A New York man was convicted on Friday of plotting to kill Muslims with a mobile X-ray device by a jury that rejected his lawyer’s argument that he was entrapped by the FBI.
Jurors deliberated for two hours before finding Glendon Scott Crawford guilty of attempting to produce a deadly radiological device, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and distributing information about weapons of mass destruction.
Crawford, an industrial mechanic at General Electric in Schenectady, could face 25 years to life in prison. Sentencing is set for Dec. 15 at the federal court in Albany.
Defense attorney Kevin Luibrand said they will file a notice of appeal after the sentencing.
“They had 60 hours of undercover materials, which made it very difficult to mount an effective defense,” he said.
The 51-year-old Crawford has been jailed since his arrest two years ago.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Belliss said investigators began tracking Crawford in 2012 after he approached two local Jewish groups with his technological idea for how they could defeat their enemies. They also learned Crawford sought support for the device in 2013 from a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard in North Carolina, who was an FBI informant. That was something the agents and undercover investigators didn’t initially know about, he said.
Bellis on Friday played the first secretly taped conversation of Crawford with another FBI informant in which Crawford said, “I think Islam is an opportunist infection of DNA” and “Radiation poisoning is a beautiful thing.”
According to the prosecutor, Crawford’s tireless pursuit of the plan drove the investigation. The evidence showed he was “cold, calculated” and “committed.” He was not “cartoonish” or “a goofy simpleton,” as the defense suggested, the prosecutor said.