A federal jury in Virginia has found five Somali men guilty of piracy and several other charges in the March attack on a U.S. warship in the Indian Ocean, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
All five were convicted of taking part in the attack on the guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas when it was off the African coast between Somalia and the Seychelles on March 31, said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Norfolk, Virginia. The verdict came on the second day of deliberations in Norfolk, the frigate's home port.
The Nicholas returned fire when attacked, sinking the skiff that carried three of the pirates and capturing two more, along with the mother ship that launched the attack.
The verdict marked the first jury conviction for piracy in the United States since 1820, Carr said.