Guilt admitted in X-ray scheme
ALBANY – A Hudson man charged with helping to build a mobile X-ray device meant to kill people at a mosque and an Islamic center has pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists.
Eric Feight, 55, made the admission Wednesday in federal court in Albany. He’s being held until sentencing May 22 and faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to life in supervised release.
In a separate proceeding, co-defendant Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Galway was arraigned on three charges, including attempting to produce and use a radiological dispersal device, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and distributing information relating to weapons of mass destruction.
He pleaded not guilty and was ordered detained pending further court action.
The indictment against Crawford relates to “the development of and plans to use a remotely operated radiation-emitting device to kill humans,” a Wednesday news release from the U.S. Department of Justice stated.
The two men have been jailed since last June for their alleged plot in the greater Albany area.
Authorities said the device was inoperable. No one was hurt.
According to a news release last year, the two aimed to create the device and target Muslims and other “enemies of Israel” silently with lethal doses of X-ray radiation. The damaging effects of the radiation would have appeared days later, authorities said.
According to the indictment against Crawford, he traveled to North Carolina in October to solicit money for the weapon from a ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan, who informed the FBI. Crawford claimed to be a member, the indictment stated.
Crawford knew Feight, an outside GE contractor with mechanical and engineering skills, through work, authorities said. Feight designed, built and tested the remote control, which they planned to use to operate an industrial X-ray system mounted on a truck, authorities said.
Investigators said they had a confidential undercover source in place within weeks after learning of Crawford’s attempts to solicit money and later an undercover investigator introduced by the source. They recorded meetings and conversations, and investigators got court authorization to tap Crawford’s phones, the indictment said.
If convicted, Crawford would face up to two terms of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 25 years, authorities said.
Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan said Crawford may appear in court in roughly 70 days, possibly in March or April.