A former Martinez resident serving the longest prison term imposed in this area for attempted online enticement of a minor has filed a federal habeas petition seeking to overturn his 2013 conviction.
Fawad Syed, 50, is serving a 24 1/2-year prison term at Fort Dix in New Jersey for attempted online enticement of a minor, destruction or altercation of records in a federal investigation, and attempted destruction or altercation of records in a federal investigation.
The petition, in which Syed challenges the legality of his incarceration, was filed March 27. It cites alleged ineffective assistance of counsel as a grounds to reverse Syed’s convictions. A jury found Syed guilty of the crimes on Sept. 4, 2013. His conviction was affirmed by the federal appeals court, and last March the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal of that decision.
According to prior reports in The Augusta Chronicle, Syed pretended to be a 20-something-year-old man named Daniel when he engaged in online communication with whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl. When Syed showed up with condoms and alcohol to meet the underage teen, law enforcement was waiting.
From jail, Syed called his wife and instructed her to delete his email account and wipe his phone.
Syed’s prison term was enhanced in part because he previously had engaged in similar behavior with a 17-year-old whom he later married.
Although Syed had no prior criminal conviction he faced a prison range of 262 to 327 months. U.S. District Judge J. Randal Hall imposed a sentence near the middle of the range, 294 months. Once Syed completes the term _ there is no parole in the federal system _ he will be on supervised release for another 10 years.
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