Criminal Justice

Criminal Suspect Accused of Targetting Chicago Serbians

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation says an Illinois man is the subject of an arrest and federal criminal case for threats against Serbians in Chicago.

The FBI’s Chicago office says 48-year-old Russell K. Gordon was arrested at his rural McHenry, Illinois home this month. Gordon had a federal court appearance set for May 28, 2013.

The FBI says special agents of the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and the FBI arrested Gordon for allegedly making threatening communications to kill State Department officials, including the U.S. Ambassador in Serbia, as well as Serbians in Chicago, apparently due to a visa dispute involving his wife in Serbia.

According to a criminal complaint affidavit, Gordon is an U.S. citizen who lived in Serbia from 1996 to November 2012, marrying a Serbian woman who had a child whose father was a Serbian national who was awarded custody of the child in September 2012 by Serbian courts.

The FBI says that starting in February 2013 Gordon allegedly sent threatening or intimidating text messages to a U.S. Embassy consular assistant in Belgrade, Serbia followed on April 15 and May 12 by e-mail received by the FBI in Chicago, purportedly from Gordon, that allegedly was consistent with his prior threatening messages.

The FBI says that this month, May 2013, “Gordon’s wife went to the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade to request a visa for entry into the U.S. and told embassy officials that Gordon had developed detailed plans to shoot Serbian citizens in Chicago, including diplomats at places where he believed Serbians routinely congregated. On Saturday, Gordon’s wife told the consulate chief at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade that Gordon was enraged upon learning that his wife would receive only a two-week guest visa and that he was going to kill the U.S. Ambassador, his wife, their two daughters and another State Department employee.”

“The arrest and charge were announced today by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Cornell Chasten, Special Agent in Charge of the DSS Field Office in Chicago; and Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. DSS Offices in Belgrade and Washington, D.C. provided significant assistance in the investigation. The McHenry Police Department, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kane County Bomb Squad assisted in Gordon’s arrest on Saturday and with the execution of a search warrant at his home on Friday.”

“If convicted, Gordon faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ridgway.”

“The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that the defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Photo: FBI

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