Life in federal prison sought for ‘death ray’ Glendon Scott from Galway
Prosecutors ask for ‘death ray’ man to receive maximum sentence
ALBANY — Federal prosecutors are recommending up to life in prison for a Galway man convicted of attempting to create a “death ray” machine, according to court documents.
Glendon Scott Crawford, 52, was convicted in Aug. 2015 of attempting to produce a deadly radiological device, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and distributing information about weapons of mass destruction.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in Federal Court on Dec. 5 by Judge Gary Sharpe.
Crawford and co-defendant Eric Feight, 57, of Hudson, Columbia County, were arrested in 2013 after undercover agents spoke with them about their plans to use a converted x-ray machine to give people radiation poisoning, according to authorities.
Investigators said the pair planned to target Muslims and “enemies of Israel” with the machine, according to officials.
Investigators began tracking Crawford in 2012 after he approached two Albany-area Jewish groups. Authorities said the device was inoperable.
Feight was sentenced to 8 years in prison last December following his guilty plea to providing materials to terrorist.
A federal judge ruled against Crawford’s appeal for a new trial in October.
Crawford appealed on the grounds the jury had insufficient evidence to support the guilty verdict for the attempt to produce and conspiracy charges. Crawford also sought dismissal of the case on the grounds that “the government engaged in outrageous misconduct during its investigation, constituting a violation of his due process rights.”
The judge in the case found the jury could have reasonable concluded that the x-ray device itself could have constituted a object designed to endanger human life via the release of radiation or radioactivity, and that a conspiracy violation only requires an agreement amongst the conspirators “with the specific intent to achieve the objective of the conspiracy.”
According to the document, written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard D. Belliss, Crawford had targets including mosques, an Islamic center that included a school for children, the New York state Governor’s mansion and the White House.
“All of this activity was driven by his intense hatred. Hatred for Muslims and other groups who he despised and blamed for ruining his country, and utter contempt for the government that in his view not only let it happen, but made it happen,” the filing states.
Defense Attorney Danielle Neroni is arguing that Crawford should receive a similar sentence to Feight, of 8 years. She argues that Crawford did not make any modifications to the x-ray device.
Neroni’s memorandum states that Feight created a remote control that could have worked.
“Mr. Feight actually took a more active role and affirmatively created a device that could have been utilized,” Neroni writes.
Kerry Minor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.