James Gonzalo Medina, accused of plotting a bomb attack at a synagogue in the city of Aventura, near Miami, today pleaded guilty to the charge of “attempted attack on a religious property” and “use of a weapon of mass destruction, Local media reported.
Medina, 41, of Broward County, was arrested in April 2016 in a covert operation conducted by the FBI, after a person alerted him of his intentions.
The final decision on the sentence to Medina is now in the hands of Judge Robert Scola, who will issue a November sentence against the Hispanic, for which the prosecution has requested 25 years in prison, the Sun Sentinel newspaper reported.
The Prosecutor’s Office will not oppose the defense’s request that Medina be placed, at least at the beginning of the sentence, under the supervision of mental health experts for treatment.
He acknowledged authorities he planned with a “covert informant” to drop a bomb at the Turnberry Jewish Center Aventura in southeast Florida, a complex that includes a synagogue, classrooms and meeting rooms.
Allegedly, Medina, a Muslim convert, had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group and was ready to attack the Jewish community on US soil, according to recordings by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents.
Medina, who has a criminal record after threatening a Coral Springs (Florida) family in 2012, planned to attempt a bomb he would place near the door of the Jewish center and activate by cell phone, according to FBI.
FBI agents began tracking Medina in March after the Hispanic man expressed anti-Semitic sentiment.
According to the FBI, Medina wanted to leave a pamphlet on the scene that would lead authorities to believe that the perpetrators belonged to the Islamic State.
According to the defense, Medina suffers from a disease related to cerebral cysts that can directly affect the behavior of the patient.