Charlotte, NC – A Burke County man has been charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
A criminal complaint was filed Monday in federal court, charging Justin Nojan Sullivan, 19, of Morganton with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIL, one count of transporting and receiving a silencer in interstate commerce with intent to commit a felony and one count of receipt and possession of an unregistered silencer, unidentified by a serial number.
Sullivan was arrested Friday at his home without incident.
According to the complaint, around June 9, Sullivan discussed with an undercover employee the possibility of making homemade silencers and asked the employee whether he would be able to make one.
When the employee said that he thought he could, Sullivan told the employee, “I’ll need to have one built by next week.”
The complaint also said Sullivan planned to do minor assassinations before a big attack for training.
Federal agents said Sullivan was planning assassinations and violent attacks in the United States.
Investigators said he wanted to buy a high-powered rifle at the Hickory Gun Show this past weekend then kill several U.S. citizens on behalf of ISIS.
Don Denton who lives next door to Sullivan said he’s seen Sullivan playing a war game with a BB gun in his back yard.
“He’d have targets in different locations,” Denton said. “He’d run here and shoot one. He’s run there and shoot the other.”
Across the street, Keith Walker explained what he saw Sullivan do.
On Friday night he drove past Sullivan who he said was standing in his front yard holding a gun.
Minutes later, he said Sullivan began firing the gun then the FBI came to the house and arrested him.
“He shot it off maybe five minutes before they got there,” Walker said. “He was shooting the weapon off.”
The Sullivan family moved in about three years ago, neighbors said.
Sullivan is in federal custody. He is expected to make his initial appearance Monday in federal court.
The charge of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign organization carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of transporting and receiving a silencer in interstate commerce with intent to commit a felony carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The charge of receipt and possession of an unregistered silencer, unidentified by a serial number, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.