Man Suspected in Bridge Bomb Plot Former Avon Lake Resident With A Record
Stafford was arrested four times in 2008.
One of five men suspected in conspiring to use explosives on a bridge 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 Avon Lake Police 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 Avon Lake Municipal Court.
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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