A former St Johns County man, living in a St Augustine trailer park, 30-year-old Romeo Xavier Langhorne, has been charged with “attempting to provide material support and resources” to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) a designated foreign terrorist organization according to the indictment reported to Historic City News.
The Department of Justice announced that Langhorne was arrested on November 15, 2019, in Roanoke, Virginia, where his mother resides. The court has ordered Langhorne detained pending trial. If he is convicted, Langhorne faces a maximum penalty of 20-years in federal prison.
- Beginning in February 2019, Langhorne began communicating with an undercover employee with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who was posing as someone working on behalf of ISIS. Langhorne told the agent about his plans to create and disseminate an instructional video on making a deadly explosive – triacetone triperoxide, also known as “TATP”.
- Langhorne sought the undercover agent’s assistance in creating the video. Proclaiming that the instructional video was intended for “educational purposes”, Langhorne told the undercover agent that he should include disclaimers to be sure it was not removed by Internet service providers.
- Langhorne informed the undercover agent that his true purpose in making and distributing the video was to arm ISIS adherents and others with knowledge of how to make TATP and use it for terrorism-related purposes in support of ISIS.
The FBI produced a video in accordance with Langhorne’s instructions, but – unbeknownst to Langhorne – it featured an inert chemical formula for TATP that would not produce an explosion. In November 2019, the undercover agent provided versions of the TATP video to Langhorne, and Langhorne distributed the video by uploading it to a video-sharing website.
According to an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, Langhorne has been a follower of ISIS since 2014 and he has recently reaffirmed his support for ISIS publicly.
An indictment is merely a charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI, including agencies participating in the Northeast Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force. Investigative support was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol, and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor and Trial Attorney D. Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.