South Carolina man pleads guilty to Dylann Roof-inspired attack

By Daniel Uria  |  Feb. 26, 2018 at 6:35 PM
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Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A South Carolina man accused of planning an attack "in the spirit of Dylann Roof" pleaded guilty to a weapons charge in federal court Monday.

Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 30, of Conway, S.C., pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

McDowell served 18 months in prison for a felony second-degree burglary conviction in 2011 and was arrested by the FBI after illegally purchasing a handgun from an undercover agent.

Prosecutors said in a federal court filing that McDowell was plotting an attack on the Temple Emanu-El Conservative Synagogue in Myrtle Beach and wanted to spray paint "in the spirit of Dylann Roof" on the building after the attack, as an ode to the massacre Roof carried out inside a black church that killed nine people in Charleston in 2015.

During meetings with the undercover FBI agent, McDowell expressed hatred for Jews and non-whites and "voiced apparent frustration with other white supremacists, stating that screaming 'white power' was not getting the job done."

He bought a .40-caliber Glock with a filed-down firing pin and hollow-point ammunition after saying he wanted to get off "scot-free" for the attack and was arrested in a Myrtle Beach hotel the same day.

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