Virginia woman sentenced to 4½ years for lying to FBI about supporting terrorism

A Virginia woman has been sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison for lying to investigators about supporting the Islamic State militant group.

The sentence imposed Monday by U.S. District Judge John Gibney was three months less than prosecutors wanted and eight months more than Heather Elizabeth Coffman's attorneys recommended.

Coffman posted numerous messages on Facebook supporting the Islamic State and tried to help a man make arrangements to train and fight with the group in Syria. She also tried to make similar arrangements for an undercover FBI agent. Prosecutors portrayed Coffman as a serious jihadist. Defense attorneys said she was just gullible and immature.

Coffman pleaded guilty in February to making a materially false statement about an offense involving terrorism.