Three of the five men who tried to blow up a Cleveland-area bridge were sentenced to prison on Tuesday.
Douglas L. Wright, 26, Brandon L. Baxter, 20, and Connor C. Stevens, 20, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and malicious use of an explosive device to destroy the Route 82 Bridge in Brecksville.
Wright was sentenced to 138 months in prison. Baxter was sentenced 1o 117 months in prison. Stevens was sentenced to 97 months in prison.
A judge ruled last week terrorism enhancements applied, which meant a tougher sentence.
The initial plot involved the use of smoke grenades to distract law enforcement in order for the co-conspirators to topple financial institution signs atop high rise buildings in downtown Cleveland, according to the complaint.
The plot later developed to the utilization of explosive materials. The defendants conspired to obtain C-4 explosives contained in two improvised explosive devices to be placed and remotely detonated, according to the complaint.
The defendants discussed various bridges and physical targets in and around the Cleveland, Ohio metropolitan area over the course of several months. The final plan resulted in the Route 82 Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge being the designated target. This bridge crosses from Brecksville, Ohio to Sagamore Hills, Ohio over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, according to the complaint.
The public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by an undercover FBI employee. The defendants were closely monitored by law enforcement. The explosives that the defendants allegedly purchased and attempted to use were inoperable and posed no threat to the public.
Copyright 2012 WOIO. All rights reserved.
730 North Summit Street