SAN DIEGO (CN) — The brother of the first American known to have died fighting for Islamic State group was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison for weapons charges and lying to the FBI about terrorism.
Marchello Dsaun McCain, 35, of San Diego, pleaded guilty in September 2016 to five counts of possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon and one count of possession of body armor by a violent felon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He had been convicted previously of two felony crimes of violence in Minnesota.
His brother, Douglas McCain, was killed in Syria on Aug. 25, 2014, fighting with ISIS against the Free Syrian Army. Marchello McCain lied to the FBI in its subsequent questioning, which led to his arrest on firearms charges.
He eventually admitted that he illegally possessed at least nine guns, one of them stolen, including several semi-automatic 9 mm pistols, an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and an M1 Carbine .30 caliber semi-automatic rifle with a large capacity magazine. As a violent felon, he was not allowed to have any of them.
In sentencing him to 10 years, the court found that his “obstructive conduct frustrated, delayed and thwarted the United States’ efforts to uncover the scope and membership of conspiracies to provide material support to terrorists and a foreign terrorist organization, ISIS,” the U.S. attorney said in a statement.
In a related case, federal prosecutors unsealed a two-count indictment against Canadian citizen and former San Diego resident Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi with conspiring with Douglas McCain and others to provide material support to terrorists in Syria.
The U.S. attorney said that Marchello McCain’s lies to the FBI were intended, in part, to cover up Abdullahi’s involvement in terrorism.
Abdullahi, 33, of Edmonton was arrested in Canada on Sept. 15, 2017. He is being held without bail awaiting a May 31 extradition hearing. Abdullahi is also charged, in Canada, with the armed robbery of a jewelry store in Edmonton, on Jan. 9, 2014.
Prosecutors say at least 14 people were involved in Abdullahi’s and the McCains’ conspiracy, five of whom are known to be dead in the Syrian war.