DALLAS — A North Texas man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal terrorism charge.
This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox, Northern District of Texas, and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. This investigation was conducted by the FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force members, which include the following agencies: Arlington (Texas) Police Department, Fort Worth (Texas) Police Department, Tarrant County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Michael Kyle Sewell, 18, of Fort Worth, who was arrested in February, formally pleaded guilty May 8 to conspiracy to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani-based foreign terrorist organization also known as LeT. According to court documents, Sewell admitted to encouraging an individual identified in court documents as “co-conspirator 1” to join LeT.
Sewell provided the co-conspirator, who he spoke to on social media, with contact information for an individual he believed could facilitate the co-conspirator’s travel to Pakistan to join LeT. Unbeknownst to Sewell and the co-conspirator, the facilitator was an undercover FBI special agent.
Sewell and the co-conspirator discussed what the co-conspirator should say to the undercover agent who posed as the facilitator, to gain the facilitator’s trust and be permitted to join LeT. Sewell also contacted the facilitator to vouch for the co-conspirator’s authenticity.Sewell faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He will be sentenced Aug. 12 in Fort Worth.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.