Skip to main content
Press Release

Brother of San Diego Man Killed Fighting with ISIL Indicted for False Statements Made in Connection with Terrorism Investigation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shane Harrigan (619) 546-6981 and Caroline Han (619) 546-6968

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – September 14, 2015

SAN DIEGO - Marchello Dsaun McCain was arraigned in federal court today on new charges that he made false statements to the FBI in connection with an international terrorism investigation of his brother, Douglas McCain, an American believed killed while fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

According to the indictment, Marchello McCain made false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force (FBI-JTTF) agents about his knowledge of his brother’s travel to Syria and the use of a credit card to purchase Douglas McCain’s airline tickets from the United States to Turkey, a transit point for individuals travelling to Syria. On August 26, 2014, several U.S. media outlets reported that Douglas McCain had been killed in Syria fighting for ISIL in a battle against the Free Syrian Army.

In January 2015, FBI-JTTF agents arrested Marchello McCain in connection with an indictment charging him with three counts of possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon.  A superseding indictment charging him with two additional counts of possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon and one count of possession of body armor by a violent felon was filed against him in March 2015.  The second superseding indictment was unsealed today during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan. McCain is currently being held in custody without bond.

U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy praised the work of the FBI-JTTF in furthering our joint mission of safeguarding our national security by working countless hours on this investigation. The FBI-JTTF’s investigation of Douglas McCain’s travel to Syria is particularly important because it involves ISIL, a foreign terrorist organization which threatens to induce our youth into committing violence against foreigners and U.S. citizens alike.

Marchello McCain’s next court date is a motion hearing scheduled before District Judge Whelan on October 19, 2015.

This case is being prosecuted in federal court in San Diego by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shane Harrigan and Caroline Han.  This case was investigated by the San Diego Joint Terrorism Task Force; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Federal Air Marshal Service; the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations; and the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Border Patrol.

DEFENDANT                                              Criminal Case No. 15CR0174-W

Marchello Dsaun McCain                               San Diego, California             Age 33


Counts 1-4, and 6:

Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 922(g)(1) – Felon in Possession of Firearms and Ammunition

Maximum penalties: Ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Count 5:

Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 931 – Felon in Possession of Body Armor by a Violent Felon

Maximum penalties: Three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Count 7:

Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 1001(a)(2) – False Statements Involving International Terrorism

Maximum penalties: Eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


San Diego Joint Terrorism Task Force

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Air Marshal Service

Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations

Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Border Patrol

*An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged.  The defendant is presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.








Updated February 4, 2016

National Security
Release Number: CAS15-0915-McCain