A Florida man known as “the Antifa hunter,” who launched online harassment campaigns against those who disagreed with white supremacy, was sentenced on Monday to three years and five months in prison.
A federal judge in Virginia sentenced Daniel McMahon, 32, of Brandon, Fla., after he admitted to using social media to threaten a Black activist to stop him from running for office and threatening to sexually assault a female activist’s autistic daughter, The Associated Press reported.
McMahon pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office in April.
The FBI recovered his computer and several loaded guns from McMahon’s home that he shared with his parents, prosecutors said, with the computer showing evidence of his harassment campaigns and of his interest in racially motivated killings.
McMahon operated his cyberstalking through the name “Jack Corbin,” an alias under which he convinced activist Don Gathers against running for the City Council of Charlottesville, Va. Prosecutors said he alleged Gathers had attacked a white supremacist group member and called for a “diversity of tactics” to be used against him, according to the AP.
After Gathers was informed of the threats, he announced that he wouldn’t run for office.
Following McMahon’s arrest, a woman told prosecutors that he had threatened her and her daughter, an autistic minor, over Facebook and attempted to get information from her about another protester.
McMahon said he would sexually assault the daughter “all in the service of his self-assigned ‘mission’ to hunt down and silence anyone who spoke out against white supremacy,” prosecutors said.
“The defendant’s conduct is reprehensible, and it served a despicable purpose. And in the process, his victims suffered real harm,” the prosecutors wrote, according to the AP.
Law enforcement found 35 gigabytes of data on McMahon’s computer that he weaponized against his online targets. Prosecutors said they found folders including one dedicated to photos of dead Black men as well as others that had information about those he was harassing.
McMahon’s defense attorney Jessica Phillips requested her client be sentenced to a year and a half and for his time in custody since his Sept. 18, 2019, arrest to count. She said McMahon made “bad choices” but regrets them and takes full responsibility, attributing the actions to a mental health disorder, alcohol abuse and a “lack of social stability,” according to the AP.
“While he did not realize the impact of his words at the time, he certainly does now,” Phillips wrote in a court filing.