WEST PALM BEACH, FL, June 22, 2019 — Last month, a bail bondsman from Florida reported that one of his pretrial defendants, Hasan Khalaf, was arrested in Florida for thirteen counts of possession of child pornography. The bondsman initially received a call from an attorney who works with the Kuwaiti Embassy requesting his agency post bond for the pretrial inmate. And explained that the defendant's bond amount was paid directly by the Government of Kuwait, so money was not a problem.
Before Khalaf's scheduled court date, he failed to appear in court and fled the country. But how if his passport was surrendered? And after conducting a thorough private investigation, it was determined that the suspect was able to obtain departure documents that would allow him to board an American Airline flight bound back to his homeland with the help of the Kuwaiti Embassy.
Details of Hasan Khalaf's Alleged Crime and Arrest
On August 8, 2018, Instagram contacted the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to report a concern that one of their users was uploading a video of sexual conduct of a child that day. An IP address for the Instagram user was detected on September 7th, by AT&T. The wireless service provider identified the customer's location as West Palm Beach and quickly forwarded the CyberTip to the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
The City of West Palm Beach Police Department was asked to investigate. The cell phone's IP address location led law enforcement to an apartment located at the Broadstone City Center in Downtown West Palm Beach. That same day, the police had obtained the residential lease agreement for the address indicated and copies of the temporary U.S. Visa. The Visa was originally issued in July 2018 but had expired on January 2019. The lease specified there were three men occupying the apartment.
At the request of West Palm Beach Police, a Palm Beach County judge granted the issuance of a search warrant for the residence belonging to the suspect on September 11, 2018. The warrant was executed by the West Palm Beach Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) and members of the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC) on September 19, 2018.
During the search, an 18-year-old man, Hasan Khalaf, one of the three men living at the residence, admitted to owning the type of phone device revealed in Instagram's report to NCMEC. Khalaf also verified his phone was password protected and that no one else had used the device. In addition, the suspect declared that his Instagram account was also password protected but confessed the account had been shut down without him deleting it on his own.
Khalaf also admitted to sharing child pornography using Instagram and Whatsapp, but explained that he was unaware possession of child pornography was illegal in the United States. The images and videos had been saved on his device. A forensic examination of the suspect's iPhone recovered identified the device as a positive result in recovering nine videos and four images of child pornography.
Khalaf was arrested on Friday, September 21, 2019 at JFK Airport in New York City and then escorted back to Palm Beach County Jail in Florida where he was later released on a $39,000 bond. When Khalaf's court date arrived, the bondsmen discovered his client was missing.
Arab States Defendants Making a Habit of Skipping Bail in the U.S.
According to a news report published at Fox News on February 12, 2019, there has been a trend of Saudi and Kuwaiti nationals who were arrested in the United States and out on pretrial inmate release who have fled the country with the help of their embassies.
Several of the Arab States nationals who have fled the United States while awaiting trial were college students attending schools in Oregon, Oklahoma, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Utah and Washington state. Canada has also reported Saudi and Kuwaiti nationals fleeing while out on bail.
Those defendants who had succeeded at eluding the U.S. court systems were not arrested for misdemeanor crimes. A majority of the suspects were detained for sex crimes, including raping women and children. Obviously, Arab States nationals want to come to the United States and be given the same constitutional rights as Americans, but do not want to play by our rules. However, New York has been allowing Sharia Patrols on their streets.
An article released from OregonLive.com on February 14, 2019 reported that the Saudi Arabian government denied allegations that it has helped Saudi students studying in the United States to skip bail while facing criminal charges. However, officials with the U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Homeland Security stated that they believe the Saudi government has helped at least one of the suspects flee the U.S. before his 2017 trial. The suspect was accused of being involved in a hit-and-run death of a Portland teen.
We reached out to Peter Hill, owner of Bail Bonds Now, the agency that posted Hasan's bond to ask for further information regarding the defendant's release. Mr. Hill stated the situation is still under investigation with no comments at this time.
# # #
Powered by WPeMatico