One of Five Occupy Cleveland Bomb Plotters Pleads Guilty
One of the five men accused of attempting to blow up a bridge in Ohio to make an Occupy-themed political statement has pleaded guilty.
Anthony Hayne, who has a prior record for theft, will testify against
his four co-conspirators in exchange for leniency at sentencing.
The five men were arrested on April 30th
after they set what they believed to be a bomb containing C4 explosives
at the base of a bridge. They attempted to detonate the device using a
cell phone, but the bomb was actually an inert mock-up sold to them by
undercover FBI agents. Attorneys for the men have claimed they were entrapped by an FBI informant.
All five of the defendants had ties to the Occupy Cleveland movement.
Brandon Baxter, who is alleged to have been one two leaders of the group, was arrested at an Occupy Cleveland demonstration in March. He later helped organize an event
called "Occupy the Heart Festival." Two other members of the plot listed
Occupy Cleveland as their place of work.
When the five men were arraigned in early May, 50 members of Occupy Cleveland came to the court in a show of solidarity. Despite this, Occupy Cleveland organizers have claimed they do not support the violent tactics the five men were allegedly engaged in.
The guilty plea by Hayne is described by the AP as a "surprise" and means he will likely face "15 years to nearly 20 years in prison" rather than a life sentence. Hayne was reportedly the last of the five men to join the alleged plot.