The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) on Friday announced the arrest of five New Mexico compound suspects on federal firearms and conspiracy charges.
The arrests come after a judge on Wednesday dismissed child abuse charges against three defendants found inside the desert property.
“The defendants, Jany Leveille, 35, a Haitian national illegally present in the United States, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, and Lucas Morton, 40, are charged in a criminal complaint that was filed earlier today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico,” a statement released by the FBI reads.
BREAKING: FBI arrests 5 residents of New Mexico compound on federal firearms and conspiracy charges, authorities said. pic.twitter.com/87211z35or
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 31, 2018
As Breitbart News reported, Taos County District Judge Emilio Chavez dismissed charges against three compound suspects — Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhannah Wahhaj and Lucas Morten — after prosecutors failed to arrange a preliminary hearing for the defendants within a 10-day timeframe mandated by New Mexico law. State law enforcement officers earlier this month discovered the remains of a 4-year-old boy inside the squalid property after 11 emaciated children were recovered from the heavily armed compound. Police launch a search for the child after his mother filing a missing person report.
“The sheriff’s office arrested the boy’s father, 39-year-old Siraj Wahhaj, and four other adults also found at the Amalia, N.M., compound, including Lucas Morten, Jany Leveille, and Siraj Wahhaj’s sisters, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj. Officials accused the adults of abuse. The women are believed to be the mothers of the children,” reported United Press International.
Hakima Ramzi, the mother of Abdul-Ghani, told CNN that she believes Siraj Wahhaj abducted the then-three-year-old boy. Ramzi also told the news network she had not spoken to her son for 9 months. “My husband said he was taking Abdul-Ghani to the park, and didn’t come back. That was in November 2017. When I would ask him where he was, he said he was on his way, he was coming soon, he was just keeping him for the night. But I haven’t seen him since then,” said Ramzi.
According to Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe, a search warrant was executed regarding the compound by the State OSI Unit and eight members of the office’s Response Team. The FBI reportedly placed the property under surveillance in recent months, including interviews with individuals from the area. “The message sent to a third party simply said in part ‘we are starving and need food and water,’” said the sheriff. “I absolutely knew that we couldn’t wait on another agency to step up and we had to go check this out as soon as possible.”
When New Mexico law enforcement arrived at the compound, they were met with Wahhaj, who is said to have been armed with one AR-15 rifle, four pistols and loaded 30-round magazines. “Many more rounds of ammo were found in the makeshift compound that consists of a small travel trailer buried in the ground covered by plastic with no water, plumbing, or electricity,” Hogrefe told members of the press.
Following a search of the desert compound, officers arrested Siraj Wahhaj, and “four other adults also found at the Amalia, N.M., compound, including Lucas Morten, Jany Leveille, and Siraj Wahhaj’s sisters, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj.”
The two women were later released “pending further investigation,” according to the Taos County Sheriff’s Office said.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj is accused of attempting to train the children how to use firearms for the purpose of carrying out a school shooting. Further, officials say the children may have been training to attack “corrupt” institutions, including Grady Hospital in Atlanta. “A specific ‘corrupt’ institution named by one of the children was Grady Hospital,” a court document reads.