Piracy Charge Dismissed for Attack on USS Ashland

Friday, August 20, 2010
An SA-330J Puma helicopter carries supplies to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) during a vertical replenishment. Ashland is part of the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted a defense motion and dismissed the charge of piracy that had been filed against six young Somali men for an April 10 attack on the USS Ashland (LSD- 48). United States v. Said, No. 2:10cr57 (E.D. Va., August 17, 2010). As noted in the US Department of Justice news release of April 23, the six (along with five others charged in a March 31 attack on the USS Nicholas) were indicted by a federal grand jury for engaging in piracy, attack to plunder a vessel, assault with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to use firearms during a crime of violence, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. The court’s ruling only dismisses the charge of piracy. The other charges (carrying a total maximum sentence of 50 years imprisonment) are undisturbed by this ruling.

(Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)

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