An investigation that started after a reported robbery on the Washington Metro has led to the federal indictment of three men for purchasing stolen electronics, including iPhones, according to court documents and prosecutors.
Prosecutors allege that two of the men, brothers Farid and Naeem Ahmad, ran a scheme to buy stolen electronics cheaply and then re-sell them for a profit.
A grand jury has charged the brothers with three counts each related to alleged stolen goods and conspiracy. The third man, Ahmer Aslam, faces two counts related to alleged stolen goods. They have all worked at shopping mall kiosks in Virginia, prosecutors said.
The three men entered pleas of not guilty today during arraignment in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Pat Woodward Jr., an Annapolis, Md., lawyer who represents Aslam, wrote in an e-mail that his client “is a hard-working young man with no criminal history. We will review the government’s evidence and answer the charges in court.”
Prosecutors say their investigation got a boost after a January 2010 robbery on Metro’s Green Line. The defendant in that case, they said, indicated that phone kiosk workers at the Fashion Centre mall in Pentagon City were willing to pay cash for stolen Apple Inc. products. Arlington County police officers then went undercover at the mall.
“Trafficking stolen goods is a serious crime, especially when the thievery instills fear on the thousands who commute on Metro each day,” Neil MacBride, the Eastern District’s U.S. attorney, said in a written statement.
Trial dates for the three men are set for October and November.