KENT-Federal charges have been filed against a Kent State University professor, who has been under investigation as a supporter of ISIS.
Julio Pino, 57, an Associated Professor of History at Kent State University, became the focus of an FBI investigation in January 2016.
Federal authorities questioned any association he might have with the Islamic State and whether he used his position on campus to influence students to become sympathetic with the terrorist organization.
The U-S Attorney's Office in Cleveland confirms that Pino was charged for making a false statement to the FBI.
The charge was announced by U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony.
According to the criminal information filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, between May 2015 and January 2016, Pino posted numerous images and made statements on social media with a friend in St. Louis regarding a child custody issue.
Among the conversations, on or about September 11, 2015, federal authorities said Pino and his friend known as J.E. had the following communications:
J.E. wrote, “I’m playing the game backwards. and winning! . . . I will kill 100s of people if they take my rights as a father away!”
Pino stated, “Yes, in military terms this is known as ‘the Parthian shot’.”
J.E. wrote, “hell, 10000’s! . . . It’;s [sic] time for Men to act like men again. . . . See the thing I’ve got on my side is God. That allows me certain rights. One of those rights is to strike down evil with furious vengeance! . . . People don’t even know how crazy I am yet! That’s because no ones ever tried to take my [relative]. They’re about to meet to [the] Monster they’ve created.”
Pino responded, “Devour them, [J.E.].”
J.E. wrote, “Thank You! I will! :)
J.E. wrote on his Facebook wall a series of threatening communications in December 2015 through January 2016 directed against a St. Louis Family Court Judge adjudicating J.E.’s child custody case. On Jan. 11, 2016, J.E. also wrote on his own Facebook wall, “I (expletive) love Julio Pino, even if he does eventually do something that most consider horrible, I’ll still love him because I know him in a deeper way than most of you even could.”
Law enforcement authorities in St. Louis arrested J.E. Jan. 11, 2016, for making threatening communications against the judge.
The FBI was involved in investigating J.E.’s threats against the judge. FBI agents on Jan. 18, 2016, interviewed Pino in Miami about his social media posts and comments concerning his interactions with J.E. and discussions with J.E. about J.E.’s child custody issues. The FBI agents recorded this interview in connection with an ongoing investigation concerning, among other things, Pino’s interactions with J.E. as described above.
Federal grand jury subpoenas from the Northern District of Ohio were issued during the course of that investigation.
In response to questions from FBI agents concerning whether he ever had conversations with J.E. on the social media accounts, Pino stated he “never heard of [J.E. or] maybe I heard of him through the news,” he did not recall conversations with J.E. and that his conversations with J.E. were “invented conversation[s].” When asked again if he remembered the conversation with J.E., Pino responded, “I never heard of him, well maybe I heard of him through the news,” and then later stated, “the other way around it is certainly possible that he could have heard of me and made up this conversation, invented it.”
Kent State University released the following statement late Monday, “Kent State University Professor Julio Pino has been suspended after charges were filed today in federal court. The university has also prohibited him from coming onto any Kent State campus. The university continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice on this matter, and all inquiries about this case should be directed to that office.”