The U.S. Army National Guard had begun the process to discharge an Acampo man who was arrested late Sunday night at the Canadian border by federal authorities. Law enforcement officials say the man, a student at San Joaquin Delta College, intended to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida-linked militant group.
Nicholas Teausant, 20, of Acampo, was arrested near the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash. just after 11 p.m. Sunday.
He was charged today on a single count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced in a news release.
Teausant traveled by rail and bus to the Canadian border with plans to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a foreign terrorist organization more widely known as al-Qaida in Iraq, according to federal authorities.
According to a criminal complaint filed by federal authorities, Teausant was a member of the National Guard who is being discharged for failing to meet basic academic requirements.
Teausant enlisted in the California National Guard in April 2012, Capt. Will Martin said. Martin added that Teausant enlisted with the understanding he would complete basic educational credits required to attend basic training.
Martin said Teausant never completed those requirements.
“Basically he didn’t fulfill his end of the bargain,” Martin said. “So we were in the process of discharging him when he was arrested.”
The case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Modesto Police Department and San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office, who are members of the Modesto/Stockton Joint Terrorism Task Force, with significant assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Jason S. Hitt are prosecuting the case in conjunction with Trial Attorney Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
If convicted, Teausant faces a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.