(CBS/AP) AKRON, Ohio - The man accused of being the ringleader of a group that planned to bomb a highway bridge in Ohio was sentenced Tuesday to more than 11 years in prison on Tuesday.
In court, Douglas Wright, 26, apologized to his family and the community, saying he was an addict and needed help for substance abuse. He was sentenced to 138 months in prison.
Wright and 20-year-olds Brandon Baxter and Connor Stevens pleaded guilty to conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, knowingly attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to damage property with explosives.
Judge David Dowd backed a government request last week to consider stricter sentences
based on a "terrorist enhancement" that the three were trying to
intimidate the government when they conspired between February 20 and April 30 to explode the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge.
The ruling expanded possible sentences from
five or six years to 15 to 30 years or more.
Baxter and Stevens will learn their sentences later Tuesday. A fourth defendant will be sentenced Wednesday and a fifth is undergoing a psychiatric exam.
The suspects were arrested by the FBI and described as self-proclaimed anarchists who acted out of anger against corporate America and the government. The FBI said the public was never in danger because the explosives were inoperable since they were provided by an informant.
Defense attorneys called the case entrapment, with the informant guiding the way, and said the plot was more an act of vandalism than anti-government terrorism. They asked for sentences in the range of five years.
The government said the plot "was meant to convey a message to the civilian population, the corporate world, the financial system, and all levels of government."
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