Federal prosecutors say a Montesano man who made statements supporting Islamic State fighters has been charged with illegally possessing firearms, including a machine gun. They say Daniel Seth Franey was barred from having guns because he was subject to a protection order taken out by his former partner, but he nevertheless had several weapons.
UPDATE: Montesano Man Pleads Guilty
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, several residents complained to police that the 33-year-old was talking about supporting the Islamic State and advocating the killing of U.S. troops overseas.
Franey was arrested early Saturday morning at his home, he appeared in federal court Monday afternoon where he was ordered to remain in custody, his Preliminary Examination hearing is set for February 22nd.
U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said that the complaint alleges that DANIEL SETH FRANEY, 33, a/k/a Abu Dawuud, possessed firearms in violation of a permanent protection order prohibiting him from possessing firearms. On multiple occasions between September and November 2015, FRANEY handled several firearms, to include firing fully automatic machineguns on one occasion. FRANEY will appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma today, February 8, 2016, at 2:30 PM.
“This defendant possessed firearms, including machine guns, even though he knew he was prohibited from doing so. He also discussed attacking members of the military and law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “I commend the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force for their diligent efforts to pursue all available leads to ensure the public was protected from any possible harm.”
As set forth in the complaint, beginning in April 2015, multiple Washington state residents began reporting to law enforcement that they had heard FRANEY espouse violent rhetoric, particularly in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization. They also reported hearing FRANEY advocate for the killing of non-Muslim Americans, particularly members of the U.S. military and law enforcement. One citizen reported that FRANEY repeatedly asked to purchase a firearm from the citizen, despite FRANEY’s admissions that he is not legally allowed to possess firearms.
FRANEY was captured on audio attempting to acquire firearms, particularly AK-47s. FRANEY also discussed what he deemed were good targets for an attack. In discussing his attack aspirations, FRANEY repeatedly referred to his support for ISIL.
“The FBI works diligently to have a positive relationship with the Muslim community,” said Frank Montoya, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle Division. “From our conversations with Muslim community leaders, we know they reject this type of violent ideology and actively contribute to the security of our community, Washington State, and our country.”
FRANEY is charged by complaint with three counts of unlawful possession of firearms and two counts of unlawful possession of machineguns. Each count is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg for the Western District of Washington, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which combines investigators from federal, state, and local law enforcement. Task force members include the Seattle Police Department, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Protective Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and elements of the U.S. Army’s 902nd Military Intelligence Group. In addition, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department contributed significantly to this investigation.