Nicholas Michael Teausant, 22, of Acampo, California, pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California.
According to court documents, on March 17, 2014, Teausant was arrested en route to Canada, near the border, with the intent of continuing to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization. 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 to the single count in the indictment without a plea agreement.
“Nicholas Michael Teausant attempted to travel overseas to join ISIL and to provide material support to the terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is counterterrorism, and we are committed to stemming the flow of foreign fighters abroad and holding accountable those who attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
“This case, like others in communities across the United States and around the world, is an example of how a young person from any place and any background might make the terrible decision to try and become part of a terrorist organization,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “Fortunately, the FBI intervened in this case before any harm could be inflicted upon innocent persons. We hope that this case will be a reminder to us all to stay vigilant and involved in the lives of our youth, and in particular with respect to the dangerous influences they may be subject to on the Internet where these organizations are very active.”
Teausant is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez of the Eastern District of California on March 8, 2016. Teausant faces a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the federal sentencing guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI, the Modesto, California, Police Department and the San Joaquin, California, Sheriff’s Office, who are members of the Modesto/Stockton Joint Terrorism Task Force, with significant assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Jason Hitt of the Eastern District of California and Trial Attorney Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.