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Press Release

Queens Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting a Federal Correctional Officer and Possessing Contraband at a Federal Jail in Brooklyn

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant, Who Previously Pleaded Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS, Stabbed the Victim with a Homemade Metal Knife

Ali Saleh pleaded guilty today at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to assaulting a federal correctional officer and possessing contraband at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York.  The proceeding took place before United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II, on the day a jury was scheduled to be selected for Saleh’s trial.  When sentenced, Saleh faces up to 25 years’ imprisonment on the assault and prison contraband charges.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the guilty plea.

 “Saleh viciously attacked a correctional officer performing routine duties at the MDC, causing the officer serious injury,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “Correctional officers place themselves on the front line every day and all inmates should know that we will relentlessly prosecute those who threaten or assault them.”

On July 13, 2018, Saleh was an inmate at the MDC for charges related to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).  At approximately 12:35 p.m., while a senior correctional officer was retrieving trash through an access slot of Saleh’s cell, Saleh reached through the slot and slashed the officer with an improvised knife, seriously lacerating the officer’s right forearm.  Saleh smiled at the officer and said, “I hope you die.”  The correctional officer subsequently underwent surgery for his wound.

Saleh’s potential sentence of up to 25 years on the assault and possession of contraband charges is in addition to the sentence he faces for his conviction, pursuant to a guilty plea on July 24, 2018, to attempting to provide material support to ISIS.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Phil Selden and Douglas M. Pravda.

The Defendant:

Age:  26
Queens, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-468 (WFK)


John Marzulli
Tyler Daniels
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated June 3, 2019