St. Augustine man sentenced to 20 years for attempting to support the Islamic State

Generic image of a gavel. (Pixabay) (Pixabay)

WASHINGTON – A St. Augustine man was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in federal prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release, for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, also known as ISIS, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

The DOJ said Romeo Xavier Langhorne, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS on May 13, 2021.

Court documents show Langhorne pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014, and reaffirmed his support between 2018 and 2019 on various social media accounts. Investigators said he produced videos to his YouTube account and participated in online ISIS chat rooms.

In 2019, the DOJ said, Langhorne communicated with an undercover FBI agent, who was posing as a member of the Islamic State. He told the undercover agent about his plans to create and disseminate a video on making an explosive device.

The DOJ said that during the summer of 2019, Langhorne sent multiple messages to the agent for assistance with creating a Nasheed, which is a form of Islamic vocal music. Langhorne explained that he wanted the Nasheed “to encourage justified retaliation” against the United States for its role in killing Muslims.

“The FBI produced a video in accordance with Langhorne’s instructions, but – unbeknownst to Langhorne – it featured an inert chemical formula for TATP (triacetone triperoxide) that would not produce an explosion,” the DOJ release states. “In November 2019, the UCE provided versions of the TATP video to Langhorne, and Langhorne distributed the video by uploading it to a video-sharing website.”

Langhorne was arrested at a residence in Virginia in November 2019. The DOJ said he admitted that he communicated with the agent and that he uploaded the video to the internet.