An Illinois man who believed he was giving phones to help the Islamic State group commit violence was sentenced Friday to 13 1/2 years in federal prison.
Edward Schimenti was convicted of one count of conspiring to provide material support and resources to ISIS and one count of making false statements to the FBI in 2019 for providing phones to an informant that he thought the Islamic State would use as detonators.
Schimenti was first charged alongside Joseph D. Jones back in 2017, four years ahead of Friday’s sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood said Schimenti was more culpable of the two men, who were convicted by a jury in 2019.
But she also said the crime was ‘on the less serious end of a scale that starts at a very serious level,’ the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Last month, Jones was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison following his conviction on a conspiracy charge.
Schimenti didn’t know that he was dealing with a government informant when he agreed to get phones to use as detonators, according to prosecutors.
‘Drench that land with … they blood,’ Schimenti told the man before taking him to an airport for a purported trip to Syria, according to the government.
The FBI began investigating the Zion, Illinois, man based on social media posts in favor of the Islamic State.
Prosecutors allege Schimenti wrote on social media, ‘Islamic State will control your country, matter of fact, Islam will dominate the world!!’
Schimenti also allegedly prominently displayed the Islamic State flag on his Google+ account.
The feds set up a ‘ruse scenario’ to help determine the intentions of Jones and Schimenti, though their lawyers claim they were entrapped.
Schimenti’s defense attorneys claim he was never taken seriously by a terrorist group, as they never reached out to him.
The FBI began investigating the Zion, Illinois, man based on social media posts in favor of the Islamic State. https://t.co/DmS5VAIlBu— WANE 15 (@wane15) April 10, 2021
‘In the end, your honor, really I guess I’m just asking for another chance at life,’ Schimenti told the judge while apologizing.
Prior to their arrests in 2017, Jones was a part-time chef and college student, while Schimenti worked at a cancer treatment center.