Our America: Guilt by association in Boston Bombing Case.
According to court records filed Wednesday, September 10, 2014, an unnamed cooperating witness was paid more than $66,000 for his assistance in creating a federal case against Stephen Silva, 21, an immigrant from Cape Verde. Silva is charged with distribution of heroin and possession of an unregistered firearm "linked to" the shooting of MIT police officer Sean Collier shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Silva's long time girlfriend Aisha told New Trend that "all of these charges against him ARE RIDICULOUS and untrue. He should not be punished just because him and Jahar went to the same high school. They are individuals and should take responsibility for their own actions. THERE SHOULD NOT BE GUILT BY ASSOCIATION.
"I know for a fact what the media is reporting is UNTRUE and not the real Stephen. Therefore, I will stand by Stephen's side through this," she insisted.
Stephen Silva, who was arrested in November 2013 but not charged until July 15, 2014, pled "Not Guilty" in front of weeping onlookers as he was arraigned last month in federal court in Boston. His twin brother with a similar name, Steven Silva, who converted to Islam at age 16, also attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school along with accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He knew Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov at UMass Dartmouth, who are charged in federal court with interfering with the bombing investigation, and Robel Phillipos, who is charged with lying to investigators. Like all Jahar's friends, Silva has not been charged with knowing anything about the bombings. So why is testimony against him so important??
"The witness has received approximately $66,000 from the government for the witness's involvement in the Silva case and other investigations. The total includes payments for services, expenses, and relocation costs, as well as vehicle fines," Milton Valencia reports in the Globe.
"At one point, when the witness first began cooperating, he was pulled over for speeding in New Hampshire and had a suspended driver's license. A state trooper assigned to an FBI task force advised the New Hampshire officer of the witness's cooperation. Authorities in New Hampshire towed the witness's car but did not cite him. The FBI task force subsequently helped the witness obtain a license allowing him to drive at certain times.
"At one point, the FBI paid an outstanding fine that the witness had with a prior landlord, so that the witness could obtain Section 8 housing.
"During the time the witness was cooperating with the FBI, he was arrested for failing to pay a civil fine for child support. A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent called a state Department of Revenue attorney asking for the witness's release, but the department refused.
"The government has also helped the witness and his family relocate, and has indicated it will provide further assistance to ensure the safety of the witness and his family. The government has refused to identify the witness at this time out of fear that it would "put [the witness's] safety and the safety of its family in jeopardy."
The paid, confidential witness is cooperating in the drug investigation against Silva, whose friends were all shocked by the federal charges because he was only known to smoke marijuana, he didn't do heroin. No one knew him to have a gun.
Prosecutors say Silva possessed a Ruger P95 9mm pistol, with a scratched out serial number, in February 2013.
A gun of that same make and model was recovered in a Watertown neighborhood on the early morning of April 19, 2013, after police exchanged gunfire with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar's older brother. Federal authorities claim that Silva's gun is "related to" or "similar to" the gun used in the Collier shooting but have not said how they are linked.
"Whilst the charges against him are related to possession of an illegal firearm and drug dealing it was widely reported, (although seemingly unsubstantiated), that Stephen provided the gun with which one of the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly killed Officer Collier. The occurrence of these rumors, leaks or whatever they might be could be thought to cast doubt on the validity of the case and indeed the charges against Stephen Silva. Is he simply being used to aid the government in the conviction of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?" writes jane24 on firedoglake.com.
"The Ruger pistol which was allegedly used by Tamerlan Tsarnaev during the Watertown shootout on 18th/19th April, 2013 was said to have been recovered at the scene. If this was the case, one would have cause to wonder when exactly Stephen Silva is alleged to have been in possession of this weapon? Earlier this year there were some media reports that this weapon had been traced to a drug dealer in Maine."
Silva, 21, of Cambridge, who is being held without bail, was called before "a federal grand jury over a year ago in connection with another matter and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights," reads the court document filed Wednesday.
"Are things as they might first appear in the case of Stephen Silva? Or, could it be that this individual finds himself facing criminal charges and incarceration because he is yet another who has failed to cooperate with the FBI? As far as we are aware, the FBI has seemingly little evidence to tie either of the Tsarnaev brothers to the murder of Officer Collier. Could it be that they need a witness for the prosecution in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? If this was the case, how far would the FBI be prepared to go in order to attain that witness?" asks jane24.
Silva was studying political science, and planned to go to law school and become a public defender. His friends cannot believe he would ever say something to the police as absurd as what the New York Daily News reported that he said, "I smoke weed because my best friend was the bomber."