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.”

soundoff (564 Responses)
  1. 4frumAfrica

    where are the racist comments???????

    May 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. getserious

    The One Good Thing about our coddled spoiled youth today, they can screw up ill intended plans too! These guys must not have been able to find a job within "occupy wall st". Or were they fired from that movement???

    May 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Plush

    These poor uneducated 99% radicals. These are our next generation presidents and friends.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      I find your post very ironic especially when you didn't realize that anarchist do not like any form leadership. They don't like to run for President. In other words, you proven to be uneducated.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

      They actually have more in common with your Average Tea Party type than the 99%.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Marley

      These are the redneck version of Al Qaeda. They were raised as Christian conservatives.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • kebo72

      Funny, I thought these were budding GOP hopefuls myself.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. MalcolmXcrement


    The proceeds can be used in any number of positive avenues...

    May 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Penicillin Penny

    When you pwn noobs while playing MW3 you get delusions of grandeur.

    When you get delusions of grandeur you get big ideas.

    When you get big ideas you talk to your friends.

    When you talk to your friends about your big ideas you buy fake explosives from undercover FBI agents.

    Don't buy fake explosives from undercover FBI agents.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • CedarRapids

      nice, made me chuckle.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • GrandmaPunk!

      Thank you, Penny...I am going to giggle all day thinking of those commercials and your parody of same.

      Well done, my friend...well done!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • erik

      I love you. I cried when reading this. I looked up pwn noobs and it means to obliterate friends on Internet games. You need to send that one to Direct TV even though they are terrible. Love their commercials!!!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Gabe

    When hipsters attack.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. whatsnaname

    Considering the state of the bridges in this country this might have been seen as a positive as long as no one got hurt. Thank goodness for snitches, not sure the Feds would have been the hero’s otherwise.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Watusiqueen

    Why aren't they also being charged with attempted assault, murder etc since people are normally on the bridge! Don't know how many people cross the bridge hourly, but the human loss would have been disastrous had these freaks succeeded! Skip the trial and proceed with the execution!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • January24


      Not so fast. Remember that our president and Pelosi both gave "Occupy" their loving seal of approval.

      I'm sure that Obama will be receiving these refugees from Zucotti Park to hear their grievances.

      Darlings of the Left.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rose

    One good thing is we know the FBI will be out among the crowds of these Occupy May Day protests catching people like this. Good job FBI, keep weeding them out.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Portland tony

    What did these "anarchist" do? Advertise on Craig's list? The Friggin' FBI sure has a monopoly on inert explosives which is probably a good thing, but it's really strange that all these bad guys try to buy explosives from undercover agents!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Ah Portland! Of course!

      The People's Republic of Portland. So good of you to show up in solidarity with your brother "Occupiers."

      I'm certain that you're incensed that some on this site have been lying and pretending to believe that these are right-wingers when anyone from Portland recognizes them as the refugees from Zucotti Park that they are.

      Darlings of the Left. It's okay. Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin are on their way right now. They're going to march outside of the jail, demanding that these "political prisoners" be freed.

      Oh, and William Ayers. Remember how he says that every day he wakes up with a fresh determination to destroy capitalism? THESE are HIS PEOPLE.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AlkaSeltzaaaa!

    Great!!! Now I gotta be afriad of white americans too!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • C

      Considering the worst ever terrorist attack on U.S. soil prior to 9/11 was the Oklahoma City bombing which was done by a "White American", as we love to racially label people in this country, I would hope that any educated and sane person would realize that it is not race that defines terrorism but ideology and extremisim whether it be Islamic, Anarchist, Christian, KKK, etc.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tim

    Occupy Cleveland, no doubt. Hahahahaha.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. Peter

    The anarchist's agenda is best propagated by blowing up public infrastructure that is in place to benefit the people and in no way represents any form or oppression or control. Good job guys!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Well, nobody ever said that the "Occupy" mob has an over-abundance of brains.

      But that didn't stop Obama and Pelosi from embracing them as their very own.

      Darlings of the Left! I'm sure that William Ayers is on his way to the courthouse right now to demand that these "political prisoners" be released. Maybe Obama will consent to have them released to his custody since he and Pelosi both gave them their seal of approval.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rickp530

    Instead of putting these guys in prison, we should ship them to Iraq or Afghanistan to join the other terriorists. Maybe some of them won't be so lucky and would meet thier fate.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. JHD

    Why can't they just blow themselves up? If you don't like it here, leave! Don't take innocent lives.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Well, their brother-in-arms, William Ayers, DID manage to blow up his girlfriend during a fun-filled bomb-building afternoon.

      Ayers. Obama's old buddy.

      Remember how Obama and Pelosi both endorsed "Occupy?" Well, here they are. Refugees from Zucotti Park. When defecating on police vehicles just isn't enough, they needed to take it to a new level.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
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