NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A federal judge sentenced accused Islamic State supporter Lionel Nelson Williams to 20 years in prison on Wednesday.
Williams, who is from Suffolk, faced a charge of Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Terrorist Organization.
Federal investigators arrested the 27-year-old, who also goes by the name Harun Ash-Shabab, on December 21, 2016.
In court Wednesday, prosecutors argued Williams would always be a danger to the community.
Court documents show Williams wanted ISIS to take over the United States, writing to an undercover FBI agent, "I can't wait for the day that the black flag of Islam exists all over Maryland, D.C., Virginia and Chicago."
In a different message he said if he did a lone wolf attack, he would "hit hard targets" such as "policemen, people that can defend themselves and fight back." Williams gave $250 to that undercover officer, believing the money would help ISIS soldiers buy weapons and ammunition.
Investigators said Williams ordered an AK-47 assault rifle the day after the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015. They recovered two firearms, including an AK-47 and a semi-automatic handgun, in Williams’ home which they searched after his arrest.
However, defense attorneys argued before the judge that Williams accepts responsibility for his behavior. They said that for the past year that he’s been in jail, he hasn’t had access to the internet and has changed.
Before the judge sentenced Williams, Williams thanked his family and friends – specifically his grandmother for supporting him.
In addition to the 20-year prison sentence, the judge ordered Williams, who entered into a plea agreement, to be placed on supervised release for life.
After court, 13News Now asked Williams’ grandmother, who lived with him when he was arrested, how she felt about the sentencing. She did not provide any comment.
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