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. jj

    Looks like they are rounding up the usual suspects. The guy on the right did it. He as a full beard.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • americansarelost

      where are those guys that were trumpetting here that all terrorists were muslims?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. teabagger

    So they met at an Occupy rally and some of you think they're Tea Baggers? Isn't Occupy all about rallying against the Tea Baggers? You know, the ones that make all the money.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • haha

      Who thinks of Tea Party supporters as rich? I think of them as borderline illiterate rural and exurban people.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • January24


      The Left lies. It's a key tenet of their system.

      They lie, they propagandize and they deflect.

      Obama and Pelosi went on record in a very big and very public way with endorsements of the Zucotti Park mob.

      "Occupiers" are the darlings of the LEFT. But the Left is so outrageous with its lies that they will try to tie these "Occupiers" to the right. Who knows (goes their reasoning)? There are probably some people dumb enough to believe it.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Shane

    Wow now Fox News has a headliner to run with all week. Don't get me wrong, these nutjorbs need to be behind bars, but I think it's laughable to say the plot "evolved" from some pothead scheme to deface signs into planting C-4 under a bridge. I would hazard a guess the "sources" and undercover FBI had something to do with the direction of the plan. Either way, glad they are no longer an issue.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Oski

    I guess they will miss the next Occupy rally. I wonder if their trust fund checks will get forwarded...

    May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. aj

    Can we have a racism-free forum CNN? This isn't Fox news.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    FBI finds some dull/normals, buys them lots of beers. Suggests plans to them. Sells them the "explosives."
    Then arrests them
    Amerika's got Law Enforcement ~ new tv reality show "ENTRAPMENT'

    May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Holdupaminute

      Entrapment? I think not. These guys placed the explosives under the bridge. They were very willing on their own to blow up a bridge and potentially kill people.

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

      SWELL! Another "conspriacy theorist"! But you missed it this time: it's not only the FBI, but they were also working with the CIA, KGB, MI6, and the space aleins!

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

      Get it right. A concerned citizen reported them to the FBI and the FBI acted on the tip. It's not entrapment. It's called doing their job.

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

    Put 'em up against the wall.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. George Cantstandya

    I bet these sanctomonious POS'es were unemployed.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Well, YEAH, George.

      These are "Occupiers." You know, refugees from Zucotti Park.

      They weren't getting enough attention just defecating on police vehicles. They needed to take it to the next level.

      These are Obama's people. Remember when Obama and Pelosi actually went on record as endorsing "Occupy?"

      Darlings of the Left!

      May 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jon

    Gee.. yet more violence from the occupy movement. What a surprise.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Albro

    They are Americans, plotting terrorist acts against America: that should qualify for a charge of treason, which still carries the DEATH PENATLY!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. jake

    5 Wackos, made in America. That's all folks. All this other BS about politics is just that BS. Get a mind, start with Sesame Street and work your way from there. God Almighty, some here are just brain dead.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • therealhawkman

      But Sesame Street is where they got the idea.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      So Jake.

      If I read you post correctly, you're an "Occupy" sympathizer.

      Good luck with that. Do you have plans to visit these brothers of yours from Zucotti Park in prison?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gromit

    lol, these guys are just more dumb oswalds getting suckered into a test of national security.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Toonces

    How is blowing up a bridge sending a message to corporations? Killing innocent people. Destroying city infrastructure that allows for people to go to their jobs, which helps the economy, etc. etc. etc. What a dumb group of people.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Frank

    This reads like these guys are frustrated Occupiers who decided to take things up a notch.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. Oh'really

    OWS at it's finest, just look at them. And you people talk about toothless southerners, lmao. Obama must go 2012.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • January24


      It was pretty funny how the leftists rushed in here and tried to start pinning this on Tea Partiers when these cretins are CLEARLY DARLINGS OF THE LEFT.

      But then, that's what leftists do. In the face of unpleasant facts, they start lying. As quickly and ferociously and relentlessly as they can. I see that they've thinned out a bit though - now that they can see people aren't THAT stupid.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
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