A man who told undercover agents that he wanted to carry out a Christmas Day bombing and shooting attack at a popular San Francisco tourist attraction will receive a 15-year sentence after pleading guilty Monday in a federal case.
Everitt Aaron Jameson admitted under a plea deal that he attempted to aid a terrorist organization after he planned the attack during talks with undercover FBI agents, including one he thought was with the Islamic State group.
Jameson, a former tow-truck driver from Modesto, told undercover federal agents that he planned to use pipe bombs to channel victims into part of the popular tourist destination so he could shoot them.
Prosecutors are dropping a second charge of distributing bomb-making information under the plea agreement.
He told the undercover agents how to build pipe bombs and where he intended to assemble the bombs, and he asked them for remote timers, according to court documents.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
"We felt there were a number of defensible issues in this case, but at the end of the day Mr. Jameson was looking at 40 years on both counts" had he been convicted of both crimes, defense attorney Charles Lee said. "He wanted the certainty of a plea agreement and decided to take the 15 years."
Lee said his client was having second thoughts and didn't actually take steps to carry out the plot. Lee said investigators found no bomb-making materials, and two rifles and a handgun found during a search were legally owned by his stepfather and were locked in a gun case where Jameson couldn't to get them.
The FBI arrested Jameson on Dec. 22. He is set for sentencing Sept. 4.
A federal magistrate earlier found that Jameson has a history relating to drug abuse and appears to have a mental health condition.