Maryland woman admits guilt in plot to attack Baltimore power grid

Sarah Beth Clendaniel, 36, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to damage or destroy Baltimore’s regional power grid, according to an announcement made by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.

A Catonsville, Md., resident named Clendaniel has entered a guilty plea in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

She admitted her guilt to conspiracy and felony possession of firearms, which could result in a maximum sentence of 20 years for the conspiracy charge and an additional 15 years for the firearms violation.

Clendaniel is scheduled to be sentenced on September 3 and, if granted parole, she would be subject to a lifetime of supervised release.

According to the Department of Justice, Clendaniel, who is believed to be a white supremacist, has been accused of conspiring with Brandon Russell, a resident of Florida, to cause harm or destruction to the power grid that serves the wider Baltimore region.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Russell, a 28-year-old neo-Nazi from Orlando, was acquainted with Clendaniel in 2018.

According to a news release on February 6, 2023, Matthew Olsen, the assistant attorney general for national security, stated that Russell and Clendaniel were motivated by their ideology of racially motivated hatred and had planned to attack local power grid facilities.

From around December 2022 to early February 2023, Clendaniel, Russell, and several others colluded to carry out an assault on power generation facilities that catered to the greater Baltimore region.

U.S. Attorney of Maryland, Erek Barron, expressed his concern over the alleged planned attack, emphasizing the potential threat it posed to the lives of many Marylanders. He emphasized that if successful, the attack would have left thousands of people without power and exposed to the cold.

On February 3, 2023, they apprehended the duo and brought them before the U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Russell and Clendaniel are currently awaiting trial for their alleged plans to “accelerate” a societal and governmental collapse by targeting the electrical power grid that serves the greater Baltimore area.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Baltimore has been a black-majority area since the 1970s, with a population that is approximately 62% black and 32% white.

Clendaniel admitted to using encrypted communications apps to orchestrate and execute attacks against the regional power grid that supplies the greater Baltimore area.

Law enforcement was alerted by the informant and proceeded to search Clendaniel’s home on February 3, 2023. During the search, they discovered multiple firearms and a significant amount of ammunition.

Due to her previous convictions, which include robbery and attempted robbery, she is prohibited from owning or obtaining firearms as a felon.

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