Judge sentences Ocala man to 15 years in terror plot

- A man accused of plotting to blow up a building in Downtown Ocala and scouting a second building as a potential sniper's perch is heading to prison.

The FBI says Jonathan Thomas Beese, 20, was scoping out locations last year for a terror attack.  He pleaded no contest in March to lesser charges of armed burglary and grand theft.  

Investigators said Beese also researched the terrorist group ISIS — including materials on Islamic extremism and lone-wolf terrorism.

"This case is an example of what we call a home-grown violent extremism investigation," explained FBI special Agent Charles Spencer.  "An individual here was radicalized online with a radical version of Islam. He embraced the ideology of using violence and using terrorism against the public here and overseas."

Beese was sentenced on Wednesday to 15 years in prison followed by a term of probation for life.  

 

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