Californian Admits He Tried to Join IS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -
In this photo taken Aug. 26, 2014, Nicholas Teausant speaks to Sacramento Bee reporter Sam Stanton at the Sacramento County Jail in Sacramento, Calif. Teausant pleaded guilty Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, to trying to join Islamic extremists in Syria and could face up to 15 years in prison, federal prosecutors said. (Sam Stanton/The Sacramento Bee via AP) MAGS OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT (KCRA3, KXTV10, KOVR13, KUVS19, KMAZ31, KTXL40); MANDATORY CREDIT
In this file photo, Nicholas Teausant speaks to a reporter at the Sacramento County Jail in Calif. (Sam Stanton/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

A California man has pleaded guilty to planning to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria, prosecutors said, and faces up to 15 years in prison.

On Tuesday, Nicholas Michael Teausant, 22, from the town of Acampo pleaded guilty in a federal court in Sacramento. He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Teausant is one of a number of people arrested in the United States over the last two years for planning to join Islamic State.

“This case, like others in communities across the United States and around the world, is an example of how a young person from any place and any background might make the terrible decision to try and become part of a terrorist organization,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said in a statement.”Fortunately, the FBI intervened in this case before any harm could be inflicted upon innocent persons,” he said.

Teausant was arrested in March 2014 as he headed to the U.S.- Canada border with the intent of traveling to Syria to join Islamic State, according to a statement from Wagner’s office.

Teausant made the journey after telling a paid FBI informant of his plans, according to the criminal complaint against him.

Following his arrest, a psychiatric consultant hired at the request of Teausant’s attorneys found he suffered from schizophrenia, and questions were raised about his mental competency, according to court records. But after his medicine was changed and he showed improved mental health, he was determined to be competent to stand trial.

Teausant, who pleaded guilty without reaching a deal with prosecutors, faces sentencing on March 8, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.