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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

San Joaquin County Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Attempting to Join ISIL

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nicholas Michael Teausant, 22, of Acampo, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to 12 years in prison, to be followed by 25 years of supervised release, for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

According to court documents, on March 17, 2014, Teausant was arrested near the Canadian border en route to Canada with the intent of continuing to travel to Syria to join ISIL. On March 26, 2014, Teausant was indicted on one count of attempting to provide material support or resources to a terrorist organization. He pleaded guilty on December 1, 2015, to the single count in the indictment without a plea agreement.

In sentencing, Judge Mendez stated: “Terrorism has to become a zero-tolerance crime. There is no margin for error. It is the court’s responsibility to fashion a sentence to reduce any risk you might pose in the future.”

“With this sentence, Nicholas Michael Teausant will be held accountable for attempting to travel overseas to join ISIL and to provide material support to the designated terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is countering terrorist threats, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring to justice those who attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Talbert stated: “Mr. Teausant was fixated on violence as documented by his social media posts, his pre-arrest statements, and the nature of the group he attempted to join. His conduct was misguided and unacceptable. We appreciate the court’s thoughtful consideration of this case and its recognition of the seriousness of this offense. With the assistance of our investigative partners, we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who seek to provide material support to terrorist organizations.”

“The FBI actively investigates individuals intent on joining terrorist organizations or otherwise aiding violent extremist organizations with their plots to harm U.S. citizens. Violent extremists of all kinds—foreign and domestic—actively recruit disillusioned youth who can be radicalized and motivated to harm others,” said Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Sacramento field office. “Everyone should increase their awareness of this issue and consider how they can lead from where they stand by reaching out to individuals before their fascination evolves into recruitment by a violent extremist group. ‘Don’t be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism,’ for example, is an FBI-produced educational resource designed to help youth navigate the host of propaganda they may be exposed to online and aid misguided peers long before misinformation leads them to commit an unlawful act.”

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Modesto Police Department, and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, who are members of the Modesto/Stockton Joint Terrorism Task Force, with significant assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Jason Hitt and Trial Attorney Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section prosecuted the case.

National Security
Updated June 7, 2016