Indictments put off in area ‘death ray’ case
ALBANY The two people charged in June with plotting to build a lethal X-ray weapon to target Muslims agreed to extensions in their cases last week, putting off potential indictments until at least later this month or next month.
Attorneys for both the defense and the prosecution requested the delays to allow the defense to comb through transcripts of interviews and wiretaps.
The attorneys also wanted more time to explore possible plea negotiations, according to the filing.
Charged in June with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists was Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Providence, and Eric J. Feight, 54, of Hudson.
In a 65-page criminal complaint unsealed in June, federal investigators claim that Crawford wanted to design a mobile system that could be mounted in a van and parked by a targeted group that would then be blasted by lethal doses of X-rays.
Crawford allegedly enlisted Feight, a contractor whom he had known for several years through his job at General Electric Co., to design a remote device to activate the X-ray from afar.
The complaint alleges that the men planned to either give or sell the device to groups interested in killing Muslims. As conceived, the device would deliver its lethal effect and the victims would not realize it until days later.
Crawford, whom federal investigators say has ties to the Ku Klux Klan, solicited funds from one of that organization’s leaders in North Carolina. He also approached two Capital Region Jewish organizations — including the Gates of Heaven synagogue in Schenectady — offering a device that would aid Israel against its enemies, according to the complaint.
Leaders of both the Klan and the synagogues reported the offers, enabling federal authorities to set up a sting. The people the two men eventually partnered with turned out to be undercover FBI agents. Among the potential targets Crawford pointed out to them were a mosque in Albany and an Islamic center in Schenectady.
Both Crawford and Feight remain in custody.
Two 60-day extensions in both cases were granted over the summer. Now, an extension is sought for Crawford through Nov. 29 and Feight through Dec. 9.