New York Men Wanted To Shoot Down Planes In Hudson Valley Released From Jail
A group from the Hudson Valley who were found guilty of trying to shoot down planes and blow up buildings were all released from prison.
The last man in a group called "the Newburgh Four" was released from prison on Friday.
What You Need To Know About the Newburgh Four
3 Men Released From Prison
In July, all but Cromitie were released from prison. U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon said their sentencing was “unduly harsh and unjust" adding the men were "hapless, easily manipulated and penurious petty criminals.”
“The real lead conspirator was the United States,” McMahon said.
Judge McMahon admits what the men agreed to do was "heinous" but blamed the FBI for radicalizing the group to shoot down planes and blow up synagogues, calling the plan a "made for TV movie," according to the Associated Press.
"The sentence was the product of a fictitious plot to do things that these men had never remotely contemplated, and that were never going to happen," McMahon added.
Leader Released From Prison
In July, it was expected that Cromitie would remain in prison until 2030. But Judge McMahon granted Cromitie his compassionate release from prison on Friday, about six months after she ordered the release of the other three men.
“The notion that Cromitie was selected as a ‘leader’ by the co-defendants is inconceivable, given his well-documented buffoonery and ineptitude," McMahon stated in her ruling on Friday. "(The group) would not have, and could not have, devised on their own a crime involving missiles that would have warranted the 25-year sentence the court was forced to impose.”
Relatives said all four men were down on their luck after doing prison time, according to the Associated Press.
Highlighted By HBO
The "Newburgh Four" were highlighted in an HBO documentary released in 2014 entitled "The Newburgh Sting."
"The FBI targets a Muslim community in Newburgh, New York and arrests four men in 2009 during a sting operation, claiming they tried to help a Pakistani business man, who was working with the FBI, with terrorist attacks," IMDB states about the documentary.
The documentary was nominated for an Emmy, and won a Peabody Award and the Founders Prize at the Traverse City Film Festival.
You can see the trailer below:
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