Dearborn Man Sentenced on Extortion Charges Involving Employees of DTE Energy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 19, 2013|
A Dearborn man was sentenced today by United States District Judge Denise Page Hood to 41 months in federal prison after having been convicted by a jury in September of extortion by threatening employees of DTE Energy, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
Joining McQuade in the announcement were Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Detroit, and Michael Lynch, Chief Security Officer for DTE Energy Corporate Security.
Sentenced was Sami William Mustafa, 28, of Dearborn, Michigan.
Evidence presented at trial established that on January 14, 2013, Mustafa was facing a shut-off from DTE Energy for failure to pay his power bill. Mustafa, who felt that DTE was not handling his bill properly, placed two calls to the customer service department and explained to the operators his intention to come down to their office to kill DTE’s employees. During these telephone conversations, Mustafa threatened, “Do you want to get shot in the face over a couple of dollars?” and “It’s going to be another Sandy Hook,” referring to the mass shooting that took place at an elementary school in Connecticut in December 2012. Mustafa also used racially charged language.
In announcing the sentence, McQuade stated, “Mass shootings around the country have taught our society to take these kinds of threats very seriously. The public should be aware that threats of violence will be prosecuted criminally.”
Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan Division of the FBI, said, “ Violent threats like those made by the defendant in this case toward DTE Energy employees are taken very seriously, particularly when the threats make reference to other tragedies in an attempt to intimidate and instill fear. Those whose conduct violates federal law in this manner will be brought to justice.”
Michael Lynch, Chief Security Officer for DTE Energy, commended the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, stating, "I'd like to recognize the efforts of the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for their work to resolve this case and help keep DTE Energy employees safe."
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DTE Corporate Security.