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. Portland tony

    Really ...rusty old bridge ...NOT ...100.% cement. Built in 1931 and still works as with most US bridges. These guys just wanted to blow something up. Hang em high!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Thank you, FBI!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rachel

    Anarchists are such stupid creatures.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. randy

    cant wait to hear that these guys are or were part of the occupy movement

    May 1, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. I see a Lefty

    I'm guessing radical Lefists?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • muffer

      what difference does THAT make?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • DA

      You only see what you want to see. Not sure how this turned into a political debate. But if it were my guess, I would say Tea Party!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      actually if any of you knew anything about political philosophy anarchists are extreme right wingers

      May 1, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Alfred E

    Good on ya FBI. First things first, lets neuter them as soon as they are processed so in the off case they beat the rap they cannot reproduce.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. AmericanHero

    look white terrorists

    May 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Ambrose Smith

      Exactly. Bus since they are white–they aren't officially terrorists. Only bad guys.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. anonymous

    Good to see that at least our justice system still works, and can now prevent attacks from the inside.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. NWR

    Another FBI devised and orchestrated entrapment plot. Good heavens, people open your minds..

    May 1, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • El

      I totally agree with you. As soon as I saw they bought the explosives from the FBI, BINGO!!!!! Muffer is clueless and is probably someone who needs to watch more than his favorite news channel. Like so many people, he needs to open his eyes.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Speedy

      Let me see if I get this right- The FBI told these guys to buy C-4 from them? and then told them to place in on the bridge, then told them to blow it up from a remote location. Now I see your right – the FBI wants to kill Americans.
      Your not to bright

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

      Before you start claiming entrapment, please look at the legal definition of entrapment, i.e. "The act of government agents or officials that induces a person to commit a crime he or she is not previously disposed to commit." These five devised the plan to blow the bridge up on their own and looked for the means to do so. There was no inducement by the FBI, therefore it was NOT entrapment.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. valerie

    I grew up not far from there, what a shame..

    May 1, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. muffer

    hope they spend the rest of their sorry lives behind bars.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Nice job FBI

    May 1, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. bob

    Well there goes half of the Cleveland OWS crowd...

    May 1, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • SBinF


      You jest, surely. Anarchists are for NO government. Now ask yourself....which end of the political spectrum is crying about less government?

      Oh, right...

      May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • jim

      YET ANOTHER lying conservative fool who can't accept facts

      May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rajiv Shaw

    a combined IQ that is lower than bin laden's. Ha!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Timur Tabi

    Why is the FBI enabling terrorists by giving them supplies and information?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • vince86

      The explosives weren't usable.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Pander Bear

      Uh, inoperable supplies and false info. It was a sting operation.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
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