Gun Charge to Be Dropped in Baltimore Case
Nov. 09, 2005
BALTIMORE (AP) _ Prosecutors said they plan to dismiss a handgun charge against a convenience store owner caught in a roundup during an investigation into a possible terrorist threat to a highway tunnel.
Prosecutors plan to drop the charge against Maged Hussein on Thursday.
``I was innocent from the beginning. Everybody knows that,'' the Egyptian-born Hussein said. ``I'm glad somebody else is not making a mistake again.''
Federal authorities on Oct. 18 raided Hussein's store and several other area locations and briefly shut down the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel while investigating a tip that several men were planning to blow up an explosives-laden truck in a Baltimore-area tunnel.
Agents detained four men from the Middle East who already faced deportation for immigration violations. None is believed to be involved in any terror plot, law enforcement officials said.
They also arrested Hussein.
Hussein, 41, told The (Baltimore) Sun that he was never accused of being part of any plot, but was questioned about some of his customers.
Hussein was arrested on a weapons charge that accused him of violating a protective order filed by his wife. The order did not prohibit him from owning a handgun.
Hussein's handgun ``was not a threat to anybody,'' said Karl Goodman, his attorney. ``It was locked up, unloaded in a safe. He voluntarily told the police where it was.''
Margaret Burns, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, said prosecutors doubted their ability to convict Hussein because of his cooperation during the investigation.