BANGOR, Maine: A Waterville man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Bangor for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Xavier Pelkey, 20, to 15 years in federal prison followed by 20 years of supervised release. Pelkey pleaded guilty on April 7, 2023.
According to court records, beginning in November 2021, Pelkey conspired with two minors, one located in Chicago and one in Canada, to conduct a mass shooting at a Shia mosque in the Chicago area. Pelkey and his coconspirators were subscribers to a radical form of Sunni Islam and supporters of the foreign terrorist organization the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Pelkey planned to contribute firearms, ammunition and explosives to be used in the attack.
In February 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at Pelkey’s Waterville residence and discovered three handmade explosive devices. Investigators observed a hand-painted version of the flag used by ISIS on the wall of Pelkey’s bedroom and recovered written statements intended to be released just prior to the planned attack claiming the attack in the name of ISIS. The FBI investigated the case.
“The threat of a mass casualty shooting is all too real and fresh for the people of Maine today, as is the case for far too many communities across our nation,” said Darcie N. McElwee, U.S. Attorney, District of Maine. “Mr. Pelkey bought into hate and rhetoric he found online, and it cost him his future. I commend the quick work of the FBI to stop this conspiracy before it was able to cause any death, fear or destruction.”
"Xavier Pelkey self-radicalized, pledged loyalty to ISIS, and plotted with two others to commit a mass shooting at a mosque in Illinois. Thankfully, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was able to thwart these plans,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “This case highlights the very real threat posed by homegrown violent extremists who self-radicalize and are prone to attack with little to no warning. Rest assured, the FBI will use every investigative tool available to us to identify and disrupt terrorists like Mr. Pelkey in order to keep our communities safe.”
Craig M. Wolff, Assistant United States Attorney, (207-780-3257)