NEW YORK- Federal prosecutors in New York sentenced a Ku Klux Klan member to 30 years in prison for planning to build a “death ray” to kill Muslims and Barack Obama.
The Navy veteran and General Electric Co. worker, Glendon Scott Crawford, was convicted in August 2015 of collaborating with another man to build a device that disperses radiation.
Crawford, 52, became the first person to be found guilty under a law for his attempt to attain and use a radiation-emitting device. According to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of New York, he violated the “dirty bomb” ruling passed by Congress in 2004.
He was charged after a 14-month FBI secret investigation that began in April 2012. At the time, officials received a tip that Crawford asked two Jewish organizations for financial assistance for his plan.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Crawford looked for people whom he thought could help him acquire the device for use against alleged enemies of Israel. Some of his potential targets were mosques in Albany and Schenectady, N.Y., and even the governor’s mansion and an Islamic community center and school.
His lawyers argued ineffectively at trial that he was deceived by the government. However, Crawford wants to petition the conviction and his sentence, his attorney Danielle Neroni said in a statement.
His co-plotter, Eric Feight, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight years and one month in prison.
U.S. prosecutors wanted life in prison for Crawford, but instead he was sentenced to an obligatory minimum of 25 years and will have to be superintended for life after his release.
“His plot to murder people he did not know was designed to, in his oft-repeated words, ‘take his country back’ from government leaders by forcing them to change government conduct he perceived as favoring Muslims,” prosecutors wrote before his sentence.
Authorities said Crawford did extensive research to find out what level of radiation emission he needed to kill humans. He also scouted potential targets.
In discussions recorded by law enforcement, Crawford spoke about how much he hated Muslims and said he would even aim at Obama in the White House with the device.