ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Galway man who was convicted last year for plotting to kill Muslims with a radiation device was sentenced in federal court on Monday.
Glendon Crawford will spend 30 years behind bars for what U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian calls a diabolical plan. Crawford was the center of a 14-month investigation that began in April 2012. Despite video evidence of him plotting and building the device, in court, he claimed he only consented to be a technical assistant in the plan.
“Glendon Crawford was a self-proclaimed member of the KKK and, let’s be clear, he was driven by hate and bigotry,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian of the Northern District of New York.
Crawford was focused for years on acquiring and building a device that could emit lethal doses of radiation to the masses. Law enforcement agencies immediately launched an investigation in 2012 when Crawford tried to convince people to join him.
“This investigation was a result of concerned citizens coming forward with information. It was as simple as see-something,-say-something,” said FBI Special Agent Andrew Vale.
Local, state, and federal agencies spent more than a year gathering evidence and recording Crawford on video with undercover agents. He’s seen on tape discussing his plan to kill Muslims with a so-called "death ray."
“Because after you get done cleansing our lands, we’ve got some pretty thick scum to take care of,” said Crawford in videos from the investigation.
In June 2013, the investigation came full circle.
“You can see him moments before he was arrested, and he was there examining the device that had been provided to him. He was working on attaching the remote control unit to it,” Hartunian said.
A jury convicted him of multiple terror charges last year. When given the opportunity to speak ahead of his sentencing in court on Monday, he argued the science components of Congress’ statute for his case were incorrect. Hartunian disagrees.
“Crawford is the first person to be convicted of attempting to possess and use a radiological dispersal device under this statute, a statute that was passed in Congress back in 2004. We’re confident that this statue was properly used, that it covers the conduct that he was engaged in,” said Hartunian.
Crawford also insisted he only consented to be a technical assistant in the plan. Judge Gary Sharpe interrupted Crawford’s rant multiple times, reminding him the conviction stands, no matter what he said. Sharpe called everything about the case, including Crawford himself, bizarre, and said the defendant can’t come to grips with who he is.
“My impression, having listened to him in court this morning, was that he was unrepentant about his conduct, and as the judge said, if he got out of jail tomorrow, he would do it all over again," Hartunian said. "He didn’t seem to show any remorse whatsoever, and I think it’s clear to me a person like this presents the ultimate danger to America. He is the classic domestic terrorist, and he deserves to be in jail for 30 years."
Hartunian says Crawford will likely be able to present his arguments during an appeal, but he is confident that Crawford’s actions fall directly under the dirty bomb statute in which he was convicted. After Crawford serves his sentence, he will be on lifetime supervision.