Update December 5th: Portland, rest easy, this one is back in jail, here.
I’m starting to think we should have a daily feature—call it the Somali crime of the day. Thanks to Blulitespecial, here is our featured story this evening. (Last night it was the Somali ponzi scheme from San Diego).
Portland police have egg on their faces after a Somali, former refugee, who was in jail for robbery and brandishing a gun was released by accident. Although when you read this it all sounds pretty improbable, and Ismail was awfully good at acting on short notice, don’t you think?
Portland police, Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies and the Southern Maine Violent Crimes Task Force scoured Portland on Thursday for a maximum-security inmate who was mistakenly released from the county jail.
Police said Ahmed Hussein Ismail, 23, should be considered dangerous. He is charged with robbery and aggravated reckless conduct with a gun.
Ismail’s release Wednesday night is the focus of an internal affairs investigation by the sheriff’s department. Sheriff Mark Dion said Thursday that he had not yet gathered all of the facts about how the embarrassing error occurred, but that he takes responsibility.
The incident began when someone arrived at the jail Wednesday night to bail out another inmate, Ismail Mohamed Awad, 20, whose bail was $240.
When someone seeks to bail out an inmate, a bail commissioner is called. The commissioner tells officers in the jail’s intake area the name of the person being bailed out so paperwork can be completed and the person can be prepared for release.
On Wednesday night, a corrections officer apparently called to the jail’s maximum-security pod and asked that ”Ismail” be brought to the intake area to be bailed out, Dion said.
Dion couldn’t explain why Ismail’s yellow jumpsuit, worn to indicate a maximum-security prisoner, didn’t alert anyone that he shouldn’t be released on $240 bail. Ismail was being held on $50,000 bail.
Ismail played along, Dion said, signing bail paperwork as if he was Awad and taking Awad’s clothes and identification.
And, citizens of Portland rest assured the Somali elders will turn him in!
Ismail is of Somali descent, and Craig said police have been in touch with leaders in the Somali community, asking for their help in persuading Ismail to turn himself in.
”I want to assure the public, we will find the suspect. He will be arrested,” Craig said. ”We have been working around the clock.”
If you are wondering what happened to fellow Somali Awad, he is out too. Someone went and fetched some more clothes for him.
Awad finally was released on bail at 2:20 a.m. Thursday, according to a timeline provided by the jail. He had to wait for someone to bring him a change of clothes, to replace those taken by Ismail.
Just one more story about the joys of multiculturalism and how diversity strengthens a community, right Catholic Charities of Maine?
For new readers :
The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing. That specific program has not yet been reopened, but will be soon. Nevertheless, thousands of Somalis continue to be resettled as I write this.