Point Pleasant man charged with planning bomb to support ISIS
A pressure cooker hidden in a bedroom closet leads to a Point Pleasant man's appearance in a Newark courtroom today, facing a federal charge of attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
Gregory Lepsky, 20, is accused of planning to use the device to create a bomb in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), according to the office of acting New Jersey U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick.
Conviction on the charge would place Lepsky at risk of up to 20 years in prison and a fine as high as $250,000.
Lepsky was arrested on February 21 of this year by Point Pleasant police, related to an incident in his family's house that day, authorities said. A search of the house led officers to the pressure cooker, which they said was behind a roll of bubble wrap in Lepsky's bedroom closet.
Investigators who searched computers and digital devices connected to Lepsky said that they found evidence of bomb-building plans, and traced social media dialogues in which he allegedly claimed his intention to fight for ISIS, and to drive a "bunch of explosives" to "enemies," and become a martyr in the explosion if necessary.
Also allegedly found were online instructions for building a pressure-cooker bomb, which detectives said coincided with the delivery of the device to Lepksyt, and a message from an ISIS advocate that he's accused of forwarding, suggesting that Western Hemisphere supporters unable to reach Syria could launch attacks with improvised explosives at home.
Fitzpatrick's office did not indicate Lepsky's legal representation. The government's case is led by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Donnelly and federal trial attorneys Justin SHer and B. Celeste Corlett.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.