SAN DIEGO — The brother of the first American known to have died fighting for the Islamic State was sentenced Friday in federal court in San Diego to 10 years in prison for stockpiling an illegal cache of weapons and making false statements to federal agents about international terrorism.
Marchello McCain, a previously convicted violent felon, admitted to making false statements to FBI agents about his knowledge of the purpose of his notorious sibling’s travels abroad and the methods of payment and source of funding for them.
McCain, 35, also conceded that shortly before brother Douglas McCain’s departure to fight in Syria 14 years ago, the two went to a San Diego shooting range and fired various guns, including an AR-15-style rifle and a 12- gauge shotgun.
In addition, Marchello McCain acknowledged that he possessed about 10 firearms, among them a stolen gun and several 9 mm pistols, an AR-15-style rifle and a .30-caliber M1 carbine with a large-capacity magazine.
“ISIS has brought the war on terror closer to home by directing and inspiring attacks in the U.S. and other countries, thereby putting American lives in danger,” U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said. “By lying to federal agents, Marchello McCain delayed, frustrated and thwarted an investigation into a group that supplied U.S. and Canadian fighters to ISIS.”
In January 2016, Marchello McCain, who was previously convicted of two felony crimes in Minnesota involving assault with a firearm, pleaded guilty to five counts of possession of guns, ammunition and body armor by a violent felon.
Eight months later, he entered a guilty plea to making false statements to FBI agents concerning his assistance to and knowledge of individuals providing material support — personnel and money — to people engaged in violent terrorist activities abroad, including his sibling and Canadian national and one-time San Diegan Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi.
Douglas McCain departed the United States in March 2014 and traveled to Syria, where he joined and fought with ISIS. About five months later, he was killed there while fighting against the Free Syrian Army.
Following Douglas McCain’s death, agents with an FBI terrorism task force interviewed his brother on several occasions. In January 2015, Marchello McCain was arrested on federal firearms charges.
Marchello McCain’s false statements were not only intended to prevent the U.S. government from finding out about the involvement of Abdullahi and…