The sentence on Wednesday was harsh in the bombing plot of Bronx synagogues, but was so the lambasting the federal judge gave the federal government in its sting.
U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon sentenced James Cromitie, 45, David Williams, 30, and Onta Williams, 35, to 25 years in prison in a Manhattan federal court.
But she also sharply criticized the government, saying, according to the New York Daily News:
“The essence of what occurred here is that a government understandably zealous to protect its citizens from terrorism came upon a man both bigoted and suggestible, one who was incapable of committing an act of terrorism on his own,” McMahon said, referring to Cromitie.
“It created acts of terrorism out of his fantasies of bravado and bigotry, and then made those fantasies come true,” she added.
The Daily News reported that the judge said unlike other domestic terror cases, “the government did not have to infiltrate and foil some nefarious plot – there was no nefarious plot to foil.”
Then she took aim at the defendants.
“You were not political or religious martyrs,” the judge said. “You were thugs for hire, pure and simple.”
In May 2009, the FBI charged the trio after they left bombs in front of the Riverdale Jewish Center and the Riverdale Temple. The bomb, which ended up being fake, were provided by an FBI informant.
The Daily News reported that the informant lured Cromite into the plot with money.
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