Norfolk, Va. – Three Somali pirates will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for their roles in the murders of four Americans who were on the yacht Quest back in 2011.
Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle, and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar were previously found guilty of piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, hostage taking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death, and firearms offenses.
Salad, Beyle and Abrar were all sentenced to 21 life sentences, 19 consecutive life sentences and 2 concurrent life sentences, and 30 years consecutive for their roles in the murders.
Court records say the pirates got onto the Quest with firearms and a rocket-propelled grenade while the four Americans were asleep. The pirates got control of the Quest and took the victims as hostages.
Documents say their plan was to take the Americans to Somalia where the victims could be held for ransom.
The U.S. Navy and the FBI tried to negotiate with the pirates, but they were unable to reach an agreement. The pirates still wanted to take the hostages to Somalia. Two of the pirates were detained after they refused to let the hostages go and threatened to kill them.
Before rescue crews were able to get to them, Scott Underwood Adam, Jean Savage Adam, Phyllis Patricia Macay, and Robert Campbell Riggle were all killed. Witnesses say that Salad, Beyle, and Abrar were the shooters.
Navy SEALs were dispatched to the Quest and some of the pirates started to surrender.
Three Norfolk-based ships – the USS Enterprise, Leyte Gulf, and Bulkeley – helped capture the pirates.