January 29, 2013 | 8:07am
Despite initially claiming post-2011 arrest innocence and implying that the FBI had manufactured a false case that she aided Middle East terrorists, an Orange County pharmacist has pleaded guilty and faces sentencing next month.
Turkey native and legal U.S. resident Oytun Ayse Mihalik of La Palma worked at CVS and, using the name Cindy Palmer, repeatedly wired funds from a Buena Park Ralph's grocery store in 2010 to individuals who resided in Pakistan and Turkey and were plotting to murder U.S. soldiers.
In August, 2011, FBI field agents in Santa Ana questioned Mihalik, then 39 years old, about her suspicious 2008 marriage to a U.S. citizen and the more suspicious financial transactions.
The next day agents watched her travel to LAX and arrested her before she could board an American Airlines flight with a one-way ticket to Istanbul.
Defense lawyers for Mihalik claimed she was innocent and demanded that the U.S. Government give them access to top secret espionage records involving proof that Mihalik had wired the money to terrorism-tied individuals.
But in August 2012, Mihalik signed a guilty plea statement, according to records inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
The government got that confession sealed from public view.
However, other official records obtained by OC Weekly show that Mihalik won a reduction of three counts by pleading guilty to one charge: knowingly "providing material support to terrorists" determined to kill Americans.
On Feb. 15, U.S. District Court Judge Josephine Staton Tucker is scheduled to sentence Mihalik, who has already agreed to be permanently deported back to Turkey after serving any punishment, according to Department of Justice records.
In addition to using Palmer and her real name, Mihalik also identified herself over the years as Ayse Oytun Akin. She first entered the U.S. in 1994 at Cincinnati on a tourist visa and eventually found an American citizen to marry.
Once she is deported she will only be allowed to legally enter the U.S. if the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security personally gives her permission.