(KGTV) - A former U.S. Marine accused of planning a Christmas Day attack on San Francisco's Pier 39 was indicted by a grand jury this week.
Everitt Jameson, 26, pleaded not guilty to federal charges in a Fresno courtroom Friday, ABC News reported. He is being charged with attempting to aid a terrorist organization and distributing bomb-making information - each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Jameson was arrested by FBI agents on Dec. 22, 2017, after contacting an undercover agent for help to carry out the attack. Agents said Jameson supported radical ISIS jihadist beliefs.
In a statement to CNN, federal public defender Charles Lee said they intend to challenge the government's ability to prove Jameson would go through with the attack.
"[We] will investigate the possibility of an entrapment defense, as well as the government's inability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any attempted criminal act given Mr. Jameson told the FBI undercover employee 'I also don't think I can do this after all. I've reconsidered,'" Lee wrote.
A federal affidavit said Jameson asked about acquiring pipe bomb materials, timers, and how to use the devices on groups of people, CNN reported.
Documents also said Jameson wanted to replicate an October 31 attack in New York City that killed eight people, saying, Christmas Day "was the perfect day to commit the attack."
Jameson attended basic recruit training for the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton in 2009, according to FBI. He earned a "sharpshooter" rifle qualification and a National Service Medal.
The Modesto resident was discharged for fraudulent enlistment after it was discovered he failed to disclose he had asthma.
Jameson's father said shortly after his son's arrest he couldn't believe the charges.
"I couldn't really believe it. I didn't understand it," Gordon Jameson said. "You don't blow up people. You don't kill people."
Jameson is currently being held at Fresno County Jail and is scheduled to be back in court in April.