United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:
January 19, 2017, the defendant, Akhror Saidakhmetov, pleaded
guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Provide Material Support
to a Foreign Terrorist Organization, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 2339B(a)(1). The Court now sentences the
defendant and provides a complete statement of reasons
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2) of those factors set
forth by Congress and the President and contained in 18
U.S.C. § 3553(a). For the reasons discussed below, the
defendant is hereby sentenced to 180 months of incarceration,
and payment of a $100.00 special assessment.
February 24, 2015, the United States filed a Complaint
against Akhror Saidakhmetov ("Defendant") and two
co-defendants, alleging they had conspired to provide
material support to a foreign terrorist organization, to wit
the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ("ISIL").
ECF No. 1. The Government subsequently indicted Defendant and
his co-defendants on March 9, 2015, ECF No. 14, and
thereafter filed three Superseding Indictments on April 6,
2015, June 8, 2015, and May 9, 2016, respectively, ECF Nos.
28, 63, 135. On January 19, 2017, Defendant pleaded guilty to
the first count of the Third Superseding Indictment (S-3),
which alleged one count of Conspiracy to Provide Material
Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization, in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 2339B(a)(1). The Court hereby sentences
Defendant and sets forth its reasons for Defendant's
sentence using the rubric of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)
factors pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2).
U.S.C. § 3553 outlines the procedures for imposing a
sentence in a criminal case. If and when a district court
chooses to impose a sentence outside of the Sentencing
Guidelines range, the court "shall state in open court
the reasons for its imposition of the particular sentence,
and... the specific reason for the imposition of a sentence
different from that described" in the Guidelines. 18
U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2). The court must also "state
with specificity" its reasons for so departing "in
a statement of reasons form." Id.
sentencing court's written statement of reasons shall be
a simple, fact-specific statement explaining why the
guidelines range did not account for a specific factor or
factors under § 3553(a)." United States v.
Davis, 08-CR-332, 2010 WL 1221709, at *1 (E.D.N.Y.Mar.
29, 2010) (Weinstein, J.). Section 3553(a) provides a set of
seven factors for the court to consider in determining what
sentence to impose on a criminal defendant. The Court
addresses each in turn.
The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense and the History
and Characteristics of the Defendant
first § 3553(a) factor requires the Court to evaluate
"the nature and circumstances of the offense and the
history and characteristics of the defendant." 18 U.S.C.
was born on June 26, 1995, in Turkestan, Kazakhstan, and
lived with both of his parents until he was about four years
old, when his mother filed for divorce. See
Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR")
¶¶ 46, 48, ECF No. 211; Def.'s Sentencing Mem.
("Def.'s Mem.") at 3-4, ECF No. 234.
Defendant's father is reported to have been an alcoholic
who abused his wife; after the divorce, he effectively
abandoned his son. PSR ¶ 46; Def.'s Mem. at 3-4.
Defendant and his mother thereafter moved to live with
extended family in an agricultural community in Chernyak,
Kazakhstan. PSR ¶ 48; Def.'s Mem. at 4. During
Defendant's early youth, Defendant's mother would
often leave him with his aunt and uncle for extended periods
while she sought work in other regions and other countries.
Def.'s Mem. at 7-8. At other times, Defendant moved to
live with his mother when she found a new job, but would
often be left alone in their apartment for much of the day.
Id. at 8.
mother immigrated to the United States in 2010. PSR ¶
48. Defendant lived with his aunt and uncle in Tashkent,
Uzbekistan, until June 2012, when he joined his mother in the
United States. Id. Defendant and his mother lived in
the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, and
Defendant began attending high school at James Madison High
School. PSR ¶¶ 48, 56; Def.'s Mem. at 11-12.
Defendant subsequently transferred to Abraham Lincoln High
School and later left to school to pursue his G.E.D., as he
had struggled to acclimate to school in America. See
PSR ¶ 56; Def.'s Mem. at 11-12. In October 2014,
Defendant began working at a cellphone repair business owned
by co-defendant Abror Habibov; during the course of his
employment by Habibov, Defendant worked in cellphone repair
kiosks in, among other places, Savannah, Georgia;
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Dover, Delaware. PSR
¶¶ 48, 56. It was during his rocky transition to
the United States that Defendant became friends with
co-defendant Abdurasul Juraboev and began to seek out Islamic
teachings on the internet. Def.'s Mem. at 11-13.
Defendant and Juraboev later became roommates after
Defendant's mother moved out of the apartment she had
shared with her some; at some point, the two also lived with
a confidential informant who was working with the Federal
Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). PSR ¶ 48;
Def.'s Mem. at 17-18.
August 2014, agents of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task
Force discovered a post on the Uzbek language social media
site www.hilofatnews.com in which an individual,
later determined to be Juraboev, expressed support for ISIL,
which has been designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by
the State Department. Id. ¶¶ 4, 7. In the
same post, Juraboev expressed a desire to be a martyr for
ISIL and threatened to kill the President of the United
States. Id. ¶ 7. After determining that he was
the author of the posts, FBI agents interviewed Juraboev
twice; during both ...