3 suspects plead guilty in plot to attack Muslim community

June 28, 2019 07:37 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Three young men accused of plotting to attack a Muslim community near Binghamton all pleaded guilty Friday morning in State Supreme Court.

The guilty pleas will spare Vincent Vetromile, Brian Colaneri, and Andrew Crysel from having to face federal charges.


Friday morning they each admitted to the part they played in this scheme.

"I think many of you were in court this morning...and they essentially admitted to the conduct that they engaged in..." Monroe County Asst. District Attorney Matthew Schwartz said to reporters after the proceedings.

Schwartz says this was the best outcome. 

Vincent Vetromile pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

Brian Colaneri and Andrew Crysel pleaded guilty to conspiracy.  

Schwartz doesn't believe the young men would have carried out the plot, but said justice is served.

"When you perhaps get to know these defendants as I have...not on a personal level, but by virtue of the evidence that I've had the opportunity to review. So much of me wants to believe they never would have been able to carry out this type of plan, but the evidence suggests they were moving in that direction."

The crimes are considered crimes of terrorism. The three young men all admitted they targetted Muslims in a small community near Binghamton called Islamberg.

In court, Schwartz asked Colaneri: "Did you and Mr. Vetromile agree to engage in conduct that included among other things killing individuals associated with that community."

Colaneri: "Yes"

Schwartz also said in court one of the weapons found was tested at the FBI crime lab and it was dangerous.

"That report concludes a finding that proves that device is, in fact, a partially assembled improvised explosive device," he said.


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