UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A North Carolina man has been sentenced to five years in prison for lying to the FBI about buying plane tickets for someone who planned traveling to Syria to join ISIS.
Alexander Samuel Smith, 32, of Waxhaw, N.C., was sentenced to 60 months in prison Wednesday for making a false statement to the FBI.
Smith was also ordered to serve three years under court supervision upon completion of his prison term.
As a special condition of Smith’s supervised release, the Court ordered the defendant to have no contact with any organization or person on the State Department’s designated terrorist list.
According to filed court documents, evidence presented at trial and Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, in Feb. 2016, Smith lied during an interview with the FBI about his plans to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), and about providing assistance to other individuals to do the same.
Specifically, as trial evidence established, Smith denied purchasing a “buddy pass,” which is a discounted airfare offered to airline employees, for an individual he believed wanted to leave the United States and ultimately join ISIS in Syria.
In announcing the sentence, Judge Cogburn said that Smith was “ready, willing and able to help a terrorist organization,” and that the sentence was designed in part to deter people from lying to protect terrorists.
On March 21, 2019, a federal jury convicted Smith of two counts of making a false statement to the FBI.
Smith is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Savage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.