Three twenty-somethings affiliated with an Occupy movement protest in Cleveland and who were arrested in May for allegedly planning to bomb a bridge will likely plead guilty in federal court on Wednesday afternoon.
An FBI sting earlier this year nabbed five individuals affiliated with Occupy Cleveland who allegedly plotted to use C-4 explosive on an Ohio bridge during a “May Day” protest. One of the five, Anthony Hayne, has already pled guilty.Three of the others charged in the plot — 20-year-old Brandon Baxter, 20-year-old Connor Stevens and 26-year-old Douglas Wright — have change-of-plea hearings scheduled for Wednesday, as first reported by the Associated Press. The fifth suspect, 23-year-old Joshua Stafford, is undergoing a court-ordered competency evaluation, court records show.
The FBI’s cooperating source in the case, who has several convictions on his record, came into contact with some of the defendants during an Occupy protest in late 2011. He also had hired several of them for odd jobs in his roofing business. As the plot developed, FBI agents allegedly provided the group with fake C-4 explosives they planted on the Ohio bridge.
One Occupy protestor who knew several of the individuals told TPM they “didn’t show any signs of being violent.” Rumors about a law enforcement infiltrator had circled within the the Occupy Cleveland movement before the arrests took place.
Late update: As expected, all three pled guilty on Wednesday afternoon.