Stuffed pandas, handcuffs lead FBI to Dearborn man in child porn case

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

A Dearborntruck driver handcuffed a 13-year-old inside his BMW, raped the child repeatedly and was arrested Thursday, in part, due to his stuffed animal collection, court records show.

FBI agents arrested 23-year-old Ahmad Haidar-Ahmad after raiding his home and seizing several stuffed pandas that play a role in a child pornography investigation that includes allegations of violence, sextortion and social media sleuthing, according to court records.

Ahmad Haidar-Ahmad

Haidar-Ahmad is charged with producing, possessing and distributing child pornography, charges that, upon conviction, could send him to prison for 30 years. He was ordered temporarily held without bond pending a detention hearing Friday in federal court.

His lawyer Rhonda Brazille did not respond to a message seeking comment.

The investigation started Oct. 7 when a 14-year-old, identified in court filings as minor victim 1, or "MV1," told a school counselor they were raped by Haidar-Ahmad and were being extorted "with a video of MV1 having sex with Haidar," according to an FBI agent's affidavit filed in federal court Thursday. The counselor contacted FBI agents.

The child told investigators they met Haidar-Ahmad on Snapchat last year. His social media nickname was "Panda," according to the affidavit.

After talking online, the two agreed to meet down the street from the minor's home.

"During this first meeting, Haidar locked MV1 in his car, handcuffed MV1 to the inside of the door, and raped MV1," the FBI agent wrote.

Afterward, the minor walked home but called Haidar-Ahmad after discovering they were locked out of the house. He took the child to his home, the FBI agent wrote.

"MV1 stayed with Haidar in his house for approximately one week," the agent wrote. "While MV1 was at Haidar’s house, they had sex multiple times which Haidar recorded with his cell phone."

FBI investigators started investigating Haidar-Ahmad's social media presence. They found his Snapchat account and Facebook profile photo, which shows him posing in front of three stuffed pandas.

The child described Haidar-Ahmad's home to investigators and the property matched the address on file with the Michigan Secretary of State, according to the affidavit.

The child also gave their cell phone to investigators, who found a homemade video.

"MV1 confirmed that the video showed Haidar having sex with MV1, in Haidar’s house (where MV1 went after being locked out of their own house), and that Haidar was the one filming," the FBI agent wrote.

Haidar-Ahmad had sent the video to the child via Snapchat, according to the affidavit.

No faces were visible in the video but investigators noticed a red bedspread. That detail matched Haidar-Ahmad's Facebook profile photo, which showed Haidar-Ahmad sitting on a red bedspread in front of a shelf containing three stuffed pandas, according to the FBI agent.

Investigators raided Haidar-Ahmad's home Thursday and seized several items, including "multiple videos of what appears to be Haidar and MV1 engaged in sexual activity, including the video taken from MV1’s phone," according to the affidavit.

Agents also seized a red pillowcase and multiple stuffed animals that were described by the child.

During the search, Haidar-Ahmad admitted texting with the child and "claimed that he thought MV1 was 17," the FBI agent wrote.

"Haidar also admitted to having sex with MV1 on multiple occasions, to include at least once in his vehicle (at the time, a BMW — which he has since sold), as well as his prior residence...," the agent wrote. "Haidar also admitted to filming MV1 and himself having sex multiple times, storing the videos on his phone, and sending the video to at least two people, one of whom was MV1."

rsnell@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @robertsnellnews