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Washington D.C.
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Federal Indictment Returned Charging Maryland Woman and Florida Man for Conspiring to Destroy Energy Facilities

The single-count indictment alleges that Russell and Clendaniel conspired to willfully damage the property of an energy facility, causing damage exceeding $100,000.

A federal grand jury in Maryland today returned an indictment charging Sarah Beth Clendaniel, age 34, of Catonsville, Maryland, and Brandon Clint Russell, age, 27, of Orlando, Florida, with conspiracy to destroy an energy facility.  The defendants have been detained since their arrest on February 3, 2023, on related charges.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

The single-count indictment alleges that Russell and Clendaniel conspired to willfully damage the property of an energy facility, causing damage exceeding $100,000 and causing a significant interruption and impairment of a function of the facility.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. If convicted, Russell and Clendaniel each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to damage an energy facility. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Baltimore FBI Field Office for its outstanding work in the investigation and praised the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Maryland State Police, the Baltimore County Police Department and the Tampa, Washington, and New York Field Offices of the FBI for their valuable assistance. Mr. Barron also thanked the Department of Justice’s National Security Division and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida for their assistance. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who is prosecuting the case and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Hoffman for her assistance. For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach. To report a Maryland-based hate crime, contact the FBI Baltimore field office at (410) 265-8080 or www.tips.fbi.gov.

Read more at the Justice Department

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