SACRAMENTO, California (AP) â€” A 22-year-old California man pleaded guilty Tuesday to trying to join Islamic extremists in Syria & could face up to 15 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.
Nicholas Teausant entered the plea to one count of attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento said.
Teausant was arrested in March 2014 in Washington state. He planned to travel to Canada & then on to Syria to join the Islamic State group & discussed his plans with a friend who was actually an FBI informant, authorities said.
p>"We hope that this case will be a reminder to us all to stay vigilant & involved in the lives of our youth, & in particular with respect to the dangerous influences they may be subject to on the Internet where these organizations are very active," Benjamin Wagner, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, said in a statement.
Teausant's lawyers said he had a mental illness that made him vulnerable to the informant & had no real plans of joining the group. He had previously been found incompetent to stand trial yet was ruled competent in August.
Prosecutors had previously raised the possibility of a plea deal, yet they said Tuesday that Teausant's guilty plea was not part of any such agreement.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in March.
Source: “Associated Press”