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Man Suspected in Bridge Bomb Plot Former Avon Lake Resident With A Record

Stafford was arrested four times in 2008.

in Brecksville formerly lived in Avon Lake, and accrued a criminal history while he was here.

Joshua S. Stafford, 23, is one of five men charged May 1 by the FBI. Stafford, along with Douglas L. Wright, 26, Brandon L. Baxter, 20, Anthony Hayne, 35 and Connor C. Stevens, 20 were each charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of attempted use of an explosive, said Mike Tobin, public affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice, Northern District of Ohio

In 2008, Stafford was charged by the on four separate occasions:

  • In May 2008 Stafford, then a resident of Burton Street, was charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor. He pleaded no contest was found guilty and fined. He was listed as indigent at the time.
  • In June of 2008 he was charged with misdemeanor theft and receiving stolen property, pleaded guilty and was issued probation.
  • The following month he was charged with misdemeanor criminal damaging and attempted breaking and entering. Both of those arrests were answered in one court complaint. He was found guilty and sentenced to 180 days in jail, with 150 of those days suspended on each, to run concurrently. All charges were answered to in in 

Stafford's current address is not known.

The men had been monitored by local law enforcement before the arrests. A criminal complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland this morning. Charges against Wright, Baxter and Hayne were made Monday. Charges weren’t made against Stevens and Stafford until Tuesday. 

None entered pleas this afternoon.

The defendants considered a variety of plots in the Cleveland area before settling on the state Route 82 bridge from Brecksville to Sagamore Hills in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the release said. The three who are charged with conspiracy are self-proclaimed anarchists.

The FBI said in a press release the public was not in danger, and an undercover FBI employee had controlled the explosive devices. In addition, the explosives were inoperable.

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Andrea S May 02, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Why that bridge? It is a pretty big bridge for the Cleveland area...but there are ones that have more traffic if they were looking for the highest possible loss of life. I'm just curious what their thinking was. And thank goodness the FBI caught them before they could do any real damage! This has not been a good year so far for Cleveland between all the shootings and now this bomb pot.
Elaine Newlin May 02, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Peaceful nonviolent protest... Come on Occupy Movement. Since when is throwing rocks through windows of buildings and confrontations with police -- who, btw, are part of the 99% that you claim to be protesting on behalf of -- peaceful?
Jack Kelly May 02, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Andrea, They were looking at the Detroit-Superior Bridge, and utilizing the subway system underneath the roadway to plant explosives.
Adam C. Miller May 02, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Yea, they were chanting PRO-Union chants at the Police... last time I checked Police are part of unions haha
Jack Kelly May 02, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Tom, You're just looking for a reason to bash the group in general, regardless of any facts or rationale that is presented. I don't consider them "after the fact" statements. To me, the Occupy movement & the Tea Party are in the same category -- the fringe of their respective parties with plenty of "kook" in them & are not taken seriously (OWS even less). It's not uncommon for someone to "associate" or "align" themselves with a group, while masking their true intent/plans. My decision about this group has been out for a long time (as w/the Teabaggers), and what these nutjobs were planning to do doesn't change that because I view THESE LOONS -- not the group.

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