Adam Dandach was sentenced Monday to 15 years in federal prison for trying to help Islamic State terrorists in Syria.
That’s 10 years fewer than the La Habra 22-year-old faced when he pleaded guilty in August to helping terrorists and five years less than what Assistant U.S. Attorney Celeste Collett argued for.
United States District Judge James Selna said he agreed Dandach’s conduct was serious but took into consideration abuse he suffered as a child and his mental health condition.
Dandach, a graduate of Orange’s El Modena High School, had submitted to Selna a statement detailing how he has felt like a prisoner for most of his life.
Collett and an FBI agent argued at trial that Dandach employed much planning and sophistication into trying to aid Islamic State terrorists, including the planned to use of a charity as a cover to more easily enter Syria.
Defense attorney Pal Lengyel-Leahu countered that Dandach’s attempts were fumbling, that he truly did want to help refugees and that his client suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, having twice been committed to mental health facilities.