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Catonsville woman pleads guilty to “hate-fueled plans to destroy the Baltimore region power grid”

Sarah Beth Clendaniel.jpg
Posted at 1:52 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 17:51:19-04

A Catonsville woman accused of plotting attacks on Baltimore area energy facilities plead guilty on Tuesday.

Sarah Beth Clendaniel, along with her accomplice Brandon Clint Russell, allegedly planned these acts to "completely destroy [the] whole City."

RELATED: Catonsville woman allegedly plotted to shoot up several Baltimore area energy facilities

Charging documents say the attacks were supposed to happen "when there is greatest strain on the grid," like "when everyone is using electricity to either heat or cool their homes."

According to the FBI, Clendaniel and Russell had known each other since 2018.

Court documents also revealed that both Clendaniel and Russell have criminal histories.

MORE: Baltimore avoided ‘devastating’ attack, says engineering expert

With the guilty plea, Clendaniel will now cooperate with federal authorities against Russell.

Prosecutors agreed they would not recommend Clendaniel serve a sentence over 18 years, but that decision will ultimately be up to the judge.

“Ms. Clendaniel, a felon, spent months plotting, planning and taking steps to inflict grave damage to Maryland’s power grid in furtherance of her white supremacist ideology,” said Special Agent in Charge DelBagno. “Today’s guilty plea highlights the commitment of the FBI to hold individuals accountable for their actions. The FBI will continue to investigate violent threats as the safety and security of all Marylanders remains a priority.”

Russell pleaded not guilty in the matter and has a trial date set for July.