5 plead not guilty in alleged bridge bomb plot
The five men who are accused of plotting to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, Ohio. Top row, from left, are Douglas Wright, Brandon Baxter and Anthony Hayne. Bottom row, from left, are Joshua Stafford and Connor Stevens. / AP Photo/FBI
(CBS/AP) CLEVELAND - Five men accused of plotting to bomb a highway bridge near Cleveland have entered not guilty pleas.
The five are described by the government as self-proclaimed anarchists. They appeared Monday at a preliminary hearing in a Cleveland federal court.
The FBI says the five were arrested last week after setting the codes for what they thought would be an explosion to destroy the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge, south of Cleveland. The device was supposed to be two improvised explosive devices containing C-4 plastic explosives, according to CBS affiliate WOIO in Cleveland, Ohio. But the bomb was a fake arranged by an FBI informant.
"They talked about making a statement against corporate America and the government as some of the motivations for their actions," U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said Tuesday.
The FBI affidavit claimed that the suspects placed the fake explosives and repeatedly tried to detonate them with text messages from their cell phone.
However, one defense attorney calls it a case of entrapment, with the informant guiding the way.
The five men -- Douglas L. Wright, 26; Brandon L. Baxter, 20; Anthony Hayne, 35; Connor C. Stevens, 20, and Joshua S. Stafford -- all face one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction to destroy property used in interstate commerce, one count of conspiracy to use of a weapon of mass destruction to destroy property used in interstate commerce and one count of attempted use of an explosive device to damage or destroy real property used in interstate commerce, according WOIO.
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