News and Press Releases

Defendant Who Threatened U. S. District Judge and Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn Arrested by United States Marshal's Service and FBI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2005

ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, EUGENE J. CORCORAN, United states Marshal for the Eastern District of New York, and JOHN A. KLOCHAN, Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York, today announce the arrest of WAZIR KHAN in connection with a series of recent threats made against a United States District Judge and the U. S. Courthouse, in Brooklyn, New York. After an intensive round-the-clock investigation by the Marshal's Service and the FBI, Khan was identified as the perpetrator and was arrested at his residence this morning.

KHAN, who has been charged with threatening to kill an individual and destroy a building by means of an explosive in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 844(e), and mailing a threatening communication to a federal judge in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 876(c), will be arraigned at 12:00 pm today before United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak, at the U. S. courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.1

The government's affidavit in support of KHAN's arrest warrant charges that on March 31, 2005, April 9, 2005 and April 11, 2005, KHAN sent anonymous threatening letters to the judge. The first of the letters contained a white, powdery substance that was later determined to be non-lethal. In the letters, KHAN threatened, among other things, a massacre of judges at the courthouse, claiming already to have smuggled a gun into the building for that purpose. KHAN, who claimed to know where the judge resided, threatened to murder him "by the end of the month," "just like Atlanta," an apparent reference to the recent murder of a judge in Atlanta, Georgia.

On April 13, 2005, KHAN allegedly began placing telephone calls to the Clerk's Office at the Brooklyn federal courthouse threatening to kill the judge. On the following evening, April 14, 2005, KHAN is alleged to have placed two additional calls to the 911 operator in New York City claiming, among other things, to have placed a bomb in the judge's courtroom.

The investigation by the United States Marshal's Service and the FBI disclosed 3 that KHAN's mother, Bibi Asgar, has a pending criminal case before the judge that had been scheduled for trial on April 18, 2005. However, yesterday Bibi Asgar pled guilty to credit card in satisfaction of the charges against her.

"Threats to members of the bench will never be tolerated," stated United States Attorney MAUSKOPF. "We will expend every resource to immediately apprehend any and all individuals responsible for such brazen attempts to interfere with the administration of justice. I would like to thank the United States Marshal's Service and the FBI for their extraordinary efforts in bringing this series of threats to a rapid conclusion."

U. S. Marshal CORCORAN stated, "The United States Marshal's Service is committed to the safety and security of our federal judiciary. We will investigate, identify and relentlessly pursue anyone who threatens our system of justice."

Acting FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge KLOCHAN stated, "Threatening the life of any human being is a grave offense, but threatening a federal judge is also an assault on the rule of law. Here the threat was not only to the judge but also to the court, causing concern for the life and safety of untold numbers of other human beings. A free society cannot and will not tolerate such threats to its citizens or such an affront to its judiciary."

If convicted, KHAN faces a maximum sentence of ten years' incarceration and a $250,000 fine on each of the two counts in the complaint.

The government's case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Colleen Kavanagh and Jack Smith.

The Defendant:

WAZIR KHAN
Date of Birth: 12/24/85
Address: 127-18 89th Avenue, Queens, New York

 

_____________________________

1The charges announced today are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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