Modesto man pleads guilty to planning to aid terrorist group with SF Pier 30 attack

Examiner file photo

Examiner file photo

A Modesto man accused of planning a Christmas Day attack on Pier 39 in San Francisco last year pleaded guilty in federal court in Fresno today to a charge of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.Everitt Jameson, 26, a former tow truck driver, believed the organization was the Islamic State group, according to a statement of facts included with his plea agreement.

Jameson entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill and will be sentenced by O’Neill on Sept. 4. The prosecution and defense agreed on a sentence of 15 years in prison.

Jameson began developing the never-completed plan through emails and text messages with a confidential FBI source and an FBI agent posing as Islamic State supporters, according to the statement of facts agreed to by both sides.

The investigation began when the FBI noticed last fall that Jameson was posting “Like” and “Love” notices on Facebook that were pro-terrorist.

The confidential source, posing as a woman sympathetic to the Islamic State group, began contacting him in October. Jameson told the source he had converted to Islam two years earlier and was trained as a sharpshooter in the Marines.

Later, an undercover agent posing as a “brother” in the cause took over and discussed the plan in a meeting in the agent’s car on Dec. 16 and in additional messages over the next two days.

During those conversations, according to the statement of facts, Jameson suggested Pier 39 as the target location and said Christmas Day was the “perfect day” for the attack, according to the statement of facts. He said he knew how to build a pipe bomb.

The investigation took a different turn on Dec. 18 when an unidentified FBI agent accidentally called Jameson’s cellphone from a telephone number with an area code from Washington, D.C.

The employee hung up when Jameson answered in Arabic, but Jameson called back and heard a recording with the employee’s name.

Later that evening, Jameson told the undercover agent by phone, “I don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered.”

Jameson was arrested on Dec. 22 and charged in a criminal complaint filed that day. The complaint was later replaced with a two-count grand jury indictment.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors will drop the second count of the indictment, which charged Jameson with distributing information about destructive devices.

-Julie Cheever, Bay City NewsCrime

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