A 20-year-old Cleveland, Ohio man was charged Thursday by a federal grand jury for his attempted plot to ambush, kidnap, and kill law enforcement officers.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio announced that a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Christian Stanley Ferguson with attempted kidnapping.
“Christian Ferguson was actively planning to ambush, kidnap, and even kill law enforcement officers in order to carry out his plot of a violent uprising,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “We must demonstrate that these types of threats to law enforcement or to commit such heinous acts of violence in our community will not be tolerated.”
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Ferguson engaged in “violent and extremist postings” made on “cross-platform social media communication applications.” Over the course of several weeks, he discussed his desire to call police to report a false crime was in progress to prompt a response by law enforcement.
“Specifically, he expressed an interest in a response by federal law enforcement because he believed they had better quality firearms and body armor to steal. He made statements about tactical options for killing multiple targets and the disposal of their bodies. He reaffirmed his plan to ambush law enforcement, kill them, rob them of their weapons, and start an uprising,” the complaint states.
Ferguson met “on several occasions” with individuals he was introduced to through an online chatroom to discuss his plans. He engaged in practice drills with an AR-15 rifle and “conducted reconnaissance in a dry run” on one occasion.
“He ultimately facilitated a hoax distress call within the boundaries of the [Cuyahoga Valley] National Park to gauge response time by Park Rangers. Ferguson believed four federal officers arrived and indicated that if that many officers respond to the actual event, they would likely have to kill them all,” the complaint explains.
According to authorities, Ferguson was arrested without incident on May 8 and is currently in federal custody.
Eric B. Smith, special agent in charge at the FBI’s Cleveland office, said Ferguson’s “primary mission was to kill as many law enforcement personnel as he could.”
“The primary mission for law enforcement officers and special agents is to protect the public,” Smith said. “Thanks to the public for advising the FBI of the hateful and violent feelings Ferguson held for law enforcement. This information led to the swift disruption of Ferguson’s plans and his reckoning with the criminal justice system.”
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