Home New York Press Releases 2011 Two More Somalis Plead Guilty to Charges Relating to Piracy of Quest

Two More Somalis Plead Guilty to Charges Relating to Piracy of Quest
Pirate Attack Resulted in Murder of Four U.S. Citizens

U.S. Attorney’s Office May 24, 2011
  • Eastern District of Virginia (757) 441-6331

NORFOLK, VA—Said Abdi Fooley, a/k/a Saed Abdi Fooley,” a/k/a “Said,” 22, and Abdi Jama Aqid, a/k/a “Abdi Mahad Jama,” a/k/a “Dabid,” age estimated between 24 and 28, both of Somalia, pled guilty today in Norfolk federal court to acts of piracy against the S/V Quest, which resulted in the murder of United States citizens Scott Underwood Adam, Jean Savage Adam, Phyllis Patricia Macay, and Robert Campbell Riggle.

Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office; Alex J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Mark Russ, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Norfolk, made the announcement after the pleas were accepted by United States District Judge Mark S. Davis.

“Fooley and Aqid put four Americans’ lives in danger to get tens of thousands of dollars in ransom money,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Tragically, their hostages were executed before they could be rescued, and the Somalis were taken from the high seas to face American justice in an American courtroom.”

Both pled guilty today to piracy under the law of nations, which carries a mandatory life sentence. Fooley admitted that he was looking for a job as a pirate in hope of hijacking another boat to make money. He also admitted that during the pirate operation he had carried a FAL, a semi-automatic assault rifle, which had been given to him to carry on the Quest. Aqid admitted that he knew that the plan was to capture a boat, take it to the beach, and get a ransom. He thought he could get $70,000-$80,000. His job was to spot the ships. They admitted that they willingly engaged in piracy for financial gain and participated in the pirating of the Quest and in the taking of the four Americans on board as hostages. The two defendants warranted in their plea agreements that they did not personally shoot any of the four Americans, nor did they instruct any other person to shoot the hostages.

Sentencing for Said Abdi Fooley is scheduled for September 9, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. and sentencing for Abdi Jama Aquid is scheduled for September 9, 2011, at 2:30 p.m.

The investigation of the case is being conducted by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The prosecution in the Eastern District of Virginia is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin L. Hatch, Joseph DePadilla, and Brian J. Samuels, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Trial Attorney Paul Casey from the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.