Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces arrests and charging by a federal complaint of Mawdo Malick Sallah (33, Clearwater, FL) and Kirk Douglas Johnson (34, Anderson, SC) for conspiring to commit arson. If convicted, Johnson and Sallah each face a mandatory minimum term of 5 years, and up to, 20 years in federal prison. They are currently detained by the Oconee County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office pending further proceedings.
According to the, Sallah and Johnson are alleged to have set explosions to several ATMs in Florida, and one in Georgia, in their effort to steal cash. In all, the pair took nearly $70,000 from explosions set to ATMs in the Tampa Bay area between November 2019 and January 2020. They were arrested on March 22, 2020, after setting off an explosion at an ATM in Watkinsville, Georgia. Though that ATM was damaged, the two were unable to obtain any cash from the machine.
A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (South Carolina), the Jefferson City Police Department (Georgia), the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office (Georgia), the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (Georgia), the FBI-Middle Georgia Safe Streets Task Force (Georgia), the Greene County Sheriff’s Office (Georgia), and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (Georgia), with assistance from the Georgia Department of Corrections and the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Middle District of Georgia). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory T. Nolan for the Middle District of Florida.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.