Former Fort Riley soldier sentenced to concurrent 30-month prison terms

Spec. Jarrett Smith appears in a federal courtroom in Topeka, Kan. on September 26, 2019...
Spec. Jarrett Smith appears in a federal courtroom in Topeka, Kan. on September 26, 2019 (Sketch by Alexander Lancaster)(WIBW)
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 6:17 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Jarrett William Smith, a 24-year-old former U.S. Army soldier, was sentenced Wednesday to two concurrent 30-month prison terms tied to providing information on how to manufacture an explosive device and make napalm.

Smith was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree in a Topeka courtroom.

Smith has been incarcerated since September 21, 2019, which is nearly one year.

That means Smith has roughly 18 months left on his prison sentence.

According to U.S. District Court records, Smith had provided instructions to make an improvised explosive device and a recipe to make napalm, court records said.

On February 10, 2020, Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing explosives information, court records said. Depending on a defendant's criminal history, each count could carry a penalty of up to 20 years apiece in prison.

In return for the two pleas, a third count of threatening interstate communication was dismissed, court records said.

On Wednesday, Smith defense attorneys had sought a prison sentence totaling 15 months for their client, who doesn't have any criminal history.

One defense attorney on Wednesday referred to Smith as having been a "traumatized adolescent," who had "gone through extreme bullying" and had been placed on some type of "hit list."

On Wednesday, Smith declined to say anything before Crabtree sentenced him.

Crabtree said he was surprised the sentences were as low as they were because the charges of distributing explosives information is "deeply disturbing."

A Smith defense attorney said there had been requests to sentence Smith to a prison term ranging from 30 to 37 months.

After he is released from prison, Smith will be placed on two concurrent terms of supervised release for three years, the judge said.

Smith has a history of alcohol abuse and must complete an abuse program.

Smith was a U.S. Army private first class when the case was filed against him on September 23, 2019, according to records from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Topeka.

Smith joined the army on June 12, 2017, and he later was transferred from Fort Bliss to Fort Riley, the prosecutor's office said.

According to an FBI investigator’s affidavit, Smith said on a Facebook he wanted to travel to Ukraine to fight in a paramilitary group called the Azov Battalion.

In a Facebook chat, Smith offered to teach others to make cell phone explosive devices "in the style of the Afghans," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

"Smith talked about killing members of Antifa and destroying nearby cell towers or a local news station," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Antifa is the shortened version of “anti-fascist” and can refer to a movement or an individual, the Merriam-Webster dictionary says.

On August 19, 2019, Smith had discussed a plan to conduct an attack within the United States and was looking for more "radicals" like himself, a court record said.

The target of a vehicle bomb was to be a “major news network headquarters,” but an FBI Special Agent Bomb Technician told another FBI Special Agent that Smith’s instructions wouldn’t result in a viable explosive device, a court record said.

On September 20, 2019, Smith provided information on how to construct an explosive device and provided information on how to create improvised napalm, court records said.

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.