Tuesday, May 24, 2005

MAN ARRESTED IN PLOT TO SELL BOMB TO TERRORISTS

(HOUSTON) United States Attorney Michael Shelby announced that Ronald Allen Grecula, 68, of Bangor, Pennsylvania, was arrested on May 20, 2005, in Houston, Texas, and faces federal felony charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, namely, Al-Qaida, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 2339B. That statute carries a possible penalty of up to fifteen (15) years in prison and a fine not to exceed $250,00.00.

Grecula has been charged for his involvement in attempting to build and sell an explosive device to an undercover officer who was posing as a member of Al-Qaida.

According to pleadings filed in this case, in April 2005, through approximately May 20, 2005, Ronald Allen Grecula, negotiated with a confidential source, and later undercover officers, to build and sell an explosive device to terrorists groups targeting the United States.

Beginning on May 11, 2005, while working under supervision of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Houston, the confidential source recorded several telephone calls where Grecula discussed his willingness and ability to build and sell a powerful explosive device.

During several conversations, Grecula and the undercover agent discuss Grecula's technical knowledge regarding how to build an explosive device, Grecula's willingness to put on a demonstration, and the need for Grecula and the undercover agent to “be careful” as they planned the venture.

On May 20, 2005, Grecula traveled to Houston, Texas, and attended a one-hour meeting with the undercover agents during which he indicated that he was willing and able to build and sell an explosive device to a group he believed was affiliated with Al-Qaida. The device was to be used against Americans.

Grecula is scheduled for an initial appearance today at 2:00 p.m. in the courtroom of United States Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley.

Following the proceedings, Mr. Shelby will be available to respond to questions from the media outside the courthouse.

This case is the result of a Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation conducted by the Houston office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Abe Martinez and Jeff Vaden.

A criminal complaint is an accusation of criminal conduct, and is not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
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