Blank passports lead FBI to search Kent man’s home

Associated Press

SEATTLE — FBI agents seized computers, photographs, calling cards and financial documents from the home of a man who was arrested in Milwaukee with $44,000 in cash and nine blank passports, court documents show.

Acting on information provided by a Secret Service agent in Wisconsin, investigators searched a two-bedroom apartment in suburban Kent on Friday. A list of items seized was returned to U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday.

The man, identified as Ousman Sillah, 30, is being held without bail in Milwaukee on three felony and two misdemeanor charges of possessing fake identification and legitimate identification to be used fraudulently.

He was arrested at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport on March 7 after he tried to evade a security checkpoint while carrying a fake Pakistani passport, five different Indiana driver’s licenses, five different Social Security cards and nine blank passports from the Republic of Guinea, federal prosecutors say.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Sillah told authorities he used fake identities to file tax refund claims with H&R Block, and that he had received about $40,000 this year after filing 10 claims in Cincinnati and Indiana.

But the manager of the Dutchess of Kent apartments, where Sillah lived with two other men for $700 a month, told investigators he heard another story from Sillah’s girlfriend.

"She said that Ousman was in jail, and that she hoped it was only about him trying to get his friends into the country from Africa," wrote FBI Special Agent Kera Wulbert.

The Kent apartment manager also said Sillah’s wife planned to come from Oregon on Saturday to take his belongings from the apartment.

A message left with Sillah’s lawyer, associate federal public defender Nancy Joseph, was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors say they do not believe Sillah, who was born in the West African nation of Sierra Leone and has a valid passport from Guinea-Bissau, has any connection to terrorists.

There may be more to the story, regardless.

"Since this affidavit is being submitted for the limited purpose of securing a search warrant, I have not included each and every fact known to me concerning this investigation," Wulbert wrote.

Other items seized from the apartment include printers, mail, a day planner and a list of telephone numbers.

Copyright ©2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More in Local News

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Case unresolved: The noose at an Edmonds construction site

Though two were fired over comments about it, police were unable to determine who put it there.

To get drug money, Lynnwood man says he cut 911 wires

Those wires happened to be the ones used by 911 dispatchers, but emergency services weren’t affected.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Investigation recommends girl shot by officers face charges

The teen is accused of assaulting her boyfriend and the responding police officers.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Higher tolls could improve traffic speed in I-405 toll lanes

A report recommends lifting on the maximum toll and charging only by segment.

Most Read