SC man who spoke of admiring Dylann Roof to be sentenced on fede -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

SC man who spoke of admiring Dylann Roof to be sentenced on federal gun charge

Benjamin McDowell (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center) Benjamin McDowell (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A South Carolina white supremacist who said he admired Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge will be sentenced later this month.

Benjamin McDowell will go before a federal judge on July 11, 2018, at 10 a.m., according to court records.

McDowell pleaded guilty to one count of felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition in February, waiving his right to a trial and his right to appeal.

The FBI became aware of McDowell’s “escalating white supremacist views on social media where McDowell advocated violence against non-whites and even expressed admiration for Dylann Roof and the extreme acts of violence perpetrated by him,” a previous news release stated.

The FBI was particularly concerned about McDowell’s comments made about a synagogue that made investigators feel the site may be a target for potential violence.

McDowell also expressed an interest in buying a gun on social media, and undercover FBI agents posing as white supremacists set up a sting to capture him in February 2017.

Ahead of McDowell’s plea, he had to undergo a mental examination to determine his competency.

In court documents, it was revealed McDowell was treated for mental illness before. He told a judge he has been diagnosed with bipolar and schizoaffective disorder and takes anxiety medication.

It was also revealed McDowell once worked at the Horry County Government and Justice Center as a janitor.

McDowell’s maximum possible sentence could be up to 10 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $250,000, up to three years of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100.

He originally pleaded not guilty in March 2017, but he changed that plea to guilty back in February.

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