(Newsroom America) -- Three men pleaded guilty today to three counts each for their roles in a conspiracy to use explosives to destroy a bridge near Cleveland.
At a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge David Dowd, defendants Douglas L. Wright, 26, of Indianapolis; Brandon L. Baxter, 20, of Lakewood, Ohio; and Connor C. Stevens, 20, of Berea, Ohio, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, and attempted use of an explosive device to destroy property used in interstate commerce.
Anthony M. Hayne, 35, of Cleveland pleaded guilty in July to the same charges.
Hayne, Wright, Baxter, Stevens, and Joshua S. Stafford were arrested on April 30, 2012.
According to court documents, Wright, Baxter, Hayne, Stevens, and Stafford 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 conspired to obtain C-4 explosives contained in two improvised explosive devices to be placed and remotely detonated, according to the complaint.
The defendants discussed various bridges and physical targets in and around the Cleveland metropolitan area over the course of several months. The final plan resulted in the Route 82 Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge being the designated target. This bridge crosses from Brecksville, Ohio, to Sagamore Hills, Ohio, over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, according to the complaint.
The public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by an undercover FBI employee. The defendants were closely monitored by law enforcement. The explosives that the defendants allegedly purchased and attempted to use were inoperable and posed no threat to the public.
Stafford’s case is pending while he undergoes an examination and competency hearing.