Judge Chides FBI for Concocting Domestic ‘Faux’ Terrorism Case against 3 Men

By Steve Neavling

A judge freed three men convicted in a terrorism sting more than a decade ago and blasted the FBI for being overzealous in investigating what evolved into a plot to blow up New York synagogues and shoot down National Guard planes. 

Onta Williams, David Williams and Laguerre Payen were “hapless, easily manipulated and penurious petty criminals” and were radicalized by overenthusiastic FBI agents and a dodgy informant, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon said, the Associated Press reports

“The real lead conspirator was the United States,” McMahon wrote in granting the men’s request for compassionate release.

While the judge said the men’s decision to participate in the government’s “made for TV movie” was “heinous,” they were duped into “a fictitious plot to do things that these men had never remotely contemplated, and that were never going to happen.”

McMahon called the informant “a villain” who was sent to “to troll among the poorest and weakest of men for ‘terrorists’ who might prove susceptible to an offer of much-needed cash in exchange for committing a faux crime.”

Neither the FBI nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office commented for the AP story. 

McMahon reduced the men’s 25-year mandatory minimum sentences to time served plus 90 days. They were sentenced in 2011. 

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