WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Three South Florida men arrested for allegedly supporting ISIS pleaded “not guilty,” Wednesday, in federal court.
Security was increased at the Paul G. Rogers federal courthouse in West Palm Beach, Wednesday, as the three men, all American citizens, submitted their pleas in front of a judge.
Fifty-two-year-old Gregory Hubbard, 31-year-old Dayne Christian and 50-year-old Darren Jackson are in federal custody for allegedly trying to help ISIS. All three men are American citizens, and two of them have wives and children. But the FBI said the trio is a self-radicalized terrorist cell.
One man who lives near the court house was shocked by the allegations.
“It’s disturbing,” said Ron Richter, who lives nearby. “You don’t even know who your neighbor is anymore.”
Police raided Christian’s home in Lake Park, Thursday. Court documents said Christian referred to himself as “Shakur” and was in contact with a Syrian member of ISIS.
Neighbors of the former Palm Beach Lakes High School athlete were shocked.
“He just seemed like he wanted a nice, quiet life,” said one neighbor.
“He was pretty nice,” said another neighbor. “We just talked to him. He used to go to the gym all the time.”
The FBI said Christian used the gym to meet military personnel who he allegedly wanted to follow home and shoot. In court, he put his hand over his heart and said, “I love you,” to his family as he was led away.
Hubbard, who was apparently called “Jibreel,” was known as an artist to his friends.
“I’ve never seen anything but kindness and congeniality from him,” one friend said.
Court documents said Hubbard, “Expressed his desire to travel to Syria and join ISIL for the purpose of engaging in violent Jihad.”
Hubbard was arrested at Miami International Airport, allegedly on his way to board a flight to Germany, where he would’ve taken a flight to Turkey and crossed the border into Syria.
Jackson was known as “Daoud,” according to the FBI, and allegedly trained the other two men to shoot. Court documents said, “Jackson agreed to provide his AK-47 style assault rifle as well instruction on how to shoot them… Jackson stated that he wished he could go to Syria with them.”
The FBI said all three men had an arsenal of weapons in their homes.
As Christian’s family left the court house, Wednesday, they asked for privacy and did not comment on the case.
All three suspects face 20 years in prison, if convicted. Christian was also charged with possession of a firearm since he is a convicted felon.
Hubbard was the only one who asked for bond. However, he was denied it since he allegedly poses a threat to the community.
The other two suspects agreed to pre-trial detention until their case goes to court. All three will return to court Aug. 5.
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