BILLINGS- A New York man accused of making false statements to the FBI in a terrorism investigation denied those charges in Missoula federal court Monday.
Fabjan Alameti, 21, traveled from New York to Bozeman in April, when authorities arrested him at a shooting range in Bozeman. Police say he took possession of a firearm he rented.
The FBI had been monitoring Alameti for months after discovering messages he had written expressing interest in attacking civilian U.S. targets and joining pro-ISIS factions in Syria.
During their surveillance, agents learned Alameti had been kicked out of a hotel room for allegedly smoking marijuana. A few days later, while still under surveillance, he rented the gun and was immediately arrested for taking possession of a firearm while using a controlled substance, the marijuana, according to charging documents.
Alameti also pleaded not guilty to three counts of false statements to a federal officer in a matter involving terrorism and one count of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. These charges are related to his denying involvement with terrorist group to federal agents in Bozeman, prosecutors said.
If convicted of the most serious crime, Alameti faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
A detention hearing is set for May 15.
Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News