'20 Purdue grad pleads guilty to white supremacist plot to take out U.S. power grid
Details from unsealed court documents tell story of guns, neo-Nazi scheme and ‘suicide necklaces.’ Plus: Township trustee bill heads to governor. Meanwhile, memories of Bob Knight’s chair toss live on
Thanks to sponsor Food Finders Food Bank for the help to make this edition possible. For more about the nonprofit organization’s work to feed families in and around Greater Lafayette, scroll through today’s edition.
A 2020 Purdue graduate was still a student on the West Lafayette campus when he and two other men hatched a white supremacist-driven terrorist plot to take down parts of the U.S. electric grid in hopes of sparking chaos and potentially a race war across the country, according to court documents revealed Wednesday as the three men pleaded guilty in federal court in Ohio.
Jonathan Frost, 24, of Katy, Texas, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists for his part in a scheme federal prosecutors say was aimed at racially motivated violent extremism. He faces a maximum 15-year prison sentence.
Purdue officials confirmed that Frost was a 2020 graduate, with a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology.
Two other men – Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, of Columbus, Ohio, and Jackson Matthew Sawall, 22, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin – pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Ohio to a similar charge, according to federal officials.
“These defendants conspired to use violence to sow hate, create chaos and endanger the safety of the American people,” U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker said in a release following the guilty pleas Wednesday.
Attempts to reach Frost or Sam Shamansky, his Columbus, Ohio-based attorney, were not immediately successful.
(Story continued below …)
Federal court documents, unsealed Wednesday with the plea agreement, lay out how federal officials say the plot unfolded between October 2019 and March 2020. They put Frost in West Lafayette for at least part of the time as the plot came together.
FROM THE COURT DOCUMENTS
Here’s a summary, along with excerpts, from the court documents tied to Frost’s plea agreement:
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Based in Lafayette, Indiana to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.