Ferguson Protesters Plead to Bomb Charges

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – A New Black Panther and another Ferguson protester admitted in Federal Court Tuesday that they plotted to blow up a police station and possibly other targets, including the St. Louis County prosecutor and Ferguson police chief.
     Olajuwon Ali Davis, 23, and Brandon Orlando Baldwin, 24, pleaded guilty to four explosives and gun charges. Each charge is punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Their sentencing is set for Aug. 31.
     Davis, a member of the New Black Panthers, and Baldwin met at the Ferguson protests sparked by the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. The two started talking about buying guns and arming protesters and the talks quickly progressed to procuring bombs, according to court documents.
     Federal agents and police tracked the two and recorded their calls, texts and conversations.
     Baldwin, who worked for Cabela’s, admitted he bought three guns and falsified federal forms by claiming the guns were for him.
     By mid-November, the two were talking about types of bombs, blast radius and cost. Prosecutors say police stations and officers were discussed as targets and that St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch and Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson were specifically referred to.
     On Nov. 12, an undercover informant showed the defendants a recording of a controlled explosion from the type of bomb the defendants were requesting. Davis and Baldwin requested a Nov. 21 delivery date for the bomb.
     On Nov. 19, Davis and Baldwin agreed to buy three bombs. The defendants arrived hours later at an agreed upon location and were immediately arrested when the money changed hands.
     They were arrested just a few days before McCulloch announced there would be no indictment against the officer who shot Brown. That announcement sparked mass looting and rioting in Ferguson.
     “The disruption of this plot, coming as it did on the eve of the expected Grand Jury announcement, undoubtedly saved lives,” U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said in a statement. “Luckily for all of us, we’ll never know just how many.”
     Neither McCulloch nor Jackson were harmed.
     Davis spoke in October at a New Black Panther rally at a local church about the killing of Brown, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Davis was identified that day as the Missouri chapter’s “minister of law.”
     Callahan said that while Davis was a Black Panther, there was no indication that the group supported his plans.

%d bloggers like this: