Washington (CNN) - An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill several African-Americans in 2008 including then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
Paul Schlesselman of West Helena, Arkansas, faces 10 years in prison under a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors in Tennessee.
Federal officials in Washington said Schlesselman had threatened to kill then-Sen. Obama on October 23, 2008, shortly before the presidential election. He also planned to "murder dozens of people with a focus on murdering African-Americans" the Justice Department said.
"Despite great civil rights progress, hate-fueled violence remains all too common in our country, as illustrated by this unthinkable conspiracy," said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez in a statement issued by his Justice Department office.