Jeffrey Battle, Patrice Lumumba Ford Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison
|Washington, D.C. November 24, 2003|
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, today sentenced Jeffrey Battle and Patrice Lumumba Ford to 18 years in prison each for their guilty pleas to charges of seditious conspiracy.
Battle and Ford, defendants in the "Portland Cell" terrorism case, were sentenced to the 18-year prison terms by the Honorable Judge Robert Jones of the U.S. District Court in Portland.
On Oct. 16, 2003, Battle and Ford pleaded guilty to the first count of a 15-count indictment, a charge of conspiracy to levy war against the United States. Both defendants admitted in their plea that the purpose of the conspiracy was to travel to Afghanistan to fight alongside al Qaeda and the Taliban against American and allied forces.
In their guilty pleas, Battle and Ford admitted that following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by al Qaeda, they met at various times in the Portland area with others to plan for travel to fight in Afghanistan against the armed forces of the United States. Ford also admitted that after the September 11th attacks, he purchased a shotgun and then conducted weapons training on two occasions at a gravel pit in Washougal, Washington, with other co-defendants. Battle and Ford admitted that they and several other defendants flew to China in an unsuccessful attempt to gain entry into Pakistan, en route to Afghanistan.
Battle and Ford were the final defendants in custody in the "Portland Cell" case to plead guilty. Battle's ex-wife, October Martinique Lewis, pleaded guilty to money laundering charges for transferring or transmitting money from the United States to a place outside of the country, for the purpose of assisting Battle in willfully supplying services to the Taliban. In September of this year, co-defendants Ahmed and Muhammad Bilal pleaded guilty to conspiracy to contribute services to the Taliban, as well as federal weapons charges. Defendant Maher "Mike" Hawash pleaded guilty in August 2003 to conspiracy to supply services to the Taliban.