Five Somalis have been convicted by a U.S. federal jury of engaging in piracy and committing other offenses regarding the attack on the USS Ashland.
According to court records and evidence at trial, the five men attacked the Navy ship on April 10, 2010.
Neil M. MacBride, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and George Venizelos, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, made the announcement after the verdicts were accepted by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
The five men are scheduled to be sentenced on July 1 and July 2. The minimum prison term for each pirate is 35 years. Two of the nine convictions carry maximum life sentences.
“These men were pirates, plain and simple,” said MacBride in a written statement. “They attacked a ship hoping to hold it ransom for millions of dollars. Few crimes are older than piracy on the high seas, and today’s verdict shows that the United States takes it very seriously.”