Men indicted on charges of using explosions to rob ATMs

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Two men have been indicted on charges using small explosions to rob ATMs in Florida.

A federal grand jury in Tampa returned indictments Wednesday charging Mawdo Malick Sallah, 33, of Clearwater, Florida, and Kirk Douglas Johnson, 34, of Anderson, South Carolina, with eight counts each, according to court records. The charges include one count of conspiring to commit arson, three counts of arson, two counts of using a fire or explosive to commit a federal felony and two counts of bank larceny. They each face possible life sentences in federal prison if convicted.

Sallah and Johnson took nearly $70,000 from several Tampa Bay area ATMs between November and January and vandalized others without taking any cash, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators believe the men injected some type of flammable fuel into the machines and used a spark to ignite it. The men were arrested in March after setting off an explosion at an ATM in Watkinsville, Georgia, prosecutors said. That ATM was damaged, but Sallah and Johnson were unable to retrieve any cash, authorities said.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Johnson’s attorney said in an email that Johnson is a non-violent man, a good father and has no prior criminal record.

Sallah’s attorney didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

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