South jersey man indicted for tampering with a witness during the investigation into kidnapping and murder
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2012
CAMDEN, N.J. – An Atlantic County, N.J., man charged with tampering with a witness during the investigation into a Hobbs Act robbery and the kidnapping and murder of Nadirah Ruffin was arraigned today before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in Camden federal court, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Henry Ruffin, 41, of Sicklerville, N.J., (no relation to Nadirah Ruffin) was charged by Indictment last week with a new count – conspiracy – in addition to the counts he was charged with by Complaint last year, which include witness tampering during the course of the FBI investigation into a robbery and kidnapping in Atlantic City, N.J., on March 26, 2011. The kidnap victim’s body was recovered from the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia on April 19, 2011.
Ruffin and five other people involved in the alleged kidnapping, murder and witness tampering were arrested on Oct. 18, 2012. Ruffin remains detained.
According to the Indictment and documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On July 30, 2011, Henry Ruffin and a co-conspirator entered a house where the alleged witness was staying. Upon entering the house without the owner’s permission, Ruffin and a co-conspirator confronted the alleged witness and yelled, “What the [expletive] are you saying,” and “What are you telling the FBI?”
During the confrontation a co-conspirator grabbed a witness by the throat and started choking him. The co-conspirator then pushed the witness up against the wall and lifted him off the floor by the neck while yelling at the witness to keep his mouth shut. Ruffin said that if he found out that the witness talked to the FBI, then he was going to kill the witness.
The two counts charged in the Indictment are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Atlantic City Police Department with the investigation leading to the Indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason M. Richardson and Matthew T. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense attorney: Christian A. Pemberton Esq., Sicklerville