ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – The case against four young men accused of plotting an attack on a Muslim community in upstate New York took another step forward Thursday. Three of those suspects were back in court to be arraigned and terrorism charges were presented to the judge. The case involves Andrew Crysel, 18, Vincent Vetromile, 19, and Brian Colaneri, 20.
Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree as a crime of terrorism – that is the top count in the indictment according to the Monroe Assistant District Attorney.
“What that means is the person is alleged to commit the crime but with the added element that it was done so with the intent to, intimidated or coerced a civilian population,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Schwartz. “It’s that added component that makes it a crime of terrorism, as an opposed as simple possession of a weapon charge.”
Prosecutors wanted a new bail of $1million for the three suspects involved. Vetromile and Colaneri are currently being held without bail and continue to be incarcerated.
However, Crysel’s attorney argued for a lower bail stating his client has been present during all the court proceedings and didn’t have a past criminal record. The judge did lower the bail request from a million dollars to $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond. Crysel was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody.
“When’s somebody’s exposure is that great that significant 25 years to life, it but could potentially result in a higher flight, therefore, we request a higher bail was made,” said Schwartz.
A family’s friend of the Colaneri’s said she doesn’t think Brian knowingly became involved into this ordeal.
“The family doesn’t believe it, I don’t believe it,” said Steve Alter. “Hopefully, in the end, it’ll come out and that’s the truth.”
This will be the first time the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute crimes related to terrorism or terroristic type of behavior and say they feel confident they will be successful. The three suspects are due back in court next week.
The 16-year-old involved in the case is also expected to be in court next week for his arraignment.