Vicente Adolfo Solano, 53, a citizen of Honduras residing in Miami, was sentenced to 210 months in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. He was convicted earlier this year for an attempt to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Solano told a confidential source of the federal government that he was upset about the United States and thus wanted to attack a shopping mall in Miami with a bomb. 

“Any individual who plots to support a foreign terrorist organization puts our local community at risk and this threat remains a top priority for our U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners,” stated U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg, according to a Justice Department press release.  “Today’s sentence speaks to those who harbor extremist ideals – your terroristic agenda will be thwarted and your punishment of years in prison will be your only lasting legacy.”

According to documents filed with a federal court, Solano told an individual in early 2017, who later became a Confidential Human Source (CHS) for the government, about his plans to attack the shopping mall and that he wanted to join ISIS.

Spero News reported in March that Solano planned to detonate an explosive device in a crowded area of the Miami mall and told the source and two undercover FBI employees about it.  Solano also made three videos in which he made pro-ISIS statements while expressing anti-American sentiments. Just before he was arrested, Solano took possession of what he believed was an explosive device, took steps to arm it, and walked toward a mall entrance to detonate the device. However, Solano did not know that the device was inert and did not pose a risk to the public.  Before he could enter the mall, Solano was taken into custody.

Solano was residing in the U.S. on a Temporary Protective Status visa that was given to refugees from Central America in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch of 1998. Given that Solano is currently facing deportation proceedings and will be returned to his native country, the judge imposed the maximum statutory term of imprisonment. Solano’s Temporary Protected Status has since been revoked. 

According to Once Noticias -- a news outlet in Honduras - Solano was also known as Vicente Adolfo Solano Bonilla. Born on August 20, 1964, Solano is the son of Emperatriz Bonilla and Jose de la Cruz Solano. A former resident of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, Solano has a brother, Hernan, who also lives in the U.S., as well as child who lives in Honduras. According the report, Solano visited Honduras in 2015.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced on May 4 that Honduras had been stripped of TPS designation. 


 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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