Three men who pleaded guilty to potting to bomb the Route 82 bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Cleveland, Ohio, were sentenced today. U.S. District Judge David Dowd Jr. handed down the sentences, all of which fell short of what prosecutors had requested.
The group’s leader, Douglas Wright, 27, of Indianapolis, Ind., was sentenced to 11½ years in prison. A pre-sentence report described Wright as having recruited the other men from the Occupy Cleveland movement and making contact with the undercover FBI agent who eventually provided the group with fake explosives.
Brandon Baxter, 21, of Lakewood, Ohio, was sentenced to a 9-year, 9-month prison term, and Connor Stevens, 21, of Berea, Ohio, was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Federal prosecutors had asked for sentences of 19 to 30 years.
WKYC-TV’s Sara Shookman covered the proceedings.
A fourth member of the group, Anthony Hayne, 35, of Cleveland, is expected in court tomorrow.
Occupy Wall Street has declared the sentencings a case of “no justice,” citing entrapment by the FBI. Baxter, Stevens and Wright were expected to argue entrapment but dropped that defense as part of a plea deal.
Also on hand: members of Occupy Cleveland, who appeared to show their support.
Shookman, though, couldn’t overlook one ironic defense of one of the would-be bombers.