Ex-SM Jaleel VP faces 50 years in US prison

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Adil Mohammed –

THE the 48-year-old former SM Jaleel VP who was charged in Miami with ten counts of possession of child pornography is facing 50 years in a US prison if found guilty, but his attorney believes the charges will be dropped.

In a WhatsApp interview with Newsday, US attorney Mark Eiglarsh said his client provided Miami Dade police with detailed information as to how images of prepubescent children ended up on his phone.

In a statement to Miami police, Adil Mohammed said he exchanged thousands of pornographic images and videos during the eight years he was a member of the Pornographic WhatsApp group and whenever he would come across any child porn he would delete them.

“Regarding my client’s recorded statement, it’s approximately 30 minutes long. He was open and honest and truthful during that discussion. Most of the things he told law-enforcement did not make it into the limited three-page police report. Additionally, as we discover what is specifically being alleged, we have provided law-enforcement and prosecutors with additional information that might help explain the innocent reasons why those images appeared on my client’s phone” Eiglarsh said.

Miami police reports say, on August 6, officers of the Miami Dade Customs and Border Patrol informed the police, after receiving a tip off, that Mohammed allegedly had child pornography on his devices.

Mohammed was held and his devices, two cellphones, an iPhone 13 and a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra along with an iPad and Dell laptop were seized.

“Agent A Rimola (of the Customs and Border Patrol) removed the two cellular phones from the defendant and placed them in airplane mode. Agent Rimola proceeded to browse the phone for child sexual abuse material, as was reported on the tip received earlier in the day.

“Within multiple albums located on the Samsung Galaxy s20 ultra are many files containing pornographic images and videos. Agent Rimola selected an album that contained more than 7,000 media files” the police reports said.

It continued: “The defendant advised he is the only one who uses the application ‘WhatsApp’ on both his cellular phones. He stated that he uses the application mostly for group chats, specifically pornography group chats. The defendant stated he has a nine-year-old son and knows the difference between a minor and an adult. The defendant stated that he has been sent child sexual abuse material and that it may be mixed into his adult pornography files.”

The statement added that Mohammed told police that he moves media files from one phone to the other in order to view them later.

“The defendant stated he has been a part of these pornography sharing WhatsApp groups for approximately eight years and would have a multitude of files that were exchanged throughout that time on sandisk (sd) cards. At this time, there are at least ten files that were described to me as meeting the criteria for child sexual abuse material.”

Mohammed, who was released on US$25,000 bond, is charged with ten counts of possession of child pornography. The charges alleged that on or about August 6, 2022, Mohammed knowingly possessed a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation or other presentation in whole or in part, which he knows to include sexual conduct by a child. The offences are in violation of s. 827.071(5) of the Florida Statute.

Eiglarsh said his client faces up to five years on each count. He added that he asked for a trial by jury.

“He’s facing up to five years in prison on each count. So, he can get anything from getting the charges dropped up to 50 years in prison.

“We expect the charges to be dropped.”

Mohammed, who was arraigned on August 7, resigned from his position as vice president of information technology at SM Jaleel four days after his arraignment.