Marchello Dsaun McCain, brother of San Diego Islamic State fighter Douglas McCain, has been sentenced to 10 years for illegal possession of firearms and making false statements about terror plans.
Douglas McCain is the first known American to have died while fighting for ISIS.
After Douglas traveled to Syria in March 2014 and died for ISIS in a fight against the Free Syrian Army in August of that same year, FBI agents interviewed his brother Marchello numerous times from August 2014 to January 2015, which is when the FBI arrested him for firearms charges, according to the Department of Justice.
A year later, in January 2016, Marchello pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and ammunition, which was prohibited because he had been convicted before of felony crimes of violence in Minnesota. That conviction stemmed back to 2005, when he fired shots at fitness center employees who had told him and his friends to leave.
Some of those firearms included an AR-15, an M1 Carbine, a few 9 m.m. pistols and a stolen firearm in the collection. He also pleaded guilty to possession of body armor. Notably, eight months later, he also pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents regarding any knowledge he had of or assistance he may have given to his brother, who had joined ISIS.
More specifically, Marchello lied to FBI agents about the purpose behind his brother’s trip out of the country and where Douglas obtained the funds to support the trip. Marchello also admitted that just three weeks before his brother left for Syria, the two went to a gun range in San Diego and practiced with various weapons.
“ISIS has brought the war on terror closer to home by directing and inspiring attacks in the U.S. and other countries, thereby putting Americans lives in danger,” U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said in a statement. “By lying to federal agents, Marchello McCain delayed, frustrated and thwarted an investigation into a group that supplied U.S. and Canadian fighters to ISIS. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to protect American lives here and abroad.”
Prosecutors argued for a harsher sentence than 10 years, making the case that Marchello was planning to join his brother in Syria and fight for ISIS.
“Counterterrorism investigations are the highest priority investigations conducted by FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum said. “When someone misleads or obstructs counterterrorism investigations, this can adversely affect investigative activity in these important cases. Today’s sentence will hold Mr. McCain accountable for his actions and dissuade others from lying to law enforcement agents concerning international terrorism matters.”
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