Men sentenced in 'homegrown' terrorism case

West Palm ISIS triple mug.jpg
3rd man pleaded guilty to supporting ISIS (WPEC)

It was a case of “homegrown” terrorism that shocked our community: federal prosecutors charged three Palm Beach County men with supporting ISIS.

On Wednesday, the three men appeared in federal court in West Palm Beach, receiving prison sentences of between four and 12 years.

The men had each earlier pleaded guilty to the official charge of conspiring to provide material support to foreign terrorists, in this case ISIS.

Go online and one can find pictures of Gregory Hubbard and his art work.

But in court, Hubbard, the former sculptor and U.S. Marine, apologized to the court, his family and the entire country.

Hubbard’s attorney, Anthony Natali, told how his client went from being a successful artist to suffering from mental health issues and homelessness.

It was in that time frame when federal agents documented Hubbard traveling with co-defendant Darren Jackson and an informant.

At Miami International Airport, agents arrested Hubbard as he boarded a plane bound for Germany. The understanding was he would ultimately go to Syria to wage jihad.

Before Hubbard’s departure, Jackson and another co-defendant, Dayne Christian, had armed and trained Hubbard.

Agents say all three men at various points made statements supporting terrorist acts, and/or the cause.

After hearing from prosecutors, defense attorneys and from members of the men’s families, Judge Robin Rosenberg announced the sentences.

Hubbard received 12 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, which is similar to probation.

Christian got eight years prison, and Jackson four, each to be followed by five years of supervised release.

“Very happy with the sentence, very fair sentence,” said attorney Michael Salnick, who represented Christian, the father of five small children.

“He’s got a good, strong, loving family, who has stood behind him throughout this entire ordeal,” Salnick said.

The case, while shocking, also encountered problems.

The federal agents’ confidential source, or informant, was himself indicted for defrauding people. On Wednesday, prosecutors acknowledged the source’s arrest was a blow to the terrorism case.

Because of the troubles, prosecutors said they agreed to recommend penalties for all three men below federal sentencing guidelines, which called for 20-year sentences.