Back in 2018, a man named Vincent Togbe Konney of Richfield and his wife were going through a divorce.
We don’t know Konney’s wife’s name, because it doesn’t appear in court documents filed in Minnesota’s U.S. District Court a week ago. In fact, the only reason we know Konney’s name at all is because he’s admitted to doing something rather drastic that year.
According to court documents, Konney, now 62, was upset by reports that his wife, who was in the process of becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States, was dating other men.
In order to get back at her for this perceived slight, he assumed a false name (“Gary Johnson”) and penned a letter to, where else, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“Johnson” claimed he’d been riding the bus when he’d heard two women discussing mutual plans to blow up the Mall of America. One of the plotting women, he wrote, dropped her Social Security Card and green card as she got off the bus (bummer) and he’d picked them up.
Konney then enclosed a photocopy of his wife’s green card and “urged the government to halt a ‘terrorist threat’” by deporting this woman.
We don’t know the extent of the fallout Konney’s letter caused, but we know it resulted in the FBI looking into it, interviewing Konney's wife twice, and delaying her naturalization process by up to five months.
Konney pleaded guilty to “maliciously conveying false information about an attempt being made to damage or destroy a building by means of explosive,” which is a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, unspecified restitution to his victim, and up to three years of supervised release.
We won’t pretend to know how best to handle an emotionally charged separation with your spouse. But trying to get your soon-to-be ex deported under false pretenses suggests that you, personally, have bigger problems than being single.
Konney certainly does now. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.