SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego man pleaded guilty Monday to lying during a terrorism investigation of his brother, who was killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria.
Marchello McCain, 34, acknowledged in a plea agreement that he supplied the FBI with false information about his brother's plans to be a jihadist in Syria and the financing for his brother's overseas trip, federal prosecutors said.
McCain faces up to eight years in federal prison when he is sentenced in December.
"Lying during a terrorism investigation is a very serious crime because the security of our nation and citizens is at stake," U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. "This case is particularly important because it involves ... a brutal foreign terrorist organization that threatens to induce our youth into committing violence against foreigners and U.S. citizens alike."
McCain's brother, Douglas McCain, 33, was reportedly killed in 2014 while fighting with the Islamic State, the extremist group trying to overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad. He was believed to be the first American jihadist with the group to die there.
The San Diego man traveled to Syria to follow his basketball buddy from Minneapolis into the terrorism fight.
Marchello McCain pleaded guilty to making false statements involving international terrorism. He had denied knowing that his brother planned to fight for the terrorist group and told the FBI that he thought his brother was going to Turkey to play music and teach English.
In his plea agreement, McCain acknowledged that he allowed his brother to use a debit/credit card belonging to McCain's wife to buy airline tickets to Turkey and put money to cover the purchase into his wife's account.
McCain's brother left the United States in March 2014 and five months later was reported killed fighting against the Free Syrian Army.
In 2005, Marchello McCain was convicted of shooting at two people in Minnesota. This January, he pleaded guilty to six counts of being a felon in possession of guns, ammunition and body armor.
In that plea agreement, McCain acknowledged that about three weeks before his brother departed, the two went to a San Diego gun range and shot weapons that included a semi-automatic-style rifle and a shotgun, federal prosecutors said.
A family of four escaped their burning home Wednesday morning in San Diego's Pacific Highlands Ranch neighborhood near Carmel Valley, but their garage and two vehicles were destroyed by the fire and smoke damaged much of the home, causing a loss of about a quarter-million dollars, authorities said.
People from both sides of the gun debate spoke out Tuesday afternoon in front of the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board of Directors.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday awarded $326,776 in grants to groups that will manage and monitor waste, including sewage spills, along the U.S.-Mexico border.
An 11-year-old girl broke free from a would-be kidnapper Tuesday in Jamul, suffering a minor injury to an arm.
The green light was given Tuesday to a South Bay redevelopment project that has been in the works for years.
A caravan of around 400 men, women and children arrived at a shelter in Tijuana on Tuesday as part of an annual caravan of migrants from Central America.
An Escondido man who killed a friend after challenging the victim to a fight, then posted sounds of the victim crying during the attack on a social media site, was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder.
In an effort to crackdown on bike thefts throughout the city, San Diego police are expanding their Bait Bike Program.