR-60154-Scola

Henderson pled guilty to an information that charged him with threatening to tamper with a consumer product with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily injury, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1365(d). According to the factual statement, Henderson emailed an extortionate demand to a company in New Jersey in which he threatened to put poison in 20 containers of a product distributed by the company and place those containers on the shelves of 20 different stores unless he was paid a sum of money. Henderson was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Case No. 14-CR-60154-Scola was originally prosecuted and investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, and special agents of the FBI, under the Direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, Newark Division, prior to being consolidated with other cases in the Southern District of Florida for purposes of Henderson’s guilty plea.

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

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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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