Ex-D.C. area cop convicted of trying to help ISIS seeks reduced sentence

/ CBS/AP

Alexandria, Va. — A former police officer convicted after a sting operation of trying to help the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by purchasing $200 in gift cards for them is scheduled to be resentenced. Nicholas Young of Fairfax, Virginia, was sentenced to 15 years in prison last year for obstruction of justice and attempting to provide material support a terrorist group.

But the federal appeals court in Richmond tossed out the obstruction convictions and ordered a resentencing to be held Friday.

Prosecutors say he should still get 15 years. Defense lawyers say he's now "66.6 percent less guilty" because two of the three counts against him have been thrown out. They're asking for 5 years.

Terrorism in the U.S. More

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Young was the first law enforcement officer charged with a federal terrorism offense. He patrolled the D.C. region's Metrorail system.

D.C. metro police officer charged trying to send money to ISIS

According to an FBI affidavit, Young bought the gift cards in July 2016 and intended for ISIS to use them to purchase mobile messaging apps. Young actually gave the codes for the gift cards to an undercover FBI officer, the affidavit said.

Young had been on federal security officials' radar for several years, CBS News homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reported shortly after the arrest.

Young had been under surveillance since 2010, and he said he traveled to Libya twice in 2011, where he joined rebel forces seeking to oust dictator Muammar Qaddafi, according to the affidavit.

He was deeply paranoid about law enforcement spying on him, often taking out the battery of his cellphone when he wanted to go somewhere and talk, the document said.

Young was an associate of two other people charged with terror-related crimes. In 2010, law enforcement interviewed Young because of his links to Zachary Chesser, who eventually pleaded guilty to trying to join the militant group al-Shabab and to issuing threats to the makers of the "South Park" cartoon series after they penned an episode he found insulting to Islam.

First published on June 21, 2019 / 7:24 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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