Authorities in Portland, Maine, have arrested three Somali-American men in connection with the brutal killing of a man inside his apartment, then moved quickly to seal the case from public view.
Police arrested Abil Teshome, 23, Mohamud Mohamed, 36, and Osman Sheikh, 31, on Thursday. All three are charged with the murder of 49-year-old health-care worker Freddy Akoa.
Police have provided almost no information on the killing, not the cause of death, not the type of weapon used, nor any possible motive for the killing. They even refused to release prison mugshots of the suspects. The Associated Press and local TV stations failed to identify the three suspects by their country of origin or race.
Watch the local TV report on the murder below:
Akoa was found dead in his apartment at 457 Cumberland Avenue on Tuesday and it was revealed at a court hearing Friday that he had been dead since Sunday. He lived alone and, according to his LinkedIn page, worked as a hospital and health-care professional in the Portland area.
Police said all three suspects were arrested on unrelated charges and placed in custody Wednesday and Thursday when they were charged with Akoa’s murder.
WND found a mugshot of a man named Osman Sheikh at an online police mugshot site that matches the age and place of residence of the Osman Sheikh who was arrested.
Akoa was found dead about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday by an apartment manager after his mother called police and requested a check on his well being.
The killing “wasn’t random in nature,” said Police Chief Michael Sauschuck, indicating the alleged killers knew their victim.
The U.S. State Department, in cooperation with the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, has sent 1,379 Somali refugees to Maine since 2002, with 1,010 of them going to Portland, according to the State Department’s refugee database. Records prior to 2002 are not kept online, but the U.N. has been sending Somali refugees to the United States since the early 1990s with the full support of the U.S. Congress, despite the fact that hundreds of them have turned out to be jihadists or criminals.
Of all the countries participating in the U.S. refugee resettlement program, Somalia has the worst record. Countless Somalis resettled in America have been investigated, arrested and convicted of violent crimes and terrorism-related charges. More than 50 have left the U.S. to join the ranks of ISIS, al-Shabab and al-Qaida, the FBI has confirmed.
Yet, the Obama administration, with the full support of Congress, continues to infuse American cities with a steady stream of Sunni Muslim “refugees” from Somalia. They arrive in the U.S. at a rate of 7,000 to 10,000 per year, or about 600 to 800 a month, according to records obtained by WND through a search of State Department databases. They get resettled in more than 190 cities and towns, with many sent to the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Maine; San Diego, California; Fargo, South Dakota; Wichita, Kansas, Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho; Amarillo, Texas; and Seattle, Washington; among other cities.
WND has reported on numerous other criminal and terrorist elements who entered the country legally through the refugee resettlement program, including one case where a refugee from the west African country of Togo was in the country only nine days before raping a woman in Virginia.
Congressman calls for ‘pause’ in refugee program
Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, recently introduced H.R. 3314, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act, which would press the pause button on a program that grants permanent legal residency to nearly 70,000 new refugee immigrants a year. The refugees qualify for a smorgasbord of welfare benefits on day one upon arrival, including food stamps, subsidized housing, public education, Medicaid and WIC (federal aid for women, infants and children).
Babin’s bill would temporarily suspend the program until the Government Accountability Office completes a thorough examination of its costs on local governments, states and American taxpayers, as well as the risks to national security.
“The Refugee Resettlement Program has been running on autopilot for far too long with little regard to economic, social and national security implications,” Babin wrote in a recent op-ed. “We need to step back and examine all aspects of this program. Such as, why is the U.N., whose policies often run counter to the best interests of the U.S., even in the equation?”
Babin introduced his bill July 29 and is still looking for his first co-sponsor.
The Portland Press Herald reported that Akoa, the murder victim, had a clean record with no arrests, but at least two of his alleged killers have extensive criminal rap sheets.
Sheikh has 33 criminal convictions, mostly public order crimes such as criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and drinking in public, according to the State Bureau of Identification. Teshome’s criminal record includes convictions for drinking in public and theft.
Akoa lived alone on the third floor of the Cumberland Avenue apartment building. He is divorced and has three children, according to the Press Herald article.
Alice Page, a resident of the complex, said the apartments are not as safe as they were when she first moved in six years ago. She told local TV station WMTW 8 that she used to be able to do her laundry at any time of the day or night, but “now, you do it during the day or you don’t do it at all.”
Authorities tight-lipped, keep case files sealed
An autopsy was performed on Akoa’s body, but police declined to release the results, the Bangor Daily News reported.
Police announced Wednesday they were investigating the death as a homicide but refused to say how the killing was carried out. When the final arrest was made Thursday, they remained mum, and the secrecy then spilled over into Friday’s court hearing.
Assistant Attorney General John Alsop, who is prosecuting the cases, asked the judge at the start of Friday’s first-appearance hearings to seal the case files against each of the three men from public view for one week as investigators continue to compile evidence in the murder investigation, the Press Herald reported.
Warren granted Alsop’s motion with the condition that if the prosecution doesn’t file an extension within a week, the cases against the men will become public, including the detailed affidavits police filed to obtain arrest warrants against each man, the Press Herald reported.
Victim was ‘kind and loving person’
Akoa’s brother, Benoit Akoa, released an emailed statement on behalf of the victim’s family.
“Freddy was a very kind and loving person. Freddy did not deserve to be the victim of such acts of violence, no one deserves that. We, his brothers sisters and parents will miss him dearly. This was a senseless and violent crime and we trust in the system, that justice will prevail,” Benoit Akoa said in the email.