A Virginia man who previously served as a linguist for the FBI was arrested Saturday night on charges of making multiple false statements to FBI officials and obstructing a federal investigation.
According to court documents, Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie, aka Haji Raghe, 66, of St. Burk, was a federal contractor for the FBI and worked as a linguist translating communications captured by court-authorized surveillance of a suspect (Person A) in a terrorism investigation. Wehelie allegedly intentionally misidentified his own voice that was captured when Person A left a voicemail message on Wehelie’s mobile telephone. When questioned by FBI investigators about this particular incident, Wehelie made several misleading and/or false statements.
Wehelie made his initial appearance in federal court in Alexandria on Monday.
Wehelie is charged with making false statements to government officials and obstruction of a federal investigation. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Gillis is prosecuting the case, with assistance from the National Security Division.