OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A 22-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to paramilitary training that allegedly involved the white supremacy group American Front at an Osceola County compound.
Kent McLellan told WFTV he’s a skinhead, but had no plans to carry out any acts of terrorism. While maintaining his innocence, McLellan pleaded guilty and will be on probation for four years.
Channel 9 was the first to obtain undercover video taken by a paid FBI informant who was inside the compound while suspected American Front members were conducting military training.
In all, 14 alleged members were arrested after investigators raided the facility earlier this year. The informant said the group was plotting an attack at Orlando City Hall.
Had McLellan not struck a plea deal, he could have faced at least 30 years in prison. He said he agreed to the deal because has a violent criminal history, and he didn't think he stood a chance once a jury took a look at all of his tattoos, including the ones on his face.
Channel 9’s Nancy Alvarez asked him about the “SS” bolts tattooed on his face.
“That doesn't promote violence?” she asked.
“No. That was just a military unit in the German army,” he said.
When asked if he admitted to being a racist skinhead, McLellan said, “I go by the term 'racialist.'”
McLellan said he is a white supremacist who's put his violent past behind him.
“The betterment of the white race is white power to me,” he said. “I don't see that being negative. I don't see how it's possible that could be negative.”
But authorities did, accusing McLellan and others of training for a race war.
“These are good-hearted people,” McLellan said. “They're not out there to cause harm and destruction. They're not terrorists. They’re not militants, not insurgents.”
McLellan said he’ll tell the court the same thing if he’s called to testify against other alleged American Front members.
WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said McLellan's guilty plea to paramilitary training could still hurt the other defendants.
“It's not unusual for the state to give good deals to the those that are less responsible in order to get to the ones who are more responsible for the criminal activity,” Sheaffer said.
In the meantime, Mclellan said he now plans to go to school and wants to start a career.
He also plans to have the tattoos removed from his face.
Sheaffer said the guilty plea could help turn the tide for the state. Their case against this group has been challenged because their confidential informant was paid and had a criminal history himself.