Man accused of plotting Dylann-Roof-style attack pleads guilty to weapons charge

A Conway man, who purchased a gun from an undercover agent for an attack "in the spirit of Dylann Roof," pleaded guilty Monday to possession of a firearm as a felon, according to Federal Court documents.

The FBI arrested Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 30, in February 2017 as a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty Monday in Florence Federal Court, court documents show.

Documents from the case say McDowell became affiliated with white supremacists while he was serving prison sentences in South Carolina and has tattoos indicating his ties.

He allegedly published a post in January 2017 stating:

“Dylann Roof did what these tattoos wearing so bada** is supposed to be doing they give f*** about their white race. All they wanne do is stay loaded on drugs the Jews put here to destroy white man and they feast on the drugs. they should be Feasting on the enemy that stole their Heritage and their bloodline and trying to run us off of this Earth you can post pictures of f****** Viking and swords all the s*** you want to post if you ain’t got the heart to fight for Yahweh like dylann roof did you need to shut the f******up d*** right I’m pissed off when I see a f******white young and disable beat him to death before f****** n****** and white people running their f******mouth not doing nothing!!!!!!! damn right I’m pissed off.”

In 2017, McDowell met with an undercover FBI agent who he bought a 40-caliber Glock from for about $109, according to court documents. He was arrested later that day in the parking lot of a Hampton Inn at Broadway at the Beach. Officers say he was carrying a red duffel bag, containing a 40-caliber Glock and a hollow point ammunition, when he was arrested.

McDowell faces a possible maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $250,000.

In 2011, he served 18 months in prison for a felony second-degree burglary conviction.