Relatives said the defendants were down-on-their-luck men who worked at places like Wal-Mart, a landscaping company and a warehouse when they weren't behind bars. Payen's lawyer said he was "intellectually challenged" and on medication for schizophrenia. Marilyn Reader said he has "a very low borderline" IQ.
Payen, 27, did time for attempted assault -- in 2002, he and others fired a BB gun out an SUV window, hitting two people in the head. He snatched purses from two women later the same day, said state Division of Parole spokeswoman Heather Groll.
So: An intellectually-challenged schizophrenic BB-gun-shooting purse-snatcher, and a stoner ringleader.
"It's hard to envision a more chilling plot," said assistant U.S. attorney Eric Snyder.
It is? We'd sure hate to see what Snyder would say about al Qeada.