- CHARGE DATE: Mon May. 23, 2005
- CHARGES: Immigration violations
- OUTCOME: Pleaded guilty
- CONVICTIONS: Immigration violations
- STATE: Virginia
- ALLEGED AFFILIATION: Al Qaeda
- DESCRIPTION: Villalobos admitted that Abdulaziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamadi, two of the 9/11 hijackers, paid him $50 to drive them to a Virginia law office where they fraudulently applied for ID cards. He said he did not know the two men were terrorists. He was sentenced to four months in prison.
- OFFSITE NEWS STORIES: Guilty Plea Entered in Illegal ID Case
- COURT DOCUMENTS: Plea Agreement
Who Signed Sakher Hammad's WTC Basement Level Pass? Who Murdered Katherine Smith?
License Suspect Had WTC Repair Pass, But Port Authority Did its Own Work
by Bartholomew Sullivan GoMemphis February 16, 2002 http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_989113,00.html A photo ID pass for Sept. 5 found on one of the men charged with fraudulently obtaining a Tennessee driver's license from a Memphis woman gave him access to the six underground levels of the One World Center building.
But which tenant hired Sakher 'Rocky' Hammad, 24, to work on its sprinklers is lost, said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Alan Hicks on Friday.
Hammad told federal authorities that he was working on the sprinklers six days before the twin towers were brought down by terrorists, court testimony revealed this week.
But Hicks said the Port Authority, which owned the building, did its own sprinkler work, and that any other work involving sprinklers would have been arranged by an individual tenant.
"We don't know (which one) because all our records were destroyed in the World Trade Center, as were some of the people who know that," Hicks said.
Small details about the five Middle Eastern men arrested Feb. 5 with Tennessee driver's license examiner Katherine Smith are slowly surfacing. Smith died Sunday in a fiery car crash, a day before she was to appear in court. It appears that Khaled Odtllah of Cordova shared the same 2840 Morning Lake Drive address at different times over the past year with Rocky Hammad, according to an online people finder database.
Odtllah and Hammad also spent time in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn in 2000 and lived about 22 blocks apart near New York Harbor.
Calls to the telephone number for Magic Plumbing and Heating Inc. on 93rd Street in Brooklyn were answered Thursday and Friday by a recording that said "Rocky's" voice-mail box was full. Hammad had the firm's business card, according to a government exhibit introduced at this week's detention hearing.
Hammad also had a New York City Police Benevolent Association card, a plastic Detectives Endowment Association Inc. for the Police Department of the City of New York card, two video rental cards, an ATM card and a First Consumers National Bank MasterCard.
Hammad's cousin, Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad, also obtained a Tennessee driver's license last year. He's in the country illegally after overstaying a visa.
Venezuela-born Mohammed Fares, 19, allegedly told authorities that he needed a Tennessee driver's license to drive for Big Boss, an export-import clothing store in New York's garment district. Big Boss Enterprises bookkeeper Hussein Nasser said by phone Friday that he had received several recent inquiries about Fares, but that he'd never worked there. [CYA? Or did he apply for a job there?]
So far almost nothing is known of Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, 26, a self-employed Egyptian carpenter living in the United State illegally.
All five men are being held without bail at the pretrial facility of the Federal Correctional Institution in Memphis.
The original story on Denko Mechanical began with the arrestment of Sakher "Rocky" Hammad in 2001, who was carrying a WTC pass for Sept 5th 2001. He told police that he had been working on the sprinkler system. He showed them his business card: Magic Plumbing and Heating. Hammad was later involved in a trial on drivers license fraud, which was interrupted with the bizarre death of witness Katherine Smith (->). The following results are based on an independent investigation by Du member Rebecky: "Rocky was released on $250,000 bail. The nature of the work was not specified. The Port Authority of New York claimed no knowledge of hiring a Denko Mechanical and said Denko must have been hired by a tenant. Denko Mechanical Ltd's address and phone is the residential Manhattan apartment and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko. Mr. Davidenko obtained a business license in Feb, 2000. Denko is not listed in any yellow pages or in any type of NY contractor list. Denko simply could not be the sprinkler system contractor for the WTC. Not only would the Port Authority have had records, but companies that install and maintain sprinkler systems for large buildings are heavily regulated major operations with civil engineers, inspectors, warehouses full of delicate equipment and highly trained specialty crews. A Feb 8, 2000, business entity license issued for a Denko Mechanical Ltd, 232 E 26th St. in Manhattan (ph 212-481-8226) which, on reverse trace, is the Manhattan residence and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko; it's an apartment building. As noted above, the letter verifying Hammad's WTC employment was signed by a Sergei Denko. In addition to the WTC 9/5 pass, found in Mr. Hammad's wallet at the time of arrest: two video rental cards, a credit card, a membership card for the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, a card for Detectives Endowment Association of New York with a commemoration for 9/11 victims on it, and a charter membership card to Team Ford Racing. In a February 2002 interview, a rep of the Port Authority, Alan Hicks stated that the PA took care of its own sprinkler system and had no records of Mr. Hammad hired to work on it. The letter exonerating Mr. Hammad's employment was from a company Denko Mechanical signed by its owner Sergei Denko -- does not exist in NY except as a 2 y.o. business license registered to a Mr. Sergei Davidenko of 232 E 26th St., Manhattan. Another residential apartment (again using Skipease reverse trace). A co-defendant in the Memphis trial was Hammad's cousin, also in the WTC on 9/5, Mr. Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. Other defendants were the Memphis ringleader Khaled Odtllah of Jerusalem, immigrated to the US in 1989, and Mr. Mostafa Said Abou-Shahi and Mr. Mohammed Fares, and a juvenile obtaining a 20 y.o. false ID, Mr. Omar Khayata. NOTE: Denko Mechanical was one of a few sponsors for a trade show at "opportunity knocks" Source: http://www.northwest.ca/Opportunity Knocks 2001.htm
A few days after the crash on the Twin Towers, ex-FBI agent Barry Mawn classified Satam Al Suqamis passport in the rubble in front of the collapsed building 7 on Vesey Street. A few of the buildings' tenants: CIA, DOD, OEM and INS
However it was never said, what kind of ID Mawn classified. A laminated, American one or maybe even a paper ID from Europe?
But back to the story in Arlington:
Due to valawyersweekly, "an employee completed an identity affidavit form for each man", Alomari and Alghamdi.
"Al Omari and Al Ghamdi returned to the DMV and used the documents to get ID cards." But instead of arresting this employee, the FBI concentrated on Villalobos only.
Then it was said, there was a witness, who was not identified, but in one article her gender is identified: female.
She said that the "forms had been signed in advance by the attorney and that the attorney did nothing but talk to the men in a foreign language for a few minutes," according to the complaint.
The other witness -- Villalobos -- stated that the attorney signed the forms after they had been been completed then talked to the men in "their language."
The unidentified witness in the FBI papers said she received $80 for taking Al Omari and Al Ghamdi to the lawyer's office. She stated that she had "provided this service to approximately 100 people during the past four months and (received) approximately $100 per individual."
At least one attorney at that time already prosecuted.
Someone named Michael E. Ford of Reston pleaded guilty Aug. 22 (?) in Alexandria federal court "to the unlawful production of identity documents".
In a Sept. 27 order, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Ford's law license.
On Dec 4th, Herbert Villalobos, 35, pleaded guilty to helping two Sept. 11 hijackers illegally obtain Virginia identification cards http://www.timesunion.com/news/september11/timeline/dec2_8.htm
Herbert Villalobos is free again. But another "helping hand" is still in prison until 2004.
On February 1st Victor M. Lopez-Flores "pleaded guilty to falsely certifying that hijackers Abdul Aziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi were Virginia residents" and received a 27-month prison sentence from U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. http://www.phonebusters.com/Eng/Charges_Arrests/February_1_2002_1a.html
His attorney, Alan Yamamoto, said the document fraud alone would have resulted in about a 12-month sentence under sentencing guidelines. The judge blamed the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for allowing people to obtain IDs without proof of residency or identity
Villalobos' attorney, Patrick Anderson (also vice president of Hopkins House Association Board of Trustees and president of the Alexandria Symphony, http://www2.ccps.virginia.edu/sorensen/sipl_alum_1999.html), said on court, that his client was kept in isolation for almost the entire time he was detained
Interestingly, the same attorney is also involved in another Sep11th-case:
Judge Brinkema appointed Alexandria lawyer Alan Yamamoto as a standby lawyer to assist Moussaoui.
ALEXANDRIA, VA. (June 27, 2002)
But there is also confusion about the number of the helping hands- and even their names!
In another article it was said, that Villalobos was one of four people charged, but only Lopez-Flores was mentioned. http://www.airdisaster.com/news/1201/05/news3.shtml
If no.3 was Michael E. Ford , then who was No.4?
One affidavit alleged that Villalobos and a second man - his identity not revealed because he is a confidential witness. He was obviously No.4, but "was not charged". http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/092501_news_charged.shtml
One artist was rendering the first trial on Sep26th, 2001.
Here you can see the persons who had been involved in the case:
Villalobos' attorney Michael Liberman (from DiMuro, Ginsberg & Lieberman, Virginia) , Herbert Villalobos, FBI Agent Brian Weidner, U.S. Magistrate Curtis Sewell and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Morton http://web.knoxnews.com/web/kns/news/breaking/wtc/1354.html
The indictment about Villalobos case is at: http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/terrorism/usvillalobos120401plea.pdf
But once again, no mention of any other accomplices.
And there is also no mention about other hijackers.
Only Abdul Aziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi are mentioned in this indictment, who obtained the ID cards "by fraud". It is said, they needed Form DL6 as an identity affidavit.
DL51 is a residency identification which is needed for the DMV.
It is said, that on August 2nd, Alomari and Alghamdi approached several Hispanic man incl. Villalobos in a parking lot next to the DMV and asked them to assist with the IDs.
On that same day, Villalobos accompanied both to an attorney where they received fraudulent DL6 and DL51 "from an attorney who worked in the office".
While neither the name of the attorney nor the 4th charged person (witness) was mentioned, 11 days after Lopez-Flores plead guilty, on February 11th 2002 this "witness" obviously was invited again for the trial.
Now for the first name the name of the witness was revealed:
Her name was Katherine Smith, another Department of Motor Vehicles employee.
But now the story became a bizarre twist. Instead of "charged in a scheme with five men" (ABC now mentions 5 men!), she was suddenly killed "in a fiery car crash the day before her first court appearance, a crash the prosecutor called "most unusual and suspicious" http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20020212_991.html
"Smith, 49, was killed after the 1992 Acura Legend she was driving ran off the road early Sunday and struck a utility pole on U.S. 72 just north of the Mississippi state line, Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Mark Fagan said.
Her car "was immediately engulfed in flames" but authorities don't know whether the fire started before or after the crash, he said. The body was so badly burned it took authorities until Tuesday to verify Smith's identity. The cause of death remains under investigation.
FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash said authorities were trying to determine what caused the car to burn. The gas tank did not explode and the car was only slightly dented from the crash, she said.
"Smith was one of six (!!) people charged last week by federal officials with conspiracy to get Tennessee driver's licenses under false pretences..."
So obviously Smith was involved in two cases: The false hijacker IDs and filing IDs for middle eastern residents:
Khaled Odtllah, 31; Sakhera Hammad, 24; Mohammed Fares, Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad
Odtllah came to this country from Jerusalem 13 years ago and has lived in Shelby County for 2 years, his lawyer said.
The trial of these suspects was just finished some weeks ago. As the Guardian reported, Prosecutor Tim Discenza, said the men seeking false identification filed out state driver's license forms saying they were residents of Tennessee. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-1841426,00.html
Sakhera Hammad, from Jordan, is now a U.S. citizen living in New York City, said his father, Peter Hansen, who attended the hearing. FBI agent Nash said Abou-Shahin told authorities he was from Egypt and is a carpenter. Fares has a Venezuelan passport and speaks Arabic, DiScenza said. The nationality of Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad was not given.
Hammad is still free on bond, but will be sentenced this month, in August 2002. Defense lawyers have said the men traveled to Memphis from New York because they heard it was easy to get driver's licenses in Tennessee, where Social Security numbers are not required.
But the story even involved yet another strange twist:
When Sakhera Hammad was arrested, investigators found a visitor's pass for the World Trade Center, dated Sept. 5, 2001, in his wallet. He told authorities he was a plumber who worked on the center's sprinkler system.
FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash told this story U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Daniel Breen.
Nash also testified that investigators found evidence of some kind of accelerant in the burned-out interior of Smith's car.
Later "..Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators found no evidence that driver's license examiner Katherine Smith tried to stop her car or take any evasive action Feb. 10 as her car veered off U.S 72." http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_1016243,00.html
"Her death was not the result of the crash itself," said THP Capt. Jimmy Erwin. "Her death was by other means." The car was traveling about 21 mph when it hit the utility pole, not fast enough to kill Smith from the impact.
Rodney L. Wood, of Corinth, wrote that he and two others tried to free Smith from the driver's seat but were driven away by the smoke and heat. "The driver did not ever respond, moan or move," wrote Wood, who works for the Corinth Police Department.
Smith was officially "accused of taking payoffs for helping them get driver's licenses without proper documentation" http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug=License Scam
In another coincidence, Smith was also examined at the same institute which examined Don C Wiley, a famous Microbiologist, who also died under strange circumstances last year. http://www.counterpunch.org/madsenanthrax.html
And the story became even more strange:
On March 14, a bomb and two smaller explosive devices were found at the Shelby County Regional Forensic Center, which houses the morgue and Medical Examiner's Office that conducted Wiley's autopsy. Dr. O.C, Smith, the medical examiner, told Memphis' Commercial Appeal, "We have done several high-profile cases from Dr. Wiley to Katherine Smith"
And the story around Sakhera Hammad, who worked for this Sprinkler System in the WTC on Sep 5th, also continued:
When arrested, one of the men, Sakher "Rocky" Hammad, as already said, was carrying a WTC pass for Sept 5. He told police that he had been working on the sprinkler system. He showed them his business card: Magic Plumbing and Heating
In a Memphis court on 3/28, Rocky's father, a NY City engineer, Mr. Peter Hansen (immigrated 15 years ago from Jordan), presented the court with a letter from Denko Mechanical, Ltd, signed by a Mr. Sergei Denko, stating that Rocky and Rocky's cousin had been doing work for his company in the basement and garage of the WTC on Sept 5 and 6. Rocky was released on $250,000 bail. The nature of the work was not specified.
The Port Authority of New York claimed no knowledge of hiring a Denko Mechanical and said Denko must have been hired by a tenant.
(Note: Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg, ex-partner of Goldman Sachs & Co, is a good friend of former Twin Towers owner Larry Silverstein, who signed this lease 4 weeks before the attack. Eisenberg recently was elected Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee)
Denko Mechanical Ltd's address and phone is the residential Manhattan apartment and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko.
But Denko is not listed in any yellow pages or in any type of NY contractor list. It is also still unknown, what Mr. Hammad and his cousin were ostensibly doing in the basement and garage of the WTC on 9/5 and 9/6.
The track ends finally here: Denko is mentioned in a database of 376 BERTRAND ST. WINNIPEG (Real Dennis + Wayne McCarthy) Denko Mechanical was also one of a few sponsors for a trade show at "opportunity knocks" Source: http://www.northwest.ca/Opportunity Knocks 2001.htm
A NY Times article mentioning Hammad's letter from Sergei Denko, president of Denko Mechanical: http://college4.nytimes.com/guests/articles/2002/02/18/903268.xml
That same article mentions the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn where "Rocky" Hammad lived, and his friends at the Sunrise Farms delicatessen with a quote ("he was a hard working boy") from its manager, Elie Eid.
There is also a Canadian based Denko company, but with no connection to the WTC.
Another Feb 8, 2000, business entity license issued for a Denko Mechanical Ltd, 232 E 26th St. in Manhattan (ph 212-481-8226) which, on reverse trace, is the Manhattan residence and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko; it's an apartment building. As noted above, the letter verifying Hammad's WTC employment was signed by a Sergei Denko.
In addition to the WTC 9/5 pass, also found in Mr. Hammad's wallet at the time of arrest: two video rental cards, a credit card, a membership card for the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, a card for Detectives Endowment Association of New York with a commemoration for 9/11 victims on it, and a charter membership card to Team Ford Racing.
"...The NYC Patrolmen's Benevolent Assoc and Detectives Endowment Assoc of NY are both police unions -- Hammad was carrying cards for both, which would be union membership cards."
The company he claimed to be working for at the WTC, Denko Mechanical, is NOT a licensed fire protection contractor in New York and therefore, by NYC law, could NOT touch any pipe or plumbing fixture connected to the building's sprinkler system:
NYC administrative code 27-126. Only the building's licensed fire suppression (or protection) contractor can touch anything, any pipe, any valve, connected to the sprinkler system.
This brings us to new Questions:
Who is Sergei Davidenko? Why did he cover for Hammad? If not the sprinkler system, why was Hammad in the WTC on 9/5 and why did he claim to be working on the sprinkler system?
In a February interview, a rep of the Port Authority (at that time it could have been Alan Hicks) stated that the PA took care of its own sprinkler system and had no records of Mr. Hammad hired to work on it.
Mr. Hicks went on to state that Mr. Hammad must have been hired by a tenant -- interesting statement -- it clears the PA of accusing Mr. Hammad directly, but is really a ludicrous statement -- tenants do not hire shade-tree residential handymen to work on the HVAC, the elevators, or the sprinkler and standpipe systems -- in the case of the sprinkler systems, it is absolutely illegal according to NYC administrative codes for a general plumber to make any repair on any pipe connected to the fire protection system.
When arrested, Mr. Hammad's residential address, and the address for his Magic Heating and Plumbing residential handyman service was: 275 93rd St, Brooklyn -- an apartment building whose other tenants include (per reverse trace done at skipease.com):
Bassam Alshaer, Chouki Atman, Hesham Elegezeny, Ismail Hanafy, Kholoud Hussein, Khalili Ibrahim, Anas and Fatema Watfa, Dave White.
The letter exonerating Mr. Hammad's employment was from a company Denko Mechanical signed by its owner Sergei Denko -- does not exist in NY except as a 2 y.o. business license registered to a Mr. Sergei Davidenko of 232 E 26th St., Manhattan. Another residential apartment (again using Skipease reverse trace).
Hammad's Dad, who presented the letter that bailed him out, is Jordanian immigrant and reportedly senior engineer with the City of NY, Mr. Peter Hansen of 3187 Hylan Blvd on Staten Island. Reportedly Hammad has closer ties with his mother, still in Gaza/Jordan, than with his dad, but it's impossible to find her name.
A second address listed in skiptracing for Magic Heating and Plumbing is 1776 Bay Ridge Ave, Brooklyn -- phone: 718-833-8282. This address is also registered to Dynasty Bus and Tours, Inc, and to a Bai Sheng Chen, Ahen Xiong Chen and Mouna Chour.
At the time of arrest, Mr. Hammad was also carrying a charter membership card for Team Ford Racing .
Hammad frequented a Lebanese deli in Brooklyn, also owed by a Mr. Elie
Elie later gave reporters a character reference on Mr. Hammad.
Because Hammad is a US citizen now, the Memphis judge would not allow his continued detention nor any mention of the 9/11 coincidences at the Memphis drivers license fraud trial. The other defendants, not US citizens, remain in detention.
A co-defendant in the Memphis trial was Hammad's cousin, also in the WTC on 9/5, Mr. Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. Other defendants were the Memphis ringleader Khaled Odtllah of Jerusalem, immigrated to the US in 1989, and Mr. Mostafa Said Abou-Shahi and Mr. Mohammed Fares, and a juvenile obtaining a 20 y.o. false ID, Mr. Omar Khayata.
As Guardian reported, on June 28th, Khaled Odtllah was released hours after being sentenced by U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald. But his three co-defendants - Mohammed Fares, 19, Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad, 31, and Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, 25 - remained in custody to face deportation http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-1841426,00.html
But Odtllah was the one, who took the forms to Katherine Smith. Why is he free?
One of the defendants, un-named in news reports (check www.gomemphis.com for archives), drove from NY to Memphis on 9/11.
If the Tennessee, New York and Arlington-stories are connected, remains a mystery, because the only "witness", Katherine Smith, is dead and others are not asked yet.
more at: http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/duboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=4822& forum=DCForumID43