Suffolk man sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempting to help ISIS

Posted at 4:52 AM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 13:38:00-05

SUFFOLK, Va. - A Suffolk man facing terrorism charges was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison, plus lifetime supervision once released.

In August, inside a federal courtroom, Lionel Williams plead guilty to trying to help ISIS.

The sentence was part of Williams plea deal.

FBI agents arrested Williams at his home in Suffolk late last year.

In court, the prosecution said he pledge his allegiance to ISIS during his arrests.

According to court documents obtained by News 3, Williams went to area stores and bought gift cards meant to help ISIS buy weapons.

Prosecutors said he sent money intended for ISIS and was talking about carrying out a local attack.

Williams neighbors told us the news came as a shock.

FBI agents said Williams was also posting pro-ISIS messages on Facebook.

The judge asked if Williams now disavows his allegiance to ISIS, he didn't answer.

However, the defense assured the court he doesn't wish to pursue extremist values and accepts responsibility for his actions.

His family declined to comment.