5 arrested in alleged plot to blow up Cleveland-area bridge
The FBI released these images of the defendants Tuesday morning.
May 1st, 2012
10:18 AM ET

5 arrested in alleged plot to blow up Cleveland-area bridge

[Updated at 12:06 p.m. ET] Five men have been arrested on suspicion of trying to use what they thought were explosives to destroy a bridge near Cleveland, Ohio, the FBI said Tuesday morning.

Some of the men on Monday planted what they thought were two remotely activated C-4-based explosive devices - which they allegedly bought from an undercover FBI employee - at the base of  a Route 82 bridge that crosses from Brecksville to Sagamore Hills over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the FBI said in a news conference Tuesday.

The devices actually were inoperable and posed no threat to the public, and the FBI arrested the men shortly after the devices were planted, authorities said.

Douglas L. Wright, 26; Brandon L. Baxter, 20; and Anthony Hayne, 35, were arrested by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force on Monday evening on charges of conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce, the FBI said.

Also arrested were Connor C. Stevens, 20; and Joshua S. Stafford, 23. Their charges were pending.

Three of the men are self-proclaimed anarchists, the FBI said in a news release.

"The public was never in danger from explosive devices," the FBI said.

The group initially planned to "topple financial institution signs atop high rise buildings in downtown Cleveland" while co-conspirators used smoke grenades to distract law enforcement, according to the FBI. But the plot evolved into plans for using explosive to destroy bridges or other targets, and the group finally decided on the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge, which carries Route 82 over the national park, the FBI said.

Some of the defendants, after they planted the devices, intended to detonate them from a remote location that they believed was safe and could provide them with an alibi, authorities said at Tuesday's news conference.

The FBI learned of the plots through a confidential source who met Wright at a Cleveland-area protest event in November, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court. Wright told the source that Wright and a group of anarchists "had been discussing plans involving violence and destruction to physical property ... to send a message to corporations and the United States government," the complaint reads.

“The complaint in this case alleges that the defendants took specific and defined actions to further a terrorist plot,” U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach said in the news release. “The defendants stand charged based not upon any words or beliefs they might espouse, but based upon their own plans and actions.”

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soundoff (564 Responses)
  1. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    George Washington wanted to burn down New York City.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • therealhawkman

      That's because it was Occupied at the time.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Big Al

    I'm guessing the one on the left is the base player and the one on the right is the drummer.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bill (Louisiana)

    The FEDS probably picked up on it via their facebook entries and baited them for their plans. They should all be in prison forever. They are all homegrown terrorists. Glad to see our Federal Justice department folks are on the job

    BZ

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. johnny popper

    Anarchists eh? Arnarchists who also like to smoke a lot of dope and do crazy stuff. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when they hatched this plan over a bowl of Nachos and some of Mexiaco's finest. Dude! Dude, like we could....

    and who says reefer isn't a gateway drug.....

    Cleveland Smokes!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Marc

    A fine representation of the American populace.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ha Ha !

    Anarchists talking about ending the FED ! Sounds like your typical Ron Paul supporter !

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. zjm

    Army of the 12 monkeys, for sure

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. alanandheidi

    So these fine, upstanding citizens all look like they are strung out of their minds. Except for one, they are all just a bunch of 20-something crackheads that thought it would be "sweet" to blow something up and get on the news. Come on. It makes me so proud to see where society is heading. Thanks to the FBI for being on top of it though.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. HeyHey

    Great job of arresting the area Meth heads.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Susan

    Those little idiots. I hope they get locked up for life, as in, their whole life. No amount of psychological help could straighten these sodders out. It really ticks me off. And by the way, I am using nice language so my post won't be rejected.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. steve sanchez

    So will the FBI start profiling young white men?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • therealhawkman

      They already do.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. JesusRubsMe

    The comments are even more inane than usual today. Goodness gracious, it speaks to the weakness of our culture that so many people seem to live in a total fog of prejudices and misconceptions.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ta

    They aren't Muslims, they're WHITE CHRISTIANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take that Rick Santorum!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      How do you know their christian?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeyD352

      What makes you think they are Christians? Don't throw an entire religion under the bus to support your political causes.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • government cheese

      They are OWS anarchists. Doesn't Obama support OWS? Reminds me of the 60s when his friend Bill Ayers did the same thing.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • rs

      Where do you get that they are Christians? The article states three of them are declared anarachists...

      May 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Did you buy a "jump to conclusions" mat recently? Or are logical fallacies your expertise.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sosa

      But they are still label them as insanity, not terrorists...

      May 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kent

    to bad they got caught. looks like 5 really nice hard working productive citizens.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. dac

    Are they also responsible for the Garfield assassination?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • therealhawkman

      No. But their grandparents probably had something to do with it.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
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