Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced today that that a Grand Jury sitting in Miami, Florida returned an indictment against Samuel Baptiste, 25, of Miami, Florida, charging him with four counts of distributing information pertaining to explosives, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 842(p)(2)(A), one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B(a)(1), and one count of attempting to provide material support to terrorists, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339A.
Baptiste, who is currently serving an 80 month prison sentence on federal firearms charges, had his initial appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres on August 27, 2018. A detention hearing is scheduled before a U.S. Magistrate Judge, in Miami, on August 30, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
According to allegations contained within the indictment, on November 6, 2016, Baptiste posted and distributed online documents titled “Instructions: How to Make a Homemade Pipe Bomb,” “Pipe Bombs,” “Improvised Explosive Devices,” and “Improvised Munitions Black Book, Volume 1,” with the intent that the information be used for and in furtherance of an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence. Moreover, by posting these documents, Baptiste attempted to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically ISIS.
If convicted, Baptiste faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison as to each of count of distributing information and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and fifteen years in prison for attempting to provide material support to terrorists. In addition, Baptiste faces up to three years of supervised release and up to a $250,000 fine on each count of conviction.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Division and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marc S. Anton and Michael Thakur. Department of Justice Counterterrorism Attorney Joseph Attias provided assistance with this matter.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.