Miguel Moran Diaz, 45, of Miami, Florida, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Joan A. Lenard to the statutory maximum term of 120 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, following his guilty plea for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), made the announcement.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in late January 2015, Diaz came to the attention of the FBI due in part to Facebook postings that included a photo of Diaz possessing a firearm and articles regarding the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Thereafter, Diaz told an FBI confidential human source (CHS) that he was a convicted felon and could not purchase a firearm. Nevertheless, Diaz asked the CHS to purchase a handgun and other weapons in exchange for $500. Diaz also advised that he already owned a number of firearms. Diaz showed the CHS photographs of him holding the weapons and displayed a gun that was concealed in his vehicle.
On January 30, 2015, during a meeting with the CHS, Diaz described himself as a “Lone Wolf” for “ISIS.” Diaz indicated that he wanted to acquire a rifle and intended to scratch “ISIS” into the shell casings so that, after an attack, the authorities would find the shell casings and know what group was responsible.
On February 8, 2015, the CHS again met with Diaz in Miami, in order to conduct target practice with loaded firearms.
On March 20, 2015, the CHS asked Diaz if he would like to purchase additional ammunition. Diaz stated that he had approximately 500 rounds of ammunition at his residence, but wanted to purchase 500 additional rounds.
On April 2, 2015, the FBI arrested Diaz while in possession of a .40 caliber handgun, loaded with fifteen rounds of ammunition, and a magazine containing fifteen additional rounds. A search of Diaz’s residence uncovered more firearms and ammunition.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to using our law enforcement resources in order to disrupt potential terroristic plots and prosecute those individuals who seek to jeopardize our security. Individuals who unlawfully possess firearms and advocate for violent extremism will continue to be identified, prosecuted and brought to justice under the federal sentencing guidelines,” stated U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer.
“Miguel Moran Diaz was an armed, convicted felon who harbored sympathies for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He called himself a ‘Lone Wolf’ for ‘ISIS,’” said George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “This is not a scenario where law enforcement can afford to wait and see what happens next. The FBI and our partners in the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated and disrupted this threat to South Florida.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and JTTF. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marc S. Anton and Karen E. Gilbert.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.