Appeals Court Upholds Florida Man's Terror Conviction

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals this week upheld the conviction and sentence of a Pinellas Park man who had been found guilty on charges of attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and possession of a fully automatic firearm.

According to court records, Sami Osmakac had been found guilty by a federal jury in June 2014. 

In November of that year, a federal judge sentenced Osmakac to 40 years in prison.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on January 7, 2012, as part of a terrorist plot, Osmakac attempted to use weapons of mass destruction, including a car bomb, grenades, and a suicide explosive, at two locations in the Tampa Bay area.

Court records indicate the prospective targets had been an Irish Pub and the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. 

In addition, on January 7, 2012, court records indicated that Osmakac possessed a machine gun without the firearm being registered to him on the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

Osmakac had appealed, arguing that his surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had violated the law, that a misstatement by the government during closing arguments had made his trial unfair, and that the district court should have imposed a lower sentence based on the government’s purported sentencing-factor manipulation. 

The appeals court didn't buy any of it and refuted Osmakac's arguments point by point.


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