Substation Plot Planners Indicted By Grand Jury, Could Face Up To 20 Years In Prison


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BALTIMORE COUNTY - On Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted Sarah Beth Clendaniel, 34, and Brandon Clint Russell, 27, on one count of conspiring to destroy a transmission substation.

Federal authorities arrested Clendaniel and Russel earlier this month, alleging that the duo plotted since at least June of 2022 to shoot up five BGE substations in an attempt to cause a “cascading failure” of the power grid, according to an FBI affidavit.

Clendaniel allegedly planned to destroy substations in Reisterstown, Perry Hall, Norrisville, and more. 

The FBI obtained information about the plot through an unnamed confidential informant who was talking to Clendaniel and Russel on an encrypted chat app.

If convicted, the duo could each face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Along with the indictment, a forfeiture notice was filed for assets that can be traced to the plot. The forfeiture notice also listed several firearms that had already been seized from the pair by the FBI.

According to the notice, the FBI seized:

  • A Kral Av Sanayi semiautomatic 12-gauge shotgun;
  • A P80 Glock-style handgun with no serial number or manufacturer;
  • 559 rounds of 9-mm ammunition;
  • 953 rounds of 7.62-mm ammunition; and
  • 77 shotgun cartridges.
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