GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man from the Upper Peninsula will plead guilty to federal charges after FBI agents say he threatened an attack on an East Lansing synagogue, the Lansing State Journal reported.
Seann Patrick Pietila, is set to plead guilty on Nov. 13 to a count of transmitting a threatening communication in interstate or foreign commerce, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court for Western Michigan.
He will face up to five years behind bars, three years of supervised release and a fine up to $250,000, the Lansing State Journal reports. He has not received his sentence yet, according to court documents, but Pietila and his attorney signed the plea documents on Oct. 27.
On June 1 and June 2, he told a 16-year-old from New Zealand over Instagram that he “had a desire and a plan to kill or injure Jewish people and use a camera to stream his attack over the internet,” according to the plea agreement.
Pietela was arrested June 16 and FBI agents said they found several guns, ammunition, knives and other bladed objects, a Nazi flag and other tactical materials during a search of his home. They also found a note in his phone with the name of Shaarey Zedek Congregation in East Lansing with the date of March 15, 2024.
In other online messages, Pietila wrote, “…We time it a day after each other … We would surely inspire others to take arms against the Jewish controlled state. I only chose the 15th to mimic b.t.’s attack lol.”
The note mentioned “hand-made pipe bombs, molotovs, Two Stag-15s, 12 guage shotgun and two back up Glock 18s AND a Akm full auto conversion,” officials said, according to the Lansing State Journal.
He is most recently of Pickford in the U.P., but had recently lived with his mother in East Lansing and also attended Eastern High School in Lansing during the 2020-21 school year, according to court filings.