White Supremacist Accused of Planning Dylann Roof-Inspired Attack Sentenced to Nearly 3 Years in Prison

A white supremacist who allegedly told an FBI agent that he wanted to commit an attack “in the spirit of Dylann Roof” and on a “fucking big-scale” was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison Wednesday. Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 31, of South Carolina also told the undercover agent he wanted to hurt Jews, Muslims, and people of color, prosecutors said. McDowell accepted a plea agreement in which he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. According to documents filed by his attorney, McDowell has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder and has “very low” cognitive functioning. This may have played a role in the plea agreement.