Delay sought in sentencing in Christmas-tree lighting ceremony bomb plot

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PORTLAND — Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to delay sentencing for the Somali-American man convicted of plotting to bomb a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland’s town square.

Mohamed Mohamud, 21, is scheduled to be sentenced June 27, but the prosecutors have asked for a delay of two to three months.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ethan D. Knight and Pamala Holsinger wrote in a motion filed Monday that the government needs more time to prepare its sentencing recommendations.

It’s unknown when U.S. District Judge Garr M. King will rule on the motion.

Mohamud’s attorney, Stephen Sady, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. The prosecutors’ motion said Sady did not state a position when prosecutors contacted him about their request to postpone the sentencing.

Mohamud faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He was arrested Nov. 26, 2010, after pressing a keypad button on a black cellphone that he believed would detonate a 1,800-pound diesel-and-fertilizer bomb near thousands of a people at the annual holiday gathering.

The bomb was a fake supplied by undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaida recruiters.

On Jan. 31, jurors rejected Mohamud’s entrapment defense and found him guilty of attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction.

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