Honduran Citizen Charged with Attempting to Use an Explosive Device in Popular Miami Mall
Vicente Adolfo Solano, 53, a citizen of Honduras residing in Miami, has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in a planned attack at a shopping mall in Miami.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, and Timothy R. Langan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
As described in the complaint, Solano planned to place and detonate an explosive device in a crowded area of a popular Miami mall. Solano discussed his plot with a confidential human source and two FBI undercover employees. According to the complaint, Solano provided three videos to the source, in which Solano makes pro-ISIS statements and expresses anti-U.S. sentiments.
Just prior to his arrest, Solano took possession of what he believed was an explosive device, took steps to arm it, and walked toward a mall entrance in order to carry out his attack. Unbeknownst to Solano, the device was inert and did not pose a risk to the public.
“The top priority of the Department of Justice is to protect the American people from those who intend to take action aimed at terrorizing our community. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the FBI, works tirelessly to advance this mission by continuing to thwart home-grown acts of terrorism in all forms,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg.
“Protecting the United States from a terrorist attack is the FBI’s number one priority,” said Timothy R. Langan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “There is no room for error.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a statutory maximum of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Solano is scheduled to have a pre-trial detention hearing on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Chris M. McAliley. The arraignment is scheduled for Monday, November 6, 2017.
Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Boente commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen Gilbert and Trial Attorney Jolie Zimmerman of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.