For Immediate Release
Wilmington Man Sentenced for Threatening Mosque and Illegally Possessing Firearms and Child Pornography
BOSTON – A Wilmington man was sentenced today for making threats over Facebook to burn a local mosque and for unlawfully possessing dozens of firearms, ammunition and child pornography.
Patrick Keogan, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to five years in prison and five years of supervised release. Keogan will also be required to register as a sex offender. In February 2017, Keogan pleaded guilty to two counts of making a threat over Facebook to injure or intimidate another individual or to unlawfully damage or destroy a building by means of fire; one count of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition; and one count of possessing child pornography. Keogan has been in custody since his arrest in July 2016.
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, France, on Nov. 13, 2015, Keogan posted threatening images on the Facebook page of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), a Roxbury-based cultural center that offers a mosque and educational, spiritual, and social services to the New England Muslim community. Keogan posted an image depicting a mosque in flames with superimposed lettering that stated, “BURN YOUR LOCAL MOSQUE,” along with the statement, “Hello scumbags,” next to a smiley face emoji. Keogan also posted the same threatening image on the Facebook page of the Islamic Society of Northeastern University (ISNU).
Searches of Keogan’s Facebook account revealed multiple posts that approved of burning mosques as early as 2013. For example, in 2013 Keogan shared a post with the following summary: “On July 4th, Joplin, Missouri’s Islamic Center — the city’s only mosque — suffered roof damage after an unidentified man set it on fire by tossing a burning object onto the building.” Keogan wrote in response: “Somewhere out there is an unknown hero. The people’s champion. A true God amongst mortal men. May your days be many & troubles be few my good man.”
Keogan’s Facebook account also showed that he had been buying, selling, trading, building, modifying, possessing, and shooting firearms and ammunition, despite his prohibition from doing so as a convicted felon. On May 1, 2016, Keogan purchased two boxes of 8mm rifle ammunition and two bags of loose 8mm rifle ammunition at a gun store in New Hampshire. Upon Keogan’s arrest in July 2016, authorities searched his residence and found light machine guns, assault rifles, and sniper rifles, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. A search of Keogan’s iPhone and iPad revealed he was also in possession of child pornography.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Wilmington Police Chief Michael Begonis made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland of Lelling’s Civil Rights Enforcement Team prosecuted the case.