Richmond man who swore allegiance to ISIS sentenced to 10 years for gun charge

RICHMOND, Va. –  A Virginia man whom prosecutors describe as a supporter of the Islamic State group has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a Monday statement that 29-year-old Casey Charles Spain was released from prison in August.

The statement says that after his release he discussed on recorded calls his desire to travel overseas and join the militant group. He also came under FBI surveillance.

Casey Charles Spain, 29, of Richmond, had become radicalized while serving a seven-year sentence for abducting a 15-year-old girl with the intent to rape her, the said. swore a pledge of loyalty to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and had an image of the terror organization’s flag tattooed on his back while in prison.

Prosecutors say Spain also discussed his plans to buy a semi-automatic handgun with a 50-round magazine.

An Islamic State supporter in Virginia was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for a conviction on firearms possession stemming from an arrest last summer just weeks after his release from prison.

A confidential FBI source provided Spain with a Glock handgun rendered inert for safety reasons. He initially attempted to escape arrest and was apprehended.

An ISIS supporter who was caught in possession of a firearm weeks after his release from a Virginia prison last year will now do time in federal prison.

It was during this time he allegedly became fixated on attacking the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, police stations and an armory in Richmond, authorities said.

Casey Charles Spain, 29, of Richmond, who became radicalized while in state Department of Corrections custody and swore a pledge of loyalty to the leader of ISIS, was sentenced to the maximum 10-year term Monday by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr.

Casey Charles Spain, 29, of Virginia was found in possession of a firearm, the DOJ announced Monday. This act was in violation of his parole and also illegal for felons in the state. The incident occurred less than three weeks after he finished serving seven years in prison for abducting and attempting to rape a child. U.S. District Judge John Gibney, Jr. sentenced Spain to another 10 years in prison in accordance with the mandatory minimum sentence for gun crimes.

Spain, who had the words “Cop Killa” tattooed on his face and the flag of ISIS tattooed on his back, pleaded guilty last year to a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was indicted in September for possessing an inoperable 9 mm Glock handgun given to him by an unidentified FBI source.

Convicted in Henrico County in 2006 of malicious wounding and in 2010 of abduction with the intent to defile, Spain was released from the Greensville Correctional Center on Aug. 11.

Law enforcement immediately began surveillance of Spain upon his release in August 2017, and he was recorded making phone calls to inmates to discuss plans for jihad. The FBI saw his radicalism and arranged for an undercover agent to approach him and offer a weapon. Spain agreed, but the 9 mm pistol was made inoperable by officers beforehand. The FBI and a SWAT team made the arrest immediately after he accepted the firearm.

He was arrested shortly after he was handed the firearm outside his home early on the morning of Aug. 31.

At least two members of the terror cell responsible for the 2015 Paris attacks met in prison. In the U.S., both terrorists responsible for the Halloween truck attack and December’s botched pipe bomb attack are now incarcerated. They help comprise the roughly 140 inmates currently incarcerated on charges of supporting ISIS.

In pleading guilty, he admitted he became radicalized while behind bars and expressed a desire to engage in violence.

Spain became a radical Muslim while in prison, pledging support for the Islamic State and getting an ISIS flag tattooed on his back. Spain revealed to fellow inmates that he would try to travel to Syria and join ISIS upon his release, or commit acts of terrorism in the U.S. if he was prevented from traveling.

Two confidential sources who had contact with Spain in prison reported that Spain had sworn a pledge of loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group.

“We have seen in Europe how extremist networks are created and cultivated in prisons with large populations of jihadis,” Meleagrou-Hitchens told The Wall Street Journal. “As this contingent continues to grow in U.S. federal prisons, we are likely to see similar patterns here.”

Spain also told the sources that he wanted to travel overseas to engage in jihad on behalf of the extremist group and that if he could not travel, he would commit acts of violence against targets in the U.S.

He was kept under surveillance after his release and on Aug. 31, and as part of an undercover operation, he was provided the Glock and members of the FBI Richmond SWAT team moved in to arrest Spain. He attempted to escape by running and was quickly apprehended.

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