A 22-year-old soldier, Kemia, planned the death of her 23-year-old Army sergeant husband over Snapchat with her lover thinking the evidence will be deleted.
Kemia and Tyrone Hassel shared a two-year-old son.
In 2017, Tyrone and Kemia were posted to South Korea. While there, Kemia began an affair with another soldier, Jeremy Cuellar, 24, also based in South Korea.
Rather than separate from her husband, Kemia, who didn’t want to lose out on the benefits of being Tyrone’s wife, began plotting with Jeremy, her soldier lover, to kill Tyrone so she could claim his insurance policy that totalled more than $400,000.
She wouldn’t be entitled to the money if she and Tyrone separated. But she would if he died.
Kemia and Jeremy plotted Tyrone’s death through Snapchat in order to avoid being traced. They wrongly believed the app’s temporary messages would be undetectable by police.
For months they sent messages to each other about how they were going to murder unsuspecting Tyrone. When they were posted back to the US, they were all stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia, and they intensified their plotting.
The plan was for Kemia to ensure Tyrone was in the right place at the right time and Jeremy would pull the trigger.
On New Year’s Eve 2018, Kemia and Tyrone were staying with Tyrone’s dad in St Joseph Township, Michigan. They were on military leave for the festive season.
In the evening, Tyrone went to a family party, leaving Kemia at his dad’s house. Before 11 pm, he messaged Kemia to say he was coming back with a plate of food for her. Kemia then messaged Jeremy and told him there was an opportunity for an ambush.
Tyrone left the party before the New Year rang in, and had almost reached his dad’s house when Jeremy shot him in the head and neck before disappearing.
Paramedics rushed to the scene, but Tyrone was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Kemia grieved and even allowed Tyrone’s family to comfort her. She even stayed with Tyrone’s father for two weeks after the murder. But investigators soon found out about her affair and they started to look closer.
It was discovered Kemia had made a number of internet searches after the killing. One was ‘how to delete Snapchat’. Another was ‘active-duty soldier killed on New Year’s Eve’. Kemia also looked up ‘what do I do after my house is paid off’.
Jeremy’s mobile placed him in the area on the night of the shooting even though he had no reason to be in Michigan.
Kemia was brought in for questioning and after a long time denying any involvement in her husband’s murder, she confessed.
She said she’d been unhappy in her marriage, but didn’t want to divorce her husband because she wouldn’t be eligible for his life insurance policy. She said she wanted to be with Jeremy and Tyrone stood in the way.
Jeremy was arrested and held on a $2.5 million bail. His lawyer said it would be hard to pin the shooting on him with no witnesses.
By the time the case came to trial, Kemia said she’d been coerced into confessing.
At the trial this year, Kemia’s defence continued to insist she’d been interrogated for so long she’d ‘broken down’ and been ‘manipulated’ into confessing. They said Jeremy was the one responsible and had driven the killing.
Kemia’s lawyer said Kemia knew what Jeremy wanted to do, but didn’t believe he’d go through with it.
Unfortunately for Kemia, she had been recorded speaking to her mum from prison, saying she wasn’t forced to confess, that she’d planned it.
The prosecution said Kemia was the ‘mastermind’. That she’d given Jeremy constant updates to make sure he knew where Tyrone was so he could pull that trigger.
After a three-day trial, the jury deliberated for just over an hour and found Kemia guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
In August this year, Kemia was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. She was given the opportunity to say something to her husband’s family but chose not to.
In July this year, Jeremy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, as part of a deal to avoid a first-degree murder charge. In exchange, he received a minimum of 65 years in prison.
He apologized to Tyrone’s family after his sentencing and blamed his evil actions on Kemia.
How we nailed Hushpuppi, accomplices – FBI agent
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has revealed the mode of operation through which the suspected Nigerian swindler Ramon Olorunwa Abbas alias Hushpuppi and his gang were tracked until he was arrested in Dubai, United Arabs Emirates (UAE) on June 10.
Special agent Andrew John Innocenti, in an affidavit attached to the charges against Hushpuppi in the US, said the main suspect and others identified only as Coconspirator 1 and Coconspirator 2, used to hack into the computers of their targets and move money from one account to the other across the globe.
They then use the huge money so realised to live large, acquiring expensive properties, designer clothes, expensive watches and luxury cars, and also charter jets.
According to the FBI agent, their Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud schemes “often involve a computer hacker gaining unauthorised access to a business email account, blocking or redirecting communications to and/or from that email account, and then using the compromised email account or a separate fraudulent email account (sometimes called a “spoofed” email account) to communicate with personnel from a victim company and to attempt to trick them into making an unauthorised wire transfer.
“The fraudster will direct the unsuspecting personnel of the victim company to wire funds to the bank account of a third party (sometimes referred to as a “money mule”), which is often a bank account owned, controlled, and/or used by individuals involved in the scheme based in the United States.
“The money may then be laundered by wiring or transferring it through numerous bank accounts to launder the money, or by quickly withdrawing it as cash, by check, or by cashier’s check.”
Abbas and Coconspirators 1 and 2 allegedly laundered approximately $396,050 while Coconspirator 2 was in Los Angeles, California
Abbas and Coconspirator 1, he said;
“Conspired to launder funds intended to be stolen through fraudulent wire transfers from a foreign financial institution (the “Foreign Financial Institution”), in which fraudulent wire transfers totalling approximately €13 million (approximately USD $14.7 million) were sent to bank accounts around the world in February 2019.
“Coconspirator 1 conspired with the persons who initiated the fraudulent wire transfers and also conspired with a number of others, including ABBAS, to launder the funds that were intended to be stolen.
“ABBAS, specifically, provided Coconspirator 1 with two bank accounts in Europe that ABBAS anticipated would each receive €5 million of the fraudulently obtained funds.”
Continuing, he said that analysis of Coconspirator 1’s iPhone and other online accounts showed that Coconspirator 1 “operated and tasked money mule crews for a number of fraudulent schemes, including BEC schemes and cyber-heists.
“Analysis also showed that Coconspirator 1 communicated with the U.A.E. phone number +971543777711 (“Phone Number 1”) about multiple fraudulent schemes and money laundering.
“Phone Number 1 was one of the phone numbers ABBAS used during 2019 and 2020.
“Based on my review (pursuant to federal search warrants obtained in this District) of data from Coconspirator 1’s iPhone and from an online account connected to that phone (the “Online Account”), other law enforcement personnel’s review of that digital data, and from discussions with United States Secret Service (“USSS”) and FBI personnel, I know the following: a. Coconspirator 1’s iPhone listed Phone Number 1 (+971543777711) with the contact name “Hush.” The phone also contained a contact for Snapchat username “hushpuppi5,” which listed the Snapchat contact name “The Billionaire Gucci Master!!!” b. Searches of Phone Number 1 and the contact name “Hush” inCoconspirator 1’s iPhone revealed messaging conversations between “Hush,” using Phone Number 1, and Coconspirator 1. (For ease of reference, communications with this moniker and Phone Number 1 are referred to as communications with ABBAS in the remainder of this affidavit.)
“In or around December 2019, April 2020, and June 2020, I reviewed the publicly viewable Instagram account of “hushpuppi” at www.instagram.com/hushpuppi.
“Based on information available on the profile page, the user of that account made more than 500 posts and had 2.3 million followers as of June 2020.11.
“This Instagram account included numerous publicly viewable images of a man who appeared to be ABBAS, based on comparisons to photographs of ABBAS in passports and other identification documents referenced below in paragraphs 16.c to 16.c.iv.
“Hundreds of these images on the Instagram account showed ABBAS in designer clothing and shoes, posing on or in luxury vehicles, wearing high-end watches, or possessing other luxury items, indicating substantial wealth.”
Abbas made his initial court appearance in Chicago, USA, on Friday and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
He was extradited to the USA from Dubai on Thursday to face charges of conspiracy to launder millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams.
The US Justice Department described Abbas as a “Dubai resident who flaunted his extravagant lifestyle on social media.”
Hushpuppi was arrested along with 11 others in six simultaneous raids carried out by the Dubai Police.
Confiscated from them were 13 luxury cars worth N2. 640 billion (Dh 25 million), 21 laptops, 47 smartphones, 15 memory storage devices, 5 external hard drives and 800, 000 emails of potential victims.
The gang was responsible for Dh1.6 billion (about N169 billion) fraud involving over 1.9 million victims.
Boko Haram terrorists shoot UN plane down in Borno
Not less than two civilians including a five-year-old child were killed and an aid helicopter sent by the United Nations, damaged after Boko Haram fighters shot at it.
It was learnt the plane was shot while approaching Damasak on Thursday.
It was noted that none of the crew members were hurt, but the fatalities and several others who were injured were on ground.
This was made known by UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallon.
“UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack. No aid workers were on board at the time and crew members are all safe,” Kallon said in a statement.
A UN communication seen by AFP said the aircraft was shot as it approached Damasak and the pilots managed to fly back to regional capital Maiduguri 150 kilometres (90 miles) away.
The memo said the UN was suspending rotational flights for one week “to engage with government partners and conduct new risk assessments.”
26-year-old dies from broken bottles mounted by policeman
The tragic death of a youth in the Sango area of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State has sparked protests by residents who are demanding justice.
Funmilayo Oyediji’s death was said to have been caused by some sharp objects planted by an unnamed policeman in Oju Odo part of Iloye in Sango-Ota.
The incident, according to sources, occurred the penultimate week.
It was said that the 26-year-old man was on a visit to his parents on Oyalowo Street in Iloye area when he died after falling on improvised security metal and broken bottles allegedly erected by the unnamed policeman who has since bolted.
Angry residents, especially youths in the community have since vowed not to let go of the matter until justice is done.
Oyediji’s chest was said to have been pierced by the improvised objects leading to his death at a nearby hospital.
It was said that the incident happened at nightfall, while the policeman that planted the sharp objects was unfeeling.
Oyediji was said to have left his parents’ residence to charge his mobile phone following a power outage when he slipped and fell on the objects erected by the policeman on uncovered concrete drainage.
A witness simply identified as Mrs Ojelabi said she was returning home when she ran into the deceased shortly before the incident.
“I was going out to buy some things in the neighbourhood when I ran into the deceased near the spot where he fell on the erected metals and broken bottles at about 7 pm.
“Being the happy-go-lucky fellow he was known for, he exchanged banter with me and tried to crack some jokes but I was rushing home then. By the time I looked back, he had slipped and fallen on the sharp objects and had his chest pierced.
“But rather than sympathise with him, the policeman who planted the sharp objects came out and rebuked the deceased for not being careful. He was rushed to a nearby hospital by sympathisers but he died.”
Oyediji’s elder brother, Abiola, blamed the death of his brother on the sharp objects planted by the fleeing policeman.
“I live at Oshodi. I only come around on weekends to give our aged parents their upkeep allowance.
“I was told on the phone that Funmilayo was battling with life after he fell on the sharp metal and bottles mounted near drainage around Oju Odo area of Iloye and that his chest was pierced.
“I was told he had lost so much blood and that they needed money to treat him. I even transferred a sum of N100,000 to them for his treatment. Unfortunately, he died a few hours later.
“Sadly, I was told that the erring policeman who also visited the hospital in company with some elders of the community had bolted before my arrival at the hospital.
“The community leaders did not really show concern except one Elder Keshinro.”
Another resident, Kayode Olugade, said the policeman who planted the sharp objects that killed Oyediji acted illegally.
“The boy that died was well known to me. The community leaders in this area are also culpable because once you build a house, you have no right to extend your construction to public drainage.”
The bereaved mother of the deceased, Mrs Kikelomo Oyediji urged the authorities concerned to ensure that justice was done in the death of her son.
“My son left home on that fateful day to charge his mobile phone some streets away from our home because there was a power outage.
“He fell on the sharp metal and bottles because he was not familiar with the terrain since he was no longer living with us. The authorities should ensure the culprit is apprehended and punished.”
It was gathered that the grieving family could not report the incident to the police.
A source who spoke in confidence, however, explained that the case was reported at an unnamed police station by some concerned community leaders.
It was said that the incident created pandemonium as residents stormed the policeman’s residence in order to apprehend him.
The policeman, according to sources, however, fled on sighting the crowd.
He was said to have been escorted several hours later by some policemen who fired sporadic shots to scare aggrieved residents.
The unnamed cop was said to have left with some of his valuables and has since not returned.
“The policeman in question disappeared after he got wind that some aggrieved residents were planning to attack his residence.
“No one knows his name because he does not really interact with anyone in this community,” a source who claimed to be one of the youth leaders in the community said.
It was said that he was later escorted by a team of policemen to move some of his belongings out of his house to an unknown destination.
“The policeman left everyone at the hospital on the pretext that he was going to look for money to pay the hospital bill of the deceased who was in a critical condition at the hospital.
“We did not know that he wanted to run away from home.
“Some policemen later escorted the policeman to move some of his personal belongings. They were firing gunshots sporadically to stop aggrieved residents from attacking the policeman fingered in the death of the young man,” said a resident who asked not to be named.
Residents told The Nation that the incident was reported to the police but nothing was done to reprimand the policeman.
It was said that some angry youths later stormed the policeman’s residence and vandalised his building after they found that he had bolted.
One of the youths in the community, identified simply as Mobolaji, said the policeman must be apprehended to answer for his complicity in Oyediji’s death.
“One thing is sure: we (the youth) have made up our mind not to take this matter lightly until justice is served to pacify the soul of the boy, who was one of us.
“It is sad that the police, who ordinarily should apprehend the said policeman, are the ones shielding him and helping him to escape when residents stormed his house to apprehend him. This is absolutely the height of injustice and we won’t take it.”
Police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, was not available for comments when our reporter called his mobile phone at press time.
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