Government Wants to Add 20 Years to this Mans Prison Sentence for Books

Posted: June 9, 2015 in Accountability, Law, New world order, Prison Industry, Terrorism, war on terror
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(The Intercept)

On August 23, 2011, 46-year-old Marcus Dwayne Robertson, the imam of an Orlando, Florida mosque, was arrested, imprisoned and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty.

Almost four years after his initial arrest, Robertson, also known as “Abu Taubah,” is still behind bars awaiting sentencing for that crime, as well as for a separate count of conspiracy to file a fraudulent tax refund claim. He could be released on time served based on those charges, but the U.S. government is now seeking a “terrorism enhancement” that could result in him serving an additional 20 years in prison.

Part of what makes the case unusual is that Robertson has never actually been charged with planning or committing any terrorist acts. Instead, prosecutors are trying to use his possession of Islamic literature as proof of his terrorist intent. Citing statements a young acquaintance of Robertson’s made to a government informant, in addition to passages from a number of e-books found in Robertson’s possession after his arrest, prosecutors are arguing that the imam is “an extremist seeking to promote violent jihad.”

Robertson, for his part, alleges that he has been a target of entrapment and malicious prosecution. More spectacularly, he also claims that he was a covert government operative who came under scrutiny after refusing to perform certain tasks requested of him by the CIA. While this claim may seem fantastical, a sentencing memorandum issued by his lawyers in late April states that the government has confirmed a number of Robertson’s claims regarding past clandestine activities he conducted on its behalf.

True or not, Robertson’s life has taken a series of improbable turns, from being a U.S. marine, to a member of a New York City street gang, to finally transforming himself into a putative religious leader. Robertson’s most recent transformation from gang member to imam began in 1991, when he was sent to prison for a string of robberies and violent incidents targeting police officers and government installations. In the government’s sentencing memorandum, the prosecution claims that during his membership in a gang known as the “Forty Thieves,” he “murdered several individuals; participated in assassination attempts; used pipe bombs, C-4, grenades, other explosives, and automatic weapons.” The government also claims that the Forty Thieves “stockpiled weapons and explosives in preparation to fight against the perceived threat of interment of Muslims by the United States.”

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