FBI thwarts plans to blow up Route 82 bridge over - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

FBI thwarts plans to blow up Route 82 bridge over Cuyahoga River

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BRECKSVILLE, OH (WOIO) -

A terrifying bridge bomb plot foiled by FBI agents in Cuyahoga County.

Five men have been arrested after buying explosives from an undercover FBI agent.

The arrests stopped plans to blow up the Route 82 bridge over the Cuyahoga River in Brecksville.

Read the entire FBI affidavit HERE

26-year-old Douglas Wright, 20-year-old Brandon Baxter, 35-year-old Anthony Hayne, 20-year-old Connor Stevens and 23-year-old Joshua Stafford face charges of conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce.

Wright, Baxter, Hayne, Stevens and Stafford appeared before a federal magistrate in U.S. District court Tuesday afternoon, where the charges were read. They will be back in court on Monday at 11AM for a detention hearing, and bond will be discussed at that time.

The FBI says the public was never in danger because the explosives were inoperable.

FBI made the arrests on Monday night after the men placed what they thought were explosives at base of bridge, and then tried to detonate.

According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday morning, Wright, Baxter and Hayne are self-proclaimed anarchists who formed into a small group and considered a series of evolving plots over several months.

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 discussed various bridges and physical targets in and around Cleveland. The final plan resulted in the Route 82 Brecksville-Northfield High Level bridge being the designated target.

Statement from Mayor's Office of Communications
Martin L. Flask, Director, Department of Public Safety

"On behalf of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, I would like to express my appreciation to FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen D. Anthony and the Cleveland Office of the FBI for their diligence in identifying and exposing a potential threat to our community, and for keeping Cleveland's safety leadership informed on the progress of the investigation. The FBI has been an invaluable partner to our community and with their support we can continue to improve the quality of life for all those who live in, visit, or work in the City of Cleveland," stated Cleveland Safety Director Martin L. Flask.


U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) Tuesday afternoon issued the following statement:

"I commend the Cleveland office of the FBI for its exemplary work in foiling the plot.

"Thank you to Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony and his colleagues who worked so hard and so effectively to protect the public and the community."

 

Copyright 2012 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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