Convicted Broadway Grill hacker sentenced to 27 years

Seleznev in happier times with stacks of cash (Image: Department of Justice)

Roman Seleznev, the son of a Russian lawmaker and a prisoner once reportedly dangled in exchange for Edward Snowden, was sentenced to 27 years Friday morning in a milestone that should mark the beginning of the end of a long story in Capitol Hill crime and justice and an international scheme that included ripping off customers of the Broadway Grill. The Department of Justice announced the sentencing following Friday’s federal court hearing in Seattle:

A 32-year-old Vladivostok, Russia, man was sentenced today to 27 years in prison for his computer hacking crimes that caused more than $169 million in damage to small businesses and financial institutions, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes of the Western District of Washington.

Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, aka Track2, was convicted in August 2016, of 38 counts related to his scheme to hack into point-of-sale computers to steal credit card numbers and sell them on dark market websites.  U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones of the Western District of Washington imposed the sentence.

“This investigation, conviction and sentence demonstrates that the United States will bring the full force of the American justice system upon cybercriminals like Seleznev who victimize U.S. citizens and companies from afar,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco said in a statement.  “And we will not tolerate the existence of safe havens for these crimes – we will identify cybercriminals from the dark corners of the Internet and bring them to justice.”

Seleznev was convicted last summer in a $1.7 million international computer hacking and identity theft scheme that included stealing credit card numbers in 2010 from the now-shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill and the Mad Pizza chain, among other local businesses. In August 2016, a federal jury in Seattle found Seleznev guilty on 38 counts, including computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft. He faced up to 34 years in prison.

In 2010, the Secret Service detailed that the breach that exposed information from hundreds of credit and bank cards as part of a single-day hack of a vulnerable Capitol Hill restaurant’s point of sales system. The son a Russian politician, Seleznev’s case gained international attention when he was taken into custody by United States law enforcement in 2014 while attempting to board a plane in the Maldives. The Russians called it a kidnapping and accused the U.S. of trying to trade Seleznev for Edward Snowden. Continue reading

Blotter | Police investigate violent Boylston phone mugging

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here. Yes, CHS is still on hiatus but we’ll continue to keep the news engine warm and post from time to time as events warrant.

  • Boylston robbery: Police were unable to make any immediate arrests but collected a lot of hopefully useful evidence with the help of witnesses and video after a Sunday night, April 9th phone robbery on Boylston. Officers were called to the area around Boylston and Union just before 10 PM on April 9th after a 911 caller reported hearing a woman yell for help. Police were directed to a nearby apartment where friends were treating the victim for a swollen lip, cuts and bruises to her face, and head pain. The victim told police she was walking home from dinner in the Pike/Pine neighborhood and walking home when two suspects “came up behind her, held her down, and hit her multiple times in the face,” according to the SPD report on the incident. The victim provided police written notes on what she remembered from the attack: Continue reading

Blotter | Police investigate shooting on Melrose in reported domestic violence incident

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here. Yes, CHS is still on hiatus but we’ll continue to keep the news engine warm and post from time to time as events warrant.

  • Melrose shooting: One person was taken into custody following a domestic altercation involving a man and woman each reportedly armed with a gun that escalated into bloodshed along Melrose Ave E Monday morning. According to police and Seattle Fire radio dispatches, a male was reported shot outside a building in the 100 block of Melrose Ave E just before 11 AM. A search was quickly started for a female reported leaving the scene and ditching a gun as she fled. Seattle Fire arrived to begin treating the male victim as the female shooter was located near Harrison and Summit and taken into custody. Police recovered multiple shell casings from behind the building and a .45 caliber handgun that was reportedly dropped by the victim during the incident. Officers also found blood on a nearby UPS truck and were searching for the shooter’s weapon reportedly dumped in the area. Nearby streets were closed in the area during the search. The victim wast reportedly transported to Harborview. We do not have further information on his condition. UPDATE 12:57 PM: SPD confirms initial reports from the scene and says the victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries: Detectives are interviewing a 19-year-old woman after a man was shot Monday morning in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Dispatchers began receiving calls to 911 just before 11 AM stating there had been multiple shots fired in the 100 block of Melrose Avenue East. Officers arrived and found a man with multiple gunshot wounds in a nearby alley and spoke to witnesses, who reported seeing a woman fleeing the area immediately following the shooting. Witnesses also reported seeing the victim of the shooting throw a gun in some bushes not far from where he was found. Medics transported the 32-year-old victim to Harborview Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Dispatchers later received a call from a woman, who said she had shot the man. The woman said that she would wait at an intersection for officers to arrive. Officers quickly found and detained the 19-year-old woman who is now being interviewed by detectives. UPDATE 3:45 PM: SPD says the man who was shot will be booked into jail for investigation of harassment in a possible domestic violence crime: The man wounded in this morning’s shooting will be booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Harassment upon his release from the hospital. Detectives have determined the man and the woman involved in this morning’s incident had previously been in a relationship. The woman told police she had gone to meet the man this morning to return his property, a firearm, and observed him charging at her with a gun in his hand. The woman fired at the man, striking him in the leg. She fled the scene but was contacted by police a short distance away, and was interviewed and later released by detectives. The Seattle Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit is investigating the case.

Blotter | E Spruce fire, Broadway gunshots, drugged drink incident update

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  • 12th/Spruce fire: A vacant home slated for demolition was fully engulfed in flames and the fire had spread to a nearby structure as Seattle Fire responded to the scene near 12th and Spruce just after midnight early Monday morning. SFD received multiple reports of a two and a half story house in the 1200 block of E Spruce burning and threatening a neighboring building around 12:08 AM. Arriving units found a wall of flames and began to battle to bring the blaze under control. Callers reported that the property was derelict but may have been occupied by squatters, according to Seattle Fire radio dispatches. It took more than 45 minutes to bring the fires under control. A search of the properties revealed no victims. The fire marshal was called to the scene to investigate what caused the blaze. The house at the center of the blaze was acquired by Hardy Development Company in 2014 and is currently undergoing permitting for demolition. UPDATE: Seattle Fire reports that the fire that began in an adjacent shed most likely originated on a mattress and there were signs of “homeless activity” in the shed and the house. The fire caused an estimated $50,000 damage to the vacant home.
  • Broadway gunshots: Seattle Police and several people on the streets of Capitol Hill reported multiple gunshots early Sunday morning. 911 callers and SPD officers reported anywhere from three to six shots somewhere to the southwest of Broadway and Madison. There were no reports of injuries or damage and no immediate reports of officers locating shell casings or other evidence to pinpoint the gunfire.
  • Drink drugging update: The owner of a Capitol Hill bar where two men suffered drug overdoses says she has spoken with one of the victims about the likelihood they were targeted at a party earlier in the night at not at her bar. Barbie Roberts, owner at Purr, said nightlife patrons should still be vigilant and keep a close eye on their drinks. We’ve posted an update and a message from Roberts on our report on the incident.

Victim warns that weekend double overdose at Capitol Hill bar was caused by rape drug — UPDATE

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

A victim in this weekend’s double overdose inside 11th Ave’s Purr Lounge tells CHS that he and his fiance were targeted and drugged.

“Babe, I feel crazy,” Asher Rohan told his fiance James after his second drink of the evening just before midnight Saturday night.

Rohan was about to collapse to the floor of the lounge and stop breathing. Witnesses said James turned blue. Both men were treated by Seattle Fire medics and rushed to Harborview. Police interrogated him about what kind of drugs he had taken that night. But an emergency room doctor, Rohan says, told him there was no sign of heroin use and that the type of opiate that caused the overdose is common in drugs such as gamma hydroxybutyric — GHB, the date rape drug. Continue reading

Blotter | Man arrested after breaks in with knife, causes scare on 12th Ave E

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  • 12th Ave break-in: A suspect carrying a large knife and so high or suffering such a severe mental crisis  — or both — that he couldn’t be interviewed by detectives and required hospitalization after his arrest caused a scary morning for a 12th Ave E household early Monday and put a ring of police around the neighborhood to search for the suspect. Here is a brief from SPD on the incident: On Monday at about 5:30 am East Precinct officers responded to the 600 block of 12th Avenue East to investigate a report of a stranger inside the house. The residents called 911 stating that the unknown man, wearing only shorts, had entered the house armed with a large knife. The homeowner confronted the suspect, and asked him what he was doing. The suspect told the resident that he was looking for a certain individual, who does not live there. Officers responded quickly and surrounded the house, but the suspect fled before officers arrived. Officers conducted an extensive search of the neighborhood but did not locate the suspect. During their initial investigation, two knives were found outside a basement window. The evidence was collected and submitted into evidence for fingerprint analysis. After conducting their investigation, officers left the scene. The homeowner was not injured during this encounter. Continue reading

Police chase down Grand Am after reported Central District drive-by

Two people were taken into custody after a swift and heavy response from Seattle Police to a reported drive-by shooting Monday morning near 25th and Jackson.

Police were called to the area just after 11 AM to a report that two people had been shot at by a passing vehicle near 25th and Jackson. With no reported injuries at the scene, police began searching for the gold Pontiac Grand Am reported to have been involved in the shooting.

The car was spotted by police headed north on Rainier and was chased to MLK before the Grand Am was eventually ditched near 31st and Bayview and at least three occupants fled on foot.

According to police radio dispatches, officers were able to quickly surround the area and begin searching backyards on the block where the car was ditched. Around 11:20 AM, an officer reported he had one person held at gunpoint. Officers soon reported two people were taken into custody. A K9 unit and the Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter were also searching the area for a possible third person who may have been in the vehicle but that female suspect was not found. Police said two people were detained after the incident.

The incident comes amid increased concerns from community members and businesses about Central District gunfire incidents.

UPDATE: SPD has posted a brief on the incident:

Officers chased down two suspects Monday following a drive-by shooting in the Central District. Around 11:15 AM, police received reports that someone in a gold Pontiac had fired at two men walking on the street near 25th Avenue and Jackson Street. Officers spotted the suspects’ vehicle and followed it to 23rd Avenue and South College Street, where two suspects ditched their car and took off on foot. Police caught up to the men and took them into custody. No one was injured in the incident. Officers attempted to contact the victims following the incident, but they declined to provide statements to police. The SPD Gang Unit is investigating and asks that anyone with information call (206) 684-4585.

 

Big bust raises tensions at Midtown Center

As neighbors living around 23rd and Union concerned about gun violence met at Seattle University for a community crime meeting to discuss recent shootings, a major law enforcement operation including reports of flash bang explosives went down in a tension-filled Midtown Center Thursday night.

Multiple people were taken into custody during the incident first reported to CHS around 7:30 PM Thursday after the operation was well underway.

A Seattle Police spokesperson said Friday morning he was looking into the situation and could not provide details of the arrests and SPD’s possible involvement. UPDATE 3:40 PM: SPD has posted a report on the arrest of a 27-year-old man wanted in connection with a shooting incident Monday night: Continue reading

Blotter | Man busted on Capitol Hill with car prowl booty

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(Image: SPD)

Five mp3 players?1?!? (Image: SPD)

  • Car prowl booty bust: A Monday arrest of a warrant suspect on E Olive Way turned up a trove of phones and credit cards police say were taken in car prowls across the city:
    Officers Chris Myers and James Olson were on bike patrol in the 800 block of East Olive Way around 2:30 PM when they spotted a 37-year-old man they knew was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant. After arresting the man, officers found two debit cards and several sets of house and vehicle keys in the man’s pockets. Inside the man’s backpack, police found three laptops, 14 cellphones, five mp3 players, nine different ID and credit cards, financial documents and mail addressed to residents in Capitol Hill, Sammamish, Bellevue and Vashon Island, WA.
    Police say several of the items had been taken in recent car prowls on Capitol Hill and Queen Anne. During the arrest, the man claimed he had swallowed heroin and was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he was examined, cleared, and then booked into the King County Jail for possession of stolen property and his warrant, SPD reports.
  • Neighbours alley beating: A man who woke up after he says he was beaten in the alley behind Neighbours after being denied entry to the club told police he believed he had also been robbed of his wallet and phone in the incident. According to SPD, the victim contacted police the day following the early morning March 11th beating to report the robbery. The victim and his friend told police they were intoxicated but don’t know why they were denied entry and why a bouncer allegedly dragged the victim into the alley. Neither witness could provide many details of what happened but the victim said he awoke after being knocked out and made his way home to recover. When he awoke that morning, he discovered his wallet and phone were missing. The responding police officer noted the victim had injuries to his face from an attack but said it was unlikely there would be any video evidence showing what transpired: Continue reading

Community meeting called after more 23/Union gunfire

With tensions over change and displacement in the Central District boiling over in evictions, protests, and scuffles, neighbors are asking for more to be done after another bout of gun violence near 23rd and Union.

Police received a flood of 911 calls Monday night just before 7:30 PM reporting multiple gunshots and two vehicles seen fleeing the area. Arriving officers found shell casings near Marion and damage to houses in the area but, fortunately, no injuries.

In the wake of the incident, Sara Mae Brereton, owner of 23rd and Cherry’s 701 Coffee, posted a call for a community meeting to “stop the shootings” and calling on Mayor Ed Murray and District 3 representative Kshama Sawant to respond to the ongoing violence.

Stop the Shooting, Stop the Hate CD Community Meeting

Monday’s driveby shootout was the latest in a string of gunfire incidents along 23rd Ave from Jackson to Union. Continue reading