GREECE, New York — Police have arrested and charged three men and a teen in upstate New York for allegedly planning an attack on Islamberg, a Muslim community 200 miles away.
Police arrested Brian Colaneri, 20; Vincent Vetromile, 19; Andrew Crysel, 18 and an unidentified 16-year-old male on Friday, Jan. 18.
They are accused of making homemade bombs and plotting to attack the Muslim community of Islamberg in Delaware County, New York.
The 16-year-old male is classified by police as an “adolescent offender” and his name and photograph were not released.
All four are from the Rochester, New York area and are charged with three felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one felony count of conspiracy, according to Greece Police Sgt. Jared Rene.
“This was a nice job by everyone involved,” Greece Chief of Police Patrick Phelan said. “The kids did what they were supposed to do, security did what they were supposed to do. They involved the police very quickly and everything worked. And as a result, nobody’s dead. That’s a good story, it really is.”
Phelan said the investigation began on Friday when a student overheard the 16-year-old showing a photo of another student and making a comment like, “he looks like the next school shooter, doesn’t he?”
That student reported the comment and school security immediately interviewed the students involved in the conversation, Phelan said. School security notified Greece Police, who took over the investigation that then involved the help of New York State Police, federal law enforcement and officers from nearby towns.
After conducting interviews and executing search warrants, police found 23 firearms and three “improvised explosive devices” associated with the four males, as well as the alleged plot to attack Islamberg.
Police would not give details about what the alleged plot against Islamberg entailed. Phelan said it appeared the plot was in process for about a month and that three of the four charged knew each other through participation in the Boy Scouts.
“We were shocked and disturbed to learn about the allegations against these individuals,” Stephen Hoitt, scout executive and CEO of the Seneca Waterways Council Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. “Upon learning of these reports, we took immediate action to prohibit these individuals from any future participation in the Boy Scouts of America.”