A Florida man who dubbed himself “The Antifa Hunter” was recently sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison for using social media threats to advance his racist, white supremacist beliefs, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
32-year-old Daniel McMahon, as the “Hunter” is actually known, pleaded guilty to two separate acts of online hate.
First, he threatened Don Gathers, a Black activist who intended to run for city council in Charlottesville, Virginia.
And second, he threatened to sexually assault the autistic daughter of a woman who opposed white nationalist sentiments.
Federal prosecutors included both threats in their filing with the court:
“[McMahon acted] all in the service of his self-assigned ‘mission’ to hunt down and silence anyone who spoke out against white supremacy.”
“The defendant’s conduct is reprehensible, and it served a despicable purpose. And in the process, his victims suffered real harm.”
According to prosecutors, the evidence of McMahon’s online harassment campaigns were discovered when the FBI searched McMahon’s home and seized his computer–along with several loaded guns.
Investigators found that McMahon, under the pseudonym “Jack Corbin,” accused activist Don Gathers of “attacking” a white supremacist group member. McMahon then called for a “diversity of tactics” to be used to bring down Gathers.
When investigators interpreted that call to action as a solicitation of violence, they notified Gathers, who cancelled his campaign for city council. Then, again on social media, McMahon boasted with a message reading, “Hail Victory!”
When McMahon was arrested, another victim came forward. A North Carolina woman told prosecutors that after she criticized white nationalist ideas, McMahon threatened to sexually assualt her severely autistic daughter, who was a minor.
In her statement to the court, the woman shared the fear that McMahon’s actions provoked:
“Only a deeply disturbed individual would do this, a monster. I will never feel completely safe about my child again.”
“There is seemingly nothing that Daniel McMahon will not do in the name of white supremacy,” she wrote.”
Beyond those two pieces of evidence for which McMahon was charged, his computer included a slew of additional problematic content.
One folder titled with a racist slur contained several images of violently killed Black people, including Trayvon Martin and lynching victims. Elsewhere, McMahon had saved images capturing the now infamous moment when James Fields plowed his car into counterprotestors at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
There were also hundreds of files containing the personal information that McMahon dug up about victims of his harassment tactics, many of which were contained in a folder simply titled “Owned.”
US Attorney Thomas T. Cullen, of the Western District of Virginia, broadly condemned McMahon’s actions, according to the NY Post:
“This defendant weaponized social media to threaten and intimidate his perceived political enemies and propagate a violent white-supremacist ideology.”
McMahon pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office. U.S. District Judge Norman Moon slapped McMahon with three years and five months in prison, the high end of the sentencing guidelines for those crimes.
In response to the story, Twitter was completely appalled by McMahon’s conduct. Many framed him as one individual example in a frightening trend.
Dear USA … do you intend to become civilized in the near future …
— Hans Bager Nielsen (@HansBagerNielse) September 1, 2020
Americans seem to be uneasy with the looting and destruction of protests, but the murderous, heavily armed mob is all on the right. Americans are many times less safe in Trump’s America. And he won’t even condemn these people. He is the threat.
— Chris O’Brien (@ChrisOBrienMA) September 1, 2020
He gets 3 years for threatening to r@pe an autistic child and threatening multiple people’s life?
Yet, a black mother voted while on parole and got 5 years in prison.
— Blue Matrix (@BlueMatrix6) September 1, 2020
Something tells me that prison isn’t going to make him a better person.
— debbyrn🌊 (@deb_byrn) September 1, 2020
We hope McMahon’s upcoming years in prison allow enough time to reflect and resolve against routine, attacking behavior.