Suburban Pittsburgh Man Charged with Violating Federal Firearms and Explosives Laws

A suburban Pittsburgh man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on charges of violating federal firearms and explosives laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady has announced.


A suburban Pittsburgh man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on charges of violating federal firearms and explosives laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady has announced.

The five-count Indictment, returned on July 14, named Kurt Cofano, 32, of Whitehall, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, on July 9 and July 10, 2020, Cofano was found to be in possession of unregistered destructive devices. Also, the Indictment alleges that on those same dates, Cofano, an unlawful user of a controlled substance, was in possession of a firearm. Federal law prohibits the possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. The Indictment further alleges that from May 2020 through July 2020, Cofano knowingly and unlawfully and without registering and obtaining approval made destructive devices.

“Kurt Cofano stands accused of illegally possessing multiple completed destructive devices, the components for making additional destructive devices, and a dozen firearms all in violation of federal law,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “I commend the excellent work of the investigators and the prowess of our prosecutors to take this case from incident to indictment in just five days. In serious cases like this, justice will be certain and swift.”

“We are committed to keeping our communities safe,” said acting Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt, ATF Philadelphia Field Division. “This investigation is a perfect demonstration of how ATF combats violent crime by partnering with our local, state and federal counterparts in this case the Whitehall and Mt. Lebanon Police Departments, the Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squads and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

“This investigation successfully disrupted a very real threat,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Christman. “A mix of unstable, homemade manufactured explosives, large amounts of ammo and a person who has already made threats to inflict harm is an extremely dangerous combination. The FBI will always rally together with the ATF and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to take anyone who presents a threat to our community off our streets.”

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 50 years in prison, a fine of not more than $750,000, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, or a combination thereof. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorneys Cindy K. Chung and Jonathan D. Lusty are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. The Mt. Lebanon Police Department, the Whitehall Police Department, the Allegheny County Police Department and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police provided substantial assistance with the investigation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (July 2020) Suburban Pittsburgh Man Charged with Violating Federal Firearms and Explosives Laws

Acting DHS Secretary Wolf Condemns The Rampant Violence In Portland

While Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-Texas), unleashed on Democrats on Saturday for “facilitating and cheering” on violent protests in Portland, Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf released a snapshot of the lawless destruction and violence of the past several weeks in Portland.


Releases snapshot of the lawless destruction and violence of the past several weeks in Portland

While Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-Texas), unleashed on Democrats on Saturday for “facilitating and cheering” on violent protests in Portland, Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf released a snapshot of the lawless destruction and violence of the past several weeks in Portland.

“The city of Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city. Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it,” Wolf said.

“A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice – to attack it is to attack America. Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community. This failed response has only emboldened the violent mob as it escalates violence day after day, “said Wolf. 

Wolf further said, “This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law. DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them. Again, I reiterate the Department’s offer to assist local and state leaders to bring an end to the violence perpetuated by anarchists.” 

Below is a snapshot of the lawless destruction and violence of the past several weeks that Department of Homeland Security and its sub-components of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and Federal Protective Service have faced:

05/29/2020

  • Violent anarchists broke a front window at the Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Overall, the cost of damages on federal property done by the violent mob this first night was estimated at $5,000.

05/30/2020

  • Violent anarchists graffitied the BPA Building.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Edith Green-Wenell Wyatt Building.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Terry Schrunk Plaza.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied the 911 Federal Building.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Pioneer Courthouse.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Gus J. Solomon Courthouse.

06/01/2020

  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied Terry Schrunk Plaza.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied The Pioneer Courthouse.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied The Gus J Solomon Courthouse.

06/02/2020

  • Violent anarchists graffitied the U.S. Custom House.

06/06/2020

  • Violent anarchists destroyed fencing surrounding federal property.

06/07/2020

  • Violent anarchists damaged and breached the fence around the Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Portland Police were forced to deploy crowd control spray to disperse a crowd that was throwing animal seed at officers.

06/08/2020

  • Violent anarchists broke a window at the Hatfield Courthouse while pelting the building with objects.
  • Violent anarchists cut a hole in the fence surrounding Hatfield Courthouse.

06/10/2020

  • Violent anarchists removed the entire fence around Hatfield Courthouse and graffitied its front columns.
  • Violent anarchists attempted to remove wooden barriers from a window on the Hatfield Courthouse.

06/11/2020

  • Violent anarchists dismantled a section of the fence protecting the Edith Green-Wenell Wyatt Federal Building.

06/13/2020

  • Violent anarchists destroyed the card reader at the Hatfield Courthouse by ripping it off its mount.
  • Violent anarchists destroyed the fence at the Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Violent anarchists threw metal pipes at the Hatfield Courthouse, causing Portland Police to issue a disbursal warning for unlawful assembly.

06/17/2020

  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse.

06/20/2020

  • Among a group of over400 protesters marching in front of the Pioneer Courthouse, violent anarchists attempted to cause eye damage to officers with commercial grade lasers.
  • Violent anarchists graffitied the Gus J. Solomon Courthouse.

06/25/2020

  • Violent anarchists vandalized an FPS camera at the Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Violent anarchists breached the fence of the Justice Center, adjacent to the courthouse.

06/30/2020

  • Violent anarchists ripped down plywood covering the windows at the Edith Green-Wenell Wyatt Building, before breaking the windows.

7/01/2020

  • Violent anarchists graffitied new plywood covering the windows at the Hatfield Courthouse and ripped down plywood on the other side of the building.
  • A group of over 200 violent anarchists blocked access to the building and proceeded to launch aerial fireworks at federal property.

07/02/2020

  • Violent anarchists broke a front window to the Hatfield Courthouse and attempted to enter the building.
  • Violent anarchists refused orders to vacate the Hatfield Courthouse area, and instead launched fireworks and threw objects at officers, while attempting to cause eye damage with lasers. One explosive firework was shot into the courthouse.
  • FPS law enforcement officers were forced to utilized crowd control measures for safety.

07/03/2020

  • After ongoing riots around the Hatfield Courthouse, crowds were dispersed only to make a return later into the night.
  • Violent Anarchists broke the front window of the Hatfield U.S. Courthouse and shot fireworks into the building.
  • Violent anarchists firebombed the building. Federal law enforcement extinguished the fire.

07/04/2020

  • Around 1,000 violent anarchists spray painted, threw rocks, and shot fireworks (including mortar style fireworks) at the Hatfield Courthouse. They also destroyed a security camera at the facility.
  • A CBP team supporting FPS at the courthouse arrested suspects from the graffiti and camera vandalism incidents.
  • The mob continued to throw rocks and paint-filled balloons, while attempting to breach the doors.
  • Teams were forced to utilize crowd control measures for safety.
  • Multiple individuals were seen carrying rifles, including the driver of a vehicle who attempted to strike a Portland Police Bureau officer with his car in front of the Hatfield Courthouse.

07/05/2020

  • A hostile crowd of about 250 violent anarchists returned to the vicinity of Hatfield Courthouse to vandalize and attack numerous facilities and police, while failing to comply with dispersal order.
  • Violent anarchists surrounded and blocked law enforcement from the area as extremists proceeded to attack police with thrown projectiles and large mortar style fireworks.
  • Two Portland Police Bureau officers were injured by the crowd (possible concussion). 
  • Portland Police Bureau took five into custody for directing lasers against aircraft.
  • Violent anarchists set fires in front of Hatfield Courthouse and Chapman park.
  • At the entrance of Hatfield Courthouse, Violent Anarchists fired large fireworks and threw other dangerous objects toward the entrance and the personnel protecting it.
  • The mob was pushed completely out of the area of Hatfield Courthouse; FPS made two arrests during push.
  • Portland Police made multiple arrests and found a loaded weapon on one subject.
  • Two more violent anarchists were arrested, and one was found to be carrying what appears to be a pipe bomb.
  • Violent anarchists assaulted construction crews by targeting them with fireworks while they repaired Hatfield Building.
  • A joint team had to be deployed to create buffer between violent anarchists and construction crew to protect construction workers.

07/06/2020

  • Violent anarchists attempted to cause vision damage to personnel with lasers. Five arrests were made for assaulting law enforcement.

07/07/2020

  • Violent anarchists held a “Night of Rage,” in which a 400-500-person protest devolved into riots, assaulting law enforcement officers and federal property.
  • Approximately 200 violent anarchists began pursuing law enforcement officers to disrupt enforcement actions, assaulting them with rocks and bottles.
  • Around 150 violent anarchists in front of the Justice Center began attacking personnel with lasers and peppered the area with fireworks.
  • Three violent anarchists were arrested for attacking law enforcement.

07/08/2020

  • Approximately 200 violent anarchists attacked DHS law enforcement officers while apprehending a subject who was wanted for property damage.
  • One arrest was made after three law enforcement officers were injured.
  • Law enforcement officers’ personal information was publicly exposed, including FPS, ICE, and CBP personnel.
  • Violent anarchists continued to attack officers with lasers. 

07/09/2020

  • Violent anarchists attacked DHS law enforcement officers while apprehending a subject who was wanted for property damage.
  • A violent anarchist graffitied the Hatfield courthouse.
  • An unidentified subject fired several shots from a gun into the air from the rear seat of a passing white SUV. 

07/10/2020

  • Crowds of approximately 300 violent anarchists vandalized federal property and cameras with spray paint, blocked roadways, and assaulted law enforcement officers.
  • Three were arrested for Assault on a Federal Officer.
  • Violent anarchists attempted to ambush Portland Police Department PD during their shift change, but a DHS team was deployed and able to prevent any attacks.

07/11/2020

  • DHS law enforcement officers supported local police to help a violent anarchist who overdosed.
  • Four violent anarchists were arrested, including one who attempted to assault an officer with a hammer.
  • Violent anarchists sieged the barricade of the courthouse and tried to damage it with a large hammer.
  • A law enforcement officer was assaulted with blows from a hammer. Violent anarchists fought officers while they were arresting those responsible.

07/12/2020

  • Six violent anarchists were detained and cited.
  • A mob of 300 refused to comply with directions not to trespass on federal property.
  • Another mob of 200 individuals armed with sledgehammers, tasers and/or stun guns, gathered in Chapman Park across from the Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Violent anarchists launched fireworks, threw fecal matter and large objects, and pointed lasers at federal law enforcement officers.
  • Violent anarchists deployed a plywood blockade while graffitiing the Edith Green-Wenell Wyatt Federal Building, before firing wrist rockets at the facility.
  • When an arrest team was deployed to apprehend a rioter who encroached on a police barrier and refused to leave, they were assaulted by violent anarchists.
  • A rioter trespassed on the steps of the Hatfield Courthouse and was confronted by federal law enforcement Officers, then swallowed a large amount of narcotics. Law enforcement called medical services after the individual started to convulse.
  • Despite more orders to stay off of federal property and to cease unlawful activity, FPS was forced to push back violent anarchists. The Portland Police Bureau declared the mob an unlawful assembly.

07/13/2020

  • Violent anarchists released personal information of federal law enforcement officers to the public, publishing names of those in Portland.
  • Violent anarchists continued to assault law enforcement officers with lasers, slingshots and fireworks. Others were armed with sledge hammers, tasers, and stun guns, and dragged flaming debris into the scene.

07/14/2020

  • Violent anarchists set a container of liquid on fire at the Terry Schrunk Plaza.
  • Violent anarchists jumped a fence and attempted to breach the Edith Green Federal Building.
  • Violent anarchists assaulted federal law enforcement officers with cans and other hard objects while they attempted to unblock the entrance of the Edith Green Federal Building.

07/15/2020

  • Violent anarchists doxed members of federal law enforcement.
  • Violent anarchists attempted to damage the Hatfield Courthouse by throwing objects at it and spray painting it. Numerous fireworks were also lit.
  • Violent anarchists trespassed on federal property and destroyed a card reader at the Justice Center.

Cruz, R-Texas, retweeted a graphic video that purports to show Antifa and Black Live Matter activists attacking a boarded-up federal courthouse in Portland overnight Friday.

“This is not Fallujah. This is not Beirut. This is America,” Cruz tweeted. “And Dem politicians are facilitating & cheering them on.”

Protests against systemic racism and police brutality have been a nightly feature in deeply liberal Portland since the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd while in police custody on May 25.

President Trump has decried the disorder and Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf blasted the protesters as “lawless anarchists” in a visit to the city, helping make the clashes between police and demonstrators a national focus.

As to when Liberal Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Oregon Liberal Democrat Gov. Kate Brown will stop this, remains to be seen as the violence continues.

Blogs to Follow:

DHS.gov (July 2020) Acting Secretary Wolf Condemns The Rampant Long-Lasting Violence In Portland

Bosnian National Sentenced for Providing Material Support to Terrorists

Nihad Rosic, aka Yahya Abuayesha Mudzahid, 32, of Utica, New York, appeared on July 9, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry and Rosic was sentenced to 96 months in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and providing material support to terrorists.


Nihad Rosic, aka Yahya Abuayesha Mudzahid, 32, of Utica, New York, appeared on July 9, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry and Rosic was sentenced to 96 months in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and providing material support to terrorists. 

Rosic was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal to begin his sentence immediately.

According to court documents, Nihad Rosic, Armin Harcevic, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, his wife Sedina Unkic Hodzic, Jasminka Ramic and Mediha Medy Salkicevic conspired with others to support the activities of Abdullah Ramo Pazara and others, including a conspiracy to commit outside the United States an act that would constitute the offense of murder or maiming if committed in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. 

Rosic intended to and did provide support and resources to Pazara, knowing that he and his co-conspirators would use the support and resources in furtherance of their combat against Syrian government forces and others. 

Rosic’s support consisted of money, which was used by his co-conspirators to purchase supplies such as U.S. military uniforms, rifle scopes, combat boots, tactical gear, clothing, firearms accessories, range finders, and other supplies useful to fighters engaged in combat in Syria and elsewhere.

Co-defendant Sedina Unkic Hodzic is awaiting sentencing; Armin Harcevic was sentenced to 66 months in prison; Ramiz Zijad Hodzic was sentenced to 96 months in prison; Jasminka Ramic was sentenced to 36 months in prison and Mediha Medy Salkicevic was sentenced to 78 months in prison.

This case was investigated by the St. Louis FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Postal Inspection Service, St. Louis Metropolitan and St. Louis County Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Drake, Howard Marcus and Kenneth Tihen of the Eastern District of Missouri and Trial Attorneys Dave Smith and Danielle Rosborough of the Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (July 2020) Bosnian National Sentenced for Providing Material Support to Terrorists

Iraqi Christians Evacuate Following Turkish Airstrikes

On Saturday, the International Christian Concern (ICC) has reported that since the beginning of Turkey’s airstrike operations in northern Iraq, nine of the 11 Christian villages in the Zakho district have reportedly evacuated.


On Saturday, the International Christian Concern (ICC) has reported that since the beginning of Turkey’s airstrike operations in northern Iraq, nine of the 11 Christian villages in the Zakho district have reportedly evacuated.

The Turkish Defense Ministry began Operation Eagle Claw in mid-June, bombing alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Turkey-PKK conflict has not only displaced several Christian communities but also severely impacted the livelihood of the civilians staying behind.

Christian villagers complain of serious economic tolls, as agriculture is burned during the airstrikes and tourists are prevented from utilizing the hospitality industry.

Turkey’s military operations against the PKK are seriously endangering the lives of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.

The airstrikes are indiscriminate and target areas that are home to minority groups—not the PKK.

For many of these Christians, they are also struggling to recover from period of ISIS’s genocide against religious minorities.

Many see no difference between then and now, except that the main actor has changed.

Blogs to Follow:

Persecution.org (July 2020) Iraqi Christians Evacuate Following Turkish Airstrikes

Warrant and Complaint Seek Seizure of All Iranian Gasoil Aboard Four Tankers Headed to Venezuela Based on Connection to IRGC

A forfeiture complaint and warrant were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that all petroleum-product cargo aboard the Bella with international maritime organization (IMO) number 9208124, the Bering with IMO number 9149225, the Pandi with IMO number 9105073, and the Luna with IMO number 9208100 are subject to forfeiture based on the terrorism forfeiture statute.


A forfeiture complaint and warrant were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that all petroleum-product cargo aboard the Bella with international maritime organization (IMO) number 9208124, the Bering with IMO number 9149225, the Pandi with IMO number 9105073, and the Luna with IMO number 9208100 are subject to forfeiture based on the terrorism forfeiture statute.

John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division; Michael R. Sherwin, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Steven W. Cagen, Special Agent in Charge, Denver, Colorado, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Rainer S. Drolshagen, Special Agent in Charge, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement today.

The documents allege a scheme involving multiple parties affiliated with the IRGC to covertly ship Iranian gasoil, obtained via ship-to-ship transfers, to Venezuela. 

The shipments are alleged to be a “source of influence” for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization. 

The documents allege that profits from petroleum sales support the IRGC’s full range of nefarious activities, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, support for terrorism, and a variety of human rights abuses, at home and abroad. 

There are approximately 302,502 barrels of Iranian gasoline currently on board the Bella, approximately 302,522 barrels of Iranian gasoline currently on board the Bering, approximately 259,700 barrels of Iranian gasoline currently on board the Luna, and approximately 298,484 barrels of Iranian gasoline currently on board the Pandi. 

United States District Judge James E. Boasberg issued a warrant to seize all Iranian gasoline on these four vessels, based on a probable cause showing of forfeitability.  The warrant commands the property to be brought to the sole jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 

A warrant for arrest and civil forfeiture complaint are merely allegations.  The burden to prove forfeitability in a civil forfeiture proceeding is upon the government.  Funds successfully forfeited based on terrorism authorities are in part directed to the the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (http://www.usvsst.com/).

In announcing the forfeiture complaint, Assistant Attorney General Demers, Acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin, Special Agent in Charge Cagen, and Special Agent in Charge Drolshagen commended the work of those who investigated the case from HSI and FBI. 

Finally, they acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zia Faruqui, Brian Hudak, and Stuart Allen; National Security Division, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, Deputy Chief Elizabeth Cannon and Trial Attorney David Lim; and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia Paralegal Liz Swienc and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (July 2020) Warrant and Complaint Seek Seizure of All Iranian Gasoil Aboard Four Tankers Headed to Venezuela Based on Connection to IRGC