Prosecutors seek prison for ex-soldier they say is Satanist
BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — A former Army soldier who prosecutors said is a Satanist who hoped to overthrow the U.S. government should spend around three years in prison for providing viable instructions for building explosive devices to people who wanted to commit violence, the government argued Tuesday.
Jarrett William Smith, 24, a private first class stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, and previously at Fort Bliss, Texas, was discharged from the military after admitting in February that he provided information about explosives in September to an FBI undercover agent.
In a motion opposing the lenient punishment sought by the defense, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Mattivi wrote that Smith has admitted he posted on the internet a recipe for constructing an explosive device and a recipe for creating improvised napalm.
FBI bomb technicians have determined those recipes were viable, he said.
“He admitted providing the information even to individuals who told him they wanted to use the information to harm others,” Mattivi wrote. “He said that he did this in order to cause ‘chaos,’ and that it didn’t matter to him if his information led to the death of someone else.”
At his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Smith faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine following his guilty pleas to two counts of distributing information related to explosives.
With no prior criminal history, the guideline range is between 2 1/2 to just over three years in prison. Mattivi recommended that the court impose a sentence within that range.
Federal public defender Rich Federico had urged the court last week to impose 15 months imprisonment as he recounted his client’s lifetime of victimization, isolation and trauma that led him to become involved with online extremist groups.
In the defense sentencing memorandum, Smith’s attorney wrote of the near-daily barrage of bullying endured by a client who was born with the fiery red hair and a cleft lip and palate.
But Mattivi countered that the defense filing is filled with “speculation and armchair psychology” that the defense uses as a basis to request a sentence barely more than what a person could potentially receive in state court for passing a worthless check or for a second conviction of driving on a suspended license.
“Although the defendant may have had an unfortunate childhood, marred by bullying and social rejection, he nevertheless provided viable recipes online for use by individuals he knew wanted to commit violence and inflict harm upon others,” Mattivi wrote.