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Four Anarchists Sentenced in Cleveland Bridge Bomb Plot

By Bill Morlin on December 5, 2012 - 1:05 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime

Four young self-described anarchists caught planning to blow up an Ohio bridge in an FBI sting operation have received sentences ranging from six to 11½ years in federal prison.

Anthony M. Hayne, 35, of Cleveland, the first to plead guilty and the last of the four to be sentenced, received a six-year term Friday after apologizing in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio, public radio station WKSU reported. A fifth defendant, Joshua S. Stafford, 23, is undergoing a psychiatric examination.

Earlier, U.S. District Court Judge David Dowd sentenced 26-year-old Douglas L. Wright to 11½ years; 20-year-old Brandon L. Baxter to 10 years, and 20-year-old Connor C. Stevens to eight years.

The men had ties to the Occupy Movement but decided it wasn’t proactive enough,  so they secretly formed an anarchist group — calling itself the Revolutionary People’s Party — and took steps to blow up a highway bridge near Cleveland after discussing bombing other targets, including a Ku Klux Klan gathering spot and a Federal Reserve Bank, court documents allege.

The planned act of terrorism was to coincide with May 1 antigovernment, anti-establishment protests planned in Cleveland and other U.S. cities.

The bombs the men purchased were fake. They were arrested on the evening of April 30 after three members of the group planted the two inert C-4 explosive devices at the base of the Route 82 bridge crossing from Brecksville to Sagamore Hills over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, south of downtown Cleveland.

Defense attorneys had argued that the defendants, who all lived in or near Cleveland, were victims of government entrapment, set up by an FBI informant with a felony record. But the judge ruled the actions of the defendants were intended to intimidate the U.S. government and, therefore, amounted to an attempted act of terrorism, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Wright, Baxter and Stevens pleaded guilty in September after Hayne did so in July, agreeing to become a prosecution witness against the others in exchange for a lighter sentence.

  • Aron

    Ruslan,

    Touché. I stand corrected in my initial post. But that still does not mean they are ‘freedom fighters,’ so much as they are ‘misguided malcontents.’

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    They “wanted” to blow up a bridge when an informant suggested they do something big. Then he introduced them to an “arms dealer.” So that means they would have blown up a bridge if they had somehow come up with an idea they had not dreamed up on their own and then a real arms dealer had found them, as they were not looking for one initially. Slim chances.

  • Aron

    Gary, they wanted to blow up a bridge. There is nothing ‘freedom fighter’ about that. They just wanted to blow up a bridge.

  • Gary Rumor

    This is a sad day when freedom fighters are imprisoned and so called progressive organizations treat them as enemies or terrorists. I am sure Assad in Syria considers all the resistance fighters to be terrorists. As Mao said “you have to break a few eggs to make an omlet.” Non-Violence is a luxury that Americans can afford. But when things get tough will we take up the challenge or simply shut up and go along like good Germans?

  • Ahuitzotl

    I hate these self-described Anarchists, that have emerged in recent decades!!! They are defaming actual Anarchists. They remind me those self-described “Christians” & “Muslims,” who are similarly defaming those movements. What ever happened to real Christians? Did they all die out? Did they all become these freak fundamentalist? When I was growing up as Christian I didn’t even know that the fundamentalist freaks existed, now, I can’t remember the last time that I ever heard of an actual Christian. At least there are maNY ACTUAL mUSLIMS WHO FREQUENTLY DENOUNCE THE EXTREMISTS WHO ARE PERVERTING THEIR RELIGION & DESTROYING IT’S REPUTATION.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Wrong, John…I have no support for violence directed at racists, either. Ridicule, embarrassment, lawsuits, humiliation, opposition, yes.

    But violence, harassment, threats, never. You should never become what you behold.

    For those reasons, I have no use for people who hack Stormfront’s web site, or the idiots who attacked racists in that restaurant. It’s not the answer. It only makes things worse.

  • Sam Molloy

    Bob Dylan is suing NBC?

  • John

    Shame on you Reynard…that’s not very nice..;)

  • John Drinkwater

    The government’s excuse for entrapment in this case is completely bogus and has frightening implications. How could they feel “intimidated” by a fake bomb plot which they created?! This case should have been thrown out of court. Instead, the judge was clearly in on the plot.

  • Reynardine

    John, you are aptly named. Someone #2 in your brain and didn’t flush.

  • Reynardine

    Aron, your declaration of brassicacidal warfare against Brussels sprouts poses collateral threats to my collards. I will not tolerate threats to my collards.

  • John

    Other than that, at least Zimmerman is finally suing NBC for editing his phone call

  • John

    It was humor at you and your friend’s expense aadilla, which doesn’t translate well to text..you’re so easy to get a rise out of which then of course brings out your overanalyzation of things..lol

  • aadila

    John your comment shows the state of development of your consciousness, wherein violence is the realm you have chosen and violence is what you will experience. It is a pitiable, powerless condition. You only confuse violence with power because you have not yet developed your mind beyond the habits and conditions of the animal state. Thus you have chosen the path of suffering, and cannot comprehend why others would chose a different path, simply because like a blind grub you do not yet have eyes to see.

  • swaneagle

    Sadly, it is well known that the FBI infiltrated many occupies, supplied materials, explosives and ideas to easily manipulated young inexperienced people. This Ohio incident is particularly disturbing. These pawns would most likely have never come up with this scheme on their own if not for the dishonest workings of the FBI which declared occupy a security threat. Yeah, a threat to unfettered greed, foreclosures, punitive student loans and the shredding of the safety nets for this broken society’s most vulnerable. Sadly, SPLC is no ally to those who struggle to barely survive and resist the violence of the dominant corporate run nightmare all life is truly threatened by.

  • Sam Molloy

    Think of it. One K over there, another K way over there…

  • Aron

    John my friend,

    You will NEVER see a single of us regulars advocating violence against anyone or anything.

    Except for Brussels sprouts. They need to be destroyed down to the genomic level.

  • John

    but they were gonna blow up a KKK gathering spot..you guys(and girl) should be loving that one

  • aadila

    I find Esweeney’s comment very interesting about the implosion of Occupy due to the lack of discipline of its activists. There is nothing fun or easy about having a baton bent over your scalp. To even cogitate a movement such as this requires tapping deep cultural and even spiritual roots that seem to be lacking in our country, which is so blase about so many critical failures of our society.

    This should not be construed as an apology for extremism, but it is a wake up call. Our society seems to prize greed and self interest above all other things, even the proper functioning of a just and equitable government by consent. Our entire lives need not be political, yet no one should be apolitical and expect that anything other than ruin could come from it.

    Millions upon millions of people are so complacent that they don’t even bother to vote, much less risk injury, ridicule, or economic harm to Occupy.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    To think, if a REAL terrorist had approached them and introduced them to a REAL arms dealer, there was a chance that they would possibly blow up a bridge! Good thing the fake terrorist and fake arms dealer were there to reach them and convince them to do try this.

  • http://Occupycleveland.com Esweeney

    These were members of our occupy in Cleveland. They were young, inexperienced in the tenents of non-violence and the threats that multiply being part of social change in a movement like Occupy. The other element that contributed more than any other to their disconnect from instincts was substance abuse. That would be an epidemic of abuse among many of our young male members.
    If you are part of a large group and your agenda gets swamped with the constant diversion of drugs and alcohol, you can be sure the forces aligned against you will use this to destroy your group. We were utterly shattered. Take heed: Where there’s smoke there’s most definitely fire.

  • aadila

    Occupy’s power came from non violence. In fact, it came from the violence that was inflicted upon the Occupy activists, when they refused to react with violence.

    The power comes from what happens in the consciousness of who is doing the violence for the state, in the name of authorities who order the violence, and in supposed benefit of a people who watch the violence take place in a totally one sided way. This is what forced the English from India. It is not the violence but what happens in the consciousness of those who do violence when they learn that violence has no power.

    Blowing up a bridge is a completely powerless act because it can do nothing within the consciousness of others but result in more violence. Violence is not power. Violence is simply violence.

  • Sam Molloy

    Lord knows I am not trying to be sarcastic, Shane, but I think it is quite fair to state what a person describes themself as. They apparently fit the legal definition of terrorists as well, which is pretty clear in this country. All the fallen dictators in recent memory have called their country’s rebel forces terrorists, though, and peaceful Occupy demonstrators have been called names as well, so some terms are simply inaccurate.

  • StevenR

    @shane – why “self-described”?, that way you know that they used the label for themselves, and it wasn’t given to them by the reporter or the police.

  • Shane

    Why does the article say “self-described”?

  • Aron

    I can’t wait for WND and TheBlaze to pick up on this…