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Man sentenced in plot to attack Muslim community

September 03, 2019 12:42 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The fourth and final man who admitted to plotting to bomb a Muslim community was sentenced Tuesday.

Vincent Vetromile, 20, had previously pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism in connection to the plot to attack the community of Islamberg. 

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Tuesday, Judge Sam Valleriani sentenced him to seven years in prison and five years post-release supervision. 

Investigators say Vetromile, along with Brian Colaneri, Andrew Crysel, and Nicholas Pheilshifter, planned an attack on the Muslim community near Binghamton.

Before sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Matt Schwartz said the plans for the attack have terrorized the community of Islamberg and left them permanently frightened and changed how they live their lives.

Vetromile's lawyer said he is sorry and remorseful, but that the whole plot sprang from a mistake.

"My client's participation in this plan...it was never to attack people that were perceived as innocent," Stephen Sercu said. "There was a mistaken perception by my client and the others that the location that has been detailed in this matter was a safe-haven for terrorists. Misperception, no doubt about it. But it was never his intention to attack people that they subjectively believed were innocent members of our community. That is important."

The judge said this crime was an attack on a free and democratic American society and a threat to our way of life.

Last month, Colaneri and Crysel were each sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree conspiracy as a crime of terrorism. Phileshifter pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and five years of post-release supervision.

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