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FORMER AGENT KELVIN SMITH PLEADS GUILTY

http://www.fwoa.org/news/fwoanws15a.html FORMER AGENT KELVIN SMITH PLEADS GUILTY For more than five years, we in Service law enforcement, especially in Region 5, and particularly in Pennsylvania, have lived and worked in the mockingshadow of one of our own gone very bad. KELVIN SMITH, a former Special Agent with the Service, has entered a conditional guilty plea to four felony counts explained below in the U.S. Attorney's Press Release. We who worked with KELVIN (on that rare occasion when he did) are not surprised by this outcome, only by the fact that it has taken so long for it to happen. A Harrisburg Patriot News article stated that the judge had noted SMITH's failure to disclose outside sources of income to either the IRS or the Fish and Wildlife Service and had abused his use of government owned vehicles and equipment. ``Attempting to resolve the matter, authorities gave SMITH a chance to plead guilty to either ethics violations or tax evasion, instead of pursuing the more serious charges now pending--- an offer SMITH refused, VANASKIE wrote. In his second interview by the FBI, SMITH was asked to assist in the investigation because he was a law enforcement officer. SMITH refused, saying he was a Muslim first. Under sentencing guidelines, SMITH could be sentenced to less than two years in jail at his hearing scheduled for January 18th, pending the appeal. PRESS RELEASE September 30, 1998 U.S. Department of Justice Office of the United States Attorney Middle District of Pennsylvania DAVID M. BARASCH, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that a local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Officer entered a conditional plea of guilt Tuesday afternoon to charges he lied about training he provided terrorists plotting to bomb New York City area landmarks and to concealing their semiautomatic rifles in order to avoid their seizure by the FBI. On February 26, 1996, KELVIN E. SMITH (All emphasis in the original), age 44, #2, Cold Storage Road, New Bloomfield, PA , was named in a fourcount indictment returned by a Middle District of Pennsylvania grand jury.The first three counts charged SMITH with making FALSE STATEMENTS, 18 U.S.C. 1001. A fourth count charged SMITH with DESTRUCTION OR REMOVAL OF PROPERTY TO AVOID SEIZURE, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2232(a). The False Statement Counts alleged SMITH lied to the FBI in February, March and June of 1993, about the nature and extent of paramilitary training SMITH provided a group of individuals then under FBI investigation for suspected terrorist activities. The counts alleged that SMITH, who was a federally licensed firearms dealer, concealed the fact he had purchased semiautomatic assault rifles, semiautomatic handguns and ammunition for their use at SMITH's Perry County, PA, residence in early 1993. Six members of the group trained by SMITH were Islamic political extremists who were indicted by the Southern District of New York in 1993 and subsequently convicted of engaging in a seditious conspiracy to commit acts of urban terrorism, including the assassination of President Mubarak of Egypt, the bombing of the World Trade Center, the Lincoln Tunnel,the Holland Tunnel, the George Washington Bridge, and the

United Nations Building in Manhattan.Three other trainees were convicted on other charges. During the change of plea hearing before the HONORABLE THOMAS I. VANASKIE on Tuesday afternoon in Scranton, SMITH admitted that on four weekends between January 8 and February 7, 1993, he gave the trainees extensive firearms and paramilitary style training at his remote, 25acre Perry County residence. The training included the firing of semi-automatic assault rifles, commando style shooting exercises, intense physical fitness training, handtohand combat techniques, martial arts instruction, pepper mace training, and mock nighttime assaults on a nearby electric power substation. SMITH purchased a MAK90 semiautomatic assault rifle, 3 SKS semi-automatic assault rifles, two .45 caliber semi-automatic handguns, more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, and $1,900 worth of repelling equipment for the trainee's use with cash supplied by the trainees. During one of the mock assaults, SMITH was approached by a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper at the electric substation and questioned regarding his activities. SMITH satisfied the trooper by identifying himself as a Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Officer and by claiming to be watching for deer poachers. After the trooper departed, SMITH used his undercover FWS van to transport the trainees back to his residence. After SMITH was approached by the FBI on February 18, 1993, and his cooperation was solicited, SMITH used his undercover FWS telephone to alert the trainees they were under FBI scrutiny. After the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993, the FBI again approached SMITH on March 17, 1993, explaining they suspected some of the trainees may have had a role in the bombing. SMITH again lied, telling the agents he gave the trainees basic, ``Boy Scout type training. Thereafter, SMITH delivered repelling equipment he had purchased for the trainees under the name of the FWS and with a substantial government discount, to one of their leaders in New York City. On June 24, 1993, the FBI arrested several trainees as they mixed explosives in a Queens ``Safehouse. Around the same time, the FBI developed information that the trainees had transported their own semiautomatic assault rifles to SMITH's residence and that SMITH had disposed of the rifles in order to avoid their seizure by the FBI. On June 26, 1993, SMITH was reinterviewed by the FBI and he denied the allegations. A subsequent search of his property was fruitless. However, during the guilty plea hearing on Tuesday, SMITH admitted that the trainees had, if fact, brought 34 SKS assault rifles to his home in early February of1993 and that following his initial interview with the FBI, he disposed of them by throwing them off the Commodore Perry Bridge into the Delaware River near Chester, PA. An extensive search of the river in October of 1994 by a team of FBI divers using sophisticated underwater detection equipment failed to produce the weapons. Since his indictment, SMITH has been on unpaid, administrative leave from his job as a Special Agent with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years incarceration and a $250,000 fine. During the hearing the government told JUDGE VANASKIE there was no evidence SMITH was aware the trainees planned to blow up New York City landmarks or assassinate President Mubarak. According to SMITH, the trainees told him they wanted the paramilitary training so they could fight as mercenaries in Bosnia. SMITH pleaded guilty to his indictment on the condition he be permitted to appeal JUDGE VANASKIE's September 18, 1998, Opinion and Order precluding him from presenting a ``lesser harms defense. The proposed defense was based on SMITH's claim he committed the crimes in order to avoid physical harm from the trainees. In precluding the defense, JUDGE VANASKIE found SMITH failed to present prima facie evidence he was aware of any specific threat and he had no viable legal alternatives. Trial was scheduled to begin in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg on October 5, 1998. The case was investigated by the Harrisburg and Manhattan Offices of the FBI with assistance of the Department of the Interior's Inspector General's Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney KIM DOUGLAS DANIEL. Submitted by Dick Hart, Mercer, PA.