New York man who wanted to target minorities sentenced

AP News
Posted: Sep 07, 2016 7:43 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York man who wanted to target religious and racial minorities for attacks has been sentenced to three years in prison for illegal possession of a machine gun.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Albany says 19-year-old Robert Shane Smith of Whitehall in Washington County was sentenced Tuesday as a result of a federal anti-terrorism task force's investigation into Smith's online threats against blacks and Jews.

Prosecutors say Smith admitted he tried repeatedly to buy fully automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons that he intended to convert to fully automatic. His social media postings included advocating violence against minority groups and "destroying the government."

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An FBI sting resulted in his arrest in Whitehall in August 2015, when he acquired machine guns and ammunition from an undercover agent.