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Cleveland Bomb Plot Update: 5 men charged in Ohio bridge bomb plot, FBI says

Photos released by the FBI shows (L to R,) Connor Stevens, Douglas Wright, Joshua Stafford, Anthony Hayne and Brandon Baxter. These five men allegedly plotted to blow up a bridge near Cleveland.
AP Photo/FBI
(CBS/AP) - Five men described by federal authorities as "anarchists" angry with corporate America and the government were charged Tuesday with plotting to bomb an Ohio bridge linking two Cleveland suburbs.

The men were arrested Monday night after unknowingly working with an FBI informant for months.

"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 in announcing the arrests with the head of the FBI in Cleveland, Stephen Anthony.

The alleged plotters researched explosives and obtained what they thought was C-4 explosives. The material, in fact, was harmless and the public was never at risk, the FBI said, because the men got it from the FBI agent.

According to Dettelbach, the men planted the fake explosives at the base of the bridge, armed them, went to a remote spot and "entered the codes that they thought would blow up the bridge with innocent people traveling over it."

Court documents detail several conversations the FBI secretly recorded in which its informant discussed the bomb plans with some of the suspects.

In one, Brandon L. Baxter, 20, of Lakewood allegedly said "Taking out a bridge in the business district would cost the ... corporate big wigs a lot of money" because it would cause structural damage and prevent people from going to work.

He and another suspect, Douglas L. Wright, 26, of Indianapolis, favored targeting a bridge because it would limit "the number of casualties and the potential for killing possible supporters," court documents said.

The men were charged with conspiracy and trying to bomb property used in interstate commerce. All five appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court, where Magistrate Judge Greg White ordered them jailed without bond pending a hearing Monday.

In addition to Baxter and Wright, the suspects were identified as Joshua S. Stafford, 23, and Anthony Hayne, 35, both of Cleveland, and Connor Stevens, 20, of suburban Berea. The charges carry possible penalties of more than 20 years in prison.


  • Crimesider Staff

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