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Illinois Man Gets More Than 13 Years In Prison For Conspiracy To Support Islamic State, Telling Informant ‘I Want To See Blood Flowing’
Chicago Sun Times
Zion Man Gets More Than 13 Years In Prison For Conspiracy To Support Islamic State, Telling Informant ‘I Want To See Blood Flowing’
U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood called Edward Schimenti the “more culpable” of the two men charged in the case, but she also described the crime as “on the less serious end of a scale that starts at a very serious level.”
By Jon Seidel
A federal judge on Friday sentenced a Zion man to 13 and a half years in prison for taking part in a conspiracy to support the Islamic State, in part by collecting cellphones he thought could be used as detonators overseas.
Edward Schimenti, 39, was originally charged with Joseph D. Jones in 2017. In handing down the sentence Friday, U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood called Schimenti the “more culpable” of the two, having had a “better idea of what he was getting himself into.”
However, Wood also described the crime as “on the less serious end of a scale that starts at a very serious level.”
A federal jury found Schimenti and Jones guilty in 2019. Prosecutors asked for a 20-year sentence for Schimenti, noting that he had also been convicted of lying to the FBI. They sought a 17-year sentence for Jones, but the judge last month gave Jones 12 years instead.
Authorities said the FBI opened an investigation into Jones and Schimenti based on “troubling” comments they made online. For example, they said Schimenti wrote, “Islamic State will control your country, matter of fact, Islam will dominate the world!!” They said he also displayed the Islamic State flag on his Google+ account.
Ultimately, the feds created what they called “a ruse scenario” to determine the true intentions of Jones and Schimenti. But attorneys for both men have insisted they were entrapped. Schimenti’s defense lawyers wrote in a memo last week the feds “infiltrated every part of his life” and created a “false reality” for Schimenti at the gym, online and at home.
“Mr. Schimenti only acted when the government placed the opportunity before him and then consistently manipulated him over an extended period until he took the bait,” defense attorneys Joshua Adams and Stephen Hall wrote in that memo.