ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Eyewitness News has compiled a list of the key players involved in the Noor Salman trial.
Salman has been charged with aiding the support of a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death and obstruction of justice.
Salman is the wife of Omar Mateen who shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others at Pulse nightclub June 12, 2016. Mateen was killed by law enforcement in the shooting.
Judge Paul Byron was sworn in as a U.S. district judge for the Middle District of Florida on June 27, 2014.
Before he became a federal judge, he spent 10 years in private practice as a civil trial lawyer.
Roger B. Handberg is the Criminal Chief (North) of the U.S. attorney’s office. Handberg is from Central Florida and a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Harvard Law School.
Handberg has been a federal prosecutor since 2002 and handles prosecutions of white collar, computer crime, child exploitation, violent crime, terrorism and corruption cases.
Handberg has prosecuted ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys creator Louis J. Pearlman.
Prior to joining the U.S. attorney’s office, Roger worked with the Economic Crimes Division of the Florida Attorney General’s Office in Tallahassee and the law firm of King & Spalding in Atlanta, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Middle District of Florida.
James Mandolfo became part of the U.S. attorney office in Orlando in 2012. He is an assistant U.S. attorney in the economic crimes division in Tampa, which handles white collar cases, public corruption, terrorism investigations and large-scale narcotics organizations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
He has prosecuted United States v. Julie Kronhaus, a Winter Park, Florida, lawyer who defrauded her clients of $2.7 million in a Ponzi scheme; United States v. Valentine Okonkwo, a pharmacist convicted of diverting thousands of oxycodone pills; and United States v. Thomas Jackson, the Longwood Police Department chief of police convicted for bribery and corruption.
Prior to joining the U.S. attorney's office, Mandolfo worked for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney and clerked for Chief U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore (Southern District of Florida). He also was an associate at the international law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP in Miami.
Mandolfo graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 2007.
Linda Moreno is defending Noor Salman. Moreno is a criminal defense attorney who specializes in national security and other high-profile terrorism cases.
Moreno has defended actor Wesley Snipes in his tax evasion case and a case that involved the release of Guantanamo detainee Mohamedou Salahi.
Moreno has served as a jury consultant for high-profile cases across the country and consulted internationally as a jury expert on anti-Muslim bias cases, according to her website.
Moreno has practiced in state and federal court for more than 30 years.
Fritz Scheller, is defending Noor Salman. He became an assistant federal defender in Orlando in 2000 and became a supervisor in 2002, according to his website.
Scheller later moved into private practice in 2004 and worked with criminal defense attorney Barry Cohen in Tampa.
Scheller said on his website that he represents people who can’t afford to defend themselves against the federal government in court.
Scheller handles trials and appeals cases, immigration removal proceedings, firearm offenses and others.
Sara Sweeney is the deputy chief of the Orlando Office of the U.S. attorney’s office and has been a federal prosecutor since 2010.
Sweeney prosecutes white collar and terrorism cases. Her prior cases include the prosecution of Sami Osmakac for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction; Rashia Wilson for identity theft and tax refund fraud; and Naadir Cassim et al. for economic fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Middle District of Florida.
Sweeney graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in public policy and from Stanford Law School.
Sweeney clerked for Judge Carl E. Stewart on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and worked as an associate at Covington & Burling.
Charles Swift, is defending Noor Salman, and a former Navy officer who retired in 2007. He works for the firm Swift and McDonald, which specializes in the defense of business, legal, medical, educational, military, law-enforcement and other professionals, according to his Linkedin page.
Swift is the director of the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, according to the Muslim Legal Fund of America website.
One of the most high-profile cases he defended was the U.S. Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfield for his client, Salim Ahmed Hamdan. Hamdan, a Yemeni citizen, was the first to be charged at Guantanamo Bay was accused of being a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda and served as a driver for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
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