James Cromitie (Photo: Getty Images)
U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon has ordered the release of James Cromitie, a man previously convicted in a post-9/11 terrorism sting, harshly criticizing the FBI’s reliance on a controversial informant in what she described as an “FBI-orchestrated conspiracy,” the AP reported.
The ruling centers on a plot to attack New York synagogues and shoot down National Guard planes, a plan the judge deemed as largely manufactured by the FBI itself.
Cromitie, 58, was granted compassionate release on Friday, completing 15 years of a 25-year sentence. His release follows that of his three co-defendants, collectively known as the Newburgh Four, who were similarly freed six months prior.
The group, hailing from Newburgh, a small city 60 miles north of New York City, was convicted of terrorism charges in 2010. However, the case has since been mired in controversy, with accusations of entrapment and overreach by federal agents.
According to the DOJ press release in 2011:
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JAMES CROMITIE, DAVID WILLIAMS, and ONTA WILLIAMS, were each sentenced today to 25 years in prison for plotting to bomb synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York, and to use Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles to shoot down military planes located at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York. The defendants were convicted in October 2010 after a two-month jury trial. United States District Judge COLLEEN McMAHON, presided over the trial and imposed today’s sentences.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “James Cromitie, David Williams, and Onta Williams voluntarily agreed to target synagogues and military planes using what they thought were real bombs and missiles. As reflected in the sentences imposed by Judge McMahon, these were extremely serious crimes that targeted New York and its citizens. Today’s sentences ensure that the defendants will be punished for their actions.”
Prosecutors had argued that the defendants spent months planning
Source: The Gateway Pundit