Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Terrorists crossing thru the Mexican Border? Myth or a lie?
Virginia Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison on Weapons of mass destruction and Explosives Charges Following Arrest on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON— A Virginia man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison following his conviction on multiple weapons charges, including possession of explosives and the attempted manufacture or possession of a weapon of mass destruction near the U.S. Capitol in January 2008, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jeffrey A. Taylor and U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Phillip D. Morse Sr. announced today.
Michael Stephen Gorbey, 38, received the sentence earlier today in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia before the Honorable Gregory Jackson, who said “it was only by the Grace of God that nobody was hurt.” The court also stated that “there is a very dangerous side” to Gorbey.
Gorbey was found guilty on May 19, 2008, by a Superior Court jury of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon; possession of an unregistered firearm; eight counts of possession of unregistered ammunition; possessing, transporting or transferring explosives; and attempted manufacture or possession of a weapon of mass destruction. This case marks the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia charged a person with attempting to manufacture or possess a weapon of mass destruction based upon the local District of Columbia statute that was passed in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Evidence at trial showed that on Jan. 18, 2008, Gorbey drove into the District of Columbia after being told that he could not get an appointment with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Gorbey had purportedly requested an appointment with the Chief Justice to tell him about a massive government conspiracy that Gorbey believed included attempts on Gorbey’s life. After driving into the District of Columbia, Gorbey parked his truck several blocks away from the Supreme Court. The defendant then put on a bullet-proof vest and armed himself with a pump-action shotgun, 27 rounds of shotgun ammunition and a sword that was nearly three feet long. Gorbey then started walking down First Street, NE, towards the U.S. Supreme Court. A citizen alerted officers who confronted Gorbey at gunpoint. After ignoring several orders to drop his weapon, the defendant finally placed the shotgun on the ground and officers took him into custody.
Officers located Gorbey’s truck in the unit block of D Street, NE, and a trained canine indicated there were explosives inside of the truck. Members of the USCP Hazardous Devices Unit detonated a small charge inside of the truck to disrupt a suspected bomb, and then searched the truck. The officers did not locate any explosives; however, they did locate approximately 750 additional rounds of ammunition. After the search of the vehicle by the bomb technicians, the vehicle was towed to a government facility in the District of Columbia, where it was secured for further investigation. Three weeks later, officers conducted a more thorough search of the truck after obtaining a search warrant. During this search, a crime scene search officer located a homemade bomb behind the bench seat of the truck. The bomb was made out of a bottle of lead shot and a box of shotgun shells that were duct-taped to a metal can of black gunpowder. This device was disrupted using a high-velocity stream of water and the remnants of the bomb were sent to the FBI’s forensics laboratory in Quantico, Va. An expert who examined the device found what appeared to be a small hole in the can that could have been used to hold a fuse for the bomb. This same expert testified that if detonated, the device could have caused death or serious bodily injury to multiple people.
“Today’s sentence recognizes the significant threat that Gorbey posed to the public at large and to those government officials he believed had offended him,” said U.S. Attorney Taylor. “As the court noted today, but for the professionalism and patience of the uniformed members of the U.S. Capitol Police, this could easily have developed into a deadly confrontation. This case serves as an important reminder of the risks that law enforcement officers take each day to protect the citizens, employees and institutions of the Nation’s Capitol.”
“I am very proud of the U.S. Capitol Police officers who successfully prevented a dangerous felon from inflicting harm to our community,” said USCP Chief Morse. “We also want to thank the Assistant U.S. Attorneys for their outstanding work and prosecution of Gorbey. These outstanding efforts and the combined teamwork have resulted in getting a felon off the streets.”
In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. Attorney Taylor and USCP Chief Morse commended USCP Liaison Sergeant Wayne Howell who coordinated efforts to interview dozens of officers who were involved in this case; USCP Criminal Investigators Mark Crawford, Joseph DePalma, Dennis Holland and Hugh Thatcher; USCP Uniformed Officers Peter Geyer, Deeben Kang, Daniel Nutter, Bryan Carter, Ryan Gainey, Tony Buffington, David Berkeley, J. Creekmur and Matthew Tighe; USCP Evidence Technicians Jonathan Klipa, Mark Schwalm, Paul West, Frank Pollack, Lonnie Lane, Matthew Shelfo and Joel Hobbs; USCP Hazardous Devices Unit members Sergeant Michael DeCarlo, Sergeant Charles Wood, Robert Simpson, Yusef Norris, Robert Simmons, Daniel Aranyosi, Anthony Sancho and Peter Schulze; USCP Officers Shannon Gadsby and Melissa Allison; Joint Terrorism Task Force members Special Agent Patrick Race, Special Agent Michael Matten, Special Agent Aidan Garcia and Special Agent Bryan Hayes; and the FBI Supervisory Special Agent Daniel Hickey, who testified at trial as the government's expert witness on explosives and explosive devices. In addition, U.S. Attorney Taylor and USCP Chief Morse cited the efforts of several members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office staff, including Litigation Services Technicians Timothy Linders and Errol Spears; Paralegal Phalyn Hunt; Intelligence Analyst Larry Grasso; and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Kerkhoff and John Cummings who investigated and prosecuted the case.