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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 4/10/2006 4:55:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 7:00:59 AM EST by shotar]
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:59:04 AM EST

2 accused of Lake bomb plot
Officials: Bitterness led man to target judge, mayor, chief
Monday, April 10, 2006
John Horton and Rachel Dissell
Plain Dealer Reporters

North Perry -- Joseph Sands bought fuses just after 9 a.m. Sunday at an Ashland gun shop. Minutes later, officials said, his plot to bomb a judge, a mayor and a police chief in Lake County blew up in his face.

Federal and local authorities arrested Sands outside the store, ending a weeklong investigation into accusations that he intended to harm the three officials with pipe bombs.

Officials said the fuses were the final items Sands needed to build the devices.

Sands' girlfriend, Dawn Holin, 34, also was arrested Sunday at the couple's Madison Township home. Officials said she was helping Sands with the planned attacks.

The intended targets were Painesville Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti, North Perry Mayor Thomas Williams, and North Perry Police Chief Denise Mercsak. Cicconetti was scheduled to sen tence Sands on April 20 for failing to file sales tax reports.

Bitterness fueled Sands' scheme, said Patrick Berarducci, a senior special agent with the federal Bu reau of Alcohol, To bacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"It's safe to say there was some bad blood," Berarducci said.

Painesville Municipal Court records show multiple nonviolent misdemeanors and civil cases involving Sands, 40, who operates J&B Performance auto repair shop in North Perry. He served five days in the Lake County Jail last month after pleading guilty to local tax evasion. Cicconetti handed down the sentence, which also included a $150 fine.

A jury trial on a charge of obstructing official business - a case originating in North Perry - is set to begin in the Painesville court April 21, the day after the sales tax sentencing.

Sands felt picked on by local officials, particularly the police chief, said lawyer Tim Deeb, who represented Sands in a 2004 theft case. A customer accused Sands of not providing a car repair service after being paid. Sands pleaded no contest and was found guilty.

2 accused of Lake bomb plot
Page 2 of 2

"I know he had some anger toward each of them," said Deeb, who added that he never expected Sands to lash out.

Neither Williams nor Mercsak could be reached for comment Sunday.

Cicconetti, who has made a name for himself in recent years by doling out unusual sentences, called the bomb threat chilling. The judge, his wife and their two children left their family home last week and moved in with friends as a safety precaution.

"In all my years on the bench, I've never had as much as a bad phone call," Cicconetti said.

Investigators learned of the plot last week - Berarducci would not reveal how - and launched an undercover operation that involved local and federal agencies.

Around-the-clock surveillance allowed officers to monitor Sands and Holin in the days leading to their arrests.

Agents searched the couple's house and Sands' business on Sunday. They recovered numerous firearms and items - smokeless powder, pipe and end caps - needed to make a bomb, Berarducci said.

Neighbors on the couple's quiet, residential street offered mixed views of Sands and Holin. James Moran, who lives across the road, described them as friendly. He said he never noticed anything odd at the house aside from a high number of cars pulling in and out of the driveway.

But another resident on Meadows Road said there was always talk about the pair. "When we first moved in, everyone was telling us to stay away from them," Letitia Pickett said.

Sands and Holin will be formally charged today and are scheduled to appear in federal court in Cleveland, Berarducci said. They were being held in the Eastlake city jail Sunday.

Cicconetti said he's relieved the ordeal is over.

"I may actually get some sleep tonight," the judge said.

News researcher Jo Ellen Corrigan contributed to this story.

Link Posted: 4/10/2006 5:05:24 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 5:39:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:02:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 6:03:33 AM EST by CsabaH]
here's some more info:


Bomb Plot Foiled
Sunday April 9, 3:47 pm ET
Suspects Arrested In Plot Aimed At Local Officials

CLEVELAND, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The alleged bomb plot of a Lake County couple that had as its targets a local mayor, judge and police chief was interrupted today with the arrest of the suspects, search of their home and business.

Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and their law enforcement partners from the Madison Township Police Department, the FBI and the Northeast Ohio Violent Crimes Task Force today arrested Joseph Sands and Dawn Holin of 1733 Meadows Rd, Madison, Ohio for alleged violations of the federal explosives statutes.

Joseph Sands and Dawn Holin, had plotted to use an improvised explosive devises (IED) known as pipe bombs at the home of Thomas Williams, the Mayor of North Perry, Ohio; and Denise Mercsack, the Police Chief of North Perry; and Michael Cicconetti, a municipal court judge in Painesville, OH. Pipe bombs are an especially deadly IED because the entire device is torn apart during detonation and large pieces of metal become flying shrapnel that can kill and maim. Sands, who was recently convicted of local tax evasion in North Perry is awaiting sentencing by Judge Cicconetti on April 20, 2006.

"As we have all seen from the images on the evening news coming from Iraq improvised explosive devices are a particularly deadly and insidious weapon. Once an IED is initiated it does not care who or what comes within its killing zone. It has only one purpose and that is to kill." said Christopher Sadowski, Special Agent in Charge of ATF in Ohio. "Threats of violence and attempts to intimidate our elected officials, judiciary and law enforcement strike at the heart of our free society and they will not be tolerated."

A team of Madison Township detectives and members of the Northeast Ohio Violent Crimes Task Force received the initial information on the alleged plot and requested assistance from ATF agents assigned to the task force. They immediately began a joint undercover operation targeting Sands and Holin to gather further information about the alleged plot. The intended victims were warned by authorities and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Cleveland was notified. The FBI offered their assistance and established an around the clock surveillance of the suspect while ATF agents continued their investigation and obtained the necessary probable cause for today's arrests.

The search by ATF and FBI agents at Sands' Meadows Road home and his business, J&B Performance in North Perry, Ohio recovered numerous firearms, smokeless powder, pipe and end caps. At the time of his arrest, Sands had just purchased a quantity of fuse, which was the last component needed to make the IED.

"This was a total team effort," said Gerald Jenkins, Madison Township Police Chief, "I want to thank ATF, FBI and all the local officers for the valuable contributions they have made to the communities of North Perry and Madison during this investigation."

Sands and Holin will be formally charged on Monday and will be scheduled for initial appearances before the United States Magistrate in Cleveland, Ohio.

Nancy Kelly, Assistant United States Attorney will prosecute the case for the government.

ATF is a law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice with responsibilities dedicated to protecting the public and reducing violent crime. ATF enforces the Federal laws and regulations regarding explosives and arson. For more information on ATF and its programs visit our web site at http://www.atf.gov.

Patrick J. Berarducci
Senior Special Agent, ATF

Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:14:14 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:16:45 AM EST
Has IED always been used by civilian LE or is this new?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:18:24 AM EST
Its new as to scare the sheeple
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:18:37 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:19:35 AM EST
Sounds like a case of "Federal Pound me in the Ass Prison" is in order here. This is what happens when you run your mouth about your devious plans.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:19:50 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:21:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By NonConformist:
Its new as to scare the sheeple

Call me sheeple if you like, but the thought of this wapstick lighting off bombs in the neighborhood is pretty damned scary.

So if IED=military term...and now civilian LE is using the term...this this is more evidence of the militizarion of the police.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:22:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:22:57 AM EST
wouldn't it be funny if the judge he planned on killing was the judge for the trial?

From what I understand the judge has the option to recuse themself, and no one else.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:23:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:26:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By shotar:
I guess its too early for the appologists to chime in about this guy being a poor victim of society??

Are you admitting to trolling for an argument?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:32:21 AM EST
It's all Bushs fault.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:43:07 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:55:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:58:14 AM EST
what a jackass is goign to kill people over 5 days in jail and 150dollar fine
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 7:10:53 AM EST
ATFE and Local Police did a great job. He communicated a threat. By puchasing the elements to a pipebomb he was able to carry out that threat.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 7:15:06 AM EST
The boy moved up to the big league.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 7:19:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By DanishM1Garand:
ATFE and Local Police did a great job. He communicated a threat. By puchasing the elements to a pipebomb he was able to carry out that threat.

This is what the ATFE was origonally designed to take care of, not ruining some poor guys life cause somebody thought he might have a MG.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 7:39:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:

Originally Posted By DanishM1Garand:
ATFE and Local Police did a great job. He communicated a threat. By puchasing the elements to a pipebomb he was able to carry out that threat.

This is what the ATFE was origonally designed to take care of, not ruining some poor guys life cause somebody thought he might have a MG.

+1 They actually did their job for once, but dont worry they will be back at their destruction of the Constitution shortly
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 5:06:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 5:14:59 PM EST

No babies burned alive?

They must be using new tactics.

Does BATFuck want a pat on the back or something? Wow, you finally did an op without majorly fucking up and murdering people.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 5:22:25 PM EST
I think the batfe is wanting to do good things with some legislators aware of their abuses and wanting to investigate.

Link Posted: 4/10/2006 5:41:13 PM EST
IED started out as a bomb technician term that has been used by military EOD techs and public safety bomb techs for decades. The rest of the world started picking up on the term after the WTC bombing in 1993 and it came to the forefront during the war in Iraq.

I'm glad they caught this jackass.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:56:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 7:03:55 PM EST
You worded the title wrong. Not catchy enough.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 7:07:02 PM EST
This has been all over the News, even made National..........I didn't realize you were so close to me Shotar.......I usually get a kick out of Cicconetti's sentences......These maroon's got what was coming to them......now they can sit in jail......fuck 'em!
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 6:49:43 AM EST
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