Local man possibly linked to plot to bomb Federal Reserve goes to court
Howard Willie Carter II faces child porn charges
Last Updated: 212 days ago
SAN DIEGO - A San Diego man pleaded not guilty Thursday to child pornography charges filed by federal prosecutors, who declined to comment on media reports suggesting he's linked to the suspect in the Federal Reserve bomb plot in New York City.
Howard Willie Carter II, 36, appeared before Magistrate Jan Adler as an indictment was unsealed charging the defendant with receipt and possession of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Prosecutors said investigators found a hard drive owned by Carter that was full of child pornography.
Adler granted a prosecutor's request that Carter be held without bail on the grounds of risk of flight and danger to the community. A detention hearing was set for Tuesday.
Carter was arrested after the FBI served a search warrant on his City Heights apartment on Wednesday.
Neither federal prosecutors nor San Diego FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth would provide further details of the arrest or Carter's possible connection to the New York bomb plot suspect.
On Wednesday, federal agents in New York arrested 21-year-old Quazi Mohammed Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, accusing him of making several attempts to blow up the Federal Reserve building.
Nafis, in the United States on a student visa, allegedly tried to recruit people to help him in the plot, leading him to connect with undercover officers who, unbeknownst to him, supplied him with fake explosives.
For more than a month, Curtis Morehead was Carter's roommate at the City Heights apartment. He told 10News FBI agents raided his apartment on Wednesday morning and showed him pictures of Carter.
"They said they were looking into … an organized terror front to America," said Morehead.
Sources said Carter is the man authorities believe was going by the name "Yaqueen" -- a man named in an FBI affidavit as a possible co-conspirator in the foiled Federal Reserve attack.
The affidavit stated two other individuals wanted to participate in the attack, Including Yaqueen.
Agents said the alleged mastermind, Nafis, recruited through Facebook and referred to Yaqeen with these words: "We are ready for action. We just want to meet our lord as soon as we can. I just want something big … for the Muslims … that will make us one step closer to run the whole world."
Morehead said his roommate was a devout Muslim, regularly went to a nearby mosque and once made an interesting remark.
"He said, 'We will take out anyone who messes with us.' That kind of struck me as, you're one of those, OK," said Morehead.
Morehead said Carter was jobless, had little money and claimed to be from Baltimore.
"He would be moody, mood swing-type of thing," said Morehead.
Morehead said Carter's most prized possession was his smartphone, which he often used to browse the Internet.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. City News Service contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.