An Indiana man who was found with loaded rifles and explosives in his car and told police he was headed to a Los Angeles PRIDE in 2016 has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison on weapons charges .
James Howell, 22, was arrested hours after the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016. Authorities had feared a copycat crime targeting LGBT people, particularly with the LA Pride festivities taking place that weekend.
Police said the Howell who Charlestown, Indiana, with a loaded AR-15 rifle and magazines rigged to allow shots to be fired in quick succession. Investigators said Howell also had 15 pounds of chemicals mixed and ready to explode
According to court records reviewed by the Indianapolis Star was Howell was on probation for misdemeanor intimidation and wanted in connection with the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl. Howell also threatened to kill himself and the girl’s family if he were arrested. He described himself as a “sociopath with an automatic.”