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Press Release

Suburban Chicago Man Admits Trafficking Fentanyl and Attempting to Support ISIS

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A suburban Chicago man admitted in federal court today that he trafficked fentanyl and other drugs and attempted to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, aka ISIS.

According to court documents, Jason Brown, 41, of Lombard, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS, one count of distributing fentanyl and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Brown admitted in a plea agreement that on three occasions in 2019 he provided $500 in cash to an individual with the understanding that the money would be wired to an ISIS soldier engaged in terrorist activity in Syria. Unbeknownst to Brown, the individual to whom he provided the money was confidentially working with law enforcement, and the purported ISIS fighter was actually an undercover law enforcement officer.

Brown further admitted that in 2019 he trafficked fentanyl from California to the Chicago suburbs and illegally possessed several loaded handguns in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities.

Brown faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison for the firearms charge; a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison for the drug charge; and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the terrorism charge. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Brown has been in law enforcement custody since his arrest in 2019. U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland set sentencing for May 28, 2024.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual for the Northern District of Illinois and Assistant Director Larissa L. Knapp of the FBI’s National Security Branch. Special Agent in Charge Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler Jr. of the FBI Chicago Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell of the IRS Criminal Investigation in Chicago and Superintendent Larry Snelling of the Chicago Police Department made the announcement. 

Substantial assistance was provided by the Illinois State Police, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, Lombard (Illinois) Police Department and Addison (Illinois) Police Department. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn McCarthy for the Northern District of Illinois and Trial Attorney S. Elisa Poteat of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.

Updated December 6, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 23-1379