Somali man who lied to FBI to spend 4 months in prisonby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Somali man convicted of lying to the FBI about the Somali-American men who have gone missing from Minnesota was sentenced Friday to four months in prison and four months of home confinement.
Abdow Munye Abdow had admitted to lying to the FBI as agents investigated the case of about 20 Twin Cities men who traveled to their native Somalia, allegedly to fight with a terrorist group.
Abdow could have faced up to 16 months in prison, and federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum to follow the sentencing guidelines.
"The message that your sentence sends is that when the truth matters most, you have to tell the truth or there is a cost," Assistant U.S. Attorney Anders Folk said.
Rosenbaum admonished Abdow for lying, but said prosecutors' arguments did not persuade him to order a harsher sentence.
"I reject the government's arguments entirely. I don't send messages," said Rosenbaum, who is retiring this summer. "If you want to send messages, buy a radio ad."
Before he was sentenced, Abdow read a short statement apologizing for embarrassing his family.
"No matter what you do, you will never see me in this situation again," he told Rosenbaum.
Abdow and prosecutors declined to comment after the hearing.
Abdow's attorney, Earl Gray, also declined to comment, other than to say Abdow was a "good kid."