Why no one takes them seriously anymore. Bu$hCo, as the local county sheriff said to me yesterday, uses fear as a political tactic. & by the time some of us find out the truth, it's no longer front page news, but people are scared & still believe. It's despicable.
Three Palestinian-American men who were found with nearly 1,000 cellphones were charged yesterday with federal fraud conspiracy and money laundering after a county prosecutor backed off from terrorism charges filed earlier.
Maruan Muhareb, 18, Adham Othman, 21, and Louai Othman, 23, all of the Dallas area, were charged in Bay City with conspiracy to defraud consumers and telephone providers by trafficking in counterfeit goods. They also were charged with money laundering on suspicion that they used proceeds from the counterfeit cellphone transactions to buy more phones.
Magistrate Judge Charles Binder ordered the men held at least until a detention hearing tomorrow. They were arrested Aug. 11 after buying dozens of cellphones at a Wal-Mart store in nearby Tuscola County.
A Michigan prosecutor, Mark E. Reene, had charged the three with collecting or providing materials for terrorist acts, and surveillance of a vulnerable target for terrorist purposes.
But Reene yesterday asked a judge to dismiss those charges.
Nabih Ayad, a lawyer for the three men, called the charges ``outrageous" and accused state and federal officials of ``scratching each other's backs" by shifting jurisdictions.
``This is a clear indication of racial profiling: picking someone up and holding them for days and trying to find something to charge them with," he said. ``It's supposed to be the other way around."